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Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge Update - Trash Talk 2

Aug 19, 2008

Unless you've been living in a cave, you should know by now that we're taking part in the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge. As the name suggests, it's sponsored by Castrol's leading Syntec lubricant and they challenge et, and six other magazine titles within our group, to build a max horsepower motor.

Last month you would have read how our chosen champions, 034 Motorsport in Fremont, CA had taken our Audi 80 2.3 liter 20v engine one step closer to greatness.

With its fully built bottom end, they added their own 034 fuel pump kit to feed the massive 1250cc injectors. With the fuel supplied, they guaranteed a rush of air by mounting a GT42RS turbo on an 034 stainless steel header featuring 1.5" runners. The air passes from the turbo to a 3" outlet that splits into dual 2.5" pipes, which both feed the 19x17x3" intercooler. The air is then pushed into the 70mm big-bore throttle body and cast intake manifold before creating a huge explosion within the combustion chamber.

Just how huge is that explosion? Using the 034EFI stage IIc engine management system to control the sparks, the engine has kicked out 760hp at the wheels, and 560 lb-ft of torque. That's a ridiculous amount of power and should guarantee us the gold medal, especially when you consider 034 is experimenting with different turbos and is expecting to make even more power.

Even more exciting is the prospect of measuring the power on the engine dyno in the final reckoning of the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge. Without the 4WD quattro transmission losses, we can expect at least another 30% more power. That would push the little five cylinder well beyond 1000hp at the crank and should assure us victory.

So this is the perfect time to remind you to visit www.syntectopshop.com At the site you can vote for your favorite motor (ours) and enter a sweepstake to win your favorite motor (ours!).

The way it works is that you enter the sweepstakes and if your chosen engine wins the challenge, then your name will be entered to win that engine. And just in case you can't be bothered to fill out the sweepstake entry form, we should mention that 034 Motorsport estimates this engine to be worth in excess of $30,000. Do we have your attention now?

The winning engine builder receives a $25k prize but you can see that our builder won't even cover its costs if they do win. They're simply in it for pride and honor.

When you visit www.syntectopshop.com you can also see a video from 034, catch up on our stories, even play games in Castrol's Torture Chamber.

The Opposition
To prove how confident we are of winning, we're going to summarize what our competitors have been up to, although you can find all their details and videos at www.syntectopshop.com as well.

Import Tuner is building a 2.2 liter SR20DET at G-Dimension and is hoping for a similar 1000hp. They should be a direct competitor to our 2.3 liter motor but they don't seem even close to completion, so we're not sweating it.

Lowrider is the unknown element in the challenge. They're going old school and Ace Machines is building a ZZ427 big block from the GM parts catalog with big cams and stuff. However, they seem more concerned by chroming it, so we're not sweating.

Modified is having AMS build a 4G63 motor from the Evo. Again they expect about 1000hp, but again they're not even close to completion.

Sport Compact Car has cheated by choosing the Nissan VQ35DE from the 350Z and then asking Cosworth to build it! Fortunately, it's a geek-fest and the nerds are busy trying to baffle each other, so they never be ready.

Super Street went to Bisimoto to build an F22A, single cam non-VTEC engine from the Honda Accord. Apparently, the best they've seen from this naturally aspirated motor is 382hp to the crank. And even with the Challenge's two times multiplier applied to our turbo engine (giving us a capacity of 4.6 liters), we're getting three times their power!

Turbo magazine has gone to SP Engineering for a 2.0 Toyota Supra 2JZGTE twin-turbo. This could be a real threat but the engine isn't built or tested yet, so we're hoping they won't be fully prepared when the big day arrives.

The Rules
All the engines in the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge will be judged on various criteria. These will include peak horsepower and torque per liter of displacement. Forced induction engines will be given a multiplier of two, making our 2.3 liter Audi motor a 4.6 liter. Power under the curve will also be assessed, making it important to have a broad powerband, rather than a peaky motor. There will also be a 30-minute drive cycle to test longevity and build quality. Finally, build quality and craftsmanship will be judged.

Only production engines are allowed. Only one forced induction system is permitted (either a turbo or a supercharger, but not both). Fuel is limited to 100 octane, no additives, methanol, auxiliary fuel or water injection is allowed. The final testing will be done on an engine dyno. Teams will have the ability to fine-tune the engines before the official runs are made.

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