For many car owners, half the fun of owning a vehicle is seeing how much performance they can extract from it via aftermarket modifications and upgrades. If you want to maximize your street car’s performance, consider the simple but effective upgrades below.
The best and most effective way to add horsepower to any vehicle is with forced induction, otherwise known as a turbocharger or supercharger. If you’re unfamiliar with forced induction, it is the addition of an external device that pushes more air into the engine during the intake process.
More air in the engine’s combustion chamber means a greater compression ratio for the engine and, therefore, better performance. A car can add forced induction via a supercharger or turbocharger. A supercharger uses an impeller to force the air along an intake tube; a turbocharger uses a turbine fan to push air.
Cold Air Intake
Another upgrade to maximize your street car’s performance is a cold air intake system. Like a forced induction upgrade, a cold air intake adds more and better air to your vehicle’s engine for increased horsepower.
A cold air intake pulls cooler air into the engine for a performance boost. Because colder air is denser and more oxygen-rich, it gives the engine a higher combustion ratio and more horsepower for the vehicle. A cold air intake system typically adds roughly 10 hp to any engine and is relatively cheap and easy to install.
While you may be concerned with getting as much horsepower out of your engine as possible, you shouldn’t forget about other aspects of your vehicle, like the clutch, if you have a manual transmission.
As with the brakes and the suspension, if you’re upgrading your vehicle’s performance, you’ll need to upgrade other parts to better control and operate all the extra horsepower. If you’re upgrading your car with aftermarket performance mods, you’ll also want to upgrade to a single or twin disc clutch assembly.
We’ve talked about getting more and better air into your engine to increase its performance, but drivers should also consider how to help their vehicle dispel the dirty and bad air from the car. A full-performance exhaust system (not just exhaust tips) will make your vehicle perform and sound much better.
The larger diameter tubing and straightening of a full-performance exhaust make the exhaust flow from the engine and out of the vehicle more straightforward, which means less energy dispelling fumes. A better exhaust also helps fuel efficiency, so it’s a win-win for drivers!