No more run of the mill for me
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The sheer volume of sports packages available when you’re buying a new or used vehicle can be overwhelming, particularly when you’re trying to tell one from the other.
Sports packages offer a combination of extra features for drivers who want more than the run-of-the-mill model. They vary significantly. Some include simple body work details such as additional spoilers and graphics, others offer a vehicle makeover.
Now manufacturers are also supplementing packages with comprehensive safety assistant technologies, so it pays to know what to look out for.
The most obvious benefit of a sports package will cover changes to the look of a vehicle, such as various body work embellishments.
Additional spoilers and scoops may give a car a new appearance, but they can also improve its stability at high speeds.
Adding factory side skirts and flarings can give the vehicle a sportier look and the appearance of a lower profile, without modifying the suspension setup.
Some manufacturers entice consumers into buying the extra package by offering selected paint jobs and often they’ll include specific performance graphic overlays and stickers, too.
This part of the package is usually the biggest drawcard, especially for drivers who want their vehicle to stand out from the crowd.
There are a number of ways to increase the power output. As well as making mechanical modifications via higher compression ratios and changes to the camshaft profiles, manufacturers are more commonly increasing the output of engines through electronic control unit (ECU) mapping.
Although mechanical modifications result in dramatic alterations, which can be costly, ECU mapping is much easier — and it’s cheaper.
Steering and suspension
If you’re passionate about handling, look and the driving experience, a combination of improvements to the suspension and steering systems can be worthwhile.
Heavier roll bars, lighter suspension components, stronger bushings and larger brakes will often be included to improve handling.
Different wheel and tyre options can improve a vehicle’s handling further, as well as giving it a more striking look.
Before you choose to buy a sports package, think about the road conditions you regularly drive on.
If you spend most of the time on rougher roads, having a firm suspension and low-profile tyres will affect the comfort of your ride.
In today’s market, manufacturers are also starting to include safety features as part of their sport packages, which makes sense given that one crash could wreck the vehicle you’ve invested so much in.
The most common features included in a sports package are lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
Sport packages allow drivers to tailor their vehicle to their needs and taste. When it comes to selling your vehicle, though, this can make things more difficult, especially if the alterations are drastic — not everyone has the same tastes.
Modifying your vehicle through factory upgrades helps ensure that your vehicle remains in line with WoF requirements, plus you won’t void your manufacturer’s warranty. Make sure you choose a sports package carefully and remember that they aren’t available from the factory indefinitely.
If you change your mind after you’ve bought the car and find out that the package that you wanted is no longer available, you could end up feeling a little disappointed.
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