We are excited to announce the development of our new Version 6 engine and gearbox map upgrades for the Nissan R35 GTR. We have once again been working closely with EcuTek to create these latest revisions of our popular ECU calibrations, which for the first time include new hardware that will transform how you interact with your GT-R.
Litchfield, along with two US specialist tuners, were the first dealers to receive the new hardware for Beta testing a number of months ago. We have been thoroughly testing everything and feeding the results back to EcuTek.
EcuTek's game-changing new hardware is called ECU Connect, available from the 9th December.
Version 5 software information can be found here.
ECU Connect is a Bluetooth dongle that seamlessly connects to Apple iPhone and iPad devices (Android to follow) when plugged into the standard OBD port.
Once installed the OBD plug can be clicked back into place in the bottom of the dash with the dongle still attached leaving a neat and permament connection to the ECU.
The Ecu Connect Hardware will cost £200+Vat and postage to all our customers and hardware will work with our existing Litchfield Version 4, 5 and 5.1 tunes but to take full control it will require the latest Ecutek firmware to be installed.
Within the Apple Store you can download the free App (which can now run in demo mode) and the ECU Connect Dongle will give you the following features:
Display and record factory and RaceROM diagnostic parameters, including engine and transmission simultaneously.
Logging rates up to 50% faster than ProECU and as fast as 200Hz on some vehicles.
Driver interaction with RaceROM features (With Litchfield V6 Firmware more information below)
Test and share the results online
Stores log files and performance test results for sharing with tuners or friends – directly from within the app
Perform the routine service adjustments such as; Idle Air Learn, Clutch Learning, Clutch touch point adjustment, Launch counter check, ECU Resets - directly from within the app
Not only the engine ECU, but other modules too, such as for the TCM, ABS etc.
Provides information about the vehicle concerned
Lists all EcuTek Tuners and Master Tuners around the world; can be refined by vehicle selection
To utilise all of the new interactive features you will need to upgrade the firmware in the ECU.
This is our most complete performance upgrade yet and we have worked hard to perfect our custom features and provide the safest most powerful tune for your GT-R.
We are proud to say that once again we were the only European tuner to assist with the initial development of this new software. With this experience it has allowed us the time to test and develop our maps using our own GT-Rs on the dyno, road and track.
Unlike the simpler example files and features, EcuTek have now released to their wider dealer network the Litchfield custom maps are completely unique, our Traction Control alone has 6 times the number of inputs/calculations.
We already know our Version 5 maps offer excellent performance but we can always improve. We have spent a great deal of time and effort in refining these further as we take advantage of EcuTeks recent software improvements. We will release our full feature set for each Stage as we get closer to shipping the hardware as we continue to work on our cars.
Drivers can use the App to perform more convenient Data logging with just a tap of the screen and easily email the results. Data logging has been extended to log both the engine ECU and gearbox TCM at the same time. Perfect for fine tuning and faster fault finding.
The most impressive feature of ECU Connect, and the core basis for our Version 6 maps, is the ability to adjust our Customs Maps live within the App. You will now be able to tailor your setup instantly to suit road/track conditions on the fly, using simple on/off toggles and sliding adjusters to change special map features.
We will be offering these live adjustments to our new and improved traction control, pops & bangs volume and boost off the line to name a few. We are also working on some really trick new features to help those customers that like to test their GTR on track and drag strip.
Along with the hardware integration, we have taken the opportunity to apply our latest updates and test results to our Version 6 maps. These see an overall improvement in performance, throttle response and fuel consumption.
This hard work is being completed on our own GTR test cars (MY10, MY11 and MY17) on both road, dyno and circuit to ensure everything is thoroughly proven and optimised.
Our Version 5 traction control system had been widely praised. However, Version 6 is on a completely different level.
We spent 2 days thoroughly testing the system at the 5.8km Paul Ricard circuit. The track features vast amounts of run off so we were confident to push our LM1 RS beyond its grip levels.
Unique to the Litchfield Traction Control system are multiple layers of custom maps that vary the level of assistance throughout each stage of a bend. Live fine tuning of the LTC’s sensitivity, acceleration, as well as a wet mode, will be available through Ecuteks’ new iPhone App.
The improvements are pretty astonishing. You can get on the throttle earlier with just the right amount of power delivered to the wheels so that the tyres balance on the edge of grip. Even in the lower gears the power never feels blunted or restricted, instead the car feels like it has amazing grip through the bend and excellent traction under acceleration.
