ECU TUNE: Giulia Quadrifoglio by Squadra Tuning (Mid/Massimo Tuning)

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Giulia Quadrifoglio ECU tuning by Squadra Tuning (Mid/Massimo Tuning) Tuned by Alfissimo in the USA. 

Squadra Tuning is a renowned and respected chip tuning company in Holland specializing in the software tuning of cars from the FCA group. Due to this niche specialization, we are expertly aware of all technical aspects of these vehicles. We develop the engine management software from our technical knowledge, years of experience and are realistic about what is and what is not possible in terms of torque and power gains. We distinguish ourselves by knowledge, quality and no-nonsense attitude. Our personal attention to the customer is also highly regarded.

This Tune is not about the most torque and power for the Giulia Quadrifoglio. 

This tune is about a more refined driving Giulia Quadrifoglio. Is that even possible? Hell yes! 

We strip the Q of a few annoying properties  not done well by AR all the while allowing the Q to get a lot faster under certain circumstances.

INFORMATION:

The Giulia Quadrifoglio (without Verde!) Is engraved in many petrol heads as the most exciting Alfa Romeo ever. In the magazines and on Youtube, the Q is often chosen over the mighty BMW M3 / 4 and Mercedes C AMG63. The Q is praised for its insane handling, speed potential and great sound. It has been put to the test on many tracks by the entire car press. Frenzied, a lot of sets of Pirelli Corsas have been smoked, to prove time and again that it is the best super sedan and often still is after 4 years. On the circuit of the circuits, the Nring,  the Q is in the record class. In short, a Giulia Q can not do wrong in terms of driver's car.

And yet we didn't really like it ... WHAT? Now we hear everyone calling. Nothing? Well. Of course, nothing is exaggerated. A Giulia Q is of course AMAZING !  It is exactly what is described above. It is an asphalt devourer, a circuit racer, a tire smoker, an exhilarating riding machine, almost uncontrollable like a wild horse. It flies away at the slightest exhortation. We do have more demands on a driver's car. Absolute speed (= power) and willingness to make speed (= torque) the Q has enough. The magnificent Ferrari V6 makes sure of that. Nothing but praise for that engine. Full power up to the rev limiter!

Now, what the Q is missing? It is considered an ill-mannered flail. As a result, you don't feel like a driver of the Q but rather a rodeo rider who has his hands full to keep the Crazy Horse in check. That was proven by the fact that quite a few Q's could not be kept between the lines, resulting in early wrecks and parting. Not everyone understood that the standard supplied Pirelli Corsa tires are not intended for driving in cold weather conditions. When heat has been introduced, the tires, the grip (and wear) is unparalleled. But until then your’re pushing your luck with this monster.

In short, it’s time to tame this beast.

Although we were late in the tuning of this beast, we are here now. The Q was the first Giulia to be presented to the public on June 24, 2015. 

The first cars were delivered months later. Many a tuner started immediately. 510 hp and 600 Nm did not seem enough. More, more, more ... .. 

To produce a really good tune one has to do a lot of test work. One test, including removing and installing the computers, would take about 4 to 6 hours. And then we do not take into account a hot engine that is difficult to work around. So, we decided to focus on the Giulia 2.0 petrol and 2.2 JTDm first.

As time passes, around the end of 2018 the opportunity is suddenly given to us to read and write the ECUs without having to open or disassemble them. Only the plugs have to be removed from the ECU, this considerably shortens the programming time. With some experience and skill about 15 minutes.

However, we did not start immediately. To develop really good software you need a car for a long time. And the Q is not of the caliber that you can “borrow” that from a dealer. Certainly not for a few weeks. In early 2020, we came into the possession of a Q for an indefinite period. Which means as much as “we purchased a Giulia Q”.

As many know “New” cars should be broken in. And we do not mean pushing the engine but driving to get to know the car yourself. So it happened?  

First, The cold start. 

