Car of the Week | Week 47: A Katana to a Gunfight (Suzuki Swift Sport KATANA Edition Gr.4)

I didn't. Would take weeks or months. I have lots of free time this and next month + I had to drive all new DLC content.

The problem: look, imagine that exact point of grip loss because of slide and/or weight transfer; this very moment while driving is being exaggerated by the wheel, which makes it VERY difficult to move cars on the limit. That applies the most to cars, which are super difficult to move at the limit generally, like the FD RX7. Those cars are essentially undriveable at the limit NOW. And don't tell me it's just the cars. I've hot lapped the FD RX7 at Tsukuba already months ago and uploaded it. The time I did back then, I can not really replicate any more and if it's a track with height change like Deep Forest and Trial Mountain, then just completely forget about driving on the limit alltogether.

The wheel feels VERY heavy and sort of "locked up" from the inside, trying to simulate snap oversteer and totally overdoing/exaggerating it. It's like you're driving the car in that very moment ALL the time.

Yes, that is basically the problem.

Having said that, I still want to compete regularly on saturdays. The effect is much less pronounced on some cars, so there's that.
Have you tried driving the RX-7 again after the 1.41 update?

If I recall correctly, you're on a Thrustmaster T-GT? Apparently 1.40 messed up something with the Thurstmaster wheels, and was fixed in 1.41.
 
Have you tried driving the RX-7 again after the 1.41 update?

If I recall correctly, you're on a Thrustmaster T-GT? Apparently 1.40 messed up something with the Thurstmaster wheels, and was fixed in 1.41.

Since GT7 I'm on the Fanatec DD Pro. Thx for the tip though mate. :)

I should try it out. :)
 
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The RE雨宮μ過給圧上昇7, read as the "RE Amemiya myu ka kyū-atsu jōshō SEBUN", and roughly translated as the "RE Amemiya μ Boost Pressure Up 7", is a very special car to me, and I've a lot to say about it. It might get a bit personal too. Strap in, grab some popcorn, or not. Your choice.

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Fully built tuner cars are a bit of a rarity here in Gran Turismo 7, given that we can now somewhat replicate the look and feel of tuner models with custom decals, the tuning shop, and even replicas of aero parts offered by real life tuning companies. That said, however, the RE Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 has simply inimitable looks and performance, and I'm very, very glad that it exists in Gran Turismo 7—I genuinely think it's THE best looking 3rd–generation RX-7 to exist, even if the on–track LOD looks like a straight PS3 rip, especially now that I can finally paint mine in Innocent Blue Mica. It is undoubtedly my favourite FD not just for its looks, but also for its unbeatable performance in Gunsai in Hot Version's 2006 Strongest Legends of the Mountain Pass tournament, being crowned as the "Demon Lord of the Mountain Passes" alongside the Amuse S2300 GT-1. And, hey, it's the car that pulled me into this whole Car of the Week shebang :) It means a lot to me.

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Unfortunately, when I say that the performance of the μ Boost Up 7 is "inimitable", what I really meant to say was, "it drives so horribly in GT7 that you would have to actively TRY to make a normal FD drive this heinously". With 3.20 and 3.00Hz spring rates front and rear, the suspension setup of the μ Boost Up 7 is just as stiff, if not stiffer than those found propping up Gr.4 racecars, and yet, it comes only with Sports Hard tyres by default, exactly the same compound as is delivered with a bone stock Spirit R RX-7. The resulting driving experience of the μ Boost Up 7 in GT7 then, is as panic inducing, cold sweat purging, and pit in your stomach simulating experience as tangoing on on a minefield laden tightrope whilst dancing around thrown tomatoes. Weight transfer is simply not a thing in the μ Boost Up 7; the tyres can't even pull enough gs to even start tilting the car in any direction, which means the body of the car doesn't lean in on said tyres to make the most of the already inadequate compound, nor can the car make any sense of its GT3–esque 3.0 and 3.4 degree camber angles, resulting in a car that is simply incapable of doing many of the things that might be typically associated with an automobile, such as stopping, turning, and going in a straight line. It's not just the suspension, either; the differential is also set up extremely tight, resulting in chronic understeer or snapping oversteer in corner entries, if not chronic understeer suddenly snapping into oversteer. Because of these issues, the μ Boost Up 7 is cripplingly reliant on engine braking as a crutch to get stopped in time and rotated for a corner, and it's a good thing that the turbocharged 13B-REW 2 Rotor Wankel Engine in the Demon Lord has had its rev limit increased by 500rpm over stock to reach 8,500rpm, seemingly just to be used for engine braking!

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The μ Boost Up 7 has been set up to specifically tackle narrow, winding mountain passes such as Gunsai, and despite the Rotary Engine's reputation for being useless and damn near feeling broken when the tach needle is not in range of sniffing the rev limiter, the Demon Lord of Mountain Passes' mountaineering intentions show in the engine's power curves of all places, rather than the tyres or suspension. As its name might have already given away, the μ Boost Up 7 primarily gains power over the stock FD via increasing boost pressure—from a peak of 0.8 Bar to about 1.1 (11.6 to 15.9psi)—but the real story here is just how much of a jolt said boost defibrillates into the low to mid range of the traditionally gutless engine. For some context, 3rd gear will pull from anywhere as low as sub 4k rpm; around 50km/h (32mph), and will continue to pull a little past where it hits peak power at 6,900rpm, at about 150km/h (93mph). Unfortunately, said boost does deflate in a very anti–climatic fashion even before peak power at 6,900rpm, and I personally upshift most gears at 7,000rpm—or "just as soon as you see red in the rev bar" in HUD speak—and even that might be considered a bit late. The exception to that, of course, is when upshifting to the moonshot overdrive 5th gear, for which I'd like to hang onto 4th up to about 7,300rpm—about 40% of the rev bar.

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The idea behind this obscene mid range torque I assume is to allow the car to be lugged out of extremely tight corners in low range 3rd gear, and with such ample headroom in the rev range, shifting can be minimised by holding onto a lower gear when fast approaching yet another corner in an incessantly twisting ribbon of road, such as mountain passes. It's not only conceivable to do some narrow tracks like Horse Thief Mile entirely in 3rd gear without shifting, it genuinely feels like the quickest way to do it! On most "normal" tracks however, this means that the car has to be driven in a somewhat counterintuitive way: downshift immediately on braking to get the most of the much needed engine braking on corner entries to get the car stopped and rotated, only to upshift before hitting the apex to settle the car and make use of its low end grunt to power out of the turn. It'd be really something to watch the footwork of someone driving this car quickly! Once upshifted before the apex, there won't even be much engine noise, only the turbos as they audibly take another hard hit at the good stuff to see them through yet another unreasonable ask of breathing life into a slow spinning Rotary Engine. Step on it, and it will be there, the only noise besides the turbos gasping for more air is the rear tyres crying out in agony if the driver is too used to equating engine noise to power in a Wankel Rotary, and too used to an FD3S RX-7 handling well. But when the driver gets it right, there is a silent, eerie efficiency in how the car rockets itself out of a tight spot, and no matter how many kilometres I put into my μ Boost Up 7, that's something I can never get used to. It always feels uncanny, almost magical, especially to those who have spent a lot of time driving Rotary Engines.

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Being a car categorised by its rare "#Professionally Tuned" tag, the μ Boost Up 7 appears anything but—In my clumsy hands, my fastest lap with the μ Boost Up 7's original settings at 566.37PP around Streets of Willow is a low 1:20, cherry picked from a long list of messy laps. An Amuse NISMO 380RS Super Leggera (567.05PP) and a Porsche Cayman GT4 981 (570.20PP) both fresh from the factory with the same Sports Hard compounds produced mid to low 1:19 laps in the same clumsy hands... after just two laps each, and they were both a lot more consistent than the Demon Lord, not being nervous wrecks to drive! Trust me when I say that a 4PP difference shouldn't amount to a whole second in an 80–second lap. During our weekly lobbies dedicated to the Amemiya FD, no one aside from me wanted to drive the Amemiya FD, and I got walked by everyone in bone stock cars with comparable PP ratings, completely unable to do anything. Contrary to what the "#Professionally Tuned" tag would have people believe, then, the μ Boost Up 7 very badly needs fixing just to perform at a level that its Brand Central fresh 566.37PP would suggest, and even an amateurish hand applying basic fixes, like softening the springs, raising the ride height a bit, and taking away some camber angle would go a long, long way.

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Coming bundled with mid to high tier aftermarket parts for a fraction of the Spirit R RX-7's asking price might seem like a huge bargain at first, but this I find works to the detriment of the Amemiya, because it severely limits the μ Boost Up 7's headroom for growth. For reference, here's all the parts that can be bought for the Amemiya to boost up its performance further:
  • All road tyres (no offroad tyres)
  • Racing Computer
  • Turbo Kits (High, Ultra High)
  • Anti Lag System
  • Racing Air Filter
  • Racing Intercooler
  • Racing Silencer/Muffler
  • Fully Customisable Gearboxes (5–Speed)
  • Racing Brake Pads
  • Racing Brake Kits
  • Brake Balance Controller
  • Hydraulic Handbrake and Steering Angle Adapter
  • Power Restrictor and Ballast
  • Increase Body Rigidity
  • Custom Rear Wing
Crucially, the Amemiya FD doesn't get any mass reduction at all. It completely lacks a wide body option, and the only aerodynamic parts that can be bought for it is a custom rear wing, or the removal of it entirely, which means that it can't just minimise front downforce to game the PP system, having to rely solely on increasing rear downforce to shrink its PP under event requirements. Decreasing the engine's power via the Power Limiter also shifts its already low torque range even lower. Oh, and that Racing Silencer/Muffler? Yeah, that sounds like it came straight from the Public Registry of Ear Offenders that is GT5 and GT6. DON'T.

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While not an issue specific to the μ Boost Up 7, I find it extremely disappointing that the Turbo Kits in this game don't shift the engine's peak output points by any meaningful amount, only decaying the curves by varying amounts in the leadup to said peaks. Peak power and peak torque for the Amemiya is at 6,9 and 5,0 respectively, and even with a racing chip and "ultra high" rpm turbo, those figures end up at 7,2 and 5,1 at most. This is an especially stinging loss for the Amemiya, as I had always wanted to make use of its increased rev limit to feed more boost into the engine for more power, just to see what it'd be like. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to change its power curves or the way it needs to be driven in any meaningful way; it's just stuck as a short shift car ill–suited for high speed tracks, especially because PD is hell bent on not giving 5–speed cars the option for a sixth forward cog.

