And with just a simple ECU flash, but there is a caveat.
When we drove the little Ford Bronco Sport through the tight and technical trails in the Hungry Valley Vehicular Recreation area in California, we came away impressed at its ability. It's an impressive little off-road vehicle that has a big future with the aftermarket. Although it's better known for its road cars, one of the aftermarket companies that's developing products is Vivid Racing.
The Arizona-based company picked up a Bronco Sport Badlands model to test, design, develop products with, and has already extracted extra power from the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. On the dyno, the new tune not only adds 36 horsepower and 54 lb-ft of torque to the wheels but spreads that power through the rev range to make it more useable off-road.
The engineers got a baseline measurement of 250 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque at the crank on Vivid Racing's all-wheel-drive dyno. That translates to 186 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, which is already plenty for an off-roader as small as the Bronco Sport. However, after spending some time tuning the ECU, Vivid Racing has extracted 305 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque at the crank, translating into an extra 55 hp 75 lb-ft of torque. At the wheels, that becomes an extra 36 hp and 54 lb-ft of torque for a total of 222 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.
Vivid Racing has also smoothed out the power delivery through the range, so peak power comes earlier, which will make it feel quicker on the road. The big advantage will come off the road when that extra torque is needed to push through or over an obstacle.
Vivid Racing wants a reasonable $600 for the tune. However, you will have to remove the ECU and ship it to the company so Vivid Racing can flash it. The caveat is that the tune is for off-road use only, and the tuner requires customers to sign a waiver acknowledging they understand that. It also means it's unlikely that the Bronco Sport will pass emissions tests in the US after the tune.