The most coveted parts of the tuning community tend to be oriented around the best performance options with the highest price tags and the most awards and racing successes. There are times, however, when a car enthusiast can take his or her praise about the most sophisticated parts and eat those words. KONI is a suspension company that has been producing dampers as long as cars have used those suspension designs that definitely has the prowess, acumen, and pedigree behind them to check most boxes for enthusiasts, but this article is not going to center around pure performance parts. The new KONI ACTIVE suspension is something that we just couldn’t leave without sharing with our readership.
We had the pleasure of hosting a few KONI team members here at our facility who brought some of their toys for us to try ourselves. Among their lineup were three F30 320i BMWs with less than 200 miles on the oldest one and two 2016 Mustang GTs that were also infants in terms of mileage. The cars in which we were most interested were, of course, the BMWs. This writer has personally never driven a non-M F8x, so jumping behind the wheel of the automatic F30s was a fairly foreign experience in and of itself. The real trick, though, was what we noticed in the ACTIVE-equipped F30. First, we have to establish a baseline before we get to talk about the greatness that is the ACTIVE damper. The OEM suspension on the F30 is not what we would call harsh by any means. Jumping into a brand-new F30 was everything a prospective buyer would expect: sleek, comfortable, quiet, and engaging to drive. One thing we noticed was how much it ‘rumbled’ over bumps. The stiff suspension translated the road feeling very well into the car, but we could definitely tell the attempt at a good ride quality hurt the performance capabilities of the suspension, and vice versa. Next, we gave the ACTIVE-equipped F30 a spin.
For background, most of this writer’s time is spent either in a heavily modified E30 or in a bone stock WRX, so almost everything about the F30 was very new. The difference between anything BMW or otherwise we were used to was immediately apparent upon touching the throttle. The car felt smooth; there is no other word for it. The ACTIVE dampers use a high number of ports through the valves that can either be all open, all closed, or anything in between to allow the viscous fluid to pass through and compress the damper. The variability with the number of open ports through the valves allows the compression force to change based on the conditions of the road. The changes happen whether you are accelerating, decelerating, or cornering to maintain a silky driving feel. This immediately begged the question of how applicable they were for performance vehicles. According to the KONI representatives, the ACTIVE dampers were featured on a car that just won some high-level autocross championships, but to our expectation, were not something he would recommend on a car that sees any extended track time. These dampers perform exceptionally well on the road, however, as an excellent sporty choice that goes miles above the factory comfort. The road felt like glass, which is good, but another aspect that many performance drivers will consider is how it affects the inputs to the driver. We expected the feeling to be more muted than the stiff factory suspension. It wasn’t. Since the car did not pitch forward, backward, or side to side as much, and it did not react to changes in the road surface, we felt less like we were hanging on to the wheel and more like we were planted in the seat very stable. The suspension did more than just provide a comfortable yet sporty ride in that it seemed to ‘even out’ all the minute changes you may not think about correcting as you do with normal suspension. If you hit a small pothole and the wheel jerks, how do you react and how does that reaction translate through the car’s movements? These are questions I normally have in the back of my mind that were not present with the ACTIVE suspension, which made it all the better for a daily driver. Less thinking, more driving, and more comfort.
While the ACTIVE suspension might not offer the best performance capabilities, it does offer equal performance to the factory suspension mechanically speaking as well as a significant improvement to overall driveability and ride quality. The convenience of driving an ‘unmodified’ car cannot be beaten by anything modified for racing, so having a car that you can depend on that offers sportiness yet refined comfort is something most would consider out of reach for a normal budget. KONI ACTIVE dampers definitely gave the impression that the car could be double or triple the value as a result of the ride quality alone. The only thing left for us to wonder is how they will feel compared to abused, high-mileage, outdated suspension and really feel a difference! After all the driving, I can say I am disappointed to jump back into a car that does not sport ACTIVE dampers for my jaunts around town or on road trips. Look out for these dampers as they are set to be released in the coming weeks!
For enthusiasts, the handling characteristics of our cars play a massive part in the enjoyment derived from driving. The pleasure of driving a fantastic handling car that exudes German quality is nearly unmatchable. That’s why H&R has been developing TUV and ABE-certified springs and suspension solutions specifically designed to provide the ultimate ride and handling characteristics for your car.
