Beater or Sleeper? COTW! Week 93: truk (M-B Tankpool 24 Truck + FE)

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Just ask @PJTierney how many times his Jimmy decided to bury its wheels in the ground while fighting for the lead. :lol:
Yup, go off a big enough jump and the wheels will clip through the ground, locking you in place 🙃

I've tried tunes for the car in multiple classes and it definitely has meta pace, but you have the constant fear of getting a DNF in every race.

If anyone wants a livery, here you go.


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Jimmy scored a Sleeper rating, so we're not rust(l)ing any jimmies anytime soon.

And for this week, let me sum up what's going on here:
UKMikey's post, with my reply + Vic's reply directly under.

We are taking a little field trip to a 5 mile replica of the Great Wall of China and to traverse such narrow scenery, we'll need an appropriately narrow car. And what better car to choose than a cult classic?

We're all tripping over ourselves to see what this car is so let's welcome the- CRASH!
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Reliant...Supervan.

Can we get someone out to go check on our demo driver? And order a new demo Supervan?

Anyways.

The Supervan III will be going to a Custom Eventlab rather than a normal track this week, but the same basic courtesy of clean times counts. If you manage to flip the vehicle and land it on its wheels I will look away from that but any other flip is dirty. Event Code is 543 968 148.

Try not to flip.
 
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“Only Fools & China Walls” :lol:

Admittedly the Reliant Supervan wasn’t what I had in mind when @Obelisk asked me if we could run the Great Wall Of China Custom Route for this week.

But nevertheless, the show must go on. :P

Packing a 0.7 litre 4 cylinder engine, the 32hp it makes pushes the 1004lbs of Supervan along via a 4 speed manual gearbox.

As you’ll discover at the start as you climb up on the wall, this car has an open diff so all that 32hp will spin one tyre needlessly and restrict your performance.

Now yes, it is a 3 wheeler with the single tyre upfront, but I found it’s not as rollover prone as you might’ve been lead to believe. :odd: In fact the the only time I technically rolled it was because I went too fast on one jump, slightly overshot the landing zone, clipped it with the rear tyres and pretty much lawn darted it into the ground. :D

Aside from that, it didn’t flip over for me despite doing 80mph+ and catching air on the downhill sections. :scared:

Uphill sections however…

Well let’s just say it reminded me of the times while growing up we were driven about in my Granddad’s later model Reliant 3 Wheeler, drop a gear or two and hoped you got over the hill. :lol:

For 20k or so, it’s a cult classic, a proper Meme Machine. ;)

In stock form it’s Neutral, but with the right tune and matching level of throttle control and talent, it’s quite the Mean Machine in C class or B class. :sly:

Verdict: Neutral(But definitely pick one up. 👍)
 
The Reliant Supervan wouldn't be the first car that one would associate with the Great Wall or China, but it's actually not a totally off-kilter choice. Three wheeled vehicles are fairly common in China, especially in the countryside where the Great wall is. The further you are from a city center the likelier it is you'll come across three wheelers hauling all sorts of goods, usually hearing their noisy two stroke engines before you see them. Things like these:
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They are becoming a rarer sight these days, slowly being replaced by 4 wheeled vehicles like the Wuling we have in game. But even in urban settings, small three wheeled tuktuk style vehicle are also a common sight, popular especially with the elderly, which is why they're called "老人代步车“,literally meaning "walking replacement vehicle for old people". That said I don't think Reliant ever sold cars in China, so the Supervan serves more as an approximation of these local vehicles.

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As Vic mentioned already, the Supervan isn't nearly as rollover prone as it seemed when Clarkson drove it on Top Gear. Whether it's due to Clarkson exaggerating or the game engine I'm not sure, but I suspect it's both. It seems like it'd have been difficult to sell many of these if they did rollover that easily.

The 32bhp engine is enough to haul the light body and its driver around but uphill sections, of which there are many on this week's track, do ask a lot out of it. Be prepared to drop a gear (or two, or three). Other than that, a single front tire doesn't provide much in the way of grip, so turning with any semblance of speed is a big ask. Although speed is relative term here, you won't find yourself doing more than 90mph in this, unless gravity is responsible for most of that speed.

Supposedly it's competitive in the lower classes, and for drifting high scores, but in my experience adding power to it makes it incredibly twitchy and difficult to drive, even with the training wheels at the front.

Neutral, a cult classic and fun car to have in game, but not especially useful or fun in most scenarios.

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I have to shout out this week's track though, amazing work from the creator. The amount of work put in must have been enormous. And as someone who's visited the wall (or walls to be technically correct, it was never really a single wall) quite a few times, the fidelity is impressive. Except for all the stairs, for obvious reasons. :lol:
 
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It's honestly not a bad car, all things considered.

Just one with a murky reputation caused by the Top Gear cast raising the ride height on the Reliant they had for their segment. At least, that's what I suspect was done to the car.

The event's excellent too. I am just...very cautious with narrow roads.
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Neutral.


And with that, we have a full Neutral verdict for the car.

Let's continue our theme of eventlabs! This week's eventlab is a replica of Tsukuba Circuit, which @XSquareStickIt gave me a heads up on a while ago.

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And to fit the track, we're going to take a track-day car along with us this week. It's the...
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2013 Caterham Superlight!

A modern endpoint of the "add lightness" philosophy, this Caterham tips the scale at a mere 1,100 pounds and has twice as much power as a Corolla pushing it around. Let's have a good run this week and see how this goes!
 
Sorry guys, I'll be taking a break from COTW. :guilty:

Had the misfortune of trying to start the game while the xbox servers were down and my save got corrupted. I know from having the same issue in FH4 that I'll get all my cars back from support, but I don't really have the time nor inclination to do the whole career again right now.

I'll be back when I can. :cheers:
 
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 66 - Caterham Superlight R500


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Weapons grade driving thrills coming your way like a sabotaged missile launch.


Once upon a time, Colin Chapman: the brains behind Lotus and lightweight sports cars that still shakes the foundations of performance, decided to design the Lotus Seven back in 1956, based off drawings he made in his spare time as a boy. This be a car that he would describe as a motorbike with four wheels. While I would say the rest is history, Caterham cars has always been the brand I associate with superlight track monsters ever since I got exposed to one in the dawn of the millenium.

But onwards with the brief history: the Lotus Seven would be dominant in one thing: track racing, proving Colin Chapman's mantra to be very true, so much that after 21 years of their dominance, in 1976, they got banned for being too quick. This led them to run their own little league that still runs strong today. By the way, before I forget: the Caterham name came mainly from the fact the Seven is wholly distributed by them by the late 60s.

Interestingly, the car is sold as a kit rather than the full package, just so that they can dodge the sales tax.. also the same reason why an instruction manual isn't packaged with these parts. Exactly why you saw that Caterham build VS drive race being quite grueling in ye olde Top Gear: they weren't incompetent, just not given the method. Though you are welcome to buy Caterhams already built these days.

Let's not bore with the details and skip ahead to a modern era Caterham known as the R500. With 263 horses carrying 1116 lbs, this peppy little machine has stripes on the sides and above for a reason. The R500 would be so far the top road going model of the car. It's also the only Caterham that's around in video games. I recall the Criterion Most Wanted having one, and I'm sure there's other virtual places this thing has seen action.

With a PI of 786, the Caterham so far has to be an unusual case of performance that's also Test worthy. In it's class of Track Toys, a close rival with the same PI comes in form of the Jaguar Project 7: another open top with more than twice the power, but also more than thrice the weight. But to compete with a Jag is kind of unfair. To which car, well, you're on your own, slick.

If I was to say this is the in class lightweight, the Meyers Manx FE and Morris Minor 1000 FE cars are similarly built. But unlike those 2, the Caterham can be Autoshow bought for a nice sum of 82,000 credits.


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This week, following last week's adventures onto non-Mexican terrain, expands us to HokiHoshi's replica of famous Eastern handling track Tsukuba. This is for my reference, but the EventLab code is 767 531 646.


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Today's imaginary sausagey action is all for queen and country, even though a MINI like this is easily more towards a bratwurst than a banger.


I'm frankly sure this isn't the real deal, but the strategy on taking on Tsukuba whether it's spelled Tsukuba, Bakutsu, Kubutsa or Tkusuba remains: throttle control, racing lines and correct braking strategy for the wide last turn. My only real criticism lie in the track's empty presentation, and how really a lot of the pavement is super wide compared to the real life variant.


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Someone please let me know what alien material is holding that crown down that fellow's head as the Caterham blasts through this wide straight at 120 MPH? I have a hatred for getting my head messed up with liquids, and hair gel is the closest thing to acceptable I can get.


- There shouldn't even be an interior review, but the Caterham delivers in form of a simple race interface that serves the need for any track racer that wants a peek. Can't seem to get enough of how just about every other function is on the dashboard, and on the top left corner: is that for the wipers?? That's REAL peculiar.

