Beater or Sleeper? COTW! [Closed]

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I don't remember driving this... thing much in previous games, but I've liked it quite a lot in FH5. It's lightweight, slow and it has low grip. You get to experience both understeer and oversteer regularly and it just seems to keep you busy despite the fact you're not really going all that fast :lol:

This is what makes it fun to drive, in my opinion. You get plenty of time to react to under-/oversteer so it's not too difficult to drive, either.

The only problem with this car is the lack of suitable original tracks. Luckily there's some good creative Eventlab blueprints out there, I haven't even touched the original ones outside COTW rivals and Festival Playlist.


This wasn't exactly a clean lap as I spent too much time on the green stuff, but I think the lap time itself was perfect ;)


...and a race at my own track.

The Morgan 3 Wheeler is unlike anything else in the game, and it's easily in my top 5 favorites. I think it's fairly quick considering it's missing a wheel, and those 3 wheels it has are rather skinny. To me, this sits somewhere between neutral and sleeper.
Unfortunately, I don't have time to get a huge, fancy review or pictures here. Being forced back into the office is an unpleasant reminder of how lucky I'd been over the past two years that my bosses had good situational awareness.

Update for the thread will be late tonight.

As for the Morgan, just going to call it a Neutral because it's a quirky car without a lot of viable options in Horizon Mexico. Like others have said though, it's absolutely a barrel of laughs and a worthwhile addition to the garage.
Alright, alright, alright. Weekly recap time!

The little Morgan tripod has landed itself an overall Neutral rating! Honestly not bad.

And our car maestro @Vic Reign93 has gone full beta this week...beta game, that is. His car choice was the beta hero's car for the original Driver game on the PS1.

It's the...

1970 Buick GSX!

You'd think that as an American, I'd know a lot about this car...unfortunately, nope. I don't know much about it. I do, however, know exactly what we all need to know this week.

No eventlab this week unfortunately. The new work schedule is throwing me for a loop when it comes to Forza. I will have one for Week 30, guaranteed.

The Buick GSX is yet another C class contender at C 558. poor SPD, having to deal with so many of these in his comparisons.

Our Time Trial this week is on Plaza Circuit, yet another treacherous run in and around the lone city in Horizon Mexico.

As usual, let's burn some rubber!

So the Buick GSX, as a Brit, you’d think I’d know the sweet son of sod all when it comes to American muscle cars, but on the contrary, I know more than you might think. :P

It wasn’t the most powerful muscle car of its time at 350hp under the SAE gross ratings, but testing by Motor Trend at the time where a GSX did a 13.38 1/4 mile at 105 mph, they reckoned the 350hp rating was rather conservative. :embarrassed:

What wasn’t conservative was the torque number, 510 ft-lbs of twist, not even the 450hp Chevelle SS 454 had that sorta twist. :scared:

In fact, it’s alleged that torque number wasn’t beaten by any other American production performance car for 33 Years, when the Series 2 Dodge Viper came along. :drool:

I’m not certain how accurate that is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.

Despite not being as popular as the Hemi’s, the Ford CJ’s and Big Block Chevys, the GS 455 stage 1 V8 was a capable dark horse.

A Sleeper if you will. :lol:

The one we have has the optional 3 Hydra-Matic Auto, but you can swap in the 4 speed manual via the drift gearbox.

While it’s still a bit floaty in the suspension and the brakes and tyres are of it’s time, but not ours, the sheer low down torque gets out the turns rather sharpish, usually while chirping the wheels on the upshifts. :)

In a nutshell, I’d argue that while not as popular as the 70’s muscle cars we know and love, the Buick GSX is the best all round package, but could still live up to a reputation of being a ‘Hemi Killer’. 😁👍

And those wanting a little more, here’s a 1987 Pure Stock and Modified Stock drag video with a few Buick GS 455’s deciding when to drop the sandbags. :sly:

I hope my fellow Americans had a great Memorial Day. Let's cap it off with the GSX!


And some mediocre smoke effects. Come on, PG! Where are my massive clouds of tire smoke?

The first thing I want to point out is that to my hearing aid-assisted deaf ear, the in-game sound for the GSX sounds almost identical to the IRL car if that burnout clip is anything to go by.

The second thing is that this car is soggier than cereal that's sat in milk too long. Like, how the f-?! It's wobbling when I make any sort of input, and it feels pretty loose as a result.

The third thing is that it only has three gears, and the third one caps at 142 MPH. While that's a respectable speed, you're going 1,500 RPM over the redline to do this. In a carb'd engine, this could detonate something IRL. But, this is Forza. Sooo....yeah.

Coming in at C 558, 360 HP and 3,874 lbs, this car's stats indicate a heavy hitter in C-class: All the power, not much in the way of handling. Kind of the polar opposite of the NC Miata from a while backi am still waiting for that duckbill wing T10/PG, what are you waiting for. How this will translate when it's functionally limited to the same top speed than the NC (given that the NC could theoretically hit 142 MPH without too much issue), we'll see. Off to the track!



It's exactly as I feared. The GSX is so soggy that it becomes weirdly sensitive to things. A hair too much throttle? Perish. Bump a curb with the sidewall of the front tire? Perish. Get the weight transfer and throttle control correctly? Hm....PERISH. This car is a first for me for two reasons:
1) First car I've ever experienced spontaneous oversteer in, while driving in a straight line with minimal input.
2) First car where my first 30 seconds of driving it had me saying "This needs a sports suspension, a new gearbox and a differential."

Neither of those is a good look for the car, let alone combined. In addition to that, it also understeers quite badly when the rear does grip correctly. Now I've driven my fair share of especially difficult cars in both the Forza and Gran Turismo franchises, and this Buick almost reminds me of an FR version of the GT Sport take on the 1972 A110 (which both @XSquareStickIt and I dunked on in back to back posts). It's definitely a symptom of the car being a 1970s American muscle car, back when the name of the game was displacement and quarter miles here in the States.


Unfortunately, I'm not too happy with this car. I couldn't get it to behave correctly for me, so let's see if the things I mentioned help with it.


Sports suspension bits, racing brakes, sports transmission, 305s in the rear, and some weight off... Let's see how much of an effect this has.



IMO, this feels like something @unfairlane would have fun tinkering with. It's not the car for me.

I can't deny that it's fast and has potential, but it just feels...wrong to me. So, unfortunately, it gets a Neutral rather than a sleeper from me.
At least it sounds good and looks good!

Screenshot (152).png

Forgive the terrible photo, I keep forgetting screenshots while HDR is on does weird things.

I'd rather say nice things so that's where I would have like starting and ending the review of the Buick GSX. :lol: Unfortunately we're here to talk about driving so let's just get to it. If the question last week was "what bike wheels do to a car", this week it's "what if boat, but on the road?". Big unwieldy cars tend to get compared to boats often but I've rarely come across a car that replicates what a boat on water feels like so faithfully on the road.

First off there's zero traction at launch, it truly feels like paddling through water. In a 0-30 drag race the same car with half the power would probably win since you wouldn't be fighting the car so much. You really need to wait till 60 before thinking about using more than a fraction of the horses available. It's not so much a matter "throttle control" as it is of "throttle patience". :lol:

As for handling, in a way it's reminiscent of last week's Morgan, always like you're a hair away from both understeer and oversteer. Most of the time you even get both as a package deal. At least the car dynamics are so bad it's too lazy to even spin out when the backend steps out. When things go wrong the car just lazily drifts off course, just like a boat, and lacking traction to correct it, there's nothing you can do. You're just a passenger watching the car crash into an obstacle in slow motion. Somehow this reminds me of a boat related historic event, but I can't quite put my finger on it...

On the tight city streets of Guanajato, this car is truly a menace. Kerbs and posts on either sides all along the track add some much needed danger to the experience, as the car itself obviously isn't enough. Kerbs unsettle the car and sends you straight into the wall, and posts scrub off precious momentum you can't afford to lose. I did 1:50s consistenly at first, but struggled to get under that time. Until I figured out that "driving" is actually overdriving with this car. You just need to surrender to the idea that it's fine to just not accelerate in some corners. Just focus on getting through cleanly and patiently wait for a straight line.

Screenshot (150).png
Sorry for the HDR screenshot, it's a 1:48:352. But it took 25 laps of hard work :lol:

It does have power so Neutral, I guess. But some upgrades are sorely needed, even for cruising around. Modern tires, a gearbox and diff might make it decent.
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 29 - Buick GSX Hardtop


Ladies and gentlemen: torque.

So, months ago, we had action with one Buick GNX, as per my selection. And now we cover all of the current entries in Horizon 5 for Buick, and we head to its older, somehow even more obscure brother: the Buick GSX. And when I say obscure, I mean it's just one of the few things the GSX has to suffer through in it's era of American muscle towering above, with the Camaro, Charger, Mustang, etcetera, before fully embracing the eventual motoring dark ages that happened not long after.

Just like the GNX to the Regal, the GSX is based off one of Buick's current run models, this one being the 1965 Buick Skylark. And of course it looked beefy. The real beef I can find would be inside it, where it carries a monster Buick engineered 455 V8. Apparently, just about every Buick in the early 70s had this in the hood. I'm not sure how you can make it economical.

To even add a sense of how nuts this is, the torque figure of this pumped up Skylark is 510 lb-ft. For a street car, this number wouldn't be touched until the release of the original Dodge Viper. That's quite a leap. But a car like this is unusually not represented well in game. Unless you've played Driver 2, I doubt any other game has the car in mention, aside Forza. I remember this thing being in Motorsport 4, but I didn't even care. The only Buick for me then was the GNX.

The GSX puts out a PI of 558. Other notable rivals nearby in Forza terms would be some Dodge HEMIs in the Charger and Challenger, and of course the HEMI Cuda that I'm hoping would end up in Gran Turismo 7 sometime soon. And if it isn't obvious, the GSX is in the middle of C-class.. probably our favorite class in our little COTW selection phase, and of course let's spoil what's coming and just say there's a Throwback coming up later. Prepare yourself for Rambo Lambo to.. that is something I shouldn't have spoiled, d'oh!

Unlike the HEMI Dodge gang, the Buick is cheap. At an Autoshow marked 80,000 credits cheap, that is. I don't know how much it is as a Hard-To-Find in the UK. But what I do know are the 2 important prices for a buy out at the Auction House. These would be 56,000 for lowest, and 70,000 for the most common. Having a pair, both still stock means I'm ready to roll out and see how does one in the 70s handle this much torque. And maybe that other one will turn into something else.


After maybe my quick complaint on Horizon and nature last week, we head back into Guanajuato for some action in Plaza Circuit.


You know what, maybe I will do something about having quite a selection of middling C-class cars. Sorry, just getting that out. Here's the MINI doing it's thing for me like it's done every week.

"Blast along a main thoroughfare before heading into the suburbs of Guanajuato, this undulating and technical circuit will keep you on your toes throughout."

Does everybody hate Plaza Circuit? I sure do, but there are aspects of it that remain high enough for me that makes me feel 'Hey, this track actually isn't THAT bad'. That would include the general feel of the circuit, the overall road width being quite generous, and the variety of the environment.