H&R began in Germany over 20 years ago by producing high-quality springs that met the German TUV standards for installation on road-going cars. After a brief time with that certification, they were eventually accepted to receive the ABE-certification, which allowed them to be installed out of the box without any other approval. During this time, H&R famously manufactured suspension components for racing cars. Notably, the DTM German Touring Car Championship series featured H&R suspension on nearly every car. From that series, the legend of H&R’s top-notch suspension was born.
Now, after a few decades of excellence under their belt, the folks at H&R have branched out to produce Coilovers, Sway Bars, Springs, Trak+ Wheel Spacers, and more for the German enthusiast market. Any track day, car show, or a casual gathering of European car enthusiasts will feature many cars grounded by H&R Suspension for good reason. H&R has some of the highest-quality suspension components available to control your body roll, lower your center of gravity, and maintain an overall comfortable ride. With H&R you can drive to the track in comfort, compete in style, and drive back home all without changing your settings. If it is time to address your suspension needs, look to H&R for the time-tested and race-ready equipment you need for proper ride control.
The Rallywagen has now made its full journey to the Arctic Circle, all the way from Wadsworth, Ohio to Alaska, and the Street Shield survived. We did our best to put the protective belly plate through the roughest environments we could imagine our MK5 Jetta Sportwagen would experience, but nothing could break through the shield. Our LIQUI MOLY Molygen oil stayed right where it should have been (for the most part) as the trip concluded with the wagen triumphantly driving to its final destination on time, no truck of shame needed.
The stops since our last update included a trip to APR’s facility in Alabama, where new wheels and big brakes courtesy of APR found their way onto the VW. The new shoes then took a trip to KW Suspension, where the suspension gurus dialed in our V2 coilovers for the best possible ride out to Pikes Peak for the International Hill Climb. We were fortunate enough to not only get exclusive access to the action but also to witness the Volkswagen factory team shatter several records with their insane hill climb car. After being allowed to run the peak ourselves a few times, we hit the road for Las Vegas, where we showed some of the local attractions what LIQUI MOLY and ECS Tuning are all about.
After Vegas, we continued west before heading due north for the border. A sketchy border crossing into Canada and miles of empty highway brought us back to the border with Alaska, and the final leg of our trip. The 8,500 miles full of adventure and incredible cars is nearly finished, but the Rallywagen will live on forever in ECS lore, glorified like the old Norse gods for its bravery and courage at the face of adventure. Take a look at all our wacky encounters below and catch up with us as soon as we return later this week. Don’t forget, at Waterfest on the 22nd of this month the GTI winner will be announced LIVE, so stay tuned to see if you are about to be a part of ECS Tuning’s next adventure.
The APR Facility
Our tires before the new APR wheels… don’t try this at home, kids.
Something we find incredibly enticing about cars is how many different ways we can find them exciting. We can appreciate the differences between our cars as they become more than just a utility. In some cases, the prospect of doing something insane with a car is the best way to bond with a car and too tempting to pass up. The situation in which we find ourselves now definitely falls into the ‘insanity’ category. Volkswagen of America, Jaimie Orr of Orchid Euro, and a number of partnering vendors have all come together with us to send a pre-production MK5 Golf Sportwagen through a grueling road trip across America to the Arctic Circle for a little bit of fun.
This particular MK5 is something special but unfortunately has to be destroyed as a result of its unique VIN restrictions. The wagen came to us from VW as a demonstration and crash-test only pre-production car, so it has a number of interesting features and differences between the actual production model. This low-mileage car was featured at SEMA for the debut of that generation and has since been sitting around just waiting for death. Since the car never received the love or attention it deserves, we thought we would give it a chance to form that bond between car and driver on a massive road trip.
Normally, driving 8,500 miles in a minty-fresh, low-milage, economy car would be in the realm of sanity and not terribly difficult. However, we couldn’t just sit by and make Jaimie’s trip a posh jaunt around the States, we had to give him something exploratory to make up for the general nice-ness of the MK5.
After some phone calls to APR, Black Forest Industries, KW Suspension, LIQUI MOLY, Escort, Thule, and GSP North America, we had a fairly extensive list of modifications for the doomed wagen. Most notably, we immediately slammed the VW on a set of KW V2 coilovers to make it as ground-hugging as humanly possible. This is where our own input came into play: the wagen will drive the full trip completely dumped out, so it needs some added protection for the daunting on-and-off road beating it will take. This is the perfect time to give our Street Shield the ultimate test by fitting it to the MK5 and sending it all the way up to the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle by way of some of the best roads in America for killing oil pans.
