Your car is quick. It handles well. It performs better than most cars on the road. But you still find yourself asking how it can be better. Can you squeeze a few more horsepower out of your engine? Can you shave a few tenths of a second off of your zero to sixty time? The answer to these questions is yes. With the right modifying parts, almost any vehicle can be made into a performance vehicle.
You can start at the back. Modifying your exhaust system can reduce strain on your engine and improve your power output. Most factory standard exhaust systems come equipped with mufflers designed for one thing: to keep your engine quiet. But you don’t really care about that. In fact, you would much rather hear the beast under your bonnet roar free. A smaller, lighter, less intrusive performance exhaust system will remove the bottleneck and boost your engine power.
But that’s only what comes out of the engine. What about the input? An engine can only go as quick as the air it takes in. Naturally aspirated performance engines have become legends, but their massive weight and bulk can turn any quick sports car into a rubber eating, turn ignoring beast. Artificially aspirating your engine can lend to a significant boost in power without pinning your car to the pavement under a ton of metal.
One way to accomplish this is to add a supercharger. This is an air compressor, driven by your engine’s crank shaft, that pumps greater volumes of air into your engine, thus increasing power output. Superchargers have become the standard for many different kinds of racing, and can be found sprouting from the bonnets of classic muscle cars.
The other form of artificial aspiration is the turbocharger. This is another type of supercharger, but instead of being powered by the crank shaft, it is driven by an exhaust turbine. The engine pumps its exhaust into a turbine to power the compressor, which, like a conventional supercharger, forces more air into the engine. Smaller and light, turbochargers are usually found in long distance forms of racing, such as rally.
When choosing between these two, it is important to ask what you want your car to do. Superchargers, powered immediately, can immediately boost your acceleration, giving you the advantage in drag racing or short distance circuit racing. Turbochargers are lighter, but since their power comes from the engine’s exhaust, they take longer to start pumping air into the engine and are susceptible to “turbo lag” if not tuned properly.
With the right tuning, any car can be a performance vehicle. Get your custom parts and start seeing how you can make your vehicle quicker.