- We welcome once again to a car that hasn't enough weight to help with its grip. This baby will skid if you don't have a care for throttle control. My strategy is to push it down and pray, because trying to control the launch can come mostly with disaster. The shift point I work with is usually before 8800 RPMs, but shifting earlier for some grip can work if you are a manual manuel.

- Brakes segment eh? How about no issue. NEXT!

- Coming in with the handling, the car is going to challenge you. Having no sense of downforce, this thing harkens back to when cars were driven by masochists. So for this car only, I took it around this fake Tsukuba exclusively in first person. Believe it or not, I find it most comforting when I take this car on first person rather than the usual behind the boot. Note the countersteer I have to make should I get my inputs too far off, and that's a quite often occurrence.

- I don't have an issue with the gearing. It's like if one should bring this up to the top of A, you're probably going to be fine just using the stock gears. Ample space at 6th, with the first 5 gears going strong. It's a car with no power, but has the audacity to convince you otherwise.

- If you look at the launch segment, you'll know traction is poor. I don't know if it's the car, or the tires, but it's something to work with. I drive this car in first person exclusively thanks to how unusual it is compared to a track car with weight and a wing. But when it comes to traction, it's relatively safe to push it down when you're not traveling at an angle, and you want to keep the car feathered when turning; it's prone to lose it if you let go of the throttle.

- Knowing Tsukuba whether if it's real or not, I don't have much advice. This road is notable not for just handling or drifting, but also how the racing is competitive no matter where you are on the track. I don't know if it's real, but I feel the surface used for the EventLab is less grippy than the usual road.

- So, just for the heck of it: the car has grand issues with the more off track nature of Horizon's roads. Any foliage or gates will bring you down, and let's not get started on the dirt. I do have a R500 for dirt, and it actually works if you can drive it away from the walls and the other destructible objects. If you have an appetite for destruction.. welcome to the jungle, I guess.

- I know it seems brief, but we've faced off many man killer cars for the time this iteration of COTW has existed. With the Caterham, my best piece of advice is.. to have fun. This is a car that loves you if you keep your head cool and don't make any sudden moves. You're going to spin out, but consider it a part of your progress learning the car. It's not too complex to drive; that complexity is for winning.


If there's one thing this combo has, it's that it hit the fun factor way off the usual charts. Combine my love for challenging drives, and I say we got an easy Mark of Zen right here, with the Superlight getting the 16th one of that, and the first of the 2nd year COTW cars to kindle my love of hot lapping.

And now for that other medal. This is for the cars that gave me a hell of a good time mainly through the challenge it gave me, breaking the norm of your usual car. Let's call it something simple: one Mean Machine. The Caterham would be the 4th car in this classification, of which within beforehand we have the Auto Union, the Miura and the Sierra RX3. And I feel if a combo isn't as good, there's another way I can remember the car.


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With the Caterham, I set a best lap around Not!Tsukuba that looks like a 59.590.

To me, getting under a minute is mastery enough, but I can definitely feel 2 seconds can be shaved if I put more time into it. And other than my usual best advice: I did my laps exclusively in first person, and it's just so much more satisfying in a way that I can only explain if you try it with one round of 5 laps.


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Now we exit a replica to something completely fictional, but just as tight and quick.


On its quest to be the a racetrack best, the Caterham now finds no rest yet, and takes on a Test.

Heading to Horizon Mexico Circuit for some laps, a Test consists of me bringing up a car under 800 PI, bring it up there with no specific build in mind and make some laps around. Another rule is that I usually don't add any form of Forza aero and conversions, with aspiration being an exception. It's to make sure I don't butcher the original soul of the car as I try to get it to a range of 67 seconds.

So, the Caterham by itself comes with a lot of adjustable parts. Essentially, if you're not the differential or the brakes, you're already adjustable. One option I had was to make a rally tires build that would sacrifice drivability to have an A class car with the power to weight ratio of a hypercar. But after 2 laps, it was back to the drawing board for a more usual fix to the top of A. No tires or changes in brakes, but there are adjustments to reduce the skittish nature of the car.


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I find this be a car that's not for beginners. Guess that being on a diet does that to these cars.


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This new true and blue Caterham sets a best lap of 1:06.855.

Without much PI to work with, a new compound of tire isn't feasible, so I went to just bring it up a notch. Still difficult to drive due to its handling properties, the Caterham is always a joy to be behind the wheel of. And before you ask: the laps are all done in 1st person. No, I don't have a real reason why I'm doing this.











And now: after an unneeded but warranted for dramatic effect spacing is an excuse for more SPD driving around Mexico Circuit in the sunset.

Please welcome for this week's Reschedule: a car with prestige, legacy and pride.


RESCHEDULE: WEEK 19 - FERRARI F355 BERLINETTA


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I am so happy to hear that theme song again. It feels so good to see this car back in action. As with myself, but I always see myself in action.



Revisiting a car that did very well in its Showcase, the F355 makes a return to COTW, but now to be a part of my Mexico Circuit shenanigans. The things to note about the car was how well it drove, and the handling being something so grippy, you swear it's out of an arcade racer. To be honest, it's such a nice drive, that I gotta give it a go again, memories of it painted green and still strong. It's the opposite of this week's twitchy but swift Caterham.

In any case, I look forward to see this V8 symphony tear up Horizon Mexico Circuit.


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I dunno about you, but having a Moon Over The Castle esque theme song counts for cool in my books.



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Bringing a flair of Ferrari's track racing performance, the F355 finished with a best lap of 1:06.853. 2 thousandths of a second quicker than the Caterham. Talk about competitive!

Like I said on this car's nominated week: Mark of Zen worthy if this was how it drove stock. The acceleration definitely lacked, but this is absolutely a car I want to feel with when it comes to the handling. Now just barely edging the Caterham won't mean much, but I feel having the kind of drive that feels a million times better be a major factor. The Caterham caters, heh, to me by being really a handful to drive, and this Ferrari's the opposite. I guess being in between is a loss. Maybe that might change with certain cars yet to be discovered.

And test is done. Verdict time?
Yeah, you read my mind. Don't think it's a good idea to delve deep in there.


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So..

What is the Caterham Superlight R500? It is..

DoodleBob's favorite car to go NEYOHOIYMINYOIY.

Usually, lightweight track cars find themselves to be infamously quick in video games. But I put that aside and use the feeling of driving this car in 1st person to great result.

Sleeper, no arguments. Beware that it does have a tendency to bite if you pet it wrong.


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With a quick writeup of an indirect Lotus complete, I guess it's time for me to get into my favorite Forza Horizon car that's coincidentially another indirect Lotus.

No, this is not foreshadowing. No, this is not a very interesting car. No, I have not been preparing certain things for the car. No, I'm quite sure this isn't going to be a car that should be stolen off my nominee reservation list like a certain MINI.

But should it happen, I have to find another set of words that works out expressing the reality.
 
Regarding the tipping over-ness of the Reliant Supervan, it's alleged that in the Top Gear article they had put weights at the top of the engine bay, raising the centre of gravity by quite a margin. Add into that some exuberance with the steering wheel, and it will be happy to tip. IIRC, it always seemed to tip onto the driver's side too, leading me to believe that they deliberately unbalanced the car.
 
Regarding the tipping over-ness of the Reliant Supervan, it's alleged that in the Top Gear article they had put weights at the top of the engine bay, raising the centre of gravity by quite a margin. Add into that some exuberance with the steering wheel, and it will be happy to tip. IIRC, it always seemed to tip onto the driver's side too, leading me to believe that they deliberately unbalanced the car.
I heard they allegedly added weight on one side, offset the rear tyre sizes, added a metal plate under the roof AND welded the diff up to get it to roll easier.

Now granted it could roll over in its natural form, but it’s tweaks were clearly done for comedic purposes(which it succeeded in doing.), unlike the hit piece Consumer Reports did on the Suzuki Samurai back in the late 80’s. :ouch:

Anyways, on to the Caterham R500.

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If you’ve ever gone to a track day in the UK, it’s very likely you’ll seen a Caterham in one form or another.

But like a lot of British lightweight sports cars, you can trace back their origins/inspiration to one man and his car company.

Colin Chapman and Lotus Cars.

Started off as the Lotus Seven which went into production in 1957, these cars were serious lightweights with only 500kgs or so of weight to move about and could be sold as complete cars or as assemble kits for a lower price.

Lotus sold the rights to the Seven in the early 70’s and Caterham Cars was one of the groups that got them and began building their version of the Seven, something they still do to this day after 50 years of building Caterhams. :eek:

Engines? If you can fit an engine with gearbox into the car, you put whatever can fit in there. :lol:

If it was a lightweight, peppy 4 banger like a Rover K Series, Vauxhall Twin Cam, Ford Sigma or Duratec, then it’s been sold with or dropped in a Caterham. :P

Some of the lightest models you could get in the past were motorbike powered,(there was even a 2.4 Supercharged V8 based on two bike engines reportedly built in 2008.:drool:) but these days you can get the Caterham with a 660cc turbo 3 banger from a Suzuki Kei car making 84hp in a 440kg body. :embarrassed:

The R500 we’ve got is 1,112lbs(504kgs), but it’s got 263hp from a 2.0 litre Ford Duratec 4 banger(that also comes in a Supercharged form for 310hp.)

