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The Best Gear for Your Car

Colin Ryan
May 4, 2015
M7 speed strut tower brace Photo 2/17   |   M7 Speed Strut Tower Brace

M7 Speed strut tower brace
Mushrooms aren't always tasty, especially concerning R53 and R54 Mini Cooper S strut towers. Some owners have noticed that these parts will buckle under repeated punishment from the shock absorbers-a problem exacerbated by low-profile tires. The result is a suspension whose alignment can never be fully straight. M7's strut tower brace has endplates that are half an inch thick, enough to prevent mushrooming and improve handling into the bargain. It's machined from billet aluminum and finished in an anti-chip, anti-corrosion matte black powdercoat. Installation can take as little as 20 minutes, and there's sufficient clearance for stock or aftermarket air intakes. $229.

Magnaflow exhaust system Photo 3/17   |   Magnaflow Exhaust System

Magnaflow exhaust system
It's about time someone made something nice for the excellent Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 2.0 TDI. This cat-back exhaust system is made from mandrel-bent, 2.5-inch, stainless steel tubing. Not only does Magnaflow claim a "smooth, deep tone" but also gains in horsepower and torque along with improved fuel efficiency, although the company hasn't released any numbers yet. $710.66.

Black forest industries shift knob Photo 4/17   |   Black Forest Industries Shift Knob

Black Forest Industries shift knob
BFI says it has shift knobs that will fit virtually any car, but it also has adapters that are compatible with VW/Audi, BMW, and Porsche models. The company says the one covered in perforated leather "feels like butter in the palm of your hand." We sincerely hope not, since that would be greasy and smelly. But we get the general gist: They're nice. From $99.

Eibach pro spacers Photo 5/17   |   Eibach Pro Spacers

Eibach Pro-Spacers
Enthusiasts usually look to Eibach for springs, but the company also makes aluminum wheel spacers. This new range, in a black anodized finish, goes up to 1.57 inches (40 mm). There are versions for VW/Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. Naturally, they're TUV-approved, and matching black bolts are available. From approximately $50.

Air force master blaster car dryer Photo 6/17   |   Air Force Master Blaster Car Dryer

Air Force Master Blaster car dryer
Yes, it says "motorcycle dryer" on the side, but with two 4hp motors delivering 58,500 feet of clean, warm, filtered air per minute, it will work just as well on cars. Made in the USA. Available by mail order from the California Car Cover Company, which is also an authorized distributor for Metropolitan vacuum cleaners. $349.99.

Bg racing ez sweep castor slip plates Photo 7/17   |   Bg Racing Ez Sweep Castor Slip Plates

B-G Racing EZ Sweep castor slip plates
We've seen other castor slip plates with 15 degrees of rotation, but this set goes up to 20 degrees. They're incredibly thin, have a stainless steel base, and are coated with a PTFE surface (aka Teflon) that allows wheels to move smoothly through the measuring arc. Just provide a flat floor, and drive onto the plates to check castor, camber, and kingpin inclination angles. 200 GB pounds for a pair, (around $300).

Impecca power it portable jump starter Photo 8/17   |   Impecca Power It Portable Jump Starter

Impecca Power It portable jump starter
Clever, clever stuff. Not only can this range jump-start cars, it also has USB ports to charge phones. Choices go from 8,000 mAh to 36,000 mAh. The more powerful versions can charge laptops and even light trucks and RVs. Also included (depending on the model) is an LED flashlight with SOS signals, car charging cable, and carrying case. From $79.95 to $349.95.

Spec billet lightweight flywheel Photo 9/17   |   Spec Billet Lightweight Flywheel

Spec billet lightweight flywheel
Yes, there's a company called Spec and it makes a single-mass flywheel from billet aluminum that fits the R55 Mini Clubman, R56 Cooper S, and R57 Convertible. It weighs 12.8 pounds, meaning a 54 percent reduction in mass from the factory unit for greater throttle response, and it's rebuildable. Works well with a Spec clutch, but also plays nice with the OE version. $529.

