Beater or Sleeper? COTW! [Closed]

  • Thread starter Obelisk
The AMG Hammer is a good example of what a serious tuning company can do to a car. I am not impressed
by this playground-version, feels like the shock-absorbers are worn out. So I decided to take this classic back to AMG
and let them fresh it up. I ordered a manual gearbox, a diffbrake and to go two steps up on tirewidth.

The AMG-guy recommended me to go for a widebody-kit including a Mercedes street rear wing to match.

The only way to adjust shock absorbers in H5 is to put on a race- or drift suspension wich totally ruins an original
car if you`re not a skilled tuner. A sports-suspension might be a better choise then.

Parts incuded was:
Widebody kit, Drift(race) suspension, race ARB front/rear, racegearbox, racediff, sport flywheel,
2,75 front +2,95 rear tires. All this ended up with a bill saying 32.900,-

The AMG-guys came up with this setup:

Gearbox: 3.0 rearend, 1st:2.95, 2nd:2.0, 3rd:1.50, 4rd:1.20, 5th:1.0 and OD: 0.85

Allignement: Chamber F:1.2, R:0.8. Toe 0.0/0.0, Caster 6.0

ARB`s was set to 13.80 in front, 13.60 in the rear.

Springs was set to 96 front & rear. Not too stiff, just enough..

Rideheight set to 14.3 front & rear.(14.5= slightly softer, more "alive")

Shocks set to 12.5 rebound, 5.0 bump stiffness front & rear. (5.1=a bit more sporty..)

Differencial brake a:55/d:45

The AMG-guys also added a sport flywheel to make the engine rev up & down a bit faster to match
the sporty gearbox. The tires was upgraded from 2.55/2.75 to 2.75/2.95

And what id this do to the car? Well, the autobahn-cruiser is now an discret GT-car. The handling is not wery different,
just finetuned. The 5-speed gearbox with an overdrive is just what this heavy car needs and the wider tires gives it a
preductable & balanced grip. Details like the flywheel and the diff brings this up close to perfection. This
late 80`s sportscoupe is now on level with anything and a real roadmachine. Enjoy!

Btw; this is also a siple how to do setups, wery basic "fits all" with some minor adjustments. In-car camera off course:cool:

Ooops, forgot to say; this ends up as a B700
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SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 15 - Mercedes-Benz C124 AMG Hammer Coupe


How did you guess the kind of monster Mercedes has for an 80s highlight? You can say it was a smash hit.

So, fair warning that I have ironed out some hammer related puns in this week's writeup. It's my 9 year GTPlanet Anniversary so I'm kind of at this trance of having a little extra fun. No MC Hammer though; this is definitely not the kind of car that stops.

For this undertaking, we head into a car branded as a Mercedes-Benz, but I feel more accurate as an AMG, since it hasn't been bought out yet as of its creation. Not only that, but let's discuss a bit with why the Hammer has found its way into the 80s list of iconic cars, even though it wasn't exactly striking or impressive in looks. It was just a gigantic piece of 80s saloon, with the heart of a big old muscle car. This at least is all from Germany, so no ugly or slow here.

And where to begin? The car isn't just your bog standard man puts in big engine to sedan to go vroom. It was done by AMG: the sort of dudes who would make big hulking luxury sedans pick up a hefty chunk of reputation at the race track. The 300 SEL AMG 6.8 Red Pig: a car represented in both Project CARS and Gran Turismo Sport, was probably the best example of this kind of thing.

With these credentials, we hop in an iconic 80s Mercedes. How iconic? Well.. this is the car people have been comparing the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach to. And it might be odd to hear how they can't keep up with the Hammer. It has a higher top speed, higher functionality as a saloon car, and oddly: higher price. Yeah, it's actually more expensive, even I found that kind of surprising. Given, the one we're looking at here is the coupe version, which is much more exclusive.

I've been looking back a bit, and apparently the Hammer was actually a response to rival company BMW making their own high performance sedan.. now we know as the E28 M5. Now looking at it this way, I guess if BMW has a new machine to show, Mercedes is out there, scheming something. Personally, I definitely prefer juked out Mercedes over BMWs.

Unusually, at a quick top 10 list for Horizon 4, I've put the Hammer as a special mention rather than one of the 10. The criteria of that list is not how well the car drove, but rather how much impact did it have on me being introduced to Forza Horizon. A few of those cars are personal, and the Hammer wasn't, but it was the kind of car that got me wanting more of. It made that list out of anticipation.

The Hammer finds itself nailed down at the later end of B-class, held at 681 PI. If we look at the Countach (and by proxy the 512 TR that's not in the game yet), it's quite a few steps behind. Still, it's 98 PI ahead of the first gen BMW M5.. with the power of suggestion and the pure mention of these two cars, you can probably already guess where this is going: eight words, two syllables, often after SPD makes the writeup of the full stock car review..

To the economy: the car was strangely super desirable in its debut game of Horizon 4, being a Hard-to-Find that's almost always past 10 millions at the Auction House. Luckily, it's a commodity in Mexico, and can be purchased for 165,000 credits, and about 50,000 from the right people in auction. Such a phenomenon, am I right? I have 2, which means that Auction House transaction won't happen this time around. One is the stock one that will be used. The other is at the top of A-class, and already found itself in COTW in a past week. You know I'll be using this week to revisit the car's performance, and make it better.


All this smoke means another week with a muscle car. I should be glad, but these sort of things have to be backed by the experience.


To construct an opinion for this tool of power, another sprint awaits us this week. And it's probably the first one you've tackled in this game: Reservorio Sprint.


The community in Mulege has been in the brunt of bad luck with cars speeding by and rallying on their dirt roads. But they've been accepting it, actually not minding using the likes of this Countryman as the morning alarm.

Starting from the main Festival site, the road travels with speed to the south, goes past a speeding curve through Mulege, and through a tricky, tight eastward road to the finish.

Even though it's probably the first road, it's not as simple as one would think. You have this speeding segment at the opening, then transitioning to a more technical portion in the latter end. Thing is: as a technical portion, it's relatively easy and forgiving. Lots of portion to cut, and the two lane road is quite wide, not to mention it's lack of hazardous undulation. The only hazard I find are definitely the breakable objects. So it's definitely got that first track vibes.


Here comes a car that screams: let me be your sledgehammer. What will be its testimony down these roads? Yeah.. [Yeah!]

- Let's go tackle expectations. I went in expecting something with too much power to handle the tires and going to kill me every corner I took. And am I glad it wasn't. The overall drive is very manageable with a controller. There is a lot I find very similar between the Hammer and the GNX from week 10.

- Inside the car is your usual Mercedes flair. I've been in a W124 before, and there's a few that's familiar to me. The laminated wood option is one I like getting my grubby hands touched. For racing, I don't see much problems with the car in general. Everything is huge.

- Probably the most obvious similarity is the gearbox, carrying 4 gears. Though, in the Buick, that car has an overall heavy gearbox. The Hammer has heavy only on both 3rd and 4th, but it is a much more powerful car, with natural aspiration and a great torque figure to help propell it further in that aspect. They're both quite powerful in their classes, if anything. The main issue is to decide between second and third on some tighter turns. Personally, I stick with third, but I am trigger happy, so..

- Was wheelspin madness the first thought for the car? It was. This thing simply wants to just break all these expectations for me, huh? If you push it down during launch, you will get this kind of launch that just screams classic American muscle from a movie. Something like the opening scene for the music video of Fuel.. uhh, only that the car is Deutsch. You're welcome to just do this, because there's no way I can see throttle control do something better. I shift at 6500 RPM.

- To the braking, and I have no complaints on it at all. It's maybe due to the long 4 gears that would mean it's completely fine to engine brake it, just don't do it last second or you'll lock the rear. And trail braking is also good.

- Handling wise, since it's a muscle car, the rear's going to pop out a bit on turning in longer roads. It's a tiny bit, but be wary of this anyways, and control that input. You might even pop out a drift, but this is so manageable, you wouldn't have any issue unless you're using keyboard.

- Speaking of understeer, this car has tons of it. This is apparent when you decide to turn in lower revs. Most notably: in third gear. I find myself in a bit of a blue button/red button situation in this. Do I hang around third so my acceleration is in check with understeer, or do I shift down, turn with little issue, but lag behind? Oddly, it's mostly mid turn understeer: initial turn is completely fine.

- Sometimes, I find myself unsettling the car on a small bump. And when that happens, I lose control.. meaning: this is a car I plan ahead to drive, and any erratic movement will get the car to drive unusual.

- As heavy as the car is, it shouldn't be plowing down the props at Mulege. They look to me like the main cause of slowdown for any attempt on this sprint. The most trouble I have getting a good time is definitely by entering Mulege, where you have to brake at the right time, and get the right line, or plow through what you don't want plowed. Because you ain't Mr. Plow.

- Barry R has been shirking on his duties once again in a Horizon Apex event. This blame i put solely on my racing line: it's got grass written all over it. I guess there's no way to get purely clean laps or runs in this game if you're going to get competitive.

- What's to say about the car? It's a muscle car, but throttle input isn't what you're going to put your focus on. It's inputs in general. This is a gentle giant, with a big, powerful, gentle heart. This would mean sudden moves will unsettle the entire drive. The Hammer treats you good, only if you treat it good as well.

It's not a challenging drive at all, but to get good at mauling a big old hammer like this Hammer, it's going to take a whole lot of runs, and a whole lot of whacking that road again, and again, and again. Still, I couldn't fully enjoy it, thus: no zen, I'm afraid. But how about a best time?


That I do have, and it's a smashing 2:35.315.

This is a car with some power, but unfortunately comes with a bit of a learning curve. It's a classic car, after all. Nothing from that age comes in a changeable difficulty setting: it's all Nintendo Hard, all day. Though, the Hammer isn't exactly hard to make good with, and not even hard to drive as a muscle car. Any enthusiasts of the big and powerful can start here if they so desire.


And it's Showcase time!

This week, we expand what I've done in week 10: an 80's, top A-Class showdown.

The objective of each car is to achieve a time in the region of 2:20, better if lower. The Hammer gets another goal, and that's to try best the times set by certain cars. And that'll definitely weigh in on the final rating. Do note: since the leaderboards don't give a damn on what car is the quickest, the fastest clean time will be the one you can find my ghost on, meaning unfortunately once again, you just gotta take my word for it.

In addition to relevant cars, this showcase would also include just about every car type from the era, pumped up to the top of A-class, with the only permitted conversion being an aspiration change.

And when I mean every car type, the only one I couldn't find was probably big truck or off-roader. The only choice I had there can only get A800 with an engine swap, and that car was..



Rambo Lambo.

Umm.. to the showcase!!

80's SUPERCAR - Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV


You be you, I'll be me; it's a matter of style..

Speaking of Rambo Lambo, here's comes the big daddy Lamborghini that brought that military piece of equipment to life! I have a lot of choices for a supercar. These could be things like.. the F40 from week 10, Nemesis, maybe a Porsche from this era too.

But here we are. I've always have a soft spot for older Lamborghinis. Surely me repeating mention of one Miura proves it's place as one of my favorite classic sports cars of all time. The car already sits nice and snug in the lower A-class, so it's not much changed aside a boost to general performance.

The Countach moves out and rolls in at a time of 2:19.217.

It's an 80's RWD supercar, and this would mean it's all about having the skills to make mills. Each twitch means something, and even tuned to race with tons of speed and cornering, it's still quite a machine to handle.



So, why do I have an A-class M5? And why is it the original M5? You'd be surprised.

I mean, I did peg down a hint so obvious.

You might see this as some shill for me to have this car raised 2 levels without any reason. But when I brought it to race online, I was sort of caught off guard. This car would eventually end up as one of my true sleeper choices in A-class when I do go racing. I'm actually quite surprised it's at the top of A-class without much to convert, but there's a Forza Edition of this car in the past game at this distinction to back this fact up.

It's not a modern sedan, and it's got some juice. It's also painted black.. I guess that's on me, but to measure its performance? I'm unsure, actually. Let's use this as the opportunity for doing so.

The best time this old school M5 landed was.. 2:19.052.

Competitively ahead of the Countach, eh? Did this car just impress, or what?!

It's like if the Countach was easier to control, much more old fashioned, and better yet: shaped just like someone on their daily commute. This is one car I'm not dropping anytime soon, because to be better than the Countach, and set the pace for this showdown, is just proof how on the dot sleeper this thing is. But will it stay?

80'S RALLY CAR - Peugeot 205 Turbo 16


Lightweight turbo from the 80s, coming right up!

Surprisingly, I found a good selection of these rally cars in this age, even without the Delta S4 around. To bring them up to A-class is one thing, it's another to eventually decide which rally legend's the one to bring into this showcase. I opted for the 205 T16, in between the likes of the only other options: the Audi Quattro and the Renault 5 Turbo. Unusually this car was chosen because it was already tuned for A, due to this one seasonal where you had to pick Jags or Peugeots, and there sure ain't a lot of Charles Peugeots.

To put it simply, the car is essentially a lightweight rally car with a tendency for oversteer. It had a lot of trouble putting it to work when I first drove it, but now: it's a whole different ballgame.

This road going 205 put up many various times.. the best one was 2:22.131.

The launch of course put it ahead, but there were too many compromises made for this car to work as a road racer. Even with race parts, it still wanted to be a rally racer. I did miss out on race brakes, but I doubt it's that important to a car this light. Troublesome, and at its current pace, I probably need to revise it.

80'S HOT HATCH - Ford Escort RS Turbo


I did say every car except off-roader, right?

After an AWD entry, it's now time for an FWD entry, and I think I mentioned this drivetrain being quite weak in the classes further ahead from A-class. Due to how we're still stuck at this era, the choices are limited, but not impossible. Take this Escort Turbo, for instance. It might start out at C, but I can make it an A-class superstar.

Now with this little shrimp up to speed with the showcase, I wonder how powering the wrong set of wheels would be the right thing to do.

Apparently, that would end up with a time of 2:18.952..

So, it appears that the FWD Escort managed to take out a Countach and a M5?