The annoyances started with the cold start. The engine starts nicely and starts smoothly for a few  but moments later it starts just around 2000 rpm and then drops to around 1500 to stay there for a while. And that is not really subtle, the exhausts note is accompanied by a racket that we personally cannot appreciate. Technically this is called the "cat heating" or the catalyst heating. Due to environmental requirements, the catalysts must be brought to operating temperature as soon as possible. This is done by producing very hot exhaust gases. This is accomplished by retarding the ignition. We will save you details, but we can tell you that an engine / exhaust does not like that. Every technician knows that you have to warm up metal quietly. At that time, the amount of fuel injected is more than twice as much as is actually needed. Sin, sin, sin. In short, the “cat heating” MUST be off…. So that happened.

After our adjustment, the engine runs for a moment at 2000 rpm to drop back to 950 within a few seconds. The ignition is then left a moment to reduce the speed. Within a few seconds the engine runs with normal pre-ignition and with exactly the amount of fuel required. The engine therefore runs better after a cold start and is therefore much quieter.

Cylinder shutdown 

Soon after driving the first kilometers we were confronted with the cylinder shutdown. Half of the V6 is switched off under quiet partial load conditions. Not only in A and N mode but even in Dynamic. One is saddled with a 3-cylinder with the associated annoying exhaust noise and vibrations. Slight throttle causes the engine to do what it was designed to do again, running on 6 cylinders. But of course you cannot continue to accelerate. That eventually stops at 307 km / h, the top speed of a Q. In short, the cylinder shutdown MUST be off ... and so that happened.

The Start / Stop system. 


The second annoying feature is the start / stop system. As a petrol head, there is almost nothing better than listening quietly to the engine idling. And especially to that a V6 Ferrari. In short, start / stop MUST be off ... and so it happened.

Advanced Efficiency, the A mode. 


Naturally, all positions of the DNA + R button are extensively investigated and tested. The A position is clearly limited as standard. Nothing wrong with that, the couple is mainly limited. Up to about 380 Nm at 2500 rpm and then remains almost flat. The power is thus about 350 hp at 6500 rpm. 

We have made the shape of the torque curve a lot more natural. At maximum it peaks at 3000 rpm at about 450 Nm. We limit the power to around 300 hp. At 5500 rpm, the old and new torque curves intersect.With these new values, the Q is a faster car in the A position and, well considered, the power build-up feels natural.

Normal or Natural, the N position. 


The N releases all available torque and power as standard. At least that is hoped. But note, the first 6 gears are quite limited to 4500 rpm. At 3000 rpm, some 130 Nm is missed. All torque is only available from 6th gear. We find that very unfortunate and have therefore decided to remove that limitation. Torque is already available in all gears. In the N position you could still contradict this decision, but this limitation also applies to the Dynamic mode. And that is not defensible as far as we are concerned. In its place, the N-position in all gears have given about 530 Nm and 380 hp.

Dynamic the D mode. 


As described above, the Dynamic mode is also limited to about 4500 rpm in the first 5 gears as standard. Then the torque peaks just at 600 Nm and quietly decreases after 4500 RPM to about 550 Nm at 6500 rpm which amounts to 510 hp. But one does not always drive between 4500 and 6500 rpm. Most of the time, drivers are under 4500 rpm, and of course all the torque must be available on call. So it happened…. This makes the Q a lot faster, especially in those circumstances. This is particularly noticeable when you decide to switch to manual operation of the ZF 8-speed.

Race mode. 


We have only adjusted the infamous Race mode on one point, namely the throttle response. We find it actually incomprehensible that in Race mode, where one has to rely entirely on his own traction control, the throttle response is made so wild that it is difficult to determine how much torque and power you want to send to the rear wheels. Most likely a marketing thing. In our opinion it is much more convenient to fully utilize the stroke of the accelerator. By default, the mighty V6 releases all of its torque and power at less than 50% of the throttle. That is half, the 2nd half no longer has any influence. With our adjustment, the full torque is present at about 80% gas, the power at 90%. This gives a much more manageable feeling. People are much better able to indicate what needs to be done with the accelerator.

Throttle responses. 


