M-Tuner & The M-Engineering Difference

M-Engineering LLC diverges from the typical tuning troupe with a focus on bringing the market unique custom features and calibrations that result in record setting performance, reliability, and an immersive driving experience. M-Tuner from M-Engineering allows drivers a multitude of aftermarket options which are otherwise unavailable in the market space. Using M-Tuner, users can pick map slots on the fly based on driving conditions, octane, or demanded power output by using the cruise control stalk, as well as take advantage of all-out motorsport features like Rolling Anti-Lag, Boost by Gear, and Staged Injection that have been, until now, relegated to much more expensive stand alone, aftermarket, ECUs.

When it comes to McLaren, M-Engineering is the authority on tuning the factory ECU and related control systems. As of publishing this document M-Engineering has tuned the fastest McLarens on the planet in every tangible category. This includes 1/4 mile E.T., 1/4 mile trap speed, 1/2 mile trap speed, 60-130mph, 100-200kph, & 100-150mph. These records have all been set using the factory ECU with stock turbochargers, engine, transmission, and clutches.

World Records (06-10-2021):

  • McLaren:

    • 1/4 Mile E.T. - 8.793sec - ModFind (petfred) - McLaren 765LT (DragTimes Driving)

    • 1/4 Mile Trap Speed - 164.57mph - Predator Performance - McLaren 720S

    • 1/2 Mile Trap Speed - 199.91mph - Tyler E. (Airdrieventador) - McLaren 720S

    • 1/2 Mile 3.8L Trap Speed - 187.81mph - Joe T. (997turbocab) - McLaren 675LT

    • 60-130mph - 3.41sec - Tyler E. (Airdrieventador) - McLaren 720S

    • 100-150mph - 3.09sec - Tyler E. (Airdrieventador) - McLaren 720S

    • 100-200kph - 2.92sec - Tyler E. (Airdrieventador) - McLaren 720S

    • First 765LT to run an 8 second quarter mile - 8.91sec - ModFind (petfred)

 

Typically this would be enough to satiate most tuning companies. However, M-Engineering is cut from a different cloth and being the fastest simply wasn’t good enough. Using our extensive background in reverse engineering and understanding of OEM control strategies we decided to delve into the factory McLaren ECU and make improvements to an already robust controller. Most of the features we develop are based on the demands of our customers. Map Switching, OBD Flashing, and Remote Calibration are a direct result of our customers expressing their desire for such features. To this date we have written a multitude of custom features which are seamlessly intertwined with factory logic. Our goal is to provide our customers with features which they feel are of OEM quality or better.

M-Tuner Feature Set:

Live Map Switching

  • This feature allows users the ability to select up to 8 different maps all by engaging the cruise control stalk. These individual map slots contain all of the required tables to change performance and driving characteristics from stock or a mild street tune to record setting performance for the drag strip. Map slots can be set up in a bespoke manner allowing customers to pick and choose which map slots they would like. All factory cruise control functions remain in tact. See below for a brief example of map slots we have made in the past. If you have an idea you’d like to see in a map slot please let us know!

    • Example Map Slots:

      • Stock

      • Valet

      • “Friends & Family” (reduced power)

      • 91 Octane (95 RON)

      • 93 Octane (98 RON)

      • 100 Octane (104 RON)

      • 104 Octane (109 RON)

      • E30

      • E85

      • Leaded Race Gas (C16, VP Import, etc…)

      • Gasoline + Meth Injection

      • Ethanol + Meth Injection

      • Race Gas + Nitrous

      • Race Gas + Meth Injection + Nitrous

    • We have also introduced the circuit racing map switch feature for the SENNA, 720S, 600LT, & 570S/GT. This allows a circuit racer to have multiple maps at their disposal and can switch between them on the fly during a session. Imagine having multiple maps at your finger tips for differing scenarios. You’re stuck behind that 991 GT2 RS that has just enough speed in the straights to keep you from getting a clean pass on your normal track map. By changing maps on the cruise stalk you can get that extra oomph you need to squeak out that pass.

*Rolling ALS will be disabled on circuit map switching files.

OBD Flashing, Data Logging, Remote Tuning, & More with M-Tuner

  • OBD Flashing was a long awaited feature for so many in the McLaren market. M-Engineering is the only company with a true at-home flash utility which allows the user to change maps, or update to new features, from the comfort of their own garage, office, race track, etc… Purchase of an ancillary OBD flashing device is not needed. Everything you need to flash your vehicle is included in the price of the M-Tuner suite.

