Cobb Launches Honda Support
Cobb Tuning is good at keeping secrets, I guess. A couple weeks before their official release, they teased us with the good ol' coming soon post with a picture of a 10th Gen Civic Type R. It appears almost nobody knew about it. Usually, we hear things here and there that excite us and we get to watch it unfold. But we didn't see this coming, I'm not sure many did. Cobb getting (back) into Honda is pretty cool.
If you already know you want one, head on over here to pick one up. They're ready to ship. If you're interested in more than just the off-the-shelf maps (we'll go over them below), we will also be offering custom eTuning for them immediately.
When they first teased what they were up to, you could visit one of their web pages where they offered to provide more info once they released it and asked which exact Honda/Acura platform your main interest is in. The applications listed were basically all turbocharged 10th gen Civic and Accord platforms, 11th gen Civic platforms, and even the 2023+ Acura Integra Type S!! We can reasonably assume these platforms will be covered with their AccessPort and tuning software at some point. But for now the first release is the 10th Gen Type R only.
What does Cobb coming to Honda mean and why should you care?
Cobb Tuning is a stock ECU flashing and tuning software specialist for the platforms it associates with. They make a handful of nice hard parts (which they eventually will for Honda) but they're most known for their AccessPort. They focus on a handful of late model, turbocharged applications that range from small 4-cylinder hatchbacks to full size trucks and SUVs. They don't attack all angles of those platforms, they focus on the performance models within those platforms, for the most part. Whatever they offer software for, they typically knock it out of the park for anybody that doesn't absolutely need a stand-alone ECU, which is most of us.
Cobb coming to Honda does a couple things, in my opinion. First, it provides another really good option for tuning. Cobb is not going to fall short of providing a good physical product and a thorough, well laid out back end tuning software. They focus on providing as holistic of a solution as possible. Second, it's going to grow the aftermarket segment for all the new turbo Honda platforms. More companies will want to jump in and make good parts. More pro tuners will get involved. It will draw more people into the potential of buying one because of the added aftermarket support. All this is good and I don't see any drawbacks.
What is the AccessPort? How will you use it on your Honda/Acura?
This is where it gets exciting. First off, we'll discuss the the 2017-2021 FK8 since it will be the first model supported here, with others to follow including Si and FL5 Type R. Up until now, a jailbreak has been necessary to "unlock" the Type R ECU to be tuned. Cobb has solved that problem for all 2017-2019 models and provided a small piece of hardware to jailbreak the 2020-2021 ECU without having to remove it. It comes in every AccessPort kit whether you need it or not and it doesn't cost extra. That also means you can resell your AP to anyone with any year Type R (2017-2021) if you ever unflash and get rid of it. No need to send in any ECUs or buy extra hardware or services. All of this is included in the $725 price, without the need to pay anything extra for any jailbreak products or services. You can see the device below that comes with all APs.
The AccessPort gets delivered to the end user ready to plug straight into the car's OBDII port and start flashing. You can take it straight out of the box while sitting in the car and start to use it. After following a very easy and straightforward set of prompts on the device, you are now ready to drive with much more power and torque than before. Off-the-shelf maps will be offered and come pre-loaded on the device, as shown above. For now, a Stage 1 map either for 91 or 93 octane can be flashed. This can be used with any stock sized MAF intake and other mild bolt-ons. See what sort of power and torque improvements you'll experience below.
The AccessPort itself is an extremely useful device on its own, regardless of the power improvements or custom tuning ability. Here are some of the things you can do with it. See screen images below.
- Use it as a gauge with anywhere from 1 to 6 different parameters.
- Datalog up to 50 monitors at ~30 Hz! This means that you can log at a very high rate and see very granular data which is essential for custom tuning or diagnosing a possible issue.
- Soon after release, you'll be able to customize Launch Control and Flat Foot Shift RPM settings directly from the device, at any time.
- Check DTC codes and diagnose possible issues, just like with a standard ECU scanner.
Aside from the device itself, the custom ECU calibration possibilities are pretty high level for a stock ECU system. The software is nicely organized with a full menu structure on the left side of a multiple window setup. The upper right window shows the table and allows for modification while the 3D graph below represents how it looks as a curve. The graph is also able to be rotated freely to see different angles and get a more clear representation. One major difference between current tuning options on the market and Cobb's software is it's only available to qualified/licensed tuners through Cobb's ProTuner network. They do not allow the public to have access to the software. On one hand, unfortunately, you cannot tune your own car if you're the DIY-er. But for the majority that's not, you can rely on the fact that Cobb has qualified whoever is tuning your Type R.
We've seen many people wonder and ask about comparisons to Hondata and KTuner. Those products are plenty sufficient tuning platforms for both off-the-shelf maps and customizing your tune. They are both staples in the Honda/Acura community. That's not going to change.
We are in a slightly different position than many Honda only tuners and retailers because we've diversified into a few different platforms and have had the opportunity to offer tuning through multiple platforms. Hands down, Cobb is the significant majority of what we've tuned with. Since getting our own 10th gen Civic Si and offering tuning services for the platform, we've become very familiar with Hondata and KTuner. We have experience with other tuning platforms including VersaTune, HP Tuners, Dyno Spectrum, ECUTek, and more.
With our knowledge of these tuning platforms, there's a reason why we enjoy Cobb. Their tuning software is easy to use, while being thorough and concise at once. Cobb themselves are always helpful and supportive, as well. The AccessPort device is rock solid and reliable. We feel they will add a great deal of value to the Honda community and we're excited for a new option to be brought to the table.
If you have a Honda platform that Cobb supports, do yourself a favor and consider an AccessPort. Throw it in the hat and if you decide to get one, tell us and the community what you think. If you have questions, ask. We're here to help every enthusiast get the most out of their build, on their own terms, with qualified guidance.
About JP Alonso
I'm the founder of Edge Autosport and I remember first getting into cars in high school. I read all the magazines, bought a bunch of technical books, and finally got to start wrenching around the age of 19. I really enjoy modding and being able to live out a passion is truly awesome. I wouldn't change a thing.