We're less than a month away from the second Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. If you've been living under a rock for the past year, Top Car Challenge is a friendly competition among our sister publications. Each magazine picks a reader's car that encompasses their respective tuning scene. Then, the cars go head-to-head in a series of performance tests.
By now, the fog has cleared and we're aware of who we're up against. The caliber of vehicles has risen this year, especially with Super Street bringing a Toyota Supra and Import Tuner entering an Acura NSX - both cars rumored to have in excess of 700whp. Modified might have an edge with a Nissan GTR. As for the other two books, we're not too worried about Honda Tuning plans to bring a naturally aspirated S2000, while 5.0 Mustang has a supercharged convertible.
Of course, our fingers are crossed for our selection - Oscar Trevizo's '03 BMW M3. It was featured in et 4/09 with a HorsepowerFreaks stage 1.5 turbo kit, and has dynoed at 750hp to the crank.
Not just a show or dyno queen, Oscar has taken his M3 on various tracks across SoCal and NV, posting solid lap times and reporting no major problems. He even recorded the fastest lap time at MFest 4 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (et 8/10).
Since we featured the M3 last year, it's undergone some minor aerodynamic and weight changes. The Asuka widebody fenders feature new wind deflectors, so air doesn't get trapped in the fenderwells. A Top Element carbon rear diffuser and Asuka rear wing also contribute downforce and extract air from under the car.
As for weight, Oscar told us the car's currently at 2960 lb, but will feature carbon doors for the competition to drop another 150 lb.
Finally, the car's been stiffened for the track with solid motor and transmission mounts, plus solid bushings.
In the few weeks left, Oscar will be tuning the car for each test in the Top Car Challenge. Although we may not be the most powerful car at the event, we have a good chance to take several first place awards in perhaps the emissions, endurance and road course tests.
Each car entering 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 a Top Car. The disciplines are as follows:
Lap Times: Teams compete for the single fastest lap time during a 20min session on Buttonwillow Raceway Park
Quarter Mile Time: Cars compete for quickest times, best of three runs
Quarter Mile Trap Speed: Cars compete for fastest trap speed, taking the best of three runs
Horsepower: Using a dyno, cars will be tested to find who has the highest peak horsepower. Teams will be limited to three 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 with points going to the lowest
Acceleration: 0-60mph will be measured
Braking: 80-0mph will be measured
Endurance: Cars will have to drive in Los Angeles rush-hour traffic to Buttonwillow racetrack
Vehicle cost: Scores will be based on the current used car value taken from www.intellichoice.com
So what's in this competition for you? Although Oscar has a chance to take home $10,000 if he wins, you also have a chance to win the same amount!
Visit SyntecTopCarChallenge.com and vote for the car you think has the best chance of winning (our M3, of course...).
If you vote correctly for the 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, like our behind-the-scenes introduction video, so you can thoroughly research each car and make an educated decision before casting your vote.