ECS Tuning and StopTech MK7.5 GTI Sweepstakes presented by Racing Line: Our Lucky Winner!

After an exciting few months, we have the winner for our MK7.5 GTI sweepstakes car we built in partnership with Racingline, Stoptech, Liqui-Moly, and several other amazing sponsors. If you have followed along, you saw the GTI transform from a totally factory MK7.5 to the most heavily modified example we are aware of in existence. Several of our sponsors developed many of their parts for the platform on this car, and it features many first-ever upgrades that will soon be available for other facelift owners to purchase. The GTI underwent quite the list of performance additions and now sits in its completed form, ready to take its new owner for an exciting drive every time he jumps behind the wheel.

So who is our lucky recipient? It is a he, and his name is Kevin from California. Once again, the sunny Pacific state takes home the grand prize, and even more coincidental is his affinity for Audi! I actually had the opportunity to speak at length with Kevin and he gave me quite a bit of background as to what led him to make the fateful purchase. He shared his car history, some of his personal background, and even his most recent B8 A4 project that secured his winning order.

Kevin has been around cars nearly his whole life and began his downward spiral into automotive enthusiasm back in high school. He purchased Datsun for $100 at sixteen that needed an engine, which eventually led to his interest in fixing his own cars. After the Datsun, a VW Beetle became his daily driver and ongoing project. That Beetle fostered a love for VW that persists today and has meant more than just enjoyable transportation to our lucky winner. In what seems to be a theme of fortunate happenstance, Kevin actually met his wife through his ownership years ago of that Beetle. The mechanic to whom he turned for advice ended up being her father so one could say the love bug might have a little bit of truth to it after all.

More recently than his high school days, Kevin experienced what could have been called some misfortune at the time, but ended up as a heartwarming bit of car-karma. His daily driver until a few months ago was a MK4 Jetta, which he quite liked in its intact state. Another motorist who was less concerned with Kevin’s Jetta and its un-crashed appearance decided to t-bone his car. Inevitably, the car was totaled. The insurance company, as always, gave up the bare minimum. This forced him to search for a new daily that he could pay cash for and still enjoy. A local dealership had a reasonably priced B8 A4 that seemed sorted, so Kevin made the purchase and enjoyed some worry-free transportation in a newer Audi.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with bad luck, Kevin caught another wave of inconvenience. The B8 ran well for a little over a week, then the engine decided it had enough of its timing chain and freed it from its state of confinement. The engine completely jumped time, the cams spun, valves extended, and Kevin assumed the worst. Since he is a competent mechanic, he decided to yank out the 4-cylinder and have a go at diagnosing the damage. In a silver lining stroke of luck, the valves were undamaged as were most of the other major internals. The engine was apart, so Kevin decided to just rebuild the whole thing to avoid worrying about any mechanical surprises for a long time.

Kevin’s rebuild included the very order that secured his victory in the sweepstakes, which we think could not be more fitting. When you look at the big picture, Kevin’s Jetta being totaled and all his bad car luck was just the little bit of bitterness before the sweet. With the chain-reaction of totaled Jetta to broken A4, we couldn’t pick a winner more deserving of a new car replacement full of goodies (that he won’t have to rebuild).

So what happens next? After Waterfest, Kevin has arranged for the GTI to go home with him to California where several of his old friends (and some new ones he didn’t know he had) will undoubtedly pester him into taking them on some joy rides. He does intend to get involved with the SoCal VW scene, so you California locals will certainly see the colorful ECS and Stoptech livery present at events, shows, and cruises around the lower half of the state. Be sure to follow along as we check in with him through the first year of his ownership of the car and if you see him cruising around, give him a smile and wave to say congratulations Kevin on your new MK7.5 GTI built and tuned by your trusted European performance tuning experts.

The History of the GTI

Everyone bring your baseball bats for this edition of the ECS Tuning blog because we have a dead horse that we want to beat. The horse in question is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. As a European tuning company, a staple of our market is the GTI owner segment. The GTI sits among the most popular models chosen by our customers and has seen the production of over 2 million cars worldwide, making it incredibly widespread. With the high numbers of owners, enthusiasts, and total cars produced, it begs the question as to what makes the GTI such a successful car. To answer that question, we need to dig into VW’s history a bit and see what has made the GTI such an iconic car to many and the preferred choice for enthusiasts all over the world.

