Introduction to the Mercedes M278 Engine
When Mercedes Benz introduced the M278 we realized immediately it’s potential. The M278 is a V8 Twin Turbo Charged Engine. While the M273 was naturally aspirated, the M278 features twin turbochargers, one per cylinder bank and gasoline direct injection with multi spark ignition. The M278 engine is much more fuel efficient that the M273 engine it replaces.
Introduced in 2011, it became the standard engine on that years Mercedes-Benz S550, Mercedes-Benz CL550 and the Mercedes-Benz CLS550. It was followed in 2012 & 2013 with the addition of the Mercedes-Benz SL550, Mercedes-Benz E550 and the Mercedes-Benz GL550.
Mercedes M278 Engine Tune Uses
The engine itself is a real monster but its capable of so much more. The obvious question is, if it is capable of so much more then why didn’t Mercedes tune it that way? While I’m sure there are many different reasons that Mercedes decided to tune it this way, one of them is obvious. Mercedes top of the line S63 AMG, CL63 AMG, CLS63 AMG and the E63 AMG are their flagship vehicles. They are obviously not going to be in competition with themselves and devalue their AMG brand which carries the variant engine namely the M157 and carries a hefty premium.
Tuning a Mercedes: Engine Specs
What does this mean for Mercedes tuning we ask? Quite simply a lot! The stock power is for these models is approximately 402HP and 443LB-Ft Torque. These numbers will differ slightly between models but we’ll use these numbers as an example. A Stage 1 Intermediate Tune will increase these numbers to approximately 510HP and 590LB-FT Torque. It’s a huge difference and almost equals the E63 AMG’s Horsepower of 550HP and exceeds its Torque of 531LB-FT. That’s not all of what these cars are capable of while keeping the car’s stock components. A Stage 2 Tune can exceed all the 63 AMG’s power and torque giving you a beast at approximately 540HP and 700LB-FT Torque. This is an incredible increase and allows the car to rival most sports cars on the road today.
ECU Tune Performance Package
Also, don’t forget our ECU+ Package for a Mercedes tune. This allows you to keep your stock ECU as stock and we provide you with an additional ECU pre-programmed with your tune. Swapping the ECU is a simple job and will take the novice less than 5 minutes. Some like to swap out their tuned ECU for stock before they take it to the dealer for warranty work and it also stops the chance that a software update at the dealer could overwrite the tune.
As always, if you have questions about this tune or tuning a Mercedes in general on any other model of Mercedes-Benz, feel free to reach out to one of our specialists. Tuning a Mercedes is an awesome experience. No matter if its call, email or our contact page, we’re happy to help and can answer all your questions. You can even our facebook page and message us there. Thanks for your interest in PRESSERtech!
Getting Into It
Last week we got to tune a 2003 SL55 AMG with 110,000 miles. First thing that struck us was how solid this car is. For a 15-year-old car we didn’t expect what we found at all. It was awesome to drive with the factory tune and very, very responsive. I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise to us given that the AMG SL55 Kompressor has 493HP @ 6100 RPM and 518 LB-FT @ 2650-4800 RPM. It’s a beast already and it shows but it’s 15 years old! That’s what we kept on saying but the owner wanted the tune regardless. That said, the owner has kept this car in tip-top shape and there wasn’t even a spec of oil anywhere. No error codes. Nothing. It was a joy to drive and he chose Pressertech for his Mercedes tuning specialists.
Mercedes Master Tech Tune
So what could we do for this senior citizen of an automobile? Well, as a Mercedes Tuner and just like every other vehicle, we got stuck right in. After copying the file from the ECU, making a backup of the original and then a copy we went to work. We looked at the original file in our specialized Mercedes Tuner race software and made the changes we needed. These files take a lot of time and patience and a lot of knowhow and skill. This isn’t something that just anyone can do. We understand these cars from the mechanics to the nuances of the ECU. All of our tunes are done by Mercedes Master Tech’s and that ensures that your tune is always within safe limits and we guarantee it after all, we’re Mercedes tuning specialists.
