Choosing the perfect aftermarket bodykit mods for your car

Buying Body Kits

If you are wanting to change the look of a vehicle then there are a wide range of options to consider such as; window tinting, a dechrome, changing the colour of the car with a wrap, changing body panels (widebody) or attaching aftermarket body kit parts.

As with many of the features we have today in modern cars, body kits initially took inspiration from motorsport where they were developed to improve the performance of a car on the track. By manipulating airflow, body kits enable racing drivers to go faster without compromising as much on handling performance. A good example of downforce at work is during Formula 1 where the cars have better grip going faster than they do going slower because of the downforce they generate.

Whilst you can get body kits for your car that will improve performance on the track, the majority of users that put them on their car do so to improve the look of a vehicle on the road.

Here are the main components that make up a “complete body kit’

Front Splitters

Front splitters do what they say, their purpose is to “split” the air around your vehicle but just as importantly it’ll look cool as hell. Front splitters attach to the bottom of your bumper and will appear as a flat extension on the front of your car.

We always advise that owners take care when installing a splitter on their car. Depending on the car you have and whether you have adjusted the suspension you need to ensure that you have ground clearance when using the car issues can occur; entering a multi-story car part, getting over speed bumps or even getting on/off a hill/curb/driveway.

Canards

Canards, also known as dive plates are small fabricated pieces of plastic or carbon fibre that attach to the bumper of a car, usually at either side of the front bumper to modify the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

Recently canards came in to fashion from manufacturers installing them directly on the vehicle from factiory for example on the aero kit on the A45 and also the Mk7.5 Golf R facelift.

Canards will usually be the finishing touch to a vehicle as they are only a small addition to the overall aesthetic.

Side Skirts

Side skirts like the rest of a body kit are used to continue the downforce effects from the splitter by ensuring that the airflow from the side of the car doesn’t creep underneath It and affect downforce. On your street vehicle though it’s very much the aesthetic impact on a cars look that has people purchasing side skirts. They will tend to be the third or fourth part of the body kit people buy as owners tend to buy the splitter, diffuser and spoiler first as they will have a more striking look.

If you are putting side skirts on your car then make sure you take care when you park, it’s very easy to forget that your car now sticks out a little bit more and is a little lower on the sides. Many people forget this and end up nicking their side skirts on curbs or other small obstacles at the roadside/ in car parks.

Rear Spats/Winglets (rear canards)

Rear spats or winglets as they can also be known are like the front canards – they don’t tend to get the attention that the rest of the body kit will get because they are only a small addition. They can however, take the silhouette of the car to the next level and make it look even more aggressive.

Spoilers/Lips

Spoilers get a bad reputation because some individuals decide to go over the top when putting one on their car. We always advise against this as it’s a much better finish if you go for something that’s more OEM+ rather than a huge spoiler that just looks out of place and doesn’t fit the car at all, you know, the ones you tend to see on late 90s civics or S2000s.

Rear Diffusers/Valances

The rear diffuser is attaches the underbody of the car at the rear and will usually fit around the exhaust tips, the function of a rear diffuser is to “diffuse” the airflow from the rear of the car increasing the downforce of the vehicle improving grip and reducing aerodynamic drag. They are the additional section of the car that gives the back end that “complete” look. Stock models of many cars come with a rear diffuser that has zero effect on performance but is there for aesthetics, however, they rarely look anywhere near as good as a strong aftermarket one that you can replace it with.

Bonnet Accessories

Bonnet accessories cover any aftermarket part that would be installed on a bonnet. This could be anything such as;

  • Bonnet vents – made infamous on the Ford Focus RS. From a functional point of view, bonnet vents were conceived to help with engine cooling.
  • Bonnet extensions – these will sit at the top of the bonnet and actually cover the wipers hiding them from view giving you a cleaner look.

When it comes to aesthetic, bonnet accessories are quite a rare addition to a street vehicle so if you do decide to buy some accessories for your bonnet then it will help to make your car more unique.

There are a wide range of aftermarket kits available from a variety of suppliers, what you go for will depend entirely on the results that you’re looking for and budget, whether that is something subtle that looks OEM or something super aggressive and makes your car look far from standard.

Body kits and their individual parts will have a range of prices depending on the material, style and manufacturer so make sure you review all the options before pulling the trigger.

Maxton Design

Progressive Parts are now a proud supplier and installer of Maxton Design kits. There are several reasons we decided to stock Maxton Design, here are a few;

Maxton Design are established – Maxton Design have been operating since 2006 and building a fantastic reputation over the past few years for how they change the look of a car with a few choice non-permanent additions to the body of the car.

Maxton Design products are also really reasonably priced – If like many people you have to be responsible with your petrolhead addiction, then Maxton Design parts are a quality product without breaking the bank. You can also purchase any parts of the kit one part at a time. That is where the real beauty of Maxton Design products lies – they are modular. You don’t have to purchase the entire kit in one go for your car, you can buy it one piece at a time. Therefore, if you only like the look of one of the body kit parts for your car you don’t have to install the rest – you can pick and choose. If you’re looking to start modifying the exterior of your vehicle then you can start small with just a single modification such as a lip spoiler or you could go big and purchase the entire set; front splitter, side skirts, diffuser and spoiler and complete the look!

Here at Progressive Parts, we’re also happy to install your Maxton Design body kit parts if you purchase from our site just let us know when you’d like it fitting and we can get you booked into our workshop.

Body kit buying tips

Check long term reviews of the products

See if the manufacturer has reviews on their site or if they have reviews on Google or a site like Trustpilot.

Another place to check out is the forums, here you should find unbiased reviews from individuals who have parted with their cash and have bought these parts, installed them on their car and driven them around with them on, that way you’ll find out about the longevity of the parts.

If all else fails, simply google “manufacturer reviews” to see if anyone has spoken about their experience with the products.

Take a look at the variety of styles and see which one has the end “finish” that you’re looking for.

There are a variety of different body kit manufacturers for a wide variety of car makes and models. They will also usually produce a variety of styles for each manufacturer so it’s likely that there will be a style that is the best fit for you.

One of the reasons we are proud to supply Maxton Design parts is that they have a variety of styles and also finishes so whether you’re looking for matt or gloss black or even carbon fibre then we have the finish for you.

As always if you have any questions at all then get in touch for a free quote.

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