Like all Caterhams, the R500 is a drivers car, no ABS, no TC, no driver assists whatsoever, the only thing keeping you right side up is you.

Exits of low speed turns rewards those with steady throttle control and Tsukuba’s final turn in the R500 rewards those who are brave enough to dance the R500 right on the edge of adhesion in a 4 wheeled drift.

It’s a car which asks the most of your talents to get the best out of it, but rewards those who do with a pure driving experience.

Of course, it’s definitely a weekend toy and nowhere near a practical daily driver, but this is Horizon, we don’t need to worry about that. :D

As for engine swaps, you’ve got the 1.6 Turbo Rally, the 3.0 Racing V8 and the 1.3 TT 2 Rotor from the RX-7. :odd:

And like our resident Mini Countryman fan, I do have an R500 set up for A Class off road, complete with 2 Rotor swap, 4WD and off road race tyres. :lol:

For 82k at the Autoshow or 20k at Auction, you can have quite the lightweight performer with the best bang for your buck or pyrotechnics for your pound out there. ;)

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
 
I personally didn't like how twitchy the Caterham was when I tried it earlier in the week and I think my best effort was a 1:02? Neutral, with the note that it's a huge skill check car.

And folks, I'll be honest with you all: I think I'm getting burnt out on Horizon 5. I'm still going to do my due diligence as the threadrunner and keep the show going, but I might not be contributing as much to the discussion for a short while.

Next car coming up tomorrow morning ASAP.
 
I might not know next week's car, but it seems like SPD knows not only the car, but the track as well. Just saw his Countryman at the airport. I'm guessing the next track is Singapore? ;)

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The more I see Island Blue, the more I see how I didn't nail the color down in the 4 games I have the car in some form.

Anyways, funny enough, week 67's nominee is mine, and it's an opportunity for me to take on a personal demon. There was to be an EventLab but I couldn't find one that looks good and is a time trial. We'll see if the boss has found a track or we go to the fallback event.
 
Metallic and Pearlescent paints are very tricky to get looking right. It only gets harder as game graphics improve. Me personally, blue and yellow paints are especially tricky in my experience.
 
And with that here and gone, the Caterham has warranted an overall Sleeper rating. Nicely done.


And as SPD has already mentioned, he picked the car for this week. And what a car he picked. It's the...

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1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV!


Some of you may remember this car from NFS III. I sure do. It's one of the fastest wedges of the 1990s!

At SPD's request, we're continuing the trend of using the Event Labs, so this week we are using an eventlab track called High Speed Ring.

No, not that HSR. It's more like Cape Ring, really. Event code is 131 679 563.

Is the Diablo truly a demon, or is it an angel in disguise? Let's find out.
 
Oh tartar sauce! I'm afraid that my writeup for this week (and maybe next) will have to be held back due to unforeseen events. Something in the likes of me getting admitted to hospital for the week, and thus have no access to our dear Mini Mexico.

Which sucks because I really was so ready to get my recurring rivalry in 'Nirvana VS Sonny' up and going in this gaming universe. Yes, week 16's VX Viper is coming back supposedly..
 
Oh tartar sauce! I'm afraid that my writeup for this week (and maybe next) will have to be held back due to unforeseen events. Something in the likes of me getting admitted to hospital for the week, and thus have no access to our dear Mini Mexico.

Which sucks because I really was so ready to get my recurring rivalry in 'Nirvana VS Sonny' up and going in this gaming universe. Yes, week 16's VX Viper is coming back supposedly..
Hope all is well and that things aren’t too serious for you. :)

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The Lamborghini Diablo SV.

The poster car for many people in the 90’s(Among many other worthy candidates).

530hp 5.7 V12? Check.
Rwd with a 5 speed manual gearbox? Check.
Low 4 second 0-60 and top speed of over 200mph? double check.
Pop-up Headlights? You betcha. :sly:

The Super Veloce model we have is also the flagship car for NFS 3 Hot Pursuit and is certainly more of a factory fresh hero than a certain ‘Most Wanted’ Beemer is. :P

It doesn’t need to be a upgraded race car that’s dressed up to make an impact, you buy it, add the factory optional SV decals, start her up, put it in 1st and then go tear up the road. :D

Around this weeks Eventlab ‘High Speed Cape’ you really only have to hit the brakes once and that’s into turn 2 in the Diablo, T1 can be taken flat out. :cool:

And despite being called a devil, not once did it try and kill me, stable under braking and wasn’t greatly unsettled on the bumpy parts of the track either.

The Diablo SV can be had for 174k at the Autoshow or 110k buyouts at auction, which actually makes it one of the cheapest cars in the Retro Supercars class, only outdone by the 65k 2004 911 GT3 and the 150k 911 Turbo 3.3.(And the 110k Lamborghini Espada 400 GT if you count DLC.);)

Absolute bargains compared to the most expensive at a 15 million credits asking price for the Mclaren F1 GT. :eek:

Just for its class, it’s a bargain Sleeper, except it’s a Lamborghini, subtle or sleeper are words that are furtherest away from a Lamborghini’s vocabulary. :lol:

But it IS Iconic and that’s my verdict. 😁👍

But I will leave you with this, a very rare road version of the racing Diablo which you might recognise from GT6. ;)

 
With that week over, the Diablo has a verdict of Iconic. I'll count it, haha.

In recognition of the upcoming rally DLC, we're going offroading this week.

This week is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon at the Festival Cross Country.
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So the Jeep Wrangler, an off roader who’s lineage can directly traced back to a prior COTW pick in the form of the Willys Jeep.

Packing a 285hp 3.6 litre Pentastar V6, a 6 speed manual and 4WD, the Wrangler cracks the 0-60 barrier in 6.7 seconds and tops out around 127mph.

Off roading this Jeep around the Festival didn’t phase its handling, but it sometimes needed to go down a gear on the uphill sections. :)

Visual upgrades include steel front and rear bumpers(with tow winch on the front.), side step bars and two bonnet options, a sporty one and an off road spec one with an engine snorkel.

Performance upgrades include a supercharger for the V6 and 3 V8 swaps, the 6.2 V8, the 7.2 Racing V8 and the Funco’s 7.4 TT V8 with 1,750hp. :drool:

It can be bought for 50k at the Autoshow, but 28k is a good Auction house price too.

It didn’t exactly get my heart racing, but it’s an alright, not exceptional, but not terrible either. 🙂

But if you just want a Jeep and don’t mind a little extra weight, the Jeep Gladiator is 5k cheaper at the Autoshow and can be had for 16k at Auction. :embarrassed:

It loses two of the V8 swaps, but keeps the Funco Swap and gains extra visual upgrades, like swapping out the doors and opening up the roof. 👍

Overall, The Jeep Wrangler is Neutral, not crazy fun, but it’s a solid and reliable machine. 🙂👍
 
hey folks, sorry about another super late update.

Car this week is the 2nd gen MX5, at any track of you want! Figured it's time to round out the quartet of Miatas.
 
So, if anyone's looking for me, I haven't been keeping the writing in because, no it's not hospital related anymore. It's that my PC that runs Horizon currently resides in its own little hospital. It's having a case of random shutdowns, leading to it having a vital component replaced. I'm not expecting its return anytime soon.. but I hope it's soon enough I can weigh in my opinions of a turbocharged NB.

But let's not leave y'all empty handed.

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I actually have the writeup all ready (sans the new Showcase Duel), but the in game pictures ended up stuck on that PC, so the perfectionist in me says that's a bust. Oh well, here you guys go.

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I promise you there's going to be another appearance of Pinky in the future. In what form aside a special event, that's to be seen.
 
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Decided to use a custom track by the name of Greenstone National Circuit for this week’s pick(Word of warning, it’s pretty prop heavy so XB1 users will struggle with smooth frame rates.:scared:).

The NB Mazda MX-5 Mazdaspeed, the only MX-5 to leave the factory floor with a turbocharger stuck to its 1.8 litre 4 cylinder engine. :D

Now such a rare version of a very popular 2 seater sports car would make you think it’ll go for silly money like an AE86, Civic Type R or even a Sierra Costworth R500, but it’s not as expensive as you might think.

One recently sold with 27,500 miles on it for $16,000 and another one sold a few years ago for over $19k with under 10,000 miles on it. :)

Which makes the 25k credits asking price in the Autoshow for a fresh one actually on par with what one could sell for. :P

The aforementioned 1.8 Litre Turbo produces just under 180hp and with a 6 speed manual backing it up, sub 7 second 0-60 sprints are no problem for it.

