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For more than a decade, Superchips’ Flashpaq performance programmers have been improving the driving experience for owners of Ford, GM and Ram gas or diesel trucks. The handheld Flashpaq tuning device helps drivers to maximize power, improve response, save on fuel, recalibrate tire and wheel modifications and enable or disable vehicle features, all via a high-resolution color screen and an easy-to-use graphical interface.
Now Superchips has released a new version of the Flashpaq for its most popular application: the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The new device covers the big-selling 5.3 or 6.2-liter V8 gas-powered models from 2019-2020 (with 2021 coverage coming soon), meaning that owners of the very latest GM trucks can access the Flashpaq’s pre-calibrated tunes and other performance features.
For the 2019 model year, GM switched to a locked engine control module (ECM), so it has become harder to reflash these trucks with new tunes. However, not only has Superchips unlocked the ECM, but it is also first to market with a process through which owners themselves can conveniently tune the vehicle at home, without having to visit a custom tuning company to have the tunes installed.
For security reasons, GM trucks must retain their original ECMs (or incur a costly visit to the dealer). Included within the Flashpaq’s purchase price of $749, Superchips provides for a simple ECM swap process that has a three-day turnaround for US customers, as the company’s brand manager, Jacob White, explains.
“Once the customer receives their device, they plug it into their truck, save the factory file and enter their data into a form on our website. They then send us the ECM with the order number that’s been created. Once we receive it, our ECM techs can normally unlock it right away and ship it back to the customer next-day air, at no charge to them. The customer can then reinstall the ECM into the truck, plug the Flashpaq into the OBD-II port and begin tuning.”
Superchips' Flashpaq is a simple and straightforward way to give your Chevrolet or GMC a boost. Part number 2847-S not only purchases the Flashpaq system, but it also covers the cost of the unlocked ECM that 2019-up GM trucks require.
The new Flashpaq comes pre-loaded with tunes developed for daily driving, towing (loaded or unloaded) and performance enthusiasts. The Mileage XS, Tow, 87 Octane, 91 Octane and 93 Octane tunes offer fuel-economy benefits and impressive torque gains at all engine speeds, all with the improved drivability that customers expect from Superchips.
Revised torque outputs at lower pedal inputs unlock great throttle response. Adjustments to spark advance offer better power and torque throughout the RPM range and improve fuel economy, while changes in engine speed limitations enable drivers to feel the V8’s massive power and torque curve for longer. There’s also improved pedal feel when running in the truck’s factory Sport mode.
“GM already has its peak power levels almost at the maximum of what’s possible without making hard part changes,” says White, “so the peak gain of 20 horsepower doesn’t tell the whole story. The low-end gains are impressive: 45 horsepower on the 6.2 at low RPM, for example. Our tunes put a lot more power and torque under the curve and that’s what you feel when you’re driving.
With the ECM swapped and the Flashpaq plugged into your truck's OBD-II port, control of your truck is at your fingertips. Tune in horsepower and torque, switch off the Active Fuel Management cylinder-shutoff system, and more from the controller.
“With a brand-new feature, the customer can also adjust throttle sensitivity to their own preference, anywhere up to 50% more from where we have programmed it,” he adds. “This is great for anyone that wants a more aggressive pedal feel but doesn’t have a factory Sport mode.”
It’s not only the performance tunes that have made Flashpaq such a popular tool among Silverado and Sierra owners. Just as existing customers had the ability to switch off the cylinder-deactivating Active Fuel Management system on their gasoline V8s to improve engine longevity, so the latest version of Flashpaq comes with the option to disable the newer Dynamic Fuel Management technology. The truck can also be programmed to remember the last settings used, for example to keep Auto Start/Stop switched off.
Truck enthusiasts love to fit new wheels and tires to their rides. Flashpaq provides functions to lower the threshold of the TPMS sensors to handle tires that don’t require as much pressure as the factory rubber and recalibrate the speedometer to a different tire size. It can also check and clear diagnostic trouble codes.
Feel like upgrading your wheels and tires from what the factory put on? Use Flashpaq to recalibrate the speedometer and TPMS sensors.
All of this is available through a system that, thanks to Superchips’ proprietary technology, can easily return the truck to the factory settings so that a GM dealer still has full access for carrying out warranty work. The dealer will have no way of knowing that modifications have been made within the ECM and their tools can still flash the ECM with any calibration changes or other updates.
White says that unlocking the ECM and simplifying the swap process was the biggest challenge when developing the latest Flashpaq. The calibrations build on work done for earlier versions of the 5.3 and 6.2-liter V8s, but Superchips still went through its usual, comprehensive dyno, road and emissions testing for the new tunes at its locations in Utah and Florida. There was also a two-month customer Beta test program for the new Flashpaq.
Flashpaq can also scan diagnostic codes. So if that pesky Check Engine Light ever makes an appearance, you can plug the controller into the OBD-II port and look up the trouble code yourself.
“We send devices to end users so that they can use the process, walk through it step-by-step and make sure we flush out any bugs,” he says. “There’s extensive behind-the-scenes testing before anything goes to market.”
The combination of 5.3-liter V8 and 8-speed transmission is the most popular powertrain among Silverado and Sierra owners, but Flashpaq also covers the 6-speed and 10-speed 5.3s, as well as the 6.2, which is only available with the 10-speed – in all grades from Work Truck to High Country. Future developments could expand the device’s coverage to include the ability to alter the transmission calibration. And like all Flashpaqs, the latest device comes with a two-year powertrain warranty and free updates for life.