Improving a car’s performance can be something of an art and covers such things as modification, customisation and tuning of the different parts to boost not only performance but also fuel efficiency and driveability. These factors will ultimately impact on the environment as well, so a car such as a Mercedes convertible that performs well is good for the planet – or as good for it as a car can be.
How to boost performance
There are lots of different ways to boost a car’s performance, whether it’s an older car that can be retuned or a new model that needs optimising. In the developing world, old cars are tuned regularly simply to make them driveable, although customisation of new cars to fit in with personal aspirations is also popular.
Accessories such as new front bumpers, spoilers and headlights can be used to modify a car to achieve optimal performance and streamlining can be improved with additions such as air dams, which direct air up and over the car rather than creating drag below it. All of these come in body kits, which also include the likes of side skirts for increasing stability and ensuring a smoother and more efficient driving experience. The lights, though not involved in performance per se, are often customised as well for purely aesthetic reasons.
Engines: the heart of the car
The most important aspect of any car’s customisation is engine tuning. The engine is the heart and soul of a car and the addition of a performance chip can improve the engine’s performance by anything up to 10%. Lightweight materials are also often used to replace heavier components in the engine and make it lighter.
Improved performance can also be achieved by changing the cams, which will deliver more horsepower and ensure less consumption of fuel, or existing cam heads can be ported and polished for the same effect. To go the whole hog, try replacing the whole engine with a fully customised one with a turbo, supercharger or some other force induction engine.
Although brakes in themselves don’t increase a car’s performance they do have an effect on it. Fitting performance discs and brake pads can withstand far higher temperatures than their regular counterparts and increase the braking power of the car.
The suspension system, which is crucial to overall performance, can be significantly improved by the addition of customised strut bars and sway bars to provide a much better hold on the road’s surface when taking tight. A better and smoother ride can be achieved by maximising the friction between the road and the car’s tyres in this way.