Mazdaspeed played around with the MX-5’s suspension by adding new shock absorbers, wider tyres and extra thicc Anti Roll Bars to help it use that extra grunt. :sly:

While capped IRL at 127mph due to its gearing, ours can crack 140mph out of the box and the handling is on brand for an MX-5, but with a hair of extra grip and low down torque added to it.

Only 5400+ Mazdaspeed MX-5’s from 2004 to 2005 were built, Shame that the Mazdaspeed branding was phased out awhile back as I reckon a factory turbo’d MX-5 would be a hit in todays climate. :indiff:

Nevertheless, the Mazdaspeed MX-5 is a Sleeper. 😁👍
 
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 69 - Mazdaspeed MX-5 (NB)


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And we enter week nice with what looks to be a controversial take on the budget lightweight roadster.


It's bound to come full circle, but here is what might be the first big step made by Mazda to their prolific low cost sports convertible.

First thing one may have noticed is the lack of the pop up headlights. While they are mainstays for rule of cool, the rule of safety regulations has to override this. Due to new safety regulations, the car has to take on the fixed headlights that still remain to the current era of MX-5. And that's it. Nothing of the original Miata formula has changed. It's still a cheap lightweight hero of the working class with its praised handling mostly intact.

Released in 1998, the car is noted for having better aerodynamics than that of the NA, with grooved lines and a lower profile. It also got a new engine made specifically for the car, which is a sound I can note when driving this car stock.

But even though it's not a pricy car, they don't cut corners with the parts. It's got things like vented brakes, roll bars and a 5 speed manual. And these sporty credentials are compounded more with the upcoming special editions. There's a special 10 year anniversary edition released just a year later, as well as a facelift some time after.

And then we head to the version that's in this game: the Mazdaspeed NB. This one's a notable variant for being turbocharged and carrying a 6 speed manual, meaning it's a step up from your usual NB. However, the car only has 178 HP even with the turbo, which I would say is quite lacking. It also shows when people think the car itself is just too overpriced on release, with it ending up being showroom pieces rather than cars taken to the streets. Speaking of showrooms, I'm quite sure the NB has its name known for being a very powerful car choice in both NFS Underground games, even if it's not a Mazdaspeed variant.

Carrying a PI of 587, the car sits on the upper ends of C class. One can find that it's also in a unique position in its class of Retro Sports Cars, with no notable rivals within its PI range. If we compare it to the other Miatas, this would be the second fastest one, with the NC and NA2 behind, and the obvious ND being ahead. Goes to show how if there's a turbo, I really want it to shake some form of foundation. So yeah: the ND is faster even without. To finalize our COTW Miata collection, the Autoshow has these in droves for a sum of 25,000 credits. We'll see if I want any extras after testing the lone stock one resting in my garage.


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This week, we're not given a track to play with. Which is unusual.


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The newly announced expansion just.. isn't exciting, even though I got the right MINI for the job.


While any track can be used, I just elected to just use the whole of Mini Mexico to get to know the NB. That does also mean it's exempt from any Mark of Zen or Mean Machine classifications. It also means I get to skip the track analysis, but I plan to use just about every event to demonstrate each part of the car for me.

Also you might be thinking: SPD, this must be a first. It is in an official way, but if you go to week 34, you can see it's been done before. No, don't even mention what car is on that week.


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The last hurrah for this COTW to get behind a Miata. My real query now is rather will the turbo being in this tiny little roadster make or break the thing?


- I have no complaints when it comes to the inside. I see a choice of familiar parts that carry over from the NA, but my real gripe is about the levers for the lights and the wipers. They don't usually go that far back, far as I'm concerned. But if not that, maybe we can all agree they are getting in the way of the dash.

- You can't mess up the launch unless you're not putting your foot down all the way. It's got ample traction for you to remain at a minimal angle going forwards. I shift it by 7000, which is quite high as it is as it redlines at around the 7200 zone. This thing has a turbo, remember?

- Let's take on the brakes and I don't think we will have any issue with them, considering the performance level we're at. It is rear biased, and if you brake late, you will pay, since it has to spool up a turbo. Which means you may have issues in traction upon turn exit, even though we're at under 200 horsepower.

- Gears are actually quite well distributed, akin to a track build, and the 6 speed really adds to the agility the car has when accelerating. My only real complaint is how narrow 1st is. You shift by 30 MPH. I would appreciate an extra 5-10 MPH to compensate for the turbo. Speaking of acceleration, it's quite good for its class, with an uphill drive at worst will keep your acceleration at bay. There are times where you fail to realize you're already at top speed.

- I'm sure we've seen this handling trait quite a lot around the cars of COTW we're testing. The one that has you losing a bit of speed when you turn the steering all the way. The NB takes this with a twist: in lower speeds, it actually has grip to ensure you're not losing speed, but keep you at the speed. Though, this does depend with the turn you're taking on. I notice you are still going to lose speed at the 120 MPH region.

- There isn't an issue in traction unless you've been exposing the rubber to anything that's not asphalt. It's not even got 200 horsepower, so I don't see why it's an issue.. oh wait, it's light. On tighter turns, you do have a chance to get that rear to come out a bit. It's small, but it warrants a warning.

- Back in the week with the ND, I've made a food for thought scenario on how stable the Mazdaspeed NB is. Overall, the setup feels a bit too soft to be a racing machine. It can go understeer if you take a turn too quickly and unsettle it.

- Mastering the NB comes down to a lot of factors. Learn the car. Adjust it for the track of choice. It's a basic car with its downsides at a minimum. Though if you want my one top tip, it's to stay in a higher RPM area. It's where the turbo works itself out. And this car can accelerate very very well.


Usually by this part is when I mention if I ever lost my senses driving the car, or maybe tell you it is a car that wants someone worthy to tame it. It's not got any of those, but having a round Mini Mexico is an interesting and refreshing take on what comes in a weekly basis around here. Also the track time too, but there's no track to time with. Just me, the map and the car. For some people, it's what keeps them in the game, and while I've yet to 100% agree on that, I can start to relate.


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Finished already? Yeah, well, I just got my hardware back, and there are plans.. what kind of plans? Well, it's the ones that don't need deliberation.

So..

What is the Mazdaspeed MX-5 (NB)? It is..

Turbocharging for dummies.

So, as with past scripts in other Mazda MX-5 entries, it seems I'm meant to default this car to a Sleeper.

And I think it is. It's perfect for beginners. The handling is super duper. And it for some reason has no place in the game's running meta. This is one car I'm sure can keep up with certain Lotuses and other featherweights. Maybe it can compete in A class with a few adjustments to the right places. Not to mention it can do anything if you know what you're doing. That turbo is just waiting for you to exploit. And if I put my mind into this thought, the only thing it can't do is probably cross country. Despite my hatred for conversions, I'm leaning for a rallying build here..

Time to build this car for the expansion? It's not a bad idea at all. Just make sure that you're okay with all that natural elements in the seating area, however.


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What ultimately decided to me it was a Sleeper was me running it up the road to the volcano. Despite the elevation changes, it was such a nice drive. It could've been its Mark of Zen combo, but I'm sure I don't need that personal award to tell you it's capable of, at least, a smashing good drive.
 
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 67, 2 weeks too late - Lamborghini Diablo SV


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A red Diablo? It might be my own nominee, but even outside the realms of my fiction, a certain Nirvana has once again come to ruin my always awesome days.


Well, you gotta bear with me double posting, but it's two weeks too old to only remain with me.

You might be thinking: yeah, another SPD nominee and it's another classic Lamborghini. I guess you can say I'm quite unoriginal about it, but as I mentioned in week HOW DARE YOU, all my nominees onwards roam within the range of personal.

How about the Diablo? How's it personal? Well.. I write fiction, and one of the characters is essentially an overexaggeration of me. Typical self insert stuff that's way off the charts. The black and white striped car shown as week 16's VX Viper is his signature car. And just like any top dog, he's got rivals, which the most... umm.. direct I guess, is a shady, unknowingly grudging enigma who daily drives a Diablo. Now, in Gran Turismo, that's the Diablo GT (initially the Cizeta Moroder V16T), but in most other games the SV would be her representative.

Should we put aside fiction, this Lamborghini in particular is one I would dub as also my own personal demon. Not because of its name, but it's the car in particular that introduced me to the mainstay Lamborghini car on the whole. But I really can't connect with the brand or its cars on the whole until the Reventon, and that wasn't even a deep one until the Miura came very recently. Every time I see the Diablo, I feel its gaze that spites. It should've been the car that got me into Lamborghini but well, it just didn't stick.

But enough from me. How did we get this iconic 90s Lamborghini? After the Countach came and went, Lamborghini was eventually bought by Chrysler. Wanting to see what these bulls were up to, Chrysler took note of a Project 132. Said project was meant to be the successor of the Countach, which was a supercar that had Marcello Gandini pen the design, and along a sleek profile is a goal to go fast, taking aim to reach a 196 MPH threshold. Due to its development going back to 1985, this would be the last Lamborghini produced by them when they were an independent company.