After working on the file we were just about done. We merged the changes back into the copy and reinstalled the ECU. That’s the easy part, the ECU underlying data that links it to your specific car to the ECU is not changed at all. That’s why many long distance customers like the idea of two ECU’s from their Mercedes Tuner. One their stock and one being their tuned file. Both ECU’s become plug and play to your specific vehicle. They won’t work on other cars because that car’s VIN is not coded although if you ever wanted to sell the tuned ECU, we can re-flash with the new owners file for a nominal fee.
Now the fun part… What will this car feel like now? One turn of the key and we heard the engine roar to life. The engine and exhaust on the SL55 AMG Kompressor makes the exhaust note just beautiful. We belt up and we’re off. First thing we note is how responsive the pedal is. Still wholly controllable but press the gas and the reaction from the car is instant. The car roars through 1st, 2nd, 3rd and the acceleration is easy to see and feel compared to the not so slouchy stock tune. It’s just such a pleasure to drive but we wanted more proof so it was time for the dyno. The result was just what we expected and the car was now producing 548HP @ 6100 RPM; 608 LB-FT @ 2650-4800 RPM. Now that’s really impressive.
All About the Customer
We delivered the Mercedes SL55 AMG the following day to the customer. He immediately took it on a test drive and came back to the shop. We’ve seen it a hundred times, a big smile and a few wow’s thrown in for good measure. He was thrilled with his new ride and so were we. Actually, let him tell you himself, you can read his review at the bottom of our About Us page.
If you want to talk about your tune and Mercedes tuning specialists, give us a call or drop us an email. We’ll be glad to talk to you about how our Performance Perfect Tune can work for your car. Until next time, keep PRESSing!
Mercedes Benz Performance Tuning and Performance Perfect Dealing with an ECU
At PRESSERtech we talk a lot about Mercedes Benz Performance Tuning and Performance Perfect. So, what does that really mean and how did we get there. It’s simple really, we have a passion for Mercedes-Benz and we’ve been working on them for a very long time. As automobiles have developed from the simple 4-stroke engines and carburetors slowly faded away the importance of the Electronic Control Unit has only grown. In other words, the Electronic Control Unit or “ECU/ECM” is really the heartbeat of your car. This tells the car what to do and when to do it. It also opens up opportunities for the performance expert to enhance the way your vehicle performs.
Vehicle Engine Differences and Costs for an Electronic Control Unit
Let’s use a 2016 S550 and a 2016 S63 as an example of this. Both amazing vehicles in their own right. They both feature a Twin Turbo Premium V-8 engines. The S550 features 449 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s not too shabby in its own right. The S63 however boasts a mighty punch of a 557 horsepower and an incredible 664 lb-ft of torque. The listed MSRP for the S550 base trim with no options is a mere $96,575.00 while the S63 base trim packs a purchase price of $143,250.00. A $46.675.00 difference between the two. Most would agree that you have to pay the extra for performance but that much when dealing with an Electronic Control Unit?
As we can see from the above comparison, there is a lot of difference in performance between the two vehicles and for the $46,675.00 difference is expected. Back to the engine. Both are identical twin-turbocharged V8’s. One is handmade. The other is not. While there is a small difference in displacement, the real difference is the Electronic Control Unit. What if I told you that our Performance Perfect tune option, could take that S550 base model and give it virtually the same performance as the S63 AMG. Depending on your location, PRESSERtech can improve the performance on that base trim S550 by 100-120 horsepower and 120-140 lb-ft of torque. We’re not just saying this, it’s a proven fact on the Dyno. As a result, a base S550 with 549 plus horsepower and 636 plus lb- ft of torque.
Now that you have the facts, you can make a decision about tuning your ECU aka Electronic Control Unit or engine. PRESSERtech is here to help and that’s not all we do. Check out our services page for additional offerings. You can also give us a call or send us a message using the Contact Us page. We’ll be pleased to answer your questions about Mercedes Benz Performance Tuning right away.
