Author Topic: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report  (Read 11579 times)

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Offline E.T.

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BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« on: September 20, 2015, 06:02:00 PM »
Today I mostly took a trip to Brackley, home of BBR Gti, the tuning specialists, to get my 2014 Mazda 3-SEL 120BHP 2.0l petroleum powered motor vehicle remapped to BBR’s new* Super 170 (see here) starchip upgrade.

BBR Super 170 SkyActive - Linky Dinky



I thought for the benefit of fellow Mazdarians of the 3 variety, you may like some feedback. To make this kinda make sense, I want to just give you a bit of an idea of my background so you can understand the context of some my comments:

What is my previous vehicle experience?
Well mostly “white goods” style cars.  Mostly company cars, of which the most powerful was a 177PS Lexus IS 220D, a BMW 3 Series 2.0l D, and then the BMW 3  Efficient Dynamics….so mostly devil juice then. All I would say is that for motorway and economy, it takes a lot of beating Can you believe 70mpgs from that 2.0l ED BMW?? I was amazed)…I digress. 

The last petrol car I bought was a Mazda 323 (still going – my son has it now) in 2001, a Suzuki splash (for SWIMBO) followed by this latest Mazda 3, which is actually on a 13 plate, but was registered in Jan 2014.  I did borrow a Toyota GT86 for a 300 mile roundtrip, about a month ago and I have numerous goes in all sorts of other cars over the years. But I would still say fairly limited in performance cars. 

However, I have had up to a couple of weeks ago, large bikes.  The last being a BMW R1200GS, alledgedly good for 0-60 in 3.5 secs (from memory)…anyway,quicker than most cars.  I’m a high mileage rider, and so I do understand a fair about tyres, suspension set ups etc which to some degree can be translated into the four wheel world. And so I do know what fast acceleration and smooth power would really feel like. (Which is perhaps why 170BHP to me seems very tame)


What about my Driving style?..
In terms of driving style, unfortunately I do mostly motorway chugging in the car for work (and the bike was nearly all B-roads where possible, and twisty A roads…everything else kept to a minimum!).  Local journeys and to the station is covered by my GTS 300 Vespa (say NOTHING!). However, I much prefer back roads and will sometimes take a diversion for the hell of it.  I am quick…very few are as fast as me, unless driving dangerously**, BUT I do 30 in 30 zones, and 40 in 40 zones, then I become a bit more relaxed and drive to conditions, typically 80 LSP’s*** on the motorways.  I have never had an insurance claim, I have never had a point on my licence, I have never come off a motorcycle (other than stationary, low speed drops on occasion, you know!..oh and there was that time I rode off with a disc lock still on).

So why did I want this?
Frankly I love the Mazda 3.  I like the design aesthetics, the seats are comfy , the driving position good, the headlights are excellent, blah blah blah…BUT 120 BHP is fine for driving – even on long journeys until it comes to overtakes, or I want to use a bit more umph to join a motorway, or get away sharpish at the lights to swap lanes. It is just a little bit lacking

BBR Gti
Have a great reputation and been around for a lot of years – you don’t stay in this type of business if you’re rubbish.  When I turned up I got a cup of tea.  That sold me. What an excellent place… oh and Oscar the dog even had a sniff of vital areas and wagged his tail – I felt welcome. Neil Mckay, who is now the owner, greeted me and explained what they were going to do, how.  Marched off with my keys.  I walked up into Brackley town centre to find a full english brekky.

One and half hours later, after being duly breakfastated at the Greenroom (highly recommended) I headed back to BBR, where I was invited by Neil to watch the last bit of Dyno testing







So what do I think about the outcome?
Well the Dyno curve (see the orange line) would explain why I was unimpressed with the original perfomance of the Mazda.  When I floored it, it just seemed to hit a brick wall, and, well, just not enough gusto to make a decent overtake in any conditions other than wide open roads. So since the remap(blue line) that is noticably different.



Now, even at 170 bhp this is a long way from being a “performance” car – but what is has done is just make it so much more drivable.  I don’t understand enough TBH, so if anyone cares to comment I will listen with interest, but the whole thing just seems to be more progressive and responsive (even though when you look at the curve, really it should be the same all the way to 4500rpm) so smoother even at the lower end of things.  But the most important thing, is that I’ve lost that brick wall. Floor it an it pulls, but where it used to run out of steam it just keeps on pulling, and keeps on pulling.  This makes the whole  rev range usuable, and consequently a lot more pleasurable to drive.

Since driving home I’ve now had a fill up, and got three quarters of  tank of Super unleaded, so hopefully I’ll feel an even bigger change (but actually even if the super unleaded doesn’t make a difference, I would still be  happy).
 
So it’s not into performance territory, but the car is sooo much smoother, easier and more pleasurable to drive and doesn’t run out of steam just when you need it most. Even ordinary day to day driving is so much better, let a lone when you leave it low gear and make it earn its living, where I just sat back and thought, “why didn’t I do this sooner”…oh yeah, its only just become available.

Would I recommend it?
Yes.  In fact even if I didn’t get the increase in power, and could just get the 120bhp in the same (orange line) dyno curve shape I would be happy.  The fact that there is more power AND better fuel consumption (the whole engine runs leaner) is a double bonus. Whilst it may sound a lot, compare that to the cost of swapping your car for something “better” – I was seriously considering a GT86, but I didn’t because of the impractical element of a 2+2 car – suddenly it becomes a bargin!