Okay, so the question really does have a simple answer. The GTI is popular because it is a fantastic car that is balanced well, is exceptional to drive, and gives sports cars with more zeros on the end of their MSRP a real run for their money. What made the GTI embody those properties, however, is the root of the question around what makes the car so good.

Like our other articles detailing the history of the RS7 or why the M Coupe is the best M car ever made, looking into the GTI’s most wonderful qualities took a bit of research. The car is well known by almost anyone with a driver’s license and a mild affinity for automobiles in general, but the history and subsequent movement spawned by its early success may be less than common knowledge. The story of the GTI starts similarly to other left-field successes: as an act of defiance by someone with a real vision.

In the 1970’s, America and the world experienced a gas crisis along with struggling economies. The economic situation caused automakers to ditch big, heavy, gas-guzzling models for smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient cars. VW was no exception, and it introduced the Golf for Europe in 1974. The little hatchback had been intended to replace the nearly 50-year-old Beetle as the affordable family car from Volkswagen. Known for its general awfulness and relatively unchanged design for its entire production run, the Beetle was always supposed to be ‘the people’s car’. The same mindset gave us the original Golf in 1974, but a complete 180 would propel what would have otherwise been “the square Beetle” into motorsport history.

Shortly after its release, a VW marketing executive saw immediate potential in the Golf as something more than just an affordable family car. He saw the opportunity to make an affordable performance car, which was unheard of at the time. Performance cars were inconvenient, nearly undrivable on the roads, and financially out of reach for all but the wealthy elite. Volkswagen would soon change that, but not without serious push-back from the rest of the folks upstairs at their headquarters in Germany. Naturally, as any good employee does when they are told no, the man behind the GTI vision went ahead with a secret project.

A six-man team secretly worked on what would become the GTI by stuffing a 110HP Audi four-cylinder engine into the Golf. The combination was an instant hit with the previously nay-saying VW executives, and a production run of 5,000 units was approved. The GTI went on to sell 420,000 units. Take that, members of the board! With the launch of the original GTI, performance became affordable to anyone without the need to sacrifice convenience features like a trunk or passenger space. For the first time, a taste of excitement behind the wheel was within reach. This spurned an automotive movement that has continued to this day known as hot hatchbacks.

The GTI MK1 performed so well that VW decided to bring production to America. They opened their first plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania and became the first foreign auto manufacturer to begin producing vehicles inside the United States. This alone is groundbreaking, as nearly every manufacturer followed suit. We now have production plants for dozens of car makers and the US economy was given a much-needed refresh as a result.

After the MK2 began production in America, it was clear the hot hatchback had cemented itself in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts all over the world. The MK2 received such high praise that it is still considered one of the best cars ever produced and has almost received every award from every independent reviewer who has written anything about cars. It even took home the coveted Car and Driver Car of the Year award after its release, which further helped expand the fanbase of the affordable hatchback.

The MK2 saw little change, but the MK3 gave enthusiasts the ‘modern’ GTI. The MK3 introduced the 12v narrow-angle VR6, which became a famous engine in its own right during its nearly 10-year run as the peak performance engine for the hatchback. Although it did receive a beefier 24v update that was seen in the R32, the VR6 ceased production in 1993. It would seem the ‘big engine in a small car’ concept did not ring true for VW as it did for BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche in some of their similar projects turned production cars. What the MK2 and MK3 did do was spark the hot hatchback fire which spread across Europe and into the United States. Without the MK2 and MK3 GTI, cars like the Peugeot 206, Fiat 500 Abarth, Renault Clio, Ford Focus ST, and even the WRX and STi would probably not have existed.

The GTI continued with the MK4, which was a fantastic car that offered an R32 version. The R32 famously featured a 3.2 liter 24v VR6 and would be the last to do so with a manual transmission option. After the success of the MK4, which held onto the boxy original styling of the MK1, VW decided they had made enough cool cars.

The MK5 was atrocious. It was ugly, only offered its R32 variant with a Dual Clutch Transmission, and the four-cylinder versions were prone to failures. They did offer a Fahrenheit edition, which was orange, and proved that Germans have a terrible sense of humor. “Look, vee made ein car orange und called it Fahrenheit! Vee are so silly!” It offered no benefits besides an even more atrocious paint job that called attention to the already lackluster body of the now egg-shaped hatchback. Nothing more should be said about the MK5.

