This is the second chapter (hopefully of many) of a scored car tuning competition in the same vein as the ARM (Automation RestoMod) competition. The primary goal of the challenge is to take (close) replicas of tuners from around the world and make track/drag ready cars with modified engines and body kits (think F&F, NFS, and the rest of 2000s tuner culture).
For this second round, I’ll be supplying you with a replica 2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4 (2.4L Turbo EDV engine, 5 speed manual). The year of the car is allowed to be set between 2003 and 2012. 2000s tuning tech is fully allowed and encouraged. The body style, chassis, and engine cannot be swapped out for different options, but everything else can be changed to entrant’s spec. Entries will be scored on several factors which will be outlined further down the page, and aesthetic scoring will be done via community vote. Entries open on 3/23/2021 @ 11:59PM EDT, and close 4/9/2021 @ 11:59PM EDT
This is the iconic US budget tuner. While imports and high performance cars are all the rage in the tuner crowd, the Neon has been adopted by budget and beginner tuners all across the US, especially in less wealthy neighborhoods. The sub-20K SRT-4 was Dodge answer to the younger crowd looking for an already slightly tuned and cheap build they can brag about. The SRT-4 got a larger engine, better components, larger brakes, rims and tires, and still gets great fuel economy while remaining a good daily driver. At the time, it was the second fastest stock production Chrysler/Dodge car, after the Viper. It is even faster, stock, than the SC300 of the previous round, for half the price!
The EDV is the turbocharged version of the 2.4L DOHC Chrysler engine. It still uses sequential multi-point electronic fuel injection, but has upgraded conrods, eutactic pistons, improved camshafts rated for higher speeds and nearly 15 PSI of boost on the turbocharger. It did not even get a muffler, instead relying on the turbocharger and resonators to reduce the exhaust volume. The end result is a very distinctive and audible exhaust note. The 223hp it produces is already good, but it turns out that a Stage 3 or 4 SRT-4 is quite impressive for an initial price below $20,000. Some even attempted to completely rebuild the engine for even better performance.
.CAR FILE (updated 3/21/2021 10:21 AM EDT): BRS2-yournamehere_-_CLONE_THE_MODEL_Dodge_Neon_SRT-4.car (36.6 KB)
IMPORTANT: You should not start your build until rules are finalized and the .car file has been cleared, but feel free to review it and tell me if you find anything abnormal.
.car file is fully vanilla, so even if you’re running vanilla automation you should be able to participate.
Download the .car file.
Import the car into Automation.
Clone car model and engine family, set desired year
Extremely useful video by cake_ape documenting this process:
Engine Family Name: BRS2– [forum name]
Engine Variant Name: [engine name]
Car Model Name: BRS2– [forum name]
Car Trim Name: [car name]
All mods are allowed (including Borisu’s weights), Running public branch, Submit via Forum DM only.
Cost Limit = 75k - at 75k, you’re nearly at 4x the cost of the original. This is a budget build tho, so while this it the max, lower is better.
There is no limit to the amount of positive quality you can use for any sliders, but the minimum for each slider is -9 quality.
Suspension Type, Drivetrain, Wheels, Brakes, Aerodynamics, Interior and Suspension Tuning are all allowed
to be changed to entrant’s spec
Four wing/lip maximum.
You do not need a catalyst.
Using Ultimate 100 RON fuel is highly recommended.
Year is between 2003 and 2012 – bodykit styling should generally follow chosen year.
PARTIAL CARBON/ALUMINUM ALLOWED – NO FULL CARBON, FIBRE GLASS, OR ALUMINUM, NO CHASSIS CHANGES, NO CHANGING CHASSIS QUALITY
BORE, STROKE AND ENGINE FAMILY TAB CANNOT BE CHANGED. VALVE COUNT CANNOT BE CHANGED AND VVL CANNOT BE ADDED. TUNED EDV ENGINE REQUIRED
COMFORT MUST BE >= 1.0
MAXIMUM ENGINE STRESS OF 10% PER COMPONENT
NO INVISIBLE OR HIDDEN WINGS
NO CABIN MORPHING, NO TOP OF TRUNK MORPHING, everything else is on the table for morphing. Try to keep it looking like it was derived from the original car.