This week's highlight so happens to make the city look better than it is for most people. It does try to sort of get that city circuit feel in it, just that I gotta accept Horizon is a game that enjoys 90 degrees turns and uneven walls in the city. You got a more technical starter portion, then somewhere between a mix of speed and handling on the latter. It's also got some elevation to keep you in check, and also a few traps such as the final corner.


It's a 4000 lbs heavyweight going around the tight city turns and flows. How hard could it be?

- Let's go to the view behind one's helmet, and it's your usual classic muscle flair. But just like that other car that didn't make it in Forza Horizon 5, what was it called, the Machine, it's got a hood hud. For this car, it's the tachometer, and yes it's quite small. Other than that, there's not much else to say for these circles in the squares. That's a big need for a clock, I'd say. Priorities sure are strange for some cars.

- So, it's got only 3 gears. Shame, pretty much confirms we didn't get the Stage 1 in the game. Oh well! It explains how it can manage the torque: the big long gears can handle them. Speaking of gears, the car's an automatic, and I noticed this through the first person view too: it says D rather than your numerics.

- To bring up the launch is to expect what something with this amount of torque does: wheelspin. Big chunk of tires having quite a shave with the road. There is an alternative to start and that's by immediately going to 2nd, allowing you to just start with no wheelspin, and let that torque work. It's up to you to tell which one you'd prefer, or which one's faster. This is a C-class car, right? Gotta reassure. My shift point's at 6300 RPMs, maybe at 6050 going to third.

- So, just like the Darth Vader car, the car is fairly high up from the ground, and gives this floaty boaty feeling. The GNX however has this work out quite well thanks to its twin turbos helping it go ahead. The GSX however is a wide boat, and you will occasionally slide off to not where you're headed. But if you can control this, you can make use of the power to get you in good shape for a solid pace. More on this traction later.

- Braking is front biased. Sounds familiar? Yup. I mean, if it's on that Buick, it's gotta come from somewhere, right? And as I check back on how much I praised the GNX's braking, I tried it again, and the GSX has that ability to stop at a blink just like the GNX. Any car can do this, sure, but how about a torquey, big block carrying car from the 60s?

- Traction is the next point, and again comparing with the GNX, the GSX has this in either yes or no. And for the bit that mentions no, it only happens if you really intend it to spin out. So you're welcome to push the car around. When it comes to during a turn, the only time you gotta watch it is when said turn is tight. Put down 100% there, and you're gone. Same case with during a long speedy turn: you gotta feather it a bit here too if your car's rotating a bit. On the straights, you will burn rubber in a mild way if you put it down, and I can't say if controlling this is better.

- Since this is a track with a few tight turns, post exit oversteer has to be considered. This car can spin out if you're not careful. So it's watch your input, or do what I do occasionally and shift up. This thing has the torque to bring you back to the foray.

- Let's head back into the gearing. They're not overly wide or heavy feeling, which is a plus that we would prefer seeing with the likes of the GNX and the Hammer. And as a bonus: shifting down is actually super smooth and I definitely abused it when I need a bit of angle. I like this.

- When it comes to undulation and bumps, the GSX is okay with them. It's not a low slung sports car, so it's expected. Off-road grip is at the ehh side, but I'm sure a few conversions can get you quite a torque heavy rally car.

- Track review time: and while I say this is not a bad track in Guanajuato, doesn't mean it has issues. Turn 1 is a lot quicker to reach than expected, sort of like if Interlagos was shrunk. With the GSX, getting a new lap is pretty much the braking point. This isn't good track design.

- Now, on the latter end of Plaza Circuit is the segment where Barry R's presence matters. On the outside yes, but after the left hander on the bottom of the map is where I veer off to the shrubbery and have the GSX plow through. And as a plus: the GSX doesn't give a darn to most obstacles on this track: another advantage Plaza Circuit has.

- Thanks to it's impressive torque, my final note of anyone willing to master the GSX is to use it. How? Well, don't be afraid to put your foot down at the times you wouldn't, excepting of course certain scenarios where you don't want your foot down at all. And learning to feather the acceleration is going to help. A lot.

This entire experience has been a total Deja Vu. Everything this Buick has given out in some sense can also be found back when I nominated and took the GNX out to drive back in Week 10.

What does it mean? It means I'm giving the ninth Mark of Zen to the GSX, and impressively earned it in a track within the accursed city for racing reasons. How did it earn it? Well, I had a good 40 minute stint learning the car, and it came to me eventually by.. I guess the 10 minute mark. This isn't an uncontrollable brick. It's an uncontrollable brick that is tameable, and that means it wants you to learn what's up.

But what about a mark of best by SPD?


I tried hard, but it all went down with a stamping of 1:50.757.

And even though it's a Mark of Zen machine, I wasn't satisfied. I really wanted to push for under 1:50, but that never came. I know there's a bunch of you that probably has that handled, just not me at the time being.


So, this is where the Throwback would've been.

That'll be added on a later post. Sorry fans of our beloved Rambo Lambo Corrado VR6.

If anything, the verdict is pretty much solidified by the drive on its own. Let's head there first.



What is the Buick GSX? It is..

Torque. Oh yeah, it's an obscure muscle classic. Did I mention torque?

Unquestionably a Sleeper, but not exactly one that scrapes the top. I have certain expectations for the Throwback.. a certain cam headed V6 powered car sort of expectations.

It's still quite an oddball, but that's what we've gotten these recent weeks, my choice included. It can definitely do with a bit of sprucing up should I take it for a test. 3 gears can't fly unless I can widen it. But I suppose if you're not the Dodge Dart, any old American muscle car's an easy Sleeper.


The thing is about the cars with desirable traits is that it's preferred to be in reach.
So, I was so ready to dislike the Buick GSX with the usual prejudice: too heavy, too slow, too floaty etc. And my shake up run from the house on the east coast to Guanajuato only confirmed this preconceptions, as the car was all over the place.

However, as I attacked the Plaza circuit (which I like), some of the road shortcomings actually became strengths. It's true that the ride is floaty, but it absorbed the changes of elevation quite nicely, and under braking it was surprisingly stable. Also, the immense torque (510 lb-ft) was handled quite well with little wheelspin and traction was adequate all around.

So, after getting my clean lap and seeing the potential I went to the workshop for a B-rated build: lose some weight, better tires, gearbox, suspension, but I left the engine intact, and went to race against its brethren and beat them.

As for the rating, it comes as NEUTRAL bordering on SLEEPER, because I have to balance its bad road performance with its decent street performance and it's potential to improve through parts and tuning.
Let's dock the boat and see how it turned out. We have 3 Neutral votes to 2 Sleeper votes, making the Buick GSX a very mixed Neutral. Mixed results like these are always fun!

Our car maestro this week is @space_wadet and thanks to them, we're finally getting into some of the more unique, storied and esoteric car choices of Horizon Mexico's offerings.

Our car this week is the...

1969 #6 Penske Sunoco Lola T70 Mk.IIIb!

When I say this car is storied, I really meant it. This Lola T70, designated chassis SL76/139, was the first of the Mk3b T70s and was purchased by Penske to contest the triple crown of endurance races (Daytona 24h, Sebring 12h, Le Mans 24h). As soon as they got it in their garage, it was extensively reworked to incorporate a lot of components from the Group 7 Lola T160.

At Daytona, their primary driver suffered an injury due to a motorcycle spill/accident and they ended up qualifying 2nd behind a Porsche. During the race itself, the car collided with another vehicle and ended up in the pits for an hour to repair the damage to it. It seemed all but impossible to win the race, but somehow the Lola came back from a 44 lap deficit to win the first long-distance race of any Lola. They completed 626 laps, some 30 more laps than a previous Lola T70 GT did. At Sebring, they again qualified second and led the race for the first four hours. Sadly, the car was forced to retire when a radius rod pulled out of the monocoque shell.

And this is where it gets especially interesting. During the return trip to Philadelphia, the drivers of Penske's flatbed truck and the men in charge of this T70 pulled over on Ormond Beach and stayed overnight. The next morning, they woke up to find out that someone had made off with the trailer (and the car!). It was recovered hours later, a few miles up the road from where it was stolen. The car was still on the trailer, but the thieves made off with all of the tools, spares (including a spare engine), and crudely ripped the engine out of the car! A lot of it was recovered a month later.

Then, this T70 was converted to road-legal trim at the request of Robert Penske himself and wound up in the hands of the Banzai Runners. If that name doesn't sound familiar, they were a group of people who often did high speed sorties on LA freeways during the early mornings. To enter the group, you had to drive in excess of 150 MPH. The owner of this T70 left the group in 1971 after an earthquake damaged much of the freeway, rendering the surface inconsistent and unsuitable for high speed runs.


image relevant to above paragraph

The Lola would eventually be purchased by Jim Landrum and restored back to its original race spec. I have not yet found out where this car currently is or who its owner is, but it's had one hell of a life. It joined the roster back on FH3 and was reviewed by COTW around that time.

And now, at S1 818, this storied car is ready to roar to life once again. Let's oblige it. Our TT this week is the Bahía De Plano Circuit, and space_wadet was kind enough to provide an EventLab for this week as well. EventLab code is 303 504 767, and Space describes it as a knock-off Nurburgring coming in at 10 miles. It's a two lap race.

As always, start your engines, warm up your tires and drive it like you stole it.
And now it's time to get Week 29's Throwback out here because I said so in the post.

First but probably a funny note: It's a shame I accidentally overwrote my writeup for this Throwback and so had to write up a new one. The script's probably the same, but I can't even tell to be honest.

We might be still in the city, but at least it's not Cathedral Circuit, so I'm okay with the locale. Since I've pretty much deleted COTW 29 off my computer now that it's on GTPlanet, I had to take a quick scroll up to get the time to be in the region of, and that is definitely in the 1:50 area, marked by the most recent SPD's Mark of Zen earner in the GSX, whose time is 1:50.757.

Now, to anyone who's new: a Throwback is me compiling a bunch of our older roster that's in the region and purpose of performance to see how well they do in place of this week's nominee. And since the PI usually isn't equal, I won't be giving a competitive aura on this, and also not be tabling it.

Let's begin with the obvious rival. Or rather, it's not that obvious, really. More like a possible successor? You get the idea what car this is.

Nominee #10, Sleeper, Mark of Zen #2


Execute Order 29.

As mentioned in the review, the Buick GSX is a splitting image in many ways to its future entry the GNX. Floaty handling, great torque, and a lack of gears. But being a tiny bit of PI ahead sure probably means something. Let's see if twin turbo Sith power beats.. big meat power?


The GNX's reliance on being a dark side machine gives it the sort of force that has a best of 1:48.522.

The drive has managed to convince me one thing: despite similar driving styles for these cars, the GNX's dark side upgrades.. well, the turbos and the stiffer suspension, gives me an idea it wants to be treated different too. It's like if the GSX got harder to drive. But it's still pleasant and powerful, not to mention manageable. I never thought I'd brake late into a tight corner, but this is the kind of car that gives me that thought. While I do enjoy the GSX's experience around here, the GNX.. not so much. Maybe it truly feels more at home at a place like Playa Azul.

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


Now a third rally stage to conquer: a tarmac stage!

