after reading this review, if youre convinced youd like to buy a DTUK box for your S4 or S5 then use the discount code S410 at checkout to save 10% on our MP-T with App control
I installed the DTUK box this past weekend. I chose this route over an ECU tune for a few reasons.
1. I am currently leasing the car and am not sure I want the buyout at the end. I really love the car, but who knows what will come out in the next three years that I may love more. RS4 sedan?
2. I wanted something that preserved my warranty. Audi MMI can see ECU tunes and that does void the warranty. This box is installed post ECU and therefor has no residual data logged in MMI. It’s also easily removed in about 10 minutes prior to any scheduled service.
3. I have been down the modification pipeline and I just don’t feel like dropping a metric ton of money on my cars that I will never get back outside of smiles per gallon. That being said, I don’t plan any mechanical mods, so a tune option was the best for me.
My initial impressions are as follows. I am not in any way affiliated with DTUK. I am only offering my impression and experience both with this box and tuning in general.
My instinct, as usual, is to take the product and turn it all the way up and see if it blows my hair back (what’s left of it). So, out of the box I went straight for the most aggressive setting on all three maps (plus 3). It definitely makes a difference. You can feel the additional power and torque. Under full throttle they pull like a madman with the shifts coming firm and on time.
However, I found the gear changes a little choppy under casual driving when set to boost level 3. When using the dynamic transmission setting as well as S mode, you could feel the boost coming on strong and then a shift with no real rev matching. The shifts and acceleration were very notchy. Kind of like a saw blade.
Armed with my butt dyno results I spoke at great length with Andrew from DTUK. He is a wealth of knowledge on both the tuning process DTUK uses as well as the B9 platform as he dailys a B9 S4. Andrew advised that the files are all designed to be used on the present (zero setting), damn they even add a little sticker to the box asking to email them before adjusting the box (oops i forgot to do that). I’ve now taken what I learned about both the tuning platform and the available maps and settings and am taking the prescribed approach to the product.
After the verbal flogging from Andrew, I turned the boost back to the neutral (0 setting) levels and retested. Andrew would have me tell you emphatically to start conservatively and go up from there. The minus settings are still very quick. I am now on Map 2, boost setting 0. The car was much more composed. The shifts were smooth and the power still very present.
I’ll continue working with Andrew to make sure I move correctly through the map progression and settings to get the best results. I also have a dyno test set up in a couple weeks or so to get actual numbers on this car.
I can say, coming from a long tuning and modifying background, that this is probably the best option for a tune for those that are not planning any mechanical modifications like intake, exhaust, downpipe, etc. This runs separate from the ECU and does not break any physical Audi seals.
Maybe Audizine is more open to conversation on these types of things. I’ve found other forums to be very informative for things that live in the manual. But they would much rather debate crap like oil change frequency and the pros and cons of red brake calipers being included in the S Sport package.
So today was the day. I had the car baseline dyno tested at Church Automotive Testing in Wilmington, CA. The test was performed on a dynopack all wheel dyno.
We’ve seen a lot of claims. Finally I believe we have a definitive answer of where this car is. I am not a huge fan of manufacturer HP claims. They all like to publish brake horsepower number, or power at the crank. This is a good sum of how powerful a motor is, but doesn’t relate back to actual power output. Many factors influence how much of that crank horsepower actually meets the road. 2WD, AWD, differential type, transmission type, etc. The real test of a car’s power as a whole can be expressed as horsepower at the wheels.
This is that test.
The stock claim is 354 BHP / 369 BTQ.
This dyno returned 298 WHP / 366 WTQ
These are pretty respectable numbers. If the manufacturer claim is to be believed (we have every reason to this it is accurate at the least, possibly understated), this represents a 18.7% loss of power in the drivetrain between the crank and the wheels. I have always operated on a rough estimate of 25% loss for an AWD platform. So this either represents a truly understated BHP claim from Audi, a more efficient drivetrain, or some mix of the two. We’ll assume for the sake of conversation here that the manufacturer number is golden.
The DTUK box returned similar values across the map settings I was able to test. I was able to test 2/0 & 3/1.
DTUK results from map 3/1 – 337.62 WHP / 400.54 WTQ
Based on the 18.7% difference we saw from stock claim to tested WHP, we can make a BHP estimation. The torque number related fairly well. I am not going to calculate a new number for this figure. I’ve driven plenty of high WHP/WTQ cars. This number feels accurate to my butt dyno.
Calculated DTUK BHP – 401.06
These are outstanding numbers in my opinion for a stand alone tune box. This box squeezed an additional 39.6 WHP & 33.72 WTQ through nothing other than tuning. The powerband is also more smooth and linear, even if it is mildly represented in the dyno results. You can see the dip in power and torque right around 3600 RPM. This seems to be smoothed out in the DTUK tune. It also seems based on my calculation, that the power gain is in the ballpark close enough to the DTUK claim that I cannot say their number is inflated. Especially since I could not run map 3/3 as I will explain below.
The best part about this box is that we are seeing consistent AFRs returned. We can see that stock map stays a touch lean at 5500 where we get a bit more fuel on the DTUK box getting us closer to the goal of 12.5.
There were some concerns I had about the dyno results although all would have produced lower than actual numbers rather than a higher result.
- The Audi hates being on the Dyno. I have the prestige drivers assistance package. I had to turn off all manner of sensors and doohickies to get the car to actually dyno
- Upon taking the car off the dyno, I realized the test was done with the sport differential in dynamic mode. This could cause minute braking and lower numbers depending on how the ECU interpreted the feedback from the dyno. I think the car should have been tested with sport dif turned off.
- The traction control was tough to keep off. It’s again possible that there was some slight braking
- The car hates driving with the hood up. Therefore we saw some slight heat soaking since we couldn’t point the fan right into the engine compartment. Oil temp was reading between 212 & 228 during the test. This would lower the test result from a max potential with a cooler motor.
- I couldn’t test the 3/3 map because the car developed a sport dif error on the dyno. We had to take it off and I ended up having to drive 15 miles or so home for the ECU to clear the error. I don’t think I’ll be putting it on a dyno again unless I can find some sort of dyno code that turns everything off easily.
Keep in mind that I do not work for DTUK. I have no skin in the game to make the results look one way or another. If I did, I’d have just parrotted the claims you see on websites and not sought my own results.
Orange and Green are back to back stock baseline runs. No change in parameters.
Pink & Light Grey/blue were DTUK map 2/0
Brighter Blue was DTUK tune 3/1
Special thanks to bicyclefitguru for throwing down some cash on the test.