    • M-Tuner has built in recovery functions in the event that a flash were to fail. Most common failures are due to a low battery, user walking away with the key in their pocket, or the user simply bumping the OBD port or cable and breaking the connection while the flash is in progress. Failed flashes are uncommon but they can happen. If they do occur we wanted you to be able to get everything jiving again quickly and easily.

  • The ECU must undergo a one time only bench procedure at our HQ to allow for OBD flashing.

  • Datalogging was the very first feature we sought to make. Unlike most loggers that use UDS, we are not hamstrung by the same constraints. Our datalogging was developed to read data directly from RAM with sampling rates of over 500Hz, or 500 samples per second! An added benefit as well was the ability to read any parameter that goes into, comes out of, or is calculated within, the ECU. This gives us a considerable leg up on the competition who are using 3rd party UDS tools. It is an invaluable tool for troubleshooting and creating safe calibrations. We have developed monitors that can more accurately troubleshoot certain situations better than the factory McLaren diagnostic tools. Empirical data is the foundation for any proper calibration.

  • Remote Tuning was the end result of OBD Flashing & Datalogging. Although our base calibrations have proven time and time again to be the benchmark for McLaren tuning, many times customers find themselves with a parts configuration that is outside the realms of our base calibrations. Remote tuning affords us the ability to bring our custom record setting engine calibrations to the McLaren masses. No longer are we constrained by geographic proximity to custom tune a vehicle. This has decreased our wait times for tuning, decreased cost to consumers, and has allowed us to gather data from around the world in an effort to always better our calibrations.

  • Dyno Mode was a key feature that we needed to integrate into our M-Tuner suite. The McLaren is not like most vehicles. You can not simply turn off the ESC and run it on the dyno. They quickly engage nannies which cause inconsistent power delivery on the dyno. This remains true even on popular mechanically linked AWD dynos such as the MD AWD-500 or DJ 424x Linx. Thus, we found a need to implement the factory dyno mode protocols into M-Tuner. With M-Tuner you can engage dyno mode for 2WD and 4WD chassis dynos.

  • Read and Clear Faults was the last big request for M-Tuner. M-Tuner has the ability to read faults from the ECU and delivery McLaren specific diagnostic information. It also has the ability to clear faults in all modules from the Airbag and Body Control modules to the PCCU and SCUG.

Rolling Anti-Lag

  • With the recent increase in popularity of roll racing many folks with turbocharged cars are looking for that extra edge from the get go. In the past turbocharged cars generally had a delay period, or lag, where the turbo was spooling up to the desired boost pressure, with Rolling Anti-Lag you can now leave on that third honk with turbos fully spooled up and eager to go!

    • Integrated acceleration control via the accelerator pedal can be used to keep the vehicle under full boost while also keeping pace with your competition until you’re given that green light.

    • Rolling Anti-Lag has built in safeties to prevent damaging heat build up in your exhaust system. Time limits are placed on how long this feature can be active and how many times this feature can be used in succession. We want you to have fun at the track but we also want you to have peace of mind.

  • Rolling Anti-Lag is part of our Motorsport Package which is an added to M-Tuner, additional cost applies.

Custom Boost Control

  • The factory strategy for controlling boost is a heavily convoluted torque routine. The gist of the logic follows a path beginning at the accelerator pedal → torque demand → load demand → boost demand → wastegate position demand. This is all speckled with limits and compensations for nearly every situation a driver may encounter. Although a very robust and well developed system, it is catered more towards the commuter car and casual canyon carver and less towards the world of motorsport. There are very useful caveats in the factory code which we retain in our calibration so it isn’t like we simply ditched the entire control strategy. We did however improve upon it with a more motorsport driven solution for both the pneumatically actuated wastegates of the M838T and the electric wastegates of the M840T.

    • Boost by Gear was a feature that has been asked about many times in the past and one we implemented pretty quickly into our custom boost control. With the McLaren being rear-wheel drive and having a fairly modest tire we were quickly able to overpower the grip supplied by the stock tires and even that of wider Toyo R888R tires. At this point users were relying heavily on the factory traction and stability control to keep the car pointed down the track. We set out to create a feature where we were able to set boost targets that were based on each gear. Boost targets are set on the cusp of traction loss in each gear and the stability control can now make micro adjustments rather than inordinate changes. In the higher gears boost can be reduced at lower RPM to avoid lugging.