Up next we have the Alpine. Being a handling car that can work on any terrain gives it all sorts of accolades. I even remember giving it a Sleeper before I even set foot in it. And with the coming of the likes of the Starion and the NC MX-5 underneath, it seems we have a round 3 to see if it can top those guys once again in Throwback fashion, this time in the city.


Without sleet or sludge, the Alpine managed a best around Plaza Circuit that looks like a 1:46.611, which is a NEW best.

The Alpine, small and nimble a machine it is, shows that speed isn't everything. It was intense, grippy, agile, it's handling was responsive and crisp, and nothing about it feels in any way slow. An excellent RWD all terrain car, for sure. It's not even a challenge to get that time. Only issue: don't go getting yourself into any obstacle, at all!

Nominee #4, Sleeper


Can love truly bloom on the battlefield? On a race track, sure. How else do I know about these cars and why people care?

To challenge the Alpine, we have the Starion. I know, we're supposed to be focused on the GSX, but the Starion now exists to me as a.. possibly fleeting top Sleeper, and a rival to one old and red French rally car just above. But what the Starion has over the Alpine is acceleration. Would it be enough to impress?


Without much else to say, the Starion landed a best of 1:46.942

So, the Alpine, in terms of Throwback, is now 3-0 ahead of the Starion, insert meme here. But aside from many similarities, the Starion's drive was just way above in terms of my own general satisfaction and experience. I mean, I feel it would earn its Mark of Zen if Plaza Circuit was the combo it got on week 4. It felt much more at home than the Alpine did on tarmac. And no: I'm not checking that off-road stat in game.

Nominee #8, Sleeper


Time to tune into an over turning machine: the big fat NC Panda.

So, the last time I put the NC on a Throwback was on a winding uphill road with an off-roading portion that it just couldn't take. Now would be the week I try to insert it as part of this trifecta of Alpine-Starion-NC Miata rivalry and see how well it would hold. As mentioned in its week: the handling of this car is probably the best in this level of racing, so is that how this car will define itself with other upcoming Sleepers?

NC Miata.jpg

With grip and handling under it's wing, the third son named Miata sets a NEW best of 1:45.727

We can deduce that Plaza Circuit definitely strongly favours the grippy and the tight turners. The Miata definitely defined it. The uphill portions is definitely a weak location, and the Miata even showed off by telling me this is a place where it just cruised through without braking. Goes to show where you might not work out in one way, just know that your skills can come out in many more ways.

Nominee #13/2, Sleeper


So, I'm having a beauty contest in general, and I can't decide a winner between the city or this car..

What better to compare the performance of a classic muscle car with another classic muscle car. While this facelifted Corvette already won the design contest, how about we take the competition on track to a show of power.

C1 Corvette.jpg

On the catwalk, this beautiful Corvette tries to impress with its best of 1:49.310

Compared to that trio earlier, it was slower. It was also slower than the GNX, but it's a given. This car has quite the PI deficit. However, it did have a few stand out moments in how well it drove. It wasn't slippery, or as unwieldy as the Buicks, and man, with things like how it sounds and how it looks, I can say it's more a driver's car rather than a racer's car.

Nominee #20, Sleeper


And here we have a most definite racer's sports car classic. The first of the RB, the last of it's kin-oh my GOD it's green!

Last time, on COTW, here's a car that's destined for the road that somehow got a Horizon Wilds circuit as its testing ground. Now, the only reason I gave it a Sleeper is because I decided to bring it to the road as it is, and it was impressive enough to barely get it. I dunno, did past me say it was a bare Sleeper? Once again, I dunno. But what I do know is that this car is here to hopefully impress me.

Skyline R31.jpg

To show off its racing credentials, this Skyline roars and stomps its way to a best of 1:48.218

Yet another car with an interesting result. Why? Because if this was its track, it would also get from me the Mark of Zen. The handling, while not perfect, was just amazing. And the whole drive is just not chaotic, and feels as if it's a race car. Being a homologation model does that to you, and its hard spring setup I didn't quite get until it drove around here. Not quite up to par with the trio above, but once again: a given because of more than just being behind in PI.

Nominee #7, Beater


Yes, I can never get enough of you for some reason.

And now: an offroader trying to make headlines in a city circuit. Rambo Lambo may be so far the only Beater around, but it left me an impression of a more giddy nature. Sure, it did show its greater off-roading side in the last time it was on a Throwback, but we in the city today, my big, red, not originated from Chicago bull. I'm not expecting much, but being AWD should help out in some way. Let's see how much, though.

LM 002.jpg

Trying to escape its war-torn past of fighting and killing, Rambo Lambo crawls through the city with a best of 1:49.154

I'm not expecting results because of how sluggish and unsuitable this thing is. But when I push it harder and harder, it made me realize how safe this thing is when it comes to the drive. No challenge at all, just have to manage through the long gears and the understeer. It's a big boy, but it didn't give a damn when it comes to the city's many obstacles that slows the other entries.

Nominee #17, Sleeper, Mark of Zen #5


Why, hello. It's this thing. A Sleeper that probably put that word on the car lovers dictionary.

So, here's the last car. The original starter car of Horizon. And in no ways a weak small hatchback. It's a powerhouse, and easily puts itself within my list of top Sleepers. Without much else to say, because I'm making a reference to my lack of hatchback knowledge, will this Corrado, with the lowest PI of this list of Throwback contenders, impress me when it's now only road it has to contend with?


To put a second picture at this position would normally be reserved for Showcases. So what's with the pic? I have no idea.

And the results are in for the Corrado! It's a..

Oh wow.

Oh wow.

Oh WOW!!

It's not a new best, but oh wow..

I just can't stop wowing.

I'll just say it, oh wow, why aren't you the VW Wowwado, because oh wow..


That time is 1:45.983.

I know this is a Throwback, but WOWW, this thing can go. To put it in perspective, this is about 3 tenths behind the best, but the NC, as impressive as it is, is just 16 PI ahead.

So, in this Throwback, the Corrado has slain not just the week 29 nominee, but a whole slew of middling C-class cars, while being barely in this position altogether.

Before I wow to it even more, let's see why. It's all about consistency. The Corrado isn't hard to drive, and it's also very balanced in the turns. And when it comes to acceleration and traction, it's really good for a small hatchback. They chose the right car to start off Horizon with, and I'm already going to say wow to it just as I'm about to do so now. Wow.

And that's this.. umm, last week's throwback deferred a few days ahead dealt with. If anything, maybe I just suck at driving the GSX to have it remain at that 1:50 time. I did enjoy it regardless. With that car now involved in this crowd, the next time a middling C-class car comes in.. oh God, it's coming, right?


So, I never do SPD sneaks outside of GTA, but here's how I'm going to header up the Lola's entry. I don't know if the theme song is already playing in your head.
About halfway through testing the car I noticed this car only has a wing on one side! Since the Lola was on COTW in FH3 I'm sure it has been mentioned already, and I'm just late to the party. I thought it might be an oval spec, but most pictures of the car have both wings or none. The only picture with one wing I could find was this one, which seems to be at the Daytona 24h, and seeing all the scotch tape on the body it probably wasn't the start of the race. It seems the car is this way in the game as a nod to its most notable race win (as Obelisk mentioned in his write up of this chassis crazy history!). Luckily for us, the handling doesn't take into account the single side downforce. :lol:

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Yes, I did dent the right corner, but the wing was missing already I promise! :dopey:

I always gravitate to the more iconic and famous cars of the category, the GT40s, the 330 P4, 917 and 512M (which I hope comes back to 5 at some point). So this felt like an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the slightly more obscure endurance machine in the game. Tracks were chosen to try and fit the classic endurance theme. Back when circuit were simpler and mostly on real roads. The Bahia track feels like an old track to me, a fairly simple layout, mostly fast corners and some elevation, but with a couple tricky corners to test your braking and where finding the best line isn't always as obvious as it may seem.

The Eventlab track was made mostly to use the roads in the canyon, which have a really nice flow to them but in order to loop them into a single circuit the whole track ended up being quite long. The length, corner variety, elevation changes and long uphill straight to a technical section at the start finish line is what lead me to dub it the Nurburgring knockoff. Prop placement is mostly done but not totally on point yet, due to the length and my laziness, so I'm open to any and all criticism/suggestions. Hopefully you guys will find that it fits the theme and the car!

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Some slight breadvan vibes from the side view.

Ok, enough blabbering, on with the actual car review.

This car start with a simple recipe: a big American V8 in a lightweight British built chassis. If that sounds familiar it's because it's the same recipe as the iconic Ford GT40. Now before you call this a GT40 knockoff let me mention that Eric Broadley, founder of Lola cars, was hired by Ford to help develop the first GT40, which was inspired by the Ford V8 powered Lola mk6. (It's all connected!) The Lola T70 was born after Broadley started making his own cars again to compete with the Fords, Ferraris and Porsches of the day. Unfortunately, despite moderate success, Lola was a small operation and had trouble competing with bottomless pockets of the bigger brands.

The T70 does have its merits though, chiefly its weight. It weighs much less than its counterparts at 840kgs. The 5.0L V8 in the back sounds much better than the others as well, at least in game. The big engine sits in between the axles, towards the back and that kinda defines the whole handling of the car. The V8 is heavy and low, and where most of the weight of the car is, and it becomes the axis around which the car rotates. The very front and rear of the car almost feel too light.

With the tires and suspension of its day the car feels a tad soft and floaty, especially the front end. That sounds bad, but I mean it in good way. It's plenty agile and grippy, just isn't as stiff and dynamic as more modern cars. The lack of front and rear downforce does show at speed, the back tends to slide out when you ask a bit too much, but does so very gently. There's plenty of time to catch it, and at times you don't even need to. You can feel the limit of grip and even go slightly over it without feeling like the car is trying to kill you. It's a nice feeling, being at the edge while still being in control.

The lack of downforce is why I like these old race cars, ironically. With high downforce cars the limit is almost counter-intuitive to find, when you're able to go corner faster the faster you're going. The limit for these classic cars is much more straightforward, and after that it's only up to your driving to improve your lap times.

The brakes are where the Lola shows its age the most. They're mediocre while also being incredibly easy to lock up. You'll need to brake early, and keep trailbraking to a minimum or you'll understeer.

Here's the best I could do on the Bahia. It felt like a good lap, but I've got no reference so I'm fully prepared to be humbled. :lol:

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All in all it's a rewarding and engaging car to drive. Toes the line perfectly between well behaved and challenging. Perfect for these old school circuits! A certified Sleeper for me, made even better by the awesome V8 sound. This and the XJ13 might just become my go-to Classic racers until the 512 returns.

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Before I start with the Lola, I want to talk about the Banzai Runners @Obelisk mentioned.

Highly modified cars? minimum speed requirement? late night/early morning runs?

That sounds awfully familiar to me, because that’s what the legendary Mid Night Club in Japan did. :D

And to the credit of the Banzai Runners, they certainly didn’t half ass things with the cars that were run, (930)911 Porsches, Lambo Countach’s with factory modified aerodynamics, This weeks Lola T70, A Vector W2(!) and a heavily modified 1979 Cadillac Seville, which had a Nascar derived 750hp Big Block V8 and slick tyres at all corners. :drool:

So America had the Banzai Runners, Japan had the Mid Night Club, can’t go wrong with some of the legacy’s that came from both of these clubs. 👍

So the Lola T70, The go to choice for privateers who wanted to go racing back in its day, 460hp 5 litre Chevy V8, 5 speed manual gearbox and weighing in at 840kgs. :cool:

Revs out well past 8k rpm, it certainly encourages you to keep it pinned past the redline, but remember it’s still a vintage race car, it’s not a razor sharp machine like modern racers.