To upgrade to Version 6 we would like to have the car at our workshop so we can double check the setup in person. If customers have ProEcu cables and can’t make it to us please contact us as we will need to schedule a decent period of time to remote tune your car.
The Stage upgrade price for Version 6 is £200+vat and this is the same whether you have an older Version 4 or 5 tune as it requires a completely fresh remap. Some of our more recent Version 5.1 maps have had some of the new work already included. This will save us time to map so these will be priced accordingly.
From now on all new Stage upgrade maps will feature the Version 6 calibration software and will include the ECU Connect firmware so there will be a free update available should you decide to purchase the hardware at a later day. This is the same for customers who currently have Android devices. Once Ecutek release the Android APP we will offer a free update to any customer with our Version 6 maps installed.
The price for new Version 6 software and custom mapping remains the same at £500+vat
If you already have an EcuTek Licence in your ECU but would like a Litchfield custom calibration then we charge £350+vat
If you would like to have the car fine-tuned on our Maha MSR dyno we charge this separately so let us know if you would like to schedule some time on the dyno. Some customers will require different tuning or extra features so please contact us to see how we can tailor our calibrations to suit your car, for example Flex Fuel setup or separate Race fuel maps. There may be additional charges for the extra time required.
Please contact us using the form below to register your interest in an ECU Connect device.
We developed our original boost control strategy way back on the Version 3 software and it has steadily evolved ever since. Our boost control setup worked extremely well (partly hard coded into the new Version 5 software) and allowed us to accurately control the pressure on a range turbos from standard to much larger hybrid units.
Since the installation of our dyno, we have been working hard to produce a new setup that allows greater precision trims of the turbo wastegate duty. This is achieved using our custom proportional and integral values to maintain our target boost pressure. With the ability to map each gear’s boost control individually we are able to have faster response to any boost errors.
Our new Version 5 boost control offers even higher resolution to both the Nissan OE system and Ecutek’s hardcoded options.
This is something we have already had working effectively in our version 4 maps. We had observed a number of issues on cars and developed these features to help protect the engine from damage.
The fuel pressure protection is interesting. It is quite scary to see how long the GTR will normally try to run flat out when there is a serious pressure drop. The most common cause is one of the fuel pumps failing causing a pressure drop at the worst possible time - when the engine is demanding maximum flow. This can also happen if the fuel temperature rises to high (often on a very low tank) and the fuel cavitates causing a dangerously low pressure drop.
Using the custom map inputs we are able to have the ECU monitor if any of the parameters start to drift away from the expected levels. The ECU can then apply a correction or significantly reduce performance to protect the engine. More serious problems will trigger the engine warning light to alert the driver.
With Ecutek defining more of the Transmission maps we are now able to make changes to the settings allowing quicker gear changes and acceleration when in R-Mode. We have also changed the Automatic shift points to aid a smoother town driving experience. Previously the GTR would be very quick to change up into higher gears (for emissions reasons) which could make the engine feel laboured at low revs.
With new understanding of the gearbox software we are able to modify when the Auto mode upshifts to the next gear. Previously this would have been around 6,800 rpm but on our higher power conversions it may require a different shift point to achieve the very best acceleration times when in Auto mode.
The ability to run Ethanol as a higher octane fuel has become increasingly popular. Some of our European customers are able to get E85 at the pumps and some of our higher power customers use Ethanol blends for competition.
Ethanol offers fantastic power increases and significantly drops the cylinder temperatures to aid overall engine performance. However the engine also requires a lot more fuel (around 30% extra) and you can’t always trust the percentage of Ethanol mixed with normal fuel.
Ecutek’s hard coded control means that with the installation of a Flex Fuel sensor the ECU is able to measure the percentage of Ethanol available and applies a number of tuned maps to give the best possible performance. Previously we needed to use a large number of custom map slots to control the Ethanol mixture detection and add extra power. This meant all the custom maps slots were being used by the time we added some of our other key features. By hard coding and improving the Ethanol control Ecutek have freed up these slots once again. Now when Ethanol is detected we can easily change fuelling, ignition timing and boost to suit the percentage of Ethanol in the tank.
Below is an example of Ecutek’s Flex Fuel Control working on two different setups. The higher power car on the left produced 1,056bhp on Vpower and a massive 1,164bhp with 55% Ethanol detected. The car on the right was from Switzerland and was running Stage 4 which produced around 640bhp on Vpower and 700bhp when we added Ethanol.
