Are you the kind of driver who likes driving your vehicle a little harder than most other people? Perhaps you're a weekend warrior auto cross racer, or a member of your local SCCA chapter. Or, you could just be a driver who wants some extra performance out of your car for no practical reason other than it makes your commute more fun. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to improve your vehicle's performance, making your car or truck even more fun to drive is easier and more affordable than you might think.
Tires may not seem like the most glamorous upgrade for your vehicle, but they're often the best bang for your buck performance enhancement that you can buy. Why? Keep in mind that a vehicle's tires are the only part of an automobile that makes contact with the road. Upgrading your tires can dramatically improve your vehicle's handling, steering responsiveness, cornering grip and even shorten braking distances. You may want to consider upgrading your wheels at the same time with a Tire & Wheel Package to add some extra style to your ride. Choosing the right tires among the myriad of choices available can seem daunting at first. Start with our Tire Decision Guide and other online research tools if you need assistance, or contact one of our knowledgeable experts to guide you.
From shocks, lowering springs and anti-roll bars, to bushings and alignment kits, there are many components that make up your vehicle's suspension. Explaining how each of these parts can affect your car's handling is a complicated topic that's worthy of a post at a later time. For now, to summarize, choosing suspension components involves a compromise between ride comfort and handling. Generally, the stiffer your suspension, the more quickly your vehicle will respond. Many enthusiasts find that a basic combination of replacing their shocks with a higher performance model and adding lowering springs with a sway bar is a great option. Personally, I've found that the best bet is often a complete suspension kit that has components that were designed to work well together. Shop by vehicle to view all the options available to improve your application.
When it comes to increasing a vehicle's performance, brakes are sometimes an afterthought. Avoid that common mistake by remembering that brakes are actually a vital component to your vehicle's overall performance. Any seasoned racer can vouch for the importance a braking system. Using high-performance brakes for street driving results in shorter stopping distances that can make the difference between coming to a safe stop versus causing an accident. Like suspension components, there are several parts that work together in your vehicle's braking system that can be upgraded to increase stopping power. Upgrading your brake pads and rotors is a great start. For an even larger gain in performance, consider a premium pad and rotor kit.
Increasing performance through engine tuning frequently involves upgrading your vehicle's intake, exhaust system and engine-management electronics. After installing a performance intake, using a power programmer/boost controller like the Hypertech Max Energy Sport is often the quickest and most affordable route to more power. I used the Hypertech Max Energy Sport power programmer in my Infiniti G37X Coupe. You can read about my experiences with it, by taking a look at "Hypertech Max Energy Sport Installed on Infiniti G37."
Spring is a great time to upgrade your car, especially since we offer free shipping on most parts over $50.