This was an exciting new world for me. I have always used maya's native particle system nparticles but never had I ever used the hardware particle system inside of maya. What I learned from this was the basics of what most particle systems consist of in most other programs.
In this project My goal was to create a scene that used multiple avenues of software and hardware particles. I mostly used sprites with creation expressions as well as animated instancer geometry.
First For the smoke effects and exhaust effects I used a basic volume emitter with sprites as the render type. After cycling the images that the sprite would use it made for a very believable result.
Second for the rain effects I created another volume emitter but instead of using sprites I used a multi streak render type. The great part of this effect was having the particle interact with the car and the ground, I've even added particle collision event to have the rain droplet create a splash on impact.
Below is the finished product. ( there is sound )