The MK6 was released as a facelifted MK5, but several ‘problem’ areas were corrected to make the car more appealing. Aggressive styling, updated interior features, and more contemporary characteristics made the MK6 feel more like the original GTIs that stole our hearts back in the 70’s and 80’s. After the MK6 came the MK7 and now MK7.5, naturally, since the GTI is still produced.

The world of motoring was irreversibly affected by the introduction of the GTI in the 70’s as it spurned a love of automotive enthusiasm for the every-man that still holds true today. With the almost 180-degree turn from the vibe of the Beetle, the GTI was able to have a successful 40-year run that persists today as a beloved car that ushered in the era of affordable performance. Thanks to the MK1 GTI, the automotive community was forever changed for the better, or so we think. Let us know what car you think was more influential or throw us ideas for cars we should talk about next!

H&R Springs are the ride control your Audi, BMW, MINI, or VW needs

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.

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Slammed to the Arctic: Official Update

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.

On the Road

Pikes Peak

KW Facility

More road trippin’ and car spottin’

LIQUI MOLY Facility

The Last Leg

ECS Tuning Presents: NEO Cars & Coffee with Summit Racing

The North East Ohio Cars and Coffee is an event much like other C&C events across the country where enthusiasts gather for morning snacks, caffeine, and a few hours of hang time with vehicles of all types. The NEO C&C, unlike some of the similar meets around the States, is a traveling venue. Last week we were granted the opportunity to host the sizable crowd of drivers and regular attendees here at our own facility for a rare look at some of our headquarters.

Anyone who regularly makes an appearance at a C&C event knows how incredibly difficult it can be to drag yourself out of bed early on a Saturday morning to prep your car and drive before any food has hit your stomach. The drive into the show always provides the excitement buildup necessary to generate some energy, but the real kick is arriving at an event totally unprepared for the variety of builds, unique cars, and the total attendance numbers when they completely blow away any expectations.

 

We promoted the event alongside the NEO C&C crew, so a high attendance number was no surprise. However, seeing hundreds of people and cars of various makes and models pour into and out of the facility, all morning with seemingly no end thoroughly exceeded our collective imagination.

The crowds of enthusiasts milling about the overflowing parking lot were offered no shortage of excellent vehicles to see up close. Even for this writer, several first in-person sightings of favorite cars dominated the morning. One of the most appealing aspects of C&C events is the relaxed atmosphere that offers the opportunity to speak with owners of some interesting cars. From exotics to classics, and a host of modified contemporary cars, any type of gear-head could have seen something that makes them bust an enormous grin.

Some of the more noteworthy cars from the morning were an eclectic bunch of makes and models from very different roads of automotive history. An all-original BMW E9 3.0 Coupe pulled in amidst a crowd of vintage BMWs and immediately caught the attention of the folks who were in-the-know about that car’s notoriety. Alongside that E9, a period-correct Lamborghini Diablo drew the attention of nearly everyone in attendance at some point, as did an imported Makinen Edition Lan-Evo 6 that has to be one of very few Stateside.

 

Peppering the parking lot was more than strictly European cars, which made the event more successful. The presence of some well-done STis, an insane S14, and even an LS-swapped Miata were all featured around the lot and inside the ECS garage.

The Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari, CTS-V wagon, and M-Coupe also drew easy numbers of onlookers when they arrived and maintained a steady stream of admirers until their departure.

 

 

The morning concluded with the majority of attendees leaving one-by-one almost as if someone had made the announcement that it was time to leave. The early morning meet was finished before noon, which makes it one of the shorter, if not more enjoyable, gatherings that let you enjoy a car-filled day from sunrise to well past sundown here in Northeast Ohio. Due to the resounding success that the NEO Cars and Coffee event has been here at ECS, you can rest assured it will continue in the future. Stay tuned for more information about how you can engage with us at events and when we will open our doors once again to share some breakfast and cars together.

A very special shout out to Justin Raynak @shades43, the photographer who so graciously shot the event while our photographer was out and about with Jamie Orr on the “Slammed to the Arctic” road trip!

