Beater or Sleeper? COTW! [Closed]

  • Thread starter Obelisk
Well, I was ready to dismiss the Chevy Impala outright, since I picked the car/circuit combination precisely to try and expose it's flaws... But it's not that clear now.

To elaborate, the first thing that holds the car down is its dreadful base 4-speed automatic transmission, but otherwise, the chassis (in spite of its weight) felt very balanced and solid, the tire's grip is uniform, and the suspension is reasonably set to comfort without being too floaty. I got 1:07 average times, due to the dreadful gearbox and understeer at the very limit.

However, I when switched to a sports transmission (without affecting the performance number) I found that, while times remained consistent at 1:07, the almost full use of the powerband was now possible.

After that, I put the car on a diet, installed a stiffer suspension and sports brakes, while leaving the engine/tyres untouched, for a middle C ranking. Times went down to 1:05 and then I did see the potential of the car that lies underneath its fleet sales origin (surely what GM had in mind).

B-700 and A-800 versions could definetively be a riot, due to the solid base engine/chassis combination, so yeah, surpringly, a SLEEPER.

The 96’ Impala, better known as America’s other 4 door workhorse. :P

Yes the Impala and the Crown Vic have been taxis & cop cars in America for decades and both have remarkable levels of reliability and durability.

The Impala SS is essentially a civilian and consumer friendly version of the police Impala’s as they have the same 9C1 Police Package which includes to name a few, quicker steering, stiffer suspension, shorter gearing and a beefy exhaust system. ;)

Powered by an LT1 5.7 V8 making 260hp, it sends that power to the rear via a non reinforced 4 Speed Automatic.

Now you’re probably wondering, Why would I mention the gearbox being non reinforced? :confused:

Well GM didn’t upgrade the box to offset the extra power from the LT1 and the weight of its body so they had a tendency to give out after 100,000 miles, but that really was the only weak point in the Impalas reliability. :)

Handling was heavy and slightly understeery and the gearing was on the longer side(treat it like a 3 speed with a 4th gear as a highway cruising gear.), but it didn’t feel cumbersome and numb as I feared.

It’s just a dependable, if slightly tubby all rounder with a lot of potential, yet still capable of blending in when necessary. :D

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
If the Miata was the quintessential beginner friendly RWD sports car, this is its muscle car counterpart, in many ways.

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Fairly heavy, though not overly so. Big V8 but with a manageable amount of power. Generally softer chassis yet not to the point of feeling too floaty. It has surprisingly decent turn in, and though prone to oversteer, it happens slowly and gently, making it easy to correct. It has most of the characteristics you'd expect of a muscle car, but all fairly subdued, and easier to manage. Like the MX-5, it's a good starting point for the category.

As everyone has pointed out, the biggest thing holding it back is the gearbox, even though the engine has decent torque, 3 usable gears is far from ideal. On the circuit it's all about keeping momentum and not loosing speed in the corners. Most of the circuit isn't too challenging with corners that are mostly flat out, and the car has good stability through higher speed bends.

The chicane near the hotel and the last corner, the slower corners, are the two tricky parts in this car. You need to keep a high minimum speed and get good exit otherwise you'll lose a good chunk of time. Ideally you'd need a bit more stiffness for more precise inputs to get these right easily, but it's not impossible in its stock form. And when you do, you're rewarded with a competitive time.

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Sleeper. Starter muscle that punches above its weight.
And with that, we bring our surprise plot twist to an end.

The Impala Super Sport has earned 4 of 4 Sleeper votes, making it a proper Sleeper! This is an outcome I don't think anyone was expecting.

Moving on to our current week, @space_wadet has brought us another interesting little car to examine. It's the...

1989 Toyota MR2 SC!

We will be taking this small car (C 502) around the equally small Chihuahua Circuit.

Will this edgy MR2 prove to be a success, or will it be too edgy for its own good? That's up to us to decide this week!
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 48 - Toyota MR2 SC (AW11)


Babe your favourite JDM car is finally nominated on COTW.
Yes honey..

I mean, it's a total coincidence, but if you look back at week 15 with the Hammer, I did mention that the original MR2 was my personal favorite when it comes to being my kind of JDM. It was a small and peppy little sports car, with a sharp profile and its engine placed at midships. But how did all of this come to form? Well..

Let's jump back to the economic fuel crisis of the 70's. It prompted car makers all over the earth to make cars that would have a steep deficit on power. The nerds over at Toyota, people who know how to have small figures in their cars, think isn't the way to go for business. But instead of challenging the larger picture, they decided to get to the design prints and make a car that may have the small numbers, but have it go big in how well it drove, its affordability and most importantly: fuel efficiency.

This project started off in 1976, but would find itself bearing fruit eventually in 1983, when Toyota showed off a prototype in the Tokyo Motor Show. While it kind of looked like a sports car, the whole vibe of the then unnamed MR2 was to give the driver a fun little commuter rather than a pricy wedge. The MR2 name would eventually come out, meaning 'Midship Runabout Two-seater'. Yes, I too just found out it's an acronym, not a code name. There's also the fact that it handles good too, thanks to some suspension assistance from Lotus, and rigorous testing by American F1 racer Dan Gurney. The car's power would come from Toyota's own 4A-GE: an inline 4 engine that's made most popular for being in the AE86.

Released in 1984, the MR2 joins the Celica and Supra for Toyota's then current performance lineup, as the Mk1a. It received a facelift, coded Mk1b by 1986, and then 2 years later, it would bring out its final days with a roots supercharged variant. Aside from that, it got lighter rims, some vents on the rear and a tighter suspension setup just for that extra oomph. The final special edition: one painted midnight blue, was kind of my classic JDM hero growing up. When it comes to these, it's little MR2 versus big Plymouth Superbird. I've so happened to make a BTCC highlight in my own head occasionally.

What's not so well known is that it was once involved in Group B, kind of like the Ferrari 288 GTO: it was being engineered for it under the 222D name, but we all knew what happened Group B that eventually made sure it didn't come to life. Despite that, the car was a success enough to bring out the more well known Mk2 in the 90s. After all the accolades, I won't be surprised if this is next on Toyota's list to bring back. It's a toss up really between this and the Celica, though. And if that's the case, I hope it's the AW10/AW11 that's the inspiration.

The sole variant of the MR2 in the game puts itself in early C class, at 502 PI. We do have a lot of cars here in C, but there's no way this is going to the bunch of middling C class throwback bunch. The Retro Sports car class is widely distributed, giving the car no rivals in its class to play with. And as a cheap car, the game at least gives it a cheap price. 20,000 credits off the Autoshow. General Auction House experience was pretty nasty back in Horizon 4, but since you can buy this one, I don't think it warrants a visit. They are quite jacked up, with 43,000 credits as both most common and lowest priced. Along with this blue one, I have a spare, so that's coming out.


We got a not exactly Peel sized small car this week, so of course we have to give it a go at the appropriately sized but oddly named Chihuahua Circuit.


It's a big MINI, but it can fit around the track like clothes can stretch out on you. No, I didn't say it's fat, even though you can judge for yourself.

"This circuit is small but fearsome! Hosted on the plateau behind Hotel Mirador Balderrama, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside in all directions from here."

Fearsome? Has Barry R been slacking? (no he isn't, the track's walled quite well)

For a small tight track, it's not got a claustraphobic feeling that I get racing on Monaco. You can probably say this is the Tsukuba of the game: all handling will matter here. There's some minor banked lefts and a tight right hairpin. And of course there's the many elevation changes around. I guess if you're a newbie, it probably is fearsome.


I've always gotten a big impression of this car even though it might be small. I wonder when's the time I get into one personally.

- When it comes to inside design, I of course am a fan of these kinds of Toyotas. It's edgy but not terribly edgy. Maybe some synthwave can be played in your head just looking at parts of it. I truly do hope to end up inside one to see how compact is this iconic compact sports machine.

- There's no other way to launch it from a stop other than putting all of it down. To me it's the best kind of launch for the cars with smaller figures riding along it. Uh oh, with all this good, I better somehow find some bad, because when it comes to cars I like, this one's already leaning very strong to my appeals. The car redlines at 8000 RPM, so be sure to shift sometime before that, and do it as late as possible.

- Obviously I touch on the braking, and while it's not going to kill you, it's biased quite notably to the rear. There are even moments where you feel it's better not to use the brakes and just feather the throttle.

- Turning in the MR2 isn't on rails, but in this class, you can say it's real good. It won't let the rear out terribly, and youre going to be dealing with mid corner understeer. And dealing with it is going to be one thing to master if you want to maximize the car's potential.

- Another quirk I find of the handling.. is that it's like the Miatas of past weeks mentioning the car's handling is so good, you can lose speed turning 100%. It's not as extreme an example on this car, though.