Vorsteiner verona edizione rear wing Photo 10/17   |   Vorsteiner Verona Edizione Rear Wing

Vorsteiner Verona Edizione rear wing
Having forked out $240,000 or thereabouts for a '15 Huracan, the well-dressed Lambo driver must absolutely augment his or her new wheels with this new ultra-rigid, two-piece, carbon-fiber rear wing from Vorsteiner. The uprights are fashioned from T6061 aluminum and can be painted to match the car. $3,995.

Dinan free flow exhaust system Photo 11/17   |   Dinan Free Flow Exhaust System

Dinan Free Flow exhaust system
Few companies know their way around a BMW like Dinan. The new Free Flow exhaust for the '15 M3/M4 is a direct bolt-on replacement, saving 3 pounds over the factory unit and bringing a claimed 5 hp thanks to better breathing. It's made from 16-gauge 304 stainless steel and comes with polished stainless steel or ceramic black tips. Twin secondary valves are 3 inches in diameter and 45 percent less restrictive than stock. Low volume in Econo mode, full-on blast in Sport and Sport+ modes. $2,499.

Tarox bespoke brake upgrade Photo 12/17   |   Tarox Bespoke Brake Upgrade

Tarox Bespoke brake upgrade
When the time comes to replace the front discs on one's 991-series Porsche 911 Carrera S, it might be a good idea to think about these two-piece, spiral-grooved babies from Italian company Tarox. Although the factory disc is one piece, this upgrade retains the same dimensions (340 mm x 34 mm) to be compatible with the rest of the system. Each disc is also around 2 pounds lighter due to a billet steel and anodized alloy hub construction. Approximately $1,500 per pair.

Lazer lamps lower grille and lamps Photo 13/17   |   Lazer Lamps Lower Grille And Lamps

Lazer Lamps lower grille and lamps
Admittedly, it's a bit of stretch, but they could be made to fit something other than the '11-on VW Caddy this stuff was originally designed for. The Caddy is a compact commercial vehicle in other corners of the world. It's based on the fifth-generation Golf platform, and we all know how interchangeable some of those parts are. The stainless steel mesh lower grille comes from U.K. company Zunsport, and the lamps (LED, despite the brand name) are available separately. The whole caboodle costs approximately $370.

Stand 21 la couture hsc racing suit Photo 14/17   |   Stand 21 La Couture Hsc Racing Suit

Stand 21 La Couture HSC racing suit
Made with two layers of Aramid fabric along with breathable and stretchable materials, this suit is FIA 8856-2000 and SFI 3.2A/5 certified. It was developed in conjunction with some top-level racing teams and comes in a variety of colors. Or there's the option of a custom design. From $2,600.

Vmaxx performance springs Photo 15/17   |   Vmaxx Performance Springs

V-Maxx performance springs
V-Maxx has a number of spring kits for the Audi A5 ('07-on B8) with progressive spring rates that keep the comfort at low speeds and bring greater composure when corners are attacked rather than negotiated. Ride height is lowered between 1.0 and 1.4 inches, depending on which kit is chosen. All springs are made of chrome silicone steel, then shot-peened, zinc-phosphated, and powdercoated. From around $265. The U.S. website wasn't working when we clicked on it, so try or the company's Facebook page.

Awe tuning s flo carbon intake Photo 16/17   |   Awe Tuning S Flo Carbon Intake

AWE Tuning S-Flo carbon intake
"A surefire way to unlock 10 hp and 9 lb-ft of torque from the athletic little S3," says AWE about its new carbon-fiber intake. These figures would be measured at the Audi's crank, by the way. As usual with AWE, this component is designed, engineered, and tested in-house; a perfect fit is guaranteed; and so is an unlit "check engine" alert. $599.95.

Common fibers carbon fiber wallet Photo 17/17   |   Common Fibers Carbon Fiber Wallet

Common Fibers carbon-fiber wallet
Of course, we all need a carbon-fiber wallet. Those heavy leather things holding our cash are slowing us down. Common Fibers makes two sizes that are fairly self-explanatory: Max and Slim. Apparently, even the Max folds to half the size of a regular wallet, despite six credit card slots and two hidden pockets. And that's not all; these things can even block radio frequency identification (RFID) fields to protect against identity theft. Oh, and they're 100 percent vegan, but don't eat them.

By Colin Ryan
180 Articles



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