Controversy in Style: XKGLOW Lighting Solutions for your Audi, BMW, MINI, or Volkswagen

The automotive world is vast and full of countless styles, influences, and motivations from nearly every aspect of life in general. It is a beautiful hobby to have, in that automotive enthusiasm allows drivers and owners to express themselves and draw upon inspiration from other facets of their personal lives to create something that wholly reflects their vision. This automotive expressionism, especially in its purest form, often leads to brutal debate over whether or not the car is ‘cool’ or ‘well done’ without much thought as to what brought the build together in the mind of the owner. Several styles and trends have been ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ in the past few decades, but one of the most controversial modifications has consistently been underglow and full spectrum lighting. One company who stands on the side of self-expression and creativity is XKGlow, who produce some of the finest automotive lighting solutions for nearly every make and model with high-quality, usability, and functionality in mind.

Underglow is just one of those things that either make you drop your jaw at the unified theme of the car on which it is equipped, or something that makes a little bit of bile rise up your esophagus. For this writer, underglow was something that was amusing, became uncouth, and has now returned full circle to a smile-inducing aspect of any car. XKGlow offers the ability to give your smile muscles a work out with their full-spectrum lights for interiors, exteriors, and even headlights that you can control from either a fob or your smartphone for instant satisfaction.

The systems are incredibly easy to install and use. From your smartphone, you can control brightness, strobe, color, and create customized presets that give your car a unique light show to flex with at the next local car meet. While there are no performance benefits to additional lighting options, there is no replacement for the amount of joy you can give yourself by changing the color theme of your car at night at the touch of a button.

Make the risky choice and throw underglow on your build to see just how much fun everyone had in the 90’s rolling around with neons under their civic. You can balk all you want, but I know that when I flip the switch under my BMW and enjoy some mood lighting, nothing else bothers me. Seeing the smiles and smirks alike make part of expressing your individuality enjoyable, but at the end of the day, finding something that means something special to you alone is the only thing that matters. Express yourself with XKGlow on your next project to see what we mean when we say ‘smile-inducing’. 

Interested in Purchasing?

XKGLOW Lighting Solutions

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RallyWagen: Jaimie Orr’s trip with Volkswagen of America to the Arctic Circle Presented by ECS Tuning

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.

Check out all the sponsors:

Street Shield

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LIQUI MOLY

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ESCORT

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KW Suspension

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Black Forest Industries

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APR Performance

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GSP North America

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ECS Tuning & StopTech VW MK7.5 GTI Sweepstakes Presented by Racingline: Big Turbo and More!

The news has already spread about our second sweepstakes car, the ECS Tuning and StopTech VW MK7.5 GTI Presented by Racingline. The GTI has already received a massive amount of work and attention courtesy of Zach and all our wonderful vendor partners and it is nearing completion. This most recent update finds us post-reveal, with the car having been present at Euro District and The European Experience to show off its progress. This week, we are pleased to present the most current work on the car. Racingline stopped by to assist in the very first Racingline Turbo installation, perform the tuning, and hang out while we fitted some of the last upgrades to the GTI that will find its way into the hands of a lucky recipient next month.

The GTI is finally coming together. This new Turbo from Racingline is one of the final touches that has allowed us to reach our final horsepower output goal, which will be revealed at a later date. Racingline sent some of their team to oversee the very first MK7.5 GTI turbo installs here in the states and have been a blast to have around the shop. The energy is palpable now that so many hands are on the car to have it prepared for its completion and to meet the deadline to present the car to its new owner, who has yet to be picked.

 

Zach has been hard at work installing more than just a fancy new turbo, however. The folks at Neuspeed delivered their downpipe, mid pipe, catback, and intercooler while Forge provided our dress up hoses. Lastly, ZSPEC contributed dress-up hardware to complete the visual theme underneath the hood. The car is finally coming together and we can’t wait to see how the performance has improved now that the engine matches the suspension and braking capabilities thanks to the additions from H&R with their coilovers and the 335mm StopTech Trophy BBK that absolutely bulges from each wheel hub.

The GTI is sure to see major improvements to power delivery as well as overall drivability with the litany of high-dollar performance parts adorning nearly every part of the car. Our excitement is building to see the finished product hit the dyno to find out if our maths have been accurate in determining what we believe to be the ultimate bolt-on built GTI to hit the streets. The new 3SDM custom 3-piece wheels have tied the exterior of the car together with the final livery and completely match the power that lies underneath. Everything about this car is visually striking and speaks volumes about the car’s capabilities.