It does get floaty and numb at the front at higher speeds, but it also doesn’t immediately kick you in the plums if you apply too much steering lock to counter when the rear starts to let go.

The Eventlab track certainly showed this off with all the fast, sweeping turns meaning you’d be in some gentle 4 wheel drifts, but it also showed its weak point, specifically the brakes.

For no ABS users, it’s a fine line between not stopping quick enough or locking the brakes so some engine braking is needed.

On the subject of the Eventlab..


Now normally this car comes in at a double take inducing 850K credits, but because it’s not an AE86 or (insert hypercar here), you can actually pick one up for just over 150k or even less than a 100k if you have a knack for auction house sniping. :P

And from I’ve seen and (Amber) heard, it’s quite a capable S1 Tarmac or Dirt pick. :sly:

(I apologise for that awful joke.:lol:)

Anyways, if you get one for those prices, I can’t see any reason as to why this wouldn’t be a Sleeper. ;)

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
I'm kind of tied up with work, but I did my laps with the Lola. In stock form in the Bahía de Plano track is just not competitive for Rivals (speed-wise) but the drive was surprisingly balanced and enjoyable. I figured it would benefit from full slick tires and more power (and as much downforce I could get), and indeed my times began to improve, but also the car became more testy at the limits, and If I was off by just a little in a braking point anywhere in the circuit, then my lap was ruined.

Still, a very enjoyable experience, and a SLEEPER!
Sorry folks, I'm probably not going to get a writeup for the Lola in time. The main meat of it's already written, just that I haven't the opportunity to hop into Horizon these days and do the laps.
No worries. I'm actually planning on updating to Week 31 much later than usual today (7-10 PM EST).
TL; DR review because I tried doing a recorded commentary and ended up rejecting it, then ran out of time to actually write up something on the Lola.

It's one heck of a car. Sleeper, and a unique piece of automotive history to boot.

And with that, we've got four Sleeper votes making this car a full on Sleeper! This isn't much, but add this as a positive little tally mark in the thick storybook of this car's life.

Speaking of history, I fell down a rabbit hole - no, not one dug up by my rabbits - of racing game history. Did you know that the earliest little bits and pieces of Gran Turismo came from a toon game? The earliest step towards GT was back in Motor Toon Grand Prix (back when Polyphony Digital was just "Polys Entertainment" - heck, they even produced and released the original Gran Turismo under that dev name), where a bonus mode called Motor Toon GP™ R featured a NASCAR that you could take for a wild run around any of the cartoonish tracks. Oh, and "Toon Island II" bears more than a passing resemblance to High Speed Ring!
Case in point, this is HSR:

And this is Toon Island II.

The track flow is much similar, though the turn 3 "sector" in Toon Island is a lot more zig-zaggy. Anyways, I digress. History is the topic of COTW this week.

And coming at an absolutely eye-watering 15 million credits, it's the...

1939 Auto Union Type D!

One in a series of Grand Prix cars during the 1930s, this Type D was one of the main contestants. It's a little overlooked due to the presence of its more infamous, more sleek relative, the Type C Streamliner that was built two years prior. This car had fairly decent success, winning and finishing very high in the few races that I can find data on.

These cars had immense power for the 1930s, and equally immense top speeds to boot, but super small tires. The Streamliner that was mentioned in the last paragraph? Rumor has it that the driver that died in one was doing nearly 300 miles an hour and a cross-wind was what caused the unfortunate turn of events.

We'll be taking this historic set-piece (B 675) down or rather, up, El Lago Blanco, a hillclimb across Baja California and Bahia de Plano that ends further into Mexico.

Let's see how this machine holds up now that's it's been displaced nearly a century from its original context.
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Well since you went down memory lane, I decided to do so too, back to when COTW drove the Streamliner version back on GT6.

Specifically I was looking for something I posted back then and happily, it’s still there. :P

That actually goes to a report on the ill-fated final run of Bernd Rosemeyer’s record attempt, admittedly a draft that was done on the 65th anniversary of that fateful run.

I won’t spoil all of it, but the report does mention one thing, contrary to popular belief, it is reported that the gust of wind played either no role in the crash or was the last little push on a car that was already tearing itself apart.

Don’t ask me how I found that, I didn’t even know how I came across it back then. :lol:

I may have my time posted up over the weekend or just after it.👍
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 30, a week too late - Lola #6 Penske Sunoco T70 MkIIIB


Anyone hosting an anime car meet? When they race, I'm quite positive my rep right here has it in the bag.

Anyone who's a racing historian would know the classic mashup of Ford and Ferrari back in the late 60s. But let's put that aside and put in a probably not as well known brand that tried to put them in their place.

Enter Lola: actually well known body makers that has been making F1 cars since the early 60s, and they want a piece of the action. And since there's been quite a LOT of writeups of this car.. I mean, This thing I can find so much history of, they wrote a freaking book that you can buy off your online marketplace of choice. It's not like I'm gonna buy it for curiosity's sake, but the temptation is present.

The T70 actually was made to be that first draft to the car that would be known as the Ford GT40. And brand owner Eric Broadley thought the Ford GT40 felt too tame and lacking, so he decided to just build the T70 under the Lola name.

And to say they had success would be quite obvious. Of course you have to keep going with the wave. Their initial successes would come from one of a kind, 2 wheel or 4 wheel legend John Surtees. And making a dude like him semi-retire from his usual F1 events would mean something's right about the car, which has been dubbed 'lacking in the engine department'. However, even though the T70's been winning events, it's notably not really an endurance winner, keeping most of its victories in shorter events.

So we have the car in the game: the Mk3B, which means it's the third iteration, and the B just a small mark so it's classified as a homologation model. This variant we get in game is a Penske owned variant that's powered by a Chevy V8. And the announcement post pretty much covers what has happened.

But as the kind of Le Mans race car of the late 60s, the legendary Porsche 917 would be the final straw for just about its rivals, and a new era would dawn. Let's stay in this era for one last hurrah of this.. umm, amazing machine, but with a mostly unusual origin story.

At 818 PI, the Chevy powered Lola finds itself at early S1. The Classic Racers class is a total mess, so I don't think there's any rivals for anyone unless you're a certain Ferrari or Jaguar. And let's get an old trick out of the hat: the Lola would be calculated to be as a close equal to the McLaren F1. Yes, it's that car again. COTW alumni: the TVR Griffith would be 7 PI ahead, and that's a car I don't expect to be faster than these 2.

Old race car means big hole in wallet, says the native American tribal chief of some racing related animal or something. But disregarding this source, that hole is the size of about 850,000 credits on the Autoshow. Anyone looking for a spare would prefer going to the Auction House, as I can see the car going for 196,000 credits as both the cheapest and most common price there.

And I'm kind of shocked. It's THE S1 offroading meta, and it's been unbeatable since Horizon 4 as far as I hear. Being a meta should shake up pricing, but not really it seems. I already have 2, and Racer X is handling one of them as an S1 road racer. The other is a fortunately stock one. Maybe I'll get a third for my dirt racing needs.


To relive the past of racing, the Lola will take to Bahia De Plano Circuit.


After all this research, I wonder what exactly is the sort of history that would make famously small MINIs grow like a tumour?

"A favourite among thrill-seekers, Bahia de Plano Circuit has high-speed sweeping turns with a couple of heavy breaking [yes, another typo, jeez] areas, perfect for daring overtakes."

Finding itself at the most Western side of the map, this circuit is nothing but a short sweet piece of track that's fairly suitable for just about any road tuned car. Maybe not a drag car, but..

There's really not much to say. This is a short simple speedy track with no gimmicks or anything technical. Maybe it's chosen to harken back to the simple past times of racing. There's hardly any Barry R too, but there's no way I'm cutting this kind of track.


You know, this miniature Mexico sure has some of the most deserted beaches I've ever seen. On this side, I mean, there's an entire outpost that's a beach party out East. But with backdrops like these, there's not much people, thus meaning not much annoyances, and that's the kind of focus I want from this Lola.

- Inside the car is just the bare necessities. It's your usual tight classic race car with a right side shifter for a right side driver, which is similar to one Jag earlier in week 14. Although it's not notable, but my character wears a crown, and the top of it just barely juts out off the door hinges.

- I'm not expecting a super fine launch because this is the 60s, but the launch is quite quick for a RWD car. This is one high revving Chevy V8, and thus my shift point's at 8500 RPM, though about 300 RPM earlier for the 4th-5th transition, because it jerks up there quite noticeably.

- With a race car, one must expect results. The thing is, this is a classic racer, and so I'm ready to brace for some of the most dangerous things cars of this era are capable of: murder. This is pretty much the warning that says this car isn't for the newbies. There's already a few things I do want to point out in other points underneath just from the first lap.

- Firstly: input. It hates it when you turn it all the way, brake all the way, and accelerate... actually, that's oddly fine. However, this does mean if you drive like me who has more than 1 of those inputs usually active, it's going to be a bad time.

- So with that said, the braking is a rear biased hater of stoppers that will catch those sleeping to the shadow realm. Like a certain Corvette, funny enough. In fact, as mentioned earlier, mix in the inputs of braking and steering, and you're going to slide. Mix that and acceleration and.. who does this?

- The cars suspension is low to the ground, and quite hard. This pretty much sums up why it slides a bit when going through some elevation, or get ruined when said elevation is both significant and sudden. On that note: the car's off-road grip as stock is good. Sounds to me like a bit of foreshadowing.

- Now to the turning, and it's a doozy. Not like it'll spin out no matter what, but the rear gets loose by a small bit when you take that speedy winding turn with your foot down a bit too much. I'm guessing a second warning would be okay, so watch it.

- While the Lola in general is a bit of a floaty ride, do feel free to try cutting the track when the line requires it, such as during the last left hander. These classic racing tires usually have an okay threshold for going off road. The car we're handling is the S1 dirt meta after all.

- When using the gas for this car, do it only when you're surely going straight. The traction going sideways isn't quite there. This is especially true when turning, where instead you'll just understeer.

- The gearing of the car is excellent. 5 speed, tight enough as if it's a race car.. whoops! Actually, I find it so that if you're afraid of these killer brakes, try shifting down so that you can get a better entry. The traction overall for the car is more than fine to handle it.

- I.. uhh, don't have a distinct complaint for the track, actually. Just a short and sweet run.

- If not the usual barrier, the Lola hates obstacles. But I really shouldn't even be mentioning this.

- Let's finalize. The Lola has a certain wavelength going about, and my advice to you to master this is to find that wavelength, then just go with it. Once you sync with the Lola, it might like you enough to help unleash that potential.

The Lola and the track became a hub for learning: something most drivers don't like to do and just hop into what they think is easy and fast. I don't do that. If I want easy, then why bother, really? Challenge has always been kind of a reason for me to discover some of these lesser known cars.