- I don't have much to say to the gearing. The car's got not much power, so if it feels long (it does), you know where that comes from: no power, plus made as a commuter, minus having a supercharger.. There are uphill segments in Chihuahua Circuit that gives the car a bit of a stall, but I find it impressive it still accelerates minimally. To conclude, it's okay, but do note the car can unsettle quite a bit when downshifting.

- And one thing bad, finally, is that in lower RPMs, the car shows a more slow and sluggish side. Late shifting is definitely a thing to do, but remember 8000 RPM is where not to reach.

- The best thing I can find.. oh no, I'm starting to love this car more than I already have, but anyways: the best feeling I can find in this car is how much traction it has. I know, it has no power, but right now, you have no fear on controlling your throttle unless it's mid turn.

- Oh, please be responsible mid turn. Don't do any sudden acceleration, downshifting or braking, because that's going to bring out that understeer.

- And now we get to knowing the track. There be a few worry spots on the track. The first corner's going to catch people napping unless you brake early. There's the hairpin, and the last corner. Umm, not too much to fear, I see.

- It's no super sports car, but at least it won't kill you. While you still live and breathe within, two things are required to survive: proper braking and no suddenly extreme inputs. And the magic for me in this car is to brake early, use that instability to get the car into position, and then you get on the power.

I may love the car, and the track's not bad, but I don't think I find myself going back. Maybe with something like the X-BOW GT4 or the Radical can find itself incredibly fun here.

MR2 SC AW11.jpg

With something to set to the middle of our own stock MR2 around Chihuahua Circuit leaderboard, it's this time of 1:12.479.

I was eyeing a 1:13 time, but this came out of nowhere. It's not an easy car to drive, and I will find myself going back to the car at its current form should that opportunity arises. Like the VX Viper, this is a car with a lot to discover in that sense.



Horizon Circuit and this week's car in this segment of this writeup? You know what that means, correct?

Hup hup hup, not quite done yet. The supercharged MR2 has a Test for me.

Before you think it's a pregnancy test because I love this car so much, a Test is the event that has me bring the car up to A-class road, without conversions aside potentially aspiration, and duke it out for a few laps around the Horizon Mexico circuit. A time to reach is around 1:07, and the whole idea is to see how well does the car fare with most of its original parts around. I mean not belonging to something else.

After a dreadfully slippery outcome in Week 15's Showdown, the MR2 gets a whole rehash on what it can do. And that comes in the form of relooking some power and gearbox upgrades, and replacing the sports tires with semi-slicks. This is a bit overkill for grip, but it's going to make the car way more drivable. The final values look like 323 horsepower carrying a 2,195 lb car.


I was thinking about the word supercharged, and I guess it wouldn't hit just as hard if the car was just charged, no?

Test MR2 SC.jpg

The MR2 does away the circuit with a best lap of 1:06.714.

So, the new tires did this car something, and not only that, but it drives like a vastly improved variant of its stock form. No traction issues, slight understeer, and that super sexy supercharged sound just gives me that arousing feeling.. let's not go there. But this is definitely one of the best sounding upgraded cars I've ever had. Yes, the sound took all the attention.



What is the Toyota MR2 SC (AW11)? It is..

A mountain sized impression of the car world in a miniscule Japanese 80's package

I may love the car even before this writeup, and I can now confidently say how easy this is a Sleeper, maybe even top if not the fact this is one of my favorite JDM cars of all time, definitely a top 3 in that class. And I can't question this. This was the age of the AE86. And the car in between that and the Supra is the least recognized one. Unless it's from me: I recognize it as both a car I do want to get my hands on, and something that bolstered my not-that-honest love for JDM cars.


Hmmm... I wonder who won that duel that I set up on my last entry. No, don't tell me to look behind. It's not like I'm being hunted.
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Mini supercar on dollar store tires

Where did Toyota find these tires ? I'm not even sure it's possible to review the car on its stock tires. No traction and no grip in the corners. I'm being a tad hyperbolic, but I'm not exaggerating when I say these are by far the worst tires relative to car performance we've had in COTW. I have so many questions now. Did PG make a mistake while modeling the car? Did Toyota really need to cut costs to this extent?

The MR2's C 502 rating is surprising at first glance. It's a small sports car, relatively light, and with a peppy little 145bhp supercharged engine. Not earth shattering performance but 502 is basically D class. Once you get behind the wheel you understand. :lol:

No traction off the line, the tires can't handle it. Once you get the power down, acceleration is decent. Problems reappear as soon as you get to the first corner. Make any sudden direction change and the tires get overloaded and you either understeer or oversteer into the wall. Once the car starts skidding there's nothing you can do to regain grip. Put the tiniest amount of energy through the tires and they just give up instantly, breaking traction and sending you off into Barry R. It feels quite strange too, because of the mid-engine layout. You really feel the weight of the engine, which acts like an anchor around which the grip-less tires pivot.

The only way to drive this car is to be incredibly smooth with your directional inputs. Elongating corners into wide, almost flat arcs. Once you get the hang of it it's not too bad, not fun, but not to hard. Except for the hairpin. It took me a few tries to find the right way to take it. A high, wide line doesn't work because the tires can't take the lateral forces at any decent speed. A "V" line doesn't either because the tires won't take the sudden directional change, or have the traction to accelerate out of the corner. The right way is a weird in-between, threading the very fine line of what the tires allow you to do.

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In the end I got what I think is a decent time for the car. After which I immediately changed the tires. Putting Sport tires on it takes you up 95PI, almost to the top of the class. (If you needed any more confirmation of how worthless the stock tires are). After a couple other handling upgrades to take it to C600, I ran the track again.

1:06. Decent time for C class. But most importantly the car is nice to drive! No traction issues, plenty of grip in the corners. I found myself finally able to enjoy everything else about the car.

Firstly I love the looks, perfect mix of 80s-90s JDM style, especially with its miniature proportions. The engine sounds great with the supercharger. Brakes are decent. Gear ratios are fine. It feels like a mini supercar should.

Neutral with stock tires, Sleeper with any other tire.

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Unfortunately, COVID has got its disgusting little claws in me so I've had to take a mulligan on work today so I can rest up.

And what better way to rest than to take the MR2 out for a spin?


A fountain of good ideas, I am not. This MR2 is a lightweight car, coming in at 2620 lbs (1188 KG) and is propelled by a supercharged 1.6 liter engine producing 145 HP and 140 ft-lb. Its got reasonable numbers on paper and promises to be a great drive. So is it?


Frankly, no. While the power and weight makes it a decent driver in theory, the lack of rear grip (as evidenced by the above photo) is felt quite quickly through the wheel. Even under full throttle on a bend where there should not be enough lateral load on the tire to break traction, the MR2 SC chooses violence instead. And your only real hope is to keep the throttle pinned, countersteer and do your best Initial D impression as tapping the brakes or doing anything to reduce the load on the rear will result in the car giving up entirely. While this is an upside for recreational drivers and those who want to drift stock cars, this isn't as good a behavior as it sounds when racing the clock or other drivers. When the car does maintain good grip, it tends to understeer. Predictably, neither behavior is favorable in a car that's supposed to be balanced or sporty.

Even when you get the rhythm down, the car is still quite unpredictable. I walloped Barry R quite hard, quite a few times during my hotlapping attempts.

My final time:

As a platform for teaching the principles and behaviors of MR platforms, this car is great.
As an actual sports car, it leaves a lot to be desired. It does not maintain any competitive pace, nor does it have any semblance of a proper sports car.

I, unfortunately, have to mark this car as a Beater. A very slight one, because it still has some good in it, but its tires distinctly hold it back. Plus, FH5's physics are relatively watered down for accessibility. If the car is this atrocious when in a dumbed-down, easy to use environment, can you imagine what the real deal must have been like at the limit?
I think I will cast a dissenting vote for the MR2! While I do agree that it is not competitive in base form for hot lapping, it is a pretty fun ride, at least with a controller. Yes, the rear will go under heavy braking, but it is correctable, in fact just tapping the brakes is enough in most turns of the Chihuahua circuit, not competitive, just enjoyable. I will explore a B700 build with the usual remedies (tires/suspension, maybe a bit more power).
It's a Sleeper!

So the original MR2 with the Supercharged 1.6 4 Banger is this weeks candidate.

Others have already mentioned the Snap Oversteering tendencies in its handling which does make it not a practical choice for newbies and overly aggressive driving styles.

Does have one of the louder supercharger whines from the factory mind you. :drool:

It’s quicker than you think, but you do need to respect its quirks otherwise you’re going to get backhanded by it like you owe it money. 🤚 :D

On any other tyre, it’s a Sleeper, but stock its Neutral and its saved from a Beater verdict because it’s only held back by its tyres.

Verdict: Neutral
Oh, my. What a mixed result this week! We have two votes for Sleeper, two votes for Neutral and one Beater vote. This car was certainly controversial!

