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Shark Stage 1 Remap of my 2012 S3 SB - Full Write-Up

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Shadowman, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Shadowman

    Shadowman Active Member

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    I had a visit from N8 today to bring me my newly refurbished Speedlines fitted with Goodyear Assymetric 2's, and to bring me the Shark STS so we could upload the Stage 1 remap to my 2012 S3 SB.

    I wont spend too long on the wheels as everyone knows the standard of N8's work....needless to say they look better than new and are now back on the car in time for the warmer weather to arrive ( he says hopefully ).....i'll feedback on the tyres once I have put some miles on the car.

    So....apologies to those who are already aware of the process, but for those who are not and who are considering this upgrade, I have detailed the process and my findings below:

    The STS unit arrives from Shark with two cables, one to attach the unit to the OBD port of the car, and a seperate lead to connect the unit to the USB port of your computer. The unit itself is very straightforward, with only Yes and No buttons, along with Up and Down arrows so no twelve year olds needed to understand it !!

    Initially, you have to visit the Shark Performance website's download page to download the required software and user guide which you can then use as a step-by-step guide, and is totally idiot proof ( which I can verify as I managed to follow it !).

    First stage is to instal the XConsole software onto your PC, which is downloaded from their website and then stored as a file in a convenient place on your PC.

    Secondly, you connect the STS unit to the PC via the USB lead, and the Windows device driver installation wizard starts....you simply point this to the XConsole and the wizard installs the driver for you to enable the unit and the PC to talk to each other.

    Once completed, you then use the XConsole page which has four choices ( Link / Read ORI / Upload MOD / Erase Device ) to press the Link option, and select your vehicle, model and version from the list you are presented with so the unit knows which vehicle you will be connecting it to, and will programme the STS with the correct firmware to enable it to communicate with the relevant ECU.

    Now it's time to connect the STS to the cars OBD port and download a copy of the OE ECU by selecting 'Read file from ECU' on the unit, which in my case took approx 5/10 mins.

    Once completed, it's back indoors to connect the STS unit to your computer and download the map by clicking the 'Read ORI' button on your XConsole screen.

    This file is saved to a convenient place on the PC, and then sent to STS as an attachment via e-mail for them to work their magic and then they send an e-mail reply after an hour or so ( it took about 1hr 30 mins for me but this is dependant on how busy they are at HQ ). This e-mail has two maps....an Immobiliser map and the Performance map which are both loaded onto the STS unit.

    It's then a case of plugging the STS into the OBD port of the car again, and choosing ' Write file to ECU' on the unit followed by the choice of map you're uploading ( Immobiliser of Performance ) and then pressing 'Y' to confirm.

    In my case, this is the point where Nathan and I got a bit worried as it stopped uploading half way through, but after simply starting the process again, all was well and the map was uploaded sucessfully with the upload taking approx 10/15 mins.

    In the future, the whole porcess will be much easier, as you will simply use the STS unit to upload the choice of map ( standard / immobiliser / performance ) without the need to keep connecting to the PC.

    Driving Impressions:

    As has been said before, this has to be the best 'bang for your buck' for the S3 as it totally transforms the car.

    From my initial short drive, there is no change in the off-boost period which I would expect, but from 2,000 rpm onward the boost builds much more strongly than before and no longer tails off as the revs build. The whole car picks up much more 'cleanly' than previously and feels very strong all the way through the range with no peaks or troughs.....like OEM but stronger.

    My car is a manual, has done 4,400 miles, been run in properly and is always run on Optimax and serviced regularly.....I will provide periodic updates over the next few thousand miles to detail any issues that may arise ( clutch etc. ) as well as further driving impressions, but suffice it to say that I am currently a happy bunny.

    Major thanks to Nathan who is a really great guy and travelled down from Manchester with the wheels and the STS unit even though he could have couriered them to me, and then spent all morning with me making sure I was happy before leaving and travelling home.....over 6 hours just driving.....that's what I call customer service.

    Cheers
     
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  3. GNJ_Motorsport

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    Great review mate. The STS really is easy to use and useful after the map has been done as well.