While it didn't quite get there in terms of peace and tranquility, the Lola did try to kill me enough times that it would sort of admit it had a best try of it.


That best would look sort of like a deadly tinge of 46.698.

It's been a challenge, more than the old Carrera RS, the C1 FE, and.. maybe a few other nominees that have this in their arsenal. And to have one ready for S1 road, with most of its original parts swapped for today's race standards would mean I do have a soft spot for this Lola even before it was nominated.



With an EventLab this week, of course I'm using it, but it appears Racer X has taken the wheel for the highlights.


Yes, he did finish it in under 10 minutes, can't say how impressive it is, but it's a goal I've set for myself, so, umm.. award winners (a)?


What is the Lola #6 Penske Sunoco T70 MkIIIB? It is..

Old school racer with a shark of an engine and keen to find the next boat to crash into.

Just like with the other notably difficult drive entries, the Lola has been a Sleeper through and through. But I don't think I want a long explanation, because I feel the longer I describe it, there's a chance someone will mention it's a meta car for dirt racing, and it's tied with the Bone Shaker for that award.

In fact, now we have quite a gathering in early S1 for Throwback reasons, and I'm sure you all don't mind the inclusion of one Bone Shaker in this, no? But this is a segment I feel is more suitable if one's already bored of middling C class. But the ratio of top sleepers there is better than here, so..

In other words, something sleek like this Lola only helps me wonder how Bad To The Blade would fit in Horizon.


So, if I were to have my own Racer X when I'm around racing on the track like Speed Racer would, would that mean.. the XomePlayaDude dream still lives?!

SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 31 - Auto Union Type D


I'm looking for the old folks home for cars, and it's unnecessarily in a hurry..

Last week with the Lola was a crazy rear happy racer that somehow earned not ire but pretty much love when it comes to how it drives. I mean, Racer X was actually the perfect example of a top S1 road car for me because it was the perfect kind of drive that didn't feel slow, and it can do almost anything.

But when it comes to slow, this old Auto Union is hardly but. If you can tell from how it's shaped, you can probably say it's got wrinkles and belongs to an already passed age. Sure, but at least here in the festival, we can take it out for one more spin without worrying about maintaining parts that need more than oiling, or maybe that 10 million Euro insurance.

So when we see history like this rolling about, it makes you think Audis were fast? Didn't you notice the Le Mans cars it used to pump out? How did you think the R8's major inspiration was going to look like? Designed by a certain Dr Ferdinand Porsche, and powered by a very old V12, probably Porsche's handiwork too, there were many consideration of this car that led to innovation. As mentioned by Forza, it's got twin roots superchargers, which is wacko mode that causes their engine to be capable of revving 10000 RPMs. And due to that, tires spinning away is maybe its most famous role before it got installed by a then new thing back then: the limited slip differential.

The racers of the past are pure psychos. They actually brought this car to a hillclimb, and the only way it's going to survive one at peak performance is by adding dual rear wheels on it. When it comes to victories, aside a couple, it wasn't going to nudge then champs Mercedes, and to think Auto Union did this with a significantly less budget to work with. This GP funded era did however came to a bloody close because there was another world war waiting a couple years ahead.

A 200 MPH capable GP car would mean it's going to be quite high on the PI scale, right? The Type D sits in late B class, at 675 PI. When it comes to in class rivalry, the Mercedes W154 is a few PI behind.. hmm, no I'm not going to investigate. Just like the Hammer before it, I feel this is a number too low, but wait till you get in the seat. If we're going to use the 25 PI to make it drivable, you'd say this car easily belongs in A. In fact, this car is quite a viable choice for these B to A classes, though the whole thin tires being no grip issue is handled with an AWD conversion.

To the price. It's probably the only thing that stands out, really. The Audi once known as Auto Union will set you back 15 million credits. This is steep for even one who saves up in game. But there are 2 saving graces to this. First up is that one can actually earn one for free, through the 'Fairy Tale Ending' Accolade, which requires one festival goer to win all Finale events, plus get 3 stars for The Juggernaut. And if you so happen to wanna keep that one to yourself, the Auction House is the 2nd option. Buyouts come as low and common as 1.417 million. Costly for our usual COTW driver, but we're not in the Gran Turismo economy of review bombing.

And believe it or not, when it comes to the Auction House and COTW alumni, there's one car that's more expensive. I'm not gonna tell you straight up, but it's one inside the middling C class gang.

Well, sadly I got none, and with me not bothering with beating final bosses, I see the Auction House has more than a few laying about. After a quick grab, let's head to the track.


With all this history, let's go and educate El Lago Blanco what's with this German speedster.


Even through this white foggy lens of the past, you can say it's a German speedster too, and from us car nerds, you wouldn't be wrong either.

"Watch out for sand that has crept on to the road in this desert hillclimb event, as you blast across Baja California and Bahia de Plano on your way inland."

5.4 miles? I swear it seems much shorter than that.

And to call it a hill climb is sort of inaccurate. But I can't be the one to judge that. There's a lot of room around to weave by because Street Scene, but oh look: we're going past the Horizon Baja Outpost. AKA where I spawn everytime I boot into Horizon. Thing is: that place is just a haven for dirty plays altogether.

Aside a couple of 90 degrees turns, the whole experience does have a sense of speed, with a flair for elevation changes and no walls. I'd say favor for speed, but I don't think there's anything in the works for now to prove that.


Oh boy, it has to be a night event. It has to be possibly the most dangerous car we have taken so far, and there's nobody here to save us if it decides enough is enough.

- Interior, right? Yes, well.. umm... my drivatar wears sunglasses even at night, and thus we end up with this kind of view. The way I see it.. without the sunglasses I mean, it's a bit cramped looking, for a car that gives you the world as thinking space. I'm surprised these HUD things do light up even in that era of cars, so I'll give credit to them for thinking about it. Though, this does give me an idea to do this view every week onward.. just self reminder: take off them shades.

- With tires skinnier than probably your leg, of course you're going to have this kind of wheel spin launch to contend with. It's the worst case of lost grip so far: being the first case of one you gotta fight just to survive. And even past that traction control by your hand isn't going to end anytime soon. I have a Dualsense to help me with this, and I know the witch trials are coming. Oh, the car tops out at 8000 RPM, which is kind of disappointing hearing that 10000 RPM claim. Be sure to shift sometime before.. I do so at 7600 RPM usually.

- So, with the last entry on the Lola, my top tip is to find the long smooth wavelength, and then ride with it. In this car, it's not exactly a wavelength, but maybe more like it's going through a super tight frequency. And to ride with that isn't going to fly. I'll have to double down the fact while the Lola wants to kill you, this car wants to do that, and at the same time do the same to your next of kin, even if they don't quite exist.

- One thing of note is the acceleration. Of course it's really stand out in terms of B class. And it's not exactly wibbly wobbly in a straight, so pushing down the gas where it's safe is usually how this car will get the times it's known for in this class. Knowing where to put the gas down is just as important like in the Lola.

- Just like a couple of cars in COTW, the brakes are those rear biased death machines that does anything but stop. And this is even worse than... uhh, I guess the Lola. The C8 Corvette really set this bar quite low. Even if I do brake early, a slight angle will slide me away to the shadow realm. So when you reach where the driving line turns red by the slightest, it might mean you're too late. And even much more odd is how they lock up pretty easily. I shouldn't be surprised if these brakes are bad, but man people actually survive driving these?

- I'm going to call it first: Horizon Baja's spot will end your run quite a bit. It's pretty much the only tight portion with walls. You are going to go wide with this car a lot. It's probably the first thing you'll have to beat before getting into things like turning stability and traction.

- So, unlike the Lola, the Type D likes to bring out the rear. It gives you the idea of that Dr. Porsche's engineering within. On large sweeping turns, you letting the rear out while turning is going to happen, and yes, this is going to be bad if your racing is with people on your sides.

- Getting wide gives me the idea that this car would be great for dirt. It is, because as it is, it can handle a few second of off-road before going crazy. I do see vintage racers being used like this quite often too.

- So, here's yet another car I recommend anyone to pick manual over the usual automatic, because for the same reasons of how past cars usually have better handling when you shift down during a turn. In this car, it's shift up so I don't go wide while turning. Odd how it turns around like this.

- For a Street Scene event, this track is mostly clean and full of places to go wide. There are places to watch out for, including the road taken last week, and if you're going to go wide, make sure to not go THAT wide and find yourself onto the dunes itself. There's most likely a viper ready to strike on the other side of the crest.

- Once you get the hang of this unwieldy car, it's time to not only find the best line, but get your car stationed around it. One thing I've noticed is during the first portion uphill, the checkpoints can be quite wide. So the entire premise to even run this thing at stock in a racing situation is counting your inputs for days in a 3 minute period. To be honest, this is a car I do want to see my inputs in so I can get you guys some percentages, like the HUD elements seen in Assetto Corsa and Gran Turismo.

- We're at the bottom of the barrel if we say this not an Audi is a casual driver's car, and now at the bottom of the notes. My advice is to learn. Quite a few cars have this as the top tip, but this one I want to suggest quite strongly. If the car is doing this, you want to be doing the one thing to settle it, else you're going to crash and burn. Maybe if we're going to focus on one thing to look out for, it's the rear grip. Keep that handling in check, and you'll be fine.. mostly.

So, since I did this with the Lola's run just about a couple hours ago, my hands still remain that old racer feel that would kill me if I didn't have this preparation of mind. I like a challenge, but I wonder how do people handle these things without the mandatory Forza driver conversion? There are better hands than mine, but current age me holding a Dualsense has to be prime SPD when it comes to getting my inputs right. No, this is not a paid promotion.

But let's see with all this sand being thrown around by this Type D if there's buried treasure! I mean a best run.

Auto Union.jpg

The Auto Union with me behind it has a best of 3:03.157.

I was aiming for 3 minutes flat.. and with all this inconsistency, this is what I managed to get. But it's evident I should chill for the time being, considering I have to put much less time into these writeups for recent days. Still, a combo you gotta try to tell us if you're man enough. How much man are you?


A true show of what a Forza Horizon man killer ride has never been more defined, but I'm sure this isn't the most difficult car to work with. And without any kind of thematic matching with any of my 3 events, I better play it safe and end it.


What is the Auto Union Type D? It is..

They put 2 roots superchargers in it, the maniacs! Umm, I mean.. the R8's ancestor that shows off their speedy heritage without holding back at all.

Okay, sure, it's a Sleeper. But it's mainly because it's presentation is excellent, and the challenge is one of the highest thus far. Shame about the sunglasses vision, but even though it's just a change to make through a few menus in, I'm not really bothering.

We have 2 race cars of past times in the last couple weeks. And these cars have notably been killing off people so that racing in the future is safer and most definitely more exciting. Good to see the past isn't to be completely forgotten. But some people still never learn, amirite?


If anything, this car does seem to resemble an ice skate. So let's have it slip and slide for a bit before returning it.
Retro squared, retro even for the retro era

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This time we're going even further back in time, experiencing the time when race cars were basically airplane engines bolted to metal bathtubs with bicycle tires and brakes. Considering the ingredients that make up this car, I expected it to be much worse to be honest. I think the handling must be tamed a fair amount compared to the real thing.