The Street Shield will keep Jaimie on the road for the trip if it is up to the challenge, which we think it most certainly is. Escort provided a radar detector so Jaimie can make sure he knows where the closest officer is to provide assistance in case of emergency (wink wink) and hopefully allow him to avoid any trouble on the way. LIQUI MOLY supplied oil for the trip, which we know will keep the engine running smoothly for the new APR upgrades it will receive in Alabama.
Beyond performance upgrades, we knew it couldn’t just go without some aesthetic improvements. Thule provided a roof storage box and racks for extra space and an aggressive overland look, we peppered the car in a classic rally-inspired livery, and BFI will be touching up the interior with some of their tasteful additions on the first stop of the journey.
Right now, the wagen has left the garage with only a few minor incidents of self-inflicted damage and is heading south to the BFI headquarters. You can follow us along as the MK5 Sportwagen receives numerous upgrades along the route to the Arctic Circle and hopefully encounters wildlife, rough roads, and adventure all the way there.
After what felt like a never-ending winter, warm weather finally brought with it the show season and an excuse to leave the office to spend a few days on the beach in South Georgia. While the official debut of our sweepstakes GTI happened last month at Euro District, ECS Tuning attended The European Experience in Savannah, Georgia to show off the new additions to our VW MK7.5 we built with Racingline, StopTech, LIQUI MOLY, and other fantastic vendors. The GTI traveled in style in an enclosed trailer and our video team flew from Ohio to Georgia, but our writer drove his E30 convertible the entire distance to offer our readers a unique experience.
With the GTI loaded Thursday morning, Stephan and Zach seated on a plane, and a 1300 mile road trip ahead of him, this writer made final preparations to drive his 24v swapped E30 Vert. As with any long drive in a vintage car, being ready for anything is key. A fresh oil change with LIQUI-MOLY Molygen 5w-40, new Bosch spark plugs, and Oxygen sensors were all installed as precautions taken to ensure the now twenty-year-old engine would be perfectly happy running at 3500 RPM for nearly 24 hours. KONI yellow dampers, Lemförder tie rods and control arms, and Turner Motorsport Monoball FCABs were also installed, replacing all the same components which had extended their service life. These replacements wound up becoming some of the best decisions for the trip. The ride on the adjustable dampers was extremely comfortable despite the thirty-year-old car’s best efforts to make the trip more inconvenient. Lastly, a fresh set of comfort tires were swapped out for the Yokohama S-Drives on the car to improve the ride quality for the cross-country drive.
The maintenance was hurriedly completed, the luggage stuffed into the compact BMW, and the top was dropped for the longest road trip this E30 had ever taken. A lonely, boring, and extremely loud drive to Nashville went quickly with almost no incident.
Once in Nashville, the real adventure began. A quick ‘driver’s meeting’ at a convenient highway exit, brief introductions between some new friends, and a fresh resupply of energy drinks and gas all took place before we jumped back on the road. We departed around midnight; our troupe of BMWs (and a token W124 Mercedes) rumbled onto the highway for a full night of pothole dodging, bleary-eyed, driving.
The uneventful trip found us in Savannah just after dawn. Ordinary beachgoers would make the sensible decision to unload at their hotel or Air BNB. Because they are car enthusiasts, our intrepid crew thundered over to Tybee Island for beach naps and the impromptu satellite car meets that would happen throughout the weekend.
Possibly more fun than the actual events themselves, one of the more beautiful phenomena surrounding large-scale enthusiast events is the crazy spike in modified vehicle traffic around small population towns. Nearly every corner sported a Porsche or Audi bagged to the ground and every stoplight featured lines of European vehicles causing the disproportionately small number of ‘normal’ vehicles to feel outnumbered. The anticipation for the next day’s European Experience was magnified by seeing the teasers just driving around Tybee and Savannah.
The next morning brought unexpectedly beautiful weather for the show. The line began piling up just before 8:00 AM with the doors to not officially open for another few hours. Either due to excitement or just the knowledge of all the poor air-cooled VWs idling in line, the event staff decided to open the gates early and let the descending enthusiasts pour into the venue. Thanks to the split environment, a distinct divide in atmosphere gave EUEX a unique feeling. Vendor booths were situated in a pit-stop style setup with the other show participants trafficked between them to the pasture-like field adjacent to the main concourse. A relaxed vibe befitting a grassy field near the beach offered shady sanctuary, while the high-energy half of the show took place around the main stage and vendor booths. Our own MK7.5 could be seen near the entrance, parked with the Black Forest Industries crowd.