    Shameless plug, but if anyone is thinking of having a remap, we have £100 off the Shark Performance maps at the moment :)
     
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  4. Lewbo

    Lewbo Well-Known Member

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    Great review I can only agree, had a great service from Rob at w8 performance with delivery for my sts unit, I was having problems with the software of shark performance, rob was so helpful and got straight on the case with Ben, within the hour the new software had been updated and I was ready to go, I then sent off my map and with 1 hour or I had it back and uploaded to my s3 and one word amazing, deffo worth the money and the sts is so easy to use, excellent service from rob will be using again in the future
     
  5. Paullie

    Paullie Banana Menace!
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    Excellent write up! Glad to hear you're a happy bunny with your Shark Remap and STS unit. It is very easy to use, if I was to remap my car again I wouldn't hesitate in choosing Shark all over again. It transforms the car and makes it much more driveable over the standard map. Please pop up some piccies of your Speedlines though fella, as no one ever tires of seeing N8's masterpieces. He has just done my new wheels for me too, but I think Aberdeen was just a tad too far to expect him to deliver them to me personally, lol. Enjoy! :wub: xx
     
  6. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details
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    Not a problem at all Paul, you were a great host yesterday with the tea and biscuits! We had a slight hiccup but got there in the end! Glad your enjoying the car, get some pics of with the wheels on, and let me know when we are mapping the TT-S :laugh: :wub: :ninja:
     
  7. NHN

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    Yeap gotta say any dealings I've had with N8 have been great, very respectful, positive, polite person, knows his wheels, detailing & now expanded into mapping, for me anyone who uses his services wont be disappointed at all, very committed worker & great mate aswell :)
     
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  8. Shadowman

    Shadowman Active Member

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    Hi,

    Over 300 faultless miles yesterday, mostly on motorways at between 75 and 85....engine is definately smoother, picks up really cleanly and strongly in 5th and 6th and I averaged 32mpg which is a good 4mpg better than usual....thanks again N8 :)

    Specially for Paullie, some pics of the Speedlines below (which also show the new chrome trims on the door handles) :

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Paullie

    Paullie Banana Menace!
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    Paul, thank you so much for posting the piccies just for me, lol. Your 'newly refurbed by N8' Speedlines are simply stunning and they are by far my favourite OEM wheels. Your car is beautiful, ..but with its new found Shark 'bite', it's not just a pretty face :wub: xx
     
  10. Shadowman

    Shadowman Active Member

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    Thanks Paullie.....really pleased with the wheels and the remap, and I keep telling myself that is all I will do to it, but then I log on here again and start thinking !!!!!!!
     
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  11. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details
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    Car looks great Paul, well done! :wub:
     
  12. Shadowman

    Shadowman Active Member

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    Ok......i've completed 1,000 miles now since the car was Shark Stage 1 remapped, so I wanted to post my findings for those of you who are interested.

    The car has run faultlessly ( as it had done before the remap ) with no odd noises, no increase in oil consumption and most importantly no slip from the clutch ( mine is a 6 speed manual ).

    Fuel consumption has actually improved ( I never believed it when N8 told me it would !! ) and I now regularly achieve 3 or 4 mpg more than previously however the car is driven.

    My main requirement from the remap was to provide an OEM feel, just with more shove throughout the rev range and it has done exactly that, with the car feeling noticeably quicker and response drastically improved, making overtakes much faster than before and motorway cruising much more civilised. The engine feels to me as if it has smoothed out, and at speeds where it would previously have felt a little bit harsh, it is now creamily smooth.....very nice.

    In summary then, I am incredibly pleased with the results.....the car is smoother, more economical and very much quicker than before with no negatives that I can think of.

    I know that Shark can offer more agressive remaps for those who want them, but for someone like me who basically wanted 'more of the same', and who is conscious of looking after the OEM clutch, then this Stage 1 remap seems perfect.

    I obviously can't comment on the alternatives.......there have been several good write-ups of them on the forum.....but for me, the Shark stage 1 remap is ideal and makes the car feel like a true 'S' car, transforming its personality.

    If you are wondering whether to go ahead and get it done, I can only recommend that you do so.....you wont be disappointed.
     
