THE SHOP

November '15

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18 The Shop November 2015 for a look, most people go for stance." Timothy Pak is general manager for D3 Group, Signal Hill, California, a company that specializes in Cadillac aftermarket accessories. He says Cadillac might not be the first car people think of when they're talking about sport compacts, but Cadil- lac's ATS actually fits right in. "The folks who buy that car are the younger crowd, who are getting into Cadillacs for the first time," he says. Those people were into sport compacts when they were younger; now they're getting into a luxury brand and leaving the sport compact market, "but a lot of things that they did to those cars when they were younger, they want to do to these cars now." Those buyers will start with a basic tuner kit: intake, downpipe, exhaust. "We call it 'cheap tricks,' but little things like that help spice up the car and are extremely popular," Pak says. "You can hear the intake and the exhaust more; it just makes the car feel more fun to drive. A lot of folks also, in their first round of upgrades, immediately are looking for low- ering. That's a big deal, not just for the sport handling side of it, but also for the look of it, because everybody likes a car when it's lowered. That's a big thing with a lot of the smaller chassis cars and it actu- ally rings true across the entire spectrum." Cesar Gracida is director of marketing and sales for RKSport, Murrieta, Cali- fornia, a manufacturer of various specialty aftermarket upgrade kits, including hoods, trim packages, spoilers and body kits. Regarding the most popular upgrades, "I think of ground effects: exterior styling, like front and rear lips; side skirts; and rear diffusers," says Gracida, adding, "a new hood is always a plus; it can completely change the look of your car." Roxana Morales of Seibon Carbon, City of Industry, California, also agrees that carbon fiber hoods and trunks are among the preferred upgrades, which is driven by two major factors: performance and aesthetics. Seibon Carbon manufactures carbon fiber body components as well as aerody- namic components such as rear spoilers and side skirts. "Every build is unique in its own way," observes Morales. "In some instances, enthusiasts choose to upgrade their builds with other aerodynamic carbon fiber parts like lip kits and rear spoilers. The larger the car panel, the more weight a build can shed by upgrading to carbon fiber. Most Seibon Carbon hoods offer a vented design, which can help get rid of heat from under the hood—making them a popular upgrade." Cadillac's racing program has been effective in demonstrating to consumers that these cars can go fast. (Photo courtesy D3 Group Inc.) 18 The Shop November 2015 The hottest sport compacts offer not only zip under the hood, but also head-turning styling. (Photo courtesy Seibon Carbon) ReSTyling/AfTeRmARkeT AcceSSoRieS

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