Hoo boy, this is one little shrimp that could. To make things even better, the lap made was the first clean lap made, which for the rest isn't the case. This is the apparent way to play with FWD cars: start off with the worst launch ever, but it comes back strong during the handling portion of the track. I could never understand how this happens, but it's apparently very possible. We got 2 unexpected 80's performance machines for you all to try.. and for me to tinker a bit more.

This next ride I hope would also make that distinction. And it's the...

80'S SPORTS CAR - Toyota MR2 (AW11)


There is a wide variety I can put here, but this is the time a Japanese tuner comes in! And it's a personal favorite of mine.

In a quick thread asking about favorite cars in Horizon 4, the AW11 has my personal thumbs up for being my choice of a domestic hero. It's about time I give it a moment to shine.

Ever since week 10, I've had a quick look at the car and made some major adjustments. They don't include change of certain parts, but it's now going to try and impress me. How did it do?

Well, it did something: 2:20.066.

Okay, that Escort is something else. But on to this car's performance: it was quick off the line, quick in the turns, and overall quick. What set it back however, was stability. It's not as bad as the Countach, but it didn't have grip. Yes, I didn't put any rollcage, so that's on me. But it was fast, and I can make it faster in a safer environment soon.. perhaps for another occasion.

80's MUSCLE - Buick Regal GNX


It's not the Starion, but I suppose I can't give this Sleeper a break.

The ghosts from week 10 continue to haunt! I've been revising the tune for the car lately, and as it was originally, it is a car with smooth handling, definitely made for the more refined tracks. I've noticed it being lacking in the power department, and I honestly don't know why that's the case.

Considering what it's already done, I have low expectations for old Darth here. The Buick definitely does not fit in A-class road. But it doesn't mean I shouldn't try. I do have more unusual choices for A-class road, such as.. umm.. the Isetta, and the Sierra RX3. You can guess the former didn't work out. The latter however definitely did.

But if it didn't fit so well, how can it obtain this best time of 2:20.472: which is still pretty good considering my goals for each car.

The main difference between the other RWD cars is how much more safe this is. It's easy to be consistent, and rear grip loss is much more minimal here. Still, not competitive quick. I did say it's a cruiser, and it definitely lived up to that name quite well.

CAR OF THE WEEK NOMINEE #15 - Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer Coupe


And last, hopefully not least, is the Hammer. Already waiting, in a very nice and evil dark red hue, along with some other visible changes.

This is the same Hammer that I brought on week 10, and one can definitely tell I have made some drastic changes to it. Adjustment of the transmission, to a new wide body kit.. Now, it is sort of the perfect car for street races, being a heavy lumbering high speed machine, capable of taking the sweeping turns, with that understeer addressed.

But where does it place? This actually matters now, because as the current nominee, this is just my way of saying if this car is worth bringing over to a higher level.

Here's the standings so far in this 80's shootout, and it was definitely not what I expected.

1) HOT HATCH - Escort RS Turbo
3) SUPERCAR - Countach LP5000
4) SPORTS CAR - MR2 (AW11)

6) RALLY CAR - 205 T16

I'm still sort of questioning how an Escort tops out this list. Anyways, if we're going to make predictions, I expect the Hammer to be on that tier with the MR2. Not going to double down on that opinion, I'll just let the attempts on this road solidify that.


It's just the one picture, but it's the one that cements my struggles on bringing down this Hammer to this already respectable 2:20 time.

With a nail set in place, the Hammer pounded down a run time of 2:20.392.

And if we put that on the standings, it's just as I predicted: on the tier with the MR2, and just barely ahead on the Regal GNX this time around.

The whole momentum of this time was due to the technical portion of the circuit. The initial speedy portion was dominated by the Hammer, going faster than any other car on the list.

Since the optimal line has grass written all over it, the less oversteery drivetrains have an advantage. It's also where I lost a lot of time due to the Escort having a LOT of exit corner speed and traction. Well, as bad as it looks, I'd say it's a given. The car is a big piece of muscle power all around, and this is definitely a track in favor for things with more than just straight line speed.

And here's the final showdown leaderboards, all tabled up.


The time for the Escort RS Turbo still remains on Rivals if one wants to see it.. or try to beat it. I got a few cars that'll try to dethrone this little Ford. For the COTW's sake of pride (if there is such a thing, I dunno), Pinky is one of them.

Well, this time around, I most certainly learned something.. the right kind of FWD car can make up ridiculous sleepers. Another odd thing about this showdown is how most of the cars are in dark colors. That's definitely not intentional. What is, is how this is going to bring the Hammer up, or down. That's to be decided next!



There's no way I can't think Hammer isn't an interesting name for a car. But if it was a lightweight sports car, then it definitely doesn't match.


What is the Mercedes-Benz C124 AMG Hammer Coupe? It is..

The soul of American muscle in a German saloon, and a solid testament for AMG's know how to play around power.

Let's put away the fact it's another AMG masterpiece, and say it's another muscle car. I mean, I see so many pieces of it that screams a tribute to the old days of American muscle. 4 gears, a hint of luxury, a huge engine that gave it's namesake, and it was built like a fear inducing vigilante's method of transport.

I already have my eyes on Sleeper ever since I got a taste of the unmodified Hammer. It's staying that way, even though it didn't do so well in that 70's 80's showcase.

The car was heavy, powerful, and overall fantastic, and I can't say no to it unless someone drivetrain swapped it. But if we put aside this monstrous tool of destruction, something else was made apparent, it's that..


I, SPD, have a dream! To make FWD cars freaking work. By the way, anyone figured out why I called it the little shrimp?
Let's take a look at the local Hammer.

...And not get hammered in the process. Make of that what you will.

As others have already stated, the AMG Hammer has just about 380 HP, weighs 3640 pounds and easily outpaced some of the most iconic exotic cars of all time with a massive top speed of 196 MPH. Terrifying numbers for the 1980s.


Equally brutish looks, to boot. Did they take these headlights off a Volvo 240 or something?

As is normal with me and my reviews, a short drive to feel out the car in low pressure situations will usually tell me what to expect going to the actual sprint. Since my default Player House is Hotel Castillo (for some reason) and the track is down by the Festival, I've got quite the drive ahead of me.

Looks predominantly high speed. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Initial impressions of this meaty Mercedes are that it's clearly composed and honestly humble. And I deserve to be fired for those horrendous alliterations.

It doesn't have the soggy suspension that American muscle cars are known for, but doesn't feel as tight as something in a higher market bracket. It's not bad over the dirt, but I highly doubt it'd do well when pushed. As a cruiser, though, I'm quite enjoying it. Now let's see if the stretch of road south of the Caldera is enough for the Hammer to really crash against the anvil rev limiter.


Experimenting with changing my zoom to make more dramatic shots.

And, disappointingly, I didn't get up to top speed like I was hoping for. I did get up to 150ish, which was pretty impressive. Let's see how this goes.


Nothing like rocking the rock concert with a V8 soundtrack.

It's got a pretty good launch and pick-up, especially considering that it has a very widely spaced 4 speed gearbox. Definitely going to slap a 6 or 8 speed on this for maxing it out at B class to see just how it goes. I do tend to like these cars with somewhat softer suspension setups, because they have a higher tolerance for uneven surfaces (such as running on a curb or going a bit off the road) even though it makes them a little lousier on general handling. I do, however, notice a flaw that's already been pointed out by SPD - the spacing between 2nd and 3rd gear is set up just at the exact speed that the car needs to be in one or the other for a turn...

Basically, if you gotta be at around 85 mph, you have to decide whether you want to risk blowing the engine by running deep into the redline on 2nd gear, or bog on exit by being in 3rd gear. I'm personally gonna lean into 3rd gear more. Given that 3rd gear redlines at 145 MPH, you've got a bit of a recipe for lap time disasters.

Also pointed out by SPD - the barriers kinda suck here. Too much room to basically get cautioned or flagged dirty in a Forza Motorsport game.

Not bad for my first clean run. Let's get some practice in and push this thing to its limits.


Very carefully stringing together the lines.

Getting it to string together good lines is a bit of a challenge...and any excuse to try and get a leg up on Vic is a worthwhile excuse. Remember how I mentioned liking that this car has a softer setup? That sure is pretty handy with some of the checkpoints...I'll explain why with the below picture:

Yup. You can cheat the checkpoints by running over them. There's a few corners where you can do this, and it completely changes the lines you can run through most of the sectors that have these. One of them is even how I figured out that I could potentially beat Vic here.
Clean run after hours of trying:

I could get the time, but I'm missing some consistency in key places.

Honestly, though. I think I've seen enough with this one. This AMG has a lot of potential when you push it and the track to the limit. I'm calling it a Sleeper.
Well, I knew this was gonna happen sooner or later. :dunce:

Going to keep it very brief because this is unfairly late as it already is.

AMG Hammer is a Sleeper, well done!

@SomePlayaDude decided this week that we should all take a journey to the past.

So, take a moment and experience the title screen that kicked off an amazing adventure for a lot of people.

If you don't know what the car is for this week by worries. The world is in a horrible place, and I don't blame anyone for losing track of the simple things and good memories in life.

This week's COTW is the cover car of the original Forza Horizon, the 2013 Dodge SRT Viper GTS.

Our track for this week is Rura Norte.

Let's take this Viper on the roads of Mexico and find out if Darius ever stood a chance against it!

i'll edit the thread and OP tomorrow.

i'm serious when i say that i don't want anyone to feel obligated to post in or contribute to this thread. it is an atrocious time and my heart goes out to both the LGBTQ community in Texas and to the residents of the Ukraine.

please, if anything, look into some resources/support lines for both situations that have been vetted by the internet at large. i would provide links but i am so overwhelmed by a number of things right now, both good and bad. the appropriate threads here on GTP should have at least a few resources.

drive on, my fellow COTW enthusiasts. you guys are the reason I keep coming back and contributing despite everything going wrong in my life and in the world..
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Sorry for the later than usual time, was occupied by current events and some certain event happening this Friday. :P

But to get serious for a second, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to those who have been lost in the Ukraine/Russia conflict, on both sides. :(

I hold nothing against the Russians who didn’t want to be there or don’t want to go there to fight for someone who’s desperate to stay in power and is getting very low public support over this war.

I stand by Ukraine and it’s leader who could’ve understandably cut and run, but is choosing to stay and lead his people. :cheers:

Now back to our regular scheduled programming. :)

The 2013 Dodge SRT Viper.

The Viper has always been in my book the automotive personification of ‘America, 🤬 Yeah.’ :D

Huge 8.3 litre V10, 640hp and 600ft-lbs of torque( remarkable amount for a modern naturally aspirated production car.).

In fact I went through the car list and found that in S1 class, only 1 Non turbo car has more torque and that’s the TVR Speed 12 at 649ft-lbs. :eek:

Although admittedly calling a Speed 12 a production car is a bit of a stretch, so the car that comes closest that did make production(that isn’t the 2016 ACR before some wise guy pipes up.:sly:) is the Pagani Zonda Cinque at 575ft-lbs.

The gearing in previous Vipers was essentially a long ratio 5 speed with 6th being a highway cruising gear, the gearing is shorter in the 2013 Viper, but it’ll still do 69mph(Nice:sly:) in 1st gear.:lol:

I’ve always liked the ratios on 3rd and especially 4th, with it being rather closer to redline than you expect, it just encourages you to keep your foot down and slam through the gears.

Handling is rather stable and responsive, but don’t forget that it’s still a Viper, it’ll still bite back if you get complacent. 🐍

And if you want even better handling(at the cost of top speed.) then the later ACR version is the one for you. 👍

But for less than 100k(27K on Auction House) the 2013 Viper is great value for money.

Or is it? :confused:

Went back through the list prices and found that only 6 S1 cars cost under 100K and the Viper is the most expensive at 95k and of the 5 others, only 1 has a lower PI than the Viper’s S1 813 rating.

The 5 cars in question are as follows.
2008 Dodge Viper ACR: 90K S1 844
2016 Porsche Cayman GT4: 85K S1 819
2016 Ford Shelby GT350R: 75k S1 815
2020 Chevy C8 Stingray: 65k S1 806
2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1: 60k S1 821

So if you want the most PI for your pound, The Camaro is king. :bowdown:

But don’t let subtract from the 2013 Viper’s overall performance which is still not one to underestimate.

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
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SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 16 - Dodge SRT Viper GTS


Cause I like you.. yeah, I like you. And I feel so Bohemian, like you..

Let's first point out as of writing, we've come and became witnesses to yet another tragedy in the world, where a big bully would assert his way to claim what's not his to begin with. Much as it is to keep spirits up high, it's hard to make sure anything I do is of that level these days. I'm about to turn 30, and as I have paved a path to life's success, I can't guarantee that path to remain. So, I think it's time to put those stresses of life away, and just kick back. And the recipe for that with Forza in mind includes a nostalgic revisit of an American icon, in V10.

Now that I have regained control for car and track choice for another week, it's time to bring on not just some icon, but also a Horizon classic, and a car I've personally been associating myself over the last 8 years. And fittingly enough: to the Forza Horizon players that have been at it for the longest time. I'm unfortunately not in that latter jurisdiction. I had a taste of 3, before starting out proper in 4.

Since I don't quite know where to begin, let's delve into the 3 generations of Vipers. We have the original SR: branded as the lazy looking Sneaky Pete until 2003. Then the ZB: branded as a more aggressive Fangs.. though I can't truly say for the car itself. And the one we have here: the VX: branded as Stryker, which is the sharpest, thus deadliest of the lot: very fitting for the kind of car the Viper has eventually evolved into.

As of my interests in high powered cars, the Viper never clicked to me at all growing up. I was still into the newly revived Camaro for American performance at the period of the late 2000s. After a quick stint into Ford for that interest, that all changed when I took my eyes on the Stryker badged Viper's debut back in early 2012. Even as it hasn't been out yet, I could never stop looking away. It was just the kind of car that wants to push my manliness factor up to eleven. And then from the magazine I read.. I forget which it was, I guess Top Gear, the slogan: "Makes the Mercedes SLS AMG look tame" just embedded straight onto my mind. And I approve very much of the SLS AMG's entire existence, yet couldn't find myself to disagree.

