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Tuning an SUV: Is it Worth it?

When someone says they’re getting a tune for their car, your mind typically goes to something conventionally small and sporty. A BMW 3 or 4 Series, a 911, an Audi S4. Something that looks like it’s begging to be tossed down a twisty road. Those are all good candidates for tuning, but there’s one lesser known vehicle that benefits a surprising amount from some fresh software, and it’s far from what you would expect. 

Enter the BMW X5.

With certain trims tipping the scales at nearly 5,600 pounds, the hefty X5 isn’t exactly what you would call a sports car. With that being said, the S63 is a noble power plant that moves the X5 M from 0 – 100 km/h in a surprisingly frightening- 3.5 seconds in factory trim. If the M Series model wasn’t your cup of tea, the XDrive50i will still bring you there in a respectable 4.6 seconds. Now as impressive as these numbers are, especially for an SUV, us car enthusiasts can all agree on one thing: It can always be faster.

Lucky for you, we live in an age where horsepower is easier to access than a glass of freshly squeezed juice. All it takes is a licensed dealer (yours truly) for your preferred software provider, and you can see gains of 100+ horsepower the same day you dropped it off, all without even popping the hood. If you want to go a step further and pair it with some exhaust downpipes or intake upgrades, it only gets better.

For example, the software available from our friends over at VelocityAP will bump your X5 M’s horsepower from 553 at the crankshaft, all the way up to 710. We can’t tell you exactly what this translates to for your 0-100 time, but the ever-reliable butt dyno will tell you all you need to know, and you will not be disappointed. Horsepower won’t shed weight, so you still won’t be setting any records at the autocross track, but it can certainly move it around faster. So for a cheeky run from a red light, the difference will be substantial, even on a bigger car like the X5. 

The X5 M is just one of many vehicles that can see huge benefits from a software tune. From the more common consumer cars like Audi, BMW, Volkswagen and Porsche, to the exotics like Lamborghinis, McLarens and Maseratis, even Land Rovers can get a little boost from a tune.

If you’re wondering if your car is a candidate for an ECU tune, give the team at Motor Werke a call. We’ll walk you through the range of software tunes we have available, and find the best one for you and your vehicle so you can start maximizing your engine’s potential.

Written by Tyler Schick.