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Style by XSquareStickIt: 787B-Styled FD3S RX-7
#787b #lemans

Compare all that to a bone stock Mazda RX-7 Spirit R then, which not only has much better balanced power curves, but also has access to a wide body, all of the aforementioned bolt ons for the Amemiya, all four Turbo Kits, carbon prop shaft, 5 stages of mass reduction, a rear diffuser, and is even able to fit both offroad tyres if for whatever reason the fancy strikes. With both FDs retaining their 2–Rotor 13B engines on Sport Hard tyres, the Spirit R maxes out at a whopping 680PP, whereas the Boost Up 7 tops out at a mere 620PP. All this is even before we even take into account the fact that the Spirit R gets an ungodly cheat engine as an engine swap option, the Naturally Aspirated 4 Rotor R26B straight out of the 787B racecar, complete with racecar power, fuel efficiency, and an immaculate power curves! The Amemiya on the other hand, doesn't even get an (ethical) engine swap!

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And so, what we have with the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 is an unbelievably cool looking FD3S RX-7 for a mere 2/5th the asking price of the now horribly inflated Spirit R RX-7's price, albeit one that drives horrendously fresh from the dealership, and has an inexplicably lower performance ceiling than the bone stock car. For the exact same 100,000 Credit asking price, one could buy the Amuse NISMO 380RS Super Leggera, which offers similar performance to the μ Boost Up 7 on the latter's best runs, while being MUCH nicer to drive than the Demon Lord. If money is no object, just get a Cayman GT4 for 130,000 Credits. It's NA, it's rear mid engined, it's got a 6–speed stick, and it's virtually indistinguishable from a bona–fide racecar from the outside.

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I'm not proud to admit this, but seeing almost everyone but me still representing the Amemiya FD in our weekly lobbies dedicated to the Amemiya FD, and getting walked by every single one of them whilst I was completely unable to do anything was genuinely upsetting, to the point where I almost teared up. I'm usually not this invested in a car when testing; the whole point of a test and a review is to ascertain how good a car is, and if a car is bad, it's bad, and I'll just write that it's bad and move on. But the FD3S RX-7 is a car that really speaks to the 10–year–old kid in me, and I was thinking very much like a 10–year–old kid during race day: "It was completely unbeatable in Gunsai! It's supposed to be good at handling! Other people said so in videos!!! This is my HANDLING GOD!!!" I was genuinely upset and mad at Polyphony Digital for doing my childhood hero dirty like that, to the point where I was almost tearing up during race day. (Don't worry, I'm not blaming anyone here in COTW, this is just me having a moment with a very special car. Probably never going to happen again.)

And so hopefully you'll forgive me if I drag out this review by trying a simple fix in attempt to salvage my childhood hero: putting on Sports Soft tyres.

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You see, back in the car's first appearances in the Gran Turismo series with GT5 and GT6, the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 originally came default with Sports Soft tyres, which I believe the car was set up for. In GT Sport, the car came with Sports Hard tyres like almost every road legal car in the game, and, unsurprisingly, many of us in GTS COTW found it to be a twitchy, nervous, grip deprived mess of a car, myself included. But GT Sport, being an e–sports focused title, always did a disservice to road cars with its mindless default tyre allocations, and was always thought of as an exception to the series. Now that everything in GT7 comes with tyres that they ought to—Comfort Hard tyres for an S800 and Sports Medium for a ZL1 Camaro—the fact that the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 still doesn't come with appropriate tyres feels very much like a developer oversight to me.

And so, with a vengeance, I paid Rupert 4,500 Credits to fix my car.

Aaaaaaaaaand the car is still difficult to drive.

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But WHAT a car it became! The wealth of grip offered by the Sports Soft tyres allows the car to bring mind–bending, almost racecar speeds into corners, the likes of which unthinkable for a road legal car. To give some context on just how much speed an SS–shod Demon Lord can bring into a corner, picture this: The Aston Martin Valkyrie—a modern day, carbon clad, track focused, rear mid–engined hypercar with gobs of downforce, heavy F1 influence, and the same Sports Soft compound—dipped to a minimum speed of 104km/h (65mph) on T1 of Red Bull Ring in my hands. The μ Boost Up 7 matched that exactly. It has so much grip that I could overtake the brain dead AI of the Tokyo grind race round the outside, dry line be damned! Slap Racing Hard tyres on the Demon Lord, and it will even match some of the slower Gr.4 machines before BoP blow for blow, 5–speed stick shift and all!

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The advantages and full potential of the wide, low, and light body of the FD3S is fully highlighted here with these springs and tyres, as is the front–midship placement of the 2–Rotor 13B Wankel engine; this car combines the best of both an FR and RMR car, in that it has such an eager front end that slices into corners with precise purpose, yet always has some weight over them that helps with grip when on power or driving in the wet. The tight suspension setup keeps the car dead level and utterly devoid of any unnecessary and wasteful motions, just like that of a racecar, allowing all four of the 255/40R17 Yokohama Advan A048 tyres to work their magic at all times without tasking the driver to choose which tyre is to get grip, and which isn't. With adequate rubber to finally be fully utilised, the Stoptech brakes with Project μ pads bring the Demon Lord down to speed so quickly that my T300RS completely gives up on downshifting Your Majesty quickly enough to engine brake the car properly, making me wish I had a H pattern just so I could skip shift the car... on braking zones. For some context, I enter The Chute of Watkins Glen in 4th gear, often wanting to grab 2nd just for the engine braking, only to want 4th back soon just to power out of it. Despite having a rather high 8,500rpm rev range, this car I daresay has use for well over half of it on the track!

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With the car requiring its own very specific logistical flowchart to be driven optimally, and with very quiet tyres and engine, the μ Boost Up 7 is a car that demands of its driver to be hyper vigilant of the car's quirks and tendencies, and pay full attention to everything that's going on with the car to get the most of its bountiful potential. The car is still twitchy, and it won't hesitate to snap off violently if the driver's concentration or skill lapses for just a split second. Sometimes the springs still feel a bit too stiff, and the diff a bit too clingy. Even seemingly innocuous rumble strips, like the inside of Suzuka's Degner 1, can send the winged beast flying. But that is not to say that it's uncooperative or unwieldy; it does give due tactile and progressive feedback and warning, however quickly those flash by. It just demands an equally fast driver to process all that information and stimuli thrown at them, and make the most of it in several split second decisions squeezed into a single moment. Being an old chassis that is almost entirely reliant on mechanical engineering for its speed, this is a car that has to be driven with the old school adage of "steering with the throttle" in mind. Because of the stiff setup in the μ Boost Up 7, the throttle pedal is indeed very much required to get the car rotated out of most apexes, but there is so much torque and so little engine noise as feedback to work with that it genuinely feels like trying to walk a tightrope with just my right foot with a blindfold on; I'm just forced to know the tyres' breaking point instinctively via repetition, just so I can somewhat consistently keep it right smack in the middle of slip and grip to get the car rotated just so out of corners. Of course, that's much easier written than done; the steering wheel doesn't lighten up much even when the rear tyres let go, and the Demon Lord's appetite for Sports Soft tyres could cleanse the underworld of the compound—4 laps of Watkins Glen at 1x wear is enough to make the HUD show red. This is a car that never feels the same two laps in a row, demanding a driver's full attention, dedication, and a finely calibrated sixth or seventh sense if they have it, just to hold it on that fine line between magic and mayhem.

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Needless to say, trying to extract the most from the μ Boost Up 7 is a fervently intense experience, even—or especially—when The Demon Wears Yokohama. My palms always hurt from all the abrasion against my T300RS wheel after driving it, and I'm always caked in sweat as though I just had a mild workout just sitting on my ass the whole time. It gets my heart and mind racing so fast that I have trouble falling asleep if I drive it too close to bedtime! But while it's a very precarious car to try to get right, it's also one of THE most rewarding cars when the stars and slip angles align, and when I get lucky and have those moments when the car barely lets me get away with what I ask of it, god damn. GOD DAMN. No other car in GT7 has made me smile and laugh like a little kid like that! It may do almost Gr.4 levels of speed on Sports Soft tyres, but it certainly won't baby the driver like those entry–level racecars would. It feels just out of reach for someone of my calibre, and because of that, it always feels fair, challenging, and rewarding to me. And that, I think, is something that is so, so rare in the automotive world today: the μ Boost Up 7 a bloody fast car with personality. The relationship with the car isn't a one–way street, wherein the car just does everything I tell it to without protest or complaint; I talk to it and it talks back to me and we try to find something that works for us both or end up dying. I just can't believe something this bloody raw, brutal, and quick can be allowed on public roads! I almost find it insulting that the newly added Extra Menu Book, "Road–Going Racers", doesn't feature the μ Boost Up 7. In fact, here's what my three Road–Going Racers would look like:

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While slower than the Amuse 380RS and Cayman GT4 on Sports Hard tyres, the script flips when all 3 cars fit the Amemiya's preferred Sports Soft rubber. The μ Boost Up 7 out brakes and out corners the rear–midship Cayman GT4, with the svelte Stuttgart seductress being able to reel back in the chiseled champion from Chiba in the longer straights of Watkins Glen, where the more powerful Cayman with one more forward gear takes full advantage of the Amemiya's limp overdrive 5th gear past 205km/h (127mph). At the end of their roughly 117–second excursions, though, the Amemiya was convincingly ahead of the Porsche by 7 tenths of a second. And while much easier to drive than the Amemiya and Porsche, the Amuse 380RS honestly doesn't even belong in the same conversation in terms of sheer pace, being a whopping 1.5 seconds slower than even the Cayman!

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And, yes, you're seeing that right: the Amemiya was actually the car with the lowest PP rating among the three, meaning it needs just a tick more downforce to its adjustable wing to slip under 600PP on Sports Soft tyres, making it the perfect fit for the Clubman Cup+ event held there! Keep in mind that the Amemiya's 600.05PP already includes a fully customisable suspension and diff, unlike the other two whose PP would raise further with those fully customisable parts! In other words, there is even more free speed to be had from the Demon Lord if you want to make it suit your driving style, and customising it further won't even increase its PP value any!

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Perhaps the game calculates the Amemiya's PP with automatic shifting ill–suited for the μ Boost Up 7, giving it a PP value lower than what would be representative of its capabilities. I think a lot of the Demon Lord's otherworldy speed was in just how blatantly the it could defy common sense and stereotypes by brazenly lugging itself out of The Glen's many tight corners in high gears, shaving off upshifts. In other words, it's bloody quick for a 600PP car on Soft tyres. Also, because of the egregious short shifting the car asks of its driver, the μ Boost Up 7 is shockingly fuel efficient, too; my detuned C6 Corvette does around 2:09 laps in the Tokyo grind race, and has enough fuel for 9 laps flat out. The Amemiya has enough for 11.5 laps... while being only a second off the 'Vette. Not bad for a car that struggles to hit 280km/h (174mph) in clean air, huh?