Launch is what you'd expect with skinny tires and plenty of power, but if you don't try to put all the power down you do get going well after some initial wheelspin. Acceleration does seem to taper off a bit after that, not sure if it's due to the old engine or gearing. (Checking the figures from kudosprime does corraborate this. 3.8s for 0-97kph, but 8.47s for 0-161kph ??) Haven't tried yet but the runway would need to be Fast & furious 6 length to hit that 360k top speed.

The brakes are bad, but again I expected worse for an almost-century-old car. "Bad but not hopeless" is the best way to describe them, considering the era that's decent enough.

I wonder if there are any drift builds of the car since it's virtually impossible not to drift through corners with it. Tires provide almost no grip, so you're either two wheel or 4 wheel drifting in corners, depending on the speed. However it's not snappy or uncontrollable so if you recalibrate your brain, expecting to slide, it's not that bad. You still need a fair amount of throttle control in any case.

After a couple aborted runs, and a couple clean runs here's my time. I expected more encounters with barry R before a clean time I must say. According to the learderboards it's a 1% time (which is my totally unscientific benchmark for stock cars) so for a 80 year old car I'd say that's quite competitive.

Screenshot (163).png

Could do better, but with the DLC & Motorsport news, and the current emotional abuse of being a Leclerc/Ferrari F1 fan my mind is elsewhere at the moment. :lol:

I wanted to like this car more, but I'm going with a Neutral rating. Even though it's clearly fast, it lacks a certain enjoyment factor. It wheelspins and slides all over the place but it is controllable, so not quite crazy enough to be fun, while also not quite capable enough to be enjoyable. If that makes sense.

Screenshot (161).png


Got that sub 3 min for you @SomePlayaDude :D

So the Auto Union Type D, as previously mentioned, COTW tested its Type C Streamliner counterpart way back on GT6, that was arguably more sketchy as it had a 520hp 6.0 V16 with a 2 stage supercharger, less downforce and less steering lock. :scared:

Racing regulations from 1938 onwards capped engine displacement at 4.5 litres for NA cars and 3.0 litres for Supercharged cars

So with 485hp from a 3.0 Supercharged V12, a 5 speed manual, a limited slip differential(in the 30’s!!) and a whole lotta brass balls, the Type D was just as much of a monster on the track as it’s V16 predecessors.

The cars design and previously said differential were designed by a man who’s surname would go on to be a legend not just in motorsports, but in some of Stuttgart’s most incredible performance cars.

Ferdinand Porsche

Now say what you want about his affiliates and social circles of the late 1930s and his company’s contributions to Germanys war effort (And believe me, you can say a 🤬-ton about that lot.), the one thing that cannot be disputed is that he was a brilliant car engineer..

Even if that he was responsible for the VW Beetle. :lol:

I jest. :P

The Type D is a car that’s definitely not for everyone, at 15 million credits, it’ll leave a dent even in veteran Forza players wallets.:crazy:

Happily, it’s an Accolade award for winning all the big finale races+ 3 starring The Juggernaut, that also means players who’s automotive tastes are more to the modern stuff will want to try and auction it off, which means folks like us that enjoy motoring regardless of age can pick one up for pretty much 10% of its value. 💰

It’s also not a car for everyone in how it drives either, it’s got low grip, low stopping power and you need a steady right foot to manage nearly 500hp through the skinny tyres.

It punishes even slight mistakes, but the second you get into a rhythm with it and plan how and when to start turning in, it will reward you with a good idea of just how fearless the drivers who raced cars like this back in its day had to be, not just to stay alive until the checkered flag was waved, but to be at the front of the pack when it was waved. :cheers:

Again, you can say what you want about the political party in Germany at the time funding cars like the Auto Union and their drivers, but again, it can’t be disputed that these racing machines were legendary in their own right. 👍

Verdict: Sleeper 🙂👍
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Well, I got the Autounion Type D really cheap at an auction (for like 1/10 of its list price!), which probably reflects the interest of most FH5 players. In short: powerful engine driving bicycle tires makes it unsuitable for Rivals, as the car will slide when braking (I'm aware this cars drifted rather than taking sharp turns back in the day) and will spin as the narrow tires can only handle so much torque.

It's a DNF for me and a BEATER... BUT, that being said, upgraded to the high A's will be a terror in the coming Hot Wheels expansion!
No review from me unfortunately, as I'm on vacation. But that's not gonna stop the show!

The Auto Union has 2 Sleeper votes, one Neutral vote and one Beater vote. Majority Sleeper vote, so it is a Sleeper, but only barely. Interesting.

Our car this week was chosen by @Nacho Libre and it's one of our first forays into the elite of the elite - that is, S2 class.

Everyone put your hands together for the...

2021 Mercedes-AMG One!

An absolutely bonkers near-production hypercar with the heart of an F1 engine, the AMG One promises to be one heck of a drive.

And to see if this 2.7 million credit hypercar (S2 927) is worth the investment, we'll be taking it to Bola Ocho Circuit!

As always, let's do our best and see if this road-legal F1 is ready for the competition in the world of Horizon Mexico!
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 32 - Mercedes-AMG ONE


Do you know when I see a statement like ONE, it reminds me of Tekken's line of JACK robots when they do their signature just frame uppercut, with the announcer's ONE line being used. It's funny. Anyways, now a top of the line open wheeler in guise of a hypercar!

It's an S2 car, so of course I'm early.

Today we delve into the future of.. today! And that's through Mercedes' first leap into the current era of top tier road going performance with this: an F1 dedicated engineering piece known as the AMG ONE. Born in 2017, and finally getting produced for the end of this year, the AMG ONE is essentially an hypercar that wants to not just join, but set new bounds into a new level of road performance.

While the car is German on the whole, part of the car has a British flair to it. Mainly because its F1 engine is developed there, and the car itself is also engineered and assembled in the UK, maybe I feel due to one of the head honchos putting his hair into working in it (maybe that's where it's gone) being recurring F1 champion Sir Lewis Hamilton.

So, remember weeks back with the Hammer: an example of AMG going ham on performance. This is today's take on that, but not stuck behind the limitations of your usual Mercedes. We got numbers so high, your attempts at reaching them would have you suddenly fall like a classic cartoon character.

Let's get through the list of insane AMG traits: designed by the same fellow who did the SLR McLaren, carbon ceramic brakes, an F1 engine taken from 2016's F1 W07, a strong case of using said F1 for overall interior and exterior design, 4 electric motors.. not for the usual power straight up for all 4 wheels, mind you, but it's for the turbo, crankshaft, and 2 for the front axle. And also the general F1 development engineering that translates to everyday hypercar pretty nicely. Maybe the only thing about the car that's not F1 related has to be the tire compound. Because they're Michelins, and I haven't heard that name in F1 for ages.

But on to the in game numbers. As the current Forza Horizon flagship before something probably even more insane comes in the next game, the AMG ONE parks itself at a respectable 927 PI. A low S2, and also the first S2 on COTW, dethroning the VUHL 05 for the car with the highest PI. When it comes to nearby challengers, the ONE has to tackle with Danish big wing boy the Zenvo TSR-S just under, having a PI tied with Bugatti's current flagship Chiron, and for some reason it's placed lower than the LaFerrari, the Huayra BC and the P1. Now those three I expect to be under the ONE for reasons in about any way that's not top speed. Any higher, and we'll reach the blistering fast batch of Hypercars, such as the octopus associated NIO EP9, the many Koenigseggs, and the obvious rival of the Valhalla Concept. This is a very elite class, paired with Extreme Track Toys for S2 racing.

Now to the economy. Currently only in Horizon 5, this piece of engineering will work out a 2.7 million credit hole in your wallet for one. With the Auto Union last week, the sort of car that will be worse would be something like the RAESR or a Trueno. Least the Auction House is here for spares if not the Autoshow. There, we get prices that looks like 1.9 million credits for the most common, and late 1.4 million credits for the cheapest. Funny enough, this week one has a chance to earn one for free by earning 40 points on the Festival Playlist. I have 2 already, one tuned for the nightmare known as top S2, and the other still stock.


To see how much of it is made of sterner stuff, the AMG ONE goes to a show of performance through Bola Ocho Circuit.

Another Guanajuato encounter. I wonder what's the unfortunate car that gets to go through Panoramica Sprint? Yes, I might even decide that, but even then I haven't a clue who would.


Maybe as a joke I'll put in the X-raid MINI on these tight city circuits to see if it can be regarded as not quite a joke on the narrowing city asphalt.

"A small figure-eight circuit located around the Estadio Jose Aguilar in the southern part of Guanajuato. A steep hill provides the elevation change for the cross-over."

Funny to say that Bola Ocho literally translates to 8-Ball. Is there some kind of reference going there, because there isn't a ball, and having it shaped like an 8 is kind of making that number seem weak in standing. You ever played 8 ball pool? I like pool. It's the kind of game with the right kind of rules. Okay, this isn't the post analysis waffle.

Though, if there's something is the track's width. The first part is.. alright, but then it gets tight for the most part until the end. And of course being in the city means Barry R is in full force, and things like the light poles and curbs come to play. But on the whole, I can see handling cars triumph over the usual average joe's.


Guanajuato is definitely not a Singapore or Monaco, but it doesn't mean I get to try a modern take of a road legal F1 on it. But it's about if I would enjoy it.

- We begin with the usual inside. Here is the picture. Now, one can see not only is it sleek and compact, but also we got touchscreens and a mid mounted camera for your rear view pleasure. Aside that, my only gripe is the steering wheel, and while I've mentioned its inspiration being the then era Mercedes F1 car, I just don't like steering wheels that aren't fully even circles.

- Before we move on to the car's launch, the whole writeup underneath is observed with the car in Track mode opposed to Highway mode. In fact, I hear it's generally slower to run in Highway mode in almost every event. And no, I'm not going to be the one who tries this phenomenon in places like The Colossus.

- Now back to our scheduled program. The car's launch is what you'd expect from an AWD car: simple and quick. But I feel it isn't so quick like the Huracan from weeks back. I'm a listener to this car's F1 engine, so I actually have to look at the RPM to shift this car in, and for me it's about the are just before it redlines at 11000 RPMs. This shift point diminishes by a tiny bit after every consequent gear. I haven't found that point for seventh actually, because.. because... this is the part where you go to the next point.

- First thing to note is it's lacking top end. Yes, we are testing in Track mode, so I'm quite sure this is normal due to the big wing coming out the rear. But you do get a definite change in handling if you take it on Highway mode. Stick with Track mode, really. You have 71 PI to fill up if you're going to take it to top S2, and with all the power options available, this car can reach the top without issue.

- But to say it has bad top end wouldn't mean it has terrible acceleration. That's pretty good thanks to its hybrid AWD system.. something you don't find in a F1 car too.

- The F1 inspiration for the handling actually is quite accurate. This car can grip, and maybe not like a certain mollusk, but grip it can do great at. I wonder if it's this or the Senna if I want a grippy hypercar. So far, that position's gone to a few Extreme Track Toys.. a certain Aston Martin, to be more accurate.

