The IKEA Phenomenon – Allen Key Tuning Packages

As tuning moves to be more mainstream i often wonder how it will affect the tuning world. In a way we are already experiencing the prepackage phenomenon at our local tuner shop with bolt ons, but its not IKEA style yet (although there is an Ikea car concept called the Leko, unsure if its a joke). There isn’t the provision of allen keys with every purchase. There isn’t a flat pack carton containing a plethora of parts from Koyo radiator, Garrett 3076R, BC Racing ER coilovers, Greddy Trust Spec R intercooler, Kakimoto R exhaust and AM Performance dump pipe. And i got a bit sidetracked there…

Places like MRT Performance in Sydney’s Inner West are already offering kits for Subaru and Mitsubishi vehicles. The popular XA, XB and XC kits are predesigned tuning packages that are meant to increase performance, without the fuss of tuning (which to me is part of the enjoyment of tuning). But as with Ikea products you do sometimes find things don’t quite fit properly; or the table may be wobbly and so on. The exhaust on these kits do sound a bit tinny, which ruins the aural sensation of driving a tuned up car.¬†While it’s sad to be heading away from crafting the perfect combination of parts for your needs, the packaging of upgrades is the inevitable shift as tuning gets more mainstream.

The days of extremely well engineered quality parts are fast disappearing, with the flood of moderately well made Taiwanese and Chinese tuning parts. While some may think this would lead to the end of tuning, i think this will lead to levels of tuning. There will be the tuners that demand the best and go for “designer” parts. There will be people who find the off-the-shelf items from Ikea adequate and enough for their needs. Then there will be the people who only seek out the old parts, because “parts aren’t built like they used to be”.

Personally i dread the day when tuning parts are no longer crafted, but on the other hand… someone pass me the Allen keys and Ikea catalogue please?

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