• TCU tuning becoming more important - APR releases DQ250 DSG software

      With modern dual clutch transmissions we are seeing a big evolution in how tuners approach platforms equipped with these transmissions. You may get an ECU tune for your DSG equipped car and be making quite a bit more horsepower and torque but torque limits placed in the computer controlling the transmission will prevent you from getting all that torque to the ground. Manufacturers obviously set these limits to protect the components so they do not see an increase in warranty claims.




      Naturally, tuners try to remove these limits. TCU tuning is picking up more and more steam and APR is showing what they are capable of with the DQ250 gearbox. This gearbox is used in several Audi and VW models with an application guide specified below.

      So what does the software allow you to do? User definable shift patterns. User definable launch control RPM. User definable max RPM. User definable automatic upshift on or off. User definable manual mode auto downshift on or off.

      Those are some pretty big changes. Essentially say you got a big turbo with a bit of lag and you wanted more RPM on the launch. With this software, that is not a problem. In addition to increasing torque limits you can play with the RPM and behavior of the transmission. Very important for people taking their cars to that next level.

      At $599.00 the software is a no-brainer. Currently available at the same price point for Stage I and Stage II power levels with Stage III on the way.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: TCU tuning becoming more important - APR releases DQ250 DSG software started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 21 Comments
      1. richpike's Avatar
        richpike -
        Nice article. Indeed, this is big news and something that will be critical going forward.

        -Rich
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Kind of interesting that there are two TCU posts on the front page today from two different tuners on different platforms. It just shows the attention TCU tuning is getting with dual clutches now.

        I can say myself it's a big factor in how the transmission responds.
      1. Lizotte's Avatar
        Lizotte -
        I have the stage 2. I had GIAC and went to APR and the APR is significantly better. Both in shift speed and features. It has better shifting in off load situations as well.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Lizotte Click here to enlarge
        I have the stage 2. I had GIAC and went to APR and the APR is significantly better. Both in shift speed and features. It has better shifting in off load situations as well.
        How do you quantify that the shift speed is better?
      1. chrisisnapping's Avatar
        chrisisnapping -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by richpike Click here to enlarge
        Nice article. Indeed, this is big news and something that will be critical going forward.

        -Rich
        isn't anything new in the VAG world, Unitronic, Giac, and HPA have been tuning the VAG DSG trans for a few years. APR is surprisingly late on the curve for this.

        What i do not like about this tune is you can pick your launch control RPM once, when the tune is built.

        With GIAC they have the hand held controller where you can set your launch control RPM by I believe 50rpms at a time.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chrisisnapping Click here to enlarge
        What i do not like about this tune is you can pick your launch control RPM once, when the tune is built.
        They state it is user adjustable?
      1. Zel335's Avatar
        Zel335 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chrisisnapping Click here to enlarge
        isn't anything new in the VAG world, Unitronic, Giac, and HPA have been tuning the VAG DSG trans for a few years. APR is surprisingly late on the curve for this.

        What i do not like about this tune is you can pick your launch control RPM once, when the tune is built.

        With GIAC they have the hand held controller where you can set your launch control RPM by I believe 50rpms at a time.
        This, plus UnitedMotorsports is the biggest in this game, they I think were first to the market with it. They tuned an R32 from Minnesota that had 500+awhp, and now a few GTI's with 500+whp that hit the strip often.
      1. chrisisnapping's Avatar
        chrisisnapping -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        They state it is user adjustable?
        "At the time of installation, the user is able to select their desired launch RPM, as they see fit!"

        It's a one and done. I can tell my tuner "set it to 3500rpm" and that's it. I can't adjust it going forward, without a re-tune. A lot of people felt that should have made it on-the-fly adjustable through the APR mobile app.

        honestly not leaving it adjustable for the end user whenever they want is a huge oversight. Obviously if I change from the stock turbo to a larger turbo my torque band changes and I would like to change my launch control easily when adjusting for that torque band, or if I go from street tires to DRs to slicks. I mean sure I can go to my tuner and most likely pay a few bucks to go from say 3500 to 3700, but what if 3700 isn't good enough, then I have to go back and try for 4000, but what if it bogs? then I go back, etc etc etc.