SCORING & DESIGN PRIORITIES
COST: The maximum cost is 75k. There’s no maximum quality setting for your builds, but keeping your cost lower is better. Push as much performance as you can on as little money as you can muster, and you’ll get big points in this category. The original car MSRP was $19,450; the closer you are to that original number the better.
AESTHETICS: Aesthetic score is decided by community vote. Make a good-looking body kit or livery (or both!) and win up to a 35% boost to overall score (1st place in the community survey) Even if you aren’t the best at tuning, if you make the best-looking car you still have a good shot at winning the challenge; making a good-looking kit will earn you big points across the board.
HORSEPOWER: This stock EDV-version makes 223.7 bhp. Those are rookie numbers, let’s get them up! Having the most horsepower may not always be practical, but its definitely something you can brag about and as such getting big horsepower out of the EDV will get you big points in this category.
TRACK TIME IMPROVEMENT: The stock SRT-4 currently runs the automation test track (in automation) in 2:28:16. Destroy that track time- the faster the AI rounds the track the better. If you can beat your fellow tuners on the track, you’ll get big points in this category.
SPORTINESS IMPROVEMENT: The stock score of 20.2 reflects the SRT-4’s status as a budget sport compact - but we’re building a track car here, so get that number up. You’ll get points for having a good sportiness score.
QUARTER MILE TIME IMPROVEMENT: The stock SRT-4 runs the quarter mile in 14.70s – while this challenge is primarily aimed to build track cars, in the US the quarter mile is king and winning drag races on the strip and on the streets will win you good points in this category. Get that number down.
WEIGHT SAVINGS: The stock SRT-4 weighs in at 2781lbs already quite low– getting this number een lower will not only help your track time but is also another bragging point. As such, you’ll get some points for reducing the weight of the car.
DRIVABILITY IMPROVEMENT: The stock score of 41.5 needs to be eclipsed, the goal is to beat the other tuners out of the water. Getting a good drivability score will get you some points.
RELIABILITY: Try to keep reliability around the original score of 68.1- Big points aren’t gonna be found here but having a decent reliability score may give you a marginal advantage.
COMFORT: Not important. Keep it >=1 so you’re not sitting on a literal brick, but any comfort score above 1 isn’t necessary and will not earn you points.
FUEL ECONOMY: Not important. This is a track car, not a daily driver, and the fuel tank is big enough that even with 1 mpg you’ll be able to run some laps.
SAFETY: N/A (that might be a nice -9 candidate…)
These won’t get your entry binned, but they may hurt your score. It may still be worthwhile to take the score hit if it improves your other stats enough to offset.
Drivetrain/engine orientation/gearbox swaps come with a $5,000 overall cost penalty – finding a transmission that can be mated to the EDV is not that hard, but finding a good performance one is a bit trickier and it’s not like you can sell the old manual transmission to recoup costs. Going RWD or 4WD (by changing rear suspension) requires as much effort, as is mounting the engine the other way around. If you do one change, might as well do as much changes as possible (the costs is one time, not additive)
Changing engine internal materials (Bottom End Tab) comes with a $5,000 overall cost penalty as it requires a full engine rebuild – the components in the original EDV engine have a limited redline - however, high stroke means a rebuild is useful, but you will not get 900hp out of this block.
Turbo Spool over 3000rpm is nothing to fear here. No penalties for long spooling.
Base Cost: 19,900
Base Sportiness: 20.2
Base Drivability: 41.5
Base Reliability: 68.1
Base Weight: 2781 lbs / 1261 kg
Base Automation Test Track Time: 2:28:16
Base Quarter Mile Time: 14.70s
Base Horsepower: 223
Base Transmission: 5 speed manual paired to FWD transverse EDV engine
REMINDER: Entries open on 3/23/2021 @ 11:59PM EDT, and close 4/9/2021 @ 11:59PM EDT