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  13. RPB

    RPB Active Member

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    i did do and I am not yet convinced! I did my own with the STS unit over a day as work got in the way when the new map was emailed to me! Grrrrr.
    I have also got to be careful when 'testing' as I will not rev it too high yet whilst I drive around and 'flush' out the 95 RON I had to put in when the stupid panic buying kicked in the other week. I am now back on V-Power but need another refill before I am convinced all the sh1t has gone.
    It took a day or so for the car to 'settle' back into being smooth after I uploaded the map to it. The first drive was not smooth at all and was a let down for me. At the moment it does drive ok and feels like it is pulling no different to before, however, i cannot say that it absolutely feels faster or pulls harder until i get rid of the **** fuel in it. Does it go? Yes it does. It did before though. IS it smooth? Yes it is, but it was before though. Can I snap my neck in a pull off fast move? Oh heck yeah! LOL. But I could before though.
    So, am i disappointed with it? Not fully yet as **** fuel must play a part. Do i regret it? No because I need to get some decent driving done with it.
    For me the whole experience was not as good as when i first got my Subaru mapped. That drive home was awesome. Mind you, that was before my wife's recent anxiety kicked in and that has an effect on the driving too. I keep getting this neck 'pain'! Hahahaha.
    Graham was very good with his help and advice (GNJ); Shark were superb when I phoned them up cus I didn't even know which engine number mine was for the STS unit. I also quizzed him a bit and got all the help I needed there. Actually, I am lazy as I only live 7 miles from the bloody headquarters! But I also wanted the STS unit for its fault code reading abilities also. I checked this first before uploading any kinda map and there were no errors anyway.
    So, I am looking forward to my next 3 days off work, another fill of V-Power and a nice drive on Monday and Tuesday to see what I really think! :D
     
  14. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)
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    Well I've done 5k since the start of march. my stage 2 map is better than ever. mid range kickdown is sweet! it took a while for me to really notice the difference, the car has now improved massively.

    The adaption issues I think I was having was purely me I think too. I am used to a manual gearbox. this DSG was still new to me. I've learnt how to use it now. top notch.

    changing fuel I find doesn't do anything which I can notice massively, I just did 1500 miles around france, belgium, luxembourg on 95 Ron ( didn't see the point in burning the expensive stuff on the motorways!)and still found it lively as ever, even on the back twisty bits and I normally run 98 or 99. :-/

    So I think you still might be disappointed when you V Power it :-(

    The Milltek exhaust helps I find. such a good noise!

    i think the only real way to extreme happiness is to go stage 2+ or more....just need to find a money printing machine.
     
  15. hursty

    hursty Member

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    My shark remap impressions are exactly the same, yes its fast but I dont seem to have the wow factor others are experiencing
     
  16. RedDejavu

    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

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    you guys should have tired revo mapped S3 for comparison and see if its any good/different. Mine is just a different car now, very noticeable results and finally turbo grunt pushes me back like it should do not to mention endless torque.
     
    #15 RedDejavu, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  17. GNJ_Motorsport

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    Thanks for your honesty, I am absolutely positive that once you have faith that the car is running 100% on 99 RON and start to push it a bit more that you will be happy with the map.

    I have driven quite a few mapped cars now and for example, my old Astra VXR "felt" a lot quicker after being mapped as the EDS map was so aggressive. Because it was so much more aggressive than the stock map it felt like it was so much quicker. The downside to this though is we all drive these cars in everyday situations most of the time. The EDS map I had was hopeless around town, way too aggressive. Shark could map cars like that but they believe in progressive, smooth power and I think the map I have now (stage 3 shark) is the best map I have ever had on any car.

    Let me know your thoughts in a few weeks mate :)
     
  18. RPB

    RPB Active Member

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    Hi Graham, I hope you had a good holiday?
    Yeah I can see what you are saying about the smoothness, etc. At the risk of boring you all, my Subaru whilst it was bespoke mapped to that car and its mod's, I feel the turbo I had and the other mod's is where the shove in the back came from once the rev's hit 3,600 and above due to the larger turbo. The spool point changed and I lost some response as it all 'kicked' in 500 revs higher than it used to.
    The S3 is just so smooth it is unreal. I don't even really feel any shove in the back so maybe that is why I 'feel' not much difference. I mean, my S3 had more power from OEM than my Subaru WRX did the first time I had it mapped! LOL.
    By rights, my S3 now is the same as, if not very close to how I sold my Subaru in terms of power, but has only cost me a 20th of the price to get the performance. :) (mapping and mod's costs)
    Again I can only compare how this drives to one other turbo car so that is not helping my objectivity either. A Subaru that goes ballistic over 3,600 revs unto the redline to an Audi that pulls like a train from low revs through the mid-range and runs out of puff is actually how I want it. This fits in with 'normal' real world driving in my life.
    So, what am I moaning about then? Hahahaha. FFS I have just described what I want in my car already. ;)
    Oh dear. I am off to Bakewell today so that back road drive will be another test for us and see if I can get my Wife slagging my driving off again! ;)
     
  19. N8

    N8 Kowalski Details
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    Fuel is playing a massive part here, as it's night and day really :wub:
     
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  20. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral
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    I think that to be fair,most of the tuning software companies are getting broadly similar results at broadly comparable levels of tune,in other words,around 310 bhp followed by 330-360bhp,for those running uprated HPFPs etc.
    The major difference though is in the way the power is delivered,with some giving quite an aggressive delivery,and others a more linear one.
     