        While Giac you just plug in your handheld, test it out. does it work? great. does it not work? okay just lower/raise the launch control RPM and try again.
      1. chrisisnapping's Avatar
        chrisisnapping -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Zel335 Click here to enlarge
        This, plus UnitedMotorsports is the biggest in this game, they I think were first to the market with it. They tuned an R32 from Minnesota that had 500+awhp, and now a few GTI's with 500+whp that hit the strip often.
        UM is pretty low key on the newer TSI 2.0 platform. Most of the GT30+ guys are running Uni or Giac, some are shelling out the couple grand for HPA though.

        But yeah, outside of that platform for the price UM is killing it. HPA is just CRAZY expensive.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chrisisnapping Click here to enlarge
        "At the time of installation, the user is able to select their desired launch RPM, as they see fit!"

        It's a one and done. I can tell my tuner "set it to 3500rpm" and that's it. I can't adjust it going forward, without a re-tune. A lot of people felt that should have made it on-the-fly adjustable through the APR mobile app.

        honestly not leaving it adjustable for the end user whenever they want is a huge oversight. Obviously if I change from the stock turbo to a larger turbo my torque band changes and I would like to change my launch control easily when adjusting for that torque band, or if I go from street tires to DRs to slicks. I mean sure I can go to my tuner and most likely pay a few bucks to go from say 3500 to 3700, but what if 3700 isn't good enough, then I have to go back and try for 4000, but what if it bogs? then I go back, etc etc etc.

        While Giac you just plug in your handheld, test it out. does it work? great. does it not work? okay just lower/raise the launch control RPM and try again.
        Ok that feels a bit misleading. I prefer the GIAC approach there.
      1. chrisisnapping's Avatar
        chrisisnapping -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Ok that feels a bit misleading. I prefer the GIAC approach there.
        it is. given that it's taken just so long for APR to release a DSG tune I was hoping they would have tied it to the mobile app a bit better so you can adjust launch RPM.

        One thing I certainly won't miss about the VW world is how locked down tuning is =/
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chrisisnapping Click here to enlarge
        it is. given that it's taken just so long for APR to release a DSG tune I was hoping they would have tied it to the mobile app a bit better so you can adjust launch RPM.

        One thing I certainly won't miss about the VW world is how locked down tuning is =/
        There just isn't enough competition there.
      1. Zel335's Avatar
        Zel335 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chrisisnapping Click here to enlarge
        UM is pretty low key on the newer TSI 2.0 platform. Most of the GT30+ guys are running Uni or Giac, some are shelling out the couple grand for HPA though.

        But yeah, outside of that platform for the price UM is killing it. HPA is just CRAZY expensive.
        Yeah I'm still on the MKV Platform so it's the majority of the BT guys running UM, it is the surprising thing to find a company that can beat APR in pricing but you are correct HPA is that one.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chrisisnapping Click here to enlarge
        it is. given that it's taken just so long for APR to release a DSG tune I was hoping they would have tied it to the mobile app a bit better so you can adjust launch RPM.

        One thing I certainly won't miss about the VW world is how locked down tuning is =/
        It's a horrid thing and why we lack tuners like Cobb to jump on board the platform. I don't overall mind the platform but it's better to go with a smaller tuning company that will tune according to your car and is what I've done.

        As for the future things are getting interesting in the VAG word with the HP war just heating up between VW and Audi oddly enough. Can't wait to see if we get anything worth wild in the U.S.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        The funny thing is I have a few vendors call me up and say they prefer to work with stuff like APR because it's more profit with less headaches. Set it, forget it, that's it.
      1. Zel335's Avatar
        Zel335 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The funny thing is I have a few vendors call me up and say they prefer to work with stuff like APR because it's more profit with less headaches. Set it, forget it, that's it.
        That is very true, if you buy all APR stuff to place on your car it will work great. I went a route and put a Frankenturbo on my car. None of the big box tuners but GIAC will touch that turbo as it's someone difficult to tune for. However when you find a tuner that will take the time to make a program for your car and your car alone it works so much better. As the vendors understand going with the all in one solutions that APR and a few other companies have it's just so much easier to deal with. Also APR really does take care of their products with good customer service support.
      1. chrisisnapping's Avatar
        chrisisnapping -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The funny thing is I have a few vendors call me up and say they prefer to work with stuff like APR because it's more profit with less headaches. Set it, forget it, that's it.
        it's true. APR is like OEM+, very rarely will someone have problems with APR. Though the BT guys do have quite a few headaches, but that's understandable when you're talking about taking a 200hp engine, replacing the internals and valvetrain and damn near tripling base hp on race gas/meth.


