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I don't live in CA, but when I got my evoque I found that it was CA-certified. I know there was a time when CA-certified cars were less powerful in exchange for more extensive emissions control systems. Is that still the case? Am I missing out on something because I got a CA evoque?
 

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I don't live in CA, but when I got my evoque I found that it was CA-certified. I know there was a time when CA-certified cars were less powerful in exchange for more extensive emissions control systems. Is that still the case? Am I missing out on something because I got a CA evoque?
I think you will find most vehicles are now 50 state certified, meaning they will all have the CA emissions package. Many states require an emissions package similar to or identical to the CA emissions package so the only way the car is delivered, to my knowledge, is with the 50 state package, which meets CA emission standards. There used to be what were called 49 state cars which met all states EXCEPT California and manufacturers soon found that equipping models for certain states, as more and more of them jumped on the California Air Quality bandwagon, was far too expensive, and started to produce the 50 state versions. Police and government vehicles and ambulances are exempt, but even those are now being equipped as 50 state models as they are too hard to get rid of when they reach turn in age or mileage withot 50 state certification.

Hope this helps.
 

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The federal air quality standards for vehicles is, or is about to become, the California standard. Until this year you could still find some motorcycles with "49" state emissions. I could be wrong, but I believe the EU emission standards are the same as US... read: California. But to your main point, no, the days are really gone when a California spec'd car had less power than a 49 state car. Some motorcycle guys complained that having a CAT on their bikes added extra weight, etc. And since m/c emissions are rarely checked, they just put on after market cans or whole exhausts... with dubious results. (I am a motorcycle cycle guy and have read the debate).

The big issue was (and still is in some states) enforcement. There are still states where (unless this has changed very recently) emissions inspections are not regularly required. So if you want to "make your car engine better" in those states, I guess you can try.
 

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Ah, but the thrown codes and other issues rear their ugly heads on newer vehicles as oxygen sensors, backpressure sensors and other sensors are thrown off when the cats are removed. Unlike the "old days" when we would put on a "test pipe" to check and see if the cat was the problem and somehow "forget" to ever take it off, the latest models know if you're playing with their underpinnings. (Kind of like a playful gal who hasn't had too much to drink?) But I digress. Unless you're willing to go with a tuner and throw your warranty to the winds in search of that extra "hidden horsepower" it's best to leave well enough alone. A non-warranty engine repair at $3K can wipe the extra HP smile off quickly!

This comes from 50 years of experience, much from racing cars and boats. I lamented when the new emission systems clamped down on running street cars on the strip and we subverted those regs for years. But, honestly, the time and cost to literally rebuild cars at the end of a weekend to be street legal just wasn't worth the hassle anymore. So most of us found classes to run in where we didn't have to pull nd replace parts all the time. Some dubious tuning? Sure. But no heavy lifting required!
 
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