The verdict based on majority votes will be Neutral-Sleeper, making the MR2 SC the fourth car to receive a tie in the votes.

This week's car choice is from @SomePlayaDude and it's another fascinating car in Lamborghini's history. It's the...

1967 Lamborghini Miura P400!

Considered by many to be the first modern supercar using a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout, the Miura and its configuration would start the standardization of the supercar formula for the next 50 years.

Funnily enough, it wasn't the first car to run with an MR layout as a concept. That honor goes to the 1964 Matra Djet, which is considered the world's first rear mid-engined production car.

Historical context aside, SPD has requested that we take this proto-supercar (B 625) around the Sierra Verde Sprint to see if it still holds up some 60 years later.
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Might be on Holiday right now, doesn’t mean I didn’t have time to set a benchmark before I left. :sly:

So the Miura, for many folks this is the OG Supercar.

Mid mounted engine? Check.
Two seater and rear drive? Check.
Incredible performance for its time? Check.
Beautifully Iconic styling? Check.

And it wasn’t a done by a team with decades of experience, it was done by a team who its 4 main players weren’t even in their 30’s yet. :odd:

Don’t believe my similarly aged self?

Yep, Some folks were destined for greatness. :lol:

In game the Miura is a car that does need its V12 wringing out to get the most out of it, lack of low end torque does make it feel like the gearing is on the much longer side, but 60mph can be hit in 1st gear so it’s still pretty long anyway. :P

Handling is somewhat composed given its age, but just be mindful under braking because of its older tyre compound.

Now it might seem expensive at 1 million Credits from the Autoshow, but that’s actually somewhat tame compared to what they can go for at auction and private sales.

Hagerty had a 1971 P400 SV go for over $4.25 million over 2 years ago and the regular P400 we have, can still pull in $1.9 million with well looked after examples. :eek:

All in all, There’s a reason this car is still highly sought after and probably still will be for years to come. :D

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 49 - Lamborghini Miura P400


And after nearly a year, SPD's own Night Moves.. a Miura P400, gets on the stage to bring us what's hot and not of the first supercar.

So, it's well known that the Lamborghini Miura would be the first of its kind to be the originator of the supercar definition. And it's a history any car nut these days probably know.. if they don't dismiss it to begin with.

Back in the 40s, thanks to being a British POW during World War II, Ferruccio Lamborghini learned firsthand to maintain cars on the road. Returning home, he decided that he was so good at it, he started making tractors out of war remains, and his continually growing foot in the industry would set its sights into other engineering utilities.

With success that would get him named one of the richest in the country, Ferruccio would eventually spend his wealth into looking rich as anyone should, including owning classic cars. But when a problem arose in one of his Ferrari's clutch, and personally went to Ferrari to enquire. One side of history says the guys of Ferrari dismissed him, and the other said they saw it, and laughed it off, mentioning he's just a farmhand who knew nothing about cars. Either way, old Ferruccio decided to take it to his own hands, and used one of his tractor's clutch discs to fix it.

It was a splendid fix, and was one of the first things he did that would lead into Lamborghini getting into the automotive industry. And he would definitely find motivation by saying he wants to make cars, and more interestingly better than Ferrari did. So the company we know as Lamborghini was born because Enzo knew how to touch a nerve. It would bite back more than he would do, see Ford a few years later.

After 2 cars in some obscure grand tourers called the 350 GT and 400 GT, the third outing would come out of a complete gamble: a 2 seated sports car, but with the engine placed in the middle, which at that time was only attributed to race cars. Lacking in confidence due to costs and scope, Signore Lamborghini eventually gave it the okay, but that okay was definitely the understatement it got when it premiered in the Geneva Motor Show of 1966. The masses thought the layout says it was made only to race, but NOPE: it's road legal, and the first one at that. The Miura would even become Signore Ferruccio's favorite car.

The Miura was a car with names all over it. Beautiful bodywork courtesy of legendary car designer Marcello Gandini, chassis built by one eventual racing fixture Gian Paolo Dallara, internals developed by longtime Lamborghini engineer Paolo Stanzani, and of course pushed to the limits thanks to test driver Bob Wallace of New Zealand. And to add: they developed this car out of work hours!

Along with being mid engined, there's a lot of firsts the Miura eventually got out with, including getting its car named after legendary fighting bulls that still go on today with the Aventador. Also thanks to drivability issues, the Miura's not estranged to getting revisions, that would culminate in an SV. And the first production car to get 170 MPH. And probably the first to put Ferrari under pressure. Ferrari's first mid engined sports car would be the Dino. And I don't think that car's just as good as this one.

Looking back at my last entry, I guess the car I do cover must have some kind of relevance for giving Ferrari what for. The Miura's definitely high on that list for my top classic cars, but it's a total toss up really with some others. In fact, I have listed a roster of cars that have names, and Night Moves: my personal Miura rooted from me getting one in GT Sport, is one painted in a dark metallic purple with golden trim: something that's more seen in Media if you look up the Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band song I named it from.

This legendary bull that gave Lamborghini and the car world its performance credentials sits with a PI of 625, which is just in the range of maybe another class I plan to definitely get a crowd within COTW: early B class. It's not been done for a while now, but I'm definitely trying to get Throwbacks back in relevance by getting more variety. In its class of Rare Classics, the Miura's notable opponents would be the, what do you know, obvious rival of the Ferrari Daytona that has a 12 PI advantage. If we go back, we will find COTW alumni coming from week 6's 911 Carrera RS.

While it's not one of those older race cars, getting a Miura from the Autoshow will set you back a million credits. Of course, there's also the Auction House. There, it's 880,000 credits for most common, and 704,000 credits for least price. I mean, of course I have 2.. it's not like I want any more, right?

Matter of fact, I don't mind a third. Aside from the stock one ready for COTW, because I wanted this car to be on, the Night Moves would be the other, tuned for the top of B. It was top of A, but should I keep it there, that would end up being the most disastrous Test ready to be set up..


Evidently we're running out of road to take over in mini Mexico. You can ask how blessed would Sierra Verde Sprint be, delegated to be our first track to take on the full 3.5 liter Bizzarini V12 treatment of one Miura.


It's times where when the track's dark is when the nicest parts of Horizon Mexico start to glimmer.

"A technical route that dips into a deep valley, snakes up the other side, circles around the hilltops, and then descends on Sierra Verde Dam at the reservoir."

There's nothing easy or simple about this jungle surrounded route. After the first right hander, we're already challenged with the likes of tight winding roads, along with a mix of speed portions and hairpin turns. It's not a perfect road for testing anything, but it's the road that necessitates your driving skill be on the top of your game, especially with this week's car being possibly more dangerous than the most dangerous car thus far on Horizon 5 COTW. I wonder what that could be? Mind goes far, but I say it's easily the Auto Union.


Blu Miura Roadster remains today to be one of my favorite Lamborghini colors, being the staple of my Mad Bull: another named Lamborghini of mine that's in the form of an Aventador SV. No, that car's not slated for my next entry should I be on choosing duty again. I've plans for a man killer hinted all the way back to week 1..

- While it's not because of real life reasons, the inside of a Miura is one I'm very familiar with. It's got a clear view and maybe just as clear meters and numbers. Despite being dated, I love the feeling of a wooden steering wheel, since that was on the NA Miata. And also with my love for red seats, I would love to have blue seats if I get the choice, actually. They're super fetching here, but I guess there's a real reason why we have a much simpler choice for seats in modern cars. You can never get mint ice cream off the blue that easy..

- Traction isn't going to be an issue when starting out with the Miura, as it launches superbly with its long 1st gear. It's really the only way to launch it, so no advice here. I find myself shifting high at 8000 RPM, because it's better for it in the long run as I observe the situations. Though, not too high, still not wanting to reach the 8200 RPM region which it is going to redline.

- Strangely, for an old car, I don't have major issues with the brakes. They're decent with some locking aimed at the rear. And this car loves to trail brake. If there's any issues, that's all being allocated towards the handling. That's the next part.

- As mentioned in the historical detail, the car's handling is great, but notably slippery. And if you like to keep your throttle off during turns, you're going to go into Barry R's good side. I fight this like how people handle dangerous mid engined race cars: keep a tiny bit of throttle while on the turn. Thing is, this will work if your angle is right, and in my case, there's always something wrong with that.

- We've noticed the long gearing that brings this car's agility down, but I think of it as a good way, with a not so high torque value to make sure we're not slipping away after taking those tight hairpins. It's a rear biased car with a relatively soft spring setup, so don't think you're in the clear if you think all turn exits are all get out and pull away easily.

- Don't be afraid to go off-road, too. I find myself getting off the asphalt often and don't find any issues in terms of bumpiness or grip loss. Be reasonable though: this isn't a Lancia.

- In most cases, I find myself twitching and counteracting the loose handling a lot, which is apparent when the week's nominee is either a big block muscle car or a generation away in terms of age.

