Let's face it: Making more power is easy. There are about a thousand things I can think of that would be a lot harder to do than say, doubling the power output on my car's engine. For example, standing over a Dixie cup and peeing in it without spilling a drop...now that's hard to do. Or how about climbing up Mt. McKinley in your jogging shorts and tennis shoes? Man, that would suck. What about going up against Shaquille O'Neal and beating his ass in a game of one-on-one hoops? Better pack a lunch.
No, making a lot of power isn't all that hard to do. Something that's a lot harder to accomplish is making more power and still being able to grab traction. Or making more power and keeping parts from constantly breaking. Or, possibly the hardest goal to attain; making more power and still being able to pass a basic emissions test. That is perhaps the most elusive goal of all in the world of high-powered engine tuning.
"Everyone who builds a fast car reaches the point during the year when they need to pass smog," states Rotary Performance/RX7.com's Chris Ott. "So they take all this stuff off their car, get it inspected, then have to put everything back together again. We don't worry about that with this car."
Keeping with the sleeper theme outlined in Rotary Performance's initial project prospectus
The car he's talking about is Rotary Performance's latest project vehicle, the black third-gen (1993) RX7 pictured. I love featuring cars like this, real world projects that aim high enough to effectively double the power output at the wheels, but are executed with a high degree of competence and attention to detail. These last traits allow this car to be a real-world performer, adhering to all aspects of what a high-performance, street-driven vehicle should be: powerful, controllable and street legal. This last term gets tossed around a lot in the aftermarket and automotive press alike, but unless you're actually looking at an official emissions test printout from a certified tester, all you can really do is take the builder's word for it.
Rotary Performance's third gen RX7 is street legal in the purest sense. Not only that, but at its rear wheels, it now makes nearly double the power with which it was rated out of the factory. Actually, that was the whole idea from day one.
"The purpose of this vehicle was to be a driving, real-world, emissions-passable RX7 with 400 hp at the wheels," Ott notes. "It was also intended to be stealthy; bodywork and interior treatments were kept simple."