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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay.. I've decided to finally pull the trigger on a tune for my stock 2012 xc60 T6 .. But having trouble deciding on which way to go .. My understanding is that a Hilton tune is more performance oriented than the polestar tune and can potentially provider higher numbers.. However I'm not really looking to achieve the highest horsepower numbers.. If anything I'd like to improve throttle response and power delivery from the stock tune..

When the transmission is moved over to manual mode, there is an immediate difference in throttle mapping as well as the way it builds power .. It builds boost and gives a continuous pull of power ..it's a different car when in manual mode.. However because I have a 2012, my transmission does not automatically shift unless I head to redline..Not great for daily driving..

Can the polestar tune provide this kind of feeling in the normal automatic mode? that to me would be ideal..

Does the polestar tune also provide reprogramming of the Transmission module to adjust shift points and behaviour? .. I don' twelve the Hilton tune provides any direct programming of the transmission and any changes to the way the car shifts would be because of the change in power delivery?

At this point in time the Polestar tune is a little cheaper than the Hilton tune .. $1100 at my dealer vs $1300 for the Hilton tune ($950 US converted to Canadian)

So any thoughts on which way to go?
 

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I have the Polestar tune on our '13 XC60 and it's a hoot to drive in Sport's mode. Heard good things about the Hilton tune but if you still visit the dealer for any services, I'd go with the Polestar tune.
 

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Hilton here. Its custom to the vehicle. Not cookie cutter.


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I have the Polestar tune on my 2011 S60 T6 and while I’m assuming it’s a big improvement over the 300hp stock tune, it’s still a very mild tune and rather lacking. Adding the TDI Tuning box on top of the P* tune greatly improved the driving experience but it’s not a complete tune like the Hilton software which I would assume is even better. I’m not sure if the Hilton tune would give exactly the sort of improvement to the transmission you are looking for but it does have the option of eliminating the torque-limiting restrictions of the factory tuning which should make a significant improvement in performance (with whatever added risk of failure or premature wear that might also add).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Would the removal of the torque limiter only improve situations of off standing start type of launches? or would there be improvements in roll on type of situations?

I guess I'm wondering what kind of driving situations would benefit from the removal of the torque limiter?

Thanks for all the feedback guys
 

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Huge difference. The car is limited until third. Once removed you’ll have all of the torque available straight away.


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I recently had the P* tune installed on my 2012 XC60 T6 and it made a hell of a difference in throttle response. When I'm getting on the highway, it puts a big smile on my face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So just an update..
I decided to get get the Hilton tune over the polestar tune.. mainly based on all the positive reviews I found on the forums and having the ability to flash back to stock tune whenever I needed.. also the flexibility in fine-tuning the tune for my particular vehicle if needed..

I opted for a stage 1 tune with the torque limiter removed..

The process couldn't be easier .. Rob was able to remote into my desktop , install the proper apps required, read the original ECM, and come back to me with the modified files to reflash into my ECM using their flash application..

Flashing the new file took about 5 minutes .. unfortunately the app did not provide any indication that the flash was complete and just went back to the main window .. so I was a little unsure if everything flashed over correctly or if it simply crashed .. I disconnected the laptop and DICE unit, crossed my fingers and started the car .. It fired right up with no codes.. Next step was to take it out for a quick drive..

All I was can say is "WOW" .. the new tune is immediately noticeable as soon as you roll onto the throttle .. there is power everywhere..
The only way I can really describe it is that the car in Drive mode now feels like it has the same power delivery as when it is in sport mode with the transmission in manual mode.. Since I have a 2012 xc60 that does not automatically shift when put into the manual setting, this is the best of both worlds! .. even better, the car no longer downshifts whenever you need to accelerate.. it just starts making power and continues to pull ..

I don't know if the polestar tune would have provided the same outcome, but to me it doesn't matter.. the Hilton tune managed to put a smile on my face.. I've had a lot of cars that I had modified over the years.. and this is one of the only times that I can honestly state that I got everything I was hoping for from a mod.. it delivered absolutely no regrets.
 

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Told you so, neener, neener, neener. Also going to be a lot easier going forward when you decide to add more mods. He knows his stuff.


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Id like to see some time slips before I pulled trigger on Hilton.....not cheap.
 

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Time slips....not everyone is ONLY putting their car on the track. Even if I did/do....Id still use Hilton. Some of the fastest cars have N/T on the rear window, if I have to explain whats the point.



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Time slips....not everyone is ONLY putting their car on the track. Even if I did/do....Id still use Hilton. Some of the fastest cars have N/T on the rear window, if I have to explain whats the point.



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The point is, I don’t think there’s a single timeslip out there from someone running Hilton on a P3 car. There are only a small number of people posting slips with P3s, mostly in the mid to low 13s, and I may have been the first to get in the 12s with a 12.9 using my lightly modded T6 with the TDI box. It’s likely the Hilton cars are quicker and yet it would be so easy to verify that and no one does. It’s a $1200 tune and only costs what, $25 or so to run at the drag strip, so I have no idea why people aren’t willing to run. We aren’t trying to disprove that Hilton is good and almost certainly faster than other options. The point is, we want to see how quick these cars are because there are likely a handful of fast P3 cars running around and it would be worthwhile for the community to know what mods can be expected to yield what results.
 