- Thinking of the way less powerful ND MX-5 we had in week 43 that's got a 5 PI deficit, this is a car with terrifying power when the roads ahead demand it, showing that even when going up hill. But really: get some stability and grip first before we go into getting its muscles pumped.

- Noted in weeks 10 and 15 with the Buick and the Hammer, this is a car where you're going to decide if you want long but steady exits, or short but slippery ones. Believe it or not, the former sees a lot from me in GT Sport N300 races with this car. But while the car's good on exit traction, keep your inputs in check still because it can slip off a bit sometimes if you go full throttle out of, say, this road's 2 hairpins.

- We hop onto track advice, and it's brake early and reasonably. You gotta know when to brake, and when that comes, not too late or you're going to lose it.

- There's these few long sweepers by the 25% to 50% point that warrants your attention: it wants you to hug the inside, but usually when I get there, it's going to be too much speed unless I do a small brake, which mucks up the stability. Plan ahead with this one, since it's maybe the place Barry R offers its charitable side in regards to flags.

- The last turn is just a definite hit or miss moment, and you better miss. And if you do, I've managed it at 128 MPH, which is supremely satisfying coming from a car like this.

- On the whole, this car's a test of finesse. It wants to see if you've mastered the smooth input, and will punish you if that's even erred in the slightest. Treat the car nice, don't be afraid to pull back a bit, and maybe throw the rear out: it's a smooth rider but is also one that's not afraid to get out of the pen once in a while.

Horizon Mixtape has been quite the addition, but a bit of a mixed bag from my end. Shame that I don't get to hear my personal Horizon hits, like Colors, Pelican, I Might Survive (Goldroom remix), Cheat Codes, Good Morning (Just Kiddin remix), as well as Wading Through Crowds in Mexico, but I like some of the songs they put in. Seriously impressive that it's the soundtrack of the past, but a classic Bizzarini V12 is the soundtrack that takes it all this week.

Miura P400.jpg

A V12 with a carburetor that wants to give me a bad time all day pulls its uneasy, thick ass weight and charges on to get me a time of 3:03.599.

I maintained a rather low self esteem with this run, even though it is my combo. My initial goal was just to beat 3:06. A run with Rewinds on got me a 3:04. Me trying to beat that run without that got me this time.

It's the only clean run I have, and, yes this is just like week.. umm, I gotta look back, there was one week that I only had 1 clean run and I'm freaking done. The intent was to make a challenge, and boy it was a challenge. Barry R left this one with a scar on both of us. But I love these. I'm a bit of a madman sometimes when it comes to car choice, be it hotlapping or online racing. And it's been a long while since, but if you have a look at the Rivals ghost, there's going to be a few cases of early braking and the aforementioned twitching.

But you know what: I have deepened my love for this car in a gaming sense even more thanks to this. I've been giving myself commentary and positive shouting on the many retries I've initially dreaded, then started to get myself back into the fray, into this baby blue bull and get a time. And it was a 1 hour session for a dirty 3:04, and another for that surprising 3:03. Said 3:03 was a certified let's go moment from me.

Both these moments on this week's action allowed me to say this strange SPD made combo earned another stamp known as Mark of Zen. I wonder what number this one's is? DON'T TELL ME, I'm looking back at the NA2 Miata.. that one's 13th, so this one's gotta be 25, right?


There was supposed to be a Throwback or Test here, but like I said: kids are cruel, Jack.

Waitaminute, that Sundowner in me is coming out again. What I meant to say is I'm very in touch with my inner child..

Rather, I think this is okay. Sweet and short has to be the way forward if I want to keep going.


What is the Lamborghini Miura P400? It is..

The first take of the legendary bullfighters, birthing the framework of the modern era supercar

This car takes me back to week 6, with the 911 Carrera RS. It's a terrifyingly difficult car to drive, but in return, I learn a lot and get challenged in a way I find myself satisfied with the result. We're in throwback season in Horizon, and I figure we head back to where the humble supercar started: from aspiring youths hoping to make an impact. And boy that is one impact.

And if we dismiss the grand history this car has with both Lamborghini and all of the automotive industry, it's a wedge that's trying to kill you: something these bulls have been known for until the Murcielago came. But it's very easily a Sleeper. I can listen to that old V12 over and over again. It's become a car, in recent years, for me to stuff it in the virtual racing garage. And most of all: make the best of it and drive it. I can't say that to every classic I come into contact with... in the virtual world, of course.

Oh yeah, screw Cathedral Circuit.


So, the origins of the Miura being painted this viola and oro trim specifically would mean I have to bring it back to where it came from: GT Sport. And even though we're past that gate, somehow it got followed..

Who wants references? Well, that MINI's plate in that game is a UK registered one, initials 'CO73 HDY'. You know where that came from, but my entry on Week 34 is your friend if you don't.

This is also the hint that I do want a Gen 2 MINI Countryman in Gran Turismo anytime soon, that or the Isuzu 4200R but I already cried me a stream when that was referenced in GT7. Designed by the same bloke who designed the GT-R, ehh?
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With styling by Bertone and tires older than most GTP members, the Miura is kind of a living legend. A lot of what can be said about this car has already been told by previous reviews, and even Lamborghini's story was recounted.

So let me share a different kind of short story with you: what Lamborghini has done with that car's legacy.

In 2006, a concept for a modern Miura was unveiled to the public. A machine with a retro-modern take on the classic design, and the underpinnings of its sister production car, the Murcielago LP640. It never went anywhere, as the CEO said the company was focused on the future and would not produce a retro car like it.

In 2016, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Miura, fifty Aventadors were offered with a special Miura Homage trim through the firm's Ad Personam program.

For a car with such a legacy, they haven't done as much as I would've liked. After all, this car put them on the world's radar in an unprecedented way.

So, lacking its parent's acknowledgement of it in any way, the Miura will have to speak for itself this week.

And uh...I'm now understanding the gap that there is in car feel between controller and wheel, because this thing is pretty awful under acceleration on a wheel, but I've seen comments from the pad users in here that imply that it's a lot more accessible on a controller. The car likes to slide out under acceleration, making it feel less like a drive down a Mexican road and more like I'm at Goodwood surrounded by Cobras and 250 GTOs. The car feels a bit wider than it actually is due to this.

Speed and acceleration are great, no doubt about that. Brakes are still decent despite being 50 years old.

So, ultimately...The drive was fun but not great.


And it gave me a bad lap time as a result.

So two things I want to call out before I post my verdict:
1) It's a Supercar. It's known, it's established and by all metrics it is still (barely) a supercar by modern standards. Being a known car with an established reputation kind of hurts it, kind of opposite of how the GNX's reputation was justified by the in game depiction.
2) It's not a historical footnote like the LM002. People know what a Miura is, and what it can do.

So, I can only really give it a Neutral. It's a good car with some flaws that are easily addressed, but it's a Lamborghini and we still see them pop up all over the place.
Screenshot (294).png

Obligatory period correct bird-poo green paintjob.

Moving to another country tomorrow so only a short one from me this week.

On a controller at least, it's quite a capable car even by today's standards. Gears feel a little long, and the chassis is quite soft so it's not the most agile or dynamic car, but the performance is there if driven correctly.
Brake early, be smooth on corner entry, find the right gear for the exit and you'll be golden. Not a difficult drive but does require some precision in your inputs to coax the speed out of it. Wheelspin is also contained by the long-ish gears, to an extent.

The brakes being as good as they are do play a part in the Miura's performance, keeping braking distances short so there's plenty of time to deal with the rest of it.

It's a bit hard to judge the limit of what the car can do because of the general softness. But the more I drove it, the more I found myself surprised at the speed you can take in the high speed bends, if you're careful not to upset the car. With great smoothness comes decent grip apparently.

Screenshot (290).png

The Miura has earned three Sleeper votes and one Neutral vote, making it a Sleeper.

Though that's kind of par for the course these days. Let's get a little more extreme.

Ferrari-bullying extreme. To mark the 10th anniversary of Forza Horizon, the maniacs at PGG created a new FE car. It's the...

SRT Viper Anniversary Edition!

And since we're celebrating, I'm going to bring back something I did in the FH3 thread:

The Viper AE has a preset taking it to the top of S2 class, so this week we will be testing the base Viper AE (S1 900) at the 1984 Honda Civic Midnight Battle and the Preset (S2 998) at the 2010 Lambo Murcielago Midnight Battle.

Both routes are available through the Horizon Rivals tab under Online if you have not unlocked the Midnight Battles for either.
The car can be collected from the Accolades tab after completing the Horizon Origins story. Completing it with 1 star in all chapters will count.

Let's see if this Viper is a worthy anniversary car!
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With the Forza Horizon franchise officially 10 years old, PG decided to pay tribute with a modified AE Viper and it’s suffice to say it’s quite the Meta machine.

