And what are the negatives on having a flexible ecu that can be easily used for multiple engines ?
I can only see negatives on an ecu that is restricted to use on a single engine, unless that ecu is very cheap.
What benefit does the M1 actually offer then ? ( I havent tried the software etc )
For some people Mx00 is not flexible enough. I'm running an engine with direct injection and (secondary) port injection and I can only calibrate balancing between the two injectors with a map based only on two variables.
I'm waiting for a long time for the possibility to write own firmware-parts with specified calculations or further maps for the balancing (and also for the control of the high fuel pressure for the DI system - currently I'm doing it externally with an own embedded controller).
I also have mapped some engines running on two fuels (liquid and gaseous), the crossfading between the two fuels is also a topic where I was not happy with the possibilites the Mx00-firmware enables.
For more than 90% of the Mx00 users the Mx00 with the one firmware we are working now, is good enough and for these guys, there will be 5 predefined firmwares for the new M1xx ECU they can choose.
For guys like me, the possibility to write own code for an own firmware for the M1xx is very interesting.
Since ~2010 Bosch sells motorsport ECU's with the possibility to programm own code parts with Matlab/Simulink. It's for professional's and very expensive but if you have own ideas for controlling an engine it can be done with Motec ECU's in the near future too.