Volkswagen representation at SEMA was also rather thin, but what we did find was very strong. The hottest was easily the Garrett Turbo/Forge Motorsport Mk1 GTI shipped from the UK for the show. Built for Time Attack events, the insane hatch had a Berg Cup-style body kit to provide it with sufficient downforce for the bored and stroked 2.0L engine with Garrett GTX2860 turbo. Generating 300hp and 400 lb-ft at the wheels, the Mk1 was an instant hit.
Another star of show and track was the 034Motorsport Mk4 GTI. This was the car built for our Tuner GP several years ago, boasting a mid-mounted Audi S4 V6 turbo and RWD. Although hidden upstairs away from the crowds, it managed to scoop the Best Euro nomination for the annual Sony PlayStation GT awards.
We were also proud to see the FMS Automotive Mk6 Jetta widebody, a car we helped create, and have covered its build elsewhere in this issue.
Our next choice would be the Mk7 Golf in the H&R booth. The lines of the gorgeous new car were highlighted by sexy Rotiform wheels and H&R's own suspension components. Orange Brembo brakes peeking through the spokes gave the hatch the right amount of flare, while a VW Accessories body kit and center-exit, dual exhaust gave the Golf some attitude.
Expanding its product portfolio, Vogtland is getting into the air game. Its new Electronic Lowering System provides instantaneous chassis tuning for vehicles that have factory air suspension or active suspension. The module can lower beyond the factory settings by nearly 40mm. The ELS system simply plugs into the stock factory location and all the options are accessible through the OEM factory suspension in the car's menu display. $TBD
Akrapovic 458 exhaust
While the Ferrari 458 continues to dominate the playboy supercar market, it's nice to know some people are becoming more interested in aftermarket tuning. And Akrapovic has set the bar high when it comes to high-performance exhausts, with its full titanium slip-on system looking great. It will undoubtedly sound good and is said to give 11hp and 14 lb-ft.
Bilstein iRC and Clubsport
Fine-tuning your suspension isn't for the fainthearted. In the past, you had to guess the setting for your coils and dampers, hit the track and hope you were dialed-in properly. It could take a lot of trial and error to get it right. But thanks to modern technology, the process has become more palatable with Bilstien's iRC electronic suspension monitoring system that not only lets you access suspension settings on-the-fly, it also lets you make adjustments from the comfort of your smart phone or tablet. See our feature on the Bilstein Sweepstakes 335i in this issue for more details.
Borla Cayman exhaust
Exhaust systems are important to tuning enthusiasts and Borla has been busy with several new enthusiast vehicles such as the 2014 Porsche Cayman. The cat-back, center-exit system is a bolt-on replacement for the stock pipes and is compatible with an optional Borla aluminum diffuser kit.
AccuAir Audi B8
Since our extensive test between coilovers and air suspension in the 11/13 issue, AccuAir has been assembling its air components for a complete suspension system for the B8 Audi A4 and S4 models. Its top-of-the-line self-leveling system comes with high-grade CNC aluminum sensor brackets that keep the system in constant contact with their self-adjusting modules to ensure good comfort and handling.
Designed in Germany and tested extensively on the legendary Nurburgring, Continental Tire's newest ultra high-performance tire was created for enthusiastic drivers looking to get ultimate in summer traction. It will initially only be available in ten different sizes, ranging from 225/40 ZR18 all the way up to 325/30 ZR19. The good news is that theContiForceContact is DOT-approved for street use and aggressive enough for track use.
Falken ZIEX ZE950 A/S
The ZIEX ZE950 A/S features Dynamic Range Technology (DRT), Falken's exclusive compound technology providing maximum performance in a wide range of climate conditions, along with an innovative tread design. These features have attributed to 18% better tread life and 10% better winter traction compared to the previous ZIEX ZE912 all-season tire.
Vossen Flow Form Wheels
Wheels can create a unique personality for your car and the creative minds at Vossen debuted a new line that's sure to get you some attention. These included two new Flow Form series wheels as well as a range of CVT wheels that should be available soon.
Meguiar's Ultimate Black
Getting faded black trim back to its original luster isn't easy, but the team at Meguiar's has created another user-friendly solution; pre-moistened foam sponges that enable quick and easy application of Ultimate Black - the company's best trim dressing. The durable sponges are perfectly sized and considerably easier to handle than a thin foam sponge. With Meguiar's Ultimate Black Sponges, you can dress all exterior plastic and rubber surfaces quickly and without mess.
Scorpion Ti exhaust
Created by Scorpion Exhaust, the new titanium system for the VW Golf R is completely handcrafted, only weighing 15 lb and retailing for around $3000. If you want a great sound, good weight saving and looks, it's a good option.
Billet Specialties is a premier hot rod and musclecar wheel company that's decided to expand beyond its traditional 1950s inspired wheels. The new B-Forged line rivals designs found elsewhere and bforgedwheels.com has a new online Wheel Visualizer with many late-model European cars for you to check out.
As far as European presence was concerned, H&R hit it out of the park, debuting new suspension kits as well as lowered versions of three of the most anticipated tuner cars - the BMW 435i, Mk7 VW Golf and Audi RS7.