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May 2017 Gear

Aaron Bonk
Mar 7, 2017

Sparco supports fast drivers

Gear may 2017 sparco SPX alcant GR Photo 2/15   |   Gear May 2017 Sparco SPX Alcant GR
Gear may 2017 Sparco SPX Photo 3/15   |   Gear May 2017 Sparco SPX

There are several limiting factors that govern a car's performance. One that is overlooked all too often is the biological computer behind the wheel. We are constantly telling you to get yourself trained in high-performance driving and we aren't going to stop anytime soon, but what else can you do to assure optimum performance behind the wheel? Well, to start with, make yourself comfortable.

Many of the world's top performance car manufacturers turn to Sparco when they need to outfit their cars with a top choice in vehicle-driver interface. If you read our loving review of the brand-new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in the April issue, you noticed one of the things that made us love the car was, in fact, its carbon-fiber sport seats that held us securely in place on the road and racetrack. You can now have that very seat for your own car.

The Sparco SPX seat's main structure is made from carbon fiber with all work being done in Italy. The seat back features a micro adjustment knob on the outside of each seat for angle adjustment, as well as a pull strap on the back to tilt it forward for access to the back seat. The bolsters are covered in leather, and the seat centers use alcantara, for a little extra grip.

These seats aren't cheap, with a retail price of $3,100 each, although we have seen them with a street price of substantially less. You shouldn't think of these seats as just an upgrade for that car you only expect to have for a couple of years. These seats can travel from car to car with different brackets and sliders. We aren't saying they are lifetime parts, but since this is used by OEs, the SPX has certainly undergone far more longevity testing than your average aftermarket seat.

Retail: $3,100
sparcousa.com

A faster-revving RS4

Gear may 2017 fidanza flywheel Photo 4/15   |   Gear May 2017 Fidanza Flywheel

Lightening up an engine's rotating mass is almost never a bad thing, and Fidanza knows this. Which is exactly why it's just introduced its lightweight flywheel for Audi's B5 series RS4 and A4. A lighter flywheel means faster throttle response, quicker acceleration, and a reduction in parasitic losses that'll lead to more power. Smoother shifting is also possible along with better clutch wear thanks to improved heat dissipation. Fidanza's lightweight flywheel also features a unique, removable friction plate that can be replaced when worn, which means the flywheel will end up outlasting the rest of your Audi's drivetrain.

Retail: $546.12
fidanza.com

Polish while you wash

Gear may 2017 meguiars carwash plus Photo 5/15   |   Gear May 2017 Meguiars Carwash Plus

Meguiar's all-new Car Wash Plus+ has been formulated with special polishing agents that provide deep cleaning, remove bugs and tar, and polishes away light stains and scuff marks all at the same time, giving you that polished look but without actually getting the polish out. The super-concentrated formula gets applied directly to any wet wash mitt, which means you won't even need a bucket. Meguiar's says its Car Wash Plus+ is ideal for cleaning extremely dirty and neglected vehicles but gentle enough to use regularly.

Retail: $9.99
meguiars.com

A better turbo gasket

Gear may 2017 felpro turbocharger gaskets Photo 6/15   |   Gear May 2017 Felpro Turbocharger Gaskets

Federal-Mogul Motorparts' Fel-Pro Gaskets brand now offers its line of performance turbocharger gaskets engineered to withstand the extreme temperatures encountered in high-end, turbocharged racing engines. Available for T3, T4, and T5/6 turbos, Fel-Pro's HTA gaskets feature Federal-Mogul's High Temperature Alloy and proprietary coating, which can withstand temperatures of up to 1,600 degrees F. Conventional turbocharger gaskets can be susceptible to failure in high-output racing applications as a result of extreme temperatures, pressure, vibration, and thermally induced casting motion. Every Fel-Pro HTA gasket also features an emboss bead that acts as a spring to maintain sealing contact stress under virtually all operating conditions. The gaskets' high-temperature coating also helps ensure superior micro-sealing against a broad range of casting finishes.

Retail: TBA
felpro-only.com

GTI-lover's tee

Gear may 2017 gti35 gti commemorative t shirt Photo 7/15   |   Gear May 2017 Gti35 Gti Commemorative T Shirt

Renowned French artist BOD pays tribute to the original sport compact car with GTI35.com's all-new and commemorative GTI T-shirt. It's shown on two wheels, and GTI35.com says the image represents the quintessential, early GTI owner who was all too eager to make his way to the infamous Nurburgring. True or not, you can order the tee online in black and with sizes ranging from S all the way up to 3XL.

Retail: €23
gti35.com

Rethink your oil cap and dipstick

Gear may 2017 racingline oil cap Photo 8/15   |   Gear May 2017 Racingline Oil Cap
Gear may 2017 racingline performance dipstick Photo 9/15   |   Gear May 2017 Racingline Performance Dipstick

Racingline Performance introduces its VWR oil cap and dipstick, both machined from billet aluminum and compatible with any MQB-based 1.8 or 2.0 TSI engine. Racingline Performance's cap and dipstick are five-axis CNC-machined out of 6061 aluminum, anodized in a gloss-black finish, and feature the company's laser-etched logo on each piece. The aluminum dipstick is a smart upgrade to the OEM plastic piece that's prone to failure and, like the oil cap, looks good while doing its job.