The personally owned cars tend to have a different feel than the professionally sponsored cars, though they often exhibit equal or better quality. Between classic cars and contemporary builds, the whole EUEX show offered a wide variety. We enjoyed spotting ECS products nearly every time we turned around and loved all the kind words. Several times in conversation we were given a wonderful surprise by someone pointing out all the parts of their build to which we have contributed with our parts or services. It is always nice to see the cars and owners that we only see once or twice a year, but even better to meet new folks who are so excited to be a part of the community and to see faces from the other side of the internet.
The aspect of immediately knowing each other, despite having never met, is an incredible one among the enthusiast community. With the normality of social media and instant communication, the network of European automotive enthusiasts both grows and shrinks. Events like EUEX give us the chance to party together and enjoy our hobbies.
The first day of EUEX was exceptional. There were a palpable energy and excitement that hovered over the venue while still feeling relaxed. Our group had the opportunity to walk the show and chat with owners and enthusiasts quite informally. The benefit of being by ourselves meant the freeform schedule allowed us to follow what we were interested in and spot our favorite cars rather than be held to a strict requirement for sponsored content.
We did, however, take a few chances to show off some of our products and our vendor’s products featured on several cars who were part of the show.
With the first day closed out, we left the venue for some home-cooked food and a good night’s sleep before the final day of the show Sunday and a long drive North. That evening, downtown Savannah was invaded by all the show cars and EUEX attendees, so the event really just changed locations. Again, more satellite meets, photo sessions, and otherwise unaffiliated gatherings took place throughout the night before the final day in Georgia.
Sunday brought a light drizzle and some cloud cover but was an otherwise pleasant day for more car spotting. The atmosphere of the show completely changed from the previous day. A more sociable, relaxed, and happily disorganized vibe hovered over the show. Since we planned to be back in Tennessee by the end of the day, we arrived at the venue early that morning to load in and enjoy the last part of EUEX.
The chill ambiance was amplified by the lack of structure to the parking free-for-all that became of the infield. Groups parked where they pleased and no one seemed to mind. The final day offered people opportunities to set up photo shoots with their crews, saw the low car limbo contest, and finally the awards ceremony. Since the judging was already complete, the second day saw more tomfoolery.
Our own E30 took part in the limbo contest. Though we did not win, the fun and excitement of piling everyone in arms reach of the car onto the hood, trunk, and anywhere with space for them is always a hysterical misuse of automotive technology.
Finally, the awards ceremony brought the best of the best European builds to the front and center. To be chosen as an EUEX Top 50 car is an honor in itself. To be selected for best of categories is an even more exclusive experience and justifies the hard work that brought you to that podium.
Though we had to leave fairly quickly during the awards ceremony, the whole weekend offered an incredible experience. Both in driving a vintage car further than it had ever been driven and in having the weekend to explore and observe completely unrestricted by schedule or obligation. We look forward to taking part in more shows throughout the season and hope to see everyone in Gatlinburg, TN for Slammedenuff Gatlinburg 2018!
For the past few years, ECS Tuning has been sparsely present at events, trade shows, and race tracks as we have been focusing on our growth. While we are still experiencing these growing pains, we are looking forward to being present at more events locally and around the East Coast. This past weekend, we had the pleasure of attending Eurotrash Apparel Company’s event The Euro District in Hendersonville, Indiana. We were also excited to unveil the MK7.5 GTI, which we displayed at the show. For the build, we partnered with H&R, StopTech, Racingline, 034Motorsport, LIQUI-MOLY, Maxton Design, and other fantastic vendors who helped us make this showstopper MK7.5 GTI into the absolute monster that we will present to a lucky winner later this summer. The progress on the GTI is ongoing, but so far we have added the StopTech Trophy big brakes, H&R coilovers, some wheels provided by Neuspeed, and of course the wicked livery designed exclusively for this GTI to represent the best in European performance tuning.
While most of our day centered around answering questions about the GTI, signing up the free entries show attendees were allowed to claim, and staffing our booth, we did have an opportunity to dodge raindrops and scope out some of the incredible builds lining the street.
