American Muscle in Europe
Car tuning and modifying has been around for nearly as long as cars themselves. It can range all the way from an exhaust back box to a complete engine and body overhaul.
Modifying has taken place in Europe and the States, but until recently, we have focussed on our market and they've focussed on theirs. I have been subscribed on YouTube to a company called APR for a few months now, who are American. They are different because they solely focus on VW brand cars (VW, Audi, Seat etc.) Some of their videos are a cocktail of naughty supercharger noises and tyre-shredding acceleration times from inconspicuous models like Golfs, A3s and the like. Quite interesting.
This offers a great alternative to the usual 'chipping' and 'remapping' that most people who want to modify their cars opt for. Although these mainly improve performance and/or economy on diesel and turbocharged only.
At the moment, APR only operates on the other side of the pond, but they are a proper outfit with serious research and testing facilities, and could easily manage an expansion to give us a taste of extra power and enjoyment from our company rep mobiles.
More recently, and possibly more intruigingly, is the very recent story of the Shelby American Focus ST. What great potential a car with those words together has! This again shows an American tuning company getting their hands on what is predominantly a European car. And the even better news is that Shelby DO sell in Europe, so we could get to drive one of these creations.
I think it's great how we are becoming exposed to different variations of cars we are so used to seeing and knowing the personality of. With this breath of fresh air and a new alter ego for every day cars we are used to seeing opens many doors, which could offer you as an owner a whole new driving experience with relatively little outlay. Obviously a professional job to ensure the handling and ride etc. are not upset would be in the thousands, but if you treat it as a new car, that's still going to be less than the cheapest new car on sale in the UK today.
It's still in its early stages, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on, and if you're anything like me then something to be rather excited about!