Question of the Day: How Much Tuning is Too Much Tuning?

Warning: you might want to turn down your volume when that Audi TT with a new turbo upgrade hits full boost. The last time I heard a whine like that was when the Pratt & Whitney engines on my jet spooled-up, developing 21k lbs of thrust apiece; and it only does 0 – 60 mph in about 15 seconds (and then 60 – 250 mph in another 15). Which brings me to my question. I've seen many a car "tuned" beyond belief, many with ridiculous body kits to emphasize the fact. How much tuning on a car it too much? When does the tuning destroy the car's original character and turn it into a peaky, unreliable mess? I like it when people modify cars, especially when it builds upon the car's strengths and tones down its weakness (like the above Audi). But looking around me on Friday nights, sometimes I think it gets a bit extreme. What say you?

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4 of 27 comments
  • R H R H on Aug 29, 2008

    Putting pretty much any amount of tuning into a car that is primarily street driven is a waste of cash. Any money I'd put into my STi, I'd rather put towards a litrebike which at the end of summer I can snag for $9-10k new with warranty and does a high 9's stock 1/4 mile. Way faster than I ever need. Also: I do not consider replacing stock, worn out parts (pads, rotors, other consumables) with stronger/better quality parts "tuning". Side note: I do not consider "going fast in a straight line at all costs" worth putting money into. Getting better track times might be....but I can name on one hand guys I know who hit the track. I also think track/driving classes are better to put money into than parts.

  • RFortier1796 RFortier1796 on Aug 29, 2008

    Too much tuning? No such thing. Stock is boring.

  • Pete_S4 Pete_S4 on Aug 29, 2008

    "I usually dont like excessive Tunning, but there’s a guy in the UAE that goes by the name of Mohamed Bin Sullayem, 14 times FIA middle east rally champion with too much money to spare." I think I've seen that guy on the road. I lived in Dubai 2004-05 and I saw him or at least his Enzo on Sheikh Zayed Rd. between interchanges 1 and 2. You know he was on the "list" when the Enzos were for sale. As for tuning. I have a pretty modified S4 wagon with the bigger K04 turbos off the RS4 of the same generation. But with everything I have done I have kept it as stock looking as possible. Silver Stoptech brakes so they don't stick out. No front mount intercooler and I'm even planning to raise my car a little bit when I get some coil overs to replace my worn bilstein shock / lowering spring combination. As for my engine, unless you know what you are looking for, most people would see a stock engine when you lift the hood. As for power the car really has enough at 450 HP. While a little less punchy than the K03 off the line the K04s are by no means too big for the engine. While going with the bigger RS6 K04s that some people are now doing or even the few odd ball Garrett turbos would be "nice". The reality (aside from the big money involved) is that the power not at all usable on the street and even questionable for HPDEs. It's really most useful for dyno queens and drag racers. If you want a turbo dyno queen or drag racer you are probably better off anyway with the cheaper to modify Evos or STIs.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Aug 29, 2008

    It's your car, as far as performance goes, do what you want as long as you upgrade the brakes and tires to keep up.. It's OUR community. Keep the excess noise and tire marks for the track.