Tuning World Bodensee: Eco-tuning

Pete Mait

"Germans love their tuning," says Ben Arnold, himself a tuning expert and managing editor of a German car magazine. "Extra low-riding Golf GTI's and Opels have become absolute classics." German tuners such as Brabus, Abt and Mansory are sometimes better known in Russia, Dubai and the US than they are at home. Affordable components make tuning a non-exclusive hobby - for example, sport pedals or door pins can be purchased for less than 100 euros. Of course, anyone looking to customise a standard vehicle that already comes from the factory with a high price tag can easily run up bills in excess of 100,000 euros.

Eco-tuning remains a hot topic in 2009 - a process that uses electronic modifications to enhance a vehicle's mileage. Daylight headlamps are also popular. This trend initiated by Audi has been well received by the tuning community and vehicles of all brands are now modifiable. Tuning expert Arnold says that this new environmental awareness marks the advent of slightly more modest modding: "Someone who had the cash to buy an orange BMW M5 might now just be satisfied with a 1 Series with implanted 300 hp diesel engine." Nevertheless, he adds, the urge to tune is definitely here to stay.