  21. Brodster

    Brodster Shark Performance in Scotland
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    I've now done approx 1000 miles after my Shark remap from GNJ and I can't fault it at all. Have been running the car on 99 RON fuel and have done both urban and rural driving. The car is smoother to drive, crisper and the turbo does certainly give me the kick I was after. I changed the plugs about 1 week after just to be on the safe side and I have no complaints. Its getting to the stage where Im checking my bank balance now and budgeting for further mods as it is getting a little addictive which I said would never happen.........YEAH RIGHT!!!
     
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  23. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral
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    Using a premium 99RON fuel like V-Power or Momentum does help,and more so the higher the boost levels you use,but it does help also to have a setting on your SPS or whatever you have to enable the use of lower RON fuels if you ever get stuck somewhere.
     
  24. GNJ_Motorsport

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    Holiday was spot on mate thanks :)

    As N8 says, I feel the fuel will be playing a big part in it.

    The maps are really smooth and the lack of that big shove when it comes on boost could fool you into thinking you aren't driving a car that has over 300bhp, its higher up the rev range when you push these cars and realise you are doing banning speeds in seconds that makes you realise just how quick they are, especially once mapped.

    I can relate to what you are saying as my Astra VXR went beserk at 2.5krpm and it was fun but in 90% of situations it is better to have a "progressive" power delivery on an everyday road car in my opinion.

    Did you not see me role my eyes when you said you just wanted stage 1! :) It is very addictive. There is a ready made stage 3 with the clutch done and the buckets coming up for sale soon :)
     
  25. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Some input from a recent SHARK customer if I may....

    So, Ive clocked up a few miles and a couple of tanks of V Power on Stage 1 and well, Im not sure what to make of it.
    :think:
    Yes its fast, but as I had it mapped after a few hundred miles and never revved the nuts off it before the map, I cant really do a post and pre map comparison unfortunately.

    I do like how the car keeps pulling right to the limiter:icon_thumright:

    What I am getting at here is that there is no "Whoah fella!" kick in the back power delivery.

    I only have experience with REVO and there was no mistake the car was mapped, even after months of running REVO, it still felt surprisingly aggressive and genuinely quick everytime I got in it.

    As daft as it sounds I would like to see the car on a RR with other Stage 1 cars just to see how the SHARK curves and headline figures compare.

    To re-iterate though, and from my experience, SHARK have a top dealer network (N8, Graham @ GNJ) and the guys at HQ have been really helpful.

    The guys at HQ suggested the DSG is `torque limiting` the map and a DSG would make all the difference but I dont want to do this due to warranty concerns, and it would mean a trip to HQ to map/and then remove in the event of any warranty issues. Not an option for me Im afraid.

    So I guess Im not blown away:sorry: and I really wanted to be..
    Ho hum.

    Cheers
    Paul
     
    #23 PaulAr, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  26. Lewbo

    Lewbo Well-Known Member

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    I am starting to feel exactly the same after running shark for more than 1500 miles, Don't get me wrong it really is quick with the map and have never experienced any other s3 with a different remap but I just want more ummffff that throws me back in my seat.I am planning on get my car on a RR to see how the curve is and what power I am getting with stage 1.
     
  27. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)
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    Wish i knew what your cars were like at stage 1. My stage 2 map is almost spot on. Bit of hesitation at the start of 4th gear on flat out but thats about it. :yes:
     
  28. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral
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    I think one of the things about power,and remaps,apart from the delivery and torque curves,is the fact that you do get used to it quite quickly,and it goes from being "Wow that's quick",to "That's OK" in fairly short measure.
    I thought mine was fast with the last set of mapping and boost changes,and got used to it,now it's going to start all over again....
     
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  29. PRP98svt

    PRP98svt New Member

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    I also obtained a Shark Stage 1 remap a few weeks ago (thanks to Rob at W8 Performance.)

    Interestingly enough, I currently reside in Switzerland and do lots and lots of driving on the German autobahns. Over the Easter holidays, I was able to thoroughly test not only the acceleration at lower speeds, but also at vmax. And I can honestly say, even though the acceleration at slower driving speeds (i.e. around town) wasn't necessarily blowing me away right after I got the remap (via STS), the performance of the car at highway speeds has just completely changed - and yes, I WAS blown away.