After some hiccups, the Diablo would then come out in 1990, with a 5.7 liter V12 that gave 485 horsepower, allowing it to reach 60 in 4.5 seconds, and penetrate the 200 MPH barrier with a top speed of 203. Further variants of the car would eventually be developed, such as a roofless variant, and also the all wheel drive VT in 1993. Said VT would be the direct forerunner of the eventual Lamborghini flagship models entering the 21st Century in the Murcielago.

Moving past these, the Diablo would be the second car in the Lamborghini lineup that would get the SV marque: one that we've only seen with the Miura. In 1995, it was unveiled in the Geneva Motor Show, as the mentioned VT's RWD variant that would set yet another basis of the reiterating Diablo. The V12 was upped to 510 horses, and it would get the SE30 Jota's various improvements, in addition to an adjustable wing and that striking SV logo on the side. Yeah, I also don't quite believe that wing looks adjustable. The original SV would also be the last form of the Diablo that carries the pop up headlights, as the eventually Audi owned Lamborghini Diablos years later would ditch it altogether with the infamous Z32 lamps.

Of course I must mention the Diablo SV being a very iconic car in Need For Speed. Starting off in Hot Pursuit back in 1998, the Diablo has gotta be the most iconic NFS car, especially for those who raced them in the 90s. To me, it's more iconic than that M3 GTR race car, but let's say I can't do anything to NFS car trends.

This devil of a supercar finds itself on the top of middling A-class, with a PI of 763. Within its Retro Supercars class, the only notable rival is a Porsche: the AWD monster that is the 959. While I'm sure better deals can come from the Auction House, quick buyers can opt to get your own Diablo from the Autoshow with a 174,000 credits expenditure.


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As requested, I asked our gracious host to find me an EventLab since I apparently suck at finding them. Said road is known as High Speed Ring that isn't exactly our fan favorite High Speed Ring from THAT other franchise. The code is 131 679 563.


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And now behold a quick sneak peek at the world's fastest MINI in action. I definitely mean one without its BMW sourced engine swapped out, that is.


Would you look at that? 4 straight lines, 3 banked turns and a twirl? Sounds horrendously simple. But if anything, test tracks around the world are literal circles in some places, so I'm sure nothing's strange here. Maybe it should be named the High Speed Pretzel. High Speed Cape's not wrong though, but I can't argue with myself over these.


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I specifically asked for a farmland styled EventLab, but I'd say that's a bit of a tall task. I can take anything, like the variations this Diablo has taken form to win the hearts of many in the 90s.


- The Diablo's insides are, just like any non track oriented Lamborghini, styled more towards luxury over lightness. It's a big bull, but the insides are sleek and sporty, though a bit on the black side. I'm unsure if it can come in any other color, but I'm quite sure it can.

- We once again head into a car with a reasonably simple launch strategy: about 70% throttle until the tires grip nicely. It's got a V12 but it's a nice and gentle V12, the kind Lamborghinis are known for. I find myself shifting at 8000 RPM, because these are some tall gears.

- When it comes to the braking, the Diablo is devilishly rear biased, so one has to brake earlier than usual if you don't want to feel the singe of hellishly hot brakes. But if anything, the Diablo is no way a car that aims to kill you. The rear bias really only comes if you brake way too late.

- Speaking of kill, the car likes to kick the rear out smoothly when you turn, which transitions into some level of understeer. Surprising, but with a wing and those big tires at the back, no I shouldn't even be. This does mean you're not driving something terribly twitchy, which is the defining factor for the last 2 nominees I wrote reviews for.

- In any game I find, the Diablo always delivers in power, and that's no exception here. Good acceleration always is a plus, and that's even more impressive if a car's only got natural aspiration. And without a turbo or supercharger, it means the power's pure and traction remains a strong point for a car with potentially lots of power for its class. It's a car that drifts when only you want it to.

- When it comes to the track, there's only one real piece of advice: racing lines. That's it. It's the only way to get you out of the big angled turns at the highest speeds. And that's the only place here with challenge.

- Surprisingly, the Diablo is much more simple than you think. It screams a proper starter car very fittingly, but getting it to race in S1 will require more than just selling your soul. It's a dedicated art for either the brave or the foolish. Or one that hates me very very much.


Bah, I got nothing. Not really feeling the combo. The track itself feels uneven and bumpy. I can't imagine how disastrous a much more potent car would be here. Things like the Venom, the One:1 and the Zenvos. Or maybe even our more torquey nominees in the Buicks and the Starion, perhaps?

I do have plans to cut down on the words on these writeups, and well, I'm sure you have noticed. Let's head for the best lap time.


Diablo SV.jpg



Hot off the track, my run with the Diablo gives a best of 1:04.883.


This week has been all about straight to the point simplicity. No nonsense, nice to drive classic supercar. Track with speed as a focus and no gimmicks. There's nothing recently added to my pockets in relation to this: this is a form of experience anyone can enjoy. Either if you're 6 or 66, I say you give this car a go.



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It's been a while, but it's time for a specialized Showcase, of which I shall call the Showcase Duel. This first, and probably only iteration of this event will feature the Diablo and week 16's VX Viper.

This week, I propose to settle a personal fictional rivalry, somehow never any ways to end. I christen it as 'Nirvana VS Sonny, Horizon 5 COTW edition'. So instead of a usual Showcase, it's time to have these two duke it out in Mexico. To even things out, the two cars will be at the top of S1 ready for a battering.

But first, let's cover the cars.


Dodge SRT Viper GTS

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I knew I will eventually get back to it. I also knew it had to be when I do nominate the Diablo. Why hasn't anyone else nominated the Diablo? I guess it was too obvious a choice? Hmm... NAHH!

Back in Week 16, the Viper earned itself a nice little Sleeper for being a renowned final goodbye to an American sports name. A car that came out as more than a simple muscle car, the Viper blends muscle and sports amazingly and has a degree of learning needed to master this snake that can surely bite. The world can't handle the Viper no more today, but its presence still remains to this day very very strong in many forms of media, video games especially. It honors us with a V10 sound still sorta unique to the car, and it's a roar I never get tired of.


Lamborghini Diablo SV

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In the other corner: a devilish red hot brunette with a hatred as hot as the fires of hell.

As per the review earlier, the Diablo is a lot simpler than you think. Smooth V12 carrying 530 horsepower with ample levels of stability and grip means you cannot go wrong with it.. unless you amp it up a notch into S1. There, it will roar fire, and show us its more pronounced levels of speed that I hope never to reach without being in the zone. If any supercar in S1 shoots out beams from the hands like the fighters in Dragon Ball, an S1 Diablo is that but from the mouth, and it's probably not alone there..


Let's give the all important numbers from these monsters. Here's the Viper..


Viper ToTT.jpg



And the Diablo..


Diablo ToTT.jpg



I know I haven't made it clear yet, but the Diablo is 'Nirvana', and the Viper is 'Sonny', yes a reference to my now dormant fiction writing. Okay, now that doubt's outta here..

I was going to go with High Speed Cape or the Horizon Festival Circuit to settle this one round, but I went with a revisit to week 16's Ruta Norte. These are fast cars with BEEF, and a tiny tight track will satisfy the more vegetarian lot with wings and light bodies. Ruta Norte also notably has a handling and a speed portion: something a car with no stand out alignment can compete in properly.

Oh, and there will be 3 determining factors to which car will come out on top, not just 'fast equals best'. That is:

Speed: easily what car got the better time. I mean, fast still has to have a say about it.

Consistency: how many Rewinds I end up using in the 3 complete attempts. This segment will come into how I feel a car is to get good times.

Fun: where I would say what car I would come back to driving this particular event with.

I'm sure you can add up if the first 2 factors were dominated by one car, it's over for competition's sake. But I'm more of a completionist's sake dude, so let's go right in.


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If I'm ever going to stop making references to fire, heat, devils and bewitchery, maybe the Viper can help. But all I had was the heat to try beat the time it got on its week's Showcase. And of course its infamous exhaust setup that set us up for some side burns.


Viper.jpg



As a reference, the original Viper time was 2:03.856, and my new best time after 3 runs is a 2:03.696.


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The Diablo wasn't American unless you count the bit Chrysler came in to own Lamborghini at the time, but this out of nowhere national association made me think: will Vector Cars make a return someday in gaming form?


Diablo.jpg



Truly a mad bull, this mysterious red Diablo landed a NEW best time of 2:03.134.

Let's get to the metrics.


Speed

The Diablo gets one point here for getting the better time.