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If you've understandably written off the car when we raced it in our weekly lobbies, I highly recommend, urge, implore, beg you to give this car a second chance on the Sports Soft tyres it arguably should've come with. If you have a love for tuner culture, Japanese cars, pure sports cars, have a fetish for performance, or just love driving in general, I think you owe it to yourself to give this car a drive on SS tyres—I seriously think it's THAT good. It makes me dearly miss the earlier GT games, where many more such fully built tuner cars were included in the car roster. Tuner culture felt a lot more represented and celebrated back then. The Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 is an all too rare testament in Gran Turismo 7 to how far tuners in real life can take a fairly basic car to with good ol' mechanical engineering, how a Swiss Army Knife of a capable sports car can be adopted to suit various different purposes, and it is a delight to every sense that can be blessed through the digital divide. Maybe there are faster cars at 600PP. Maybe the Spirit R RX-7 can do this and more if I really invested the time into it. But at this point, I just don't care about that crap anymore. This car is a statement, an example, and an experience—one I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world. I had such an exhilarating experience with the car. It was like opening a time capsule from more than a decade ago, and all the emotions and memories of that starry–eyed, innocent, ambitious, and honestly kinda stupid 17–year old kid bared on the track with modern day GT7 physics. It felt like two worlds colliding and meshing together. And in that moment, I nearly teared up again, this time, from overflowing joy.

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And that is all the redemption I needed, and can close this "review" with a smile on my face :)
 
The RE雨宮μ過給圧上昇7, read as the "RE Amemiya myu ka kyū-atsu jōshō SEBUN", and roughly translated as the "RE Amemiya μ Boost Pressure Up 7", is a very special car to me, and I've a lot to say about it. It might get a bit personal too. Strap in, grab some popcorn, or not. Your choice.

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Fully built tuner cars are a bit of a rarity here in Gran Turismo 7, given that we can now somewhat replicate the look and feel of tuner models with custom decals, the tuning shop, and even replicas of aero parts offered by real life tuning companies. That said, however, the RE Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 has simply inimitable looks and performance, and I'm very, very glad that it exists in Gran Turismo 7—I genuinely think it's THE best looking 3rd–generation RX-7 to exist, even if the on–track LOD looks like a straight PS3 rip, especially now that I can finally paint mine in Innocent Blue Mica. It is undoubtedly my favourite FD not just for its looks, but also for its unbeatable performance in Gunsai in Hot Version's 2006 Strongest Legends of the Mountain Pass tournament, being crowned as the "Demon Lord of the Mountain Passes" alongside the Amuse S2300 GT-1. And, hey, it's the car that pulled me into this whole Car of the Week shebang :) It means a lot to me.

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Unfortunately, when I say that the performance of the μ Boost Up 7 is "inimitable", what I really meant to say was, "it drives so horribly in GT7 that you would have to actively TRY to make a normal FD drive this heinously". With 3.20 and 3.00Hz spring rates front and rear, the suspension setup of the μ Boost Up 7 is just as stiff, if not stiffer than those found propping up Gr.4 racecars, and yet, it comes only with Sports Hard tyres by default, exactly the same compound as is delivered with a bone stock Spirit R RX-7. The resulting driving experience of the μ Boost Up 7 in GT7 then, is as panic inducing, cold sweat purging, and pit in your stomach simulating experience as tangoing on on a minefield laden tightrope whilst dancing around thrown tomatoes. Weight transfer is simply not a thing in the μ Boost Up 7; the tyres can't even pull enough gs to even start tilting the car in any direction, which means the body of the car doesn't lean in on said tyres to make the most of the already inadequate compound, nor can the car make any sense of its GT3–esque 3.0 and 3.4 degree camber angles, resulting in a car that is simply incapable of doing many of the things that might be typically associated with an automobile, such as stopping, turning, and going in a straight line. It's not just the suspension, either; the differential is also set up extremely tight, resulting in chronic understeer or snapping oversteer in corner entries, if not chronic understeer suddenly snapping into oversteer. Because of these issues, the μ Boost Up 7 is cripplingly reliant on engine braking as a crutch to get stopped in time and rotated for a corner, and it's a good thing that the turbocharged 13B-REW 2 Rotor Wankel Engine in the Demon Lord has had its rev limit increased by 500rpm over stock to reach 8,500rpm, seemingly just to be used for engine braking!

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The μ Boost Up 7 has been set up to specifically tackle narrow, winding mountain passes such as Gunsai, and despite the Rotary Engine's reputation for being useless and damn near feeling broken when the tach needle is not in range of sniffing the rev limiter, the Demon Lord of Mountain Passes' mountaineering intentions show in the engine's power curves of all places, rather than the tyres or suspension. As its name might have already given away, the μ Boost Up 7 primarily gains power over the stock FD via increasing boost pressure—from a peak of 0.8 Bar to about 1.1 (11.6 to 15.9psi)—but the real story here is just how much of a jolt said boost defibrillates into the low to mid range of the traditionally gutless engine. For some context, 3rd gear will pull from anywhere as low as sub 4k rpm; around 50km/h (32mph), and will continue to pull a little past where it hits peak power at 6,900rpm, at about 150km/h (93mph). Unfortunately, said boost does deflate in a very anti–climatic fashion even before peak power at 6,900rpm, and I personally upshift most gears at 7,000rpm—or "just as soon as you see red in the rev bar" in HUD speak—and even that might be considered a bit late. The exception to that, of course, is when upshifting to the moonshot overdrive 5th gear, for which I'd like to hang onto 4th up to about 7,300rpm—about 40% of the rev bar.

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The idea behind this obscene mid range torque I assume is to allow the car to be lugged out of extremely tight corners in low range 3rd gear, and with such ample headroom in the rev range, shifting can be minimised by holding onto a lower gear when fast approaching yet another corner in an incessantly twisting ribbon of road, such as mountain passes. It's not only conceivable to do some narrow tracks like Horse Thief Mile entirely in 3rd gear without shifting, it genuinely feels like the quickest way to do it! On most "normal" tracks however, this means that the car has to be driven in a somewhat counterintuitive way: downshift immediately on braking to get the most of the much needed engine braking on corner entries to get the car stopped and rotated, only to upshift before hitting the apex to settle the car and make use of its low end grunt to power out of the turn. It'd be really something to watch the footwork of someone driving this car quickly! Once upshifted before the apex, there won't even be much engine noise, only the turbos as they audibly take another hard hit at the good stuff to see them through yet another unreasonable ask of breathing life into a slow spinning Rotary Engine. Step on it, and it will be there, the only noise besides the turbos gasping for more air is the rear tyres crying out in agony if the driver is too used to equating engine noise to power in a Wankel Rotary, and too used to an FD3S RX-7 handling well. But when the driver gets it right, there is a silent, eerie efficiency in how the car rockets itself out of a tight spot, and no matter how many kilometres I put into my μ Boost Up 7, that's something I can never get used to. It always feels uncanny, almost magical, especially to those who have spent a lot of time driving Rotary Engines.

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Being a car categorised by its rare "#Professionally Tuned" tag, the μ Boost Up 7 appears anything but—In my clumsy hands, my fastest lap with the μ Boost Up 7's original settings at 566.37PP around Streets of Willow is a low 1:20, cherry picked from a long list of messy laps. An Amuse NISMO 380RS Super Leggera (567.05PP) and a Porsche Cayman GT4 981 (570.20PP) both fresh from the factory with the same Sports Hard compounds produced mid to low 1:19 laps in the same clumsy hands... after just two laps each, and they were both a lot more consistent than the Demon Lord, not being nervous wrecks to drive! Trust me when I say that a 4PP difference shouldn't amount to a whole second in an 80–second lap. During our weekly lobbies dedicated to the Amemiya FD, no one aside from me wanted to drive the Amemiya FD, and I got walked by everyone in bone stock cars with comparable PP ratings, completely unable to do anything. Contrary to what the "#Professionally Tuned" tag would have people believe, then, the μ Boost Up 7 very badly needs fixing just to perform at a level that its Brand Central fresh 566.37PP would suggest, and even an amateurish hand applying basic fixes, like softening the springs, raising the ride height a bit, and taking away some camber angle would go a long, long way.

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Coming bundled with mid to high tier aftermarket parts for a fraction of the Spirit R RX-7's asking price might seem like a huge bargain at first, but this I find works to the detriment of the Amemiya, because it severely limits the μ Boost Up 7's headroom for growth. For reference, here's all the parts that can be bought for the Amemiya to boost up its performance further:
  • All road tyres (no offroad tyres)
  • Racing Computer
  • Turbo Kits (High, Ultra High)
  • Anti Lag System
  • Racing Air Filter
  • Racing Intercooler
  • Racing Silencer/Muffler
  • Fully Customisable Gearboxes (5–Speed)
  • Racing Brake Pads
  • Racing Brake Kits
  • Brake Balance Controller
  • Hydraulic Handbrake and Steering Angle Adapter
  • Power Restrictor and Ballast
  • Increase Body Rigidity
  • Custom Rear Wing
Crucially, the Amemiya FD doesn't get any mass reduction at all. It completely lacks a wide body option, and the only aerodynamic parts that can be bought for it is a custom rear wing, or the removal of it entirely, which means that it can't just minimise front downforce to game the PP system, having to rely solely on increasing rear downforce to shrink its PP under event requirements. Decreasing the engine's power via the Power Limiter also shifts its already low torque range even lower. Oh, and that Racing Silencer/Muffler? Yeah, that sounds like it came straight from the Public Registry of Ear Offenders that is GT5 and GT6. DON'T.

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While not an issue specific to the μ Boost Up 7, I find it extremely disappointing that the Turbo Kits in this game don't shift the engine's peak output points by any meaningful amount, only decaying the curves by varying amounts in the leadup to said peaks. Peak power and peak torque for the Amemiya is at 6,9 and 5,0 respectively, and even with a racing chip and "ultra high" rpm turbo, those figures end up at 7,2 and 5,1 at most. This is an especially stinging loss for the Amemiya, as I had always wanted to make use of its increased rev limit to feed more boost into the engine for more power, just to see what it'd be like. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to change its power curves or the way it needs to be driven in any meaningful way; it's just stuck as a short shift car ill–suited for high speed tracks, especially because PD is hell bent on not giving 5–speed cars the option for a sixth forward cog.