We all know that the Viper was born as a modern day Shelby Cobra, but died because the world can't handle its existence. Either way, the car world had their heads in salute as this name of iconic American performance came to a close. But just about every car game that would represent a single Viper these days would choose the VX, in one form or another. Occasionally it's also with an older model backing it up, like in The Crew 2. To me though, these days the Vipers are just like how I treat each generation of Miata: they are kings (or queens) in my book.

Don't hate me, but I can say a Viper's V10 would be the best kind of V10 roar.. incoming ordinance!!

The base VX Viper finds itself at early S1, to be precise at 813 PI. If I were to find certain American rivals around here, it's about 2 PI behind the Shelby GT350, and 4 PI ahead of the C6 ZR1, my favorite modern Corvette. These are 2 cars I am glad to see their debut/return in Gran Turismo 7. To spoil a bit: the C6 will make its way into the showcase underneath later. If you don't like this idea of a post review writeup, then you can feel free to skip it, no hassle.

As a car that is rewarded to anyone who's played the original Horizon before 5, it's fair to say this is a pretty common car. I wasn't one of these, but the game decided to bless me anyways, and reward this car as one of my starter cars. This car would be the first car I won with a Wheelspin.. which is unusually poetic, because this is also my first car in Gran Turismo 6, in that world though it is intentional.

Oddly, I don't got a spare. The regular Autoshow price is 95,000 credits, and with its currently common state, the Auction House has once again come to my aid. The cheapest I saw for straight up buyout is 22,000 credits, which means we have something on the cheap this week. But it is cheap for an S1 car. Meaning is all that performance worth it?


Taking it back even further with the unusual choice of green stripes.


And to test out the final flame of Dodge's flagship sports muscle, we try to find the closest thing there is to a classic American festival locale. And a road with just enough resemblance might be Ruta Norte.


It takes a pair of stripes to tell any car without a set to shove off and be inferior. The MINI definitely felt that, and took up some more sporty credentials.

"Will you choose an agile setup to gain an early lead on the switchbacks, or a speed-focussed (dat typo) setup to sprint for the finish in the latter part of the route? The choice is yours."

Literally translated as Northern Route, this sprint takes us across the most western side northern edge of the map. It's as simple as it looks, because as a Street Scene event, I can give Barry R a break from all those weeks giving him flak. This locale's all about getting on the best line. There's hardly a place to cut or run off to.

I would look at this event as some 2 parter that would work with Copper Canyon Sprint, because where Ruta Norte ends, it is where Copper Canyon Sprint begins. But they work under different event types.

And you can see how much of a straightforward event this is. It's just the one path from a to b, without much in terms of cutting the road, hard braking, or anything complex. It's still a Street Scene, so traffic is a consideration, but in Rivals, that's just the wind. You can even practice this road by using a waypoint on your map.

Though, the track mentions how the first half is handling, while the rest is all speed. I'd say it favors more on speed. Least from this opinion, I feel it's going to make the showcase quite interesting.


In comes a snake that I hopefully would enjoy so much, it makes me feel so Bohemian. But put away that bias, and it's time to see how these scales shine.

- Of course we begin with the inside. It's tight and sleek, and this is pretty much the norm of these types of sports cars. And due to that, there's no issue at all. There's the infamous light up Stryker logo in the centre as this indicator for your shifting needs. I don't usually use it, because the end of the cockpit tachometer is very accurate to my shifting position of exactly 7000 RPM, and it lights up too early for my taste.

- And the other thing to really point out is the new sound. The Viper's sound is so dismal in recent past Forza entries. So they apologized by making it much much better. And after they hardly touched the LFA and butchered the Carrera GT's sounds, the Viper's V10 roar is just wow; another moment I can look how they unmassacred my boy.

- Now, let's go with the launch: the first gear is long enough for you to push it all the way without stability issues. Like the Hammer from last week, the advantage of doing a bit of throttle control is super minimal.. unless you do it my way: put on some power for launch, then soften it. If soft enough (but not too soft), the revs should be around the 3-4000s RPM area with the wheels not smoking. That's when you hammer it down. The advantage is about half a car's length, so there's a little, but with an ounce of challenge kind of skill to learn.

- We hop in to the first issue I noticed: engine braking. It doesn't like it when done last second, especially with all these uphill braking points, making the car's turn entry quite slippery. But the brakes on the whole are no ways bad, contrasting the Corvette C8 from week 1. But here's an SPD top tip: after a bit of hard braking, don't accelerate immediately. This'll allow you to get this sort of stable, miniscule oversteer turn that's not slow and quite handy for turning. But I made it my mission to make this work. How? By controlling when to shift down! Do it early for the tighter turns (watch your drift bro), and doing it later gets you the usual stable turn. Hmm.. this car is full of learning opportunities.

- General stability is also another problem. Putting too much power during a turn will have you slip out slightly. Brake too suddenly, and again you'll slip out slightly. And as is the rule with a car classified like this, smoke out of rear tires going sideways is bad for pace. Be responsible for your inputs, and don't push too much, or the bad part of racing a muscle car will make itself apparent.

- The track carries a good portion of uphill segments, which means I can measure 2 things: acceleration and turning. For the former, it shows how the Viper's gears are a bit too long in general. I never had an occassion to use the 6th, and it can't get going in notably uphill portions. It's not the gearing being the issue, it's more that this car isn't so suited for it. The Viper isn't aspirated at all and it's not exactly made with lightweight in mind.

- There are occasions where the Viper would understeer a bit, and go off course. Sounds bad, right? Let's take it in a more positive light. This allows me to find out how the car, in stock form, has good off-road grip. But don't go off track in this street race. It's way too bumpy for any car to get a better pace going out of the road. Have you ever seen a Viper flip? If you have, pray it's the last one you'll ever see.

- Now for the handling: it is surprisingly not leaning to a modern muscle car at all, but more of a sports car. It's light, responsive, but not always grippy. That's what a muscle's soul does to you! With racing line on, I notice the Viper can take some turns so well, speeding through the suggested red braking portion.

- It's a Street Scene event, but at least I know Barry R wouldn't be so useful here. Cutting the track is pretty prevalent no matter what event it is. On this track, there is.. a teensy weensy advantage to cut? And when it looks like there is a place to do so, there's either a ridge too bumpy or a fence ready to be rebuilt the second it's gone. This is one honest trail.

- Finally, the trick to mastering the base VX Viper is to mix your knowledge of muscle and sports cars, and be sure to use the correct one for the correct occasion. One instance is turning: treat it like a muscle car, and watch your steering and throttle. Then you shift and adapt into its sports side, and keep the line steady for a solid exit. On the straights, you push it like a muscle car, and you read the line like a sports car.

So, the Viper is a car I enjoy driving, amidst all these little issues. I find myself going at Ruta Norte again, and again, and again. The car was fun, but the overall experience wasn't exactly addicting. That last portion came out mostly repetitive. No zen here.

But I still enjoy the car very very much. And if I put aside a bit of fun for a few serious runs, there are some runs that would probably impress.

rivals time SRT Viper.jpg

The best of that would be 2:18.996.

My first goal of this is to at least reach 2:20. But the car opened up to me further, revealing every bits of little issues that hide a challenge factor that was not being openly aware to me. So, I learned a few things here and there, and presto: somehow got past 2:19. I may be the one who made up this car track combo, but it never occurred to me how good it was.


And guess what? No, it shouldn't be a guess, actually, but anyways, it's SPD's Showcase time!! For this one, I shall theme it as.. The Great American Bash!! And when I mean great, I mean there are a whopping 12 cars here. And to be fair: I doubt I'll ever have a roster this packed in the future.

The rules are simple: America only, S1900 runs on Ruta Norte, no conversions aside aspiration. Best time is the factor for position, and of course I will give a short analysis segment on what I did with the cars, and how that translates to their time. Oh, and the time to reach is at least under 2:05, just so I have a goal with each of these machines.

Now while there are a good selection of cars, some of them are my own personal Americans that make their presence strong in my own fictional universe. These ones have a name in quotations, including the current COTW nominee.

To keep the stock Viper time, I've made an Eventlab on Ruta Norte. Aside the car restriction, I also made it a sunny midday showcase, because I drive better under daylight.

Enough talk; let's begin!

TRACK TOY - Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE "Shadow"


Pray to your god.. Open your heart.. Whatever you do, don't be afraid of the dark.

Up first: a Camaro, not a Corvette. I know you'll boo at this decision, but the Corvette has been represented to no end on COTW. That and the car this week's not the ACR, which would be a more fitting rival to the C7 ZR1. But don't worry about that. Besides, I'm more a Camaro kind of guy than a Vette.

Now, my opinion on current era Camaros are pretty low. And I actually mean the newest bunch of them today, not the 5th and 6th gens that I still adore. The last great Camaro for me would be the ZL1 1LE: a supercharged track package that for some reason would be one of the highest S1900s I have, being one that appears on the very left side of this class choice.

Shadow, just like Spectre in Twisted Metal games, is a inherited name of different cars of similar purpose. Though, the cars involved in this are all modern era Camaros, from a kitted out Generation 5 SS, to a race car model in PS3 era Gran Turismo games, and now to this. Simply decorated with an Exorcist stripe (with the owner's name on it, ohh the narcisissm), it carries a high bar, and let's see how high it'll set for this showcase.

Camaro ZL1 1LE.jpg

This slayer of demons weaved past this road at a best of 2:03.612.

And this is one car that sets the bar for the entire run. It has both the traits of a fun to drive muscle car, with the handling of a track bred supercar. I really love the drive overall. It doesn't know what understeer is, and it went through the whole track in a tail happy, but overall well paced and adrenaline pumping drive. Though, of course one must watch the inputs proper, especially with the supremely short first gears, giving this Camaro a wheelspin frenzy of a start, and I promise you, that's not the only car with this trait strong.

FORZA EDITION - Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA Forza Edition


You need to know that I'm a rider.. Tonight we gonna set the streets on fire.

This choice comes down to a coin toss. Or rather: how many times have I won the classic American muscle car tuned to S1 in game standards. With the Charger getting a measly 1 in my garage to the Trans Am having a whopping 3, here's the representation for the Forza Edition car.

But of course, as a Forza Edition car, it will have things I can't fix due to a PI deficit in adjustment. The gearbox is one, stuck at only 4 speeds. And it's got no aero adjustments that's present in the Charger. As a car I haven't gone a thorough test of, I hope it's got speed under the belt.

Firebird FE.jpg

And for a hell of a time, this classic piece of white flash measures up with a best of 2:02.723.

Did I just find one heck of a sleeper? Yes, and I did ask if it has speed, and it is a definite yes. It reached a very respectable top speed past the river, about 220 MPH. And not to mention it turns really REALLY well at high speeds. If you got the time, you ought to have a look at this Knight Rider, because with the right setup, baby it rides super duper fast. Though, the only thing you have to be wary of is the 4 gear setup. I had to run it all the way in 3rd on the technical portion, then to 4th by the right hander into the forest.

MODERN SUPERCAR - Ford GT '17 "The Car With No Name"


A tout le monde. A tout mes amis. Je vous aime. Je dois partir.

For this car, I had to decide to either put in the original Ford GT, or rather: this new one. That car unfortunately still remained a top tier force in S1, and I can't help but feel that's still the case even with a purist build. And thus, we find this in place for that end, and also for Modern Supercars. Because the other choices I can find are either the C8, or Japanese cars in American brands. Oh, and the Saleen S1 too, but for that brand, a better representative awaits underneath.

I don't drive Modern Supercars much, but the one I often go for is this one. The new Ford GT is usually the one car I aim to get in any newer racing game, and upon discovery of it being locked behind an accolade, I went for it straight away. The car's probably the most purist build of these lot, keeping even the tires bone stock.

The name's also a recent decision. It's a cowboy themed car, but it's not exactly a Mustang. And I can't figure out a proper name for it.. that would eventually be the basis for me naming it. Unusual, I know. After being stuck in S1900 stock the last game, this time I have a bit of PI to work with.

Ford GT.jpg

A most somber, yet still persisting entry in this showcase comes to a best of 2:02.895.

Yet another car to breach past 2:03, and it is.. just a joy! I mean that when it comes to both pace and how well mannered the experience is overall. It is a bit understeery due to being the only entry with Sports compounds on, but the length of the car helps balance that out with stability, and it's about time I get a car that's not wheelspin crazy. It's only the launch, and that's not even a mad one. All around supercar never seems to disappoint from the right brands, as the car sets a competitive pace with the Trans Am GTA FE.



I hear the sound of a heart, from the shadow in the dark, waiting for the poison to hit its mark..

So, even before the Ford GT came to me, my supercar hero is definitely the Saleen S7. This would also translate to me playing Gran Turismo 4 and Midnight Club 3, where my ultimate goal is to just get an S7, and the game is pretty much over for progression. It's also always my mission to get mine in Speedlab Yellow too.

As both American cars in this class are classified as hard-to-find, the S7 would be the one I chose to represent this class, since I've already described above why not to the other. With an overall shape and design made for racing, the S7 had been placed as the kind of car that's both scary to race with, and how it also manages that 215 MPH top speed with that little power too. But can the street machine hold up to its reputation?


Does being nearly 20 years of age prove you're a limping geezer, or place you as timeless as ever? Well , speaking of times, we have a best of 2:02.259 from this S7.

Timeless is the correct word for it. The only thing bad was the traditional transmission in place for a sequential one, but from start to finish, it not only set a new top time for the others to sweat about, but gave me an idea of a great S1 car should be like. Funny, considering the next entry..

DRIFT CAR - Brad DeBerti's Toyota Tacoma TRD "The Performance Truck"


You know me, evil eye! You know me, prepare to die! You know me, the graveyard kiss! Devil's grip: the Iron Fist!

Drift car, huh? Pretty unusual entry, even for my standards. But what are the choices available?

Actually, all of them. Except maybe the Hoonigan ones. They are too powerful to make useful in S1 road.

