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Want to improve your car's performance? Here are the mods that drivers do to improve their lap time at the race track.

Category: Car Technical Advice


So we have shared with you aesthetic mods to make your car look chio. This time, we are sharing the performance modifications that you should go for - whether you are looking for a bump in performance for the once-in-a-while spirited breakfast drive, or to whittle down your lap times at Sepang Circuit.

Read on and you will find out what the recommended modifications are, what they do and why you should do it. In fact, let me give you a hint: Look at performance-oriented variants of cars offered by the various manufacturers, chances are that they have upgrades similar to what we are suggesting here.

1. Rims and tyres

Upgraded rims and tyres will give your car improved traction, making it handle much better than stock
Being the only points of contact that your car has with the road surface, it doesn't take a PhD to figure the importance of tyres.

If you are an avid fan of motorsports, you would have noticed that tyres are almost always regulated for specific classes of race series. The reasoning is simple - it is to ensure a level and balanced playing field for the competitors - showing just how much of a difference tyres can make. Or if you are into Formula One, you would have noticed the importance of tyre strategy during a race, it can pretty much either make or break it.

Hence, a good set of tyres is probably one of the best modification you can make to your car should you be seeking a quicker lap time at the track or looking to improve your car's performance. While you are at it, you might also want to consider changing to an aftermarket set of rims to allow the fitment of wider tyres for even more traction!

Take that first step to improving your car. Check out the list of Motorsport Tyres and Performance Tyres available here!

2. Brakes

Look at the massive brakes on this Mercedes-AMG C63 S - with great power, comes the need for greater brakes!
A common mistake when modifying cars is to neglect the brakes. After all, spending thousands of dollars to get an aftermarket big brake kit is never as attractive as the idea of, say, a set of aftermarket exhaust that makes your car growl.

A wise man once said "what good is power if you can't bring the car to a stop when you need to". Well, there's a reason he's wise. Seriously, heed his advice! With a good braking system, your car will have a shorter braking distance (coupled with decent tyres). This allows you to brake later, and shave precious seconds off your lap time at the track!

While big brake kits can be costly, it doesn't mean the rest of us with shallow pockets have to make do without a proper brake setup! For most fast road and light track duty, more often than not, what you need is just a set of high-temperature brake pads, high-temperature brake fluid and maybe a set of stainless steel braided brake hoses - these will likely cost you a mere couple hundreds of dollars.


3. Suspension

Getting your car's suspension components dialed-in not only looks good, it will handle better as well
While the tyres are the only points of contact with the road, the suspension is the system that performs the magic of keeping the contact constantly there. A good suspension setup should absorb the bumps and undulations of the road, while offering excellent comfort and stability.

Needless to say, a good suspension setup will offer you much rewards when it comes to performance driving. Contrary to popular believes, modifying your suspension is not just simply slapping on a set of stiff coilovers. Other components such as stiffer bushings, thicker anti-roll bars, adjustable camber arms, as well as chassis braces all work together to improve your car's handling.

While suspension is a complicated subject, there are much benefits waiting to be unlocked. You should consult an expert and research before deciding on the upgrade for your car. Get it all done right, and your car will be a dream to drive!


4. Sports bucket seats

These sports seats aren't just for looks, the increased support allows you to be in better control!
If you ever tried cornering hard and fast in a car with a seat that has minimal support, you would've realised how your body is struggling for support from the battle against the relentless g-forces.

In track driving with harsh turns one right after another, the lack of support can fatigue your body within a short period of time. It also hampers the ability for you to 'feel' the car when driving, resulting in subpar car control.

You would have noticed that sport seats with larger, more supportive bolstering are now a commonplace on performance cars, straight out of the factory. With the choices available in the market, there are seats that offer better support with little sacrifice to comfort. In fact, some ergonomically designed sports seats can even be more comfortable than the thick cushy couch-like seats in some cars!


5. Intake and Exhaust modification

Want more power out of your car? The intake and exhaust is a good place to start
"The engine is nothing more than an air pump" you might have read or heard of this somewhere. Simply put, the engine combusts a mixture of fuel and air in order to power your car. Want more power? Increase the amount of air and fuel. That's why performance cars tend to have larger engines.

Likewise, when it comes to performance modification, in order to make more power, we want to maximise the amount of air that enters the engine, and one simple way (albeit just a small piece of the puzzle in the world of engine upgrades) is to free up the intake system. A free-flowing, less restrictive air intake system will allow your engine to breathe in more air, increasing its potential to make power.

Meanwhile, a less restrictive exhaust allows the exhaust fumes to escape the engine faster, thereby improving performance as well.
Of course, if you want to maximise the power of the engine, much more complicated modifications have to be done, but the intake and exhaust is undoubtedly the simplest first step for most cars. Oh, and not to mention the race car sounds you will get!

6. Engine ECU Tuning

With modern cars, ECU Tuning is an easy way to gain power - this Volkswagen Passat gained around 95bhp and 100Nm of torque with a tune!
Most recent engines are controlled by a computer - the Engine Control Unit (ECU). So, what does this mean to you? Well, the ECU controls the amount of fuel that is injected into the cylinders of the engine as well as when to ignite the mixture of fuel and air (ignition timing). Both parameters affect how well the engine runs, and how much power it produces.

ECUs are usually optimised for a great balance of fuel efficiency, drivability, durability and performance from the factory. However, in the aftermarket world, it can be tweaked to suit the needs of the driver by changing the amount of fuel as well as ignition advance and other parameters - tweaking it to squeeze more power, sometimes at the expense of fuel efficiency and more heat produced.

And it really isn't such a new thing. Car tuners of the yesteryears have been doing the exact same thing, adjusting the carburettors for the perfect fuel mixture, and the distributor for the perfect ignition timing.

In some cars (especially some of the turbocharged ones), ECU tuning can provide massive improvements in power without any mechanical modifications. This makes it a simple, fuss-free modification for drivers looking to increase the performance of their rides.

Here are some related articles that might interest you

5 things you can do to make your tyres last longer

5 types of car aesthetic modifications you should do 

How to choose the best tyre for your needs?

When do you need to change your car tyres?

Tyre workshops in Singapore that offers free lifetime tyre rotation

With everything sorted out, the next thing in the equation is power. Here's a list of recommended power enhancement workshops in Singapore.

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