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Style by XSquareStickIt: 787B-Styled FD3S RX-7
#787b #lemans

Compare all that to a bone stock Mazda RX-7 Spirit R then, which not only has much better balanced power curves, but also has access to a wide body, all of the aforementioned bolt ons for the Amemiya, all four Turbo Kits, carbon prop shaft, 5 stages of mass reduction, a rear diffuser, and is even able to fit both offroad tyres if for whatever reason the fancy strikes. With both FDs retaining their 2–Rotor 13B engines on Sport Hard tyres, the Spirit R maxes out at a whopping 680PP, whereas the Boost Up 7 tops out at a mere 620PP. All this is even before we even take into account the fact that the Spirit R gets an ungodly cheat engine as an engine swap option, the Naturally Aspirated 4 Rotor R26B straight out of the 787B racecar, complete with racecar power, fuel efficiency, and an immaculate power curves! The Amemiya on the other hand, doesn't even get an (ethical) engine swap!

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And so, what we have with the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 is an unbelievably cool looking FD3S RX-7 for a mere 2/5th the asking price of the now horribly inflated Spirit R RX-7's price, albeit one that drives horrendously fresh from the dealership, and has an inexplicably lower performance ceiling than the bone stock car. For the exact same 100,000 Credit asking price, one could buy the Amuse NISMO 380RS Super Leggera, which offers similar performance to the μ Boost Up 7 on the latter's best runs, while being MUCH nicer to drive than the Demon Lord. If money is no object, just get a Cayman GT4 for 130,000 Credits. It's NA, it's rear mid engined, it's got a 6–speed stick, and it's virtually indistinguishable from a bona–fide racecar from the outside.

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I'm not proud to admit this, but seeing almost everyone but me still representing the Amemiya FD in our weekly lobbies dedicated to the Amemiya FD, and getting walked by every single one of them whilst I was completely unable to do anything was genuinely upsetting, to the point where I almost teared up. I'm usually not this invested in a car when testing; the whole point of a test and a review is to ascertain how good a car is, and if a car is bad, it's bad, and I'll just write that it's bad and move on. But the FD3S RX-7 is a car that really speaks to the 10–year–old kid in me, and I was thinking very much like a 10–year–old kid during race day: "It was completely unbeatable in Gunsai! It's supposed to be good at handling! Other people said so in videos!!! This is my HANDLING GOD!!!" I was genuinely upset and mad at Polyphony Digital for doing my childhood hero dirty like that, to the point where I was almost tearing up during race day. (Don't worry, I'm not blaming anyone here in COTW, this is just me having a moment with a very special car. Probably never going to happen again.)

And so hopefully you'll forgive me if I drag out this review by trying a simple fix in attempt to salvage my childhood hero: putting on Sports Soft tyres.

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You see, back in the car's first appearances in the Gran Turismo series with GT5 and GT6, the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 originally came default with Sports Soft tyres, which I believe the car was set up for. In GT Sport, the car came with Sports Hard tyres like almost every road legal car in the game, and, unsurprisingly, many of us in GTS COTW found it to be a twitchy, nervous, grip deprived mess of a car, myself included. But GT Sport, being an e–sports focused title, always did a disservice to road cars with its mindless default tyre allocations, and was always thought of as an exception to the series. Now that everything in GT7 comes with tyres that they ought to—Comfort Hard tyres for an S800 and Sports Medium for a ZL1 Camaro—the fact that the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 still doesn't come with appropriate tyres feels very much like a developer oversight to me.

And so, with a vengeance, I paid Rupert 4,500 Credits to fix my car.

Aaaaaaaaaand the car is still difficult to drive.

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But WHAT a car it became! The wealth of grip offered by the Sports Soft tyres allows the car to bring mind–bending, almost racecar speeds into corners, the likes of which unthinkable for a road legal car. To give some context on just how much speed an SS–shod Demon Lord can bring into a corner, picture this: The Aston Martin Valkyrie—a modern day, carbon clad, track focused, rear mid–engined hypercar with gobs of downforce, heavy F1 influence, and the same Sports Soft compound—dipped to a minimum speed of 104km/h (65mph) on T1 of Red Bull Ring in my hands. The μ Boost Up 7 matched that exactly. It has so much grip that I could overtake the brain dead AI of the Tokyo grind race round the outside, dry line be damned! Slap Racing Hard tyres on the Demon Lord, and it will even match some of the slower Gr.4 machines before BoP blow for blow, 5–speed stick shift and all!

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The advantages and full potential of the wide, low, and light body of the FD3S is fully highlighted here with these springs and tyres, as is the front–midship placement of the 2–Rotor 13B Wankel engine; this car combines the best of both an FR and RMR car, in that it has such an eager front end that slices into corners with precise purpose, yet always has some weight over them that helps with grip when on power or driving in the wet. The tight suspension setup keeps the car dead level and utterly devoid of any unnecessary and wasteful motions, just like that of a racecar, allowing all four of the 255/40R17 Yokohama Advan A048 tyres to work their magic at all times without tasking the driver to choose which tyre is to get grip, and which isn't. With adequate rubber to finally be fully utilised, the Stoptech brakes with Project μ pads bring the Demon Lord down to speed so quickly that my T300RS completely gives up on downshifting Your Majesty quickly enough to engine brake the car properly, making me wish I had a H pattern just so I could skip shift the car... on braking zones. For some context, I enter The Chute of Watkins Glen in 4th gear, often wanting to grab 2nd just for the engine braking, only to want 4th back soon just to power out of it. Despite having a rather high 8,500rpm rev range, this car I daresay has use for well over half of it on the track!

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With the car requiring its own very specific logistical flowchart to be driven optimally, and with very quiet tyres and engine, the μ Boost Up 7 is a car that demands of its driver to be hyper vigilant of the car's quirks and tendencies, and pay full attention to everything that's going on with the car to get the most of its bountiful potential. The car is still twitchy, and it won't hesitate to snap off violently if the driver's concentration or skill lapses for just a split second. Sometimes the springs still feel a bit too stiff, and the diff a bit too clingy. Even seemingly innocuous rumble strips, like the inside of Suzuka's Degner 1, can send the winged beast flying. But that is not to say that it's uncooperative or unwieldy; it does give due tactile and progressive feedback and warning, however quickly those flash by. It just demands an equally fast driver to process all that information and stimuli thrown at them, and make the most of it in several split second decisions squeezed into a single moment. Being an old chassis that is almost entirely reliant on mechanical engineering for its speed, this is a car that has to be driven with the old school adage of "steering with the throttle" in mind. Because of the stiff setup in the μ Boost Up 7, the throttle pedal is indeed very much required to get the car rotated out of most apexes, but there is so much torque and so little engine noise as feedback to work with that it genuinely feels like trying to walk a tightrope with just my right foot with a blindfold on; I'm just forced to know the tyres' breaking point instinctively via repetition, just so I can somewhat consistently keep it right smack in the middle of slip and grip to get the car rotated just so out of corners. Of course, that's much easier written than done; the steering wheel doesn't lighten up much even when the rear tyres let go, and the Demon Lord's appetite for Sports Soft tyres could cleanse the underworld of the compound—4 laps of Watkins Glen at 1x wear is enough to make the HUD show red. This is a car that never feels the same two laps in a row, demanding a driver's full attention, dedication, and a finely calibrated sixth or seventh sense if they have it, just to hold it on that fine line between magic and mayhem.

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Needless to say, trying to extract the most from the μ Boost Up 7 is a fervently intense experience, even—or especially—when The Demon Wears Yokohama. My palms always hurt from all the abrasion against my T300RS wheel after driving it, and I'm always caked in sweat as though I just had a mild workout just sitting on my ass the whole time. It gets my heart and mind racing so fast that I have trouble falling asleep if I drive it too close to bedtime! But while it's a very precarious car to try to get right, it's also one of THE most rewarding cars when the stars and slip angles align, and when I get lucky and have those moments when the car barely lets me get away with what I ask of it, god damn. GOD DAMN. No other car in GT7 has made me smile and laugh like a little kid like that! It may do almost Gr.4 levels of speed on Sports Soft tyres, but it certainly won't baby the driver like those entry–level racecars would. It feels just out of reach for someone of my calibre, and because of that, it always feels fair, challenging, and rewarding to me. And that, I think, is something that is so, so rare in the automotive world today: the μ Boost Up 7 a bloody fast car with personality. The relationship with the car isn't a one–way street, wherein the car just does everything I tell it to without protest or complaint; I talk to it and it talks back to me and we try to find something that works for us both or end up dying. I just can't believe something this bloody raw, brutal, and quick can be allowed on public roads! I almost find it insulting that the newly added Extra Menu Book, "Road–Going Racers", doesn't feature the μ Boost Up 7. In fact, here's what my three Road–Going Racers would look like:

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While slower than the Amuse 380RS and Cayman GT4 on Sports Hard tyres, the script flips when all 3 cars fit the Amemiya's preferred Sports Soft rubber. The μ Boost Up 7 out brakes and out corners the rear–midship Cayman GT4, with the svelte Stuttgart seductress being able to reel back in the chiseled champion from Chiba in the longer straights of Watkins Glen, where the more powerful Cayman with one more forward gear takes full advantage of the Amemiya's limp overdrive 5th gear past 205km/h (127mph). At the end of their roughly 117–second excursions, though, the Amemiya was convincingly ahead of the Porsche by 7 tenths of a second. And while much easier to drive than the Amemiya and Porsche, the Amuse 380RS honestly doesn't even belong in the same conversation in terms of sheer pace, being a whopping 1.5 seconds slower than even the Cayman!

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And, yes, you're seeing that right: the Amemiya was actually the car with the lowest PP rating among the three, meaning it needs just a tick more downforce to its adjustable wing to slip under 600PP on Sports Soft tyres, making it the perfect fit for the Clubman Cup+ event held there! Keep in mind that the Amemiya's 600.05PP already includes a fully customisable suspension and diff, unlike the other two whose PP would raise further with those fully customisable parts! In other words, there is even more free speed to be had from the Demon Lord if you want to make it suit your driving style, and customising it further won't even increase its PP value any!

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Perhaps the game calculates the Amemiya's PP with automatic shifting ill–suited for the μ Boost Up 7, giving it a PP value lower than what would be representative of its capabilities. I think a lot of the Demon Lord's otherworldy speed was in just how blatantly the it could defy common sense and stereotypes by brazenly lugging itself out of The Glen's many tight corners in high gears, shaving off upshifts. In other words, it's bloody quick for a 600PP car on Soft tyres. Also, because of the egregious short shifting the car asks of its driver, the μ Boost Up 7 is shockingly fuel efficient, too; my detuned C6 Corvette does around 2:09 laps in the Tokyo grind race, and has enough fuel for 9 laps flat out. The Amemiya has enough for 11.5 laps... while being only a second off the 'Vette. Not bad for a car that struggles to hit 280km/h (174mph) in clean air, huh?