Dealership the only way for a Replacement ECU?
It happens to us all at some point. You hear those dreaded words that you need Mercedes ECM Repair or replace your ECU. However, usually the only place to get that replacement ECU Engine Computer is the dealership. Sound familiar? Well, many years ago, it happened to me. I searched the internet and made call after call but no one seemed to be able to help. I tried to call local junk yards. Sure, they had ECU’s for sale but I’d still have to find someone who could unlock it and have it programmed. This still did not inform me of how long will that old ECU Engine Computer last.
Experienced Engine Help
This is where the story twists a little. I finally found someone who said they could do it. They could take care of my Mercedes ECM repair or get me that replacement ECU, ready to plug into my car and all I’d have to do is start the engine. How could they do what others had said was not possible? Well it turns out that this guy had spent 20 years tinkering with engine computers. He started doing it as a hobby. He later turned it into a small business and had really honed his skills. “Great” I said “Let’s do this”.
I ended up sending him my original ECU. While the Mercedes ECM repair was not an option a few days later, I got a replacement engine computer in the mail. Ironically, this was far less expensive than the junk yards could sell me one for. Not only that, I got a 2-year unlimited mileage warranty. No-one offered that! Now the time to install it was here and I simply pushed my replacement OEM Mercedes Engine Computer into the housing, plugged in 5 small wire harnesses and started the car. As a result, my car was fixed and performing great. It was that simple.
After a couple of days, I called the folks at PRESSERtech and told them how happy I was with their service. Being a serial entrepreneur, I asked if there were any opportunities for me within their business. I mean, I was just impressed. Things progressed and it was clear that they could use my skillset and I could really fill a void in their organization and help them grow their product line. I’m so glad that I did. Now, PRESSERtech is a leader in Mercedes-Benz Replacement ECU/ECM Engine Computer supplier to not only Mercedes Repair Shops but owners of this fantastic brand of vehicles.
Servicing You, The Customer
PRESSERtech supplies every Mercedes-Benz USA model, 1998 and newer with replacement and Virgin ECU’s, ECM’s or Engine Computers as they are often called, ready to be installed in your car. From our facility in Atlanta, GA, PRESSERtech has shipped all over the USA as well as over 25 countries around the world.
When you need a replacement ECU for your Mercedes-Benz or your Mercedes ECM Repair, call the experts at PRESSERtech. We’ll get you back on the road quickly and at a fraction of the cost of MB Dealers.
Not a Mercedes but a Different Type of Vehicle…
What to do when you love ECU Tuning as much as we do? Surely not what our CTO recently did! The story starts with a very short commute, beautiful weather and the love of the outdoors (we’re joking with the last one!). So our CTO Todd Presser decided he’d like something to ride to work on those beautiful days that we have here in Atlanta. We were thinking he’ll get a Harley or perhaps one of those go fast imports but no. He had to break the mold and bought a Vespa… A Vespa? We asked. Yes, a Vespa. If you are unfamiliar with a Vespa, they are an iconic motor scooter brand coming from Italian descent.
Tuning it? Is it Possible?
So what do you think the CTO of PRESSERtech does first? For those of you that guessed that he’d find a way to tune it, you’re absolutely right. So how does one go around ECU Tuning a Vespa? Todd’s response, “you start off by identifying the ECU and go from there just like we always do” and that’s exactly what he did.
Once he had the ECU in hand he was able to manually connect it up to our race software. As a result, he was off and running. A few tries with different settings and his vroom went to a VROOMMMM. Believe it or not, we weren’t surprised with the results knowing the work we are capable of!
So if you’re driving around Atlanta one day and see a guy going way too fast on a Vespa, you’ve probably just met our CTO. Or if you come upon possession of a Vespa and are looking to get it tuned…go ahead and contact us and we’ll get you set up. We are usually working on Mercedes but we do work on all types of vehicles! Congratulations Todd, we expected nothing less!