Thanks to the guys at Racingline and Neuspeed who have helped us bring this dream build to life for the lucky winner and for providing such amazing support through the whole process. Without their contributions, and the roles played by all our other amazing vendor partners, this car would surely lack the bite to match its striking bite. Continue to follow along in our final weeks as the car is completed and becomes ready for the new owner to take delivery. Remember, every $50 spent on the site is one entry, so keep piling on the entries for a better chance to win this one-of-a-kind GTI as your personal show car, track car, and grocery getter.

Interested in entering?

ECS Tuning & StopTech VW MK7.5 GTI Sweepstakes: Presented by Racingline

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Timeless Passion and Design: the MOMO Heritage

Whenever I ask a fellow car enthusiast what it was that first struck them about cars in general, the answer that follows is rarely short. For myself, I can remember being given a model of the then-new 993 Carerra Porsche when I was young. From the shape of the car to the articulation of the doors and rear engine cover, and even just that the steering wheel turned with the steering rack to simulate the front wheels turning all just spoke to me. The passion I felt then just looking at that Porsche model has carried throughout my life. MOMO is a company with that same passion, and one who evokes similar emotions from anyone who sees one of their classic wheels at the helm of a performance car. Their inception began as a one-off wheel for a personal racing car and grew to become one of the most dedicated aftermarket and OEM suppliers of thoroughbred performance wheels that are placed iconically throughout motorsport history in some of the greatest performing race cars to have ever competed.

 

MOMO began in Italy in 1964 when Gianpiero Moretti commissioned a local craftsman to fabricate a custom wheel for his personal racing car. From that moment, MOMO became synonymous with racing performance. Their dedication for exceptional grip and simplistic design that is both practical and stunning has translated to a benchmark standard in steering wheels that can be seen imitated by a number of companies in the industry, but none with the success of a genuine MOMO wheel.

Something about that ‘less is more’ style has always appealed to me. One of the first places I look in vintage or contemporary performance cars interiors is at the steering wheel. A traditional three-spoke alloy wheel with a thin grip in either uncovered wood or wrapped leather with a period-correct center horn button is the pinnacle of aesthetic pleasure in my opinion, which speaks to why I have so much love for the vintage MOMO design. Their timeless appearance and universal application make MOMO wheels perfect in anything from a vintage Alfa Romeo to a modern Volkswagen GTI to achieve a motorsport look with a deliberate nod to racing history.

Few brands stick out as a perfect heritage piece at home in any car from any country and any era as well as MOMO. Their industry-wide reach has set a standard in racing wheels that persists to this day while they continue to improve upon their manufacturing methods and add to their catalog. MOMO is one of the few companies that continuously pushes the boundaries of style and design while retaining their original message: “We turn cars from simple tools into a way of life”.

Check out our full catalog of MOMO wheels available on our site for your own piece of heritage. Each MOMO wheel is crafted with love for the sport, a passion for excellence, and the pride from decades of motorsport success to be the perfect integration between you and your car.

Interested in purchasing?

MOMO Wheel Catalog

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Racing Safety Equipment for your Audi, BMW, MINI, or Volkswagen

What makes a performance car so enticing to enthusiasts of all types? When we look reductively at the fundamental attractiveness of European performance vehicles, the underlying similarity is an emotional connection to what car guys would consider a blank slate. Approaching a new build is an open world of possibility, which is part of where that sentiment originates. For many, the desire to take a car that was essentially produced for fun on the street out-of-the-box and turn it into something more exclusive for competitive use is the direction to which they turn. Racing modifications are where the whole car scene originated and how most of us came into the world of cars as more than just transportation. Since the beginning, the competitive use of automobiles and modification for racing purposes have driven us to amazing products and advancements in racing technology that will help you keep pace with the rest of the drivers on the grid. To help you succeed in your racing hobby, whether you are just starting out or coming back for another build, ECS Tuning has used all our available resources to collect the best names in aftermarket manufacturers who focus exclusively on competitive products.

Whether you drive an Audi, BMW, MINI, or Volkswagen, we have dedicated products intended to provide safety and performance improvements on the track or give you additional scene points at the next meet with functional race parts in your street car. The importance of safety equipment is more than just the stellar looks they add, however. Many sanctioning bodies require certified equipment in order to compete, so that is where companies like those listed below come in to help you stay safe, legal, and looking like a pro.