The entire dynamic comes to just like Rambo Lambo had his little Showcase in week 7. The Diablo noticably lags behind by the starting handling portion, then when it comes to the downhill valley run, it starts to wind up. And unlike Rambo Lambo, the Diablo has enough room to catch up to the Viper in the speedy portions. The Viper tops out at 210, while the Diablo one ups that with a highest reached speed of 218 MPH. And while the Diablo is the faster more speed oriented car, its traction is also better than the Viper. The only downside is the understeer it has on high speeds, which the Viper had no such occurrence.


Consistency

With the Viper, my runs with the car averages at about 2-3 Rewinds per attempt. The Diablo.. let's say having the case of high speed understeer really puts that score to an all time low.. or rather, high.

So the point goes to the Viper. Which is odd, because I initially thought the Diablo was going to be the more consistent car. On my first go, it was, but so did the fact it didn't even beat 2:04.


Fun

Rather, what car would I use when I get another chance to take on Ruta Norte in this class of top S1.

This would be the hardest decision because of 2 things. One: both cars are a blast to drive at this class. Second: they both have their preferred sectors, with the Viper loving the first half, and likewise for the Diablo on the second. I'm trying to look at this from every conceivable angle. These are two cars that look good going fast, and carry a level of challenge that I find satisfying to take on.

While the Diablo is highlighted on this week, the Viper tries to take its luster onto itself, giving me a drive that I would say is both unremarkable, but in no ways slow or lacking. The Diablo has a stand out acceleration and speed that brings the experience to a new level of intensity. It's quite similar to when I brought the Firebird Forza Edition that time. It surprised me, but for the Diablo's case, it's a lesser variant of that.

It's definitely hard, but this is a point I'll hand to the Diablo, because unlike the Viper at S1 900, it stands out. Not like a sore thumb, but it's exposed enough to get the point in my opinion.


Conclusion

With that said, the Diablo wins it barely with a score of 2-1. Being mid engined monster with a V12 means it should've been obvious, really. Still, I'm not undermining the Viper for being a very capable car even at this pace. And it's also the car I would rather have if I had the choice, so there's that.

And I guess we end here. By the way, expect these two to keep running into each other when an S1 road themed Showcase, Duel or not, comes up. I'm most likely not going to theme these properly since I'm definitely finding excuses to revisit as much COTW entrants possible. Let's move on to the final portion.


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So..

What is the Lamborghini Diablo SV? It is..

A very generous offering taken from the worst place in existence.

Associations be darned, this is a very easy Sleeper. It's outclassed by everything in sight, it's got little remarkable racing credentials, and it isn't in any way something small, weak, insignificant, and especially slow. It's a monster, and as I say: it doesn't come to kill, but it comes to see you be best buddies with it. Do mind you not sign any contracts or anything regarding your soul with it though, or you might get stuck in a bind you might not realize exist..

This writeup is in no shape or form influenced by an inner fiendish dark side within SPD known as Nirvana.
You hear that, babe?


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I've specifically asked for farmlands because my favorite past time with this car is in NFS Hot Pursuit, and that's with the first track being a, umm, hilly farmland in America. There's plenty of that here, so all I need next are an endless assortment of police cars, and another car to mess with. Did you read my mind and say a certain COTW alumni that's also a Jag?

Just like the Ford GT and the Miura, the Diablo too has SPD ingrained theme songs. One is the obvious Saki Kaskas hit Little Sweaty Sow, the other being All Apologies - the leitmotif of a.. hopefully fictional recurring, dauntless nemesis known as Nirvana: a recurring word in this whole writeup. The intention for her existance is to give an idea of this.. hateful pressure from one to another. It's definitely something I don't know I can live with. I try my best to be likable, and there are times where I even can't satisfy that quota.
 
With that week over, the fourth of the four Miatas in the game now has a Sleeper rating. Very nicely done.

And now we look at a car that, depending on our views on it, may earn the rage of about half of GTP's 200,000+ members.

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It's the A80 Toyota Supra.

And to vet this JDM icon, we're taking it to another event lab this week, the Resort Street Circuit. The creator of this blueprint was kind enough to set it to 20 laps so plenty of opportunity to dial it in. 123 704 907 is the event code.

Alright folks, have fun and riddle me this: Izzat a Supra?!
 
SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 70 - Toyota Supra RZ (A80)


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We know what it is. There isn't a car nut that couldn't answer the question unironically.


You had to say I'd be lying if I said the Supra didn't headline the sports car era of the 90s. But it only started off as Toyota's performance marque when they put a six cylinder engine in a Celica as the 80s came.

And before we go into the A40 to A70, I don't think they need to be covered, so we jump ahead 24 years, to the birth of what might be the first Supra that isn't shaped like a wedge. While back as the A70 it already split from its Celica roots, this one: the A80, is the Supra everyone and their grandkids talk about. From the outside you can see this iconic design that, while not obvious to the naked eye, actually is a throwback to the 2000GT. But I didn't catch any hint of any Jaguar E-Type in this sports icon.

First main fact for the car is that we all know that Toyotas are reliable.. a fact me and my dad can definitely back thanks to us owning a Toyota that still runs after 20 years. Though, the main selling point to the Supra was its engine: the still legendary 2JZ, a 3 liter inline six with a base 220 horsepower. The RZ carries the 2JZ-GTE: a variant that, when ignoring the 276 hp agreement, brought it to 320 horses and 315 foot pounds of torque thanks to a supporting dual turbocharger. It was the kind of engine any tuner would want their greasy hands on, due to its potential power of reaching upwards of a thousand horsepower. How that's done is definitely factoids and engineering tidbits I've yet to get my own greasy hands on.

Only priced at the $40,000 region, the Supra became a performance icon on the cheap, slaying sports cars in its predictive competitive range, and even select supercars. It had every statistic on a high bar. It can accelerate with its turbo working on all revs amazingly with a manual six speed. Exceptional handling with custom strut springs and ventilated disc brakes. Iconic styling from various design cues one can see mostly came from the rear rounded spoiler. And don't get me started on top speed, where the car's limited to 155 MPH. Take that off, and it's predicted the Supra can reach 180. And all that for 40k. No wonder they are sold out so fast.

And if you're not into cars, you're bound to know the Supra's presence that skyrocketed with the release of the original street racing flick: the Fast And The Furious. The orange Supra that highlighted that movie and comes in with its own DLC in Horizon 2 can be considered now part of the legends in movie cars from the beginning of when that dawned, to today. If we look at games, well, if Toyota's in it and an A80 Supra is missing, there are pitchforks and flames that I'm quite sure isn't missing.

This older Supra sits in the central areas of B class with a PI of 646, and lemme tell you, in its class of Retro Sports Cars, it is packed with some competition. From the R33 Skyline to the base FD RX-7, the Supra also has some COTW nominated machines to deal with in the Fairlady Z33 and the Porsche 944. Well, due to it somehow getting supply from some dimensional conundrum, one can get their own A80 Supra to mess with for just 38,000 credits. There's no way I can see anyone in real life today willing to part with it at that price.



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To take out an old school domestic hero like the A80 Supra proper, we are pointed to prominent Irish Forza critic Shinyodd's Resort Street Circuit. It comes with a code of 123 704 907, again for my use.


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Guess what this reminds me of? Dragon Trail - Seaside, particularly the view after the high speed hairpin going downhill.. the turns preceding the Chicane of Doom. There's two things to consider in this. One: do I still understand the track even after a long time not running it? And two: when does the MINI Countryman get a go around it?


Hoping that Arabic Nokia ringtone doesn't come in to invade the peace, the prop built track consists mainly of a wide running track, but odd carries more than your usual amount of super tight chicanes. And these are turns that makes the Nouvelle Chicane seem easy to handle. It also has a tunnel exit chicane which is particularly nasty..

Overall, the twenty laps provided can sound daunting, but maybe I can turn that thinking around and say it's the amount of laps that can help you give an idea on the flow of the track. If there is. Being honest, I don't know if it's designed poorly, or my perception towards it is.


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The thing is about the A80 Supra is, while it sounds like it's every trait leads to the conclusion on how it's to be dominating, I can't help but get 2 more of the car since the only one I had was tuned up quite far into S1. With the spare model reserved for something you can scroll down to see, the stock one's time to shine is now, and it's the most important one to do so.


- I'm going to say that I'm very familiar with the insides of the A80 Supra, because I used to daily drive a Toyota Land Cruiser of that era, so there are many parts that I see here that's also on that car. Things include the steering wheel's overall design, the speedo and tachometers, the window switches, the glove box.. umm, am I losing you? Hello?

- Another car with a lot of rear grip during launch? Sounds like the only way to launch it is to not be afraid and put it all down. That's where all my launch tactics are for this car. While I shift by the middle at the 7500 RPM region, you're welcome to go higher since the power can come from there too. Just watch out for it redlining just around 7900 RPM.

- So in comes another week where the brakes are yet again not a weakness. It's actually super good. I mean, not just for any domestic sports car. It's one of the best braking feelings I've ever felt in this game. Not horribly biased to the rear, locking up isn't punishing, and the nature of it merges well with it's overall excellent turning ability, which surprise surprise: is the next point.

