My two penneth:
After browsing the forum it seems I should go for:-
BMC CDA Induction kit (although doesnt this set off engine managment light?)
Adds no power, but sounds nice and doesn't set off any warning lights.
Supersprint Exhaust Is this just a back box or is it a full kit from the cat? (Again is there any sensors in the exhaust i.e. lambda that will set off engine lights?)
Both are available. The main restriction in the exhaust system is the catalyst, after that bigger pipe work makes no difference that will be perceptible. Again, adds noise.
Possible remap? (These seem to be minimal gains but not sure if it more when combine with other mods)
Recaps add about 5bhp, so not a lot. However, they do alter the character of the engine which can improve drive ability.
I want a rather raspy noise rather than a deep hum (as they kinda annoy me, im not 18 anymore
Stainless exhausts are higher pitched in sound than mild steel, this is just a characteristic of the harmonics of the material. Listen to the clips on YouTube and see what kind of noise you fancy and copy it.
As a rule, the big the final silencer and tailpipe the lower the pitch of the exhaust. Air moves more slowly in wider pipes so the gas pulses from engine that are the source of the noise wok more like a subwoofer than a tweeter.
Does anyone have any further suggestions for performance thats not going to cause me headaches when it comes to MOT's / insurance.
All mentioned modifications are declarable,nut none mentioned would affect an MoT. Only one that would is removing the catalyst.
Or any other suggestions regarding choice of induction/exhaust? Depends on budget. Piper cross or KandN element in stock box about £40. Add a V6 or gta pipe to remove the resonator, about £25. BMC CDA £250.
Full supersprint cat back is lots. Similar from a power flow or similar independent is about £250-£400 depending on where you are and what you want.
Or maybe anywhere that does any sort of performace package?
Only people I know who do proper performance packages are Autodelta and they are eye-wateringly expensive. However they can reliably supercharge your engine. You're well into 4 figures though.
As others have said, get good brakes, and good suspension. You can convert to GTA 305 or 330 brakes and front suspension with all parts for about £500 for the 305s but that takes new front suspension uprights, calipers, brake lines, discs and pads and I think modified driveshafts. That's the ultimate way to go. Then add 330 calipers and the required wide 17" alloys for staggering braking power.
A cheaper brake route is the BREMBO 305 kit for non-GTA cars. Occasionally pops up second hand for about £500 a set. New is £1200 ish.
Suspension - check all the arms and legs front and rear are tight and bushes are in good shape. Then add a brand of choice in dampers and springs. Coil over kits are available from a range of sources.
It really comes down to the money.
To be honest, if you want a really fast Alfa 147 or 156, you are way better off finding and buying a GTA or a 2.4 diesel. Both are very quick in very different ways.
Horses for courses.