But the issue that comes with is that for just about any of them, I have to swap their drivetrain to make them work, which is not permitted. The only one that hasn't been the case for this is probably one of my favorite additions to the class: a souped up Tacoma known as The Performance Truck. I've had a whole positive outlook for almost all of the DeBerti roster, and this one's no exception.

It might start off as a Toyota, but it's an American Toyota, so I think it's completely okay. The real question is can it perform outside of the drift zone?

Tacoma TRD.jpg

The pickup would slide in at an interesting best time of 2:06.345.

Due to how it has double the power than that of the S7 and the 2017 GT, it had a hard time being the race car I want it to be. And it also has a full deployment of aero, meaning it had issues with speed in particular. I had tunes to bring out the most out of its engine, and reduce the aero completely. The best of that is reflected in this time that did not satisfy my quote.

RALLY MONSTER - Hoonigan RS200 "Monster Mash V2"


Scary monsters! Super creeps! Keep me running.. running scared!

Speaking of Hoonigan..

In the last showcase, the rally car placed itself as a stand-out bottom of the barrel. The Peugeot still had rally traits that are unfavorable on asphalt remained, and the car was slow to begin with. But it's time to pull no punches, and bring out a top freeroam car that's also a menace on the track.

That car is Ken Block's take on the British engineered RS200. Made infamous thanks to its role as the king of general freeroam, select events, Horizon Arcade, and even S2 dirt (which is a thing when it can't be), this RS200 will surely be one to watch out, and the first of the select downgraded cars that'll raise the stakes. It's an unusual new meta, these downgraded cars are..

Hoonigan RS200.jpg

But a monster like this is bound to leave nothing but destruction. The best kind of destruction would mean a best time, right? That would be 2:03.855.

The sole AWD entry didn't impress too well, but impress it did, still managing to reach my quota. The car's acceleration in almost all areas is definitely the best of the batch so far, exiting corners at full throttle. The main trouble is only at 2 things: high speed cornering, and high speed in general. It can reach 200, but its turning still leans to a rally-esque oversteer tendency. Overall: definitely better if the track wasn't a huge winding road. It still gave me quite the impression.

HYPERCAR - Hennessey Venom GT


Oh beloved mother.. of liberty: Hold me in your arms.

Without SSC, the only way America gets to represent the Hypercar entry is with either the RAESR or the Venom. Since the former was so high up in S2, it's all down to the Venom to get going here. And just like the RS200, it's also a downgrade, easily achievable through a change of tires. But what it provides is just a taste of how power builds are a dominating presence in the capable hands of a mad but capable driver.


Just how dominant? The best time the Venom got is 2:01.543.

Am I surprised? No, not really. This track is made for a car like this. I was really hoping for it to breach past the 2 minute mark. But oh well. The whole experience was the car going through 20 MPH faster on the speedy portions, while still being okay on the turning bits. And it's actually more manageable than the rubber burning Camaro and Tacoma, which one can tell from the wing and the super wide setup it has on.



If you burn me down, you'll never find your way. If you burn me down, it's true! A little drop of dreams..

And now the polar opposite of the Venom: pure handling at it's finest. And where else to look for than an Extreme Track Toy. At S1 too, so you know what this is about.

The sole representation of America in this car class is the Mosler. And as both a Horizon 4 freeroam hero and a top of the line RWD monster in S2 racing, it seems one can bring it down a class thanks to, of course, the tires. But it only has 550 horses, and is only the lightest of the bunch by a hundred pounds.

There's not even a significant benefit in the numbers, but the handling hopefully will have to work to push it up the ranks. But how powerful is this sort of car in the kind of track that's not for it?


Lucky for you, I did it so you don't have to. And after a few runs, the quickest run is at 2:02.584.

Without being able to change the brakes and the gearbox, the car did great, especially when the car is the exact opposite of the Venom, and is only deficit by a second. Of course, from a handling car, it had to come from the handling. Went through that tight right hander at 15 MPH faster than anything else? Sure! Brake later and still get away with the perfect line? Yup! Accelerating while exiting a turn without understeer. Oh yes yes yes! And it has a pretty solid top end too. I found me a nice little surprise here, with the only weak point has to be acceleration. Still, definitely a great car for this, and it might be the top if I had to select a more technical course.

MODERN MUSCLE - Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 "Silver Tongued Devil"


Got the devil in you.. Got the devil in me! Play a dangerous tune.. Come on and dance with thee!

Finally: a more relevant entry! Modern Muscle steps in to face down the machines of a higher finesse. Who needs all that handling when you can slap on some slicks and still have POWER!!

This next segment goes to my favorite modern Corvette: the C6 ZR1. Codenamed the Blue Devil, this ZR1 takes a C6 Corvette, and does some zany things to it. The supercharger puts it even further to make the final definition of the C6. I don't have to say much to represent it's performance. Let Ruta Norte take it to the next level.

C6 ZR1.jpg

For this muscle influence Corvette, I took some extra time on it to achieve its current best of 2:03.724.

What can I say? The car had a slew of flaws. It only wants you to turn a certain way to get around a corner. And with massive oversteer in low speeds, comes massive understeer in high speeds. But to say it was a bad experience would be me joking around. It was faster on the speed parts than the usual batch.

MODERN MUSCLE - Ford Shelby GT500


Don't go looking for snakes; you might find them.. Don't send your eyes to the sun; you might blind them..

Next is a winged Mustang that's strangely classified as a Modern Muscle. I mean, if the GT350 is a Track Toy, why not this? I probably have some research to do to see if this is just poor classification, or if the GT350 is truly a more track oriented car.

It's a Mustang all right, and it's one I quite like. But in both games I had this car with, I couldn't make it work. So, I'm not really expecting a time to rival the likes of the Mosler.

Mustang Shelby GT500.jpg

This snake themed horse thing gallops ahead to a time of 2:05.448.

It's odd. It's a muscle car that's trying to not be one. It can turn, but not too well. It can accelerate, but suffers in the top end thanks to the rear wing. I would say the track isn't suitable, because it drives really nicely if you can control the car, and that's not a difficult thing to do.

TRACK TOY - Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR "Orange Diamondback"


I wish that time would stand still. If this was part of a film, we would watch the clip all day. Like a portrait of you and I..

Now, this is not the VX generation ACR, but I did sort of say the Fangs era of Vipers were not my cup of tea. This is now the time to prove me otherwise. If you've noticed, the last couple of entries are the closest things to the VX Viper when it comes to general similarities. So these batch have been labelled 'Rivals' in my initial draft of this writeup.

The ACR has been quite a car, with an AWD swapped variant carrying the car to a very high position within S1 racing in the last game. It's a tell tale of how great Vipers are in Forza Horizon, and even though I'm not permitting drivetrain swaps, I can't wait to see how this one will bite.

Viper SRT10 ACR.jpg

This car can bite, but I feel the best one comes in with a time of 2:04.660

Slow, eh? I don't blame it. The situation it's thrown into is pretty much why. It's a car that breathes a great handling game, but I didn't swap out for a race gearbox, which gives it this super long final gear. Now I think it, the Shelby GT350 also has this issue, and it's probably not going to add on to the experience.



This is for the ones who care..

Yep, all in capitals.

This is the culmination of all the time I have in the game so far, as a car I owned from day 1. As a car I've put my love into for the last 8 years.

And now, it's time for THE BEAST to convince me it can do something in this class. In Horizon 4, it struggled, and thus didn't get much drive time. This is my special way of saying I am making up all that lost time together back.

But first: as the current week's nominee, the VX Viper has to reach a certain quota to get me impressed. Here's the tiers so far in terms of the timing, and that is..

GOD - The Hennessey Venom's time of mid 2:01 is just the sort of time only that sort of car can achieve. While already impossible, if the VX Viper reaches it, it's either cheating, or I will automatically put it as a sleeper. If it's real, then GOD DANG!!

HIGH - This goes to the 2:02 region, led by the Saleen S7. The Viper ends up here, and I have to be remarkably impressed in a most realistic way.

MID - For this tier, it's the bunch that reached under 2:04, topped out by that Camaro I decided to name after some edgy hedgehog. It takes a decent kind of car to end up here, so if the VX Viper ends up here, I'll say it did great, since most other cars of its class are here.

LOW - This is the tier held by the predecessor: the Viper SRT10 ACR. And also that Mustang with a spoiler. I wonder if I can get a Mustang without a spoiler here, would it go faster? Anywho, if the VX Viper reaches this low, my opinion on the car might take a small hit, but it won't matter too much.

WUT - Yeah, there's another super outlier in this end. That would be the sector with the Tacoma TRD. What's that? Automatic Beater for the Viper if it's here? You read my mind, but even I can't back this decision.

By the way, this idea of tiers is my own, and I did sort of try this sort of categorization with the Hammer last week, while that bottom and top tier actually didn't exist till now.

All right, time to see how well my personalized version of this week's nominee has in store for me.


Someone raise the lights up. Lights up the sky above. If you're with me now show me a sign..

SRT Viper.jpg

After ample time of tweaking and trying, this beast got me a best time of 2:03.856.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the time, but it's only one thousandth off the Hoonigan RS200. It's not anywhere near the high tiers, but that's already impressive in my books.

Now to the drive. It's not remarkable. It's what I wanted to do to the car in a long time. The car was a no nonsense, jack of all trades. It's lack of aspiration also found itself apparent here, with issues on the uphill segments still remaining.

And with that, it's time to table this.

cotw 16 showcase.jpg

This has been an extremely packed list.

It was going to be only 3 cars, but I had so much selection that had achieved a different criteria that adds to this segment. And whoops: suddenly we got 12 cars.

Plus, just about every footer of each picture is actually lyrics for certain music. It's a mix of my own and certain racing tracks too. I know, just me being me. I'll never know if I want to do this again.

But one thing I won't probably stop doing is getting a nice little final verdict for current nominees. To the final section!!

sound effect



No matter the opinion, the automotive world already has the Viper name be etched into legend.


What is the Dodge SRT Viper GTS? It is..

Dodge's swan song of their legendary high performance sports muscle icon, blending in well with the current era of performance

No riddles or waffle or anything. This one's a Sleeper.

And if it's going with the Starion, nah, it's not. To me it's another bare one, not a substantial one. Did I regret finding out more about one of my favorite modern cars through COTW? No, I don't think so. This has been an experience.

It wasn't extremely impressive or fun, being new and modern will do that to you. But it did tell me there's a lot to the cars than just tuning them to the top of the class. This is a car with traits, and it's safe to say when they go away, it just makes the ride not as memorable. Thing is: I did that, and knowing how to do that helped me grow into my passions. Okay, it appears I'm looking at myself once again..

Let's look back at the car that once carried Horizon: it was nice to drive, had a few characteristics that want you to take advantage of, and isn't any ways an expensive flex.. it just flexes, and flexes real good.

And if I want a fast Viper, I have a great general idea on how that's possible. Read 'em, learn 'em and do 'em good. This is one fine, low priced car that's good for the drivers and the tuners.

Now it's time to go back to today: a time where everything sucks, but let's not allow that to bring us down. I'd say this car is a solid reminder that good things can still happen, even when good old Stryker's come and already gone, maybe never to return with a new icon. With that, I'll probably have go with something less personal for my next choice of car here.

And speaking of return, I have to return THE BEAST to a certain Author Avatar. I hope he's been to Mexico before..


"Hmm.. I don't remember this part of America looking so dusty and oozing this slight hint of sepia.."
"Ach, brilliant! You've gotten us lost, havent'cha, ya eejit!"
"Relax, my Scottish bro! This upcoming left will take us home.. So as long there isn't any.. heyy, a winding road up a volcano!!"
I'm sorry to have skipped many past weeks (for mostly work reasons). During my first run, the Dodge SRT Viper GTS seemed to me rather loose, especially in the front end, but as I put together more runs it really grew on me. Excellent stopping power and acceleration with a nice rumble from the engine, decent mechanical grip too. It is best driven with a light touch.

I ended up with a 2:29:016 time, which was very satisfying and enough to place in the 3% of the leaderboard. What I would do is lower the suspension and make the front stiffer to correct the looseness (poor base aerodynamics, I reckon).

It is a SLEEPER and very worthy cover car!
With the world teetering on the brink of about a dozen different catastrophes, it can be hard to step back and enjoy the simple things in life.

Forza Horizon is one of those things. It's a fond childhood memory of mine. When I first got the game and loaded it up, watching the cutscene at the title menu with the piano music (which I later learned was produced by Porter Robinson who is now one of my favorite artists), it blew my mind. There was something...beautiful about it.

And then, it throws you into a one-sided battle against Darius Flynt in his monstrous Ferrari 599/599XX (can't recall exactly which one it was), and the rest is history.


Simpler lines from a simpler time.

The car they throw you into? The 2013 Dodge Viper. Or, if you're really picky and want to be historically accurate, the SRT Viper. I'll be honest, this car feels pretty nice in free-roam. Let's take a look at the rivals event and see how it goes.


Getting right to the point. The Viper has good launch, and its gears are long enough that its entire 0-60 is in first gear. It's...interesting.

The handling and brakes are both quite lovely on this car. It almost doesn't feel like a muscle car with the way it handles the road. Though, I imagine with something that used to be quite a widowmaker, the Viper has fangs that are just waiting for the right time to come out cause some damage.

Straight line speed? It's a Viper, who are you kidding? Very good top end performance. Paired with the high handling, the Viper does a very good job tackling the high speed sweepers at 150+ miles an hour and just keeps going beyond that. When I hit the finish line, I was at 182 miles an hour. Which is a really, really good number for a car all the way down at the bottom 1/5th of S1 class. My first run was 2:23.170 with a lot of room for improvement.


I think this is enough for me to make a judgement call.

This Viper is really good out of the box. I did take one up to S1, but sadly it doesn't quite have it together at the top. It's still a Sleeper, and an iconic memory.

Now, I've already selected the next car. If someone can predict or correctly guess what car it's going to be, they get the pick of the car a week from tomorrow.