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If you've understandably written off the car when we raced it in our weekly lobbies, I highly recommend, urge, implore, beg you to give this car a second chance on the Sports Soft tyres it arguably should've come with. If you have a love for tuner culture, Japanese cars, pure sports cars, have a fetish for performance, or just love driving in general, I think you owe it to yourself to give this car a drive on SS tyres—I seriously think it's THAT good. It makes me dearly miss the earlier GT games, where many more such fully built tuner cars were included in the car roster. Tuner culture felt a lot more represented and celebrated back then. The Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 is an all too rare testament in Gran Turismo 7 to how far tuners in real life can take a fairly basic car to with good ol' mechanical engineering, how a Swiss Army Knife of a capable sports car can be adopted to suit various different purposes, and it is a delight to every sense that can be blessed through the digital divide. Maybe there are faster cars at 600PP. Maybe the Spirit R RX-7 can do this and more if I really invested the time into it. But at this point, I just don't care about that crap anymore. This car is a statement, an example, and an experience—one I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world. I had such an exhilarating experience with the car. It was like opening a time capsule from more than a decade ago, and all the emotions and memories of that starry–eyed, innocent, ambitious, and honestly kinda stupid 17–year old kid bared on the track with modern day GT7 physics. It felt like two worlds colliding and meshing together. And in that moment, I nearly teared up again, this time, from overflowing joy.

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And that is all the redemption I needed, and can close this "review" with a smile on my face :)

Really nice write-up. :)
 
The RE雨宮μ過給圧上昇7, read as the "RE Amemiya myu ka kyū-atsu jōshō SEBUN", and roughly translated as the "RE Amemiya μ Boost Pressure Up 7", is a very special car to me, and I've a lot to say about it. It might get a bit personal too. Strap in, grab some popcorn, or not. Your choice.

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Fully built tuner cars are a bit of a rarity here in Gran Turismo 7, given that we can now somewhat replicate the look and feel of tuner models with custom decals, the tuning shop, and even replicas of aero parts offered by real life tuning companies. That said, however, the RE Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 has simply inimitable looks and performance, and I'm very, very glad that it exists in Gran Turismo 7—I genuinely think it's THE best looking 3rd–generation RX-7 to exist, even if the on–track LOD looks like a straight PS3 rip, especially now that I can finally paint mine in Innocent Blue Mica. It is undoubtedly my favourite FD not just for its looks, but also for its unbeatable performance in Gunsai in Hot Version's 2006 Strongest Legends of the Mountain Pass tournament, being crowned as the "Demon Lord of the Mountain Passes" alongside the Amuse S2300 GT-1. And, hey, it's the car that pulled me into this whole Car of the Week shebang :) It means a lot to me.

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Unfortunately, when I say that the performance of the μ Boost Up 7 is "inimitable", what I really meant to say was, "it drives so horribly in GT7 that you would have to actively TRY to make a normal FD drive this heinously". With 3.20 and 3.00Hz spring rates front and rear, the suspension setup of the μ Boost Up 7 is just as stiff, if not stiffer than those found propping up Gr.4 racecars, and yet, it comes only with Sports Hard tyres by default, exactly the same compound as is delivered with a bone stock Spirit R RX-7. The resulting driving experience of the μ Boost Up 7 in GT7 then, is as panic inducing, cold sweat purging, and pit in your stomach simulating experience as tangoing on on a minefield laden tightrope whilst dancing around thrown tomatoes. Weight transfer is simply not a thing in the μ Boost Up 7; the tyres can't even pull enough gs to even start tilting the car in any direction, which means the body of the car doesn't lean in on said tyres to make the most of the already inadequate compound, nor can the car make any sense of its GT3–esque 3.0 and 3.4 degree camber angles, resulting in a car that is simply incapable of doing many of the things that might be typically associated with an automobile, such as stopping, turning, and going in a straight line. It's not just the suspension, either; the differential is also set up extremely tight, resulting in chronic understeer or snapping oversteer in corner entries, if not chronic understeer suddenly snapping into oversteer. Because of these issues, the μ Boost Up 7 is cripplingly reliant on engine braking as a crutch to get stopped in time and rotated for a corner, and it's a good thing that the turbocharged 13B-REW 2 Rotor Wankel Engine in the Demon Lord has had its rev limit increased by 500rpm over stock to reach 8,500rpm, seemingly just to be used for engine braking!

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The μ Boost Up 7 has been set up to specifically tackle narrow, winding mountain passes such as Gunsai, and despite the Rotary Engine's reputation for being useless and damn near feeling broken when the tach needle is not in range of sniffing the rev limiter, the Demon Lord of Mountain Passes' mountaineering intentions show in the engine's power curves of all places, rather than the tyres or suspension. As its name might have already given away, the μ Boost Up 7 primarily gains power over the stock FD via increasing boost pressure—from a peak of 0.8 Bar to about 1.1 (11.6 to 15.9psi)—but the real story here is just how much of a jolt said boost defibrillates into the low to mid range of the traditionally gutless engine. For some context, 3rd gear will pull from anywhere as low as sub 4k rpm; around 50km/h (32mph), and will continue to pull a little past where it hits peak power at 6,900rpm, at about 150km/h (93mph). Unfortunately, said boost does deflate in a very anti–climatic fashion even before peak power at 6,900rpm, and I personally upshift most gears at 7,000rpm—or "just as soon as you see red in the rev bar" in HUD speak—and even that might be considered a bit late. The exception to that, of course, is when upshifting to the moonshot overdrive 5th gear, for which I'd like to hang onto 4th up to about 7,300rpm—about 40% of the rev bar.

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The idea behind this obscene mid range torque I assume is to allow the car to be lugged out of extremely tight corners in low range 3rd gear, and with such ample headroom in the rev range, shifting can be minimised by holding onto a lower gear when fast approaching yet another corner in an incessantly twisting ribbon of road, such as mountain passes. It's not only conceivable to do some narrow tracks like Horse Thief Mile entirely in 3rd gear without shifting, it genuinely feels like the quickest way to do it! On most "normal" tracks however, this means that the car has to be driven in a somewhat counterintuitive way: downshift immediately on braking to get the most of the much needed engine braking on corner entries to get the car stopped and rotated, only to upshift before hitting the apex to settle the car and make use of its low end grunt to power out of the turn. It'd be really something to watch the footwork of someone driving this car quickly! Once upshifted before the apex, there won't even be much engine noise, only the turbos as they audibly take another hard hit at the good stuff to see them through yet another unreasonable ask of breathing life into a slow spinning Rotary Engine. Step on it, and it will be there, the only noise besides the turbos gasping for more air is the rear tyres crying out in agony if the driver is too used to equating engine noise to power in a Wankel Rotary, and too used to an FD3S RX-7 handling well. But when the driver gets it right, there is a silent, eerie efficiency in how the car rockets itself out of a tight spot, and no matter how many kilometres I put into my μ Boost Up 7, that's something I can never get used to. It always feels uncanny, almost magical, especially to those who have spent a lot of time driving Rotary Engines.

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Being a car categorised by its rare "#Professionally Tuned" tag, the μ Boost Up 7 appears anything but—In my clumsy hands, my fastest lap with the μ Boost Up 7's original settings at 566.37PP around Streets of Willow is a low 1:20, cherry picked from a long list of messy laps. An Amuse NISMO 380RS Super Leggera (567.05PP) and a Porsche Cayman GT4 981 (570.20PP) both fresh from the factory with the same Sports Hard compounds produced mid to low 1:19 laps in the same clumsy hands... after just two laps each, and they were both a lot more consistent than the Demon Lord, not being nervous wrecks to drive! Trust me when I say that a 4PP difference shouldn't amount to a whole second in an 80–second lap. During our weekly lobbies dedicated to the Amemiya FD, no one aside from me wanted to drive the Amemiya FD, and I got walked by everyone in bone stock cars with comparable PP ratings, completely unable to do anything. Contrary to what the "#Professionally Tuned" tag would have people believe, then, the μ Boost Up 7 very badly needs fixing just to perform at a level that its Brand Central fresh 566.37PP would suggest, and even an amateurish hand applying basic fixes, like softening the springs, raising the ride height a bit, and taking away some camber angle would go a long, long way.

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Coming bundled with mid to high tier aftermarket parts for a fraction of the Spirit R RX-7's asking price might seem like a huge bargain at first, but this I find works to the detriment of the Amemiya, because it severely limits the μ Boost Up 7's headroom for growth. For reference, here's all the parts that can be bought for the Amemiya to boost up its performance further:
  • All road tyres (no offroad tyres)
  • Racing Computer
  • Turbo Kits (High, Ultra High)
  • Anti Lag System
  • Racing Air Filter
  • Racing Intercooler
  • Racing Silencer/Muffler
  • Fully Customisable Gearboxes (5–Speed)
  • Racing Brake Pads
  • Racing Brake Kits
  • Brake Balance Controller
  • Hydraulic Handbrake and Steering Angle Adapter
  • Power Restrictor and Ballast
  • Increase Body Rigidity
  • Custom Rear Wing
Crucially, the Amemiya FD doesn't get any mass reduction at all. It completely lacks a wide body option, and the only aerodynamic parts that can be bought for it is a custom rear wing, or the removal of it entirely, which means that it can't just minimise front downforce to game the PP system, having to rely solely on increasing rear downforce to shrink its PP under event requirements. Decreasing the engine's power via the Power Limiter also shifts its already low torque range even lower. Oh, and that Racing Silencer/Muffler? Yeah, that sounds like it came straight from the Public Registry of Ear Offenders that is GT5 and GT6. DON'T.

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While not an issue specific to the μ Boost Up 7, I find it extremely disappointing that the Turbo Kits in this game don't shift the engine's peak output points by any meaningful amount, only decaying the curves by varying amounts in the leadup to said peaks. Peak power and peak torque for the Amemiya is at 6,9 and 5,0 respectively, and even with a racing chip and "ultra high" rpm turbo, those figures end up at 7,2 and 5,1 at most. This is an especially stinging loss for the Amemiya, as I had always wanted to make use of its increased rev limit to feed more boost into the engine for more power, just to see what it'd be like. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to change its power curves or the way it needs to be driven in any meaningful way; it's just stuck as a short shift car ill–suited for high speed tracks, especially because PD is hell bent on not giving 5–speed cars the option for a sixth forward cog.