PS. (pun intented)
I also got a sticker. 



So in all, not bad for £598.80 (incl VAT)




[foot notes]

*So new, apparently that they told me that I was customer #1 in the UK (of the great general pubic) to get it.  That makes me “special”of course 8) …but I already knew this because my boys (22 and 26) tell me so.

** RoSPA Gold rider on the bike, and IAM in the car – no chicken strips on the bike tyres, and not afraid to use full throttle / brakes on things!

***everything is measured in the media in  LSP’s, that is ‘Lympic Swimming Pools... (Double Decker busses seem to be the other SMU (Standard Media Unit)), so I choose to use LSPs to describe my speed so no one can accuse me of being a very naughty boy.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 10:35:33 AM by E.T. »
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Offline JOFAUK

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2015, 07:26:16 PM »
That's great. Any issues with your insurance or warranty?

Offline E.T.

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2015, 08:14:17 PM »
Its a change in performance so needs to be declared.

From an insurance point of view mine was due for renewal next week, I was with Directline.  Apparently they only allow a 20% increase in power for extra premium so they wouldn't insure me.  I shopped about.  Liverpool and Victoria were okay, but in the end went through Adrian Flux.  Premium was less than the  direct line renewal (with no change in car performance).  So no problem.

My Mazda warranty runs out in Jan. BBR tell me the temap isn't visible on Mazda service.  I suspect if the engine blows up they may not honour the warranty, but a squeaky seat I suspect they would.  As it happens its a Mazda, so I very much doubt that I will need to make a warranty claim ;D
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Offline 9swampy

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 09:02:12 PM »
All sounds very positive. I've a full three years left on the warranty though so if Mazda wouldn't honour if I get the remap done that'd be more of an issue. I asked my Mazda sales guy if they'd have a servicing issue with it done and he said he'd get back to me...

Funny, if you'd have asked me on Thursday I'd never heard of Adrian Flux. I just re-insured my bike on Friday and I'm with them now so when I'm up for renewal I'll give them a go for the car too.

Offline JOFAUK

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2015, 09:04:20 PM »
Sounds a good result all round then. Shame they can't do anything with a gen 1 1.6.......

Offline E.T.

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2015, 08:14:07 PM »
BBR responded on Facebook...


Many thanks John Reeves! We offer warranty for £150 per year for anyone concerned of factory warranty issues and yes we remap the gen 1's.

And...

You're very welcome,  throttle response will feel far better at lower revs but as discussed a full throttle dyno run will not show a power increase with low octane fuel though.
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Offline StevenRB45

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 09:22:40 AM »
Sounds a good result all round then. Shame they can't do anything with a gen 1 1.6.......

I would suggest doing a 1.6 wouldn't be worth it, OPs car is definitely worth doing 10 (or there about) quid per additional horsepower is a very good ratio. If they'd had a 165...well suddenly it looks a bit crap especially given the additional insurance costs.

The 1.6 isn't artificially limited like the lower powered variants of the 2.0 skyactiv. There should be driveability improvement but you'd be lucky get a 5-10% power gain with a remap and no other mods. At which point it's whether or not the cost is worth the benefit.

Offline JOFAUK

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2015, 09:53:46 PM »
Couldn't comment. I have no idea what they offer. Nothing other than air filters listed on their website.....

Offline 9swampy

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 07:49:57 PM »
I've got three Thule bike carriers, but now only need one of them...I'm not sure the model number though... Got a piccy of you want, and we can compare notes...

Watch the bikes don't blow off now  ;)

Offline E.T.

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2016, 06:55:08 PM »
What suddenly occurred to me..it was like a "doh moment"

On this BBR tune up, actually what we see is 120 bhp being increased to 170 HP (not BHP)...in other words. 120 is what would be measured at the engine, whereas the 170 is at the wheels

Assuming a 15% loss of power through the transmission, it's not unlikely that the BHP has gone from 120 to 200. 8)

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Offline StevenRB45

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2016, 09:50:05 PM »
It'll depend on the rolling road, your graphs aren't showing for me now but most will do a calculation from the wheel horsepower with a percentage allowed for transmission loss. As a result you'll usually have 2 figures, calculated at the fly and the measured power at wheels.

It depends what the RR your car was on was programmed to show.

Offline Tall333

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2016, 10:24:32 AM »
Interesting to note that the 2.0 petrol model sold in the USA has 155hp (note the missing b tho).  I'm pretty sure your engine can handle the upgrade.

Offline E.T.

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2016, 07:23:46 PM »
The engines are identical in every detail, the 120bhp is achieved simply by chipping by Mazda to reduce power (see the dyno curve, just drops after 4500rpm - no engine does that naturally.

Ah interesting...where have my piccys gone!
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Offline E.T.

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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2016, 07:45:03 PM »







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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2016, 09:28:14 PM »
The URL's  you have linked to in your post is private and blocked to anyone else but you.  Try uploading them to Photobucket as per    http://www.mazda3forums.co.uk/index.php?topic=13040.0
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Re: BBR - Super 170 SkyActive upgrade - my report
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2016, 09:28:14 PM »