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Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Acceleration

Scott Oldham
Feb 28, 2007
0403_sccp_01_z+uscc_acceleration+toyota_supra Photo 1/12   |   Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Acceleration

Don't look at the E.T.s. They suck. A week before our test day, the dragstrip at California Speedway had been repaved and now, thanks to a lack of use, wore a fine coating of desert dust. We quickly learned that new pavement wearing microscopic granuals of sand has the coefficient of friction equal to Mobil 1. The result of these less-than-ideal track conditions are a list of E.T.s that in many cases are much slower, we predict as much as a second slower, than these cars are actually capable of.

And to make matters worse, the Skyline had already left half its engine lying on the road course, so it was out. The MR2 had blown up 24 hours earlier on the dyno, so it was out. Scot Gray's black Eclipse had a blown turbo so it was just going to limp down the track for the 10 points. And Roy's silver Eclipse was leaking so much oil, we made him run last so the other competitors wouldn't have to launch in a puddle of 5W50. The track was pissed. Roy left a puddle at the starting line, a trail of oil down the entire lane and a puddle at the big end. Clean up on aisle one.

Each car got two runs down the track with ample cooling time between passes.

Ok, now you can look at the E.T.s. Told you they suck. With the exceptions of the Ultima, which ran without its rear body work and burned its massive Hoosiers through all of first, second and third gear, and Roy's Eclipse, which still managed a 12.40-second run thanks to all-wheel drive, all the other cars really couldn't turn a number. And we're sure the Ultima and Roy's Eclipse, hemorrhaging oil and all, would've been deep in the 11s with a sticky track.

0403_sccp_02_z+uscc_acceleration+dodge_viper Photo 2/12   |   Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Acceleration

Don't believe us? Just check each car's trap speed. The Ultima's 122-plus-mph trap speed indicates the car is capable of mid to low 11s. And look at the Viper's speed of 126.30 mph. Sure, its E.T. is slower than a stock Viper, but that trap speed really represents the car's 843 hp at the wheels and its E.T. potential. Plus, Paolo missed a gear on both of his runs. With slicks, a sticky track and Steph Papadakis behind the wheel, Paolo's Viper just might run in the 10s.

The Audi, which is also all-wheel drive, managed a respectable 13.08-second run at almost 109 mph, which is much quicker than stock and probably about a half second off the car's potential. You'll notice the Audi and Roy's Eclipse also ran the second and third quickest 0-to-60-mph run, thanks to AWD traction. They even spanked the Viper in that contest.

Despite big burnouts to heat their tires, the Supras ran very slowly, but check out the awesome 119-mph trap speed on Rich's red Supra. Remember, this car made 671 hp on the dyno. It just couldn't put it to the ground.

0403_sccp_03_z+uscc_acceleration+starting_line Photo 3/12   |   Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Acceleration

And Chen's supercharged 350Z actually ran slower than the stock 350Z we tested last year, but we chalk that performance up to James Chen's strategy more than track conditions. Knowing his Z was the least powerful car in the contest and didn't have much of a chance of winning the acceleration test anyway, Chen launched his Z very gingerly on each of his two runs, choosing to save the car for the final test of the USCC, the Gross Display of Horsepower.

Over All
After the smoke cleared from both acceleration tests, Roy Narvaez's dragstrip-loving Eclipse leapt to the lead, followed by Chen's Z and the Ultima, but the Viper and Matt's green underdog Supra were just inches from the podium. Who would have thought braking distance could mean so much?

QUARTER MILE
RANK CAR TIME&SPEED SCORE PEANUT GALLERY
1 Ultima GTR 12.12 @ 122.{{{62}}} 110 Shifting like a madman
2 Mitsu Eclipse (silver) 12.40 @ 121.28 105 Exxon Valdez
3 {{{Dodge Viper}}} 12.54 @ 126.30 103 Missed the 2-3 shift
4 {{{Audi S4}}} 13.08 @ 108.95 94 Much faster than stock
5 {{{Toyota Supra}}} (red) 13.40 @ 119.32 89 Big second gear rubber
6 {{{Toyota}}} Supra (green) 13.59 @ 112.67 86 Big burnouts
7 {{{Nissan 350Z}}} 14.23 @ 101.35 75 Slower than stock
8 Mitsu Eclipse(black) 18.15 @ 75.04 10 Limp mode
9 {{{Nissan}}} Skyline DNS 0 Went boom
10 {{{Toyota MR2}}} DNS 0 Went home
0-TO-60-MPH TIME
RANK CAR TIME&SPEED SCORE PEANUT GALLERY
1 Ultima GTR 4.58 110 No traction, still fast
2 Audi {{{S4}}} 4.83 107 Thanks to AWD
3 Mitsu Eclipse (silver) 4.86 106 Thanks to AWD
4 {{{Dodge}}} Viper 5.04 104 843 hp, no traction
5 Toyota Supra (red) 6.00 {{{90}}} Driving Miss Daisy was on TV
6 Nissan 350Z 6.26 87 He called it a strategy
7 Toyota Supra(green) 6.35 85 No traction
8 Mitsu Eclipse(black) 11.77 10 Blown turbo
9 Nissan Skyline DNS 0 On the trailer
10 Toyota MR2 DNS 0 On its way home
By Scott Oldham
5 Articles

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