This gorgeous pair of vintage GTIs sporting period-correct BBS accessories had us drooling all day. Two drastically different directions in creativity are clearly represented by these cars, but underneath they are both MK2 GTIs.
We truly love our vintage VWs. This BBS valance is not something you see every day. The green MK2 is one that caught our eye simply for its subtlety; the different, Corrado-like headlights and agressive splitter, valance, and additional lower fog lamps, all make up the Rallye fascia found on very few production GTIs.
We can’t tell whether we like the BBS Turbofans more or the polished aluminum RS’s tucking lips under the Rallye.
The air after the rain mixed with gasoline and local food that appropriately matched the glistening paint that gleamed with beads of water on fresh wax. Several of our favorite cars from friends and customers made appearances alongside some cars we were more than happy to become newly acquainted with at the show. The flow of water droplets through mixed sunlight quickly became a blessing, as all the photography from the show takes on a dark and mysterious feel that captures the atmosphere of the show perfectly.
Our favorite Audi builds:
Always nice to see familiar builds like @Rowdyy_audi ‘s S4. The Louis Vuitton lip makes us giggle.
A unicorn posted up sporting the coveted TTRS badge and impeccable fitment.
Radi8 wheels have produced some designs that make us look twice at the styling. The throwback bottlecap outer face and spokes featuring contrasting shapes are what make the R8CM9 so attractive while also making one think of historic racing wheels.
OK, this had to be planned. The Dogwood tree behind this Avant matched its neo-chrome scheme too well.
Some killer BMWs:
This Z4 is currently driven by Brandon, @always_litz4 on Instagram. The bagged late model E86 is eye-catching for a number of reasons. Beyond its obvious stance, the most notable quality is its bodywork. The symmetry of the body lines and retention of all the slightly less than blatantly obvious factory ‘z’ shapes sculpted into every aspect of the car’s appearance make it bold but still true to itself.
One of the few vintage BMWs present, this type 114 sported box fenders, and aero last seen on touring cars driven by legends in screaming four cylinders.
Of course, God’s Chariot deserves its moment in the Sun (or rain).
The rear of this 2002 is just insane. Completely period correct; it reminds us of the 1975 group 5 Schnitzer team’s car to a certain degree with the spoiler. The boxed fenders and molding are both contemporary and retro stylings, which appears to have been a theme recently.
Some Porsche pics:
The best of the VWs:
A Caddy being used the way it should.
Something about this MK1 Jetta just screams class.
Smokin’ hot Cabriolet on some BBS RAs. The European-style removed front bumper further compliments the noticeable transformation at the hands of a determined owner the vintage Volkswagen has certainly experienced.
Someone needs to explain that Georgia is farther south to this peach.
The MK7.5 GTI:
We thoroughly enjoyed this season opener despite the shoddy weather and absolutely loved being able to chat with supporters and customers alike. The amount of quality builds present at The Euro District was a welcome change from seeing our own builds and employee cars on a daily basis. This show gives us so much to look forward to this summer as we gear up to become more active in the community by being present at events like this. We hope you enjoyed seeing the MK7.5 up close and personal for the first time! Don’t forget, the car could be yours: every $50.00 you spend on products from ECS Tuning automatically enters you for a chance to take home the title to our biggest build yet. Stay tuned for more coverage and please let us know in the comments if you enjoyed seeing us there and if you spot your car in the coverage. Until next time, family!
When it comes to modern companies focused on vintage BMW support, the list is not a long one. Over the years, names like Hartge, AC Schnitzer, Zender, Husco, and more have been replaced by contemporary equivalents. These new companies refuse to let the aging pre-90’s BMWs fade away into obscurity. CATuned is one of the foremost breakout companies who focuses on providing unique support with either reproductions or entirely new parts and products for the vintage BMW community. Their builds are inspiring throwbacks brimming with subtly updated touches to make these classics more appropriate in the world of million-dollar show cars.
CATuned is no stranger to the spotlight. Their E10 ratrod that debuted at SEMA 2016 featured one of their specialties, a built M20 turbo, as well as custom Turbofans sporting Mtech colors, and an almost nameless number of performance upgrades. Their attention to detail is what makes CATuned one of the biggest names in vintage BMW performance today.
Working with their E30s, E28s, E9s, and countless other classic chassis, CATuned has developed a catalog of parts that makes owning one of these vintage BMWs less of a headache. Their support includes performance suspension, brake conversions, rebuilt transmissions, engine blocks, heads, camshafts, and everything you could need to restore or improve that classic BMW in your garage.
