At the beginning of April, we announced the commencement of the second Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge online at eurotuner.com, followed by printed confirmation in the 6/10 issue.
What this means is we're repeating the recipe from last year, pitting sister publications head-to-head, each represented by a car selected to best highlight their respective tuning scene.
If you missed last year's shoot-out and don't know how it works, we'll be battling against machinery from Super Street, Import Tuner, Modified, Honda Tuning and 5.0 Mustang magazines - a more unpleasant group of nemeses would be hard to imagine.
Last year we pulled out the big guns, entering an Audi S4 that did extremely well in the disciplines it completed. The problem was, it suffered mechanical problems and wasn't able to complete the full event (we still weren't last though!).
For this year's Challenge, we couldn't decide whether to go small 'n light with a high-powered GTI, or over-the-top with a twin-turbo Lambo. In the end, our decision was based on the cars entered online at SyntecTopCarChallenge.com via eurotuner.com's online readers' rides pages.
Since we were committed to choosing a car provided by our readers, we waited anxiously to see what would be submitted, and one of the earliest entries was from Oscar Trevizo. He submitted his '03 E46 BMW M3, a car we featured in et 4/09. Considering its spec, we felt it might have a fighting chance in the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge with its Asuka Designs widebody providing traction for the 450hp stage 1.5 Horsepower Freaks turbo conversion.
Although HPF has more powerful upgrades, we're hoping this state of tune will actually help in various parts of the Challenge, such as emissions and endurance, etc. It also performed well on the road course at the recent M-Fest event (see et 8/10 for a full report), so keep your fingers crossed...
Each car that enters the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge is required to complete a series of tests. These have been determined by the judges to exemplify the criteria of what makes a Top Car.
The disciplines under scrutiny are as follows:
• Lap Times: Teams compete for the single fastest lap time during a 20min session on the road course
• Quarter Mile Time: Cars compete for quickest times, best of 3 runs
• Quarter Mile Trap Speed: Cars compete for fastest trap speed, best of 3 runs
• Horsepower: Using a dyno, cars will be tested to find who has the highest peak horsepower Teams will be limited to 3 runs
• Power-to-Weight: Cars will be weighed to calculate who has the best ratio
• Emissions: Vehicles will be tested with a five-gas automobile emissions analyzer
• Acceleration: 0-60mph will be measured
• Braking: 80-0mph will be measured
• Endurance: Cars will have to drive through Los Angeles rush-hour traffic to the track to prove they are streetable
• Vehicle cost: Scores will be based on the current used car value from
The areas where we hope the M3 will excel are power-to-weight, emissions, endurance and vehicle cost. We'd also expect it to score well on the dyno, the road course and under braking. Quarter mile acceleration may be a problem if the import mags bring AWD cars: which they will!
Cash As the selected car, Oscar gets $1000 as a reward, although we're sure it will inevitably be swallowed up in the event preparations. He also has a chance to compete against the other magazines for the grand prize of $10,000 and the title of 2010 Castrol Syntec Top Car!
You can get in on the action as well. Visit SyntecTopCarChallenge.com and vote for the car you think has the best chance of winning. Of course, it would be nice if you thought it was our M3, but the choice is yours...
If you vote for the eventual 2010 Top Car winner, you'll be entered into a sweepstakes to win $10,000 yourself!
You can follow the showdown both in eurotuner magazine and online at SyntecTopCarChallenge.com for the latest updates and videos. We'll be uploading videos and info throughout the competition so you can make an informed decision for your vote.