You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access
to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to start new topics, reply to conversations, privately message other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join RX8Club.com today!
california emissions are much stricter. i don't know the details of it, but i know like when you buy certain cars, or..say..a harley for instance (this is the example i am actually familiar with) then you have to pay an extra like $400 for california catalytic converter so the harley will pass smog. anywhere esle and you don't. some cars are the same ways too, but most of the modern cars which are notable clean, ie, say a camry or accord there's no difference as they well exceed ca emissions as well.
freedom is just another word for nothin' left to lose, nothin' and it's all that bobby left me
I can't speak about what Mazda is doing with the RX-8, but I can tell you what the differences are with a different make and model.
On a Mitsu 3rd gen Eclipse, the difference between a cali spec and fed spec car was primarily the addition of two precats. These two catalitic converters are smaller than the main cat and sit much closer to the engine. Mitsu also changed the O2 sensor configuration -- from one set of sensors before & after the main cat to two sets of sensors before & after the precats. The ECUs are also different (to account for the extra O2 sensors; nobody really knows if mitsu did anything else to the ECU regarding engine performance). Additionally, there were other changes regarding the exhaust fittings and whatnot that have caused problems with aftermarket parts (cali spec cars are consistant; fed spec cars are not).
The additional precats add more restriction to the exhaust flow, which means that the engine doesn't breath as well, which reduces power. The fed spec engine in the 3g Eclipse GT is rated at 205hp at the crank. The cali spec engine is rated at 200hp.
This difference looks about right on a dyno between a stock fed spec and cali spec car. However, cali spec cars don't take to mods nearly as well as the fed spec cars -- even if the mod removes the precats (ex: headers) -- hence, people wondering if mitsu did something else to the ECU.
On a track, the difference is MUCH more pronounced. A good driver on a fed spec GT can pull high 14s with basic mods. Cali spec cars seem to have trouble getting down to 15.1 with the same basic mods (15.2 - 15.3 seems much more common). That's a pretty huge difference for only a 5hp loss... while I know that runs will vary depending on the driver, conditions, and altitude, there generally seems to be about a 0.3 difference in 1320 times between otherwise equal fed & cali spec cars (from my observations anyway).