- Traction. Why do I have to mention this? Well, for something with high power, it has a bias to the rear. I'm not sure what ratio this is in real life, but it's notable, but at the same time feels seemingly non-existent. You are most welcome to push down the gas when you need power, and if you lift it, the car is stable enough to cruise you down a turn when you don't need all the power. The only way you're drifting is if you tuned for it, or forced it.

- Now to the brakes. I mean, what does specially forged rims and carbon ceramic brakes usually mean? It would mean someone put a lot of money just so a car can stop at the shortest time possible. The car has excellent braking, and well, of course you can lock up when done so haphazardly. That effect would be by the rear. But when it comes to certain braking techniques like engine braking, this car don't mind it at all.

- The more I venture into this car, the more I see it as the closest thing to a racecar for the road, and with the F1 influence, it's definitely accurate. However, just like any car with holes like a good cheese, there's issues. A main issue to note, aside from a bad top end in Track mode, is the understeer you can find if you do things like accelerate on turn exit. In fact, it might not be an Extreme Track Toy, but this car just doesn't feel so crisp in the handling department.

- As a city track, I have a chance to take the ONE out through curbs and the many obstacles. The latter's to be avoided, but surprisingly this car can handle curbs okay.

- More on this city track: there are places where you are tempted to cut the apex. There's few of this, and it's safe to say that you shouldn't be doing this to all of them. You're free to find out which ones, however.

- One last tip? Actually, I don't quite know. This is definitely a pick up and drive car. No gimmicks. 2 modes for different uses, and in general a safe, and also fast drive. Everyone's had a taste of this car upon entry to the festival. You're definitely going to use this to help get you started with S2, because I hardly find cars that are easy to use in that range. The only other one I can think of is definitely some form of Lamborghini like the Sesto Elemento.

So, by the end of my stint, I have earned about 110,000 credits.. which is a lot of money ruining someone's peace and quiet around the south east end of the city with a not really F1 car. The AMG ONE might be the sort of car that's overhyped.. as seen with people using their car voucher on it when it's a reward on the 1st Horizon Playlist. The kind of car voucher you instead want to spend on certain Classic Racers or a Vintage Racer, if you're gonna get the best of it. The car was excellent: a sign of the sort of perfect test car for certain tracks. To have it take the MINI's job is a consideration, but there are off-road trails, so..

Above all, it didn't earn the Mark of Zen because we somehow ended up in claustrophobia towards the track. No it's not a fear of Santa Claus. But maybe something to fear is my best time?


I don't know, but does 41.135 look like something the boogeyman checks under his bed for?

My initial goal was just go under 42 seconds. And as an attempt to see if I can get it the Mark of Zen, I went ahead and did more than just beat 42 seconds. However, it didn't come to be. The car wanted me to sweat like that speed run camera meme. Not as exciting as the former 2 entries that do have me filling buckets of that.. I sit under an air-conditioning unit, so that's most definitely an exaggeration.



Here's me giving a go at it with Highway mode on. It's notably about 25 MPH quicker in this scenario, but otherwise, I do say Track mode is the way to go.

And what's here? Umm.. I don't know. No way I can find any other use for an S2 monster like this unless I want to do a Showcase with Koenigseggs and Ferraris. I can do that, but it's no fun if Bola Ocho's the place to do it in. We'll just keep this one brief.


What is the Mercedes-AMG ONE? It is..

An F1 engineered exemplar of racing tech for the masses, also how we're invited to a big welcome upon Horizon Mexico.

I'm thinking between the lines of Neutral and Sleeper. But what came to help me decide would come in the form of the Aston Martin Valhalla: a car that's been compared to the ONE very closely, and even in the edges of S2, is considered the superior one. Not really following real life, but it shows that while the ONE is a nice car to drive and maybe snag a few wins on, it's already obsolete. Even I feel that double Track or Highway mode is redundant aside from free roam, and you have to stand still just to swap it.

But thanks to Aston Martin's Valhalla taking the spotlight for F1 road performance, the AMG ONE will slip by a bare Sleeper from me. It's hyped up as it finds itself in its first major driving game, and of course we don't have to mention it's suitably fast, not man killer fast or not fast in a specific situation. And not overly fast too; it hasn't even blended well into the meta, and there are other cars that overshadow this current cover car.

We're not a year in, and we've got an S2 all covered up. That satisfies one quota from myself. What's the next quota? Umm.. let me get back to you on that. Definitely not a small one..


Everyone has their ONE in the style of current Mercedes F1, which is fine, but the red it comes with is very fetching. It's not quite a Mercedes color, but I'll take it. Reminds me much of a certain Volkswagen, actually.

As you’ll notice, I’m running ABS and running manual instead of my usual setup.

As it turns out, there’s a reason why some of the fastest cars out there use paddle shift gearboxes and ABS assisted brakes, it’s easier to go faster with. :P

Who’d have thought it? :D

Joking aside, my best lap with my usual setup was a whole second slower which on a lap barely 40 seconds long, is huge.

It certainly gets the most out of its ABS system under braking and the 7 speed gearbox shifts are rapid both up and down the box.

Now of course when The AMG One (Project One still sounds better imo.) was announced as FH5, its real stats weren’t known, but with the IRL version finally going into production we can compare the differences.

Only for the power though as PG got the weight bang on, right down to the same exact number at 3,737lbs(1695kgs), power in game is 877hp, 1049hp is the combined number I’m seeing for the real One. ;)

On its own it’s a worthy Sleeper, but there’s a slight problem, The Holy Trinity.

The 918 Spyder despite being 4PI down, has 10 more hp, almost 300ft-lbs of torque more, is a little bit lighter and only costs 850k from the Autoshow to the AMG’s 2.7 million credits.

The P1 has 1PI more, 26hp more, 129ft-lbs more torque, is much lighter and costs half as much as the AMG.

The LaFerrari is the odd one out as its a car collection exclusive for Ferrari and there’s none on the Auction House, but it’s valued at 1.5 million, has 7PI more stock, 86hp more and is also much lighter than the AMG.

So while the AMG One is a technical marvel of engineering, it being nearly 180hp down on what it’s real counterpoint now makes does leave it rather vulnerable to the Holy Trinity in FH5.

Good thing you can pick one up for free this week via the Playlist. :lol:

Verdict: Sleeper👍
Anyone notice how the ONE has a 3.2 Launch rating in the game? That's about the same as the Willys Jeep. Does this car break the Forza physics or is it a typo? Because that can't be right. :lol:

Before talking about the car's performance I need to start by saying that no 2 million+ hypercars should be this ugly. It's not as offensively bad as some of the other models in the Mercedes range, but for the price and status of a halo car, it really should be a lot better. Especially the front end, it's weirdly bulbous for a supercar, combined with the recessed headlight it just looks like a blob fish to me. The rest of the car feels quite generic and uninspiring, if you remove all the aero appendages there's isn't much to make it distinctive. Shapes or lines aren't that well defined and even all the aero seems like it was an afterthought, like a performance version of another car.

I don't buy the argument that it looks this way purely for performance reasons, not as long as the holy trinity also exists (more on them later). All three performance machines, and they all look absolutely stunning, clearly proving you can have both. And since Mercedes is asking twice the price, I feel it's not unreasonable to ask for at least as much. But to be honest looking at the whole brand's range lately I have serious concerns about the taste of decisions makers there. Even the AMG GT, the inspiration for it was clearly a frog, not sure it's the correct repertoire for a performance car. It's all been downhill since the SLS it seems...

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Anyway, aesthetics ramblings over with, let's get to the stuff that matters. It's supposed to be an F1 car for the road after all, who cares about looks! (Clearly Ferrari does, just look at the F1-75...)

Driving wise it reminded me of the Huracan Performante from a few weeks back. AWD, power and understeer. It does lack that front end bite and agility you'd expect from a track car. It's not much of an issue on most circuits, as turn is still more than decent, but on the tight twisty street circuits it doesn't help. It's better planted at high speeds than the Performante, this car clearly has a lot of downforce. As SPD noted, the AWD is rather rear biased, you can oversteer out of slow corners putting down too much power, maybe to counter the slight understeer.

Braking is where the ONE lives up to its Formula 1 pedigree, incredible braking force, but without ABS quite easy to lock up if you don't brake in a straight line. Much like F1 brakes. Again not much of an issue on most tracks, but on this week's track, oh boy...

Bola Ocho is Horizon Mexico's Monaco circuit, which is to say it's basically a glorified kart track when in S2 cars. Not much room to put the power down, kerbs everywhere, but with the added danger of elevation changes. The downhill braking into the hairpin is tricky in most cars, in S2 cars without ABS it's a nightmare. Most braking zones aren't straight lines, making it extra tricky. There isn't much space to straighten the car between corners, especially with the kerbs, post, plants dotted everywhere. The ONE does ride bumps and kerbs well, but some optimal lines do go over bigger bumps, so finding the best line is tricky.

Not the best track to show off this car's strengths. It's actually fairly easy going as far as hypercars go, but lapping around this track without ABS is a nightmare. After what I would just call an unreasonable amount of laps, here is my best time. I really wanted that sub 41 time.:sly:

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On the whole, provided you don't spend all your time on street circuits, it's Sleeper, considering the performance and how easy it is to drive.

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And lastly as a bonus, I wanted to do a quick comparison with the slightly older holy trinity, see what a decade and a million more bucks get you. On the Festical circuit though, not putting myself through the Bola Ocho experience again. :lol:

10 laps each, best time. Here are the results!
  • AMG ONE: 57:703
  • Mclaren P1: 57:872
  • LaFerrari: 57:629
  • Porsche 918: 58:604
All pretty close, except for the 918, which pays for its (relative) lack of power and downforce. The ONE is the easiest to drive, P1 the hardest, with the LaFerrari quite close. So much for progress. :lol:
During my shakedown drive from the Baja coast to Guanajuato, I was not impressed with the AMG ONE in its highway configuration: too much understeer, I really wasn't feeling the downforce and it felt somewhat clumsy even.
To my surprise it became somewhat alive in the dirt backroads surrounding the city, and even posted 3 stars in the Rocky Hills dirt speed zone near the Bola Ocho circuit (!), go figure.

The car's styling has rather odd proportions, and the snorkel/shark fin that desperately screams "I have F1 lineage!" looks rather tacky. However, when I switch to track mode and the rear wing comes up and the ports above the front wheel arches open, it kinda resembles a lionfish, which gives it distinction.

Anyways, on the track many rivals trumped me at the start (hence the low launch rating?), however many overdid the braking and that's where I caught up with the lot. Under braking the car does feel like a scalpel: a very precise tool that will inform you instantly when you miss your braking point and fudge your lap (mind you, I use ABS), but will reward you with explosive traction on the exit if you nail it.

I ended up with a 43.026 time, not bad for a S2 since I was fearing for a worse experience than it actually was.

Track mode-Sleeper
Highway mode-Just drive it into the trailer and go to the next track.
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Hello there! Long time no see, right? Long I've waited for the perfect occasion to return with my rambling reviews and abysmal laptimes. And such occasion presents itself this week, with the choice to feature Forza Horizon 5's hero car: the Mercedes-AMG One.

