Encryption and more: auto-tuning is increasingly failing!

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Restomod 700hp LSX V8 Biturbo 4

In the course of technological development, the problems in the tuning area will probably increase. The manufacturers are doing more and more with regard to the IT security of the vehicles. As a result, tuning measures may soon be impossible. The chief engineer of the new Mustang S650 says, "Tuning has become much more difficult compared to before.This is due to Ford's increased cyber security measures built into the new FNV (Fully Connected Vehicle) architecture underpinning the 7th generation Mustang. Until recently, automotive electronics essentially consisted of the control of the engine and the transmission by the corresponding control units. However, there are currently many other systems (especially entertainment systems) that work completely independently of this system.

no ill will from the manufacturer

Rendering Ford Mustang VII Shelby GT500 model year 2026 Tuning S650 1

In recent years, development has steadily accelerated, while at the same time the electronics of cars with all kinds of assistants and the integration of different systems have increased significantly. This is so noticeable that modern electric vehicles in particular are designed more like mobile computers than simply being electronically powered. It is therefore important to protect the components from unauthorized access. Furthermore, the on-board computers also contain increasingly sensitive personal data such as travel logs, movement profiles and hotel bookings. As a result, car manufacturers are building in better and better encryption and other access barriers to make unauthorized access or tampering more difficult. This is of course a big problem for the tuning and accessory industry.

either impossible or very expensive

Performance diagram protocol performance increase test bench

As a tuner, you have to be particularly creative in order to be able to make the desired software changes. In many cases, a tuning box is installed rather than "real chip tuning", which bypasses the factory-installed components. Alternatively, of course, you look for security gaps that can "crack" the integrated protection mechanisms at the same time as good IT people. However, this increases the exclusivity of the tuning measures, which of course should be reflected in the price. Because simple changes that have brought real progress for many tuners so far may soon no longer be so easy. A large financial investment is then probably required to make performance increases possible. Of course, not everyone in the tuning scene can afford this.

Of course, that wasn't the end of it!

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