Blog

Apr
12
2017

Five ways to customize your BMW

Photos courtesy of SportsCar Boutique.

What makes your BMW your BMW?

That’s a question that Ilker Starck, owner of SportsCar Boutique (SCB), helps people answer every day. Starck and his wife Isabel founded the company in 2010 after decades of experience in the motorsport and performance auto businesses. Today, they use their knowledge and passion to guide car owners into aftermarket upgrades that take their cars to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for an upgrade to make your whip even snappier on the track, or just something to set your prized vehicle apart from a visual perspective, SCB has the solution. They use only the best aftermarket products and brands, and service exclusively vehicles from high-end brands like BMW. (Their hoists have seen many an M series.)

Starck explains that step one is a crucial consultation—measure twice cut once type thing. “We really quiz the customer before we go down the path because we don’t want anyone to leave unhappy about a recommended upgrade,” he says. “Of course we do what the customer wants done to their car, but we always brief them about how the car may handle and what the end result may be.”

We chatted with Starck to learn about some of the most popular upgrades BMW owners make and why. Here’s what you need to know about the 5 most common aftermarket upgrades for BMWs.

 

Wheels:

We do a lot of wheels with these cars, to make them a little lighter on all four corners and to give them a certain look. When manufacturers put out a car, they have heavier sturdier wheels that are meant for everybody. When we do wheels, it’s usually for enthusiasts.

For the last seven years we’ve been working with HRE Wheels in California, which are, for me, hands down the best brand in the world when it comes to wheels. The weight is significantly less and the design is very distinctive and unique.

Also, today you have a tremendous number of style choices–you can choose the colour, a certain brushed finish, a certain glossy, shiny finish, a matte finish. You only have a handful of options when you order a car from a dealer, so this allows us to not only work with some dealerships like Policaro BMW to make their cars even more attractive to that five per cent of clientele that’s looking for that, but also to give the option to an owner to do something more unique with their car beyond what the dealership offers.

A lot of customers, typical of human behavior, see a look, get used to a look and then want that look. We keep pushing for that next look. We advertise it, we market it, we put it on our demo vehicles. BMW Policaro has a beautiful i8, for example, that we put some blue wheels on–we’re always pushing for that next interesting look. Right now we are pretty much at the peak of extremes when it comes to colour. I personally predict it’s going to go back to classic. I really think that it’s long overdue that we’ll be presenting wheels in silver tones.

Brakes:

When you drive these cars hard and take them to the track every now and then, the brakes can get too hot or fade. That requires a little bit more frequent maintenance on the brake fluid and the brake pads. And once the original brake pads wear down, somebody who uses the car for sporty driving or on the track, may want to switch to some German endurance pads, or race pads. They may be sometimes a little bit noisier, but the braking power is really, really nice. And we’ll upgrade the fluids too–brake fluids that have a higher boiling point help with brake feel and also to make sure the brakes don’t get too hot too quick.

 

Exhaust:

I think the biggest reason people change their exhaust is the sound, but part of it is weight, too. Our exhausts are half the weight in most cases. A titanium exhaust system is super light, very sturdy and beautiful in finish. We do make OEM exhausts for some of the manufacturers, including BMW.

Also, in turbo cars, there’s the performance factor. In turbo cars you’ll see a performance gain right away.

And lastly, there’s the visual enhancement. We offer finishes with titanium tips or carbon fiber tips, because people want other people to recognize that they have spent the money and are sporting a very nice exhaust system.

 

Aerodynamic parts:

We do a lot of front spoilers and diffusers–these are the most common parts we put on in terms of aerodynamics. Again, these additions can improve performance and change the look of the car. There are also some side pieces like side winglets that we can do. And in some cases we do carbon fiber hoods, side vents, things like that. Depending on what car model it is, there are a few options, but the most common are the front lip and rear diffuser.

Usually it’s carbon fibre that we’re working with, or a part that gets painted to match.

Interior trim:

The quick add-ons are trim pieces. A lot of customers want sportier seats. So, if the seat that comes with the car is not giving them enough stability for their style of driving, then we can outsource a seat from one of our race manufacturing partners.

We can also go as far as key fob covers for some of the companies and special mats that they offer. We’ve even changed a whole cluster for somebody that wanted red instrument dials. We don’t do everything in house, but we have partners who can get it done, all the way up to getting the seats reupholstered.

SCB and Policaro BMW have a exclusive partnership. If you are interested in  making any modifications to your BMW, give us a call.