Quite possibly their biggest addition to the aftermarket vintage BMW community has been their adjustable coilovers. The CATuned adjustable super sport coilovers for the E30 chassis are special, as the E30 notoriously requires welding the front wheel hubs to your coilover strut body, which can be a pain for anyone who has never had to weld them before.
CATuned offers pre-welded coilovers in either the standard or max-low options for a direct fit with brand new hubs and bearings to boot! Even better, send your old hubs back for a core refund. The overall cost ends up lower than purchasing a set of coilovers from anywhere else and having them welded. What’s more, the CATuned coils have been proven as exceptional suspension components both on and off the track. The easiest solution is also one of the most capable, which is a rarity in BMW performance.
Fortunately for those of us with vintage BMWs, CATuned is here to help us keep our cars on the road and better than ever with their incredible product support and inspirational builds. Making the choice to drive and modify classic BMWs is often a tough one due to the lack of parts availability, but with the help of companies like CATuned, we are able to continue to enjoy these incredible pieces of motorsport history.
With the recent release of the VW MK7.5 Facelift model, the MK7 will soon start appearing in second-hand markets. One thing we love about the MK7 GTI is its aggressive new look yet familiar interior. Of course, being a tuning company, we always think cars can be even better. The MK7 GTI is no different: our visual upgrades give a meaner and more defined aesthetic theme to the already attractive front and rear ends of the car. Our brand new Carbon Fiber Front Lip Spoiler and our Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser are the perfect additions to even a completely stock MK7 GTI to give it a unique and race-inspired look.
Carbon Fiber Front Lip Spoiler
For the front of the MK7 GTI, our new Carbon Fiber Front Lip Spoiler is authentic and hand-laid carbon fiber material with pre-impregnated carbon fiber cloth and epoxy resin. The UV protective clear gloss coat adds durability and a beautiful finish that makes this lip spoiler shine under the chin of your MK7 GTI. This lip spoiler bolts directly in place and follows the contours of the OEM bumper for exact fitment and head-turning looks. The accurate fitment means no cutting, shaving, or modification to your original bumper cover are necessary to install this lip, so you can be enjoying a fresh new aesthetic upgrade quickly and easily.
Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser
Our Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser for the MK7 GTI is similar in construction, but this piece actually replaces the factory rear valence. The impeccable fitment mimics the original piece that it is styled after, but adds the appeal of carbon fiber and diffuser channels. This piece is hand-made to replace the original valence but may require some trimming for exact fitment. However, in almost no time at all, your MK7 GTI can give you a new appreciation for the added style thanks to the front and rear carbon fiber accents.
The final touches to give your MK7 GTI a subtle change in appearance should be wheels and suspension. We suggest a set of Alzor wheels. These excellent and durable wheels are available in a range of fitments and designs to give your MK7 GTI the look you want without breaking the bank.
ECS Street Coilovers
For suspension, our ECS Street Coilovers provide a height-adjustable coilover solution designed specifically for each individual model vehicle to meet damper and spring rate requirements while providing upgraded handling characteristics. These coilovers offer 2 inches of adjustability with fixed damping engineered to be ideal for your MK7 so you don’t have to sacrifice ride quality with your lowered GTI.
The MK7 GTI fitted with stylish Alzor wheels, a new Carbon Fiber Front Lip Spoiler and new Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser, all lowered on ECS Street Coilovers makes for a drastic change in appearance and a sleek theme inspired by a performance look. Make your MK7 GTI the aggressive and striking neck-breaker you have wanted in an afternoon with these components from right here at ECS.
Interested in purchasing?
Make your MK7 GTI look and drive the way you want!
If you plan on driving your BMW at a track event, for an Auto-X, or competitively at all, the importance of setting up your car to handle the extra stress is critical. IRP Germany produces some of the best driveline components to help stiffen your BMW for performance use with high-quality mounts, flex discs, control arms, solid shifters, and more.
For keeping the camber angles of your BMW within optimal ranges on lowered vehicles, you need adjustable camber arms. IRP Germany Adjustable Rear Control Arms mitigate camber issues caused by excessively lowering your BMW and bring the contact patch back to its most effective size. The durable stainless steel construction assures enthusiasts that their new parts will last and provide an increase in rigidity while still being relatively lightweight. Finally, the monoball bearing used in place of BMW’s factory rubber bushing eliminates deflection and helps maintain proper suspension settings under hard driving.