- Like, it's blessed with the power of smooth turns, despite its bulky posterior. I am not afraid to turn this car all the way, and I will do it every time it needs to do so. The turning angle is deceptively small, and the speed loss is nearly non existent. Not to mention if you need to put the speed down a tiny bit and brake some more while turning, it's okay! In most RWD machines, that's a no-no, and in the Supra, it's a oh hell yes!

- You're not going to go past the high end of 4th on this track. So that does mean the gearing is a bit tall. For B class, yes, it is. But it does also mean you're going to be fine keeping the stock gearbox for the top of A class if, say, the game does adhere to the speed limiter being gone. I still go with the sports gearbox so I can change when I need that speed or not, but here's something to consider.

- Thanks to the dual turbos, the car's overall responsiveness is very good. Maybe this is lessened on a higher class, but for B it feels quick. Not, say, Auto Union quick, but you get a car that's a million times much nicer to be behind the wheel of. You can also note how well it reacts to bumps and unsettled surfaces in general, and this track is super bumpy.

- And maybe I can attribute the choice of putting a dual turbo to the overall traction. Outside going from a stop to your foot down, you're welcome to push the car's accelerator down hard if you're going to get it going from at least the 3000 RPM area. The Supra is even okay with you suddenly accelerating all the way in the middle of the corner: a controller racing habit that's a complete no no in any other case. Traction is one thing I expected this to be the weak factor of the car when that's the case with the J29, but it's not, and man is there more ink in my pen, and more pages on this notepad for me to list how many more amazing traits this car has for me?

- Does you like to do one of the following: engine brake, J turn, trail brake? Then congratulations, you won nothing but received the confirm that in the A80, you are completely able to doing the things.

- If I have to say one thing bad about the car... umm, it's not a race car. It doesn't handle like it's on rails. You have to consider it as you can find it going a bit to the side with that body roll.

- So, while the track has some traits of Emerald Circuit (coincidence I think not), one can see the initial turn and chicane of that track is now blocked off with a barrier. Not Barry R, mind you, he's instead part of the custom made route the circuit. Either way, that barrier's sole purpose is to reduce cutting of the insides. This is something I see a lot in competitive racetracks in GTA 5, so it's not a complete Week 34 moment for me.

- Though it might seem like a toy track, there are some turns that'll really grind your gears. I mean, catch you napping if you don't have the track's general idea living rent free in your head. There's a nasty right hander that's akin to Fuji Speedway's 2nd last turn. There's a tunnel that exits to an instant quadruple chicane hullabaloo wham bam thank you man. But aside the chicanes, you can take the car's power, and push it somewhere else. Considering all the traits the car has, you can say it's an idea crazy enough to get you killed or something.

- If one's having some trouble with the chicanes, it really comes down to when you brake. Brake too early, and you're going to hit the inside barrier. Brake too late, and you will shoot ahead, losing time. Any worse than that, and your lap times die. Test out when to brake is maybe the best first approach to the circuit.

- It might be an EventLab week, but we're given such an excellent, beginner friendly, and highly potent RWD car for anyone to get themselves into. If you're a complete noob with no dexterity, don't worry: just stay out of 1st gear after the race begins, and you'll cruise home fine. You're already seeing what's coming with words and praise like these to conclude this analysis, right?


So, when I first tried out the track with the MINI, I couldn't get behind this custom road at all. It felt messy and there's no flow for me to make and follow. This is a very unusual track, and I even pondered if I want to even do these 20 laps at all.

Would you believe these negative thoughts pretty much magically disappear as I enter the venue again in the A80 Supra? I entered the venue with a meme! I did those 20 laps! I had a freaking good time! And most of all: it was one of the best driving pleasures Horizon has ever offered to me. As I kept on chugging, the road became more natural for me to take, and the Rewinds kept coming down and down. Overall, this combo was wack, but to me, it earns my Mark of Zen, with this being number #17. Just like the J29, the A80 too takes an award for having me lose my senses and really want to take to the track again and again in earnest.


Supra RZ.jpg



Before saying goodbye to Resort Street Circuit, I left behind a best of 1:31.275 with the A80 Supra.

While I'm not sure how to measure what is good or bad around here, this is the lap I achieved on the final lap. That's probably when I figured out how to get around properly. For sure, I can see the car genuinely surprised me. A machine capable of holding 3 times its power means I gotta see if there's more under its hood. Let's head to a familiar place..


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It's not the same car, but it's a glare in the eyes that you're going to keep staring at.


It's proven to be one of the best, but I feel this Supra's gotta get through a Test.

A test has this week's nominee built up to the top of A road without any specific trait in mind, take it to the Horizon Mexico Circuit, and give a quick analysis from myself. Now, the most notable rule I place here would be no conversions. So there won't be a racing V8, AWD supercharged monster with an ugly rear wing and splitter to take the throne. I like to keep my cars on the normal side. However, aspirations are accepted, particularly when a car's quite far to the targeted 800 PI from where it began.

With a whopping 154 PI to fill in, I only have one thought to upgrading the car: have it do what it does best, but better. So I made sure to up a level on every part. The result I expect is a car that can handle good while retain its great acceleration and carry enough traction to keep that performance in check. The final result is our 90s Japanese sports machine carrying 554 horses with a 2793 pounds load. While it's a bit harder to handle, I wouldn't say it's impossible to achieve with it.


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It has everything, but giving it more power is adding more fuel to the fire. But is this a wild fire, or is it one that man has mastered to using?


Supra RZ.jpg



Living as a headlines of timeless RWD sports cars, the A80 comes in with a best of 1:06.702.

While a higher power count means you have to start controlling your throttle better, the car on the whole isn't complicated or unpredictable. If you find yourself bringing the rear loose, I made the tune so that it's mostly caused by driver error. There's a lot of good I can say about the build, but maybe I can take more steps to add on the competitive edge of the car.


But we're not done yet. We got another Supra to test out. It's the Welcome Pack variant.


TOYOTA SUPRA RZ "WELCOME PACK"


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No, this isn't round 2 for the car. It might look the same, but oddly here be a different car.



For this version of the A80, I decide to take it stock rather than tuned to the bum. Well, it's because the car already came in ready tuned. I like to see how well it is produced for people who want an initial edge for when the game first came out, as well as when one has a drought of cars on the first few hours. I managed to get an F40 on my first 2 hours, so I'm not sure what can't you achieve with a bit of in game effort.


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Being the Forza Edition kind of car for the top of Retro Sports Cars, I wonder if this fully kitted out monster has the moves of a more modern package..



Supra WP.jpg



We unpack the car to find its potential peak at a 1:07.350.

One notable thing about the Welcome Pack version is that the car is much easier to drive. Like, considerably much easier, with things like all race parts or something. But I can note on how it suffers considerably in the straights. That sounds like it's got better tires on. However, it also suffers from mid corner understeer, which is nasty. Perfect if your skills are in development. Always assume that when you find yourself lacking.

Let's not waste any time and move on to this week's Reschedule. Being honest, it's pretty predictable. Or rather, they are pretty predictable. I've actually savored the moment for them to get on the Reschedule list, and this week's nominee pretty much have their names shot up to the fast lane.


RESCHEDULE 1: WEEK 33 - TOYOTA GR SUPRA (J29)


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If you didn't see this coming, I don't know what else to say.



Succeeding this week's nominee is are 2 modern sports machines that suffered in terms of how every car enthusiast has played on the joke. They did very well on the Showcase, particularly the Z4, but how has it translated to a much more technical circuit?

The GR Supra might not be the perfect successor, but it is in many ways an excellent one. Bringing the Supra name to a current era means it has big big shoes to fill, and so far, it's wearing them remarkably. In Mini Mexico, it's earned a Mark of Zen too, but the only issue I can find in the J29 was its traction being a bit lacking. Wait, this is something the A80 also has in a much lesser form.. An investigation is pending, and I have my magnifying glass at the ready!


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It's obvious that the son's got some of the father's genes. But how much of it is the dominant ones, and how much of it is the recessive ones?



GR Supra.jpg



With a bit of Gazoo flair, the GR Supra finishes the track with a best of 1:06.740.

The GR Supra comes in with something I didn't expect: it inherits a lot from its predecessor. Great handling, issues in traction, and in many ways satisfying to go around with. However, a lot of the drive is adopted more from the Welcome Pack car that's easy to drive. Only difference is that this car has a more rear heavy setup that makes cornering feel much more effective. It's a fun car to drive as well. Will the A70 Supra round this up nicely eventually? Because I know that car's a straight up quack.


RESCHEDULE 2: WEEK 33 - BMW Z4 (G29)


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Yes it's the fourth Supra, and it's not the one branded as a Toyota.



