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10 ways to make your car lighter and faster

10 ways to make your car lighter and faster

Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 4th July 2016

A lighter car is a faster car. Find out how you can make your car quicker with our 10 ways to make your car lighter and faster…

Don’t worry, we’ve not gone all Woman’s Own on your arses. We’re not about to suggest you rock up to to the local Zumba class and start shaking your booty like a polaroid picture. Heaven forbid.

Nope, what we’re interested in here is finding that perfect weight-loss programme for your motor to improve both handling and performance. Not something you’re gonna hear too much about at the next Slimming World meeting.

It’s definitely an important part of optimising your tuning though because, when you think about it, shedding excess pounds does exactly the same thing as adding horse power… and God knows we’ve all spent plenty of cash over the years trying to gain a bit of extra grunt on our projects.

So, obviously there’s nothing else for it, it’s time to start fighting that fat, and here’s our top 10 places to start…

make your car lighter and faster

The Science
If you’ll allow me to slap on my corduroy science teacher trousers for a minute I can explain that power to weight ratios are everything in the pursuit of ultimate performance. That’s the reason you don’t see many race cars with 15-subwoofers in the boot and why a nuclear-powered oil tanker with 35000bhp will still be beaten in a race by your Nan on her mobility scooter.

When you’re looking at weight vs power think about this. If you’ve got a car that weighs 2000kg with 200bhp, that’s a ratio of 2000:200 or 10:1. This also means every single horsepower has to push along 10kg. If you can save 200kg in mass, the ratio becomes 9:1 – a 10-percent increase in acceleration, and real-world power. You’ll get more MPG too!

make your car lighter and faster

1. Need it? No, then shift it!
The easiest, not to mention cheapest, way of saving weight is the most obvious – stripping out all the stuff you don’t need. The thing to think about is how far you want to go, especially if you want to keep your car usable on the road.

Obviously the most hardcore regimes, ones where you’re looking to ditch all the trim, cut away excess metal and scrape away any sound deadening, will always yield the most impressive gains. On plenty of cars just removing the carpet can save 7-8kg for a start.

Of course, no one’s forcing you to go mental, something as simple as clearing out all the old tools and rubbish knocking around your boot can save more weight than you think. It’s also worth knowing that a full sized spare wheel on an older can weigh up to 20kg while a can of Tyreweld weighs next to sod all. When was the last time you got a puncture eh?

Weight loss: From a few kg to a lot!
Cost: Mostly free

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