"How come you drive different cars all the time?" Because! The other day, for just a moment, I foolishly considered joining an on line discussion, but rather than get flamed for my insight, I decided rather to write an article - a world exclusive for ignomini.com. Publishing here guarantees no one will ever read it. Therefore, I can tell the truth without getting flamed.

Here in the ealry 21st century, we are seeing a revival of the 1960's muscle car wars. The difference is, instead of big block V8s, today's combatants are powered by boosted fours. Beyond the hype, is technology really advancing, or have the wings just gotten bigger? To see how they stack up, we assembled a cross section of modern performance cars, including legendary names, modern day muscle and state of the art aftermarket performance.

The Contestants

If I had the money to drive a current Porsche GT3, I wouldn't be screwing around writing this crap. I'd be out on the town with a Parris Hilton clone. We shall therefore dispense with the haughty, nose held up high in the thin air crowd, and concentrate on rides under 40k.

Growing up, the goal of every budding sporty car owner was a 911. Swift, swoopy with an angry Volkswagen sound, young men dreampt about picking up girls in a Porsch-uh. It didn't hurt that recognizable versions were busy pounding everything in sight on the race track. Our test car is the last of the original air cooled cars, a 1996 993. The big 3.6 liter normally aspirated boxer 6 has been measured on a Dynojet putting down 242 hp and 225 lbs-ft of torque to the rear tires. With a couple holes drilled in the air box, the high rpm howl causes spontaneuos orgasms.

Long before Porsche ownership was a viable option, this author fell madly in love with a gen 3 RX7. Its not often a car strikes me as perfect, especialy at first glance, but the looks of this machine floored me from day one. Our early '93 comparison car boasts 225 hp and 217 dyno tested lbs-ft of torque. The complex sequential turbo system creates a rediculously flat torque curve, and all wrapped up in a 1.3 liter two stroke. (Its really a rotary, but I like calling it a two stroke.)

While the other three cars are stockers, aftermarket performance can produce factory-like results. The Acura RSX, Honda's replacement for the venerable Integra and its B18 engine, runs a two liter i-vtec four. Our test car is equipped with a Jackson Racing supercharger running 7psi boost, with 550cc injectors and a Hondata ECU reflash. Wheel horsepower is about 265, but torque is unkown at this time. Let's assume its around 200 lbs-ft.

Subaru and Mitsubishi are in a knock down drag out fight for 4 cylinder supremacy.

 

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