In the first installment of Horsepower Wars we are heading into battle against a 2017 Camaro SS in our 2017 Mustang GT in a series of four competitions — braking, chassis dyno testing, drag racing, and road racing — to see which car reigns supreme as the winner of Pony Wars.
The inTune i3 is a versatile product that can work perfectly for stock cars all the way up to all-out drag racing vehicles. — Matt Barker, DiabloSport
We aren’t competing with stock cars, however. The challenge is to see which car wins after two phases of modification. Each car will get a $5,000 and a $15,000 budget based on Summit Racing’s pricing. From there, FordNXT put together a package of parts to help its Mustang defeat the Camaro, assembled by LSX Magazine, which is, obviously, designed to beat the Mustang.
A crucial part of these builds is teaching the factory powertrain control modules to accept and make the most of our mods. To do so, we chose the inTune i3 Platinum performance race tuner from Horsepower Wars sponsor, DiabloSport.
“The inTune i3 Platinum is the perfect device for this build because of its ability to provide high-powered tunes right out of the box and the ability to support the custom modifications with the third-party CMR custom-tuning capability,” Matt Barker, Category Manager at DiabloSport, said. “The inTune i3 is a versatile product that can work perfectly for stock cars all the way up to all-out drag racing vehicles.”
While the i3 Platinum comes preloaded with a calibration to improve the performance of a factory vehicle, the two phases of our 2017 Mustang GT and 2017 Camaro SS builds will move the hardware parameters well outside the scope of factory-based calibrations. Fortunately, this DiabloSport device also supports custom tuning via the company’s CMR software.
“The built-in ability to use the data-logging features and in-vehicle parameter streaming allow tuners the ability to monitor vital engine parameters to determine what changes need to be made to optimize the power. This also allows the tuner the ability to tune the vehicle remotely and that can make it much easier for people to access tuning from talented tuners regardless of their physical location,” Matt explained. “Whether the modifications include standard bolt-on upgrades like headers, intake, and exhaust, or more extensive mods like forced induction, the CMR custom tuning software allows the tuner to make quick changes to support those modifications. The drag-and-drop tuning feature also allows for easy and quick implementation of custom tunes. This feature allows CMR tuners to send custom tunes in an email if they are tuning remotely and the user simply has to drag and drop the file onto the device using a computer.”
So we should be able to easily adapt the custom calibrations to work with the mods as we move from stock to Phase 1 and on to Phase 2. This will include a move from 91-octane pump gas to VP high-octane unleaded fuel and a shift from natural aspiration to a ProCharger.
“In the performance programming menu on the inTune i3, you will have two lists of performance tunes, pre-loaded and custom. The custom tunes are typically named by the CMR tuner to reflect some of the changes featured in the tune itself. The DiabloSport pre-loaded tunes will feature names like Mileage Booster, 91 Octane Performance or 93 Octane Performance to name a few. The CMR custom tunes will typically be named for the specific changes they have in them and that makes them very easy to distinguish in the menu,” Matt added. “The capability of the tunes themselves is easy to differentiate as a pre-loaded tune is only going to be able to optimize stock parts or simple mods like intakes and exhaust. When we change out headers and add forced induction, that pre-loaded tune would not allow the vehicle to run well or optimize the gains that come from those modifications.”
DiabloSport InTune i3 Platinum Features
• 50-state-legal tuning is available
• Can flash multiple vehicles with additional license purchase
• Compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and Linux operating systems
• Disables traction control if desired
• Easy Tune mode simplifies calibrations
• Fast read and write times speed up the process
• Includes dyno-tested preprogrammed calibrations
• Launch control customization
• Logs OBD-II data
• Reads and clears diagnostic trouble codes
• Raises rev and speed limiters if desired
Backed by some of the biggest names in the automotive aftermarket — including ARP, BMR Suspension, COMP, DiabloSport, Dyna-Batt, E3 Spark Plugs, Holley Performance Parts, Mahle, Mickey Thompson, ProCharger, QA1, Royal Purple, Summit Racing, TCI, Weld Racing, and others — this competition will get crazy over the next few months as these ponycars wage war.