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Style by XSquareStickIt: 787B-Styled FD3S RX-7
#787b #lemans

Compare all that to a bone stock Mazda RX-7 Spirit R then, which not only has much better balanced power curves, but also has access to a wide body, all of the aforementioned bolt ons for the Amemiya, all four Turbo Kits, carbon prop shaft, 5 stages of mass reduction, a rear diffuser, and is even able to fit both offroad tyres if for whatever reason the fancy strikes. With both FDs retaining their 2–Rotor 13B engines on Sport Hard tyres, the Spirit R maxes out at a whopping 680PP, whereas the Boost Up 7 tops out at a mere 620PP. All this is even before we even take into account the fact that the Spirit R gets an ungodly cheat engine as an engine swap option, the Naturally Aspirated 4 Rotor R26B straight out of the 787B racecar, complete with racecar power, fuel efficiency, and an immaculate power curves! The Amemiya on the other hand, doesn't even get an (ethical) engine swap!

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And so, what we have with the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 is an unbelievably cool looking FD3S RX-7 for a mere 2/5th the asking price of the now horribly inflated Spirit R RX-7's price, albeit one that drives horrendously fresh from the dealership, and has an inexplicably lower performance ceiling than the bone stock car. For the exact same 100,000 Credit asking price, one could buy the Amuse NISMO 380RS Super Leggera, which offers similar performance to the μ Boost Up 7 on the latter's best runs, while being MUCH nicer to drive than the Demon Lord. If money is no object, just get a Cayman GT4 for 130,000 Credits. It's NA, it's rear mid engined, it's got a 6–speed stick, and it's virtually indistinguishable from a bona–fide racecar from the outside.

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I'm not proud to admit this, but seeing almost everyone but me still representing the Amemiya FD in our weekly lobbies dedicated to the Amemiya FD, and getting walked by every single one of them whilst I was completely unable to do anything was genuinely upsetting, to the point where I almost teared up. I'm usually not this invested in a car when testing; the whole point of a test and a review is to ascertain how good a car is, and if a car is bad, it's bad, and I'll just write that it's bad and move on. But the FD3S RX-7 is a car that really speaks to the 10–year–old kid in me, and I was thinking very much like a 10–year–old kid during race day: "It was completely unbeatable in Gunsai! It's supposed to be good at handling! Other people said so in videos!!! This is my HANDLING GOD!!!" I was genuinely upset and mad at Polyphony Digital for doing my childhood hero dirty like that, to the point where I was almost tearing up during race day. (Don't worry, I'm not blaming anyone here in COTW, this is just me having a moment with a very special car. Probably never going to happen again.)

And so hopefully you'll forgive me if I drag out this review by trying a simple fix in attempt to salvage my childhood hero: putting on Sports Soft tyres.

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You see, back in the car's first appearances in the Gran Turismo series with GT5 and GT6, the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 originally came default with Sports Soft tyres, which I believe the car was set up for. In GT Sport, the car came with Sports Hard tyres like almost every road legal car in the game, and, unsurprisingly, many of us in GTS COTW found it to be a twitchy, nervous, grip deprived mess of a car, myself included. But GT Sport, being an e–sports focused title, always did a disservice to road cars with its mindless default tyre allocations, and was always thought of as an exception to the series. Now that everything in GT7 comes with tyres that they ought to—Comfort Hard tyres for an S800 and Sports Medium for a ZL1 Camaro—the fact that the Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 still doesn't come with appropriate tyres feels very much like a developer oversight to me.

And so, with a vengeance, I paid Rupert 4,500 Credits to fix my car.

Aaaaaaaaaand the car is still difficult to drive.

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But WHAT a car it became! The wealth of grip offered by the Sports Soft tyres allows the car to bring mind–bending, almost racecar speeds into corners, the likes of which unthinkable for a road legal car. To give some context on just how much speed an SS–shod Demon Lord can bring into a corner, picture this: The Aston Martin Valkyrie—a modern day, carbon clad, track focused, rear mid–engined hypercar with gobs of downforce, heavy F1 influence, and the same Sports Soft compound—dipped to a minimum speed of 104km/h (65mph) on T1 of Red Bull Ring in my hands. The μ Boost Up 7 matched that exactly. It has so much grip that I could overtake the brain dead AI of the Tokyo grind race round the outside, dry line be damned! Slap Racing Hard tyres on the Demon Lord, and it will even match some of the slower Gr.4 machines before BoP blow for blow, 5–speed stick shift and all!

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The advantages and full potential of the wide, low, and light body of the FD3S is fully highlighted here with these springs and tyres, as is the front–midship placement of the 2–Rotor 13B Wankel engine; this car combines the best of both an FR and RMR car, in that it has such an eager front end that slices into corners with precise purpose, yet always has some weight over them that helps with grip when on power or driving in the wet. The tight suspension setup keeps the car dead level and utterly devoid of any unnecessary and wasteful motions, just like that of a racecar, allowing all four of the 255/40R17 Yokohama Advan A048 tyres to work their magic at all times without tasking the driver to choose which tyre is to get grip, and which isn't. With adequate rubber to finally be fully utilised, the Stoptech brakes with Project μ pads bring the Demon Lord down to speed so quickly that my T300RS completely gives up on downshifting Your Majesty quickly enough to engine brake the car properly, making me wish I had a H pattern just so I could skip shift the car... on braking zones. For some context, I enter The Chute of Watkins Glen in 4th gear, often wanting to grab 2nd just for the engine braking, only to want 4th back soon just to power out of it. Despite having a rather high 8,500rpm rev range, this car I daresay has use for well over half of it on the track!

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With the car requiring its own very specific logistical flowchart to be driven optimally, and with very quiet tyres and engine, the μ Boost Up 7 is a car that demands of its driver to be hyper vigilant of the car's quirks and tendencies, and pay full attention to everything that's going on with the car to get the most of its bountiful potential. The car is still twitchy, and it won't hesitate to snap off violently if the driver's concentration or skill lapses for just a split second. Sometimes the springs still feel a bit too stiff, and the diff a bit too clingy. Even seemingly innocuous rumble strips, like the inside of Suzuka's Degner 1, can send the winged beast flying. But that is not to say that it's uncooperative or unwieldy; it does give due tactile and progressive feedback and warning, however quickly those flash by. It just demands an equally fast driver to process all that information and stimuli thrown at them, and make the most of it in several split second decisions squeezed into a single moment. Being an old chassis that is almost entirely reliant on mechanical engineering for its speed, this is a car that has to be driven with the old school adage of "steering with the throttle" in mind. Because of the stiff setup in the μ Boost Up 7, the throttle pedal is indeed very much required to get the car rotated out of most apexes, but there is so much torque and so little engine noise as feedback to work with that it genuinely feels like trying to walk a tightrope with just my right foot with a blindfold on; I'm just forced to know the tyres' breaking point instinctively via repetition, just so I can somewhat consistently keep it right smack in the middle of slip and grip to get the car rotated just so out of corners. Of course, that's much easier written than done; the steering wheel doesn't lighten up much even when the rear tyres let go, and the Demon Lord's appetite for Sports Soft tyres could cleanse the underworld of the compound—4 laps of Watkins Glen at 1x wear is enough to make the HUD show red. This is a car that never feels the same two laps in a row, demanding a driver's full attention, dedication, and a finely calibrated sixth or seventh sense if they have it, just to hold it on that fine line between magic and mayhem.

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Needless to say, trying to extract the most from the μ Boost Up 7 is a fervently intense experience, even—or especially—when The Demon Wears Yokohama. My palms always hurt from all the abrasion against my T300RS wheel after driving it, and I'm always caked in sweat as though I just had a mild workout just sitting on my ass the whole time. It gets my heart and mind racing so fast that I have trouble falling asleep if I drive it too close to bedtime! But while it's a very precarious car to try to get right, it's also one of THE most rewarding cars when the stars and slip angles align, and when I get lucky and have those moments when the car barely lets me get away with what I ask of it, god damn. GOD DAMN. No other car in GT7 has made me smile and laugh like a little kid like that! It may do almost Gr.4 levels of speed on Sports Soft tyres, but it certainly won't baby the driver like those entry–level racecars would. It feels just out of reach for someone of my calibre, and because of that, it always feels fair, challenging, and rewarding to me. And that, I think, is something that is so, so rare in the automotive world today: the μ Boost Up 7 a bloody fast car with personality. The relationship with the car isn't a one–way street, wherein the car just does everything I tell it to without protest or complaint; I talk to it and it talks back to me and we try to find something that works for us both or end up dying. I just can't believe something this bloody raw, brutal, and quick can be allowed on public roads! I almost find it insulting that the newly added Extra Menu Book, "Road–Going Racers", doesn't feature the μ Boost Up 7. In fact, here's what my three Road–Going Racers would look like:

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While slower than the Amuse 380RS and Cayman GT4 on Sports Hard tyres, the script flips when all 3 cars fit the Amemiya's preferred Sports Soft rubber. The μ Boost Up 7 out brakes and out corners the rear–midship Cayman GT4, with the svelte Stuttgart seductress being able to reel back in the chiseled champion from Chiba in the longer straights of Watkins Glen, where the more powerful Cayman with one more forward gear takes full advantage of the Amemiya's limp overdrive 5th gear past 205km/h (127mph). At the end of their roughly 117–second excursions, though, the Amemiya was convincingly ahead of the Porsche by 7 tenths of a second. And while much easier to drive than the Amemiya and Porsche, the Amuse 380RS honestly doesn't even belong in the same conversation in terms of sheer pace, being a whopping 1.5 seconds slower than even the Cayman!

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And, yes, you're seeing that right: the Amemiya was actually the car with the lowest PP rating among the three, meaning it needs just a tick more downforce to its adjustable wing to slip under 600PP on Sports Soft tyres, making it the perfect fit for the Clubman Cup+ event held there! Keep in mind that the Amemiya's 600.05PP already includes a fully customisable suspension and diff, unlike the other two whose PP would raise further with those fully customisable parts! In other words, there is even more free speed to be had from the Demon Lord if you want to make it suit your driving style, and customising it further won't even increase its PP value any!

