Macht Schnell Anodized Battery Tray
There's no arguing that street cars just keep getting heavier. So if you like to hit the track with your also-street-driven vehicle and enjoy seeing ever-increasing returns on your lap times, one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to do so is by reducing weight. Short of tearing out your back seat, there are a couple key areas you can look at to quickly shed mass and improve ETs.
If you drive a BMW, one of those areas is the factory battery, sunk into the spare tire well at the bottom of the trunk (or what used to be the spare well if you drive a Bimmer equipped with run-flat tires). By using a lightweight battery you can instantly lose upwards of 50 pounds. Of course, using a smaller racing battery will necessitate strapping it down in some way-a loose battery inside the trunk is not a good fix, whether it's loose on the street or on the track.
Macht Schnell has an ideal solution, this anodized billet battery tray. It's designed to accommodate eight different models of "no weight" Braille batteries, from the 11.5-pound B14115 to the 21-pound B3121.
You sort of have to hold it in your hands to really appreciate this piece; it's built like the proverbial tank, with both longevity and corrosion resistance in mind. It is digitally CAD-designed down to the old-school Macht Schnell logo etched into the holder brace. Based on the digital schematics, which are fed into a Dimension 768 "3D printer" prototyping machine, a three-dimensional prototype is built from thin air (albeit in plastic) for inspection.
When the design is finally approved for mass production, said production begins in earnest. Only then is the piece CNC machined to the exact determined specs; 6061-T6 aerospace aluminum is the order of the day, of course. This is then black anodized for additional strength and wear resistance. The only parts not CNC machined or black anodized are the fastener bits, which are of the corrosion resistant class 10.9 variety.
The result is an ultra-tough (and admittedly slick-looking) tray and brace assembly whose overall footprint matches the exact physical dimensions of the OEM battery. The tray itself weighs about 2.5 pounds, which definitely lends it a satisfying, hefty tactile feel... you don't want to drop this thing on your foot. But combine it with an 11-and-a-half-pound battery and you've reduced the overall weight of your electrical power source to a mere 14 pounds.
This is an ideal upgrade for the grassroots racer who also frequently drives the same car to work. The top-mounted terminal indicator can be easily reversed for left/right positive terminals. And if you don't like the thought of using a race battery on the street, or if the car needs to sit for a spell, the whole assembly can be easily swapped out for the O.E. battery in minutes. The tray can be applied to any 2006 and newer E90/92/93 3 Series (including the M3), as well as the 2008 and newer 1 Series. -Karl Funke
Some like their vinyl, rubber and plastic trim to have an eye-popping shine; others prefer a deep, natural luster. Whichever one you are, Meguiar's offers two products to fill each need. Supreme Shine Protectant is formulated to deepen color and greatly increase shine, while powerful UV blockers defend against sun damage. Natural Shine Protectant is formulated to give the same level of protection with a more subtle glossy finish. It also reduces reflective glare, important when applying product to your dashboard.
Boston Acoustics has introduced a new line of drop-in mobile audio speakers, the SR Series. SR Series speakers feature a Type-S1 Kortec-reinforced tweeter with a Type-S1 neodymium magnet for an extraordinary power-to-size performance ratio. Likewise, SR Series woofers feature a copolymer cone and durable butyl rubber surround for a strong defense in harsh operating environments. The SR Series is available in six models; three component: SR60 (6.5-inch), SR80 (5x7-inch), and SR50 (5.25-inch); and three coaxial: SR95 (6x9-inch), SR65 (6.5-inch), and SR55 (5.25-inch). The speakers are designed as drop-in OEM replacements but can also serve as high-performance upgrades to existing systems.
AFE's Super Stock intake system for the E46 (2001-2007) M3 incorporates a signature AFE performance filter with an inlet tube specifically designed to maximize air velocity and improve power, torque, and throttle response. Also included with the kit, AFE's new Dynamic Air Scoops, or DAS, are engineered to guide cold air from outside the engine bay and expedite it to the upper engine compartment. Two parts numbers are available-55-10460, with a patented Pro-5R filter using five layers of progressive cotton media, and 55-10461, with the new Pro Dry S filter using two layers of progressive synthetic media that requires no oil to recharge for maximum convenience.
Advanced Flow Engineering
NM Engineering exhaust systems are constructed 100 percent from aerospace-grade T304 stainless steel inside and out. Large-diameter metric-sized tubing and low-restriction mufflers are designed to both reduce weight and provide a more aggressive, yet still subtle, exhaust note-importantly, with no in-car drone at speed. The system, engineered for the R56 MINI Cooper S, also includes a luster polished finish, CNC mandrel bends (of course), and flanges and mounting hangers designed for an OEM-like fit.
VW/Audi's latest 2.0 TSI engines are hampered by two primary choke points in the intake tract. Neuspeed's Hi-Flow Turbo Discharge and Hi-Flow Aircharge pipes are engineered to eliminate them. The former replaces the "pancaked" OEM unit with a full-diameter pipe and silicone hose combination; it also includes a new billet discharge adapter to further reduce turbulence and reversion at the turbocharger. The latter is designed to remove the restriction between the intercooler and throttle body, with a straight-through design and larger diameter. It also eliminates the OEM sound amplifier on cars equipped with that device. $169.95 and $249.95 respectively.