H 09 Winner
Pioneer Navigation System
Pioneer has shoved almost every possible option available into this ultra stylish, portable, easy to use navigation system. The AVIC-F500BT has more bells and whistles than comparable systems costing four times the price. The one feature that peaked our interest was the built-in MSN Direct receiver with 3 months of free service. MSN Direct is an over the air service that gives you up to the minute traffic reports, gas prices, weather and movie times.
Pioneer AVIC-F500BT: $599
MSN Direct: one-time payment $129.95
Annual payment $49.95
Craven SpeedMINI R56 Short Shifter
There are lots of short shifters on the market, but this is the only one we know of that is adjustable from inside the car. A collar on the shifter lets the driver select from factory settings to a 50% reduction in throw. The unit shown here features a billet shifter surround and optional billet shift knob. Craven Speed manufactures some of the nicest aftermarket components we've seen and are of higher quality than the stock parts they replace.
Short shift kit - TBA
Shift Well Cover - $85
Shift Knob - $50
AFE Intake - BMW 135,335,535
advanced Flow engineering has developed an air intake system for the 135i, 335i, 535i equipped with the 3-liter twin turbo engine. In stock form you have one airbox feeding two turbos. The aFe intake gives each turbo its own individual intake accomplished by the use of a molded plastic Y pipe to feed each turbo separately. This "two intakes in one" features a protective heat shield, oval shaped velocity stacks, and smooth molded plastic for optimal flow.
Advanced Flow Engineering
Dunlop Direzza Z1
We have been beating on these tires for the last 5000 miles on our long-term MINI and we simply can't get enough. The grip is very close to that of a DOT race tire, while the noise and ride is better than the factory tires. Break away is predictable and they work well in the wet. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, how about an extremely affordable price, yes they have that too. We don't foresee getting 40,000 miles out of a set of these, but at this price and level of grip, we don't expect it.
Dunlop Tire Company
ECS Jack Pad Adaptors
The biggest concern when working on your car is how and where to jack up the vehicle without causing damage. The points mentioned in the owner's manual are specifically designed to be used with the factory jack and if you attempt to use a regular jack they bend or break. The ECS jack pad adapter kit utilizes lesser known jack points used by the dealers to safely lift the vehicle without the risk of damage.
Price: $65.95 (VW/Audi) $79.95 (BMW)
Apple iPhone 3G
We will be the first to admit that the iPhone has been overexposed. When it comes to technology there are two different types: usable and gimmicky. The iPhone is the former. Besides being a phone, the iPhone 3G can give you live traffic updates and GPS enabled turn-by-turn directions. Performance measuring software using the integrated accelerometers are already available and future software will include an OBD2 plug for in-car diagnostics.
Price: $199 (8GB) $299 (16GB) with two-year contract required
Kurgo Tire Totes
Tires can leave marks on more places than the road. The brake dust grime and grease is difficult to clean from inside your garage or vehicle interior. Though Seasonal Tire Totes where originally produced to store and transport snow tires, these totes can be put to use lugging race tires to and from the track. The Tire Totes durable shell helps protects the tire and the integrated handles makes loading and off-loading quick and easy. Plus they are machine washable and fit tires 21-31 inches.
Price: $19.99 a pair
AWE Diverter Valve
AWE has developed a solution for the problematic factory electronic diverter valve for the VW/Audi 2.0T. The AWE uses a vacuum operated valve (tested to 750 hp) as direct replacement for the factory unit. There are several types of replacement DV's for the 2.0T but all have the same issue-they require you to keep the stock DV plugged in after the conversion. The AWE solution addresses this issue by including an electronic DV simulator that plugs right into the factory wiring harness.
PLX Oled Gauge
Knowledge is power, or it helps make power. Drivers always want to monitor as many vitals as they can, but seldom want a row of ten gauges across their dash. PLX has a solution for the problem: one gauge. It is actually an OLED screen that can be switched via a wireless remote to monitor just about as many functions as the driver can install senders. The display is user programmable and modifiable through the USB port on the back. Sensors are sold separately and new gauge formats are constantly being added to the company site.