    • Compensations are vital in any boost control strategy and they were not neglected when it came to our custom boost control.

      • Accelerator Pedal Compensations are put in place to allow the driver to dictate boost response and pressure depending on the pedal position. Pedal position plays a key roll in perceived response, boost demand, and torque produced. So a proper compensation is needed to account for the driver’s demand.

      • Charge Air Temperature, or the temperature of the air entering the cylinder, is essential to keep tabs on when it comes to boost control. Higher charge temperatures tend to lead to undesirable results such as detonation and reduced power output. On the other end of the spectrum, charge air temperature that is too cool can increase torque past a safe limit. Both situations would designate that a change in boost pressure can alleviate the issue, thus this compensation was added.

      • Barometric Pressure is an often overlooked pressure when discussing boost pressure and what an acceptable boost pressure target is. Barometric pressure has a direct impact on the efficiency of the turbo’s compressor. Lower barometric pressure leads to a higher pressure ratio across the compressor. A higher pressure ratio (lower efficiency) typically results in warmer charge air temperature then would be present at the same boost pressure with a higher barometric pressure. Barometric pressure is also a good parameter to monitor in relation to boost pressure, to keep the turbochargers shaft speed in check.

    • Closed Loop PID Control

      • PID (Proportional, Integral, & Derivative) control is vital to hitting your boost target consistently in varying conditions. Although we have set up our boost control with feed forward tables and compensations which make boost control extremely consistent there is always room for a feedback loop to stabilize for minor changes in conditions. Using boost error, time, and rate of change we can precisely control boost pressure regardless if it is an electronic gate or traditional pneumatic gate.

Staged Injection & Custom Injector Characterization

  • With the implementation of larger turbo chargers and E85 we have found the need to increase the flow of the fuel system. We decided to build a system that would allow for seamless integration from the stock injectors to much larger aftermarket fuel injectors. This was accomplished by means of custom injector characterization in all cars as well as Staged Injection for the 720S and SENNA.

    • Low Pulse Width Compensations - Injectors generally deliver fuel in a linear fashion based on injector open time aka pulse width. However, at lower pulse widths the linearity of flow from the injector becomes much less predictable and the simple slope / offset formula no longer works. This is generally where larger injectors catch a bad reputation for having crummy idle, stalling, etc... The larger the injectors the worse the low pulse width linearity is typically. These low pulse width areas are where injectors operate during idle and low throttle cruising. Our custom code and low pulse width compensations combined with the data supplied by Injector Dynamics help to stabilize the overall fuel mass injected. This results in stock like idle and drivability with a vast increase in overall fuel flow capabilities

    • 3D Injector Latency - One key aspect to take into account when dealing with fuel injectors is latency, or deadtime. This is the time from when the signal is presented to the injector vs. when the injector actually opens. Latency is highly impacted by two items, differential fuel pressure and supply voltage. The factory ECU logic only considers supply voltage when calculating latency, which works ok with the small factory injectors, however we have added another layer of logic to properly compensate for differential fuel pressure. Fuel injectors operate under pressure on both ends; fuel pressure on the rail side and air pressure on the intake manifold side. It is vital to know the pressure differential across the injector for proper flow calculations. Differential pressure is just that. It is calculated as absolute rail fuel pressure minus absolute manifold air pressure. E.g. If our fuel pressure was 90psia and our boost pressure was 35psia we have a differential pressure of 55psi. Increase supply voltage decreases latency while increased differential fuel pressure decreases latency. Since the McLaren runs anywhere from 30-60psi of differential fuel pressure it was vital for us to add this feature for consistent fueling.

    • Staged Injection (720S) - The 720S comes equipped from the factory with 16 fuel injectors, two per cylinder. The primary injectors are run at all times when fuel injection is demanded, the secondary injectors only come on when they are in their linear injection range. This means you can idle and drive under low loads on only the primary injectors and when you need the additional fuel flow the secondary injectors will turn on. This allows for a massive amount of fuel flow when the demand is high while not sacrificing idle and drivability at low RPM. The injections split is phased in seamlessly so the driver will never be aware when the ECU is switching from running on one injector per cylinder or two.