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Killing the club: why we retired the ‘kW Club’ stickers

29 July 2020



Way before either Jaden or I took up camp in the NZ Performance Car office, the team introduced ‘kW Club’ stickers as a supplement to the already popular drag-time stickers. At the time, having 300kW was a big deal, but thanks to a decade of advancements in tech, knowledge, and parts, getting that out of most engines, especially when boosted, is a very simple affair. Hell, 400 and 500kW club stickers are now the most popular, and you wouldn’t believe how fast we are dishing them out. However, we are always faced with questions around the authenticity of some claimed power outputs, a rabbit warren of fiddling numbers and hidden correction factors, strangely cropped photos of dyno graphs, and even guys stealing other people’s sheets. It would truly amaze you the lengths to which some have gone to obtain a damn sticker. 

We also hear from tuners that guys go in telling them the engine needs to make X-power, when in the real world the car is going to make what the tuner can achieve safely, not the number the owner tells the tuner it must make. Then there is the huge disparity in readings from dyno to dyno. 

All of this stuff leads to us being somewhat discredited, as well as the clout for repping one of the stickers. To further this we have seen first-hand the output-reading differences for the same car on different dynos, to the point that there are tons of cars rolling around with these stickers that 100 per cent don’t make the power they are claiming, despite what the sheet they have says. We are not here to discredit any workshops, and dealing with any of this, or even flat out refusing to dish out a sticker out because things look dodgy, was never something we wanted to be burdened with. 

So, to cut a long-winded yarn short, we have decided that it’s time to stop offering kW Club stickers and get back to focusing purely on the stickers that really do mean something: our drag stickers. Obtaining a 10, 9, or lower club sticker means much more — in my eyes — as you can’t fake it and need to put in some serious mahi to achieve even a 10, with the power output not the be-all or end-all to achieving that milestone.

I personally think that the focus on a power figure we’ve seen lately has been too skewed, and things like drivability, balance of performance and even reliability seem to have been put on the back seat. In reality, it’s those three things that deliver joy of machine to the owner, not some internet thumb–generating number you barely touch on in normal driving. 

While one door shuts, we do have another opening; we have been working on one that only those who have made it onto these pages can get their hands on — introducing our ‘Featured’ stickers. These are nearly ready to ship and will be given out for any car we’ve run a feature, a two-pager, or a daily driven column on — the only catch is it must be applied to the featured car. Message the NZ Performance Car Facebook page with your postal address, and we will send one out free of charge. 

Onwards and upwards.
– Marcus