The only non-Toyota in the Test lineup this week is this: the GR Supra again. Or rather the kind of memes that bring that name to terrible joke levels. The Z4 is BMW's return to the Z brand as a soft top, and it shares a lot with the GR Supra. But as we've covered on Week 33, there really are difference between the cars. In fact, I didn't like the Z4 as a first impression, but it managed to take out the top car in their week's Showcase, which actually saved it from my nomination of it being a Beater. This emerald shined tuned Z4 can go, but here's a different environment to give it a run for it's Euros.


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This isn't the weird competitive back and forth between the A110 and the Starion, but yes: it is tempting.



Z4 J29.jpg



While a Supra in another name, the Z4 brings its own best that looks like a 1:06.820.

A bit behind the Supras, but it's still competitive to their times. If there's something the Z4 has over those two (and the Welcome Pack too actually), that would come in with its traction. You cannot be afraid to take the corners if you have a small ounce of discipline in your gas pedal. How it lags behind is mainly due to the gearbox: I didn't get a fully adjustable one and thus has a very poor top end. It's definitely the most user friendly car with the best handling.. a far cry to its stock variant.

Hey, we got to the end of another Test, and just about every car in it's a joy to drive. Let's keep this vibe up going to the conclusion.


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So..

What is the Toyota Supra RZ? It is..

The be-Supra and end-Supra.

This is the exact same feeling I had a year ago, when I got in the Corrado for the first time. Just joy all around even though I was infected with COVID. To me, I might have probably found that feeling again in the A80, sans the COVID of course, that can just eff right off. It's not FWD, and we didn't do it on a dirt trail, but if this and the Corrado can say something: it's that there are hidden lustrous gems all over this game. I would not mind finding these treasures again, especially if it's right there standing in your face, not realizing the value until you get close enough..

Even I am unsure if it is, but to me, it's a Sleeper, and for this second year of COTW, it's my first one I want to put in the list of top Sleeper cars.


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I never really had a connection with the Supra car line at all, but at least after today I can really respect it.. in a Forza Horizon sense. Maybe an opportunity can arise for another way to appreciate the car. But for now, just like the general rule of thumb of one Thanos, the A70's inevitable.
 
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So, The A80 Supra.

On one hand it’s a tuning/movie icon and it’s 3.0 litre I6 2JZ is legendary for its power potential.

On the other hand, you notice how all the iconic versions of the Supra are NOT stock? :sly:

Well it’s because it kind of ends up being a one trick pony with tuning, but outclassed by its peers in stock form.

Evo’s, WRX STi’s, 3000GT/GTO’s, RX-7’s and NSX’s, the majority of those names will leave a Supra for dead on a track.

Now this is a viewpoint I’ve held on the A80 Supra even back when COTW tested it on GT Sport, it’s a Grand Tourer compared to the majority of its sportier peers.

Now the engine is a potent powerhouse with 320 unofficial horsepowers(Japanese Gentleman’s Agreement remember?;)), but it can be pumped up to over 1200hp on the Twin Turbo setup.:cool:

However, if you decide to swap to a Single Turbo setup, you can push that number up to 1600hp. :eek:

And that’s…. never sat right with me.

Let me explain. :confused:

Back in the days of FM4, the 2JZ made a max of 850hp, The R34 Skyline made a maximum of 1000hp.

Ok easy fix, just bump up the Supra’s max hp a little.

Over the following games, the Supra's max hp crept up and the R34’s dropped down, by Horizon 3 the R34 didn’t even crack the 750hp mark and Supra now made 1000hp, with the Forza Edition cracking 1200hp.

And i’m not even considering the F&F versions of the Supra from FH2 either, one of which was good for 1400+hp.

In FH5? The R34 barely makes 800hp and the Supra’s capable of double that. :crazy:

To appease the Supra Fans, they’ve nerfed the R34’s RB26 AND buffed the Supra’s 2JZ, I blame the more.. Vocal whiners for that one. :rolleyes:

I understand some game series adding or taking away power from certain cars over multiple games, Gran Turismo is guilty of doing it too, but come on now. :irked:

Ok, rant over. :P

I mentioned the F&F versions of the Supra before and they’ve incorporated some of their visual upgrades to the normal Supra so you can recreate them, You can even add a widebody kit with an optional huge chassis mounted wing.

As for engine swaps, you have the 6.2 Chevy V8, the 1.6 Turbo Rally, the 4.8 LFA V10 and the 7.2 Racing V8.

But if you really want to scratch that Top Secret tuner itch, there’s the last option, the 6.1 V12 from the McLaren F1.:embarrassed:
(Yes I know the real Top Secret V12 Supra had a Toyota Century V12, but shh.;))

As for the stock car and how it drove?

Eh, it behaved itself through the turns, although the brakes were on the weaker side when you’re really pushing it.

For 38k from the Autoshow(don’t bother with the Auction House, you’ll be lucky to get one for less than 38k.) it’s got much to offer so I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up with more than 1 or 2 extra ones.

On its own merits, it’s just about a Sleeper.👍
Compared to its Rivals, it’s Neutral.
Dealing with the baggage of its more vocal part of the fan base makes it a Beater.👎

Let’s call it Neutral for arguments sake. ;)

Just one last thing, for any of the fans of the Supra who think i’m wrong just because it’s not a Sleeper verdict, let me ask you a question.

If the Supra and the 2JZ were such a unbeatable combo in your eyes, why is arguably the most iconic racing Supra of all time, the Castrol TOM’s Supra, packing a 2.0 litre Turbo 4 cylinder? :confused:

The answer? TOM’s found a loophole in the JGTC rules which allowed them to use any Toyota had made, thus them swapping out the 2JZ for the 3S-GTE from the Celica GT-Four and it was a much better race engine, beating out the Skylines and going down to a tiebreaker with another Toyota works team for the 1997 JGTC title. :D

Now if you excuse me, I’m gonna go dig out that old fire suit of mine for no apparent reason. :lol:
 
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I'll also need a fire suit as I've never much liked the Supra. It's a cool car, and it looks gorgeous, but it's never sat right with me as a whole.

There's a few reasons for it, IRL:
  1. They are going for way too much money now. The cheapest Supra I found on a quick Google search now is $99,998. The highest is $220,000. And if we're measuring this metric as a upside for the Supra, it's dirt cheap. An R34 GT-R sold for almost 400,000. So it isn't even the car with the most desirability in the market right now.
  2. Almost every single Supra has been soiled in some way by aftermarket parts. While I know its entire appeal is how mod-friendly the 2JZ is, I also am someone who wants to experience a car in its stock state at least once before altering it. Admittedly, my Miata was upgraded by a prior owner (tires, exhaust, a wing and some fender mods), but it's close enough to stock as a whole that it still counts as the stock experience for me. You can't get that luxury with a Supra anymore, not unless you shell out the $45,000 for a baseline A90 supra or go backwards to an even older generation of the Supra such as the A70.
  3. For what it is, it's overhyped. Sure, 1,000 BHP off the engine block is impressive, but it's also extremely inefficient and impractical for any kind of spirited driving. For those who do track their quad-digit Supras (and I mean actual tracking, not drag strips), I respect you and your balls of steel. I'm sure the Supra is a great car but it's just... it's always about the engine and what it can do. Not the car's handling, drive comfort, or any other aspect of its engagement. Other incredibly popular cars such as the Miata are at least viewed as more than the sum of their parts. I say "Miata", and you think of a fun car that's incredible to drive. I say "Supra" and... yeah. See my point with that?
That out of the way, let's see what this digital (and more reasonably priced) copy of the Supra is like.

1678974658041.png


On its own merits, the Supra is a pretty solid car. It has pretty good acceleration for B class, solid handling (though it feels more soft, like it's a GT car) and the top end performance is pretty nice. After about 8 of the 20 laps, I started getting the sense of the car being really awkward. Not sure if it's the fact that I had to crank the wheel in the chicanes, or something else inherent to the car, but it started to feel a bit wallowy after that eighth lap. I had a few instances of the rear of the car losing grip, and noticing that it was kind of hard to get the car to recover.

After 15 minutes, this was the best I could muster:
1678975656158.png


I started thinking to myself during my run that maybe the MX5 could do better, so what better choice than my replica of my IRL Miata?

1678975759942.png


It's a car I know intimately both in the game and IRL, so I should be able to wring some serious speed out of it.
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Despite being almost 100 PI down, 200 HP down on the Supra and about 20 MPH down on the longest straight on the track...

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My Miata was able to land a lap just a hair over a second off the Supra.

A lot of this is due to the much tighter handling it has, and that's the big point I want to make. This track favors the Supra, no doubt about it. However, make the track any more technical and the Supra is going to get spanked by an MX5.

What good is a sports car if an MX5 is able to harass it?

Neutral, though barely.

(I know someone might be tempted to try this for themselves. Street tires, street exhaust. that's all that you have to install on the MX5 to get my IRL car.)
 
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