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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, Tuning Recommendations in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Let me start this by saying that I am not technical or mechanical. I can put gas in the car, ...
  1. #1
    rblack77 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Tuning Recommendations

    Let me start this by saying that I am not technical or mechanical. I can put gas in the car, change a tire, and if forced to, change the oil.

    I've been reading the posts here about the different tuning options and wanted to get some recommendations and dumbed down explanations of what to feasibly expect.

    I have a 2013 ATS 3.6 Automatic and while I think it is really quick, would love to get faster acceleration and top speed. It looks like there are several companies that offer software that I just plug in and load into the car that will allow me to do this.

    Any recommendations on which will yield the best results and reviews from those that have done this themselves? I'm curious what I kind of performance gains I can expect to get from a software tune alone. The car is a lease so I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize the lease contract.

    Thanks in advance for the advice. I knew this group would be the best to ask.

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  3. #2
    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
    Hoosier Daddy is offline Moderator
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    Re: Tuning Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by rblack77 View Post
    Let me start this by saying that I am not technical or mechanical. I can put gas in the car, change a tire, and if forced to, change the oil.

    I've been reading the posts here about the different tuning options and wanted to get some recommendations and dumbed down explanations of what to feasibly expect.

    I have a 2013 ATS 3.6 Automatic and while I think it is really quick, would love to get faster acceleration and top speed. It looks like there are several companies that offer software that I just plug in and load into the car that will allow me to do this.

    Any recommendations on which will yield the best results and reviews from those that have done this themselves? I'm curious what I kind of performance gains I can expect to get from a software tune alone. The car is a lease so I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize the lease contract.

    Thanks in advance for the advice. I knew this group would be the best to ask.
    You won't get much HP or torque from a tune with an NA engine. But since you have an automatic transmission, you will get benefits from tuning it as well.

    There are lots of tuners. I know of two forum sponsors who sell ATS tunes: KPE and BNR. BNR sells Trifecta tunes. KPE is a tuner in their own right. I would stay away from off-brands. The president of Evolution Motorsports (KPE is a subsidiary), told me there are companies selling tunes that don't even dyno test them. They just plug in values they think will work based on theory.

    I don't believe there is much difference between good engine tunes, not enough for a human to tell the difference. Beware of marketing hype that may involve baselines figures from Dynos done in non-optimal conditions compared to very favorable conditions when the tune was dynoed. I would choose based on support, price and their transmission tuning (for an automatic car). Support is especially important if you start doing other mods to your car. Some mods need a new tune to get the best results. Company A may give free upgardes (I know one prominent Mustang tuner does that) for life including custome tweaking of a canned tuned if your car was a little different than the benchmark. Others may want nearly as much as the original tune. others may fall between.

  4. #3
    SC2150's Avatar
    SC2150 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Post Re: Tuning Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by rblack77 View Post
    It looks like there are several companies that offer software that I just plug in and load into the car that will allow me to do this.
    There are a number of companies who now offer tunes for the Cadillac ATS, of which D3 Cadillac, BNR, Lingenfelter, Pfadt Racing, Hennessey Performance, and VTuner are just a few of the US-based companies.

    Many of these companies do indeed resell tunes created by other companies still, but most of them if not all of them do contribute their own intellectual property and their own technical specialty to the tunes that they offer.

    For example, although D3 Cadillac (D3RD Group) may use a Trifecta based flash loader, their tune from what I understand is based on their own testing, data input, and for all intents and purposes, is a completely different tune than lets say BNR, whom also uses a Trifecta flash solution.

    I would not discount or marginalize what any of these hard working individuals contribute to the Cadillac market and forums, based on just hearsay.


    Many of the tuning companies also have their own R&D into a tune, to make what they would consider their best offering.

    The time each one of them spends in developing for the tunes, not just performance, but also drive-ability and and transmission behavior is what will separate them from one another.

    Tunes developed with the ability to customize or individually tune YOUR car will definitely be better solutions than those who are just "canned tunes".

    Examples of customized tunes:

    Lingenfelter, D3, Pfadt, VTuner, BNR, EFILIVE, and HPTuners


    Examples of canned tunes, or tunes that are the same on every vehicle:

    KPE, ,DIMSPORT, and BSR


    Thanks for listening.
    RX Performance Products/RevXtreme.com 941-721-1826

  5. #4
    EnvoyBu's Avatar
    EnvoyBu is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Tuning Recommendations

    I own a 2013 ATS 3.6L Premium. I have a Trifecta Tune and am VERY happy with it.

    According to Trifecta, the CTS 3.6L has gained almost 30 HP and 20 TQ from the tune, and the ATS has probably gained about the same. The car is a lot nicer to drive now since all the "nannies" are gone.

  6. #5
    mikesul is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Tuning Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by EnvoyBu View Post
    I own a 2013 ATS 3.6L Premium. I have a Trifecta Tune and am VERY happy with it.

    According to Trifecta, the CTS 3.6L has gained almost 30 HP and 20 TQ from the tune, and the ATS has probably gained about the same. The car is a lot nicer to drive now since all the "nannies" are gone.
    From my limited experience that is what most of the good tunes are getting you with an otherwise stock engine. To get the best tune make sure you can datalog your tuned vehicle and your tuner will then adjust the tune for your car. I agree with Tracy (SC1250) about choosing a reputable tuner, one that has invested their time in developing a good, safe tune.

  7. #6
    Fraggy's Avatar
    Fraggy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Do you need a PC to load the tune? Will a Mac work?

  8. #7
    M5eater's Avatar
    M5eater is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Tuning Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
    Do you need a PC to load the tune? Will a Mac work?
    If you have intel based hardware and want to run boot camp or a VM, yes it will.

    Otherwise, no. You can not load the software from OSX.

  9. #8
    Fraggy's Avatar
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    Cool. I've never run boot camp, But I can certainly try.

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