What applies to the Race mode throttle response also applies to the A, N and D position, but to a lesser extent. Maximum torque and power are reached way too early in the accelerator pedal stroke. The throttle response of the A and N position are software-linked. We have also made these calmer compared to standard. 

The Dynamic and Race mode throttle response are not linked in the software. However, we have chosen to make them equal. For example, the difference between Dynamic and Race mode in terms of engine response is no different. Of course, there remains a difference in shifting behavior and Traction Control and Forward Collision Control strategy.

Exhaust valves. 


We have also found a different, very nice strategy for the exhaust valves. It is standard that these open in the A, N and D position depending on the speed and the motor load. In Dynamic a little earlier than in Normal and a little earlier than in Advanced Efficiency. However, if you pass a bit enthusiastically, the flaps can just open briefly and close again as soon as the gearbox is switched on. That seems strange. Both outside and in the car. It only really causes disturbance. Moreover, we often hear that people always want to have the valves open in Dynamic. In Race they are always open by default. 

We are talking about a different, much nicer approach. The valves are always closed in the A and N positions. This way you can still drive in peace. In Dynamic you can choose whether the valves are continuously open or closed.

How? When switching from N to D, the valves remain closed. This way you can continue driving in peace. Should this continue with more spectacle then switch from Dynamic to Race and a moment later again to Race. So the DNA knob is turned twice in a row to Race. The Race mode is therefore only activated for a moment to immediately return to Dynamic.The valves are now permanently open in Dynamic. To close the valves, switch the DNA switch back to the N position and possibly back to Dynamic. 

-We also carry the Exhaust valve Controller to fully control it in any mode. 

Intercooler Cooling system

For the Massimo tuning we have another trick up our sleeve.

The 2.9V6 Q engine is equipped with 2 liquid cooled intercoolers. One for each cylinder bench. In the past, intercoolers were cooled by driving at speed. Nowadays, this is done through an intermediate step. Coolant is cooled by driving speed via 2 radiators.  This cool liquid flows through the two intercoolers to cool the sucked (pressurized) air.

Through the engine management, the intake temperature is kept at about 40˚C degrees. As soon as the intake temperature drops below 40 degrees, the coolant circulating pump switches off. As a result, the intake temperature will rise. If it is higher than 40˚C, the pump will slowly start running again. As the temperature rises further above 40, the pump starts to run faster and faster. It’s a kind of thermostatic principle.

We have now succeeded in increasing the capacity of the intercooler by allowing the circulation pump to run earlier and faster. As a result, the overall temperature of the coolant drops and thus the intake air is further cooled. Cold air contains more oxygen and thus the engine will deliver more torque and power!!!

How much extra torque and power it generates is difficult to express in numbers. It depends very much on the ambient (outside) temperature, the driving speed and the duration of the acceleration. In Hot Ambient temps (> 25˚C degrees) the gain is small. At temperatures around freezing, the effect is relatively large.

Results

  • Unchanged rev limiter
  • Improved cold running properties
  • Cylinder shutdown turned off
  • Start / stop disabled
  • Torque increase in A position
  • Torque limitation in N and D removed
  • Throttle response in A, N, D and Race made much more dosable
  • Changed exhaust valves open / close strategy
  • No change to emissions system
  • Med/Massimo tune: 542.47hp (522 lb/ft TQ)/ 561.21Hp (531.78 lb/ft TQ)
  • Tip: Read the entire article above.

  • 1+/- week turnaround time. 
  • Tuning done in the US
  • Alfissimo takes care of everything, all you need to do is install it. 
  • ECU is shipped to Alfissimo
  • Alfissimo is your Squadra Tuning Source in the US.
  • Warranty - We warranty the operation of the software only. We do not warranty any damages that may occur (i.e, Engine damage, warranty, damage by third party). 

Testimonials: 

Don, Medio tuning

10/03/2020

I was happy with my Giulia Q as he was.

But there were some points that could be done differently (read: better).

