Top Automotive Performance Trends for 2024

Rev up your engine with the latest in automotive performance.

The world of aftermarket performance parts is in a strange place right now. As manufacturers embrace electrification, it seems like the reign of almost all late-model muscle cars as we know it is coming to an end. This, coupled with a significant amount of industry consolidation, might lead some to think that ‘this is it’. However, that’s far from the truth.

Sure, the Camaro has been discontinued and there’s rumors of an electric successor, but Dodge already found a way to keep an ICE Charger in the lineup (though, it’ll have an inline-six under the hood) and Ford is standing firm with the V8 in its S650 Mustang. More telling is that nearly every automaker is not-so-quietly pulling on the reins of their rapid electrification investments.

That’s not to say there’s no love for EVs in the high-performance aftermarket. There are some cool new developments happening in the space, it’s just not chasing out ICE support anytime soon. We’ve even seen some modern tech introduced to support classic iron in all new ways, which is huge for that segment.

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Fun is fun, and business is business. Luckily, we who work in this industry get to combine them both. We’re here to get you up to speed on the latest performance trends to bolster your year based on what was hot at the most recent SEMA expo and the Keystone Automotive BIG Show.

For Starters, Mustang Love

The Mustang is the hot model for 2024. It’s the last of American muscle cars to feature a V8 – at least for the time being – and that means everyone’s clambering to get their hands on one. As you would expect, aftermarket support is growing to match demand.

In fact, we’re already seeing that support in the amazing exhaust systems being pumped out by the biggest names in the game.

The beauty of the Mustang’s active valve exhaust system is that you can let that lone V8 howl with all its might to remind the world who the king or queen is in these pivotal moments, or dial it back when you’re rolling out to work at the crack of dawn.

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Among the sea of V8 screams, three entries have us particularly excited:
  • MagnaFlow’s xMOD Series Exhaust System is a modular system that you can set up to your liking with ease. Whether you want that active valve setup to dance between single and dual mufflers or mufflers and straight pipes, xMOD has you covered.
  • Corsa’s Xtreme Sound Level Active Exhaust seamlessly integrates with OEM functionality, delivering a nearly 20% increase in flow. With the valves open, the precision acoustic-tuned Xtreme system unleashes over 8 decibels over stock, delivering thunderous exhaust notes at your command.
  • AWE’s Ford Mustang S650 Line takes a ‘less is more’ approach, featuring a clean, non-baffled, straight-through design that maximizes performance and delivers up to 8 hp and 8 ft-lbs of torque at the wheels. The precision-engineered H-pipe ensures a rasp-free muscle tone worthy of the platform.

There’s plenty of love for other vehicles as well. Gibson, a long-time favorite for many, is really cracking open the world of powersports with new systems for the Polaris RZR, while Vance and Hines Tuning, who also covers all the bases, is another worth checking out if you want to dial in anything on two or four wheels as it continues to pump out new developments for ICE applications.

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Set up a bulletproof system with Aeroquip’s Teflon fuel hoses — the toughest fuel lines you can add to your car.

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Set up a bulletproof system with Aeroquip’s Teflon fuel hoses — the toughest fuel lines you can add to your car.

Growth in EV Aftermarket Support

The discussion around EV performance has intensified recently due to certain manufacturers employing questionable practices. Some EVs are built with dialed-down software, and manufacturers then offer ‘tunes’ as upgrades. Essentially, these tunes are just software changes, meaning car owners are being forced to buy what they already own.

Thankfully, there are other ways to get more performance out of EVs – and the easiest option is by putting the right wheels and tires on them. These are big, heavy cars with massive torque; they can see a lot of improvement with the right hardware between them and the road.

Manufacturers are on it. MAXXIS already scooped up a 2022 SEMA Award for its Victra Sport EV, an ultra-high performance summer tire specifically designed to lower rolling resistance, reduce noise, enhance durability, and improve traction for electric vehicles. This year, Yokohama dropped its first ultra-high performance all-season tire, the ADVAN Sport EV/AS which is sure to make some waves.

Brembo’s new XTRA and Beyond brake pad lines feature innovative compounds for greener driving. The XTRA Low Met offers top-notch performance for car enthusiasts, while the XTRA Ceramic line provides superior performance and comfort with minimal dust, ensuring cleaner wheels.

Another option for those interested in EVs is to simply build your own, which becomes more of a realistic proposition every day.

There are a lot of aftermarket EV swaps out there already. Traditionally, we see complete kits that plug into older models. As of late, however, we’re starting to see more options for those who want to do it all on their own, and brands like AEM are helping it along with products like the Tesla SDU control board. Still an obscure segment, but this tech grows fast, making it worth keeping a close eye on.

New Tech for Old Rides

Far more exciting than EVs is the recent surge in products that bring classic rides up to modern standards. This is far from a new product segment for manufacturers, but we’ve seen more and more plug-and-play setups that really make the prospect easier and more affordable than it’s ever been.

Perhaps the most exciting development is the introduction of Bluetooth technology to EFI conversions. Holley recently released its Bluetooth module for the Sniper 2 EFI system, which links your phone directly to the setup. This gives you the means to not only monitor but also adjust the system with your phone.

There’s more to a good vehicle than a strong engine, though. The chassis does a lot of the hard work. If you want to really make it feel like a new car, you need to focus your efforts there. Thankfully, kits like Ridetech’s Fox Body IRS are becoming more popular. These systems require only basic skills to totally transform classic cars, which is sure to be hot for the coming year.

Beloved Brands, New Ventures

As you can see, the EV is shaping up to be no real threat to the aftermarket industry. Even outside of the examples above, it’s business as usual for most brands. Many beloved names are continuing to grow and innovate as we step into the future, and they show no signs of slowing.

For example, Aeromotive – long known for its game-changing fuel delivery systems – recently stepped into the world of water pumps.

Suitable for any street or track vehicle where the stock water pump is inadequate, the brand’s new inline electric pump flows more than the leading competitor at lower amp draw, all while weighing significantly less. Given Aeromotive’s engineering track record, these new water pumps should be total juggernauts.

Ultimately, the key to keeping this industry alive is to keep enjoying the things that move you – literally and figuratively. Embrace some of the new and exciting tech being released, whether that’s for next-gen EVs or the classic iron in the garage. Remember, the true spirit of hot rodding is about more than just going fast; it’s about building something new and continually asking “well, what if I try this…?”