General Motors is accelerating its technology efforts across the board, developing a wealth of new features and systems to usher in the next-generation of GM vehicles. One of the most important tech updates as of late is Global B (also known as Vehicle Intelligence Platform, or VIP), an advanced electrical architecture that underpins several modern GM vehicles. Although Global B offers myriad benefits, the system has also proven difficult to crack for those aftermarket tuners eager to coax more power from models like the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. Now, Trifecta Performance is providing some insight on the issue with a discussion regarding CT4-V Blackwing tuning and the Global B platform in general.
Based out of Snohomish, Washington, Trifecta Performance focuses on tuning vehicles from across the GM lineup. That said, Global B presents a new challenge for tuners as it features high-level encryption that, while making the ECU safe from hackers, also presents a substantial hurtle for those that want to modify the ECU in support of greater performance.
Nevertheless, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Trifecta Performance is now offering Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing tuning services. To shed some light on how they did it, GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft spoke with Owner, Founder, and Engineering Director at Trifecta Performance, Vince Geglia.
According to Geglia, Global B differs from the previous electrical architecture in two specific ways, namely a new communication protocol dubbed UDS, as well as something called “ECU trust.”
“For a Global B vehicle, there can only be one ECU that can be used at any given time because when you trade one out for another one this whole trust process has to be redone,” Geglia told GM Authority.
Indeed, the aftermarket has approached CT4-V Blackwing tuning and Global B tuning in general with what some might consider more of a “hack” solution, such as a piggyback ECU.
“I think the big thing is some of the more traditional companies in this industry that have offered products have not produced anything,” Geglia told GM Authority. “And then you have people talking about military-grade encryption, but the truth is that bits and pieces of those things are true about Global B but not necessarily the way people think.”
“So like I said before, the way this is working out isn’t really any different than any other hoops people have had to jump through in order to get tuning,” Geglia continued. “This ends up being the case for virtually all automakers where you have to make some sort of modification to the hardware to enable it. On the tuning side of it there’s nothing we’ve seen yet that suggests the actual tuning of it is any different than Global A, it’s all the same tables, all the same constants that are in there. The software itself hasn’t really changed, the challenge you get is how do you get those bits into the ECU.”
With regard to the “jumping through the hoops,” Geglia declined to provide specific details, but did tell us that there “has to be some level of modification” to put the new calibrations in place.
“We call it ECM modification, we have to have our hands on it to do something with it,” Geglia tells GM Authority.
With regard to CT4-V Blackwing tuning specifically, Trifecta Performance offers customers a few different approaches. “One way to do this is they’d take their ECU out and ship it to us and then we waive our magic wand over it and send it back along with one of our flash cables and application. Another possibility is that the customer could supply us with a separate or new ECU if they didn’t want to deal with downtime.”
According to Geglia, the first option involves a turnaround of one to three business days.
As for gains with CT4-V Blackwing tuning, Geglia expects gains similar to those made when tuning the Cadillac ATS-V, or around the low 500-horsepower mark at the tire, per the Trifecta Performance website.
“We’re still at the evaluation part of it. We announced pretty early that we were working on this and the biggest thing was getting past the ECU challenges. The engine in the Blackwing is pretty much the same as that in the ATS-V, so the numbers are to be very similar,” Geglia tells GM Authority.
To note, the CT4-V Blackwing and third-generation ATS-V are both equipped with the twin-turbocharged 3.6L V6 LF4 gasoline engine, which is rated at 472 horsepower and 445 pound-feet from the factory. Under the skin is the GM Alpha 2 platform, while production takes place at the GM Lansing Grand River plant in Lansing, Michigan.
We have more information on CT4-V tuning and Global B tuning in general coming down the pipe, so keep it locked on GM Authority. And make sure to subscribe for more Cadillac CT4 news, Cadillac news, GM technology news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.