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Im not a big fan of “box” tunes aka one size fits all. Get that one or two vehicles out there with slightly different fueling, air flow, worn or not up to par components and you could have some very expensive fixes on hand. Not to mention that you may be leaving a ton of power on the table and not even know it. I dont have any issues with other tuners per say, just like any other performance/race outfit isnt going to just slap a box tune on and run it. They are going to “tune” it to the specifics of the vehicle. Yielding the desired outcome. As far as price, when you have built a reputation that can afford you to command a higher price and people keep coming back, seems reasonable that he (Hilton) would continue to charge what he believes is a fair price as a trade for his time and knowledge.

And the aftercare is beyond fantastic. When I swapped in the meth injection or switched from the Pumaspeed plenum to the Elevate plenum when he looked at the logs I know that the tune file will match the components. Box tunes are not going to calculate the flow differences between brands, they will be set up based the fact that the part is upgraded, no so much as to the actual specs of the parts. And Im not trying to take away anything from what you have installed and are happy with. But without having a file “tailored” to your set up you might be leaving power on the table as well.

Theres a lot more to it than just the price, is all Im saying. Ive spent about 1600 with Hilton and would gladly do it again. Just like a hand tailored suit fits YOU perfectly but costs more than off the rack that will generally fit a much broader group of people but will likely be a little tight here or a little loose there.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quite honestly, the reason for me getting a tune in the first place was not for the hp/torque increase, but more to do with the driving dynamics/characteristics of my daily driver .. any gains/losses in hp/torque were meaningless to me as long as the car provided me with the driving dynamics I was after ... After all, I knew I was never going to strap the car on a dyno to get any sort of comparison numbers .. the only dyno that mattered was my butt dyno..

I've had my fair share of modified vehicles in the past ..ex: a Mazda rx7 running a wolf3d standalone ECU and gt35R turbo.. 428hp to the wheels .. Fun car.. had a blast with it on track days and at the strip ..I was proud of building a car like that .. Spent a whole lot of money trying to get more power and lowering my time slips.. but I'm at a different place in my life now.. I don't have the same time and motivation to want to devote to another build like that.. I also came to the realization that there was also someone out there with a faster or more powerful car than you.. It was an endless pissing match..

Is my xc60 faster? I honestly don't know.. does it "feel" faster .. heck yeah .. and to me that's all that matters.. Would I have gotten a bit more power with a polestar tune? doesn't matter to me.. Could I have gotten the same "feeling" and spent less money buying a TDI box? Maybe .. 2 reasons I did not want to go that route:
1) I personally was not comfortable with signal manipulation to increase power.. This was a personal choice I made using my past experiences with car modification
2) I had not seen anyone disappointed with their t6 polestar or Hilton tunes.. compared to a few people who reported some issues with their TDI box experience

Is cost vs power increase of the tune not worth it? Let me tell you, I have spent a whole lot more money on previous vehicles to achieve similar feeling power delivery/driving dynamics that I now have with my tuned xc60.. so for me it was worth it.

Will I ever take the XC60 to the strip? .. No.. in the end it's just a compact SUV..
 

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Which is why I said it wouldn’t matter as long as you’re happy with what you’re driving


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The argument was with another poster


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If you are looking for just a little bump i power and are worried about warranty issues just go with Polestar


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I don’t disagree with any of the points you gents have made. And I’m not claiming that the TDI box is as good as Hilton, either. For me it isn’t at all about comparing them in terms of “whose tune is better?” I’d gladly give that distinction to Hilton. I’m sure a more fully realized tune is better than the result of some lo fi signal manipulation that tricks the ecu into running more boost and hopes the other elements can keep up. I’m merely hoping to see some better numbers from these cars and excited to see people passing that information along to generate more interest in this platform. It all works together to get more people excited about these cars and hopefully helps generate more discussion online, where there is currently very little activity on these forums and very minimal technical knowledge being shared, relative to every other car I’ve owned that was also supported by an online community of enthusiasts.

TL;DR I’m dying to hear what these cars and trucks are capable of with good tuning. Not just SOTP impressions (which I really *do* appreciate, mind you) but also some measurable performance data points to prove that these upgrades are worthwhile so that others will be inspired to put their money down, too. I think it would help Hilton’s business, so hopefully they will encourage customers to hit the strip because some good timeslips will generate more customers. I’d be happy to provide my car as a test mule. If Robert Hilton is our there, call me any time 😉
 

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The point is, I don’t think there’s a single timeslip out there from someone running Hilton on a P3 car. There are only a small number of people posting slips with P3s, mostly in the mid to low 13s, and I may have been the first to get in the 12s with a 12.9 using my lightly modded T6 with the TDI box. It’s likely the Hilton cars are quicker and yet it would be so easy to verify that and no one does. It’s a $1200 tune and only costs what, $25 or so to run at the drag strip, so I have no idea why people aren’t willing to run. We aren’t trying to disprove that Hilton is good and almost certainly faster than other options. The point is, we want to see how quick these cars are because there are likely a handful of fast P3 cars running around and it would be worthwhile for the community to know what mods can be expected to yield what results.
Well said
 

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The strip, even if no prep is still hard on a vehicle.
Some just dont have the time and some run theirs but still refuse to post their slip.

Case in point, my brother and I ran a 7.2 second gen 3 Camaro and always put N/T on the rear window because we were running grudges and didnt want to scare off the competition. We are in the process of pushing the car to 2500 plus whp and we still wont post times. People have their reasons. I would say that if you want to know what a Hilton tune is like vs some others out there its time to drop some bills and compare a few on the same vehicle. Ive had a few on my Volvo and Ill tell ya, Hilton is no joke.


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