Since our reorganization from a service and repair facility into a performance parts developer and retailer, most of our attention has been exclusively focused around upgrades and parts for street and track oriented European vehicles. As many of our employees have started to explore other avenues of automotive enjoyment, we’ve seen firsthand the cool build directions available to many of the models enthusiasts aren’t exactly coveting, like the X5, Atlas, and Q5. From our internal interest, we decided to use our resources and see what we could develop for the quickly growing off-road and overlanding community. 

Most of the outrageous builds you may have seen on channels like 4WheelDrive Action or Dirt Every Day tend to be Japanese, British, or US Domestic. Rarely do we see off-roaders using, say, the E53 X5 or T1 Touareg as a starting platform. However, with the fancy AWD systems, available power, and creature comforts our chosen market of vehicles offer, we definitely think the appeal should be there. Naturally, we had to develop at least a few basic things to make some of the necessary first upgrades for a mild build to be capable when the pavement runs out. 

We have yet to officially launch this segment of the ECS in-house development brand, but already we’ve brought some pretty great starting points to any of you inclined to add height rather than remove it. Our ECS Overland Lift Kits and install tools are already available for the E53, E70 X5, and Atlas. We have more kits on the way for other potential off-roaders or chunky tire enthusiasts, but right now, our lineup is broad enough to talk about.

The additional ground clearance from these suspension lift kits allow you to avoid trail obstacles and fit larger diameter tires for better traction and even more ground clearance. However, you still may be susceptible to hazards when bouncing down a trail. The next logical upgrade to a budding trail rig is some protection. Our existing line of street shields aren’t exactly designed to repeatedly bounce off rocks, so we re-worked our designs for off-road use and have brought overland-oriented skid plates to our catalog with more on the way. These plates will keep your engine and underbody protected on more aggressive trails and give you the peace of mind you need when you’re getting farther away from civilization. 

Finally, coming soon enough that we can tease it now, we’ve developed our own version of modular roof racks systems. These racks will allow you to configure your roof setup in any way you please with lights, gear, storage, or even sleeping accommodations in about as many variations as you can imagine. Each roof rack setup is contoured specifically with the intended vehicle and features farings for wind deflection, tons of mounting slots for equipment, crossbars, and integrates perfectly into the roof for a tough, aggressive, utilitarian look. 

With the growing segment of off-road and overland enthusiasts, particularly in our R&D department, it was just a matter of time until one of our engineers just went out and started making things. For everyone else, these luxurious yet capable platforms are becoming extremely affordable while the ‘overland tax’ hits the typical FJ, Discovery, Bronco, and other seminal rigs into unubtanium territory. 

If you’ve been feeling the overland #vanlife bug in post-pandemic society but haven’t found a way into it, your European performance car interest might be a good place to start. With our growing catalog of upgrades for these hidden gems, you’ll be able to get on pace for building a capable setup. Keep an eye out for more releases as we grow our catalog and begin to offer some more advanced pieces of kit as we see how far this off-road rabbit hole goes.