Compared to the normal Viper we drove back before GT7 came out(And when a certain country leader decided to be a 1st class 🤡), the 10AE is over 600lbs lighter, has a stiffer suspension and Horizon branded semi slicks, but that tells only half the story.

You see you can’t just take a normal Viper and recreate the base states of the AE Viper, handling is 7.5 for a normal Viper with full weight loss and semi slicks, the AE Viper has a handling stat of 9.3. :drool:

Take everything I said about the Viper back when we drove it, remove weight and add more grip and that’s the S1 version sorted. 😉👍

Where the AE Viper REALLY sets itself apart from the normal Viper is the preset aero kit and in true Viper fashion, it’s pure excessiveness. :lol:

Aggressive front and side aero, a huge rear diffuser and a even bigger rear wing. :eek:

The huge downforce levels give it absurd levels of grip at high speed and if you trust it to stick, it will reward you. 😁


(Obe did appear to spin on his run, but shhh.:sly:)

’But Vic’, you may ask, ‘What about a properly serious challenge?’

Surely it can’t take on some of the established S2 Grip monsters like the Vulcan AMR with a decent driver at the wheel can it?

So I decided on Lookout Circuit in S2 with my own tune with much higher downforce levels, but still RWD and it took on the Vulcan with an old friend of mine driving it. ;)


And let’s not forget, both the car and driver I challenged are certainly no slouches, but on the 1st flying start hot lap I did, it put down that time. :bowdown:

And this is still RWD, There’s huge potential for this car. ;)

As a tribute to its predecessors, PG has given out an absolute weapon to everyone who completes the Horizon Origins Story.

And isn’t that the Spirit Of Horizon right there? :P

Viper AE Verdict: Sleeper 😁👍
Screenshot (297).png

A fitting anniversary celebration!

To be honest I expected a AE/FE version of each cover car for this update, and was a smidge disappointed when I learned we'd only get one, but the one we got is quite the mean machine. My disappointment quickly dissipated after driving it.

The stock S1 version is the one to go for IMO, the S2 in its preset requires a bit too much throttle control. The insane grip it has at high speeds would be neutralized by the huge time loss off the line and out of slow corners, due to its tendency to wheelspin all the way into 4th gear. It's nothing a better build or some tuning couldn't fix, mind you. However this preset build would only be competitive in circuit racing unless your driving really is alien-level.

The S1 version strikes a better balance, having longer gears and less power helps with the wheelspinning, and the grip levels it has is plenty for its class. It's still a bit tail-happy though, but manageable and actually it helps to rotate the car in slow corners where it has a tendency to understeer.

S1 Sleeper.

Screenshot (295).png

S2 Neutral, needs some tuning.

Screenshot (296).png
Brevity is the soul of wit, they say.

In that case, this will be a very wise review.



➕ Very well balanced, easy to drive car. Should excel at most things.
➖ Minor wheelspin issues in lower speeds, far less than the Preset.

Preset: flawed Sleeper

➕ Absolutely immense downforce at speed, immense cornering speeds as a result. Feels like the BTTB but with more top end performance.
➖ Immense wheelspin in lower gears requiring throttle control to get tires to bite. Lacking rear grip at lower speeds leading to high chance of spins at slower corners.

Week 51 update in a few hours.
So. We are now a week out from the one year anniversary of the COTW thread kicking off. As we did on the FM7 thread and on the FH3 thread, we will be having the Beater or Sleeper Awards Show. This will start with Week 52, and the results will be announced on week 55, so there are three weeks to send in nominations. I will be reposting this message until week 54 so no one misses out on participation.

The way this works is pretty simple: The opening post of the thread has a list of every car we've reviewed in the 52 weeks we've had on COTW, and you can nominate the cars we've covered in the following categories:
  • Ya valió. (it bit the dust.): The worst Beater covered in the thread
  • ¡Campeón de México! (champion of Mexico!): The best Sleeper covered in the thread
  • Best New Car: Best of the cars that debuted in FH5
  • Best Veteran: Best of the cars that have been carried over from prior FHs
  • ¡Fiesta! (party!): The most engaging/enjoyable car in the thread, regardless of its overall rating
  • Showstopper: Best-looking car covered by the thread
  • Trash Heap: Ugliest-looking car covered by the thread
Send your nominations to me via a private message with the subject FH5 Award Nominations and, optionally, feel free to elaborate on why you selected the cars you did. I love hearing the reasoning behind people's selections. If, for some reason, you send in your nominations and then change your mind within the nomination period, you are free to edit your message. I won't collect them until the period is over.

And now we move to Week 51. The Viper AE has earned an overall Sleeper rating, so I'd say it turned out successfully.

This week, we are featuring a car that gained fame from a magical movie series written by she-who-will-not-be-named.

Let's raise our wands for the...

1959 Ford Anglia 105E!

The Anglia is the direct predecessor to the famous Ford Escort, and the version featured in the Horizon series is the very first year of the 4th generation model. It also introduced something known as the Kent, an engine that is still in use today by Ford.

Over one million units were sold between 1959 and 1967, and a Ford Anglia fitted with the Ford Performance Kit captured six world records in International Class G racing in October 1962 - the Anglia's build quality meant that the only thing it needed were tyre changes (and likely gas refills) over the six series: "These were 4,5,6 and 7 days and nights and 15,000, and 20,000 kilometres." The car averaged 83 MPH.

So, we've got a high-volume compact sedan overshadowed by its successor, and outsold by the Ford Cortina. Its biggest appearance in media was a young adult movie about a school for young wizards.

The test track this week is the 2003 Celica Midnight Battle.

EDIT: The Rivals does not have a D class leaderboard. I will create an eventlab ASAP.

I ask you this week: Is the Anglia best left as a footnote in history, or is it something special that's been cast aside unfairly? Let's find out.
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Umm.. maybe I'm not reading it right somewhere, or we don't have a test track this week? Don't tell me we're flying it.

Also, I know it's supposed to be a PM, but.. does anyone want an SPD sneak on the upcoming awards show shenanigans with SPD?

SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 51 - Ford Anglia 105E


If not for the NA2, D class cars would remain a low expectation from myself. But now it's time to take on some of the slowest this game has to offer.

So, so far from Ford in the list of COTW alumni, we have..

  • Grip monster Ford Supervan 3 that Romain Dumas showed this year that it's got a 2000 HP successor.
  • Boulder climbing, SEMA show highlight known as Brocky
  • and the cover car of Motorsports 6, and maybe one of my supercar loves of recent day in the 2017 GT.

Oddly, no Mustangs, and I'm not in the mood to put my classic muscle hero in the Mustang Boss in because in this game it's a 302, not the 429. But that's something to think about. Interestingly, 2 of them are my nominees, and they're both the American side of Ford. Today we get another British Ford entry to balance this out, though the car does come with a good portion of America, mainly through the overall design.

To be honest, there isn't much to write about for this car. Unlike the last week I missed, it's not because of how I've already covered the Viper some time ago. It's because everyone knows this car solely because of the 2nd Harry Potter film. It was on the cover of the novel, so it shows the power of TV when it comes to media exposure.

Right, let's see what I can find about the car.. this 105 would be the last of the Anglia name released in 1959 to 1968, and the one in game is the Deluxe, as evident by the front chrome grille, chrome detailing on the side and rear lights, as well as the two tone paintjob. Upon its unveiling, the car was already getting fame for being a very anticipated small car.

The car is powered by a 1 liter inline 4 that gives a tiny 36, upped to 39 thanks to a performance kit. It's mated to a Ford developed 4 speed manual: which is the first to do so. Another notable thing about the car is the design of its rear raked windows. This would allow the car's rear boot to open fully. I guess it's meant to be Ford's take on the British small car market, and I'm sure it was built to battle the Austin Mini that debuted also in 1959.

When you thought we can't get any lower, the Anglia finds itself at the bottom of D, at 100. Thing is, we don't exactly have an idea how low, because it's the part of the class that certain cars lower than a particular threshold are rated similar to one another. This is also observed at X class on the whole. In its class of Cult Cars, the Anglia contends with, in terms of in game balance logic, the Isetta, the roll happy Supervan III, the Samba Bus, the Renault 4L, the Morris Minor and the Vocho.

The time defying Autoshow has oodles and kaboodles of spare Anglias for a measly sum of 20,000 credits, similar case to its debut game of Horizon 4. But if we decide to see how other Horizon Superstars think about selling this on Auction, it's 13,000 credits for most common, and 11,000 for the cheapest.


Missing a prominent train to a magical school in the middle of the British countryside, the Anglia will have to deal with the road used by the 2003 Celica Sports Speciality II Midnight Battle.


Since this is one of the sprints of all time, it's X-RAID time.

"Race through the Dunas Blancas that takes a winding course around the Horizon Baja Circuit."

