When you're looking for a set of lowering springs, you are bombarded with many choices, each company claiming to be better than the next. The most important question besides "How low you want to go?" is "Were the springs designed for a U.S.-spec vehicle or were they imported and just happened to fit?" The latter scenario is more common than you think and can often lead to uneven ride height, bouncy ride, and overall poor performance. The differences between the U.S.-spec model and its European cousin include weight, spring rates, and shock valving. Neuspeed Sport Springs for the new 2010 VW GTI are designed and tested at the Camarillo, Calif., facility specifically for and on the U.S.-spec GTI. In addition to the 1-inch drop, the springs help reduce body roll during cornering and dive under heavy braking.
Flex is not limited to the vehicle's upper strut towers; it can occur at any weak point where energy is transferred through the chassis. Car manufacturers do what they can to eliminate chassis flex and some do a better job than others. In the end it really comes down to two things: cost and comfort. The more flex you eliminate the more it costs and the ride quality diminishes. Manufacturers' attempts to reduce flex are more obvious when you compare a sport and non-sport version of the same vehicle-you will often see parts of the chassis that have been reinforced and a possible tie-bar or two installed on the sportier model. And even though the '09 VW GTI is considered a sporty model, Volkswagen doesn't treat its underpinnings any differently than a standard 2.5L Rabbit. That's why GTSPEC has developed a complete line of under-vehicle chassis braces. Each GTSPEC brace is designed to increase rigidity by targeting a specific point of chassis flex and reduce its effect, resulting in increased steering response and sharper handling.
Front Lower Tie Brace Price: $160.00
Mid Chassis Brace Price: $114.00
Rear Lower Tie U Brace Price: $114.00
Rear Lateral Tie Brace Price: $160.00
An often-overlooked problem is incorrect suspension geometry-not only does it impact your drive, but also your wallet. I am often amazed when people spend $800 or more on a set of ultra sticky tires and then don't check the vehicle's alignment. Instead of letting you take full advantage of the new tires, they'll be unevenly worn away and in six months you'll be in need of another set. The difference between an increase in handling and an increase in wear can be as little as a half a degree of camber. On most modern VWs, the front suspension is set from the factory and is nonadjustable. So if the front alignment shows the camber to be off, the whole stock front suspension will need to be changed. H2Sport came up with a quick fix solution: sport camber mounts with 0, 0.5, 1.5, 2.0 degrees of camber adjustment, enabling you to either fix or enhance your vehicle's handling characteristics by ensuring optimal tire contact patch. The H2Sport mounts are made from billet aluminum, with stainless steel hardware, PTFE line bearings, and are a direct replacement for the factory upper strut mount.
Upgrading antiroll bars is an effective way of enhancing handling characteristics of any vehicle, even if the rest of the car is stock. Since the antiroll bar is linked to both sides of the suspension, it evens out compression that occurs during cornering when the body of the vehicle rolls under the force of the turn. Increasing the bars' rigidity translates into less body roll, which gives increased handling and stability by balancing the chassis and reducing recovery time after a turn and providing even tire contact. Most daily drivers will benefit greatly by simply swapping out the rear bar. If you're looking to go beyond the daily driver setup for something that will allow you to tear apart a canyon, look into a full antiroll bar set like the Hotchkis Sport Sway Bar package for the E36 BMW 3 Series. While components and details vary based on the vehicle, the concept is the same. The kit for the E36 features 33.4mm front and 25.4mm rear adjustable antiroll bars, bolt-in rear subframe reinforcement brackets, adjustable end links, and greasable polyurethane bushings.