Back again this year is the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. The contest lets seven magazines from Source Interlink Media pick out a reader's car and puts them all to a grueling series of tests. Along with Super Street, you'll see a contestant from Modified, eurotuner, Import Tuner, 5.0 Mustang and Honda Tuning. In the end, there will be only one winner who will get a fat check for $10,000. Everyone else will get nothing. As they say, second place is the 'first loser'.
The rules for the contest say we had to pick a streetcar. This means no racecars, no track-only cars and no fully-gutted cars. With that said, we quickly looked up the results of the Street Class from our Super Lap Battle race. SLB brings out the fastest cars in the industry and puts them to the test for the best lap time. A good track car has the potential to do well in all the categories of the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. In 2008, Curtis Chen's Toyota Supra set a record for the Street FR Class of SLB. Since then Curtis has been doing even more to the car, making more power and shaving more time off lap times. Picking his Supra as our representative was an easy choice.
Breaking it down, his Supra has the potential to make 500-600whp. Anything below those numbers would lose. And anything above those numbers would cause a problem on the road course. Although Supras can easily pull off a 12-second quarter-mile, AWD cars will always have an advantage over RWD cars down the dragstrip. Now you're asking why didn't we pick a GT-R, Evo or STI? Nissan GT-Rs are just too expensive and that will ultimately lose in the vehicle cost category. You can easily buy yourself a garage full of Supras for the price of one GT-R. As for picking an Evo and STI, there just aren't many of those capable of making over 500whp while in street trim. Our Supra has full interior and is actually driven on the street. You don't see too many Supras anymore these days, but they're one of the few cars that can easily make ungodly horsepower while retaining all of their reliability and streetability. Curtis' car is no exception.
The competition is just around the corner and we can't wait to see what the other magazines bring. Stay tuned as we prep our car and set our Big Black Missile on the competition. Log on, vote for us and a chance to win $10K!
Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge: The Tests
• Lap Times: Teams compete for the single fastest lap time during a 20-minute session on the road course.
• 1/4 Mile Time: Cars compete for quickest ending times, the best out of 3 runs.
• 1/4 Mile Trap Speed: Cars compete for the 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 at the dyno to calculate who has the best power-to-weight ratio.
• Emissions: Vehicles will be tested with a 5 gas automobile emissions analyzer. Pass that sniff test!
• Acceleration: 0-60mph using a radar gun.
• Braking: 80mph-0 using a radar gun.
• Endurance: Cars will have to test out their endurance in Los Angeles' concrete jungle by driving to the track during the middle of rush
hour traffic - and trust us, the 405 is a bitch.
• Vehicle Cost: Scores will be based on the current used car value.