The hint: "Timing's off."
I already know the answer, but i’m gonna respectfully step back and let everyone have a shot considering my pick was just the one prior to the Viper. 😉
The Viper sank its fangs into us and injected some much needed light-hearted nostalgia this past week, but how does it stack up in the modern Forza world?

...Sleeper across the board! I'm pretty sure we're giving Darius Flynt a ton of nightmares with this one.

Speaking of Darius - our next car is another one of Forza Horizon's first cars. When you're done with the obligatory tutorial where you're duelling Darius with the Viper, it cuts to this car and to the background radio chatter inviting you and everyone else to the Horizon Festival. What comes of it is a mad dash to the entrance gate to the Festival, your brave steed of steel and petrol barely getting you through as the 250th entry for the Festival. What happens beyond this point is in your hands, and you become a legend.

This week's car is the...

1995 Volkswagen Corrado VR6!

That's right. A relatively humble sports coupe that turns out to pack quite a wallop. It was one of my favorite cars on my first playthrough of Horizon and I still have a soft spot for it all these years later.

To try and capture the experience of the opening drive of Horizon 1, we'll be taking this retro machine (C 533) down a mixed surface route, which means we'll be tackling the Desierto Trail - a dirt and asphalt route that ends at the Festival, just like our original drive.

Let's start our engines, warm up our tires and take a step back through time to decide if this humble car is worthy of a Sleeper badge.
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When it comes to biases, I gotta be transparent: The Corrado was my favorite car throughout all of Horizon 1. I mean, sure, all of the super fast, bonkers cars (such as the GT-R Black that could get 10s across the board stat wise) were great, but you just don't forget your first. With that out of the way, let's start with the car itself.

The Corrado. What is it, really?


Bright red and brick-like. I always liked this era of Volkswagen design. That, and the 2001 Nardo. Whatever became of the Nardo, anyways?

The Corrado superseded the older Scirocco model, and served as a 2+2 sports coupe that ran for seven years, from 1988 to 1995. This particular one, the VR6, was one of the later variants of the car, introduced in 1992 and running until 1995.

A couple of things from just general experience with the Corrado across a couple of games...It's generally a really easy car to pick up, with a bit of a challenge towards the upper edges of its limit due to the back of the car being having a really loose relationship with the road. Being FWD, it's also pretty forgiving when you make a mistake or have to drive it offroad. And if I had to compare it to a similar type of car with a similar profile curve, it'd actually probably be toe to toe with the 3rd gen MX-5 due to similar power and weight values as well as similar top speeds, though the Corrado has a slight disadvantage with having only five gears.

And some very odd spacing on those gears, to boot. :odd:

As a general driving car, it's a very fun and spirited drive that I'd encourage people to tinker with. But that's not the main focus of this review, is it? Nah. Let's put it on the track and see how the Corrado handles that.


Off the bat, out of the gate, at the gunshot, whatever expression you want to use to imply the beginning of the event...You get the jist of it. The Corrado has a phenomenal launch for a FWD sports coupe. It holds a high RPM as the car gets to speed and has surprisingly little wheelspin off the line. I'd recommend shifting late in 1st gear (deeper into redline than you'd be comfortable with) to get the car in the butter zone in 2nd gear so your 0-60 time doesn't get shafted by the wonky 1st/2nd gear spacing.

The brakes are quite good, but you need to brake in a straight line because of how much strain is being exerted on the front tires if you try to trail brake or brake into the apex like I have sometimes. It will try to understeer on you. And if you get really ham-fisted about the inputs, the car will excitedly remind you that lift-off oversteer is a trait it has.


Bah, who needs tarmac to have a good time?! Also, digging the active rear wing. Cool stuff in the 1980s and 1990s, eh?

On the dirt sections of the course, the Corrado basically shrugs off the loose stuff and drives really similarly to how it handles road surfaces. Lots of grip, very little fuss. All of that combines to provide a really nice pace all the way down at the bottom of C class where this car hangs out.



And as usual, top of the class build and time up next:

Light and simple.

The logic was that the car was already intrinsically really solid, so just upping the few areas it'd want some improvement in was the play here. So how's this thing stack up with +67 PI (aw, two shy of a "nice") and some more oomph?

(vic totally did this in the stock Corrado, I'm calling it)

Vic, respectfully: What the f@#$ are you feeding your cars?! It blows my mind how much of a gap there is in pace in some of these weeks...:eek:

The Corrado, in hindsight, was a great choice to kick things off in the first Horizon, and in later generations it fell to obscurity because everything got bigger, flashier and more about the hypercars.

The VW Corrado is a sleeper through and through. It's a worthwhile pick if you need a simple FWD that can hold its own in the lower classes.

@Obelisk mostly the premium stuff, they like it when I spoil them with good fuel. :sly:

That and having no mechanical sympathy on the gearbox, pretty much flat shifting it. :lol:

Experience also has a hand in all that too.

Anyways to the VW Corrado VR6 or the ‘Horizon’s Beginning’ as I nicknamed it.

Packing a 2.8 litre VR6 with 178hp and 177ft-lbs of torque, it sends all that to the front via a 5 speed manual gearbox.

Of course to get the proper OG Horizon vibes, it needs to be lowered, have some black rims equipped and a Centrifugal Supercharger installed. :cool:

Handling was a bit understeery with a big 6 cylinder motor upfront, but was rather stable to drive, even has a active rear wing that pops up at 60mph.

One complaint I do have is the sound, it just lacks the bark and rasp I’d normally associate with the VW VR6.

Listen to the Corrado on previous Horizons and you’ll know what I mean.

But on the whole, It’s more than earned it’s place in any Forza Veterans garage. 🙂

Just make sure that the engine’s timing isn’t off. :sly:

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 17 - Volkswagen Corrado VR6


Another Horizon 1 classic makes their entry. But can it be the car that twists my opinion on starter cars all upside down?

So, I usually upload by Sunday. Last week's tardiness was due to how I had the pleasure of doing a big showcase that I probably won't do at that magnitude ever again. But for this week, it is a wee bit late, because of 2 things. One: Gran Turismo 7 came, and I'm obviously hooked. I've went and bought last week's nominee: the VX Viper that has been making rounds invading the early events, showing the signs for those who care, and.. okay, not important. What might be is two: I've been exposed to the dreaded COVID. Let's not get into bets if I will live or pass. I'm fine, being an odd case of getting mild symptoms while not being tested positive. Even feeling less than stellar, I'll push for more entries in COTW, and possibly expand them to.. GT7? That's still not a final decision, and I don't think that thread has even appeared yet. Anywho, on with the show!

It seems within the current weeks, we still remain in the territory of throwbacks here in Horizon. While it was the flagship car before, this time we head to a classic performance hatchback in the Volkswagen Corrado VR6, which even without my firsthand experience with, I know this is THE starter car of the Horizon series.

And now a short description how it came to be. Back in the 90s, Volkswagen went and developed an engine: a V6 with overhead camshafts that would give the sort of response and consistency of an inline engine, just that it came in the form of a V6. And to say it was a success is putting it mildly. Because this engine, now christened as the VR6, would eventually root VW's developments into the W series engines. Considering the sort of megacorp Volkswagen is, and what a W engine is, you can add them together and come out with one of the most influential cars ever made: the Bugatti Veyron.

Yeah, what a success story indeed! But let's not elude too far into that big oversized Beetle.

One car with said engine, the Corrado VR6, is quite a something. Coming from a company that knows how to make front wheel drive fun and fast, I expect more than just your average hot hatch. Having an engine like a V6 is great by itself, but is it good enough? Today, we can say the Scirocco takes the place of the Corrado, but a Scirocco doesn't have an advanced V6 that serves as the predecessor for Bugatti's iconic powerplant, so I've already made my bias clear, uh hmm..

And.. that's it? I'm afraid so. Never having played Horizon 1, and as mentioned in week 9, having a weak interest in classic hatchbacks does that to me. Oh well.

Oh boy, it's another one. Another car in the middle of C-class!! Maybe really more into the edge of the first third. This Corrado VR6 places itself at 533 PI. I don't have plans for a showcase, and I think it's safe to say if I do, I won't go as far as say.. include 12 freaking steroids induced American cars. For a car barely above a ton, it's got respectable power and torque.

At sale for only 20,000 credits, you shouldn't have any issues grabbing one at all, even if you do go to a certain place. Speaking of that place, a quick bit of window shopping has me observe the buyout prices for stock ones at about 11k at the very least. I already have 2, so that's another 11k not spent.. what savings??


And the one to take to the trail is one brandished in flashrot! I still wonder why Horizon 1 looked so sepia..


To play out this car's sexy arrangement of a V6, this week's excursion takes us to Desierto Trail: a Horizon Festival event that serves as a piece of some dirty action not far from home base.


Any road, any dirt, any situation! The MINI Countryman can take it! What? Say again? What do you mean it's not the same car?

"A dusty trail that picks its way through the rocky desert and alternates between paved and dirt roads, finishing at the main Horizon Festival Mexico Site."

Something you probably have noted is how I like to bash bad dirt trails. So, is it bad? Actually, nope, not this one! You got the traits of all the good in dirt trails in this little package. The amount of tarmac here is little, and the width of the whole circuit is manageable enough for beginners to test their hardiest of mud bathed machines.

Aside from some of the 90 degrees turns on the track, this is a wholly speedy experience. Speedy not necessarily meaning, say, fast like Gran Pantano Sprint, Hilltop Descent, Dunas Blancas Sprint, the 2 volcano descents, etc, but it's a fast track rewarding fast drivers. Lots of quick sweeping turns with Barry R on the outside to go through too, so we can put in grip as another factor to decide performance.

I actually like this place, and thus am quite familiar with taking it quick, so without further ado..


I don't remember the Horizon Heats looking this heated.. or dusty. Anyways, let's hit the road!

- As is the norm for this, I went with the launch first. Just put your foot down, and my shift points at 7300 RPM. Oddly that is very close to when the revs would bounce, so shifting earlier if you wanna is acceptable. Though, 2nd gear is strangely 2000 RPMs longer than the rest, if I would shift as mentioned.

- Interior review? I have no complaints. I like Volkswagen interiors, having daily driven an A6 Jetta for years, and they're easily a strong point of them these days. They're spacious, and don't feel completely cheap even if they are budget models. But on to the VR6: nothing is out of place and distracting.

- Now, as with the Alpine on week 11, I can take on both tarmac and dirt opinions of the car on the same road. After a few runs, I can say this car got that grip off road. It's so disciplined on the dirt, that I can treat both these surfaces the same way and get the same results. Very interesting car track combo, it's definitely a sleeper pair, it is.

- The 90 degrees turns an issue? Never fear, SPD is here! Usually with my off-roading machines, I use this type of handbrake turn that elicits a rally drift. The way I do it is by combining a downshift and the handbrake, and the results vary by car. The Corrado does this splendidly. I guess this is what the automated rear aero is for.

- Brakes. No issue here. Braking late or engine braking does get you locking in the rear, so watch out for that, especially when it's more of an understeer lock up. You want your turns to be smooth rather than completely gripless on dirt, it's what I've learned when we did the Alpine weeks back. This car doesn't even allow me to go gripless unless I handbrake.

- This is the note that mentions the excellent handling of the car in the whole experience. It's not powerful, and the body is built nice for both terrain. And the understeer doesn't quite exist on the dirt; it's miniscule on the tarmac.

- Also: there is a lot of braking points I find myself taking lightly. The car when turning on the dirt without any gas is the kind of turn I would find in S1 track toys: tight and grippy. It's a blast going through the 90 degrees turns without braking.

- Of course, with tracks like these, there's bound to be criticism towards Barry R's positioning. There's a lot, and even my best line has me cutting a fair portion of the track. But I don't find myself saying Barry R's doing a terrible job today. It can do some turns better, but overall: it's fine, and the trail is both wide, fast, and most of all: quite enjoyable.

- Let's wrap this up. The car feels like something that belongs in B-class on this trail, even though I'm sure the pace isn't there. So by having your inputs ready. And also not be afraid to do some gung-ho acts, because this thing is so safe, it feels like it's holding your hand all the way.. all as a good starter car should be.

From what I've observed, people are batting an eye the moment you bring this thing at Horizon 1. Really? It is a starter car, but the drive on its own just has its charm. I mean, to me, it's so charming, this track and car combo.. more to the car, for sure, but still, this car is such a blissful little VW. This company knows how to make hatches. Compared to some other combos, this is a combo that I find myself not wanting to stop.

And that definitely earns my Mark of Zen. Zen number 5 is this one!

And before I lose myself for another run of this trail, it's best time announcing.. time.. I need to learn to announce these better.

Corrado VR6.jpg

Tick tock, 2:43.722's the best time on the clock.

This entire segment is just me having both a good time, and learning the Corrado's behaviour off-road.. which sounds like something nobody would ever do. I can vouch for this combo and also the use of the Corrado for just about any kind of race. Maybe not drifting, because FWD. And cross country, that's the kind of contest for Rambo Lambo to stay at.



Now that we're in the Festival, let's amp up the VR6 a few levels ahead.

There ain't a showcase this week, because reasons, but I want to push ahead and make this Corrado up to the top of A-class road standards, though, this time going around the Horizon Circuit rather than this exceptional dirt trail.

To do so, here's my second Corrado. As you can see, it has gone through more than your usual workshop tune. It's gotten a centrifugal supercharger, race parts all over, swapped the flashrot finish for a more suave gruen perl, aftermarket engine parts that gets it about 432 horses, 327 foot pounds of torque, and just weighing about 1050 kilos. To help carry this, the car has equipped some semi-slicks for upping the handling the base car already has gotten major props for.

There won't be any direct rivals, even though I know a good list of them. Here's me staring intently at the Escort RS Turbo from week 15.. It'll have to compare to the likes of Pinky and Supervan 3.A: two cars from week 1 and 12 respectively. The time to try reach is 1:07.

I know there isn't an illustration or anything, but hear me out: I went and did 20 laps, and the only one that stood out is the best, that being a time of 1:06.848.

This time's just as fast as Pinky, and that car's fast for an A-class runner.

What an impressive display from the Corrado. I won't be putting this green boy away for some time. But now, after this intermission, it's verdict time.



