It seems like almost every vehicle on the market today is powered by a turbocharged engine. And while there are certainly reasons to lament this era of downsized and boosted motors, there are some benefits for the enthusiast crowd. More specifically, turbocharged engines present a massive opportunity for adding performance through aftermarket tunes. Ford’s EcoBoost motors have long been a favorite choice for these sorts of upgrades, regardless of which platform they’re stuffed into. This is good news for Bronco Sport customers, particularly those with the 2.0L EcoBoost engine. Thanks to the folks at Vivid Racing, a Bronco Sport tune can now boost an owner’s engine output with nothing more than a simple ECU flash tune. Which is also something that’s becoming more and more uncommon.
Arizona-based Vivid Racing got their start back in 2001, and began their journey working on various Subarus. As one might expect, this means they know a thing or two about turbochargers. The race shop has been working on a new line of products for the Bronco Sport for a while now, utilizing a Badlands model as their test vehicle. Their latest offering is an ECU flash that promises to completely transform the driving characteristics of the compact off-roader. This is accomplished by dramatically shifting the power curve of the SUV, and increasing peak horsepower and torque figures. Thanks to a recent YouTube upload, we have the dyno sheets to back these claims up.
When Vivid Racing first stuck their Bronco Sports Badlands on their AWD Mustang dyno, they found that the 2.0L EcoBoost made 250 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque at the crank. This translated to 186 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. Those aren’t bad figures by any means, but not exactly heart-pumping numbers. After a bit of work with the Bronco Sport’s ECU, the team has made quite a big difference. The Bronco Sport tune helps the SUV lay down 305 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque at the crank, for gains of 55 horsepower 75 lb-ft of torque, respectively. At the wheels this translates to gains of 36 horsepower and 54 lb-ft of torque, resulting in output ratings of 222 horsepower, and 300 lb-ft of torque. Yee-haw!
The real difference provided by this Bronco Sport tune however comes when you look at how that power is spread out through the range. Unlike the stock 2.0L EcoBoost, the power no longer dies off at the top with this tune. Furthermore, the peak power and torque figures come on earlier with this tune, which will make the Bronco Sport feel quicker in the real world.
Vivid Racing are asking $600 for this ECU flash, but owners are required to remove the ECU and ship it to the shop. The ECU is thankfully easy to find inside the driver’s side wheel well, but keep this in mind. Of course the tune is labeled for off-road use only, with customers required to sign a waiver acknowledging this. In other words, it’s unlikely to pass any emissions test.
Should you want to add more bolt-ons down the line, Vivid Racing says that the tune will not need to be re-flashed, and the ECU should be able to adjust accordingly. If you’re interested in upgrading the output on your Baby Bronco, you can follow the link provided here.