It already starts with the cold start. By default, the V6 is kicked to life and everyone knows, don't scare a wild beast. You have to wake them up calmly.

Just to convince yourself that the Squadra Tuning update is necessary: ??at the cold start much less gasoline is injected and the V6 is quietly brought to life and warmed up.

When "cruising" on the highway, where you sometimes (unfortunately) only 100 km/h, the Q gives an annoying thump/vibration in the exhaust system. As if you are driving in a too low gear. That is no longer the case. This vibration is gone. In fact, it runs on 6 cylinders instead of 3 during partial load. If I had wanted a 3 cylinder I would have bought a Toyota Aygo!

To enjoy the great exhaust sound, the Q was sometimes in the RACE position as standard. All safety systems are thus figuratively put on the street. Also, but literally, 2 black stripes if you are not careful. With the slightest touch of the accelerator you got full power & torque at your disposal. You could compare the accelerator with an old-fashioned light switch: on or off. After the SW update from Stephan, you can now also continuously enjoy the exhaust sound in D mode, but with the safety systems in readiness. This modern device also listens better to the driver's foot. It takes some getting used to. In each position of the DNA / Race button, the accelerator must now be pressed a little further for the same performance. The gas reaction is now much nicer to dose. More gas means more performance. It is difficult to accommodate. Except it all feels much more natural now.

All in all, I am now even happier with my Giulia Q.

Han, upgrade to Massimo tuning

19/05/2020

Thank you Stephan. You turned the best Alfa into an even better one.Those were the words with which I ended when I wrote my story about the Alfa Giulia Q Mid tuning.The Massimo tuning was not yet available at the time and I also did not have the feeling that more torque and power would add a lot to the Alfa. However, when I saw the torque curve of the Massimo tuning on the Squadra-tuning website, the blood started to crawl again where it could go. Actually, when I saw the torque and power increase it was clear, I want that too. Why? Is the question everyone should ask themselves. Well, because it was possible was my answer last time, but now I also know that the Alfa can also handle it easily. Many people think that cars with that much torque and power must have four-wheel drive to transfer all that violence to the asphalt, nothing could be further from the truth with the Alfa Giulia Q. The car is so good that it brings all the power to the asphalt with playful ease. . This is partly due to the active differential that continuously monitors the grip / slip and intervenes if necessary. In most cars this goes through the braking system, but if you want to be fast, you have to stay off the brakes as long as possible. The chosen solution from Alfa is called “Torque Vectoring” and ensures that via the differential all power is distributed over the rear wheels, whereby it is even possible to fully lock the differential if a wheel is inclined to slip.So again a careful email to Stephan, just once again with the question, is it worth it? I know from the past that he would always answer that honestly and the answer was clear. Oh well, it pushes you a little harder in the seat over a wide rev range…. Top speed, well that's high enough and the 0 to 100 is also quite good without the Massimo tuning. However, there was a comment that 100 to 200 time would be positively influenced. But the comment, “it pushes you a little harder in the seat”, was decisive for me to make another appointment. However, there was one more wish…. In the table of the DNA-R mode I saw that A was squeezed very hard and N was a bit in between. Nothing wrong with that, certainly not with bad weather to slow down a bit in A and N, but still ... I mainly use the DNA-R button to influence the behavior of the machine and the A and N position are fine settings for nice to cruise and occasionally to accelerate. With such a limitation in torque and power, I might regret that. Very carefully asked whether it could be done differently? "Yes, it is possible". was the answer. See, that's the huge advantage if a tuner knows what he's doing. No sooner said than done and this week was the day. That's what it was all about, well it pushes you a little harder in the seat. Well I can assure everyone, it does and not just a little bit. From 2500 rpm it is really enjoyable with a healthy form of tension and a smile from ear to ear. And the really great thing is, it just doesn't stop pressing in the seat. So I can only say one thing, you have already made a great car better, and that better made car you have now made much better. Actually, I secretly hoped this, and you even made it happen again.

So let's just end with your own words, "well, it pushes you a little harder in the seat."

ST-QVMID

Specific References