The problem as we see it is the standard Nissan traction control just isn’t quick enough to control high powered GTRs. The standard traction control is quick to intervene but many powerful cars will trigger this too frequently when using the available performance even in normal dry conditions.
The basic Nissan model relies on a reduction of engine torque, achieved by closing the throttles. This instruction is both slow to issue the command but it is also hampered by the speed at which throttles can physically close and when the engine finishes consuming the available air it needs to make the power. When you do get the sudden drop in throttle angle it is very slow to reintroduce the power again.
Most drivers default to the Race mode which lifts the intervention thresholds however although the stability control is effective the traction control element is too slow to react and when it finally does it is often too harsh, unsettles the balance and is generally clumsy as well.
Race mode still incorporates stability control which is very effective however the driver that wants to push hard around the limit of grip will find the Nissan Stability System continually clamping brakes. This can be intrusive to drivers that are happy to push through a degree of understeer/oversteer as they try to balance the car through a bend and at the very least it is hard on the car’s brakes. Our Traction Control system can reduce some of the unexpected power deliveries that unsettle the balance, without completely shutting down the engine performance.
We are pleased to offer our own Litchfield Traction Control (LTC) which fully utilises the power of Ecutek’s custom maps. Using Ecutek’s version 4 custom maps we were able to provide a successful and popular solution. Our version 5 software enables us to improve this further with additional inputs to make the LTC more powerful in both Launch conditions and when driving hard on track.
Below is a simple example of a GTR with larger turbos accelerating with the standard Nissan traction control switched on versus our LTC. You can see how the standard setting cutting throttle which the LTC doesn’t need to.
What started out as a simple attempt to reduce wheel spin after the car is launched grew into a more complete traction control solution, designed to work both with the standard Nissan system and as a standalone support to the driver. This took a number of months to refine as finding places to safe push the traction limits is difficult. Initial testing was completed on tracking including the Nurburgring.
In late summer 2013 we managed to secure access to a local private airfield used by the Police and Special Forces for vehicle training. So while they were doing serious looking work we found a nice few corners which allowed us to do our “crucial” development testing.
It is also a good time to thank Michelin for their continual support in fresh rubber! In October 2013 we returned to the track and hired Castle Combe (officially the UK’s most accident prone circuit) to shake down a number of new parts and access the changes made to the traction system.
We also used some of the very best professional drivers (and fellow Litchfield GTR customers) in World Touring Car Champion driver Rob Huff and Touring car ace Tom Chilton to help us improve the setup. As well as our demonstrators, Rob’s own LM700 GTR at the time featured the latest evolution of the LTC.
Their input was superb and we have subsequently added further changes to the LTC. Version 5 software further utilise the GTR’s G-sensor and steering angle sensor information into custom maps so we can apply additional control strategies. Rob’s GTR has now evolved into a 1,000bhp monster and he will once again be helping us perfect the setup.
Rolling launch is another feature including in our Motorsport ROM, this allows the driver to fix a vehicle speed whilst the engine build boost. The car is then released with a pre-defined amount of boost exactly when the driver needs it rather than flooring the throttle and waiting for the car to accelerate and come onto boost. It is designed for off road (airfield) Roll Racing where two cars can be travelling next to each other before accelerating hard.
The feature is effective on the standard turbo cars but really designed for the big power GTR’s which would be slower to come onto boost due to their turbo size.
The Graph below shows the difference in time between a larger turbo GTR with and without the feature enabled.
As you can see there is a significant improvement in acceleration time (1.8sec) with the Rolling Launch switch on.
Each engine setup needs this feature tweaked to suit the turbos that are installed and the level of boost they are comfortable to run.
The Motorsport version of Launch Control provides a number of changes to the base engine and transmission calibrations along with enabling some additional custom maps, allowing the car to launch harder and more consistently. For example we have lifted the normal launch counter settings from 4 to 20 before the car needs to be driven for 1 mile to cool the transmission fluid. We have changed the gearbox shift maps to allow for more accurate Auto Mode shifting on higher power engines.
Boost Off The Line (BOTL) now has better control when in launch mode to hit the pre-defined boost target that we have preset for each gear.
Once launched the LTC continues to monitor and adjust the wheel spin to aid smoother and faster acceleration.
These are just some of the many changes to our new version 5 revisions with many more still under development.
If you have any questions about the new software or any of our GTR upgrades please feel free to contact us.
Stage 1-4 when combined with a service or additional work