From the beginning of production, the Mercedes C450 has been looked at as an AMG wannabe by Mercedes enthusiasts. An affordable way to get those beautiful 3 letters that we all dream about. However, now that the car has been on the market for over a year now, people are starting to realize the brilliance that this vehicle possesses. Right off the lot, the C450 performs beautifully but as it draws more attention, it also draws in the aftermarket performance shops as well. As you can see from my previous review on the ESS tune, the possibilities are endless. And just when we thought that all the bolt-on options had already been thought of, something very strange occurred. One of the most respected and sought after BMW performance companies decided to throw its hat in the ring!
Enter Dinan Performance, a company out of Morgan Hill, California. Founded in 1979, Dinan is well established as North America’s premiere BMW tuner. Dinan develops, manufactures and markets a comprehensive line of high-performance products and systems, distributed through a nationwide network of Authorized Dinan Performance Centers. Recently, Dinan has further expanded its offerings to include other European marques such as Audi, Mercedes, and Porsche.
The Product & Install
The Dinantronics Sport Performance Tuner is a very simple and easy to install piggyback boost control system. Its simple design allows for extremely easy installation by way of a one wire connection to the pressure sensor located on the intake charge pipe. The controller has Bluetooth capabilities that allow the driver to control the boost pressure from inside the vehicle. One thing to note is that this can be installed on top of a stock ECU or a flashed ECU. We will go more into sitting on top of flashed ecu’s later on…
The app itself (Dinan D-Sport on the iTunes app store) is a little bit clunky and could use a refresh, however, it does work. When you first load the app it will ask what device you want to connect to and you will connect to your dinantronics system once available. Then it will load a screen with a large boost gauge and 5 buttons below, valet, stock, sport, sport+ and race. These options determine the amount of boost you want the controller to make. the amounts are as follows:
1. Valet: -6.2psi
2. Stock: 0psi
3. Sport: 2psi
4. Sport+: 3psi
5. Race: 4psi
As I stated previously, the app is pretty bad. Most of the time you never know what the controller is set to or when changing modes not sure if the unit is registering. The app has a lot of potential but for now, I give it a 2 out of 10
The unit can be purchased directly off of the Dinan website for a whopping $299! YES!@ Only $299.
Similar to the OE tune, the burble that we have come to know and love from the c450 was not as prevalent when the unit is set to sport+ or Race mode. However, if you run the unit stock, the burble does present itself once again. But do you really need a burble when you have a tremendous amount of additional horsepower lurking at all 4 wheels?
I need to preface this by stating that the Dinan Unit sat on top of my current ESS Tune so these number will vary based on what tune you run or if you are stock.
That being said, the already installed ESS Tune put out 400.72 foot pounds of torque at the wheel and 344.15 peak horsepower.
With the new unit in race mode we were able to make 433.98 foot pounds of torque and attain a max horsepower of 372.97.
Words of Caution
One thing that we know about our cars is that the ECU is very finicky and will go into survival or limp mode any time that it feels that something is wrong. This has happened to me twice now. It will also turn on the check engine light. Due to my ECU being already flashed and then piggybacking the Dinan unit, if I run the car in race mode for too long then the car will go into limp mode. I believe that this is due to the computer sensing to much boost and cutting the power in order to not harm the engine. So, if you want to avoid this but still get great gains on a daily basis then run the unit in Sport+. And if a meathead in a vette pulls up next to you at a light and gives you the eye, swap it over to Race. You should have no problems if running in race for short periods of time. I have experimented and found that I was able to run in race mode for days at a time without going into limp mode. If you do, shut off the engine, wait 5 minutes, turn the car to aux mode (do not start the engine) switch the dinan controller to stock and then start. It should fix the problem. If you have a check engine light, it will go off in a day or two.
This unit is incredible, especially stacked on top of a already flashed ECU. And for the price! It is a no brainer. Hopefully they can work the kinks out within the mobile app and really round the entire product out. I am definitely looking forward to what else Dinan does in the future for the Mercedes vehicles.