Make way, make way! The Corrado awaits its verdict racing confidence!


What is the Volkswagen Corrado VR6? It is..

The greatly executed idea should Volkswagen goes on to put a V6 in a Scirocco.

If not the Mark of Zen, let the amount of joy I have on Desierto and that unexpectedly fast time around Horizon Circuit easily be them dead giveaways that this car's a complete and utter Sleeper.

With one of Hammer's rivals from Week 15 giving me the drive to build fast FWD machines, the Corrado would also be welcomed in this selection of cars, with my open arms. Maybe with a big wet kiss.. Just not now! I still have COVID, [pretends to cough].

Speaking of which, the second Corrado knows and is taking this social distancing to quite an extreme. It's running for the hills. Which hills exactly?


It's climbing the volcano.. This is a road tuned Corrado with semi-slicks and hard racing suspension, and even then the drive is just excellent! Seriously, this thing is creeping up to be a top sleeper in my book.
Regarding the GT COTW, we have a special week planned as a collaboration between myself and the future curator of the GT7 COTW thread. Keep your eyes peeled both here and in the GT7 sub-forum for the launch of that thread!

As for the simple Corrado, how did it fare?

A Sleeper across the board. Nice!

Now, continuing with the topically appropriate choices curated by yours truly, we're marking a special occasion this week. Gran Turismo 7 launched over the past week and is proving to be quite a good game, so I figured I'd do my own special week ahead of the official crossover for FH/GT COTWs to celebrate.

Unfortunately, that meant having to sit and really think about what would be appropriate - what car would everyone encounter in their playthrough of any GT? And then it hit me. A common trend is that in every B license, this car shows up in the first couple of tests. In GT7, this car is in B License, Test 2. It's the..


1997 Mitsubishi GTO!

Sometimes known as the 3000GT or other various names thanks to regional differences, the GTO is a common thread in GT, being one of the cars you're forced to use in the simple, yet challenging, starting and stopping license exams. In GT4, this was a 1000m run. In GT7, it's a lot shorter than that, but the principle is the same. It's a faster, more powerful car with a stronger launch and more weight than the generic Demio.

Our test is two-fold, because I want to be cheeky. Side note, GTO is B 610. The first exam is, in a total satire of the actual license test, is taking the GTO to the Festival Drag Strip to see how fast it can go over a short distance. The second, the proper COTW/B-10 Exam counterpart, is taking the GTO to the El Pipila Scramble - a mixed surface mad-dash through and around Guanajuato to test the mettle of driver and machine. Fastest driver this week in both the drag race and the time trial will be given a prize car for getting gold on all tests the choice of next week's car!

Let's send it, eh?
I'll lead off with my take on this car.


In a straight line, it isn't that bad. Not winning any drag races in B class any time soon, though.

However, at the test track...This car is excellent. It retains neutral handling in a lot of situations, doesn't make much of a fuss either on tarmac or on dirt and put me in a strange kind of zen while I was hotlapping. I ended up becoming absolutely determined to give the power-build Bronco I was chasing a run for its money, and ended up basically grinding the laptime down and down slowly...

This felt about as fast as I could get the car without thumping a wall. Pretty good for a bone stock car at the bottom of B class. Time to put it at the top of B class and see what it can do.

(i'm still on the factory tires, by the way. Just deflated them to 16.5 front and 15.0 rear to match the offroad tire PSI)

Overall really happy with how this turned out. The GTO is a fantastic machine and a good choice, but...I just feel like it's a Neutral rather than a sleeper, since there's plenty of competition and it's sort of a middle-ground choice.


Bit on the heavy side at over 3700lbs and the gearing on the 6 speed gearbox is a bit long for the stock power, but is otherwise a solid base for an A Class build. 👍

And if the stock 3.0 TT V6 isn’t advanced enough for you, there’s a LFA 4.8 V10 waiting in the wings for you. :P

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 18 - Mitsubishi GTO


Big hulking Mitsubishi with a jacked up V6 is this week's star, eh? It's no Pajero, but I will take it.

What's with the bare shelves? Considering where we're at on a certain game's release, it's completely understandable.

Oh, it's this rhino of a car. I have a bit of personal history with cars having the letters GTO in 'em.

For a blast from the past, it's the obvious Gran Turismo, more particularly: I used to own a Japanese copy of the first game, and there he is, in Marina Blue Pearl, ready for me to bow in its amazingness.. if amazingness is ever a word. The car would be what I would call: "my favorite of the 280PS bunch", which is a statement I coined when I had to describe the SVG of this car's logo as I released it to the masses of GT Sport. Strangely, the logo got removed: the only one of my library to get that treatment.

But where else does GTO find itself relevant to me? Well, it's also the key words for a classic Pontiac: another childhood car that brought rise to muscle car culture. And the other: key phrase on my favorite Ferrari of all time: the Group B destined 288 GTO. But let's not go there and stay in Japan.

Now let's see how 6 year old me got lured into such a large, heavy and cumbersome piece of Japanese performance. Hmm.. it looks fetching. Alright, that's point one. Let's see.. a twin-turbo V6, yummy. And most importantly: it got the straight line performance, with hearsay mentioning it overpowering its peers in a single mile drag within the 280PS bunch in that regard thanks to the mentioned twin turbo V6 and the AWD layout.

The car would remain as my kind of domestic Japanese hero of the 90s, along with the MR2, the Lancer Evo 6, and the Toyota Chaser. These days, it's all about.. hmm.. the Toyota Crown Athlete G?? There hasn't been a Mitsubishi that strikes me like the GTO ever again.

To the numbers: this GTO sits early in B-class, with a PI of 610. If I were to find its fellow 90s brethren, they find themselves at least a good 20 PI ahead, with the only exception being the Z32, who has 3 PI less because like the GTO, it's also a big heavy JDM classic.

Like the Corrado last week, this is an Autoshow car for sale at only 20,000 credits. Unusually, this is a car wheelspin likes to fetch me, with my garage carrying about 4, 3 of them stock. I'm not expecting some weird price spike in the Auction House for this car. I did check, and if you so desire a Mitsubishi GTO, a buyout can come as low as 13,000 credits.


And since Timber Green is maxed out for B-class, I'll go with this stock one in Pyrenees Black.


To begin with this weeks festivities, a bit of tongue in cheek has to be observed with bringing the GTO to the Festival Drag Strip.


As a highly regarded, self declared sleeper vehicle of top A-class performance, uumm.. I wouldn't even put this big MINI through this act.

"A modern desert runway that has been converted into a dedicated drag strip. Warm up the tires and lay down some rubber for a 0.6 mile sprint!"

Now here is the bit that mentions how I would describe the track. How exactly do I describe a straight line? Umm.. I'm at a loss of words, and I'm certain COVID hadn't gotten me any kind of brain damage.

It is interesting that each drag strip covers a certain distance. The Festival drag strip covers a whole kilometer, and the Teotihuacan and the Aerodromo strips cover half mile and one full mile, respectively.


So, we have no cones and there's no real reason to stop. Still sounds like a test? [bassy percussion sounds] Oh yeah..

Even though this is the perfect place to analyze a couple things, I'll move it down to when we're doing the full proper SPD COTW analysis. Right now, it's all about a time. And how I feel is the best way to earn that time.

I mean, this is a B-class car with an AWD setup, so it's going to be about the search for the best shifting times, and with no worry about traction.

It would be more interesting if, say, a RWD powerhouse would come in. Looking back at the COTW alumni, and cars that comes to mind would be the VX Viper, the XJR-15 and the C8 Vette. Any lower in the class spectrum, we can have torque monsters like the Starion, GNX and the Hammer.

Maybe that Corrado and the Mk2 Golf too if we want a FWD showdown. AWD drag racing is just not that interesting to me. The strategy element diminishes because of their traction.

Okay, enough rambling: it's time for my best:

GTO Drag.jpg

Umm.. 0:25.144.

With only gears short enough for 4 to cover 1 kilometer, there isn't much of a combo to play with. Well, I'll mention due to the fact we have a twin turbo setup, late RPMs are where the pep resides. So my aim is to do the shifting as late as possible. The place for my shifting is at 7600 RPMs; quite close to where it'll bounce.

I was gunning for under 25 seconds, but the shallow pool for strategy means there's only one way to attack: push and hope your shifts are on point. I've even swapped for using Manual with Clutch, and the advantage here is about 2 tenths of a second faster than using usual old manual.. which I will swap back when we take this thing to El Pipila. I guess I'm not up for this kind of driving.. which is odd: it's definitely a step ahead of your traditional Manual.


Out of the drag strip, the GTO gets the strange treatment of going off-road as its testing ground, with the track proper this week residing on El Pipila Scramble.


After that straightforward episode at the drag strip, it's now time for the MINI to go where it belongs: leaving behind dust in the stormiest of conditions. What? Why do you insist this isn't the same MINI?

"Under the watchful gaze of El Pipila's statue, this route has steep elevation changes, narrow tunnels, and tight corners to put your driving skills to the test."

Located by the south side of Guanajuato, this track has a tarmac filled portion of a complex speedy nature, then slows that down and levels up said complexity in the dirt portion.

While Desierto was an amazing piece of track, this one I'm not finding its charm if there is. There are some nice challenging portions, but the issue is how this trail is way too much tarmac to give me a good thought about it. Not to mention, like Cathedral Circuit, has some of that in and out tunnel vision that just hits me, and about anyone who knows good tracks the wrong way. Man, the city tracks aren't, well, up to speed.

Unfortunately, I don't do too well in dirt segments, case in point weeks with the Starion and the Alpine. And writers are persuaded to be competitive this week. I'll stick with the analysis, thanks, but if I'm fast, it's most definitely unintentional. I mean, a fast SPD is usually not the SPD you usually find. I'm a mellow type of dude, honest!


Mitsubishi's GTO comes from a place with off-roading credentials on tip top shape. Does it carry this name strong?

- This is what we're doing: off-roading a car not meant for this kind of action. I mean, to help me understand better, I had to look up what cars with a twin turbo V6 had some form of rally success. The obvious MG Metro 6R4 came up, even though it's naturally aspirated and not exactly a V6: more like an amputated V8. Up next.. the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak. Oh, a twin turbo V6, though it does have 3 times the power. Monster Tajima getting a mention always gives me some excitement, however. Nothing like a quick history of getting things relevant, amirite? Least big boy engines get some love, because everything else is an inline or a boxer.

- It's not a roadster or anything, but the interior is always appealing for me in the GTO. It's just another sports car, with big written all over it, so nothing feels tight. I do have issue with the positioning of the air-conditioning, but that's a note for me when I do get in one of these for real. And the dials being everywhere is very 90's Japan.

- As an AWD with middling power, there shouldn't be an issue with the launch. My first issue is the gearbox. It's pretty tall, and not suited for dirt. The optimal entry for the final gear is well above 140 MPH. As mentioned earlier, because of the turbo: I try to shift late, at around 7600 RPM, but it's fine if you feel it's too close to the rev limit.

- The long gearing would come into play with some of the tighter turns of the track. It's like the Hammer again. Lemme go get it: in third gear. I find myself in a bit of a blue button/red button situation in this. Do I hang around third so my acceleration is in check with understeer, or do I shift down, turn with little issue, but lag behind?

- With the double terrain of the track in effect, I can put the performance of the GTO all in one track. I wonder if Horizon has any grip loss simulation. After all the snow in 4, I definitely think it does. But it isn't exactly one to notice: the car is only very slightly slippery at the rear while on road. Which is contrary to the car in real life.

- The more I drive it, though, the more I notice the understeer it's known for. When? Mid-turn, usually. Either in higher speeds, or even after braking.

- Let's head to the braking. It isn't much to talk about, since they're completely fine. They lock up to the rear, but the car's that heavy and stable that you never really have issue with it.

- Then again, like the Corrado last week, it's quite safe on the dirt portions, having only understeer to mess with you. In fact: aside from me cutting way too often, the dirt portions of this track is actually great. It's too bad there's a portion of Guanajuato included in this package.

- It's another track in Guanajuato, so it's also the perfect place to test out how good the GTO's suspension setup is for sudden uneven bumps. When interacting with a curb, the car.. handles it completely fine. There's that larger curb that always gives me a bounce just before the off-road portion begins: the final test, so to say. The GTO has no issues here. So, it's a car with some suitably off-roading springs, I wonder where THAT came from.


- So, for a car with power, the off-road segments is truly where you're pushing it. There are moments where I try to get the car around, but the long gears and the rather balanced AWD setup can't get it to swing the way I want it to.

- Now for a moment where I praise the heavy load. It doesn't care about most of the obstacles that come with a city course. And not to mention how the AWD adds up so it can be quite the choice when taking it to a Street Scene event.

- Final note: the car is literally defining that one statement: easy to learn, hard to master. It's turning needs adjusting, but overall it's forgiving, and has that power that'll help you move ahead. It's also AWD, so traction problems are out of the question. Plus: you have a lot of PI to fill in should you want to bring it up a class or two. Now I'm convinced that it's up to Mitsubishi to say their cars have been quite a staple for rain racing.

This has been quite the car track combo. I didn't quite enjoy it due to Barry R going quite wild on stopping me getting a good time, be it a proper barrier, or as part of the city's landscape. But still: having probably the least off-road worthy Mitsubishi do some good in an off-road situation is obviously surprising, in a good way.

But we sweep away this dust, and I think I have a best lap time for this combo.


I dunno about you, but the sort of best time I can manage is 1:55.379.

The drive is not exactly a master class, but if anything: it was quite a surprise to see it do decent on this kind of terrain. I know cars don't quite work with cross country, but this thing is definitely capable of that.. perhaps? A cross country Taycan is something I've been teaching people to not mess around with.



Much as I love the car, I just would be okay to give Mitsubishi some ideas on how they would modernize it. I'm thinking a Japanese take of the BMW i8: a GT-R rival with a hybrid system. Think of how much of a shocker that might be!

