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Attention all tuners, car lovers, enthusiasts, rev heads, tinkerers and speed demons. This article is for anyone who ever wanted more. More what you say? More opportunity to tune your car and increase its power, handling and style. If tuning is your game, then we’ve got you covered with ten of the most popular cars to tweak and modify in Australia.
If you are an amateur tuner and want a fun little project to sink your teeth into, the Honda Civic is the perfect choice. It’s a sensible place to start because of its simplistic front end drive design, great handling and tough transmission. Whether it’s a body kit mod and a flashy spoiler, or overall engine tune up, tuners will love the difference they can make to this little pocket rocket. The Civic is easy to find second hand with plenty of affordable mods available online. The beauty of the Civic is that it is lightweight and has the ability to accommodate numerous types of engine upgrades.
Any Ford Mustang, except the entry level V6, can be tuned for racing. Carroll Shelby first began the tradition of tuning Mustangs over 20 years ago with the release of his GT350. Due to this the Mustang GT has been a very popular choice with tuners, particularly throughout the 1980s and after the introduction of the “Fox Body” in 1979. Top things to tune on your Mustang include things like fluid levels, high wear parts (cooling system, belts and battery), spark plugs, brakes, oil and oil filter. It’s also worth looking at replacing the PCV valve which recycles air and unburnt gasses through the intake system.
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The Mazda MX-5 is well known for being one of the most easily modifiable cars for tuners worldwide. This roadster is so popular it is easy to find second hand models and parts for customizing. If you’re into track or road racing, drifting or autocross, the MX-5 is perfect for you. This really is a fun car to drive even though it’s not known for being one of the fastest. It has excellent handling, is built low to the ground and boasts a simple but flexible chassis. It’s a great choice for body kit modification and engine tuning. If you want to, you can even add a turbocharger or upgrade the engine to a small-block V8.
Mitsubishi has a great name and reputation both on and off the racetrack. Much of this is attributed to the Lancer Evolution model. Introduced in 2003, this is one of the most desired cars for tuners around the world. If you have the skills and knowledge, start with an upgrade to the turbo, exhaust system or body kit. The car has a sturdy all-wheel drive system and handles beautifully on the road or in a rally. If you can’t get your hands on an actual EVO, then the early 2000’s GLi and LS models make great project cars. Tuners can have a lot of fun with this little beauty.
A major competitor for the Mitsubishi Lancer, the Subaru WRX STI comes with everything a rev head wants straight from the factory. This little speed demon has a turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine that packs some powerful punch on the road. This car is seriously powerful. Popular mods for tuners include body and rollover kits, interior, tyres and wheels. The car is well known for its blue paint and bronze wheels models, so WRX tuners - don’t be afraid to shake things up a little.
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Toyota Supras aren’t cheap, but this naturally aspirated sports beauty from the mid-90s is so much fun. Toyota is known for its reliability and with the added bonus of plenty of modification parts and ideas available online, tuners will have a ball hotting up this more elusive crowd pleaser.
The Volkswagen GTI is arguably the most popular German manufactured car for tuning. This sporty little car has quite rightly earnt itself the nickname the “hot hatch”. Boasting practical performance, this car has its own collection of loyal fans, followers and tuners. As far as tuning goes, most focus on modifications relating to handling, control, power and racing. Becoming more popular are body kits and interior upgrades.
This wouldn’t be a review of the best cars available for Australian tuners if we didn’t include the very popular Holden Commodore. Most Australian families have owned a Commodore at some stage. These cars are popular for tuning because they are cheap and can be modified for bargain prices. Even though the production of this car no longer happens here in Australia, the culture and almost cult following behind it continue to make it a really fun car for tuners. The list of modifications you can make are endless due to its family car size. Engine, tyres, wheels, paintwork, body kits, exhaust, the list goes on. As Molly Meldrum says, do yourself a favour and get started on your first Commodore tuning project. It would be un-Australian of you not to.
Although of American origin, the Ford Falcon is yet another great Australian icon. Like the Commodore, production of this popular model is moving overseas, but with a plethora of second hand models available Australia-wide, tuners can look forward to years of tinkering with tyres, paintwork, body kits, exhaust, engines, transmission, wheels, interior and more. Join the Holden versus Ford debate and get going on creating a piece of Australian history you can educate our next generation with.
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Falcon and Commodore are big names when it comes to racing and touring cars in Australia, but in 1991 lovers of the Nissan Skyline GTS were jumping for joy when it became the first Japanese-made car to win the Bathurst 1000. Earning itself the nickname “Godzilla”, the car has since then gone on to become one of the most popular and iconic cars for tuners here in Australia. These cars aren’t famous for being economical but they are fun. Drive one of these babies and you won’t be disappointed.
So that’s it. Ten of our best picks for tuner cars right here in Australia. If you need help making a decision on body kits, contact us here at AusBody Works. We are Australia’s number #1 online seller of locally made and imported body kits.