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iPhone Tuning - Tech

We Check Out The New Speedport Software And iPhone App From Autospeed Performance.

By , Photography by Josh Brown

Remember when you used to speak to people on the phone? Now with texting, emails and messengers, we don't have to talk to anybody. And the battery's probably dead from playing games, using the nav software and taking photos anyway.

So while the iPhone revolutionized personal communication, it will also transform how we interact with our modified VWs, Audis and Porsches if AutoSpeed has anything to say about it.

Mark Slazak, owner and president of AutoSpeed in Voorhees, NJ, with his team of programmers and engineers, are the people behind the entire concept. They designed, wrote and wholly created the SpeedPort iPhone app in-house. The aim is to compliment its line of SpeedPort performance software available for most late-model VAG turbo engines, as well as the Golf R32 and Audi S4 V8.

Utilizing their own proprietary SpeedData software suite, AutoSpeed can log up to 1500 simultaneous data points per second which, without getting too technical, allowed them to develop the smoothest performance tune for each application. More than just modified maps, these are completely re-written for improved performance.

To sample this new product, we needed a suitable car. So you may recognize our Mk5 GTI project. It's been a while since the car was in the magazine but it's been running strong over the past few years. The eagle-eyed among you may notice the addition of Hartmann G5 wheels, but like all projects this one has never really been 'finished.'

SpeedPort App
With the car owned by et photographer and certified Apple junky, Josh Brown, the promise of an iPhone app to access the car's computer was a powerful draw.

The SpeedPort upgrades are performed via the OBD port, so there's no need to open the ECU or physically tamper with the circuitry. The Mk5 GTI is one of many popular VW/Audi applications available, with a number of different programs included in each upgrade.

Pricing depends on the exact model, but the software for our Mk5 2.0T was priced at $599. This included a stock mode, 91-, 93-, and 104-octane performance tunes, a reduced performance valet mode as well as an anti-theft security setting.

Where the Speedport differs from other performance software is that all these options are selected through the SpeedPort iPhone app. The exact number of programs and options can vary, so check with AutoSpeed for your specific application.

Customers without an iPhone can easily change the programs with the SpeedSwitch option for laptop computers provided you have a suitable data cable. However, you won't be able to access the DataDash or fault code scanner.

The SpeedPort app is more than just a new switch for programs. If you visit the SpeedPort website and check out the video, you'll see that it also includes DataDash. This gizmo allows you to monitor (and record) engine parameters in real time. For example, boost pressure, fuel trim, engine speed, vehicle speed, air intake temp, throttle position, engine load and more can all be accessed; though not all at once - limitations on the amount of data available from the OBD port mean you can monitor up to five sources. You can also check and clear engine fault codes, although it's not intended to replace a full diagnostic scan.

Using the app is simple. It's easy to jump in and discover the applications. The primary menu with three options: Profiles (for the performance mode), Scan Code and DataDash (for monitoring engine parameters). You just select the option you desire, and are ready to roll.

The app itself costs $29.99 from the website or Apple's App Store. While the PLX cable (which connects the OBD port wirelessly to your iPhone) is $149.99 from AutoSpeed, their dealers or PLX Devices.

Even if you don't have AutoSpeed software on your VW/Audi, you can still use the iPhone app. You won't be able to change programs, but the DataDash and Scan Code functions work on most 1996-on OBD2 vehicles.

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