Gauge - $209
Senders - $99 and up
Mityvac Fluid Extractor
The Mityvac Fluid Extractors are designed to both extract and dispense any type of automotive fluids with virtually no mess, making changes more precise. On vehicles with a top mounted oil filter it is possible to change the oil without putting the vehicle on a lift. Ideally you would want two - one to fill the car with clean fluids, (especially great for oil since it rids the need of a funnel) and another to remove old fluids (an optional conversion kit makes it a one person brake/clutch bleeder).
Snow Performance WaterMethanol Injection System
Anyone who owns or has driven a vehicle with forced induction can tell you that they are very sensitive to heat and fuel octane levels. The solution is simple: reducing operating temperatures makes more power. The problem is you can only get temperatures so low without enlarging the cooling system. Snow Performance developed a water-methanol injection system designed to reduce intake temperatures. The system features a digital variable controller that varies water-methanol injection based on the mass airflow signal allowing a linear and more accurate injection when compared to a boost signal based system.
SCCH - VW MK2 And MK3Suspension Components
The MK2 and 3 Golfs and Jettas are still some of the most popular VWs being raced. High-performance parts may be getting harder to find, but companies like SCCH are still developing new products. Their spherical ball joint kit not only replaces the weaker factory unit, but also repositions the pivot point to fix geometry problems after lowering the car. The ball joint kit is hand machined from 1018 steel, tig welded and utilizes ARP fasteners. The bump steer kit uses FK, NHBB and Aurora rod ends and is adjustable for different heights.
Bump Steer Kit - $275
MK2/MK3 ball joint kit - $625
Southern California Cylinder Heads
Sony Gran Turismo 5
Using Blu-ray technology and the advanced computing technology of the PLAYSTATION 3, Gran Turismo Prologue 5 is displayed with such high quality graphics it gives you a sense that you are behind the wheel, racing on the most exciting tracks in the world. This is an accurate real-world simulation and reflects what would actually occur while driving the car. For instance, when driving the GTI, high speeds caused the rear wheels to get "floaty". The same thing has happened to us in real-world testing.
Price: $39.99 (Blu-ray Disc or Download)
Sony Computer Entertainment
Einszett HVAC Disinfectant
Anyone who has attempted to eliminate the mildew funk that emanates from AC vents on a hot day, knows that a disinfectant spray is only a short term fix. While it takes the stench away for a few days the source the mildew is deep inside the AC system. Klima-Cleaner is a unique fungicidal and germicidal water-based spray that turns into a foam to kill the source of the odor in the vehicle's air conditioning system. This small bottle is a steal considering dealerships charge $150 or more for AC cleaning. It's exceptionally easy to use and might be something you'd want to do every few years. Or whenever your car has bad breath.
Einszett North America
DataToysDigital Camera System
DataToys has made a complete single cam digital video recording system gives you everything you need (batteries not included) to quickly and easily record all of your driving adventures. Want your 15 minutes of fame? This is the system that will do it without breaking the bank. Featuring a suction-mounted bullet camera and compact recording device, the DataToys system allows cutting edge videography without a support crew. It's also great for recording on-track escapades for later review. We've used the Data Toys system ourselves and posted the results on www.europeancarweb.com/video. Speilberg....eat your heart out.
Dinan 335 Oil Cooler Upgrade
Higher than normal oil temperatures are common on BMW's 3-liter twin-turbo especially under aggressive driving conditions and when temps get too high the car goes into "limp home" mode. To help reduce oil temps, Dinan has developed a high capacity oil cooler that mounts in the factory location with an integrated inlet duct that maximizes airflow to the fender well. This characteristic makes it perfect for the track or a spirited street use.
For cars equipped with the factory oil cooler
For cars NOT EQUIPPED with the factory oil coolerPrice $2299