And since most of us should still remain stuck in Gran Turismo 7, time has been quite tight. I mean it's another long term game to play with my favorite man killer Porsche of all time (and my runner up favourite car in Forza Horizon 4): the Porsche Carrera GT. And what's this? A girlfriend in the form of the 911 GT1? Let's have a date, and kiss, and do those kinds of things weird people think about..

Don't mind the SPD waffle again.

If we do have this planned Showcase for this car, the entire premise would be pretty odd. Of course I had an idea for that classic 280PS showdown, but I'm unsure. Mainly due to the presence of the dirt track, and the PI of its rivals vary very wildly in B-class. So results will be just as wild. And since we had that drag race with myself, I guess it's okay to end with nothing to show for.


What is the Mitsubishi GTO? It is..

Mitsubishi trying to shoo its Lancer Evolution off the flagship performance stage, with a helping of some western influence, thanks to it's twin turbo V6 and a poorer diet.

So, the way I see it, it's like the Starion, but sort of worse. Doesn't mean it's worse than a bare Sleeper. It's not hard to get going, and of course you got all that PI to fill in for all kinds of things. But what sold me is how it surprised me how well it can go dirt racing.

But what other things can it do? Just not drift, nope, nuhuh, I don't think so. But everything else is worth a try. Just try to get it to cut some of that fat down, first, and maybe give its long gears some power to play with.


So, why did they call it the Dodge Stealth? I understand having a partnership, but the name.. it doesn't seem like it is anything discreet or sleek.
Hi people, I'm just going to make some brief comments about this week's car.

A) I wish we got the 3000 GT bodywork
B) I wish we got the Dodge Stealth R/T too!

On pavement, I liked the steering, I expected it to be slow and that is not the case, also the mechanical grip is good, thanks to its AWD system. Weight though is a bit of an issue while cornering. In the dirt, in its stock form, it just slides too much and it takes time to recover from a slide, and braking distances are long.

In the end, the time I posted is pretty unremarkable, I'm NEUTRAL on the car, but an A-racer build is entirely possible (shed some weight, and stiffen the suspension.)
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Bit on the heavy side at over 3700lbs and the gearing on the 6 speed gearbox is a bit long for the stock power, but is otherwise a solid base for an A Class build. 👍

And if the stock 3.0 TT V6 isn’t advanced enough for you, there’s a LFA 4.8 V10 waiting in the wings for you. :P

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍

Vic got the car choice for this week - but let's wrap up business with the GTO first.

We have three votes for Sleeper and one vote for Neutral. Not bad!

In that case, let's cue the GT prize drumroll and see what the next machine is for COTW! Vic chose the...

The 1994 Ferrari F355!

And in another change-up, I was given the track choice. We will be taking the Ferrari F355 Berlinetta (A 717) to the Horizon Callejera Street Scene layout! It's a track with a mix of high speed turns and technical sectiions, so it oughta bring out most of the car's performance.
I'm going to be pretty honest here: I'm struggling a bit with a number of personal issues and it's having an impact on my willingness and ability to do a lot of things. Forgive me if there's a decline in the quality of my updates and reviews.

However, this thread is my responsibility and as such, the show must go on. And we have quite a showing this week with the Ferrari F355.


It's quite a iconic car of the 1990s, which...can you really blame anyone? It's a gorgeous looking Ferrari and they were generous enough to license it out to multiple racing games of the 90s and early 00s - Need for Speed and Outrun, anyone?

And now it's here with us in Mexico, ready to serve up another round of Italian fury. But is it as good as it seems?


Well, it's pretty good in your everyday cruise scenario. It's a pretty calm, collected car with good enough pep when just cruising around at highway speeds. Which is to be expected with something like a Ferrari, though I imagine the ride quality IRL is a little unpleasant if the springs are stiff.

And with the obligatory cruise out of the way, it's time for the time attack proper. Let's see what this banana pony has in store for us.

Speed: The car's got decent top-end performance. By the end of the track, I was getting up to about 145 MPH. That's pretty respectable at the bottom of A class like this car is.
Handling: This thing handles decently. The best way I can describe it is that the car is mainly neutral but leans into understeer. It requires some precision if you're going to really crank the car to its limits. Abrupt weight transfer, i.e. braking through one corner and then immediately turning into the next corner or elevation changes, will upset the car and throw the car into a diagonal skid. It doesn't really want to kick the back out like other mid-ship cars do. Only an absolute tool of a driver will get this thing to flip out on them.
Acceleration: The car's first gear is geared to redline at about 55 MPH @ 8500 RPM. The rest of the gears are equally long, which means this car accelerates in a sort of...neutral way. It's not going to fry your tyres, but it's also not going to necessarily feel like a turtle on a casual walk. It's probably most like this turtle that goes turbo mode.
Brakes: Brakes are solid. Not much to add here.
Other: Nothing really to note here. Shifting at 9k RPM, playing with track limits.

The end result?


A decent starting bar. I happened to have a second F355 already tuned up to A800, so we're just gonna dive right into it.



I would put in more effort, but I'm feeling really unmotivated. It's a nice Ferrari, and it could do a lot of work in A class - but S1? You're pushing your luck building this car up to S1.


Bit of a scruffy run, but that was more down to me overdriving the car.

The F355 can put up a fight with a few modern day sports cars and that 3.5 litre V8 is still an absolute peach to listen to while revving out to 9 grand. 😁

Normally would cost you 190k and probably much less on the auction house, but you could/can win it from the seasonal championship this week.😉

Handling is on point with a hint of understeer at the limit.

On the whole, solid car, but as already mentioned, unless you swap out engines or drivetrains, A class is the only place you’ll likely see it.

Verdict: Sleeper🙂👍
Ok, so I took the Ferrari F355 Berlinetta to the road and quickly found that it is more GT than a sports car. Comfortable to cruise around 150 mph, but when you start to push it becomes upset, the base tires lose grip, you slide (although it is very easy to catch up and save it), and end up losing time. On the positive side, the engine's note and responsiveness are lovely.

My times were around 2:21, (bleh) so I decided to compare it with a rival from the era, the 1995 Porsche 911 GT2, which granted has a higher base performance rating (A753) and is quicker, more agile, more responsive, and posted times around 2:14. If this was an old R&T or Car and Driver magazine comparison, the result would have been a convincing victory for Porsche, and a BEATER rating for the F355!

However, I decided to give justice to its lovely engine, so I built a sport everything version at A770: less weight, better tires, stiffer suspension and chassis, a Competizione if you will (sans the wing.) The resulting build matched the times of the Porsche and is quite lovely to throw around.

On that basis, it's a SLEEPER for me!
Screenshot (106).png

Here's my attempt! I've been a lurker until now, but felt like I had to throw my hat in the ring for this one since I've used this car quite a lot in the game. It's basically been my go-to for A class Road and Street since almost the beginning of the game. Did most of the Unbeatable races in single player with it. I wouldn't say it's the fastest A class car, but it's a great all-rounder with 545bhp and front and rear aero. It lacks a bit of front-end bite for great turn-in and its lack of top end does show at the Goliath. But it's a stable base with decent speed and quite forgiving at the limit so it's easy to be fast with it.

I hadn't driven it at all stock version until now though so I was interested in comparing it with the tuned car I know rather well now. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the car feels largely the same but unrefined in its stock guise. Fairly lazy turn in, understeery at the limit, but quite stable on the whole, with good acceleration. It ends up being pleasant to drive and cruise around with, especially since the engine sounds rather lovely. But I feel like it's not an easy car to eke out that last 10% of performance. It needs to be driven very smoothly, breaking and turning in early to compensate for its understeery nature. But it is quite rewarding to get right, hitting your braking points and apexes just right, and I found that you can carrying a lot more speed than you think the car can handle at first.

Successive slower left-right corners are where the car is most difficult to handle in my opinion, the lack of agility shows and you almost need to go just over the limit to slide and compensate for the understeer. The car doesn't snap when you do this so it doesn't feel dangerous to slide around a bit either. But finding the right balance to not scrub too much speed, while also not locking the brakes and understeering is a bit tricky, which is why I find it difficult to replicate my best time (2:10:819) consistently. 2:11-2:12 are fairly easy to get consistently, but getting into 2:10s is a bit harder for me, though I'm not the best driver admittedly. A better driver could probably do 2:08 or 2:09s consistently.

As for the tuned A800 version, I only did a few runs, best I could manage was 2:01:909. But with a bit of tuning I feel like I could go maybe under 2 minutes. At the end of the long straight before the finish line, I don't get much higher speeds than the stock version due to the aero. There could be a lot of time gained there. As for the car itself, it feels similar, but a bit more stable, with a lot more grip, but a still a touch of understeer, so the way to get speed out of it is mostly the same. The race brakes do help a lot though, you can brake way later, which makes it easier to position the car into corners, while the extra braking force also helps for better weight transfer in slower corners.

Screenshot (108).png

In the end I would agree with the NEUTRAL verdict. Even though I obviously very much enjoy this car, it does have a few shortcomings, so not the best competitively. It's still an enjoyable car to drive, its sound and looks don't hurt at all either, but then again that should be the expectation for a Ferrari.

Screenshot (109) a.png

I hope I did okay for a newbie in the thread. I don't usually review cars, and I don't think I'm that good a driver. But thank Obelisk for putting together the thread and keeping it going. I'm sorry you're not feeling that great at the moment, and hope you feel better very soon!
I hope I did okay for a newbie in the thread. I don't usually review cars, and I don't think I'm that good a driver. But thank Obelisk for putting together the thread and keeping it going. I'm sorry you're not feeling that great at the moment, and hope you feel better very soon!
Thank you for the kind words, space!
For a first review, you did pretty good! The length and quality of the reviews here aren't super important - as long as you get your point across, the review is a good one in my eyes.

By the way, that bit about "good drivers" - just look at freaking @Vic Reign93's various crazy runs. If anyone around here can push a car to its absolute limit, it's him.

Anyways, I am looking forward to seeing more of your contributions in the thread. Welcome aboard! 👍
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SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 19 - Ferrari F355 Berlinetta


Prestige, legacy and pride. This is where it all begins...

I'm late? Yeah, I'm.. quite late..

It appears we remain stuck in the 90's these past weeks. From a domestic V6, to a twin-turbo V6, and now: a naturally aspirated V8, from a brand with strong affiliations to their cars being red.

And the answer to that would be.. Ferrari? Alright. I like me a prancing horse. In fact, one of the earliest forms of Ferraris shaping their big name in my life would be this one. That would follow shortly with the likes of the F40, the 550 Maranello and the 288 GTO.

The only other way for much younger me to remember this little Ferrari was, of course, games. Aside from Need For Speeds II SE and III Hot Pursuit, I remember passing by the car having its own game, that is SEGA's F355 Challenge: another arcade racer directed by Yu Suzuki.. the SEGA legend who directed Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA, Shenmue and Out Run. What a blast to the past, but I never really got into it; my arcade days were spent on other racers, notably the aformentioned Daytona USA. But I do recall something to the line of 4 buttons on the side: my proper introduction to electronic driver assists.

Anyhow, the one thing people have been praising the car for is how much more drivable it is compared to other of its kin at the time. These would include the F40 and 512 TR. Complete man-killer drives. And not to mention how much.. more smooth and clean its overall design is compared to them.

To think this tiny Ferrari would precede the likes of the 360 and the 458.. Anyways, something with a mid-mounted V8 would be considerably more powerful today, but the Berlinetta's current pace has it reside at early A-class, with a PI of 717. A lot of domestic performance today sits around this level. Let's see.. BMW M2, BMW M5 E60, BMW 1M.. That's funny, there sure are a lot of BMWs. The only other notable rival is the SR II Viper ACR, being 1 PI short, but I don't see how it is a rival.

The Autoshow has this car available to buy at 190,000 credits. Which isn't too much, but is probably low as it will be for Ferraris. Where I stand, I have one tuned to the top of A-class, and since I'm always filthy stinking rich, it's to the Auction House I go. There, the general consensus is about 209,000 credits. Sounds like a rip-off? You betcha. Feel free to buy another F355 off the Autoshow.. which is what I should say should the car NOT be a reward for this week's Seasonal Championship. It does warrant a car in S2 that costs more then 2 million credits, but the game has been tossing aside these hypercars and super top end track machines left and right, so I'm not worried.


I for one am against Ferrari's in bright red. Why? I'm not really sure why. But if it means I can use Verde Silverstone, then sure!


After 2 consecutive dirt trails, we go towards Horizon Callajera for bringing this Ferrari up to speed with things.


I just love how Street Scene events allow you to make up the most ridiculous of competition. 5 and a half ton race truck versus GT1 homologation special versus family SUV, and it's completely fair game.

"Departing from the Horizon Street Scene outpost, this route was chosen as a definitive Street Scene racing experience, with both high-speed straights and tricky corners for overtaking."

So, we have an eastbound road starting by the Street Scene outpost, and finishing up at the.. is it ruined, I dunno, San Juan cathedral. Like Ruta Norte, it's straightforward enough to be just a road you can pin your marker and drive.

Now here's a Street Scene which hasn't a clue on what it wants to be. It's a speed course with a small bit in the middle that's.. kind of technical? I guess it's just a wavy speed course with a little bump in the middle. But considering most Street Scene events outside the city are like this, I'm unfazed. It's not special, but that doesn't mean it's boring or dull or bad in any way. At least there's no need for Barry R: cutting won't grant a significant advantage.


A classic flagship Ferrari: the Berlinetta, readies to rumble. And if it was the F355 Barchetta, I would've painted it red.

- Interior first: and I gotta say. Hmm, what's with the car missing a big old shift stick? Oh, well is it intentional? The F355 is known to be the first road car with the flappy paddles. Well, the 1997 F1 variant, that is. But is this car the F1 variant? In game, it's not. I am so confused. It's a tight view, but nothing abnormal about it.

- Time to touch on the launch. It's like any Ferrari having launch control. Though, I don't know if the F355 has this technology ready at the time. Maybe it does. My knowledge with this car is quite lacking, evidently. Just go ahead and put your foot down. My shift point is at 9100 RPM, and due to the flappy paddles: it shifts quick.