Umm.. first problem:


You need a B class car to do Rivals runs in this track. And our car's way down there. Which means I have to take things into my own hands and use an Eventlab. I don't think I have the share code handy, but it's called 'COTW 51 - 2003 Toyota Celica', by me. If you're still having trouble, the event's locked to the Anglia.

The next problem: 6.3 miles in what might be paced similarly by a rickshaw today. I remember people having trouble with this even mainly because they had no clue it was a mixed surface rally race. I can't blame them: there's no indication it is. And when it comes to expectations we're going to fly this thing.. it's not a cross country event. And thank goodness. Being at the bottom of performance means we probably can't even get up a hillside.

You might notice the track looks like it has a T junction. It's not, they're just using the same crossing. You turn left as soon as you reach it from the North and then the south. And since it's a 1v1, unless you're classes ahead there's no way that's an issue.

The start line is close to the start of Dunas Blancas Sprint. Brings me back to week 1, actually.


A Ford bestseller a generation ago, the Anglia is in many ways the predecessor to many of Ford UK's successes after that. Is this where it all begins, or is that what was done by the succeeding Cortina and Escort?

- Let's head in the Anglia, and being British, it's a right hander. I'm not surprised, actually. But it does feel pretty spacious for something small. There's really nothing to note when it comes to anything quirky or unique. It works.

- A distinct lack of power and weight means there's no need to describe strategy for launch here. The car can rev up to 7000 RPM, but I shift early, because it feels like no power's able to reach up high in this car.

- There's also no mention of any abnormal issues with the brakes too. Aside from the car understeering when trying to trail brake. In fact: the car tends to understeer in the longer turns, which isn't nice to feel since it stands out quite strongly, and is a slow car that can't capitalize on this. I prefer if it oversteers. It's a reason why the old Fiat 500 was beloved.

- With a long 4 gears, I can't say acceleration and straight line performance is good, because climbing a hill isn't going to happen without slowing down. And that's notable if you're past 2nd.

- It's not got a bad suspension setup, because I say that's one big plus of the car: it's got solid stablity. It's RWD too, but without power you don't have any of the RWD issues.

- Should we go off-road, and the car's drive is like it hasn't changed a bit. Aside from the slippery surface slowing it more going up, you don't have to worry going off track. Unless you're going to miss a checkpoint, nobody is here to scold you, and Barry R's on a holiday.

- In fact, my line mainly and intentionally goes wide so I can take turns at higher speeds. Sort of important when the car has trouble accelerating.

- Final advice. No extremes, manage the understeer. Maybe get away from the obstacles since that really works wonders in hurting your time in a car this low on the rating scale.

So, with this combo, it's definitely in that spot that's the opposite of zen. One run lasts just above 6 minutes, which is extremely boring. And the car's not special in any way. I wonder how this will turn around if the Cortina or any of the classic Escorts would be the nominee this week.

Anglia 105E.jpg

Without the need for wings, the Anglia trods around the desert dunes with a best of 6:46.462. Talk about 46.

Ahhh, boooring!! It's easily a one and done run, and this is a run that I feel can definitely get 5-8 seconds put aside. No wonder they didn't bother with the D and C class Rivals. Though, if it was a middling C class cars, a Throwback's ready for us. That Starion-NC-Alpine rivalry has to continue.

Though, to credit: the track's not the worst Midnight Battle. That goes to the Mustang Mach 1 for being inside the city, which by default is giving it negative 2 million points.


A D Class car with no hope of going past B? I say we're done.


What is the Ford Anglia 105E? It is..

Prime classic example of an American dressed best selling British Ford, but more known for flying through the countryside

Lower end D class cars are weird. No way you can get them to be fun unless you swap the engine. I dunno. I'm very impartial to this week's entertainment. It's a charming little car that has all the makings of what makes a compact classic Ford so attractive. Though, that charm hasn't quite caught up to me unlike the Cortina.

It's definitely going to work when you do the swapping around. I'm not sure it's Sleeper material, but I don't think it's just purely Neutral either. But it sure as heck has all that potential waiting. Everyone's going to be afraid of this in a rally stage. Let's stick with a high Neutral. Not a bad little car, maybe its successors can step in and see how this first go at the small quintessential Ford has paid off.

All eyes go to the Fiesta and Cortina whenever they come in.


Now this is shaping to be quite the race! Place your bets, people!!
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First things first since I did an oopsie this week:

108 912 195 is the blueprint that @SomePlayaDude made. Thank you for that, honestly. I owe you one - DM me your pick for the Week 52 car!

Now, the Anglia.

In game, it has a 0-60 of 30.5 seconds and a top speed of 74.6 MPH. And it's at the bottom of D class. Not much to write home about, but numbers are not the whole picture.

who wingardium leviosa'd my light poles??? every single one was like this.

The launch on this car is pretty simple. Just push on the little square metal tab all the way over on the right, and keep pushing it until it stops moving. Not much else to it.

I managed to get my Anglia up to 92 MPH before it promptly understeered off a corner it should've had no issues taking. That one corner aside, the car was pretty easy to drive throughout the route. No oversteer on the road but a lot of understeer, a hint of oversteer on the dirt but that's about it. It felt more like a weekend drive than any kind of time trial. The brakes are kind of bad, but that's to be expected from a car of this vintage.


Ultimately, the Anglia is in the game as a historical footnote and as a pop culture reference. It's a small, functional car but it's not really doing much other than that. And the fact that you need to swap it to get it anywhere...

I have to give this car a very, very slight Beater rating. It's not gonna do much on its own merit, and the stuff you can do to make it viable makes it anything but a small, light and decent car.
Well, I doubt I'll take it to do any Midnight Battle, against the Celica or any other magical beasts...
However, I did test its flight and landing abilities:

Flying Anglia.jpg

Surprisingly, not that bad, although it is still hopeless against trees. Just like Ron's pet, it's rather useless, but maybe it could be bewitched to a C or B rally version...
However, for the time being and using the O.W.L grading scale, it is Dreadful.
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Let’s get the obvious out the way, it’s slow.
When it’s up to speed, it understeers and the brakes are not potent, they are just… there. :P

Granted, the Anglia is a cheap grab at 11k to buy out or even less if you’re willing to not buy out, but considering it’s 20k from the Autoshow it’s not much of a saving in the grand scheme of things. :lol:

It’s a Beater in stock form, but it’s potential does open up once you starting adding some go faster parts to it.

I even created a small group of classic machines which all have engines under 1000cc’s of displacement back on FH4 which i’ve brought back for FH5.

The Anglia, the Minor 1000 and the Austin Healey Sprite, one for D class, one for C class and one for B Class, all remaining under 1000cc.

They are fun to drive and are contenders on shorter, twisty tracks. 👍

Verdict: Beater 👎
Soooo slow and doesn't even fly... Beater. Its handling isn't terrible but at the speeds it's doing that just means it isn't catastrophic :lol:. Did a 6:44 on the route but I forgot to take a screenshot and I'm not running it a second time :lol:.

There is potential when upgraded, it's quite short and light. But in stock form it exists solely as a Top Gear special backup car. There to remind you that whatever slow and unruly car you should be driving, things could be much worse still.
I am running later than late, darn it! The Anglia has earned a Beater rating. Ouch. And now we move to week 52. But first:

COTW Beater or Sleeper Awards Show Nominations are OPEN.

This week marks the one year anniversary of the COTW thread kicking off. As we did on the FM7 thread and on the FH3 thread, we will be having the Beater or Sleeper Awards Show. We are starting this week, Week 52, and the results will be announced on week 55, so there are three weeks to send in nominations. I will be reposting this message until week 54 so no one misses out on participation.

The way this works is pretty simple: The opening post of the thread has a list of every car we've reviewed in the 52 weeks we've had on COTW, and you can nominate the cars we've covered in the following categories:
  • Ya valió. (it bit the dust.): The worst Beater covered in the thread
  • ¡Campeón de México! (champion of Mexico!): The best Sleeper covered in the thread
  • Best New Car: Best of the cars that debuted in FH5
  • Best Veteran: Best of the cars that have been carried over from prior FHs
  • ¡Fiesta! (party!): The most engaging/enjoyable car in the thread, regardless of its overall rating
  • Showstopper: Best-looking car covered by the thread
  • Trash Heap: Ugliest-looking car covered by the thread
Send your nominations to me via a private message with the subject FH5 Award Nominations and, optionally, feel free to elaborate on why you selected the cars you did. I love hearing the reasoning behind people's selections. If, for some reason, you send in your nominations and then change your mind within the nomination period, you are free to edit your message. I won't collect them until the period is over.

I already have one ballot sent in by a member, so looking forward to seeing what the rest of you folks decide. And yes, this week's car is eligible for nominations as well, you can go back and edit votes if you need to.

And this week's car, nominated by @SomePlayaDude is the...

1983 Volvo 242 Turbo Evolution!

One of the first mad Volvos to really get the name out across motorsports, the 242 enjoyed quite a bit of success in the 1980s across several disciplines of motorsports. It proved to be incredibly effective in a straight line, with the uprated Group A engines pushing the car to well over 160 MPH on several tracks. 500 of these Evolution models were produced and downgraded back to road-level trim, so the car is a unicorn IRL.

At SPD's request, we're going to be checking out the Volvo's (C 548) rally heritage at the Mangrove Scramble.
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 52 - Volvo 242 Turbo Evolution


It's not the snow, but we DO know whatever terrain is on this country, here be a boxy coupe that's known to mess up the landscape. Watch your heads for an incoming Flying Brick.

Back in 1974, Volvo released the 200 series. Now, this might sound unremarkable, because at first glance, that's what it is. It looks like one of those cheap Slavic sedans that got its reputation from being disposable. But these series of Volvo cars got its reputation on the contrary: by being nigh unstoppable like a certain Nokia that I'm salty still for not being resold in Singapore. And unstoppable would mean a long 19 year production run, along with the obvious being as reliable and sturdy like a tank.

But if there's something one can see, it's that Volvo's design team put safety over looks. It was known for having massive crumple zones in the front that would be said is the same way it did for automotive safety like what the Miura did for the supercar name. Considering Volvo's reputation for making the seat belt open source, it's a given, and thankfully so.

Within the 200 series is the 240, and within the 240 name comes variations of this boxy sports coupe. And in 1978, this box of a family would receive the 242 iteration. This would one call the sports package, maybe like an M branded BMW. It's got stiffer suspension and stronger anti roll bars. What this did was allow the 242 to start going wild by the rear, giving it that oversteering tendencies it's well known for.

The 240 would be powered by a 2.1 liter inline 4 engine that produces 155HP. Not much in today's standards, but the car didn't even weigh a ton, so if it's not fast, it's nimble. In fact, it was fast enough that in the 1980s, it went racing, and came out very well represented in just about anything it got its package sent to. The boxy design and these kind of results gave it the well known nickname of 'Flying Brick'. It's no Rambo Lambo, but any sort of nickname on cars help give them identity.

The car we have here is the 242 Turbo Evolution. Its status as the most unusual variant comes from how it is made as a homologation model for Group A racing by the 80s. But unlike the race car having upwards of 300 horsepower, the homologation variant carries 225; essentially its inline 4 with the addition of a turbo. And this success would carry onwards not until 1990, where it ended, but it's the very variant of a model that would give inspiration to Volvo from 1996 to today in the form of Polestar: Volvo's performance division that made headlines by winning a touring car championship with a station wagon.

A box like Volvo comes packaged with a PI of 548.. which is in the middle of C. You probably are new here if you don't know a lot happens in this part of the class. But within its class of Classic Rally, the Volvo's in class rival would end up being COTW alumni in week 11's sleeper superstar that is the Alpine A110.

If you still have that itch for a Scandinavian flick after all this documentation, the Autoshow has these Volvos for 45,000 credits. Buy outs at the Auction House has 16,000 credits for most common, with 13,000 as the cheapest. Another low cost hero? Just the way I like my nominees. This IS my nominee after all. I'll think of something that'll dent your bank for my next choosing.


Even after a year, we oddly haven't touched upon the well known dirt route known as Mangrove Scramble. As I suggested, let's change that.


And just like the surprise factor of a certain cutter styled wrestling finisher move with a 3 word abbreviation that's also attributed to the man doing the move, here's the rematch between Brocky and the recurring XRAID. If you're going to ask who won then, who won now, and what exactly gave way to this happening again, umm.. I guess you can roleplay it?

"Split between the coastal road and lush swamp of Riviera Maya, this scramble is challenging for both cars and drivers due to its high humidity and thick mud."

I wonder if the humidity of this swampy dirt track does something to the cars. In real life sure, but I definitely mean if it matters in game. Maybe the temperature changes in these biomes vary.

Having a role of being a common test track for your dirt machines, I'm sort of wondering why it's now that it's getting its moment. It's got a good balance of speedy on and off road portions, and a couple of hairpins that challenge and entertain those who aren't afraid to spread mud like it's bread and.. whatever condiment you like on your morning toast. Me? It's a specified portional mix of blueberries and maple syrup. I also like my chosen base to be a bit crunchy. Hyup, I'm very particular to enjoying food.


It might not read this sign up, but it's definitely staying that way despite all the bumps and jumps.

- It's a road legal homologation model, so I'm surpised to see all these gauges as we head into the mandatory interior design review I shouldn't be, actually, but if I look back at the Carrera RS, that car's a homologation model that's also dialled up to eleven on its dash.

- So, let's point out how well it likes getting its rear tires skidding. Because when that happens, we find ourselves something out of A class that's full of power: it's not going to stall you by spinning rubber very vigorously. With that said, the launch is just what the doctor ordered: no fuss when going all out. When it comes to shift points, it's like the Corrado: I change by the redline of 7000 RPM on early gears, while getting marginally earlier as it goes up. My 3rd to 4th is about 6500 RPM ish, which is still in the high revving point.

- Gladly the brakes don't suck. I'm not sure about on road situations, but off road it doesn't lock so easy and helps kick your back out. And in this car, controlling this is both effective and predictable, unlike the GTS-R Skyline we had that time.

- First thoughts of the handling is rear happy. If you don't control your inputs while on the longer turns, you're going to meet your rear with the wall. This is a car that enjoys oversteer, and more notably when it's on the dirt, since I don't think I have any issues losing the rear on the tarmac.

- Be careful of its semi long gear setup. This might not be based on the rally car, so that's the explanation for you on why. This is apparent when you do want to slow down so you can oversteer through the dirt corners. Sometimes you're at a gear too high to get swinging, a gear too low to just understeer all the way to give Barry R a kiss. But the penalty for messing up your shifting is quite minimal thanks to the turbo pushing this lightweight beast quite well in the mid RPM range, which is why I prefer being at 3rd for most of these turns.

- It's not an S1 car, but on the dirt, you want to be gentle with the power. I've mentioned the car loving oversteer, but on the mud it likes it a bit too much. And this is the nag for having control on your traction. You turn in, and you better be gentle. Go put it all in, and you're going to lose it. This is the third time I think it's mentioned so it's definitely to note.

- Well, let's look at the track, and have I got news for you: I never go down lower than 2nd. Now, this might not be advice for Manual Clutch monsters, but I find myself preferring on 3rd on all of the tough turns to try preserve the traction.

- And when it comes to bringing down speed, some turns are okay if you just feather the accelerator rather than use your brakes. This is notable on turn 1, the chicane after the quick dip, and the last dirt right hander.

- The best advice to tackle this crate shaped powerhouse is also a c word: control. It just loves to bring out its rear, and without too much power, that's going to lose you some speed when you can't recover. But even though this is a race car brought to road standards, it's obvious one can find the rallying flair in it. It's in a rally class in game, so I guess this is kind of obvious.

A word of advice: I should go get a combination that's not so well done as this. A car that can do anything with a dirt track that tests just about anything. I spent a good 40 minutes pushing far to maybe gift it that Mark of Zen #15. Wasn't it 26? Past me is silly in the wrong ways sometimes.

But unlike last week's Anglia, this is a combo I would love to explore again. Let's see what a best of this session looks like.

Volvo 242 Evo.jpg

It might not have wings, but this is a Flying Brick that can fly to a best of 1:32.335 with me as pilot.

I didn't ever come close to this time after getting it on lap 20. It was a completely outlier lap, as just about every lap I feel real good about could never go past 1:33, and my initial goal was just beat 1:34. Sometimes I don't realize how much better I can be if I put my mind into it. Guess there are times where I gotta be more confident.


Has anyone any idea if I mention the COTW phenomenon of a catch front on opposite day?

I'm not sure if I made you think, but I'm obviously referring to the return of the Throwback.

I assume all of you know what a Throwback is, but since it's opposite day, I'll tell you as if you never saw it. It's pretty much a revisit of older COTW members, chosen by the appropriate purpose and performance range, and see how well they tackle this week's track. It might seem so, but due to varying PI, competition isn't the original reason for this, and you won't be getting a table that you usually see with a Showcase. This table though is something I might do with the Test, but eh, we'll see if that flies.

It's a quick scroll up, but for easy reference, the Volvo's best time is 1:32.335.

Even though there's no such thing as competition, we begin with a competition between THOSE two.

ALPINE A110 1600S
Nominee #11, Sleeper, Mark of Zen #3


Nominee #4, Sleeper


With the score at 3-1, the Alpine finally tastes the feeling of being a bit behind. But we're on the dirt now: it's time to come back strong.