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Perhaps the game calculates the Amemiya's PP with automatic shifting ill–suited for the μ Boost Up 7, giving it a PP value lower than what would be representative of its capabilities. I think a lot of the Demon Lord's otherworldy speed was in just how blatantly the it could defy common sense and stereotypes by brazenly lugging itself out of The Glen's many tight corners in high gears, shaving off upshifts. In other words, it's bloody quick for a 600PP car on Soft tyres. Also, because of the egregious short shifting the car asks of its driver, the μ Boost Up 7 is shockingly fuel efficient, too; my detuned C6 Corvette does around 2:09 laps in the Tokyo grind race, and has enough fuel for 9 laps flat out. The Amemiya has enough for 11.5 laps... while being only a second off the 'Vette. Not bad for a car that struggles to hit 280km/h (174mph) in clean air, huh?

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If you've understandably written off the car when we raced it in our weekly lobbies, I highly recommend, urge, implore, beg you to give this car a second chance on the Sports Soft tyres it arguably should've come with. If you have a love for tuner culture, Japanese cars, pure sports cars, have a fetish for performance, or just love driving in general, I think you owe it to yourself to give this car a drive on SS tyres—I seriously think it's THAT good. It makes me dearly miss the earlier GT games, where many more such fully built tuner cars were included in the car roster. Tuner culture felt a lot more represented and celebrated back then. The Amemiya μ Boost Up 7 is an all too rare testament in Gran Turismo 7 to how far tuners in real life can take a fairly basic car to with good ol' mechanical engineering, how a Swiss Army Knife of a capable sports car can be adopted to suit various different purposes, and it is a delight to every sense that can be blessed through the digital divide. Maybe there are faster cars at 600PP. Maybe the Spirit R RX-7 can do this and more if I really invested the time into it. But at this point, I just don't care about that crap anymore. This car is a statement, an example, and an experience—one I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world. I had such an exhilarating experience with the car. It was like opening a time capsule from more than a decade ago, and all the emotions and memories of that starry–eyed, innocent, ambitious, and honestly kinda stupid 17–year old kid bared on the track with modern day GT7 physics. It felt like two worlds colliding and meshing together. And in that moment, I nearly teared up again, this time, from overflowing joy.

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And that is all the redemption I needed, and can close this "review" with a smile on my face :)

Great write-up Square. Honestly makes me want to take it for a spin tomorrow! For me personally, I always do my baseline testing with the car bone-stock “as purchased” from the dealership. But the majority of my testing with many cars is usually done with whatever tires I would expect to find on said car in modern day. For this week’s BMW, I used Sport Hards and Sport Mediums. For that Silvia we tested a few months ago, I kept the tires stock. I’m honestly shocked that the Ameya came with SH tires from the dealership. I would expect SM’s at a minimum being that this is a track-focused tuner car first and foremost. In fact, I won’t even bother with the stock tires when I give it a spin tomorrow. And just for kicks, I’m gonna slap some racing tires on it just to see how well it does against bonified Gr.4 cars, like the Silvia.
 
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It's Week 34.

And there's only one appropriate car for this week:

The Mini Cooper S '05!

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For those feeling a bit lost as to why this is the only car appropriate for this week, don't worry—it's an old inside joke I'm wearing thin.

Seeing as the joke originated from an offroading Countryman, I thought it'd only be appropriate to set this week's special challenge on a dirt track! This week's ~Special Challenge!~ is to win the World Touring Car 600 event at the Catalunya Rallycross layout, bonus points if you can manage it on Hard difficulty!
 
Welcome to yet another episode of SPD takes yet another fruitless weekly challenge too seriously.
Week 34 Edition



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So this week's challenge is to win a certain event. Sounds simple enough, but when the devil is in the details, well, you can say it's an interesting way to say an offroading hell. What might be a quick 20 minutes journey in and out turned into, umm, whatever purgatory Squidward had to deal with when not wanting to join up in the Flying Dutchman's crew in Shanghaied. Since I'm actually pretty disappointed my rage isn't being channeled properly, here's my documenting of this tragedy on wheels and maybe that's where the anger will go.

It's just win the WTC600. However, after hours of tuning and within limitations, the challenge just isn't feasible. Well, outside playing it on easy mode. Let's say playing easy isn't good for me in the long and short runs. Well, it's just not good for me. So I've rounded out 3 issues with the challenge that I feel contribute to my suffering that isn't the meme we're running this week.


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Let's begin with the event. Nothing too fancy here. Restricted to only dirt tires and 600 PP, you have a good choice of cars that can beat this no issue. However, given that Catalunya Rallycross is a tight circuit, getting through 12 cars is going to be an issue. A minor one, but still.

Also, penalties are on for track limits, so aside using the AI for a second brake, there's no cheesing this gouda. Nitrous is allowed, but considering the limitations, it's not going to help. I tried. Nobody has to deny that too much wheelspin for racing is bad. It'd probably be better if this week's supposed nominee actually existed in the game, y'know.


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The FWD drivetrain contributes much to the car's overall performance. A fully pumped up Cooper S on dirt will give out 570 PP, which is a noticeable deficit to the limit. Not to mention that unless we're on slicks, these things aren't going to be nice to drive at this range of performance.

Before we can blame on the car being lackluster on dirt, it's actually otherwise: quite a joy! The best lap I can get with this car is by the middling of the 48 seconds sector, with, of course, a lot of tuning and liberal use of the TC and nitrous. I tune this car a lot, and there's a lot in Mini Mexico that teaches me on making off-roading beasts. If anything, this says I probably know what I'm doing.

And if you think it's bad on the MINI, it's worse on certain other cars in this drivetrain, notably the ones with turbos. Enough testing with a few 2WD cars and if not impossible, it's a real effort to win with a 2WD compared to an AWD car.


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THe biggest issue is that the challenge is asking to win.

Outside of Easy, there's one consistent obstacle: AI Yamanaka. If you wanted to shuffle the AI cars for an easier time, Yamanaka's going to be one step ahead and consistently be present in what might be the perfect car for this event: the peppy and compact GR Yaris.

The Yaris has an excellent profile for this tight circuit that'll allow the weaksauce AI to get it around, as I witness, in 47 seconds flat: which is the pace I would get when I try out such a similarly made machine. It's also not just him too. Other unicorns can come in the form of an Evo 6, Genesis, 22B and a Focus RS, though they I usually find lag behind a teensy weensy bit from Yamanaka's killer Yaris. In fact, what I usually do in my attempts is to look out for Yamanaka on the leaderboard, and do a fresh reset should he get to the lead. It'll be gone before you know it. AI Yamanaka's also quite prone to breaking the Geneva Convention should you overtake, so if you do survive that, you might not survive what happens after.


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And what's come of this? Well, umm.. it's impossible to win this on Normal unless we get an engine swap, and hope it's not one with a turbo. If you want to test this, you need to cross the finish line before 5 minutes, because the Yamanaka Yaris finishes just by then most times I've observed. So, umm.. I guess I'm taking another week off supposedly for pretend anger reasons. Enjoy Week 34. Might be the last time we remember it as the day the JCW Countryman was snatched clean from me.


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In other news, what else should be a part of this week's celebrations? Of course: the only AWD MINI in the game, coming at you as the MINI Clubman VGT from Week 14, and well: it's completely insane in this challenge, and will destroy the competition in this event. Destroy meaning about a very possible 10 seconds ahead of AI Yamanaka in pure rallying joy. If by chance this car's still in your garage from that time, and you need this event beat, this is the biggest, fattest, ugliest fake clear throat you might hear.
 
Welcome to yet another episode of SPD takes yet another fruitless weekly challenge too seriously.
Week 34 Edition



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So this week's challenge is to win a certain event. Sounds simple enough, but when the devil is in the details, well, you can say it's an interesting way to say an offroading hell. What might be a quick 20 minutes journey in and out turned into, umm, whatever purgatory Squidward had to deal with when not wanting to join up in the Flying Dutchman's crew in Shanghaied. Since I'm actually pretty disappointed my rage isn't being channeled properly, here's my documenting of this tragedy on wheels and maybe that's where the anger will go.

It's just win the WTC600. However, after hours of tuning and within limitations, the challenge just isn't feasible. Well, outside playing it on easy mode. Let's say playing easy isn't good for me in the long and short runs. Well, it's just not good for me. So I've rounded out 3 issues with the challenge that I feel contribute to my suffering that isn't the meme we're running this week.


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Let's begin with the event. Nothing too fancy here. Restricted to only dirt tires and 600 PP, you have a good choice of cars that can beat this no issue. However, given that Catalunya Rallycross is a tight circuit, getting through 12 cars is going to be an issue. A minor one, but still.

Also, penalties are on for track limits, so aside using the AI for a second brake, there's no cheesing this gouda. Nitrous is allowed, but considering the limitations, it's not going to help. I tried. Nobody has to deny that too much wheelspin for racing is bad. It'd probably be better if this week's supposed nominee actually existed in the game, y'know.


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The FWD drivetrain contributes much to the car's overall performance. A fully pumped up Cooper S on dirt will give out 570 PP, which is a noticeable deficit to the limit. Not to mention that unless we're on slicks, these things aren't going to be nice to drive at this range of performance.

Before we can blame on the car being lackluster on dirt, it's actually otherwise: quite a joy! The best lap I can get with this car is by the middling of the 48 seconds sector, with, of course, a lot of tuning and liberal use of the TC and nitrous. I tune this car a lot, and there's a lot in Mini Mexico that teaches me on making off-roading beasts. If anything, this says I probably know what I'm doing.

And if you think it's bad on the MINI, it's worse on certain other cars in this drivetrain, notably the ones with turbos. Enough testing with a few 2WD cars and if not impossible, it's a real effort to win with a 2WD compared to an AWD car.


full



THe biggest issue is that the challenge is asking to win.

Outside of Easy, there's one consistent obstacle: AI Yamanaka. If you wanted to shuffle the AI cars for an easier time, Yamanaka's going to be one step ahead and consistently be present in what might be the perfect car for this event: the peppy and compact GR Yaris.

