Another year and another Castrol Syntec Challenge; this time around, it’s not who can build the best motor but which magazine can pick the best street car for the following challenges:
Lap Times: Teams compete for the single fastest lap time during a 20-minute session on the road course.
Quarter-Mile Time: Cars compete for quickest ending times, best of three runs.
Quarter-Mile Trap Speed: Cars compete for fastest trap speed, best of three runs.
Horsepower: Using a chassis dynamometer, cars will be tested to find who has the highest peak horsepower. Teams will be limited to three runs.
Power-To-Weight Ratio: Cars will be weighed at the dyno to calculate who has the best ratio.
Emissions: Vehicles will be tested with a five-gas automobile emissions analyzer.
Acceleration: 0–60 mph using a radar gun.
Braking: 80–0 mph using a radar gun.
Endurance: Cars will have to prove their reliability in a brutal test of Los Angeles traffic by driving to the track in the middle of rush hour.
Vehicle Cost: Scores will be based on the current used-car value from www.intellichoice.com.
The stipulation is that the vehicle must be a street car. However, we all know that is hard to define. Does it have to have interior? Pump gas only? Or is it simply a car that still has its registration intact? Regardless of how other magazines will interpret the rules—and we’re sure some will bend them more than others—we have decided to find a legit street-driven machine that isn’t trailored to the track and actually sits in a driveway at home.
Our Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge microsite (syntectopcarchallenge.com) has been receiving your submissions for months now and the entries have been pouring in. We’ve had some really solid cars that entered and some more peculiar ones. However, within all the entries, one really stood out above the rest—an ’03 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII. With more than 450 whp on tap and a bulletproof engine and drivetrain, this EVO could be the ultimate street car and the perfect contender for this challenge. It’s no coincidence that its owner is Martin Musial of AMS Performance. This ride is his personal car that he has used and abused on many daily street drives to the office and back.
With Musial’s experience and know-how of building a reliable, powerful and capable Mitsubishi Evolution, Modified has a good chance at a repeat victory of the Castrol Syntec Challenge. This competition is largely based on being able to put power to the ground—and lots of it—without breaking components, and the EVO is the ideal car. Its 4G63 engine is capable of outputting high amounts of horsepower, while the AWD can shatter the competition in the quarter-mile and acceleration tests. We hear it’s also not bad at turning a corner or two!
Specifications & Details
’03 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII
AMS 2.0-liter 9.0:1 compression engine with Manley rods, AMS spec JE pistons, spec 272 camshafts, CNC cylinder head, wet sump oil pan, oil cooler; transmission and cam side motor mount; lightweight crossmember; small radiator kit; V-band GT30R turbo kit, spec GT30R turbo, Tial wastegate, spec 3" downpipe, Tubular header, line and hardware kit; 3" exhaust; 3" testpipe; VSR intake manifold; Race front-mount intercooler, 3" intercooler piping, Tial Racing 50mm blow-off valve
AMS push-style Exedy triple carbon clutch kit, AMS lightweight driveshaft, AMS underhood and shifter console shift bushings
Electronics and Instrumentation
AEM EMS engine management system, AEM UEGO wideband gauge, AEM boost controller solenoid kit, AMS CDI coil on plug ignition system, Auto Meter Phantom II oil pressure and boost gauges
AMS carbon-fiber roof replacement, Fiber images carbon-fiber race series hood, Fiber images carbon-fiber race series trunk, Seibon carbon-fiber doors, Aerocatch hood pins
Wheels and brakes
EVO X wheels