The Starion plans to be ahead of that lightweight pugilist rallying king, and judging by the track, it looks like that torque might come in handy this round.

With a score currently remaining at 3-1 in favor of the Alpine, the contest continues with what might be the biggest venue yet. Where the Alpine's lightweight frame gives it the agility advantage, the Starion's torque and general oversteery nature gives it a bump the last they butted heads. But if we mix the 2, the stakes seem higher than it already is.


While the Alpine flaunts its 2 PI advantage by setting the base time of 1:32.072..


The Starion's best blows away even my own expectations, with a NEW best of 1:31.918, and by breaking the 1:32 second mark allows it to make the score 3-2. Things are shaping up to be more equal that it should be.

The entire premise of the Alpine is similar to the Volvo, with a similar driving pace and shorter gearing. Only that with extra handing precision comes a boost in the issues the Volvo had: you need to be better in your control, and also consider it's added grip.

The Starion however is quite the opposite. It's much easier to drive, it's got longer gears so that I don't slip up more often. And it cruises over bumps way better than both the Alpine and Volvo. Which is how it got ahead in this little competition in the realm of not really competing. Oh, and its monster torque allowing it to just charge through the straights, can't forget that.

And let's end these misadventures with me inserting the Volvo 242 as part of these shenanigans, but maybe indirectly like with the NC Miata that's absent today.

Nominee #20, Sleeper


Another rallying Throwback in this class would mean I have to bring back this fetching homologation special painted ugly green here back to the fold.

Despite being.. probably the least remarkable of the middling C class cars, the R31 did debut with its track questioning its general purpose, but convincing me that while it's built for the streets, it's not going to be estranged to the dirt. It did impress me on the last outing at Plaza Circuit, but let's not expect something amazing here.

GTS-R R31.jpg

This Nissan calls for a quick clean up after securing a best of 1:32.938. And I expected it to not even beat 1:33, to be honest.

It's a road car alright, and it shows. The overly stiff springs and the dramatic loss of traction and pace when traveling sideways on the dirt sets it back. The gearing was also the least applicable, with the car's optimal turning speed stuck in the middle of 2nd and 3rd. But compared to the current crowd so far, it's behind on PI, and this is not the car's best place to make paces with.

Coming up next..

Hey, have you ever thought why is it that only one car gets a sort of buildup to me announcing it. There might be a reason, but I don't think it'll feel right to reveal it, if such a reason even exists.

Well, okay, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to make a stand, as it's the one, the only, the ninety eighties, mission completer and floor perforator from Italy, it's..



Nominee #7, Beater

So far the only Beater from my end, and more than that of the Anglia after all since its unanimous, Rambo Lambo has all the flaws of things like slurring in speech represented through its unusually long gearing. But to say it's a terrible off-roader is a complete fabrication of facts. I did nominate it as a beater thanks to it losing soundly to its successor in the Urus on its week's Showcase. Eugh, I do NOT want to Showcase a bottom end D class car.

LM 002.jpg

Not taking to betrayal well due to me nominating it as the worst (because it's the only) Beater of our one year thread, the LM 002, just like in the Teotihuacan Scramble Throwback provides a NEW best of 1:29.472.
Yeahh.. no other car's beating this time.

Given its power and AWD performance, Rambo Lambo's main claim to this great time was the on dirt exit turn acceleration, going 5 MPH faster than the previous batch of Throwback entrants. And it's easier to get the power down there too since it don't slip. Speaking of slip..

Nominee #10, Sleeper, Mark of Zen #2


I am not your failure.. You didn't kill the dark American age of automobiles.. I did.

I was going to get the Buicks on, but I don't think the GSX will like the mud with all that juicy torque. Though, the Buick GNX might be the most polarizing of my top Sleepers, but it's mainly because of what it's done, how it goes, and lives as the ultimate map cruiser. And it's usually found itself at the top of this middling C class group in terms of PI even on the dirt, so while going off the marked road isn't its forte, a result is to be expected.


To please Lord Vader, a car bearing his namesake should perform, and I hope to please with a best of 1:30.849.

The GNX's main advantage is its killer acceleration. Once you get the traction down, you are going to fly. And its 4 gear setup is long enough that you can steady the power coming in. Due to the muscle setup, this car is by far the most challenging to get around this track, though, and I don't see why it shouldn't be.

Nominee #34, Sleeper, Mark of Zen #11


Let's keep into the Star Wars trend so that I can forget it with a fit of rage. How? Well, did you ever hear the tragedy of Week 34 the HOW DARE YOU!!

Time for you to get.. sorta angry: I nominated the JCW Countryman for the upcoming COTW Beater or Sleeper Awards Show in ¡Campeón de México!. Now to say it won or not is to be seen, but this lightweight crossover has impressed me again and again ever since its unfortunately not SPD marked nomination. It was a driver's ride that I say deserved the name of being the quintessential MINI, but can Mangrove Scramble give it a place to trip?

JCW Countryman.jpg

Not tripping in any sense, this unnaturally big MINI makes a naturally big impact with a best lap of 1:32.042, which is 3 hundredths faster than the Alpine, being within their competitive range while being about 12 PI behind.

Now how else would I say top Sleeper? It's all a very fanfare deserved spectacle, but it's also the most modern car of the lot, with a modern clutch to facilitate smooth speeds. Plus, it also got the traction and general off-road worthiness of the LM 002. The only bad thing: it doesn't oversteer as much, so it's generally the most boring to drive of the lot.

Nominee #17, Sleeper, Mark of Zen #5


Sure you do know I put the Corrado usually at the bottom, because you all know it's bound to shatter this Throwback as it always has done. A Sleeper among Sleepers: my top Sleeper.

So, here's the last car. The original starter car of Horizon. And in no ways a weak small hatchback. As I've been calling it the proto Veyron, the car's a total powerhouse, and easily puts itself as the very top Sleeper for me. Without much else to say, because I'm making a reference to my lack of hatchback knowledge, will this Corrado, with the lowest PI of this list of Throwback contenders, impress me when it has to contend with a salad of road, mud and water? And has anyone noticed I'm plagiarizing myself with this paragraph.

Not a long wait after, you might be wondering how'd this piece of red do this time? I won't be expecting a similar pace but..

Oh wow.

Oh wow.

Oh WOW!!

Oh wow, freaking deja vu but more like a deja wow..

I never thought I'd come back to the time that has me non stop wowing.

This damn car. This holy WOW damn amazing piece of kit, you, wow, YOU!!!


The Corrado surely is the car reserved for the bottom, because the best time it got is a whopping 1:31.544.

Once again, we gotta put it in perspective. While only Rambo Lambo and the GNX are ahead, here's our third fastest car, and it is 30 PI behind the Rambo Lambo, and 16 PI behind the Starion. And when we look at this and that Starion, it just didn't give a damn, and said: I'm a whup your Nippon ass back to Tokyo. Once again, within the confines of this week's Throwback, the Corrado has ripped and tore any 4 wheeled machine ahead of it in a 20 PI range.

What's the Corrado got that the others don't? It's all a combination of how it wants you to treat it like a B class FWD car, compounded with its amazing handling on the dirt. Not to mention the amazing grip, the general balance and how easy it is to be consistent. It also necessitates a different driving style than your usual rally car, but it's proof this style works.

And Throwback is over. Man I realized how fun this segment is to write and report in this performance range. Let's wait for yet another middling C class runner on a road course so we can include other COTW superstars into the fray, wink wink.


Thanks to the sheer potential of that Corrado VR6, I forgot this is the week of the Volvo 242. So, I better conclude.


What is the Volvo 242 Turbo Evolution? It is..

Real life version of Squidward driving a TV's cardboard box out to the dump site in unadulterated joy, sans the imagination.

Maybe I shouldn't be nominating these well known classic Sleeper cars. Makes the results just as predictable. You probably were thinking the Cortina would come, but it's too soon, and if we don't get out of D class, I might just go run off a cliff rather than drive it. The Volvo will work, and I suppose anyone who knows about it would expect it. But Sleepers work wonders on the contrary of this pack.

But SPD: why not put in a car you like instead of a random Volvo? I know the MINI happened, but I have a reason. This all stemmed forth when I came back to playing NFS Heat again. Knowing the general consensus of car potential in that game, I bought the 242 and my friends could never ever see this car the same way again when it too lived as a sleeper choice for doing anything in that game. I personally knew this car's legacy was a surefire definition of a Sleeper, and I've wondered if it's some fluke or not.

Within Horizon, no it ain't! But now, we wait for whoever is ready to get that other Volvo in.


Not really sure how to end in relevance to what's happened, but.. this week's the chance for me to nab a now Hard-to-find that I listed as a top 10 in Horizon 4: the Aston Martin One-77. It's a car I picked up early in Horizon 4 to enjoy very much however long I had there. Way I described it there, it's the kind of high performance car that helps pick yourself up when you're falling down.