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Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Emissions

Dan Barnes
Mar 2, 2007
0403_sccp_01_z+uscc_emissions+smog Photo 1/8   |   Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Emissions

K&N's facility is just a few miles from the toe of a 7,000-foot range of mountains. On the day of USCC, they were hidden behind a blanket of smog. Sport Compact Car's staff lives here; we like to breathe. Plus, having cars undergo an emissions test immediately after they roll off the dyno can sometimes shake the egos of the big power makers, which is always fun.

Scores for the emissions test are based on hydrocarbons (HC) measured in parts per million (PPM) and carbon monoxide (CO) as a percentage of the exhaust at idle and at 2500 rpm, under no load.

The single overhead cams in the Ultima's BMW V12 were mistakenly ground with the wrong lobe separation angle, so it barely idled. Its emissions were so ugly, it skewed the rest of the results (we grade on a curve).

The next worst car, the MR2, was only about half as dirty and earned 62 points. As usual, the newest, lowest power car was the cleanest. James Chen's 350Z ran like a brand-new, low-mileage Nissan during this test. It barely moved the CO needle on our analog test machine, and the HC needle stayed steady at zero.

Both Rich's red '94 Supra and the Skyline had bypass valves to route exhaust around the cat on the dyno and through the cat on the emissions test. One could argue they cheated, but they engineered the system, so we let them have it. Roy's Eclipse didn't look so bad by the numbers, but it was the only car to make the tester's eyes water.

0403_sccp_02_z+uscc_emissions+toyota_supra Photo 2/8   |   Ultimate Street Car Challenge - Emissions

Most competitors got smart and installed fresh cats the day before, realizing this test is just as important as the dyno. In fact, the numbers for the first half of the field were so low that until the MR2 pulled up, we weren't sure the test equipment, lent to us by Eurosport Accessories, was still working properly. This was the cleanest USCC ever.

Over All
Get used to this familiar phrase: The Skyline finished this contest in the lead. With its surprisingly clean emissions score, the Viper held on to second place, followed by Rich's flashy Supra. Let's see what Grandma has to say about that.

RANK CAR POINTS PEANUT GALLERY
1 350Z 110 Practically stock
2 {{{Toyota Supra}}} (red) 109 "I normally keep my bypass open.”
3 Nissan Skyline 108 "Yeah, me too."
4 {{{Toyota}}} Supra (green) 95 "I couldn't find a bypass that would bolt on to the stock turbos.”
5 Mitsu Eclipse (black) 89 Tuning your idle doesn't make power
6 Mitsu Eclipse(silver) 89 "My eyedrops are in the glovebox."
7 {{{Dodge Viper}}} 89 "Have I mentioned my dyno score?"
8 {{{Audi S4}}} 76 "This is a lot less smoke than we had on Tuesday.”
9 {{{Toyota MR2}}} 62 "Normally, I would have been the stinkiest.”
10 Ultima GTR 10 "Wait, these cams aren't what I ordered!”
  Base Price Price Points
Mitsu. Eclipse (black) $19,029 110
Mitsu. Eclipse (silver) $22,500 103
Toyota MR2 $23,000 102
{{{Nissan 350Z}}} $27,{{{600}}} 92
Ultima GTR $30,000 87
Nissan Skyline $31,800 83
{{{Audi}}} {{{S4}}} $37,{{{900}}} 70
Toyota Supra (green) $39,900 66
Toyota Supra (red) $43,900 {{{57}}}
{{{Dodge}}} Viper $66,000 10

Base price is based on year of manufacture Skyline price is domestic Japanese price converted to dollars. Ultima price is cost of body, chassis, suspension, wheels, tires, engine and transmission.

By Dan Barnes
78 Articles

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