Tuning Mercedes Cars with CPC

Tuning cars with CPC is a challenge for most tuners. Our expert engineering team has developed a tune for Mercedes vehicles with CPC that is both efficient and safe. However, there are a few things to consider…

What Is CPC (Central Powertrain Controller)

Continental EMS3 CPC Module

CPC (Central Powertrain Controller), produced by Continental, is a special ECU utilised in many Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG vehicles. It is used as an additional controller for managing the top power and maximum speed of the vehicle. It comes after the main ECU and it also serves as a communicating hub for other electronic control units that oversee and control various powertrain functions. Additionally, in certain circumstances, CPC can assume control over a number of other devices.

The CPC system is based on the widely encompassing Continental EMS3 (Engine Management System 3) platform which is intended to meet the emerging requirements of the growing number of electrified powertrains, as well as the existing ICE vehicles with the latest engineering solutions, serving as a hub for other controllers in a car that facilitates real-time communication between them. As Wolfgang Breuer, Head of the Continental Powertrain Division Engine Systems Business Unit put it:

“This gives the automotive manufacturer completely new opportunities in distributing powertrain functions over several control units”

Just one example of the success and versatility of this system is the fact that it has been used in all models of the latest W213 E-Class, which includes diesel, petrol and hybrid vehicles, as well as the latest AMG models including those with the beastly M177 4.0L V8 twin-turbo, most commonly found in the W205 C63s and W213 E63 and E63 S. The E-Class has one of the most versatile lineups in the industry and CPC is found in all of its current versions. For Australian delivered models this was only implemented from 2019 models and upwards, particularly on vehicles equipped with the new OPF (Petrol Particulate Filter).

While the most common usage of CPC is currently in vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz, its versatility is sure to lead to the same or similar systems in a number of other vehicles produced by various manufacturers.

Why Is CPC a Problem for Tuning

Having such a broad set of tasks and a wide array of features, it also comes with a number of limitations for tuners.

It was introduced in 2017 and combined with another issue for tuners at the time - the latest MD1 and MG1 ECUs. While those two ECUs are no longer such an issue on the tuning market, the CPC still presents an insurmountable obstacle for most tuners.

At present all tuners are in the hands of our tuning equipment suppliers such as Autotuner, CMD Flash, BFlash and Magic Motorsport to reverse engineer a way around these new modules and allow us access to their internal software architecture.

In the meantime Evolve Technik has been working away tirelessly to come up with a work around to allow us to cheat the system for the time being!

How We Can Tune Mercedes Cars with CPC

Our engineering team has developed a tuning solution for vehicles with CPC. While there is still more potential to be reached, we are proud to offer significant yet completely safe upgrades for these vehicles.

Below you can find an example of the Stage 2 Tune we developed for a 2019 Mercedes-AMG W205 C63s that perfectly illustrates the potential of this engine when accompanied by our Evolve Technik chiptune, Supersprint Downpipes and BMC Filters. It demonstrates practical real-world gains and also the one remaining limitation in its most extreme form quite clearly. 

Let’s start with the dyno run:

2019 Mercedes W205 C63s Stage 2

As you can see, in the lower and middle RPM ranges, performance gains are significant and steady. Even the less comfortable spikes and drops in the power delivery of the stock run are evened out by the tune, which results in a smoother and more immediate power delivery throughout the RPM range.

Moreover, the power increase in those sections is outstanding. It steadily ranges between about 45-67 kW (60-90 hp in the picture above) more than the stock setup at the wheels. This is the section where you will spend most of your driving, even in high performance driving conditions and, as we have had the chance to experience, this C63s as a significantly more hardcore performance vehicle after tuning. 

The One Remaining Limitation

However, as we approach the top end of the RPM range, the power gains start to reduce. The power of the tune starts to reduce in the top section where the stock run shows a steady power rating with a slight increase.

It is important to note that despite the slight drop in the power rating of the tuned version near the top end of the RPM range, the power is still higher than the stock figure at all times. It is just that the difference in that short part of the range is less significant, ranging from 15 to 22 kW (20 to 30 hp) over the stock figures.

We found that this slight limitation in the power in the very top section of the RPM range is predominantly derived from the CPC module intervention. 

2020 Mercedes AMG GT 4.0L

The Future of CPC Tuning

While we have easily surpassed these limits imposed by the CPC in the lower and middle section of the RPM range, giving significant increases in power delivery, throttle response and overall drivability over the largest section of the RPM range, the reduction in gains in the narrow top section still presents a challenge.

We are currently developing ways to overcome this obstacle and provide a stunning increase to match our low-mid range gains even at the top end.

Please contact us for the latest information about the advancements in this respect.

NOTE: You do not have to wait for us to overcome this last obstacle presented by CPC before you can tune your latest Mercedes models. For 12 months after the tune (24 months with our optional Evolve Plus) we offer a free update of the tuning file for all our customers. Enjoy the significant increase in power right now and get the updated file for free as soon as we have it.

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