- I know it might seem early, but let's tackle the first notable issue: the differential. It's like the FE Corvette on week 13: it just wants to go wild when you don't have your foot down, or when it's down in higher speeds. Then again: it's not terribly wild. But at a track like this, you are always turning at any speed, so keeping your throttle in check is absolutely important.

- Now we go to traction. Due to the natural aspiration and the nature of Ferrari V8s in general, it's not problematic. I don't find myself playing with my throttle inputs a lot with this. But don't dismiss the last note: you still gotta make sure it's at the right place.

- But there are some bad in this. The car is light and not exactly super stable. The brakes are good, and does its best to make sure things are in line. Though, they are biased a bit to the back. I hadn't done much of it, but engine braking... do you believe me when I say it's outright to be avoided at all costs? The green Ferrari has.. blended well with the background.

- There has been many cases where I refuse to brake and just feather the input to take a turn. In this car, it works, and I find this to be the main strong point. But the small case of slippery overall does bring this down a bit.

- When it comes to acceleration, this car has this lacking. Having subpar power and no aspiration does that to you. It explains the good traction: it's not that it doesn't want to, it just can't burn those tires.

- So, this is probably one track I do prefer Barry R be around. The only presence of this kind of track protection is visible early at the Street Scene Outpost, and a few farms here and there. I cut a lot at street races, but this week's nature tainting finds itself competing with week 9.

- Cutting the track has taught me a couple things: this would be an okay car to convert to a dirt racer, and the wooden fences makes itself the bane of all good times for this sprint, especially for a little car like this.

- To finish off: the key to success in a Ferrari like this is to work with it's handling. A car that I can refer to when it comes to having a similar experience is with the base VX Viper: both low down in their classes, has a learning curve to its handling, these cars can work for dirt, and they have a so-so top end acceleration. The Ferrari is however pricier, and mid mounted, which makes the similarities more apart than it seems. Treat it like a handling car, with some issues 83 PI can fix.

So, of course I was kind of laughing with myself regarding the idea of the car getting the Mark of Zen. It should be more like the mark of having too much fun. It's a fun car, and the track's not bad. It's just a wee bit off. I have a certain criteria for this, even though it's no way concrete. But what is set in stone would be my best time. Okay, where did I put it.

F355 Berlinetta.jpg

Here it is: 2:09.622.

After a few tries, I had my eye on getting under 2:10. The car's learning curve would mean it would take some time. It definitely did, and I managed to get my set goal this time around. Even as a cheap Ferrari, it's still one that can manage some good pace if you know how. Definitely emphasizing out the know how bit.


With 2 weeks free a showcase, let's give the F355 one. And this week, it's Ferrari Challenge time!

The rules are simple: top of A-class, Ferrari, no major conversions, and I'll scrounge up whatever prancing horse I have that's eligible.. There's a good batch, so it's probably.. 5. Or more, we'll see. And due to the nature of being in the same class, I'm using EventLab to get these in.. also to make it day, too.

The time to be in the region of is... let's make it hard: 2 minutes flat.

From the top of my head, they're all classics, so nothing here's newer than an Italia. Those near or further away would go past that A-class barrier, for some reason. But enough galloping around for nothing: let's begin with the first entry.

Ferrari F40


Knock knock, my morally incorrect social epithets.

Week 10 saw this very same white Ferrari dominate a muscle car and a muscle saloon around Playa Azul Circuit. And now, this V12 legend is back, and it is going to see if it will assert dominance a second time, by probably setting a track time that it wants to have not beaten.


This white Ferrari has the benchmark made, set at 2:00.408.

To keep it short: this is the kind of a tail happy, man killer drive that needs adjusting in a major way, as mentioned in week 10. But all this difficulty does mean one thing: it's fast. Fast in the corners, and fast in the straights. It set a time that'll be the quota for high performance.

Ferrari Spa 330 P4


An old machine takes on the new cats.. I mean foals..

And now: a Hard-to-find that has shown great promise in the A-class racing realm. It is a race car, but don't let that scare you. Classic racers of this type are always the kind of cars that show results, case in point to the Ford GT40s, the Jaguar XJ13, the unfortunate case of one Alfa TZ2 and this.

330 P4.jpg

And this other white Ferrari puts out a time of 2:00.109. Already a better time than the F40.

The entire experience is to convince me these racecars shouldn't be out here. It's full of grip, and I have no issues in difficulty. And in the straights even isn't sluggish in any way. No wonder it's common in A-class. It's a racecar, somehow competing against road cars after all.

Ferrari 250 GTO


There's been reports of a museum piece being used the correct way around here.

The classic Italian branded collector's car, now a Barn Find this time around. I wanted to put in the Testa Rossa, but that car's a menace to drive at this class, and I like the 250 GTO better. Kind of odd they axed a LOT of Ferraris from Horizon 4, especially classic ones.

250 GTO.jpg

But this timeless classic has to clock in somehow. It's best is 2:01.473.

The thing has grip, and has cues of a racing car. Just one issue: the front engine layout has it experience some understeer in the high speed turns. It suffers a tiny bit, but the car's no doubt quick, and is so far the most drivable car of the lot.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona "The Fabulous Mare"


Why fabulous? It's part of the charm, hmmhmm.

Okay, another SPD named car. These cars often find themselves these kinds of declarations when they are relevant to me in terms of my story writing. That's all vapor for now, but I plan to make it work.

But back to the car: it's odd I have a Ferrari Daytona at this power level. It's also interesting that the Daytona name is actually a fan derived nickname. Being the original V12 cruise machines of the past, how will it treat the challenge provided by Horizon Callajera.


The sole Rare Classic of the lot comes in at a best of 2:02.992.

So what happens if I put a load of power into a car and it jumped a class? This happened. The turning was okay. A little slippery, but is ultimately hampered by the weight and the terrible traction. After multiple tries, this is the best it got. But if this track was much speedier, it would be better, since it accelerates faster than anything on the list.

Ferrari 575M Maranello


Man, to directly succeed something after more than 30 years must feel. How, I dunno.

And since we're testing mid-engined V8 flagship, let's go with the V12 powered GT flagship at the time: the Maranello. We don't have the 550, so we'll settle with the 575 instead. For a non nominee car, I'll give it an extra objective to see if it can best the time of its ancestor the Daytona. It shouldn't be so hard.. right?


How that turned out, would be shown here: a 2:02.601.

It's like we put down some power from the Daytona, and put it in the stability and handling. But if you ask me: it's the reason why it couldn't go any faster. Just no top end, and general acceleration at all. Still, props for it beating the all speedy Daytona. Goes to show power isn't the answer to all solutions.

Ferrari 288 GTO "Nemesis"


Round 3 for rally car to make an impact.

Say hello to Nemesis: my interpretation of how I would like my favorite Ferrari of all time.

And once again: a car with a name? It's granted, considering how I made a GTPlanet Media album of it from all the way back in 2015. But it's here, and considering being the predecessor of the F40, it's either going to kill the competition, or kill me. Let's see..

288 GTO.jpg

It did kill something: the 2 minute barrier. Barely, but still, that would be with a time of 1:59.416.

It's like if I ever want to drive the F40, but it's just better in almost every way. The handling is sublime. The power is manageable. The acceleration is there in full force. And the difficulty just has been ironed out. It's perfect. But I did spend a good 2 hours tuning this one day, so, there's that.

COTW NOMINEE - Ferrari F355


Time to bring in the F1.. Barchetta? Are you confused yet?

And of course we end up here. As is tradition, this is the last car. So we can count in some omissions. Let's see.. the F50, the 360 Challenge, a 250 Testa Rossa.. and that's about it. Knowing what kind of monster lurks within, I have adapted and readjusted.

And let's tally up the tiers before we see how I've made and done with this car. Of course it will carry to my opinion for the car in the end.

GOD - I'll hand it to the F355 should it beat the 2 minute mark. I will show a significant impression and maybe automatically give it a Sleeper.

HIGH - This one's for the bare 2 minute time, the group including the 2 white Ferraris. The F355 would show itself as a great performer if it lands here, and color me impressed.

MID - This region is for 2:01 and above, all the way until 2:03. Not a bad region to be in, but nothing will change for how the F355 will place in the final verdict.

LOW - Any slower than the Daytona, and here's where the F355 would lie. Not going to be an auto Beater, but, umm.. it's going to get closer to that opinion with this result.


Time to step on until my heart's content.

After some time, the results are in!

F355 Berlinetta.jpg

Among the.. maybe 10 runs, the best of it stands at a 2:00.926. This barely places it at the High tier. Nice work!

The overall experience of the car has been outright positive. The drive has its issues eliminated from the regular car to give me a wholly disciplined sports car, taking the turns with such grip, as if it was racing. If this was the stock car, I'd give it the Mark of Zen, but too bad. The only downside was the top end. It still sucked.

So an SPD top tip: if you're looking for a classic Ferrari for A-class, look for the one with intentions for Group B, and that packs 2 turbos.. yes it's the 288 GTO. Just go for that one. What do you mean it costs a non vital organ? Don't tell me this is the price it might go for in the Legendary Collection..


cotw 19.jpg

If anything, I hope you've noticed how you haven't seen a good tinge of bright red. It's a me thing. Even the closest thing to a red on the GTO is sort of.. more of a crimson tinge, rather. Let's go with the verdict straight away.



Ferraris are always nice, but then come in DA RULES. The sort of thing that throws me off owning one, aside the money, of course.


What is the Ferrari F355 Berlinetta? It is..

Ferrari's junior flagship of the 90s, with handling so well done it can keep up with the big boys.

Aside from being the car with a sound so marginally improved this time, there's nothing this car offers on the plate that's any way significant. However.. the light that shines on this car relies mainly on how well it did in the showcase this time. Nobody is going to expect that kind of car to keep up with the likes of an F40. Because I can probably put in the time to get it done. And if it were a smaller circuit, it would shine even more.

This is a Ferrari that's being ignored: a fact that allows me to award it the declaration of Sleeper. The showcase bumped it from a bare one, to a significant one.

But that high tier result, along with the fact I was high on... whatever, that made me think.. hey, this is like the Viper in some sense, and the slippery rear end reminded me of a certain Carrera RS. It's a car with challenge, and power isn't why that's the case.

To close, here was supposed to be The Sentinel, because Nemesis had dominated that Ferrari Challenge and should have its theme song blared out as such, but I have something better.

Ohh, it's taking me back. You can say F355 Challenge is a sleeper for arcade games of that age.


This is the third week where green is the color of my souped up nominee. So far's all a coincidence, aside the Corrado, which was built on the week, and revitalized my memories of a COVID infected me forgetting my pains behind it.
We've managed to outrun the week, but not the clock. Spring Forward took place within the past week or so, and I think a bunch of people are a little disoriented with that.

Let's see what our 1990s time machine scored!

We got three votes for Sleeper and two votes for Neutral! That' interesting outcome for the week. No doubt aided by our wonderful new member of COTW jumping onboard to chip in. That's barely a Sleeper. Still, nicely done!

And this week, we call on @Nacho Libre to to pick out what car we should be trying out.

He has decided on the...

1987 Nissan Skyline GTS-R!

...but you probably knew that from the very loud stickers on the back of the damned thing. A retro machine from the late 80s, which coincidentally is the same model year of two of the other cars we've reviewed here. Makes me wonder if there's a COTW-wide obsession with that year.

"But Obelisk," you cry out, while I ramble about the 1980s. "What's with the odd camera angle?"

Glad you asked, non-existent viewer! That's because the HR31 Skyline had a unique feature that still isn't seen much these days. (Hint: Does that rear tire look OK?)

It is one of a handful of cars to have four wheel steering! Even now, I find the concept really cool. So, we're gonna test the GTS-R (C 543...we find ourselves in C class once again) out on the Teotihuacán Scramble! Nacho chose this track because it's spring time and the pyramids in Mexico see a lot of visitors around this time of year.

Probably left a little time out there on that run. :P

So the R31 GTS-R, the car that introduced the famous RB Inline 6 engine that would be synonymous with the Skyline models that followed afterwards.

But this isn’t the 2.6 TT I6 that we know, they got to that from the 2.0 single turbo RB20 I6 which powers the GTS-R.

Packing 206hp and revving to around 8000rpm and sending its power to the rear wheels via 5 speed manual gearbox.

And of course it’s got the aforementioned 4 wheel steering to improve high speed stability.

Though probably not as much on a dirt trail. ;)

It’s got a widebody option with fender flares, couple of engine swap options including the RB26 and its also got a factory extended front splitter and small wind deflectors on the doors as options too.

Not a bad homologation special and certainly underrated compared to its successors. :D

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
Right, the R31. Our third car on COTW from 1987, and our third 1987 era car that's in C class. SPD is going to have a field day with that one.


With a boxy profile, advanced tech and stickers louder than a KISS concert, this Skyline is peak 80s. If someone had to ask me what the 1980s looked like as a car, I'd just show them this one.

I like the boxy design of a lot of the 80s cars and I would honestly love to see it come back up sometime again in the near future. Simple looks go a long way, no? Anyways, the car itself:

Acceleration: Pretty good for a car this far down! I didn't expect much out of it being an older RWD, but it goes like a Skyline ought to.
Speed: Pretty decent speed for a C class car, too. Pushing 100, 110 MPH in a number of places on the Scramble both on and off dirt.
Handling: Car handles quite nicely! The suspension isn't overly tight and stiff, but isn't loose enough to feel soggy.
Brakes: Good brakes. Enough said.
Other: I don't know what Vic was feeling, but it feels to me like the 4WS was helping the car in a few places both on the dirt and on the tarmac in this scramble.


This is why I can't get the Festival to insure any of us COTW regulars.

I found myself going into a hotlapping zen with this car and track, and getting the hang of how it drove in the dirt was immensely satisfying.

And my final lap time?


And...most importantly:

GG for now, Vic. See you on next week's rivals board.

And that, by itself firmly cements how I feel about this car. This Skyline not-a-GTR, the final RWD one before the more infamous AWD GT-Rs, is a sleeper through and through.

But, for due diligence's sake, an AWD swap and some rally bits to see how it handles at the top of C600 on a scramble: