Installing new performance upgrades gives a pure energy rush when it comes to modifying vehicles. But when you don’t have a lot of money in your pocket to spare or want to make multiple upgrades but are under a budget, you may want to have a plan on where your money would be best spent. We at XLR8 Performance have made a list of the best performance upgrades for your vehicle that keep it affordable and under $1,000. We also have made suggestions on what products are offered on our webstore that meet this specific price limit that are of the highest quality from our performance partners.
(Notice: Prices are subject to change as they were taken from xlr8-performance.com at the time of the newsletter being published.)
1. COLD AIR INTAKE
Adding a cold air intake can give you a 5-20 horsepower boost for a very little cost. This part is easy to install and can be done as a DIY project if you don’t want to spend that extra money to have a technician do it. A cold air intake will allow your engine to breathe better and will give you improved throttle response.
IE AUDI 3.0T COLD AIR INTAKE
AWE AIRGATE CARBON INTAKE FOR AUDI B9 A4 / A5 2.0T – WITH LID
APR 3.0 TFSI OPEN CARBON FIBER INTAKE SYSTEM
RACINGLINE VWR INTAKE SYSTEM
2. SWAY BARS
A stabilizer or anti-sway bar attaches to your car’s strut and subframe to make it more stable and less flexible; to allow better handling and more control when you car makes turns. It can also help reduce vibrating and will give an overall stable feel while driving. These sway bars are inexpensive and super affordable to install.
034MOTORSPORT ADJUSTABLE SOLID REAR SWAY BAR
H&R Sway bar
RACINGLINE VWR SWAY BAR LINKS – 250MM CENTRE APPLICATIONS
WHITELINE SWAY BAR 24MM X ADJUSTABLE – FOR AUDI/VW
If you are all about increasing your car’s performance when it comes to power, then having a great set of brakes is very important. With a powerful engine comes the safety of making sure your car stops on a dime to make sure you don’t slam your pride and joy into a wall. Even more so when you’re going around a dangerous corner and need to have the best quality brakes to ensure you’ll still be staying on the road. Upgrading your brakes is vital to your own safety and for those around you on the road.
RACINGLINE VWR RACING BRAKE FLUID 300 DOT 4 500ML
JHM FRONT BBK (BIG BRAKE KIT)
STOPTECH SPORT AXLE PACK, SLOTTED, 4 WHEEL
PRICE BASED ON MAKE/MODEL
4. Short Throw Shifter
You may want to replace the OEM metal/plastic shifter shaft with a solid steel weighted shifter shaft while replacing the OEM plastic ball/socket assembly with a steel spherical bearing as well. This small modification will make all the difference in giving you crisper, cleaner, smoother shifts while reducing the throw at the same time.
JHM SOLID SHORT THROW SHIFTER FOR B6-B7 S4 AND RS4, ALL
JHM SOLID SHORT THROW SHIFTER FOR B8 A4/A5/S4 AND S5, 2008 – ON
JHM SOLID SHORT THROW SHIFTER FOR B9 A4, 2017+
5. Lowering Springs
There’s 3 options to choose from when it comes to upgrading springs to lower your vehicle: lowering springs, coil overs, and shock kits. The choice is yours based off of your budget but if you’re looking to keep this upgrade underneath $1k, then we would suggest lowering springs. These are great if you want a cheap way to give your car a better stance, and possibly even better handling. Lowering springs are designed to lower your car by using slightly smaller springs with marginally higher spring rates to compensate for the lower ride height. By using smaller springs, the entire vehicle sits lower to the ground. It’s important to understand though that if you choose this option, you would need a higher spring rate than your OEM springs to prevent bottoming out the suspensions over rough roads or large bumps. So we would recommend you get this upgrade installed by professionals rather than take it on yourself since the dampers need to be correctly valved for spring rate and ride height.
DINAN PERFORMANCE SPRING SET
APR ROLL-CONTROL LOWERING SPRINGS
ST SPORT SPRING KIT
RACINGLINE VWR SPORTS SPRING KIT – FOR MQB FWD: GOLF 7 GTI
WHITELINE COIL SPRINGS – LOWERED – FOR VW GOLF GTI
6. High Flow Catalytic Converters
High-Flow Catalytic Converters are specifically designed to allow for more efficient flow of exhaust gasses and if you have upgraded your engine power output through a tuning you can significantly notice the upgrade in engine power output. You should note though that catalytic converters on a stock vehicle don’t perform to their fullest potential until there have been significant performance upgrades. An example of this would be if you’ve increased your engine’s power by 20-30% then high flow cats are for you. If you have only added on a cold air intake or one tune then you might want to consider other upgrade options before purchasing in this direction.
034MOTORSPORT CAST STAINLESS STEEL PERFORMANCE DOWNPIPE, 8V AUDI A3/S3 & MKVII VOLKSWAGEN GOLF/GTI/R
MILLTEK LARGE BORE DOWNPIPE AND HI-FLOW SPORTS CAT
SCORPION DOWNPIPE WITH HIGH FLOW SPORTS CATALYST FOR TT MK2 2.0 TFSI
BILLY BOAT HIGH FLOW CAT PIPE FOR AUDI B7 A4 2.0T
If you’re looking for a performance upgrade that gives you more power, more fuel economy, and the desire to drive your car even more, then getting a aftermarket exhaust is the perfect choice. When you have the throttle on a downshift or even something as simple as merging onto the highway, you will undoubtedly hear how much the power has increased in your car. You will make heads turn by this purchase alone and are sure to peak the interest of any gearhead.
AWE TOURING EDITION EXHAUST FOR VW MK7.5 GTI – CHROME SILVER TIPS
SCORPION CAT-BACK SYSTEM WITH BLACK CERAMIC TAILPIPE FOR TT MK2 2.0 TFSI
BILLY BOAT EXHAUST FOR VW MK4 GOLF/GTI TURBO CAT BACK 2 1/2 IN. W/O TIPS FPIM-0250
MILLTEK CAT-BACK EXHAUST SYSTEM
8. Engine Remapping
There are several benefits to getting an ECU tune. They provide your engine with improved performance from a fuel economy or a power/torque stance and allow you to take full control over what your car comes equipped with from the factory. There are a few different types of ECU tunes. You can read a little more of each below:
- BASE TUNES: A map built for your vehicle, but does not take full advantage of the parts on the vehicle. It is designed to get it up and mobile until further tuning can be performed. Base tunes are commonly included in aftermarket turbo kits from companies like Kraftwerks and more.
- OFF THE SHELF TUNES: Off the shelf tunes, or OTS tunes, come from aftermarket manufacturers and have been designed more specifically for your vehicle and it’s parts. A company like Racing Line spends time on a dynamometer dialing in the vehicle’s trims to get you the most power the easiest way possible.
- CUSTOM TUNES: Custom tuning is commonly done on a dynamometer (dyno), yet another service offered by Excelerate Performance. Your vehicle’s performance is measured and monitored during custom tuning to help you get every last bit of power possible.
XLR8 tuning partners
If you are interested in any of the performance upgrades featured feel free to send us an email to help complete your cart or give us a call to set up an installation appointment or to give further advice on what products may be best suitable for your vehicle!