Stage 1 tunes? Yawn.

Stage 1 tunes? Yawn.

"These build journal entries are part of a Special Series on the development of the E60 M5 & E63 M6 sealed carbon intakes and written in collaboration with Sal at Infinity Design.

In this entry, I cover the optional, highly recommend stage 1 of the MSS65 MAF engine tune.

I've always regarding stage 1 tunes on catted cars as a Sprintbooster type, placebo tune for throttle response.

Would I get proven wrong?"
- Matt


Could a tune really do anything?

The S65 was visibly higher strung from the factory with an extremely well designed air intake system. The S85 was the foundation to it - and BMW M clearly left power on the table.  

No power is cheap on an Naturally Aspirated engine, ever more so when it comes to a BMW M engine - and we'd expect it to be most expensive with a V10 M5. 

The intakes already did something.

Sal insisted I do the Stage 1 MAF tune he had developed for V10s with catalytic converters. 

He sent me this dyno chart with the Sealed Intakes, stating this was with intakes only.

14whp up top? Not bad - but I dislike dynos. They're not the truth. 

Tune backstory. 

Salman is the previous owner of Evolve and known for having developed some of the most popular, quality products for the S85.

The Infinity Auto Design DME tune has been offered for over 10 years across various different brands and tuners using Sal's tunes.

It is the longest running tune with cars  across the world flawlessly and delivering unrivalled drivability and performance.

Sal was adamant that BMW S85 engine responds incredibly well to tuning with changes made to ignition, VANOS and torque maps.

Power gains would be felt and measured throughout the RPM range accompanied by sharper throttle response and a smoother overall power delivery

He further insisted he wouldn't make any changes to the throttle sensitivity. What I would feel would be all tuning - no placebo.


The process.

I got the cable & tuner module, plugged into the OBD2, downloaded my OE file in a minute, sent it over to Sal - and within 24 hours, I had my Stage 1 file back.

  1. 8,500 RPM limit
  2. Vmax limiter delete
  3. Cold start delete
  4. VANOS tuning
  5. Fuel & timing tuning
  6. No throttle mapping changes

I received this tuning device. Today, Sal ships out simpler cables that use software loaded onto your PC.

The results are in. 

Well, I'll be damned.

Of course the man with 15 years of experience was right and I wasn't. 

Improved Fuel Consumption (seriously).

Our thirsty beasts will never be Priuses, yet 20 liters +  to 100km has always been a completely ridiculous number. 

The stage 1 tune on my S85 noticeably reduced consumption - no jokes! I am never frequently able to hit 400km on a 60 liter tank. 

I can live with 15 liters to a 100km! 

More power

I got opportunities to drive the car with the intakes fitted, and without stage 1.

Power increase were felt like on the dyno graph: all above 6,000 RPM. 

[...] where it counts. 

As I previously stated: I dislike dynos. They're an unhealthy obsession for most use cases. 

I believe power needs to be felt and measured on the tarmac. Most precisely, the 100-200 kph test. 

I love this test for a simple reason: you have to start off in the S85's dead spot, its mid range. 

GPS testing. 

I got the draggy out and hit the road. 

I clocked a best 8.83 seconds with a slight decline. 



Welcome to V10 world : where little things add up to big things. 

A stock M5 V10 SMG3 will clock 100-200 in the 9.3 to 9.5 zone. 

At 200 kph, 1 sec is 55 meters. Half that is 28 meters. Our cars are roughly 5 meters long. 

At 8.8x seconds: its 6 car lengths. 

You've been gapped by a stage 1 car. 

My bottom line on this performance combination: it's like caffeine for your V10. 

It doesn't make you Einstein, but it keeps you in the game. 

The few extra hundreds of dollars make the V10 feel less clumsy and flat in the mid range. This engine needs all the help it can get in that range.  

Up next: we get the video gear out, forget the gimble at home, and shoot raw sound clips of the new intakes. 

Will the sealed design rob of the induction noise?

Let's find out. 


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