When it comes to drag racing, if it doesn’t have eight-cylinders, most people don’t pay it much attention. There is no replacement for displacement, as evidenced by the fact that the world’s fastest drag cars all use V8’s, not 4-bangers. Still, there is a place in the drag racing world for four-cylinder race cars, and it is actually amazing how fast these guys can go on half the number of cylinders as most drag cars.
Last week, a four-cylinder Ecotec-powered drag racer tuned by Nicolas Brunet and driven by Carl Brunet set a new world record for four-bangers. Believe it or not, this four-cylinder drag car went a blistering 6.71 at 206 mph in the quarter-mile. Is that staggeringly fast or what?
The world of four-cylinder drag racers is much smaller than that surrounding the Temple of V8, and only a handful of teams have ever even broken into the six-second range. Among them is Brent Rau, who previously held the record with a 6.82 in a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse with a 4g63 engine.
But the Perceval Racing team has outdone them with a 1,400 horsepower, turbocharged Ecotec engine that helped them bust down Rau’s old record. Thanks to a massive 82mm turbocharger, this four-cylinder engine makes 8-cylinder power. It is admirable how fast Perceval can go with just four cylinders to work with, but we still miss that rumble of a big V8.