    Normally the S3 accelerates fairly nicely at speeds over 200 kmh, but around 230-240, it becomes a bit sluggish and takes a bit to get to 250. The speedometer usually reads approx. 265 kmh at that speed, even though an external GPS unit verifies that the actual speed is approx. 250 kmh.

    So, on Easter Sunday (empty highways for once!), I had a very late model S5 directly in front of me. And at no point whatsoever was he able to pull away from me - from low highway speeds to balls out full throttle blasts, the S3 simply stayed right behind him as if attached (and yes, I of course took care to keep the required safe distance between us).
    Before the remap, that S5 would have had me for lunch, but with the remap, my S3 had absolutely no problems with keeping up - and yes, it was quite obvious that the S5 driver was none too thrilled about not being able to pull away...

    So even though it's not the "kick in the pants" acceleration that I might have initially expected, the remap has proven itself quite nicely. Heck, even here in Switzerland with the slow driving at 120 kmh, it still goes much much more effortlessly than before...
     
  30. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    That a fair point, and you do get de-sensitised to the extra grunt, but I have never been `blown away` even from the start.
    I was fairly happy early on as there was a notable difference and expected more was to come as it adapted and the V Power started to flow, but I am still waiting. I was talking about a more aggressive map right from the off which I guess speaks volumes. The guys at SHARK HQ were not that forthcoming about tweaking the map and I respect that, so wouldnt push them into an R&D exercise because I want a tried and tested piece of software thats is fully supported and endorsed.

    cheers
    Paul

    I just feel slightly underwhelmed already and find myself thrashing the nuts of the car* to get at all the power, which I didnt want to do, and IMO is the main reason for mapping the S3.

    Sorry to the OP for the minor hijack but I wanted to avoid multiple threads with the same posts.



    *(when on a private road hoon)
     
  31. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral
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    Revo's maps are generally said to be more aggressive,but I have nothing current to compare it with.

    Certainly the jump on mine from Stg2+ to Stg3(360 to 440bhp) was very noticeable,and then again from Stg3 to Stg4 software,the power jump was very significant.
    The last increase has been the most obvious of all for some reason,although it maybe shouldn't be in overall percentage terms.
     
  32. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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    Swap her out for a new one :undwech:
     
  33. RedDejavu

    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

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    Looks like there is never enough stages for you Alex lol!
     
  34. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral
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    LOL indeed.....I think power is about sufficient right now.

    If the TC is cutting in on a dry straight road,then it's enough!
     
  35. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    There is `register` for people like you.
    :asskicking:
     
  36. RPB

    RPB Active Member

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    Some very interesting thought there. I went to Bakewell on Tuesday which for me was A617 and A619. So national speed limit roads and dual carriage way. I wouldn't say I have to rev the nuts off my S-Tronic to get the best from it but you certainly hit the speed limit quickly so you just cannot say how it will feel after that. I am jealous of the autobahn runs though! LOL.
    For me, I am going to have to RR it to see the actual figures, or better still get it somewhere on track or Bruntingthorpe where I can physically legally go 'balls out' to see how it feels.
    My car reaches legal limits quickly 'I think' but without the noise and feeling my Subaru used to give me and TBH about all of this, that is how I want it. I got rid of the Subaru for various reasons and 'real world' driving torque was one of them. My Audi never lacks torque and I can now pull away quickly if required where I could not before in the Subaru without a 5k rev 'boy racer' thrash off. ;)
    Now I need access to Top Gears race track to see how it really performs!
    I mean, Autobahns and 155mph! wow, I would poop my pants. But i would love to see how it feels though. The build quality of the Audi is awesome that you just do not know how fast it is actually going until you look down at the speedo.
    I have spent 8 years in a modified Subaru, burbling exhaust and all, so I feel I may be expecting too much from a simple Stage 1 remap alone. I will not be spending anymore money modifying it though. There will be no exhaust changes or sport cats on this car for me.
    Been there, done that, aint got the money anymore for that! :D
    Keep the opinions coming though this is a really interesting discussion.

    To the OP, Shadowman, please accept our apologies for crashing your thread.
     
  37. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)
    Audi S3

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    Perhaps a load of us shark people should take a little trip to THE RING.....
     
  38. RPB

    RPB Active Member

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    F**k that! Far too much Armco and concrete for my driving! pmsl.
     
  39. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    NHN will be there like a shot, and then disappointed when he realises its not that type of Party.....
     
  40. mjr901

    mjr901 Parts Manager - (Main Dealer)
    Audi S3

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    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
     

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