TUNING BOX COMPARISON – DTUK FSR+ vs MTM M-Cantronic – S3 8V model. A USERS VIEW.
There has been a lot of talk on the forum concerning tuning of the S3 8V model and the pros and cons etc. As part of that process many people consider either going down the re-map route or going down the Tuning box route. There are pros and cons to both and this thread is not here to discuss those, these been covered many times already in plenty of other threads, so please lets avoid that debate here.
But as a first step into the tuning world many people dip their toes in with a tuning box. The main reason for this is that the boxes can be easily removed putting the car back to stock / standard with little to no immediate trace of a tune and potentially reducing the risk of a TD1 flag. The other benefit is that these boxes generally offer pretty good performance gains and can be very comparable (certainly on paper) to a true Stage 1 remap and of course they hold a second hand/used value when removed from the cars, remaps do not.
Based on forum threads, the most common tuning box solutions people consider are those from DTUK and MTM. Both have achieved very good results with the 2 litre VW/Audi group engine. There are of course other options. JB1 for example is another plug in solution and is customizable but it’s apparently tricky to fit. There are also items from companies such as ABT, which is more of a piggy back solution and connects via the Can bus similar to the MTM but has a new replacement ECU. So solutions range from those with piggy back ECU’s like ABT and in-line plug in tuning boxes such as DTUK which connect to various sensors across the engine bay. Prices vary across the solutions with DTUK at the lower end of the spectrum and MTM / ABT at the higher end. Interesting the MTM solution probably sits somewhere in the middle / higher end, both from a price range and to some extent how it works. The MTM M-Cantronic connects with the cars Can Bus wiring loom covering a wide range of sensors / parameters and applies changes on the fly. Price wise it’s probably closer to the ABT offering at the premium end of the price range, compared to the DTUK offering which is approx a 3rd of the MTM cost. A significant difference.
As some will know, I recently found myself in a fairly unique position in that I have tried both the DTUK and the MTM tuning solutions on the same car. Therefore I thought I would put some words down to describe as best as I can, what I feel the differences are so that future readers / owners can potentially make a more informed decision if trying to choose between these 2 particular solutions.
This thread is to document what I feel are the differences in hopefully an unbiased and honest post. I have been helped by another forum member to ensure it wasn’t just my thoughts and to see if we could replicate things on different cars. If you can’t be bothered to read any further, the simple answer is that both boxed solutions are pretty good and you are unlikely to be disappointed if you went down either route. Quite how they get there, what they feel like etc is very different, so read on if you want more….
Before we go any further, I am not affiliated with either company, nor any rival. There were no timed Vbox / Dyno runs or such data completed. Performance numbers quoted are taken directly from manufactures websites at time of writing. This thread is just from a normal user’s point of view, how easy the boxes are to fit/remove, live with day to day and how I felt they changed the car and what they feel like from the seat of your pants or butt dyno as some like to call it.
FIRST SOME BASIC DETAILS ABOUT THE TUNING BOXES
DTUK FSR+ box
Performance numbers: DTUK quote the following performance enhancements on their website for the European cars: Note that these are the increased numbers after the 1st release, as new software versions have been developed. Therefore figures have grown from the original offering with the latest numbers reflected below:
Stock: 300 PS Tuned: 375 PS
Stock Torque: 380 NM Tuned: 527 NM
Affiliations: DTUK are affiliated with DTE which are based in Germany.
TUV Approval: Yes
Fitting time: Appx 1 hour if DIY. This requires most people to raise the car to get to the boost pressure sensor which is located at the bottom of the engine. This is what takes the majority of the time to do, especially without a ramp. Physical fitting of the wiring loom etc is closer to 10-15 mins for the average person.
Connections: OEM style connectors for - Boost pressure sensor, Camshaft sensor, Manifold sensor and battery connections.
Removal: You can remove the box in seconds and replace with a blanking plug. ( If for example at the roadside ) However to complete a full removal of all of the wiring loom connections and the physical box etc requires you to get back under the car. So full removal time is same as installation. Around 1 hour DIY.
Audi Sport Fitting Guide: http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/how-to-guide-dtuk-fsr-tuning-box-fitting-installation-guide-–-s3-8v-model.253804/
Software version: DTUK are now on V3 software. - Issued June 2015
Hardware version: DTUK started with the FSR box for petrol engines. Settings could be changed by moving jumpers only. The latest version is the FSR+ box which has buttons (instead of jumpers) to change settings / programs. V3 software should I believe work on both type of boxes.
Warranty: 5 year new for old on FSR+ box.
RRP: £479 – Discounts available online / Audi Sport discount with code ASN80
Classified Prices: These appear to be for sale most months in the classifieds, approx 1 or 2 a month. Boxes seem to range from £220 - £280 dependent upon age, original box / fitting instructions etc and generally include postage within the UK.
MTM M-Cantronic Tuning box
Performance numbers: MTM quote the following performance enhancements on their website for the European cars:
Stock: 300 PS Tuned: 355 PS
Stock Torque: 380 NM Tuned: 450 NM
Affiliations: The MTM box comes with Audi heritage at its heart, with the companies’ owner Roland Meyer having long historical links with Audi, having worked on the original Quattro turbo cars and tweaking Audi products since 1990 under the MTM brand. MTM is based in Germany.
TUV Approval: Yes
Fitting time: Appx 5 minutes DIY. The car does not need to be raised and you do not need any tools to fit the box.
Connections: OEM Bosch wiring loom. Fits directly between the factory ECU and the factory Bosch Can Bus wiring.
Removal: You can remove all of the wiring and box within minutes. This could easily be completed at the roadside. No tools are required.
Audi Sport Fitting Guide: http://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/how-to-guide-–-mtm-m-cantronic-tuning-box-fitting-installation-guide-–-s3-8v-model.267054/
Software version: N/A – Box was first seen for the 8V model in 2014.
Hardware version: N/A – Unknown.
Warranty: MTM offer a separate drive train warranty should the factory one not payout. This is purchasable as an extra on used boxes, but comes as standard on new ones purchased at full price for cars up to 3 years old.
RRP: £1430 ( based on current exchange rates and pricing inc of VAT ) I could not find any further discounts, although apparently you can purchase the box from some dealers without the warranty for a minor discount.
Classified Prices: These are harder to price as MTM boxes are very rare. They seem to range from about £650 - £850, dependent upon box, insx and condition etc, including postage within UK.
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