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        There just isn't enough competition there.

        There is but there isn't. You have Eurodyne, HPA, Uni, Revo, GIAC, Driver Motorsport, and APR all offering tunes for the TSI engine (and most recent VW engines, numbers shoot up when discussing Porsche, lambo, audi, and the 1.8T under the VAG flag). That's a pretty large number of reputable tuners providing a (canned) tune. These are just NA based tuners too.

        However, there are not many CUSTOM tuners (for the TSI), and that's the problem. I mean Eurodyne provides the functionality of custom tuning, but it's basically finding a needle in a haystack to find someone that can tune the TSI well on Eurodyne.
      1. Zel335's Avatar
        Zel335 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by chrisisnapping Click here to enlarge
        There is but there isn't. You have Eurodyne, HPA, Uni, Revo, GIAC, Driver Motorsport, and APR all offering tunes for the TSI engine (and most recent VW engines, numbers shoot up when discussing Porsche, lambo, audi, and the 1.8T under the VAG flag). That's a pretty large number of reputable tuners providing a (canned) tune. These are just NA based tuners too.

        However, there are not many CUSTOM tuners (for the TSI), and that's the problem. I mean Eurodyne provides the functionality of custom tuning, but it's basically finding a needle in a haystack to find someone that can tune the TSI well on Eurodyne.
        I think what you see is the time it takes to develop the product for the platform, it wasn't till late in the life of the FSI or even after it's life that all these different options showed up. Then look at all the different revision some of the companies have made like APR to the tunes they had out for both FSI and TSI. The TSI has been out for several years now from 08.5, but APR just released last year a new Head for the FSI motor, and that engine was from 06.

        So given time things will come around, maybe not as fast as we would all like though.
      1. chrisisnapping's Avatar
        chrisisnapping -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Zel335 Click here to enlarge
        I think what you see is the time it takes to develop the product for the platform, it wasn't till late in the life of the FSI or even after it's life that all these different options showed up. Then look at all the different revision some of the companies have made like APR to the tunes they had out for both FSI and TSI. The TSI has been out for several years now from 08.5, but APR just released last year a new Head for the FSI motor, and that engine was from 06.

        So given time things will come around, maybe not as fast as we would all like though.
        i think APR just goes with demand. They were really quick to market for Stage 1, 2, k04 and BT kits. I think the whole V3 k04 tune more or less came around because the Uni k04 tune was just so much better than APR's V2 tune. Had Uni not updated last year and had GIAC not put up a good showing at roll races with their Extreme k04 tune, I feel APR wouldn't have released a k04 tune as there was no need for it, they were top dogs and didn't have to get more aggressive.
      1. Lizotte's Avatar
        Lizotte -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        How do you quantify that the shift speed is better?
        It is like half the time of the giac flash, it is certainly noticiable when driving. It is after all transmission shifting, that is pretty identifiable, I didn't post any specific numbers. Look I just spent $600.00. Colby at APR the international Sales Director drove my car with the GIAC. He was just back from flashing 71 transmissions in China. He guaranteed I would notice a difference or I could have my money back. So, if it wasn't noticiable believe me I would be $600 dollars richer!
        Ed
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Lizotte Click here to enlarge
        It is like half the time of the giac flash, it is certainly noticiable when driving. It is after all transmission shifting, that is pretty identifiable, I didn't post any specific numbers. Look I just spent $600.00. Colby at APR the international Sales Director drove my car with the GIAC. He was just back from flashing 71 transmissions in China. He guaranteed I would notice a difference or I could have my money back. So, if it wasn't noticiable believe me I would be $600 dollars richer!
        Ed
        I'm glad to hear your impressions and that you are happy but I mean I wish we could measure if there were differences or if they are perceived due to changing of the RPM shift engagement, etc.