How to improve your car’s handling for street, track and everything in-between

As glamorous and exciting as it may be to continually seek out ways to extract greater break horsepower from your vehicle, you don’t necessarily have to go anywhere near the engine to significantly bolster your car’s performance on the road or a circuit.

We’re referring, of course, to the various steps that you can take to upgrade your car’s handling.

Sure, it might seem like a slightly less ‘tangible’ enhancement to make to a car than others. But given the huge experience it can make to how much fun your car is to drive – and potentially such other aspects as its fuel economy, rate of tyre wear and even safety – it’s an aspect of your four-wheeled pride and joy that we’d really urge you not to overlook.

So, here are just some of the changes that we would urge you to make to bolster the handling of your car in all of the right ways.

Invest in some lowering springs

The suspension of your vehicle is central to how it handles – but safety, quietness and comfort tend to be the major priorities for car manufacturers when they tune the suspension of a vehicle. This means that the factory suspension your car comes with is likely to represent a compromise, which in turn, means there will be plenty of scope to retune it with aftermarket parts.

Among the most popular such parts are lowering springs, which – when fitted in place of a car’s original springs – can greatly lower its centre of gravity. Lowering springs are not only shorter than standard springs, but are also usually stiffer to reduce body roll around corners and compression during weight transfer (such as hard acceleration or braking).

Strong-selling lowering springs in our own online store here at Progressive Parts include Racingline Sport Lowering Springs for the Mk7 VW Golf R/GTI and the Emmanuele Design eMMOTION VW Mk7 Golf GTI Lowering Spring Kit, which give you the aesthetic and other benefits of lowering springs without sacrificing ride quality.

The Best Mk7 Golf R/GTI Lowering Springs

Racingline Golf R Lowering Springs

Get serious with a sports suspension or coilover kit

If simply fitting lowering springs doesn’t seem a substantial enough move for you, why not put your hard-earned towards a more comprehensive replacement kit?

Doing so will give you the benefit of dampers that are tuned to match your new springs, so that they don’t feel too soft, bouncy or liable to wear out quicker. Instead, a sports suspension kit can give you a stiffer spring alongside an uprated damper to provide a more controlled ride, especially over uneven surfaces.

For the ultimate in control and adjustability from your chosen kit, though, you need to look out for the word ‘coilover’. This is a type of suspension that is height-adjustable, thereby enabling you to get closer to the optimum handling setup.

We’re pleased to be able to offer such coilover kits in our online store as the Bilstein B16 PSS10 Coilover Kit, which can be fitted to such vehicles as the 2015-2017 Audi A3 and 2015-17 Volkswagen Golf R, and makes possible the parallel mechanical setting of rebound and compression with the simple twist of a dial.

The Best Coilover Kits for the Mk7 Golf R/GTI


Fit a stiffer anti-roll bar where there is presently a weak one

We might all think we have a decent idea of what an anti-roll bar is, but it’s difficult for many of us to explain how they work. In short, anti-roll bars are all about reducing body roll during hard cornering by transferring some of the forces generated on one side of a vehicle’s suspension to the other side. This serves to minimise how much a car leans while cornering, which means greater traction and speed around the bends.

If your car is a standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicle, it’ll probably have a stiff front anti-roll bar and a weaker anti-roll bar at the rear, making the latter the obvious one to upgrade. It’s often the opposite situation with rear-wheel-drive (RWD) cars.

Best-selling related options here at Progressive Parts include the 034Motorsport Performance Handling Kit, which is actually designed solely for four-wheel-drive (4WD) cars, and the same brand’s Adjustable MQB Solid Rear Sway, which is a bolt-on replacement for the hollow factory rear sway bar of MQB-platform vehicles such as the Mk7 Volkswagen Golf R and the 2015 Audi S3.


What other adjustments could you make to make your car handle better?

With other options for enhancing your car’s handling that you can presently find in the Progressive Parts online store including subframe inserts like the 034Motorsport Billet Aluminium MQB Dogbone Mount Insert and camber/strut mounts such as SuperPro’s VAG MQB Offset Strut Camber Mounts, there’s no shortage of possibilities.

There’s a little something of everything in our online range for extracting ever-greater performance from your vehicle, encompassing the finest in braces and struts, bushes, coilover kits, spring and damper kits, subframe accessories and more – so why not enquire today for more specific guidance?

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