Top 10 Products of 2009 Date Entered: 22 / 12 / 2009
As the year draws to a close, we thought we'd celebrate what has been a tumultuous year by honoring the products which have stood out despite all that 2009 could through at them. The following products make our 2009 Top 10 list because their sales volumes, quality and benefits to our buyers have seen them stand out during the recession.
10 - Zerosports Sequential Controller
There seems to be a disproportionate number of Subaru Legacy's in New Zealand - either that or the controller speaks volumes as to how well it performs! It is quite uncommon for an expensive electronic item to make the top 10 list because buyers generally orientate around interior tweaks, wheels and intake kits. But because it creates such a difference to the performance of the Subaru Legacy Twin Turbo people have flocked to buying it like it's going out of style. For this reason it makes our top 10.
J's Racing Wheel Nuts
It is quite a sight when boxes of wheel nuts arrive in shop here and we have to shelve them for storage. The J's Racing wheel nuts make the top 10 list because of the volumes they sell in. Priced nicely between the expensive Japanese options and the no name alternatives, they are so prolific that people often buy one or two extra sets just in case they lose one. They are light and strong, which enables you to shed unsprung weight without the risk of the nut cracking. Because of the volume sold, they easily make our Top 10 list of 2009.
Skunk2 Pro Series Intake Manifold
The Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold makes the list for a number of reasons - sales volumes, benefits, quality, simplicity. They are a particular favourite of our customers because they are proven to give you bolt in power and torque gains. Secondly, they are able to be bored out to a maximum of 75mm, making it possible for your manifold to be coupled with an aftermarket throttle body (see Blox, below) creating a powerful air flow combination. Lastly, they are designed to slot straight in with the minimum of hassle making them easy to work with and cost efficient to install. For these reasons the Skunk2 Pro Series manifold makes number 8 on our list.
HKS SSQV Blow Off Valve
When something isn't broke, you don't fix it. Quite clearly HKS have listened. In 2009 the HKS unit was by far the most popular blow off valve sold especially when compared against the Trust Type RS option (which is cheaper) and the Blitz / ARC equivalents. Despite being the most expensive on the list it's simple design, great sound and bullet-proof functionality means that customers keep buying the HKS SSQV Blow Off Valve over the alternatives. As we said.. if it isn't broke...
Sparco 345 Steering Wheel
It's not a surprise to see an interior item slip on to the Top 10 list because everyone loves to visually upgrade the 'office'. And it's not surprising to see a Sparco item on the list either because Sparco, Quality and Volume go hand in hand. The Sparco 345 wheel is the Richie McCaw of Steering wheels - always a solid performer, simple but aggressive in its approach, proven results. In particular, customers love the feel of the wheel - the width is aimed at quick lock-to-lock movement, the grip thickness suits most race drivers by default, and the grip levels are about the best around. We could have listed many other Sparco wheels, but the 345 wins because it was the most popular of the Sparco range this year.
J's Racing Titanium FX Exhaust
The J's Racing Titanium exhaust is what we call an Apex product here at Fortyone Automotive. By this we mean that there is essentially nothing compromised about its offerings and it fulfils many different needs all in the one product. It is, without spending $10,000 per meter more with Inconel, the lightest yet strongest material you can use for exhausts whilst also being highly anti-corrosive. It is also a powerful system - the straight through larger-diameter design frees up power trapped by restrictive systems. Lastly, it looks great - titanium always does by default! It's certainly not hard to convince customers that it's the best exhaust option available - primarily because of the weight loss (sometimes up to 30kg / system) - and the quantity sold this year easily nudges it into the 5th spot on our Top 10 list. Customers love them!
APR GT3 Race Mirrors
Carbon Fiber to enthusiasts represents the end-game when it comes to material fabrication. What we mean is, when a product uses carbon fibre in its design, you can be assured that it will get no lighter or no stronger in any other form - game over. Any product (unless it's purely cosmetic) made in carbon always gets the thumbs up at the office here which is why the APR Carbon Fibre GT3 mirrors makes the list. Because they look great, have been installed on cars from Hondas to Sabre's to Holdens, and because customers love the looks they make the list at number 4. Light, strong, stylish and especially cheap when compared to other alternatives, the APR Mirrors exceed in terms of quality and quantity sold. They also offer aerodynamic benefits whilst minimising the exterior 'impact' of your car. Definitely recommended for low sports cars.
HKS EVC S
HKS released their new HKS EVC-S in 2009 and we thought it would be a smart idea to get in 10 of them to see if the market liked the new boost-controller / valve controller unit. We sold out in 3 weeks. Customers loved the step up from the older EVC units - the new design sits perfectly in newer generation cars with modern interiors. Customers used them in standard road cars right through to custom built track weapons and all were overly happy with the results. Simple to use and most performance sparkys already know how to install them! A great new offering at a solid price!
Blox Throttle Body
It was never going to be hard to find a spot on the list for the Blox Throttle Body. It was always going to be hard to choose where in the top 3 it would end up. The Blox Throttle body has earnt a reputation amongst Honda owners as being a simple, cheap, bolt-in, never-stick aftermarket unit which creates power and torque - especially when bolted to the side of the Skunk2 Pro Series manifold (see above). But this year, Blox took the offering a step further and released it for the K-Series engine - Hondas current generation of desirable N/A performance engines. Again we thought it would be smart to bring a box-full over, and again they sold out within 2 weeks. Customers informed us the Blox Throttle Body it was simple to install on either B or K-Series engines, that they had no issues with the butterfly sticking (a common issue on poorly designed alternatives) and that the additional noise created (a deep throttle tone) was a nice perk when using the unit. And of course, peak dyno numbers helped cement the Blox Throttle Body in a Top-3 spot on our list. A great addition to any N/A Honda engine (where applicable) for those looking to gain extra inhalation flow and velocity.
JUN Cam Shafts
It was a tough decision between the HKS EVC-S, the Blox Throttle Body and the JUN Cam Shafts as to which one would end up in the top spot. HKS lost out because (and not to its detriment) it was only released after mid-year, meaning customers have only had access to it for under 6 months and therefore the sheer volume was not as high as the JUN Cam Shafts, and the Blox Throttle body lost out because it's range was limited to only Honda Engines (we pray for Mitsubishi and Subaru options to be released, they would be easily 1/2 the price of current offerings and would be one of very few genuine options for Subaru and Mitsubishi owners). Which brings us to the JUN Cam Shafts.
People in the industry (those in the know..) know that on price and performance alone, JUN rank as high as any other. They also know that JUN makes cams for many other brands (which we won't be getting in to here) and can therefore appreciate the amount of work JUN does for the industry. What we know is that our customers love them - powerful, reliable (0 failures or issues in 5 years of retail!) and one of the cheapest options out. Few people know that when HKS, Blitz or Trust work on new Turbo kit options, JUN is always at hand to develop cams along side. This is why JUN Cam Shafts operate so well with other brand's turbo kits! Based on customer feedback alone (everyone loves more power) the JUN Cam Shafts would win outright, but we believe that reliability, price, quality and the ethics of the brand behind the name also factor in to the equation. For these reasons the JUN Cam Shafts take number 1 spot on our Top 10 list for 2009.