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2011 Volkswagen GTI
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This is me thinking out loud, so enlighten me if I am coming from left field on this one.

I am hoping to grab my hands on a GRC like everyone else, but it seems like a lot of the aftermarket modifications will be available only after some R&D has been done with the GRC. What is the likelihood of some of the GRC owners being selected to be "sponsored" and test a few of these aftermarket items and end up keeping them?

I have never really experienced this before because I have never really been on the cutting edge, but I would like to know if maybe someone here has had that experience, if it is something that is done, or if I am completely wrong. These cars will be very limited production initially, so I am not even sure if these aftermarket companies will get their own test cars, even though it's entirely possible.
 

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2011 FJ TT, 2001 IS300
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This is me thinking out loud, so enlighten me if I am coming from left field on this one.

I am hoping to grab my hands on a GRC like everyone else, but it seems like a lot of the aftermarket modifications will be available only after some R&D has been done with the GRC. What is the likelihood of some of the GRC owners being selected to be "sponsored" and test a few of these aftermarket items and end up keeping them?

I have never really experienced this before because I have never really been on the cutting edge, but I would like to know if maybe someone here has had that experience, if it is something that is done, or if I am completely wrong. These cars will be very limited production initially, so I am not even sure if these aftermarket companies will get their own test cars, even though it's entirely possible.
All depends really. A company I use for suspension parts on my FJ uses customer cars for R&D on parts but it all depends on a lot of things. R&D is usually only if you live near the company's main shop/HQ though which limits who can do it as well. I've been told a lot of aftermarket companies are being able to get dimensions and specs to make their upgraded parts ahead of time though. Some might get the oppurtunity to be an R&D vehicle if they want I'm sure but you're talking a very select few
 

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2017 Lexus IS350, 2007 Toyota Camry, 1995 Toyota MR2, 1996 Honda Acty
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The drivetrain is a known quantity, so I doubt many "sponsorships" will be dished out for the drivetrain unless it is a US-based tuning shop like RR Racing. Suspension sponsorships are not uncommon. While I have not personally done it, I know people that have worked with Eibach in the past. Also small items like intakes through companies like K&N. However, these companies would only need one car to test with, so it is unlikely you specifically would be chosen unless you actively chase it.

Other types of sponsorships usually have stipulations such as a car show schedule for show cars or performance driving events for race cars. Those sponsorships are even harder to get because no R&D is done with the car. However, if you have one, they usually come with discounts or even free items in exchange for exposure.

Source: I am personally sponsored by Toyo Tires, Odyssey Battery, and Blackvue Dashcams.
 

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I work in the automotive aftermarket industry and we often times use customer cars for development. Typically it鈥檚 not their only car but there鈥檚 been times we鈥檝e given them rentals etc. for example my car right now is at one of our sister companies for some R&D with exterior parts, some engine tuning, etc. it will depend of course on if companies have one already, if they are willing to deal with the liability of having someone send them their car, the time it takes, especially if you鈥檙e getting parts from overseas etc.
for me I have access to a metrascan 3d scanner. I鈥檝e reached out to the company that made the exhaust for my Supra and told them that if need be I can send them full scan files to help with their design etc. it just depends
 

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I鈥檓 an engineer / project manager in the aftermarket industry and there鈥檚 no chance I would install prototypes on a customer car. Way too much liability. I will be using my personal car (and potentially a work-owned car as well, but they are much lower on the wait list than me) for development, testing, and media.

I do, however, work with social media 鈥渋nfluencers鈥 or local people for first production installs for the marketing side for product launch. I do prefer to find local people so I can take all the photos or videos myself and guarantee quality and control over it, plus having future access for long term media. I handle the marketing for my brand, but as a man who wears too many hats, I don鈥檛 have time to vet inexperienced influencers, so I either need to see a long track record of proven views or a damn good proposal showing the quality of media you can deliver. I鈥檓 talking full professional level PDF with data on potential exposure / interactions and links to high-res photos and video. Most people can鈥檛 deliver this unless they have a serious hobby or side gig doing photo/video.
 
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