Stratified V3.00 Tune
I’ve been running the V3.00 tune from Stratified Automotive Controls for about a month now. This will have been my third tune from this local tuner based in Richmond who specializes in Mazdaspeed 3 and Ecoboost tuning. In my experience, Stratified understands the deficiencies of our Canadian gas and I’m seeing a good balance of throttle response, power, and safe timing corrections. For my latest tune, I opted for a $7.50 feature that adds exhaust crackles. My car already had a fair bit of burble before but with the newest tune, there’s a lot of pops that can, at times, be quite obnoxious. That being said, you can opt for a second tune that has this feature taken out if it might bother you, in my experience when you drive it below 2500 rpm in a fuel efficient manner, there really aren’t too many pops.
According to the Cobb Gauges, the car makes an estimated 275 wheel torque, and I would guess around 215 wheel horsepower. As it sits, for power mods I have an upgraded intercooler, intake, downpipe, and catback exhaust. The car still has a similar power band as stock and generally makes its power around 2000-4000 RPM, above 5500 RPMs, the stock turbo just doesn’t make much power which is disappointing on track but great for fuel economy. Unfortunately a tune can only do so much and a bigger turbo is really the only way to alter the power band on the Fiesta ST platform.
Crackle and Pop Feature
The video starts off with a cold-ish start, the exhaust note is really quite raspy and the turbo whoosh is quite noticeable. When the exhaust is cold, even coasting in gear at low RPM’s can result in some pretty loud pops. A rev match downshift (0:49) can sometimes generate a loud pop but it can vary based on what gear it is and whether you’re going uphill or downhill. Downhill coasting with a bit of throttle application results in a lot of small pops and burbling that reminds me of a boiling coffee maker (3:29). If you are accelerating at a moderate pace but slow to shift (3:12), you will get a pop in between shifts. Overall I find that the popping can be a bit unpredictable and inconsistent, I’m not familiar with how the effect is achieved by the tune but it’s hard to get the same behaviour twice. I’m not sure if the popping is a crowd pleaser or a great way to have the cops called on you.
As a result of the crackle and pop tune and the additional backfire experience, the car is more prone to spitting flames. Like the popping, it too seems to happen quite randomly. Here are some time stamps that may be of interest (4:37, 5:14, 5:49, 6:11). The flames are pretty tame, perhaps due to the Flowmaster muffler I added into my exhaust setup to quiet things down. It’s nothing like an aggressively tuned turbo RX-7 or Skyline but it’s still fun to see it coming from a fuel efficient hatchback. Here’s a screenshot of the most violent instance of flames
At 4:13, you can hear a launch control start. This is another feature added by the Stratified tune, simply clutch in and accelerate and it will hold the revs at a set level. The launch control RPM is configurable using the cruise control buttons. I have mine set around 3000 RPM which gives me a good balance of wheel spin and power output. As the stock turbo makes power down low, the 2500 RPM launch control setting which sounds more conservative, actually results in more wheel spin. I’ve tried a 4000 RPM launch control before but find it doesn’t necessarily hook up better and I preferred the lower RPM clutch dump. This is one of my favourite features of the tune and worth the price of admission in my opinion.
The launch control was on my previous Stratified tune as well but the V3.00 tune also adds in a Stratified tuned Cobb traction control. The new traction control works by retarding ignition and results in a very smooth launch. With the factory traction control, wheel spin is managed by the brakes and closing the throttle which has a very jerky and intrusive feel. Ever since I’ve gotten the V3.00 tune I’ve generally left traction control fully on in the default setting, it frankly feels more like a front-biased AWD system with this traction control and I’m enjoying every bit of it.
The Stratified tune is based off of Cobb’s Accessport system, a $500 USD portable tuner that has access to a few Cobb “Off the Shelf” tunes. The Accessport however also lets you datalog and flash tunes from other tuners (such as Stratified) with the Cobb tuning software and lets you fine tune your setup based on your modifications and local fuels. If you are considering a Stratified tune, I would recommend getting the Accessport straight off of Stratified as it comes with a free tune (valued at $50 USD). Stratified’s V3.00 tune has made the Fiesta that much more interesting to drive and added truly appreciable upgrades to the overall experience. The crackle and pop tune is worth experiencing but I’ve seen a 10% drop in fuel economy ever since as I’ve been addicted to flooring the gas pedal and letting off just to get a loud pop.