01. Making the Audi RS 6 faster
An owner of a misano red Audi RS 6 Avant chose to make his car faster by re-chipping the ECU. After a lot of thought he decided to use a software from Hohenester sold by ACE Competition in Sweden. RS6.com was invited to see the process.
We took of in the very early morning and headed for ACE Competition. There was almost no traffic on the highway so we arrived in no time. Once greeted the owner of ACE Competition Mr. Carlsson took the Audi RS 6 for a test drive to see if everything was ok with the car. It makes no sense to chip a car if something is broken. This is done simply by connecting a VAG-computer to the OBD II port located on the driverís side.
This was also the first RS 6 he had in his garage and after the test drive he was very impressed. As expected there was nothing wrong with the car so the work could begin inside the garage.
It was amazing to see how the engine behaved just like specification, thanks Cosworth!
The hood (bonnet) was quickly opened and the original ECU was removed to reveal the original chip. The ECU for the tiptronic is hidden under the floor under the passenger side and this was removed as well.
Since the character of the engine is changed it is very important to change the character of the tiptronic software as well. At least if youíre interested in optimised performance and a smooth drive.
With the ECUs removed it was now time to remove the old software and add the new chip with the new software. A good knowledge in soldering is a must!
Once finished with the soldering it is time for the upgraded ECU to find its original place under the hood. It is now time to test drive the car with its new electronics.
We leave the garage very eager with a lot of questions unanswered: what will it feel like with almost 700Nm, how fast will it be?
A very exiting drive until we reach some roads commonly used by ACE to test the new limits. It seems more people have found these roads as well. Judging from the rubber left on the road I suspect this is the location of the local street racers.
Before I write anything more it might be worth mentioning that Anders Carlsson has a long career of rally behind him with more medals thereís room for. What Iím trying to say is he knows how to drive a car. Even though it may take a while for the new software to get adapted to the car there is no problem with feeling the difference - the car feels stronger, faster and more powerful! A family carrier on steroids!
We try the car on a long straight sloping upwards followed by a long uphill S-curve.
I have the test computer in my hand and as we accelerate it spits out torque values of impressive size. Itís rarely under 300 - 400 Nm and reaches 680 Nm at max. Too focused on the amazing numbers Iím about to realise weíre heading for a very sharp curve in warp speed. I have no idea how fast weíre going but I recon at least 140 km/h.
This RS 6 is one of the first to be equipped with the optional sports suspension - yes the ride is hard - and amazingly we pass the first curve without problems. As we go into the last section of the S-curve we hit the brakes hard but once it feels safe Anders accelerates hard.
The feeling of the g-forces combines with what feels like instant 680 Nm is indescribable.
Itís like if a giant glove pushed the Audi in the direction you want to go, just point and aim. Itís unrealistic, the grip should have been lost long time ago but like a giant gecko weíre like sucked to the ground in our vehicle.
We do this a couple of times to see that everything is ok and of course because itís fun.
The car is ready for delivery so we head back to the garage, now with 500 hp and about 680 Nm.
02. Performance before and after
This is perhaps the most important questions for everyone. How much faster will the car become? We used a G-Tech to measure the time 0 - 100 km/h and 0 - 402 m.
This is not the most accurate piece of equipment but if used in the same car and under the same circumstances it will at least give you more than a clue where things are heading.
In the early morning we did some testing and we got very good results. I was surprised to see 0 - 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds over and over again. Was it the temperature of almost 0C?
I though how is it ever possible to improve this? We have tested another RS 6 previously and we could not get under 4.9 seconds to 100 km/h. After chipping we tested again and the 0 - 100 km/h did not really improve. I guess this mainly has to do with the setup of the car and the gearbox. However the time to cover 402 m. was improved from high 12 seconds to low ones. That is seriously fast!
We are talking very close to Ferrari 360 acceleration performance to make you understand.
Re-chipping the RS 6 will make it faster while keeping driveability. New software to a turbocharged engine is a very inexpensive way of getting a lot of welcome horsepower.
Having driven the car on a day to day basis the most significant change in the engine is the improved power and Ďreaction timeí in mid-range. Overtaking a truck is no longer a problem; youíre just scared of all the imaginary policemen and police cars.
04. So which tuner should you choose?
We have visited a few tuners and I was very impressed by ACE Competition.
They have a modern garage including a friendly and helpful approach backed by long knowledge. Unfortunately it is not easy for people outside Germany and Sweden to use these companies. We recommend that you find a company that is local so that you can get help quickly if there are problems. Since developing really good software is something that takes a lot of time and resources make sure you take effort to find your own favourite and weíre sure you will be happy with the end result. Questions you should ask is for instance how do they develop their software, do they have a rolling road etc.?
Yes we got a test drive in the Skoda Octavia 4x4 as well. It has something around 340 hp and more than 500 Nm of torque. It was not a boring day...
Short facts on Hohenester SportHohenester is a company based in Ingolstadt Germany since 1981. They are well know and respected for their tuning for VAG-cars and their own results in motorsport. Since they do not market their products outside Germany they are not so well know to the masses - but donít let that fool you!
Short facts on ACE CompetitionACE Competition in Sweden has been tuning cars since 1995 and are famous for their Audi/VW conversions. It is a small company with a big competence. As far as we know the only external company that markets Hohenester.