As announced in the May issue of Lowrider, we’re proud to be involved in the Castrol Syntec Top Shop Challenge. This challenge will be taking place between the following Source Interlink magazines: Eurotuner, Import Tuner, Modified, Sport Compact Car, Super Street, Turbo and, your favorite, Lowrider Magazine. The purpose of this challenge is to see who can build the best engine that can work for the magazine market.

We took a look at the competition and sized them up to see what kind of battle we’re getting into as no one really wants to throw in the towel before starting on this challenge. From the looks of it and after a little research, it seems like we’re going to have our hands full. Here are the engines that are going to be involved in the build-off:

Eurotuner – Audi 20V 2.3-liter engine, doing about 650-775 depending on boost, 30-40 psi.

Import Tuner – Nissan 240SX SR20DET, can do 450 rwhp running at about 16 psi of boost.

Lowrider – Chevrolet ZZ502, 502 hp out of crate.

Modified – Mitsubishi 4G63, can do 1000 hp with a turbo.

Sport Compact Car – Nissan 3.5-liter (3498 cc) VQ35DE, used in many modern Nissan vehicles, 350 motor doing 450.

Super Street – Honda F22 non V-TEC, 16 valves, compression ratio: 9.3:1, max power: 150 hp @ 5500 rpm.

Turbo – Toyota 2JZ-GTE 3-liter twin-cam 24-valve 6-cylinder engine, can easily do 1300 hp with twin turbos.

We were originally going to use a GM Performance ZZ427, but it wasn’t going to be available in time, so we opted for the ZZ502, which produces 502 horsepower straight from the crate. With a few combinations and ideas, we should be able to crank out a few more ponies from this American classic. Make sure to check out how Lowrider, GM Performance and designated builder Ace Machine in Riverside, California, measure up against some pretty stiff competition by following the contest online at