TVA New Beetle
When the New Beetle Cabriolet hit dealer showrooms in 2003, TVA, a firm specializing in New Beetle and MINI Cooper accessories, was among the first to take delivery of the beguiling new ragtop. Having had honed its skills on several nicely modified NB project cars, TVA dressed up the Harvest Moon Beige Cabriolet with a catalog's worth of aesthetic and performance parts.

A complete Caractere body kit adds an edge to the cute little cab: front and rear valances, rear central exhaust cutout, and side skirts ideally accent the stock body contours, as does a Bernt upper hood cowl, designed to conceal the wiper assembly. Chrome Altezza lamps from APC and clear marker lights add further distinctive touches.

The car rides on attractive TSW 7x18-in. Heaven wheels, wrapped with Toyo Proxes performance rubber, size 225/40-18 all around.

Eibach's Pro-Kit spring and Pro-Damper strut and shock replacements are a definite improvement over the mushy stock stuff, allowing the NB's handling skills to blossom. The mods give an approximately 1.5-in. drop, whnich helps the car's looks as well as its balance. And a valuable addition to the engine bay is ABD Racing's upper stress bar, adding welcome rigidity to the front end.

While it's true the 2.0-liter isn't the most fearsome creature around, it is an effective powerplant, the modest 115 bhp made more palatable by the motor's stout construction and time-tested reliability. An ABD Racing Quick Flow intake for increased airflow efficiency rounds out the performance program.

The open air interior is bursting with color-coordinated panels and such various polished aluminum pieces as the shift knob and hand brake cover. The combination, subtle yet charismatic, works well for the nifty droptop.

AC Schnitzer AC S4
With more than three decades in BMW Motorsport activities, AC Schnitzer is expert in the preparation of BMWs. The heart of this S4 model is its 3.0-liter supercharged engine, which produces a stout 295 bhp and adds 59 lb-ft (80Nm) of torque. Other performance-enhancing parts include a full stainless-steel exhaust, 334x32mm front-brake kit, sport suspension and a variety of wheel/tire packages.

A subtle body kit was designed to flow with the Z4's dramatic shape. A front spoiler appendage said to increase downforce, and along the side are Schnitzer side skirts with integrated brake-cooling ducts. The rear end is enhanced by a two-piece wing and skirt.

Inside is a complete AC Schnitzer dress-up kit: carbon-fiber interior trim, door sills, sport steering wheel and aluminum handbrake handle, shift knob, foot rest and pedal covers. A carbon-fiber automatic transmission selector is in the works.

By Brendan Lopez,
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