10 Products That Will Give Your Vehicle Extra Horsepower

Buying a new car can be an incredibly exciting experience. Sometimes, though, a driver may find that their car doesn't have enough "get up and go" compared to what they anticipated. This brings forth an interesting question: What do you do next?

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There are several answers to this question. Some may even go as far as to just get a different car or trade it in. However, there is another alternative: Modify your vehicle. This can seem like a difficult task to the average motorist, yet it can be a viable possibility that will significantly increase power and performance. With the current automotive market, there's plenty of options to chose from. The best, though, are these ten products that can really give your car that boost of much needed horsepower.

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10 High-Flow Catalytic Converter

Depending on where you live, emissions can be a serious part of your daily driving experience. In places like California and New York, motorist have to frequently have their cars checked for emission standards and pollution. One of the biggest components of a cars emission output is its catalytic converter.

Now, some may say, to increase power, just to remove the converter all together. However, as mentioned previously, this may not be a possibility for everyone. So, to remedy this, the best solution would be a 'high-flow' converter that can still help to reduce emissions, but in a quicker and more efficient manner.

9 ECU Tune

When discussing what to modify your vehicle with, many people may suggest things like turbos or intakes. Of course, these are good suggestions. However, sometimes you don't need a forced induction system or a cold-air intake to get power. It may just be enough to get a decent ECU tune.

The ECU (Engine Control Unit) is a significant aspect of the vehicle's motor. In essence, the ECU is the electronic brain behind the scenes; helping to regulate and distribute decisions and power throughout the engine. With a proper racing ECU and effective tune, and ECU upgrade can (Sometimes) be more effective than a turbo or exhaust.

8 Performance Fuel Injectors

Like with the ECU, the best upgrades can sometimes be the ones that not many think of. Another example of such an upgrade involves the vehicle's fuel injectors: Responsible for managing fuel into the engine.

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What performance fuel injectors do that standard ones don't can boost horsepower by a good bit. Basically, performance versions help more fuel to get to the engine, allowing for extra horsepower and acceleration. Even though gas milage may be affected by this, the increased performance is certainly worth the trade-off.

7 Intercooler Upgrade

This particular modification is more exclusive to the turbocharged vehicles. Nonetheless, a performance intercooler can liven up any boosted car. Also, with the right placement, it can greatly add to the car's aesthetics (if exposed).

An intercooler is an essential component inside of turbocharged vehicles. Not only does it act as an intake for turbocharged vehicles, but it also helps to cool and compress the air. With an upgrade, this process becomes much smoother and more efficient; aiding the turbos in producing more boost, staying cool, and having enough air to function properly.

6 Nitrous

Compared to some of the other upgrades on this list, Nitrous is probably the most extreme example. Nitrous is a true beast of a mod and, as a result, is not for the faint of heart. Any Fast and Furious fan could tell you that too much Nos (Slang for nitrous) can destroy a car completely.


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Although, if the driver is careful and professional in regards to their car's internals, nitrous can be a powerful tool for boosting horsepower. It's very cool too, especially when you realize that it works similarly to video game versions; providing a huge jolt of power at one time.

Just make sure not to shoot your pistons through the hood of your car. Too much Nos can mean too many repairs...

5 Performance Headers

When looking over the exterior of the engine, it can be hard to distinguish which part is which for the untrained eye. Of these many pieces, one of the most noticeable is the car's headers: The pipes that exit out of every cylinder in the engine block.

In short, the headers are a part of the exhaust system in a way; allowing for certain gases to be removed from the cylinder wall and cycled to the proper channels. With a performance version, headers can both increase exhaust flow and add a neat sound to your car's engine note (especially if you run an 'open headers' setup).

4 Cold-Air Intake

Of all the modifications in this article, an air intake is probably the most milquetoast of them. Not because it is a poor upgrade to do, but, rather, it's just very common. In fact, many car enthusiasts begin with either a new air intake or exhaust.

This decision is for good reason, though. Air intakes offer an amazing starting place for the beginning of a car's upgrades. They are cheap, easy to install, and can yield a significant increase in horsepower. If you're new to the 'car modding scene,' then a new intake is probably the way to go.

3 Exhaust System

As stated previously, an exhaust upgrade (along with air intakes) are, most likely, the most common modifications for new car modifiers. Like with air intakes, exhaust upgrades are simple, straight-forward, and can yield impressive results.

The job of a car's exhaust should be a relatively self-explanatory one. Its prime goal being to exhale any excess gasses or noxious fumes that the vehicle doesn't need or has produced. What makes a performance exhaust special, though, is two-fold: The improved sound while driving the car and the massive boost in horsepower.

With the right exhaust system, you could add anywhere from 2 to 3 percent horsepower.

2 Supercharger

If you want a lot of extra power, it may be hard to think of what to do. Getting multiple parts and going through the process of installing them can be extremely expensive and time-consuming. What some do to alleviate this is to put their effort into one upgrade. A supercharger.

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A supercharger is more common amongst muscle cars than they are J.D.M. fans and European cars (excluding Audi's love of them). In many aspects, they are similar to turbochargers: They provide a boost of power, however, they use belts instead of just air and have virtually no lag. All of this greatness comes at a price, though, as a good supercharger is not a cheap investment, to say the least.

1 Turbocharger(s)

With the increased consumer consciousness surrounding issues like environmental health and fuel-efficiency, more and more brands have transitioned to turbocharged vehicles. And why wouldn't they? Not only do they help the environment, but they also have the potential to add some serious horsepower.

A turbocharger can be one of the most fun and captivating aspects of a boosted car. The feeling of the turbos kicking in and throwing the driver/passengers into their seat is very exhilarating. However, once again, this upgrade can come at a cost. Not just a monetary cost either, but in terms of safety as some turbocharged vehicles have received the title of "Widow Maker" throughout the years. This is primarily due to their habit of lagging mid-corner and then turning on without warning.

Although, this issue can be negated. Nowadays, vehicles have become much safer so the idea of dying due to a turbo isn't as prominent. For those with extra cash, though, you could always get a twin-turbo setup so that the two turbos help to limit lag and increase boost even more!

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