Consistency wins. At least it did at this year's Ultimate Street Car Challenge. James Chen's Ferrari 360 Modena F1--an almost completely stock car--went home with all the glory thanks to eight top-three finishes in the USCC's 14 tests.
Although the Ferrari won only three tests--emissions, drivability and the road course time trial by a substantial margin, it never finished below eighth place in any single competition. In the end, it beat out Mani Jayasinghe's Toyota Supra by only 45 points (1012 Ferrari, 967 Supra)--which is about the margin the Ferrari beat the Supra in the emissions test. In other words, it could have easily gone either way.
In fact, the Supra and Ferrari tied for second place in our grandma test. The Ferrari also tied for third place with the Sentra SE in fuel economy testing, with both cars scoring an impressive 30 miles per gallon over our demanding 86-mile mountain course.
Still, the fact that a near-stock street car won the challenge has been gnawing at us. We think there are better ways to go fast than spending $150,000 on a supercar. If you've got a car that can spank James Chen's Italian Stallion, enter the USCC with the form on page 71. We'll publish all entries and start the reader voting for next years' 10 combatants in the July issue.
See you next year.
|FINAL RESULTS |
|RANK ||CAR ||POINTS ||NOTES |
|1 ||Ferrari F360 ||1,012 ||A blow to turners everywhere |
|2 ||Toyota Supra ||967 || Stinky tailpipe costs dearly |
|3 ||Nissan 300ZX ||908 ||Looked good on last month's cover |
|4 ||Nissan Sentra ||896 ||Not bad for a Sentra |
|5 ||Ford Mustang ||885 ||Pushrods don't suck...this time |
|6 ||Hyundai Tiburon ||839 ||Can't win on power alone |
|7 ||Nissan Skyline GT-R ||819 || Electronic gremlins |
|8 ||Acura Type R ||801 ||Not enough power |
|9 ||Toyota MR2 ||777 ||Two compressors, too complex |
|10 ||Datsun 510 ||752 ||Fast car in incredibly fast company |