Solid or polyurethane drivetrain mounts, like IRP Germany’s engine and transmission mounts, keep your driveline from excessively moving and deflecting. The reduced movement and increased rigidity provide a better transmission of torque to the wheels and keep everything in line where it should be. Stiffer or solid mounts are also necessary should you want a direct shifter rather than the factory indirect style.
IRP Germany produces a Solid Short Shift Kit, which is one of the best available universal direct short shifters. The kit features a reverse lockout, smaller shift gate, and bolts directly to the transmission tunnel. This gives you more precise shifts with a shorter throw but a tall enough lever to reduce the amount of time your hand spends off of the steering wheel.
They also offer a range of upgraded solid and polyurethane components like their performance guibo (flex disc,) adjustable front and rear strut bars, polyurethane rear shock mounts, and aluminum subframe bushings. This helps improve rigidity all around the vehicle to reduce torque losses through deflection you would otherwise experience with soft rubber bushings and mounts.
Finally, IRP Germany is one of few producers with a direct swap Performance Steering Lock Out Kit for dramatically increasing your suspension adjustment capabilities and steering angle. These kits increase the length of the control arms with sturdier replacements. These durable control arms are significantly lighter and give you more control over your suspension settings.
If you are just out to have fun on an open track day or looking to compete for top times in your BMW, IRP Germany provides nearly everything you need to help cut those precious few milliseconds off your lap times.
Once again, the time of year where we are required to make a major decision is upon us: should we responsibly save our tax return, or does it become a race car stimulus package? Here at ECS, we expect you to make the proper decision. Naturally, we compiled a list of products on which to spend your government refund for your VW!
Of course, the easiest way to spend your tax return is on a shiny new set of shoes. New wheels for your car dramatically change the look and give you a new appreciation for your car every time you see it. Whether you just want your VW to look fresh or you need lightweight options to eliminate unsprung weight, there are several trusted manufacturers we support to provide whatever you need. Check out some of these fine companies to give your VW a makeover:
If stock wheels are your game, but you are tired of the sunken fitment, ECS has you covered, too. Our Wheel Flush Kits provide everything you need to give your VW a wider and more aggressive stance. The discerning VW driver will pair a Wheel Flush Kit with lowering springs to achieve a hunkered look and flush fitment. While this may require some fender rolling, it is an excellent way to drastically improve the style of your VW without running through the entire tax refund in one go! We really do have your best interest at heart.
Maybe all the visuals on your VW are taken care of already and performance is your game? The ECS Kohlefaser Luft-Technik Intake Systems are a perfect choice for any VW. These attractive carbon fiber intakes both look the part and put down measurable power. If you are making your first improvements to engine performance or need an intake system that actually produces power, this is the best choice on the market. Our engineers spent excessive amounts of time designing and developing these induction systems and our Dyno sheets reflect those efforts. Check out our fitment and the specific power gains for your car below.
For the extremely practical VW drivers, the tax refund may be more like free maintenance money. ECS carries the best in performance and maintenance parts alike for your VW, and we have a few recommendations on how you can make sure your car is ready to hit the back roads with confidence this summer.
Hawk Performance brake pads are designed for aggressive braking forces and provide exceptional pedal feel and stopping power. Their selection of street and track-worthy compounds give you a wide range to choose from based on your driving needs to give you replacement pads with fantastic performance. Pair these pads with a set of ECS Performance Rotors and take care of your service with funding from Uncle Sam.
Finally, the ever important oil service rounds out our race car stimulus package. We highly suggest picking up a Schwaben Fluid Extractor to make fluid changes a breeze and changing your engine oil with LIQUI-MOLY oils and additives. LIQUI-MOLY has been named the best German oil for seven consecutive years for a reason: their unparalleled molecular friction control is the pinnacle of lubrication technology. Their additives are chemically and molecularly structured to safely de-gunk your engine during an oil cycle as well as restore overall performance to peak power. Make sure to include LIQUI-MOLY additives in your oil change, and give Molygen oil a try to spot those tough leaks thanks to the UV-reactive properties of this unique oil.
Whether you are expecting a quaint return or something grandiose, ECS is the right place to turn for exceptional products and vendors who can help you make that refund a go-fast package. Make sure your VW looks and drives the way it should this spring by taking the government’s returns and give your car the attention it deserves.