Sparco

Quite possibly one of the most well-known racing equipment manufacturers in the business, Sparco offers racing steering wheels, competition seat mounts, racing harnesses, and their world-renowned bucket seats. Their parts need almost no introduction as they have been made famous both cinematically and in the gaming world, basically indoctrinating every ten-year-old boy into the church of Sparco racing products. Their seat brackets, specifically, take out the guesswork when it comes to mounting fixed bucket seats in your track car or the weekend warrior, so make sure your next pair of seats doesn’t give you a headache by requiring an annoying amount of modification.

OMP

Along the same lines as Sparco, OMP is another pioneer in safety and racing equipment. Their steering wheel hub adapters, steering wheels, seats, and seat brackets offer more affordable alternatives to the high-dollar brands like Recaro and Sparco and make racing equipment realistic for the entry-level enthusiast. Their certified products allow beginners to stay safe and meet regulations in order to gain the vital seat time that will help them progress.

Recaro

Yet another powerhouse, Recaro nearly needs no introduction. Their high-quality and extremely reliable product catalog have found their way into some of the most well-known builds in the professional and amateur circuits alike, and for this reason are generally a go-to choice when you want the name-brand guarantee and unmatched functionality.

Brey-Krause

More exclusive to our BMW and MINI customers, Brey-Krause is a German manufacturer of racing components and are most known for their OE Seat Fire Extinguisher Mounts. These mounts are absolutely critical for anyone wanting to take their BMW or MINI to any track, either competitively or just for fun, as new regulations do require fire extinguishers be mounted in the car. They are also well known for BMW/MINI-specific seat brackets which allow for the best fit when it comes time to drop in some more stable aftermarket buckets.

Rennline

While they began in 2001 by producing one-off race regulation compliant parts for Porsches, Rennline has since expanded their catalog by offering universal compliance components and performance pieces for a number of manufacturers and models. Skid plates, safety decal kits, pedal sets, throttle extensions, fire extinguisher mount brackets, and more all come from the Vermont machine shop they have operated since the beginning. Rennline is another great option for both improving the visual aspects of your interior and your overall driving experience.

Schroth Racing

A less expensive option for personal safety, Schroth Racing offers ‘quick-fit’ harness options for nearly every car that give you the benefit of tight racing belts without the requirement of a roll bar, half, or full cage. These belts clip into your existing seatbelt buckles and use the original mounting points rather than needing modification or new mounts. Quick-fit harnesses are an excellent choice for the safety-minded performance driver who wants more out of their car without needing to go full-on race car.

Racequip

More racing-specific, Racequip brings safety equipment required by everyone from professional sanctioning bodies to grassroots events. Racing helmets are one of the most important aspects of driving a car to the ragged edge as they protect your dome from most shocks you can expect to encounter eventually. These helmets are approved and designed for competitive use and to be the safest, most comfortable, and attractive helmets available.

Wiechers Sport

For your MINI, Wiechers Sport offers structural rigidity upgrades like chassis bracing and strut braces that are both attractive and functional. The bracing they offer benefits from their years of experience developing custom racing cages for individuals up to the top-tier manufacturer’s teams that need to stand up to the harshest of conditions. Chassis rigidity, especially in FWD vehicles, is exceptionally important on the track. Wiechers brings MINI drivers the ability to drop in easy reinforcement components that will improve their driving experience dramatically.

MOMO

Another powerhouse in the automotive racing world, MOMO has provided some of the world’s best drivers and teams with exceptional racing wheels from Italy for nearly 60 years. Their catalog of styles, from vintage to contemporary, are some of the most respected steering wheels chosen by manufacturers and individuals alike for an unmatched interface between the driver and the car. Whatever your style, there is a MOMO wheel specifically designed to improve your connection to your car and keep your hands where they belong.

Of course, we do have an almost endless supply of other performance brands, but these top-quality racing component manufacturers are exactly what any novice or veteran competitive driver needs to stay on top of their safety equipment. In racing, safety is the highest priority above all. That’s why we offer the range of safety equipment manufacturers necessary to allow anyone at any level to benefit from a concern for their well being behind the wheel and ability to meet regulations on the race track. It’s not all about showing off your pretty parts and high horsepower! Don’t forget to equip your car with the necessary components to ensure the worst case leaves you down a car and not something vastly more important.