It would be an understatement to say that Mercedes-Benz's been in the automaking business for a while: the first car in history to be powered by an internal combustion engine came out of the Benz & Cie's original factory in Mannheim, and the group that would be born in 1926 from the merger of that company with the other colossus of the start-of-the-century car world, Daimler, would claim countless other firsts as its own.
And yet, despite over a century of constant innovation and pursuit of excellence in all things car - including, of course, motorsports - Mercedes-Benz had never produced a proper supercar, a shining example of technical superiority constrained only by the limits of the prowess of their engineers. Oh, sure, there's been brief flirts with the idea, like the long-forgotten SL-X, the string of prototypes built under the C111 moniker, and the CW311 concept car, which would eventually become the Isdera Imperator. There's been abortive attempts, like the 1991 C112, which was canned at the last minute because some bean counter deemed it an unnecessary expense. There's even been cars that were put into production and came incredibly close to fitting the bill, like the CLK GTR and the SLR built in collaboration with McLaren: but the former was a thoroughly conventional mid-engined GT car constrained by the FIA GT1 rulebook, and the latter, as loaded with advanced technological solutions as it may have been, was ultimately "just" a gran tourer, a boulevard cruiser that could flex its muscles, but didn't push the envelope and didn't break any rule - or at the very least, none that was particularly important.

But in 2017 Mercedes shocked the world by unveiling the Project ONE: an attempt to show how the technology they were developing for Formula 1 racing was still relevant to road cars, by dropping the entire powertrain from the W07 Hybrid that dominated the 2016 season, heat and kinetic scavengers and all, in a street-legal hypercar designed and assembled by the same people responsible for the longest dominating streak in the history of GP racing. It'd take another four years to iron out the kinks in the plan (and wait for the engine to be sufficiently obsolescent in the FIA's opinion), but in 2021 Mercedes finally took the wraps off the finished product, which was virtually unchanged from its pre-production predecessors, save for a reported gain of 200 horses in power (which ultimately the manufacturer can't neither confirm nor deny, because just figuring out how much power all the various engines in the car push out at peak power is a bit of a challenge). The 275 owners will finally take delivery of the AMG ONE - Mercedes' first true supercar - starting this year.
2021 also saw the surprise launch of Forza Horizon 5 - and even more surprising, the Project ONE not only features prominently on the cover of the game, but is also dropped off the back of an Airbus A400M to close off the bombastic intro sequence.

At the heart of the car is the aforementioned twin-turbo, 1.6 litre PU106C V6 that powered the W07 Hybrid F1 car to 19 victories in a 21-race season. In the ONE it's been restrained a bit, with a 11,000 rpm rev limit, the replacement of some components with longer-lived alternatives and less aggressive mapping; it's also been hooked up to a 7-gears, single-clutch automated gearbox, that perhaps won't allow for the same lightning-quick gearshifts as its F1 counterpart, but will also not burn the clutch and/or disintegrate in traffic.
The MGU-H and MGU-K still remain, tho, and they've been joined by two additional e-motors turning the front wheels, which neatly compensate the overall power loss that comes from taming of the PU into something that'll last 50,000 kilometres, and should also make the now-AWD car a bit more manageable for the 272 owners whose name isn't Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg or David Coulthard.
Adding two additional motors (and the 800V LiON battery that powers them) comes at a cost, however: despite the fact that it's built entirely out of carbon fiber, and the very little concessions made to luxury in its spartan cockpit, the AMG ONE tips the scales at almost 1700 kilograms - which is the kind of heft one would expect from Mercedes' usual production of sedans and SUVs, but not from a world-beating supercar.

Of course, with a combined power output of over 1000 hp, half of which is available "on tap", the considerable weight of the car won't spoil its Top Trumps figures too much - the ONE sprints to 100 from a standstill in 2.9 seconds, which is almost as fast as the tires will allow. But what about its handling?
I assume that only a lucky few will ever find out, but at least we can put to the test its virtual counterpart. And the venue of this week's challenge will indeed test the handling of this 2.75-million Formula 1 for the streets: Bola Ocho is deceptively challenging, a wicked combination of tight and sweeping corners in between the walls of Guanajuato that would surely remind the most senior locals of the grand old days of the Carrera Panamericana, and that's perhaps better suited to rally cars than multi-million hyperperformance track beasts.

Driving a supercar through here always feels like handling a shopping trolley in a china shop, and in the case of the ONE I'm almost left to wonder if perhaps the the F1-inspired wheel, with its buttons and dials, is not fully connected to the front wheels: more than once I've been surprised by how slow the car was to change its direction, and the walls and barriers around the track felt much closer than they actually were.
The extra weight from the hybrid powerplant is only partly to blame: AMG's latest is without a doubt a car optimized for grade-1 racing circuits, where the Michelin tires can warm up to their optimum working temperature, and the massive rear wing can generate tons of downforce: but none of that's ever going to happen in the tight confines of this street circuit, and thus the ONE's left to struggle for lateral grip.
It must however be said that, while it felt almost sluggish at times, the ONE always remained incredibly composed. It's a German accountant's idea of a supercar, a vehicle that's capable of immense performance in its intended use case, and of remaining subordinate to the will of the driver always. And the much vaunted powerplant was also excellent, tremendously quick to react to any request for additional power sent through the right foot, while at the same time incredibly easy to modulate so as to not overtake the tires' ability to stay in contact with the road surface, even when said surface was not grippy asphalt, but slick bricks.

After a long - and at times sweaty - hotlapping session my best lap was a 0:43.710. How does that stack up to the ONE's most immediate competition?

On paper, the Aston Martin Valhalla Concept is not too different from the ONE. Initiallly developed in collaboration with Mercedes' arch-rivals at Red Bull Racing, it features a carbon-fiber tub housing amidship a 3-litre twin turbo V6, the internally-developed TM01, which also makes very F1-like noises and is hooked up to the KERS first used in Gaydon's crown jewel, the Valkyrie.
Unlike the ONE it does without a massive rear wing: instead, it uses a shape-morfing integrated rear wing which, Aston claims, generates the same amount of downforce without any of that pesky drag or aerodynamic turbulence. It also has a slight (150 hp, give or take) advantage in power output, and a much larger (290 kg) advantage when it comes to weight - in Forza Horizon 5, this translates to the Valhalla being rated 30 pp higher than its German rival (959 vs. 927).
Since then, Aston's alliance with Red Bull has died an ignominious death, the British manufacturer has become the property of one Lawrence Stroll, and the finished product will be powered by a less aspirational V8 provided by Mercedes-AMG (ain't it a small world) - but thankfully, we get to drive the far more exciting (and handsome looking, in my opinion) concept version.

The Valhalla, too, is hardly at home in the tight confines of the Bola Ocho circuit - but where the ONE pays for its composed nature and over-reliance on aerodynamic grip, the Aston is a boisterous, tail-happy fun-haver that I found myself throwing into a four-wheel drift more than once. And while those 30 extra performance points only translate to a laptime of 0:43.677 - barely half a tenth faster - I know I'd much rather drink this stout than Stuttgart's lager.

On the other hand, the Ferrari FXX-K Evo is a car designed purely for on-track action. The ultimate evolution of the FXX-K first unveiled in 2014 - in itself a trackday toy built on the base of the 2013 LaFerrari - the Evo is equipped with a gargantuan naturally-aspirated V12, coupled with Maranello's HY-KERS system, sending some 950 hp to the rear wheels only. By removing anything that may look like a creature comfort, and not toying with all-wheel drive systems, the Ferrari engineers managed to keep weight down to 1270 kilograms; and unlike its wingless predecessor, the Evo also makes use of a massive carbon-fiber rear wing, which generates up to 800 kilograms of downforce, guaranteeing unprecedented amounts of cornering grip on track.

The end result is a car that definitely requires a deft touch - with its peaky V12 and uncompromising setup it's a nervous racehorse, twitchy and prone to losing grip in a dramatic fashion at low speeds, and it's quite hard to recover when that happens. But there's plenty of downforce to be had even at low speeds, and after a few short laps to get the slick Pirelli tires in temperature, I started to properly push the Evo, and soon I was rewarded with a 0:42.142, which even I could tell is far from a full expression of this Ferrari's full potential.

Perhaps it's an unfair comparison: after all, the Evo tips the scales of Forza's performance indexing system at 998 pp, right on the edge of its class. But with a sticker price of 3 million credits, it's certainly worth keeping it in mind if you're shopping for the ultimate performance machine - and when you get one for free upon purchasing the Car Pass, it's practically a bargain.

So, where does that leave the Mercedes-AMG ONE? Trying to class it as a beater of sleeper seems a bit preposterous. It certainly didn't leave me disappointed, even through I compared it in unfavorable terms to its immediate competition; but how could it be a sleeper, when it bills itself as a F1 car for the not-so-average Joe? In the end, I guess it's a neutral vote from me: the ONE is an absolutely astronomical car, hyped to the Moon and sold at a proportionate price; a supercar certainly worth of the reputation and lofty claims of its manufacturer, and one that will bring to Stuttgart its fair share of new automotive firsts. And if you're sleeping on this, perhaps you should ask your doctor if you may be suffering from narcolepsy. But at the same time, there are other cars I'd much rather drive in its weight class.

+ With almost 1000 horsepower on tap, it's a F1 car for the roads...
- ...but perhaps the roads aren't the right place for a F1 car
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Something tells me that a lot of COTW regulars here like simpler designs akin to the Jaguar E-Type and not these busy modern designs. I don't blame them, but I also don't think this car is that ugly. I also find that the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari come off kinda wonky looking to me.

That said, before I even get to the actual review: what even is the point of highway mode? It looks better with all the bits and bobs coming off, and it's more functional in track mode as well. I will admit, it's cool being in the driver's seat when it transitions between modes: you see suspension geometry changes that you can't really see in third person.

So, Bola Ocho circuit. I hate it.


(Just documenting one of the troubles I ran into during my attempts at this)
I'm not a fan of this car. There is transitional understeer at speed, and a whole number of other issues I'm experiencing that just makes the drive unpleasant. The best I could muster is 42.3.


It feels like it's trying too hard to flip off the Holy Trinity. And those three cars all beat it in general stat spread, PI ratings and prices.

Like Clyde said, it's awesome. It's an F1 car for the road. That's pretty darn cool. But F1 doesn't belong on the roads of Mexico.

Alright, alright! Week's up! Let's see how the cover car did! Four Sleeper to two Neutral votes, so it's a Sleeper!

We've been building up to a sort of middle ground for controversy, all of our cars keep winding up with at least one dissident to the majority opinion.

But this week? This week? I'm almost scared to even announce the duo of cars featured this week because of how controversial they've been. Eh, disregard the constabulary.

This week's cars are the 2020 Toyota GR Supra and the 2019 BMW Z4 Roadster!

A joint project between Toyota and BMW and outsourced to a third company, these two cars are two sides of the same coin...almost a bit too much alike. There's a lot of controversy over the BMW Supra- wait, my bad. Toyota Z4- oh, for the love of COTW.

The ToyMW Zupr4 will be on Emerald Circuit, with the Toyota at A 731 and the BMW at A 751.

Our EventLab this week is a quick jog up the freeway from Los Jardines Circuit, share code 151 422 315.

So...what car is it? Which one is better? You decide.

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