The Diamond Star has a two-faced demeanor-it has the visual flare of a street car on the o
Air is only half the equation. Fuel, in the proper proportion, has to be present to realize the maximum potential of any engine combination. Project Hugger relies on a simple stock-based fuel system that retains the factory rail, feed and return lines and even the factory filter. Upgrades include 660cc Nippon Denso injectors, a high-flow fuel pump and an SX adjustable regulator with a Buschur Racing mount kit that joins the regulator to the rail.
Factory-Based Tuning Tech
The effort to keep the car streetable and simple is most evident in the tuning department. David Buschur elected to employ a ROM-tuned ECU and an HKS vein pressure converter (VPC) to oversee engine operation instead of a complex and expensive stand-alone engine management system.
Project Hugger sports a spare interior with many of the items installed to address safety
The VPC tunes throttle response, idle characteristics and the entire fuel curve in 2-percent increments. It also replaces the restrictive Karman-style mass air sensor on the Mitsubishi. The tasks assigned to the mass air sensor are performed by the VPC, which works under the speed density banner. Speed density takes sensor information to determine the proper fuel maps for the engine. The maps, which are formulated using complex algorithms, are contained within the VPC's 16-bit central processing unit. The VPC uses different chips for different cars and for bigger injectors. In this application, Buschur Racing has designed its own chip. The VPC is joined by an HKS graphic control computer (GCC), which adds more precision to the tuning process. Where the VPC tunes the entire curve, the GCC affords tuning at five pre-set rpm intervals. The GCC interpolates the curve between the tuning points to ensure smooth fuel delivery.
The Bottom Line
The car has recently been tested in fwd form, generating over 550 hp at the wheels with more to come as this season's modifications are completed. An Advanced Clutch Technologies (ACT) clutch feeds the power through a welded factory center diff by way of a stock factory transmission. Our experience with Turbo's Project Talon is a testament to the woes encountered when one gets overzealous with the stick shift.
This has not been the case with Project Hugger. The car's regular pilot, Buschur's brother, Dan has been able to drive gently. His tender shifting and the fact that the car runs street radials at the track are major factors in the longevity of the gearbox. Despite this and a tame, street-lowered suspension, the Talon has clawed an impressive 10.54 at 133 mph. Look for the Hugger to be beaming at a strip near you. We hear it may be taken a few steps further in hopes of dramatically dropping e.t.s. Regardless of future accomplishments, the Talon vividly illustrates the potential of the first-gen DSMs and the potency of Buschur Racing.