Retail: €60.00
racingline-performance.com

High-flow RS3 dumpvalve

Gear may 2017 forge motorsport RS3 dumpvalve Photo 10/15   |   Gear May 2017 Forge Motorsport RS3 Dumpvalve

Forge Motorsport unveils its all-new high-flow valve kit for Audi's current RS3 and TT RS. An evolution of the company's already popular high-capacity valve, the new high-flow kit has been designed for engines producing in excess of 450 hp. At higher power levels like this, the OEM piece has been proven to not keep up. As boost goes up, the original solenoid dump valve is simply unable to flow and meter the appropriate amount of air, which can lead to incorrect MAP readings and poor performance. The kit addresses the factory valve's adapter elbow, too, of which its mating hole is simply too small to allow for increased flow, despite the high-flowing valve. As such, a redesigned elbow is included with each kit that features a significantly larger opening and is compatible with Audi's latest throttle body design. Because of the engine's MAP-based nature, Forge includes the necessary components that allow the valve to either recirculate back into the system or blow off entirely.

Retail: £359.30
forgemotorsport.co.uk

A lower f-pace of life

Gear may 2017 kw jaguar f pace coilovers Photo 11/15   |   Gear May 2017 Kw Jaguar F Pace Coilovers

There's a new SUV in town, and KW Suspensions' already figured out a way to deliver it to its appropriate and best-performing ride height. KW's all-new, adjustable springs for the British SUV allow for ride-height changes that range from 15-30 mm when matched with Jaguar's original adaptive dampers. Available for all F-Pace models featuring AWD, KW's springs and their threaded sleeves allow for precise height adjustments at each corner, similar to most adjustable coilover systems but at a more affordable price.

Retail: TBA
kwsuspensions.com

Just m-style venting

Gear may 2017 mstyle bmw f15 x5 vent Photo 12/15   |   Gear May 2017 Mstyle Bmw F15 X5 Vent

Accentuate the factory vents on BMW's F15 X5 and F85 X5M with M-Style's newly released wing vent trims. Each kit includes a pair of vents that are made of carbon fiber or that feature a gloss-black finish for a unique look.

Retail: £154.17 - £240.83
mstyle.co.uk

Dress the part

Gear may 2017 stand21 vintage racewear Photo 13/15   |   Gear May 2017 Stand21 Vintage Racewear

French company Stand 21, which is already known for catering to the historic racing sector, introduces its new line of racewear to commemorate 2018's Monaco Grand Prix Historique. From helmets to boots to underwear, bags, gloves and, of course, racing suits, Stand 21's high-quality line offers the protection drivers need, all while paying homage to the mythical event that is the precursor each year to the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco. Stand 21 is currently the official supplier of the Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Porsche Rennsport collection, and Tour de Corse Historique.

Retail: varies
montecarlo.s21.fr

Brabus makes it e-classier

Gear may 2017 brabus e class Photo 14/15   |   Gear May 2017 Brabus E Class

Renowned tuning firm Brabus now offers its exclusive refinement program for Mercedes-Benz's newest E-Class sedan. Vehicle-specific enhancements include Brabus' full range of aerodynamic upgrades, monoblock wheels as large as 21 inches, precision-tuned suspension components, and an assortment of interior-customizing options-all of which include Brabus' three-year/62,000-mile warranty. Brabus' designers developed two tailor-made aerodynamic-enhancement kits for the E-Class that include a front spoiler and available surrounds for the factory side air intakes, a rear bumper with its unique and built-in diffuser, and an available rear spoiler that helps increase downforce at higher speeds. Its monoblock wheels range in sizes from 18-21 inches with widths as large as 10.5 inches in the rear. Suspension enhancements include sport springs that allow a 30mm drop in ride height or a specialized control module for vehicles equipped with Mercedes' Air Body Control. Power upgrades vary by E-Class model and consist of Brabus' PowerXtra B20, D3, or D6 S tuning modules that delivers as much as 51 hp on select turbo-diesel models. Rounding out power additions is a stainless-steel exhaust system that features four chrome-plated tailpipes and a specialized system that includes actively controlled exhaust flaps for E 43 models, which allows for an altered exhaust note at the touch of a button. Inside, Brabus offers everything from stainless-steel scuff plates featuring a backlit Brabus logo along with aluminum accessories that include pedals and door pins. The package is completed with Brabus' own all-leather interior that's made up of soft yet durable Mastik leather and Alcantara offered in any color.

Retail: varies
brabus-usa.com

Big news for little cars

Gear may 2017 carrera toys pure speed slot car set Photo 15/15   |   Gear May 2017 Carrera Toys Pure Speed Slot Car Set

Carrera Toys, renowned slot car maker for more than 50 years, introduces its new line for the New Year. Carrera adds to its extensive lineup of Digital 132 slot car systems with its all-new Pure Speed set that features three high-speed racers, including the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Ferrari 458 Italia GT2. Carrera's added to its Digital 143 line as well with its Formula 1-based Top Run and Championship Race Off systems that include Ferrari's F138 and F14 T as well as Mercedes' F1 W05 Hybrid. Race a Porsche GT3 in Carrera's new Race for Victory or GT Competition sets from its Go!!! line or take on AMG Mercedes C-Coupe or BMW M3 DTM cars in the new DTM Speedway set, also from Carrera's Go!!! line.

Retail: varies
carrera-toys.com/us

By Aaron Bonk
348 Articles

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