Modding cars, especially European cars, is more than just throwing on a few parts willy-nilly. It requires forethought, planning, and a well-rounded approach to an end goal. A competent enthusiast will take elements from influences in their life, influences in motorsports, and a reflection of their own style to create something unique to them. With respect to the well-rounded aspect, their mods will be balanced between performance, convenience, and style. Arguably, many performance modifications also play a part in the visual appeal of their car, like suspension, wheels, and exhaust, but for the purposes of this article, we are only going to focus on purely aesthetic upgrades. Namely, we are going to look at our in-house designed carbon fiber upgrades for your Audi or Volkswagen (sorry, BMW owners.)

Visual upgrades are just that. They don’t make your car perform any differently, but modifying cars isn’t always about going fast. It has been said ‘going fast is looking good,’ but I don’t think that is exactly appropriate. I have had some relatively quick cars that looked like trash despite what was hidden underneath, but I have had much more enjoyment from completed projects that balance performance, driving enjoyment, and visual appeal to me. That meant I had to spend some of my modification budget on pieces that only made the car look the way I wanted. Like a shaved trunk, late-model bumper and valance conversion, interior trim pieces, and others. Sadly, for my E30, there aren’t many off-the-shelf visual upgrades that speak to me. For VW and Audi owners, though, ECS has plenty to offer. The question is: where to begin?

This is all dependent on your preferences. If you never pop the hood, you probably wouldn’t get much enjoyment out of bits like our Carbon Fiber Engine Covers, ECU covers, or Radiator Support Cover. Your time is spent in the driver’s seat and looking at your car, which means your visual upgrades need to be where you can enjoy them most. Ideally, pieces like our Customizable Shift Knobs, Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Overlays, Carbon Fiber Front Spoilers, Carbon Fiber Rear Diffusers, and Carbon Fiber Side Blades would be more your style. Though not every piece is available for every model, if you have a GTI, A4, S4, Jetta, A3, or other popular choices, there will be plenty for you to add to make your car stand out and look as aggressive or styled as you desire.

However, if your plan is to have an understated, OEM-Plus appearance on the outside, then maybe some hidden gems that hint to your thorough, well-planned build’s quality should make their way into your final results. This is where the Carbon Fiber Engine Cover and its underhood cousins come in to shine. You want to be greeted by sleek carbon fiber goodies when you need to pop the hood and want to make a statement anytime someone asks you to see what lies underneath.

Better still, if your visual upgrades are purely for your enjoyment alone, then interior upgrades are likely more fitting. As we mentioned, a nice shift knob and steering wheel overlay are a great start. Decking out your interior can go a lot farther, though. Billet Aluminum Climate Control Rings, Seat Fold-Down Handles, E-Brake Handles, and various trim bits can all work in tandem to create a unified aesthetic inside your cabin. Taking things a step further, LED interior lighting kits add a touch of convenience and modern lighting warmth by replacing your old bulbs with brighter, more efficient, and better looking equivalents. Lastly, a handmade Black Forest Industries shift boot can tie the whole interior together like a good rug. 

Of course, if you are the type who wants every upgrade imaginable with the idea of ‘throwing the catalog’ at your car’s appearance, you can go pretty wild with upgrades and do everything mentioned and then some. This is where we advise caution, though. You can definitely clutter your car’s appearance. As we said, there needs to be a method, a plan, in place to make everything come together like a composed piece rather than a bunch of high-dollar upgrades stuck on to give the semblance of performance. In the case of visual upgrades, less is generally more. A spoiler, front lip, mirror covers, and tinted windows on a lowered car with some choice wheels will go a lot farther than throwing the book at your build and leaving the rest untouched. Remember, it’s all about balance.

That said, who are we to tell you what you like or don’t like? If you don’t like anything more than the way your car looked from the factory, that is entirely your prerogative and completely justifiable. If you want to go all-out and fit every single visual upgrade available for your car, then that’s your choice as well. We think there isn’t a set formula when it comes to personalizing your car. There is, however, if you are doing so with the hopes of winning favor among other enthusiasts. When it’s all said and done, though, it’s your car. Do what makes YOU happy. Just remember, you need to have a plan in place for the end goal and work towards it. We will be there every step of the way to provide you with all the upgrades and mods you need to make it happen and will constantly add more to our catalog, like our brand-new Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser for your RS3. Stay tuned, and stay motivated!