The Yaris has an excellent profile for this tight circuit that'll allow the weaksauce AI to get it around, as I witness, in 47 seconds flat: which is the pace I would get when I try out such a similarly made machine. It's also not just him too. Other unicorns can come in the form of an Evo 6, Genesis, 22B and a Focus RS, though they I usually find lag behind a teensy weensy bit from Yamanaka's killer Yaris. In fact, what I usually do in my attempts is to look out for Yamanaka on the leaderboard, and do a fresh reset should he get to the lead. It'll be gone before you know it. AI Yamanaka's also quite prone to breaking the Geneva Convention should you overtake, so if you do survive that, you might not survive what happens after.


full



And what's come of this? Well, umm.. it's impossible to win this on Normal unless we get an engine swap, and hope it's not one with a turbo. If you want to test this, you need to cross the finish line before 5 minutes, because the Yamanaka Yaris finishes just by then most times I've observed. So, umm.. I guess I'm taking another week off supposedly for pretend anger reasons. Enjoy Week 34. Might be the last time we remember it as the day the JCW Countryman was snatched clean from me.


full



In other news, what else should be a part of this week's celebrations? Of course: the only AWD MINI in the game, coming at you as the MINI Clubman VGT from Week 14, and well: it's completely insane in this challenge, and will destroy the competition in this event. Destroy meaning about a very possible 10 seconds ahead of AI Yamanaka in pure rallying joy. If by chance this car's still in your garage from that time, and you need this event beat, this is the biggest, fattest, ugliest fake clear throat you might hear.
So I've succeeded in making you rage in Week 34, but you go and deny me those magical three words?
Who's the anti–climatic person now? :)

In all seriousness though, I thought I must suck at tuning and driving FFs to struggle so much, and wanted to see if anyone else can muster the challenge. Sorry if this week's challenge is pretty half baked and/or impossible.

Maybe if you could reveal your fastest total time over those 5 laps through traffic, we can make that the new challenge to beat?
 
Well, alright, if there are masochists out there.

I just got a 5:09 best run, and it's with mistakes left and right (see what I did, heh? I mean..). I'm thinking of ways to cut that down by a few seconds, but maybe I don't think I want to make this impossible.

How about:
  • WTC600 Catalunya Rallycross 6 lap race
  • Under 5:10 in any form of the MINI Cooper S '05
  • Go ham: you're allowed to cut the track (watch for penalties) and hit your fellow competitors. It's quite unlikely you can actually reach AI Yamanaka, but if you do, you are, emm persuaded to ram him.

The iconic 3 word sentence was ready, but, well.. it didn't tick the box for what car came out this week.
 
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Well, alright, if there are masochists out there.

I just got a 5:09 best run, and it's with mistakes left and right (see what I did, heh? I mean..). I'm thinking of ways to cut that down by a few seconds, but maybe I don't think I want to make this impossible.

How about:
  • WTC600 Catalunya Rallycross 6 lap race
  • Under 5:10 in any form of the MINI Cooper S '05
  • Go ham: you're allowed to cut the track (watch for penalties) and hit your fellow competitors. It's quite unlikely you can actually reach AI Yamanaka, but if you do, you are, emm persuaded to ram him.

The iconic 3 word sentence was ready, but, well.. it didn't tick the box for what car came out this week.
I'm taking this one on just to see you say those three words in this thread. :mischievous:
 
I'm taking this one on just to see you say those three words in this thread. :mischievous:
I just got a 5:09 best run, and it's with mistakes left and right (see what I did, heh? I mean..). I'm thinking of ways to cut that down by a few seconds, but maybe I don't think I want to make this impossible.

How about:
  • WTC600 Catalunya Rallycross 6 lap race
  • Under 5:10 in any form of the MINI Cooper S '05
  • Go ham: you're allowed to cut the track (watch for penalties) and hit your fellow competitors. It's quite unlikely you can actually reach AI Yamanaka, but if you do, you are, emm persuaded to ram him.
Done.
This week's ~Special Challenge!~ is to win the World Touring Car 600 event at the Catalunya Rallycross layout, bonus points if you can manage it on Hard difficulty!
Also done. On Hard, too - posted a short recording in the PSN to verify.

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And the tune:
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I still maintain that this car is a Sleeper.
 
IMG_8781.jpeg


As one of the two people that voted the ‘05 Mini Cooper S to be the 2022 Car of the Year, I feel like I’m obligated to at least make a post about it.

Developed by BMW and designed by Frank Stephenson, the new Mini was launched the very same year the original Mini was discontinued in 2000. The Mini Cooper S is the hot hatch of the Gen 1 Mini model range, bolting an Eaton supercharger onto the I4 Tritec engine and channeling its 167 horses and 220 Nm to the front wheels via a 6 speed Getrag gearbox.

Mini has always touted the Cooper S to have go-kart handling, and it certainly shows in GT7. Despite being FWD, understeer usually is not an issue and unless you chucked it into a corner with way too much speed, lifting off or trail-braking is usually enough to correct the car. The supercharged Tritec gives plenty of punch out of the corners and paired with the car’s responsive handling, the Mini gives its driver no shortage of confidence to attack the next corner and floor it on exit. A pocket rocket ready and eager to give you plenty of fun, be it on the road or on track.

IMG_8782.jpeg


“Now I’ve decided to restart for the first time,
Just saying “I want to be like you” is all you need, right?
Not knowing the reason why, not needing the reason why,
We enjoy the joys of immorality!”

-
RAD DOGS by Vivid BAD SQUAD


It is this easy handling and sheer driving fun that made me choose the Mini Cooper S as the 2022 Car of the Year, and driving it in GT7 only reaffirms my opinion.

IMG_8783.jpeg
 
HOW DARE YOU not say the line throughout the entire week, @SomePlayaDude , especially after @Obelisk showed you up! HOW DARE YOU!!!

(cough. Seriously though, Obe, that was one hella impressive feat.)

Anyway, it's @Alex p. 's turn to pick this week... you know what this means. You just don't know which car is the next slowest on his list...

Well, wonder no more, it's the Autobianchi A112 Abarth '85!

グランツーリスモ™ 7_20231202200654.png


Alex p.
Hey, so this time we're finally breaking the 10 minute barrier around the Nords with my pick. ;) It's the Autobianchi A112 Abarth '85. :)

And as for this week's ~Special Challenge~, Alex himself challenges you to beat his Nordschleife lap time in a bone stock A112 Abarth by 1.5 seconds! What's the target time, you ask? Good question, because I wasn't made known of it myself! Just wait for Alex's routine Nordschleife video post soon™!

While he might have framed it as a time attack challenge, I deeply suspect the real challenge is staying awake behind the wheel of this thing...
 
HOW DARE YOU not say the line throughout the entire week, @SomePlayaDude , especially after @Obelisk showed you up! HOW DARE YOU!!!

(cough. Seriously though, Obe, that was one hella impressive feat.)

Anyway, it's @Alex p. 's turn to pick this week... you know what this means. You just don't know which car is the next slowest on his list...

Well, wonder no more, it's the Autobianchi A112 Abarth '85!

View attachment 1308397



And as for this week's ~Special Challenge~, Alex himself challenges you to beat his Nordschleife lap time in a bone stock A112 Abarth by 1.5 seconds! What's the target time, you ask? Good question, because I wasn't made known of it myself! Just wait for Alex's routine Nordschleife video post soon™!

While he might have framed it as a time attack challenge, I deeply suspect the real challenge is staying awake behind the wheel of this thing...

Thx, as always for the funny introduction Square haha. So the target time to beat by 1.5 seconds would be a 09.53.525. Thus, you'd need a 09.52.025 at least. Have fun! Trololol ;D



BTW. I actually think it's fun to drive, thus I'll give it a slight sleeper status.
 
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Thx, as always for the funny introduction Square haha. So the target time to beat by 1.5 seconds would be a 09.53.525. Thus, you'd need a 09.52.025 at least. Have fun! Trololol ;D



BTW. I actually think it's fun to drive, thus I'll give it a slight sleeper status.

I did 10:01.xxx with stock comfort mediums, so not quite there. With sport hards it did 09:41.247. Top speed on the Döttinger Höhe was 166 kph.
 
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Finally got around to testing the Mini. Like 75% of the FF cars we test, this one sucked for the most part too. Normally I give bonus points to a car right off the bat if said car comes equipped with an H-Pattern shifter from the dealership. The cooper had playful handling coupled with the best in-class brakes I’ve ever experienced. The Comfort Soft tires didn’t seem to hold it back the least bit either - which I equate to its spongy suspension. After spinning about 10 laps at the COTW test track, I wondered if upgrading the suspension to tighter specs would quell this “uninspired” feeling I couldn’t shake. After letting my mind wander over the course of the next 5 lap stint, I decided that this car didn’t need tighter suspension or better tires, but rather, more noise. I bolted on some straight pipes, new headers and a racing air filter. And with that, I knocked 3/4 of a second off my lap time whilst gaining hand over fist what this car was missing - - -




Machismo.

Sound.

Noise.


With that, I will award this car a ‘neutral’ verdict.

…by the skin of its teeth.






IMG_3885.jpeg
 
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Quick thoughts on the A112:
It's essentially a 1980s version of the Copen. It drives similarly, but without the tremendous power loss after peak HP.

Four successful runs at the nurb have me down to a 10:07.6, with plenty of room to improve. Just adjusting to some slight tweaks in the sim rig.

Sleeper in lower PP races.

Also finally working on another part to the story I started with the FC...
 
Late Dodge Demon review: It managed a more than respectable (actually an admireable) time: 07.13.207! YT review: "First time ever in a GT, that is a pretty nice addition. Looks a little like a brick only good for going quick in a straight line lel, but it's actually VERY quick around a track, IF driven right. So is its handling good then? Short answer: no. It's actually REALLY bad haha. Just look at the gears used and my throttle input, man this car requieres lots of delicate control!"



1km drag race against one of its main rivals:



Verdict: sleeper because of its actually possible performance, beater because of its handling.
 
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As most might have noticed, I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now in terms of both racing and writing, but then along comes @SomePlayaDude and his pick for this week, which will more than tempt me back into the game...

His third, and still very American pick for Week 36, is the Dodge Viper GTS '13!

グランツーリスモ™ 7_20231210131258.png

SomePlayaDude
The final version of Dodge's greatest sports flagship was not only the first Viper I ever fell a great love for, but the Top Gear made slogan 'made the Mercedes SLS AMG look tame' always kept coming, and I can't disagree. No matter what I do, I can't stop obsessing with it.

In Horizon 5, I dubbed it as a refined American muscle car with attractive sports car tendencies, which made it a very interesting blend of performance. I look forward to see how accurate that statement remained going here, and if it translated for better or worse.

And that's not all! SPD himself has also stepped up to set the ~Special Challenge~ this week!
SomePlayaDude
How about a tuner showdown? I want to perfect my own Viper, and I want more than a second opinion. This is for Test specifications: running on Yamagiwa, 600.00 PP maximum, front and rears on sports hard compound, no nitro wide kit or Chiron engine swap. And also no budget restrictions. Go wild.

Best time is the winner, obviously. I will love (inb4 HomoPlayaDude joke) anyone who makes it a purist build.

For anyone else out there, our weekly lobbies are still going, so if you're looking to get involved, just remember this poignant quote laced with typical British snark, "When it comes to Dodge Vipers, regardless of which one you drive, one thing is constant. You're one slip up away from it turning around and biting."
 

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