Pedal of Choice - Issue 4 Out Now!!!

Discussion in 'Gran Turismo 5: Prologue' started by Paulie, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Dragonistic

    Dragonistic

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    5,677
    I had a couple of ideas myself for what you could do through the power of video, from head-to-head battles to video reviews (be it speech or subtitled) it opens up the boundries a bit more but they are still only support features to the core magazine.
     
  2. Zimmerd

    Zimmerd

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    1,030
    Consistently good..:)
     
  3. C-ZETA

    C-ZETA

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    England
    I really liked the new issue, was really interesting to me.
     
  4. ASH32

    ASH32

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    England
    First of all thanks for the comments, I have been meaning to post for a few days now, mainly to thank all of you who have commented, I wish there were more of you and also to encourage people to come up with any ideas of things you might want to see in the mag. Issue 3 is all planned out, but after that we will look at any ideas you may have, along with any of our own, I know Paulie will have a few.:tup:
    Dragonistic, while your idea of video reviews is a good one, I at least don't have the equipment to do that, I wish I did, it would definitely give the mag more life. I am glad you like the issue though and I encourage you to post any more ideas you may have. :idea:
    So, please if anyone has something to say, good :) or bad :indiff: please post it, as the only way we will improve, will be if we learn from mistakes and also we only want to cover things that people will be interested in, without any comments, we won't know what people want the mag to include.
     
  5. wnffe

    wnffe

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    106
    :tup:Nice one guys..I really enjoy reading this issue!!:tup:
     
  6. TwistedNav

    TwistedNav

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    166
    Finally got round to reading the second issue, and a huge thumbs up to you all. A very entertaining read. I particularly like the way you write of the cars and locations in a real-world sense - trepidation about the weather conditions the following day was a nice touch :)

    I realise that it might be difficult logistically but I'd really like to see you guys cover the Event 02 final whenever that might be, it would really add to it. Pre-race/post-race interviews - build up etc. The grand final of this competition is sure to be an awesome occasion and I think you guys could really bring something to it.

    Congratulations again, and keep up the good work. :tup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  7. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Good idea on the Event 02 there TwistedNav, something we can consider for sure. We'd have a pretty narrow time slot for releasing some issues though, considering there would only be a week or less once we find out who the finalists are until when they race. We'll be looking into it.
     
  8. RacingGameFan22

    RacingGameFan22 (Banned)

    Messages:
    253
    Nice article! Really enjoyed it!

    while we are on the subject of M-branded Beemers, I Really, Really hope That PD puts the M5 in GT5. Imagine the roars of the M3 and M5's V8 and V10, respectively, going down the banked oval at Daytona or Indianapolis! :meow:
     
  9. MinoltaMan89

    MinoltaMan89

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    1,915
    Been busy Paulie?
     
  10. steven

    steven

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    Netherlands
    The first heat of the final is set for Saturday 1030pm GMT. Anyone from GTP is welcome to spectate tho it might be difficult for the 5 of us to meet in the same race if too many GTP guys try to get in :D
     
  11. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    It sounds like a lot of work that I don't have time to do these days. I need to re-find the motivation to get on to Issue 3.

    Edit: Issue 3 how now begun some serious progress.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  12. MinoltaMan89

    MinoltaMan89

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    1,915
    I just realized this, but I'm kind of surprised that doblocruiser was faster around Fuji by almost 3 seconds in the M3 than Paulie. I'm not doubting your driving abilities, DC, but I guess I just expected Paulie to be faster.
     
  13. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Take another look, I drive Fuji Speedway F, he drove the GT version (without the chicane). Issue 3 I am hoping is very close too.
     
  14. GTjazzabrandy

    GTjazzabrandy (Banned)

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    609
    Very Imformative and Enjoyable Read
     
  15. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Australia
    Pedal Of Choice


    [​IMG]

    - The Real Driving Magazine -



    Well it's been a long time coming but here we are to present Issue 3 of Pedal of Choice. We are very pleased to announce a number of new additions, and perhaps the most noticeable is a new addition to the staff at Pedal of Choice in 80Y 2C2 (Boy Racer for short). The other major new addition is that of a "Spec Sheet" for all our cars which will include things like the car's specifications, and results from a raft of our own performance tests. So on to this issue then, and we'll find two comparo tests, the first is that of the Kei Cars, Suzuki Cappuccino vs Suzuki Cervo vs Daihatsu Copen Active Top vs Daihatsu OFC-1. The second performance test/comparo plays close to my own heart, we pit 3 of the finest muscle car production cars around, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper SRT10 and the Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG. Read on and enjoy!


    Kei Car Kup

    Developed shortly after the 2nd World War as a means of cheap and efficient transportation, the Kei Cars are what some may call "midget mobiles". Tiny in size, tiny in engine and tiny in power, they're not exactly about to set the race tracks alight with performance. However that hasn't stopped some from trying to make them faster and promote them as sports cars, most notably the Suzuki Cappuccino's presence in the anime "Initial D", and Polyphony Digital's own track prepped version. So this begs the question, which Kei Cars really are the fastest? Read on to find out......

    Kei Car Kup by doblocruiser

    After running fast sports car around various world famous tracks I received a message in my mailbox for a completely different challenge. I was invited to London to race “Kei Cars”. Cars on the list were the Daihatsu Copen, Daihatsu OFC-1, Suzuki Cappuccino and the Suzuki Cervo. That should be fun, what would I have to do? Race the car through London, buy a nice suit and race back to the parking lot. Since I’m quite tall I tried to fit in the small cars. Unfortunately as I sat down my head hit the roof, my knees almost reached the front window and my feet pushed all the pedals at once. This isn’t going to work. I have to find a solution. I tried to hire Richard Hammond "The Hamster" for a day, too bad he was off to France this weekend to do some testing on a Le Mans car. Mmm, I could try hiring Danica Patrick instead. Lucky me! She was in London to promote her upcoming calendar. I’ll be there in the afternoon she told me. Great! I went over to the local Teahouse and got myself some old English blend. Over my cup of tea I started to wonder which course to drive and what tests we could do on one afternoon. It all came together rather nicely.

    As Danica arrived she had was already dressed in her racing suit. A quick kiss and immediately she started searching for the keys. We first have to talk this through was my answer. "Oh please stop whining, I know what I’m doing! It’s not that I’m going to crash them"…..I raised my eyebrows and before I
    knew she was already in the little 600cc Copen.

    [​IMG]

    After seat and mirror adjustments, she was off! Every round on our custom racetrack in the heart of London she improved on the lap times. We raised quite a crowd within a couple of minutes. After about 10 laps, she parked the little Daihatsu. There was no real smile on her face. The car felt a bit lifeless, had sluggish gears and there was no sense of speed. Some real understeer occasionally. The only thing I like is how funky this car looks, she told me as she threw the keys on the table. I’ll take the Cervo, she said.

    [​IMG]

    Going from a swan to an ugly duck was what popped my mind. Whatever….She hit the rev-limiter and released the clutch. With a bit of wheel spin Danica hit the track again. First laps were quite a bit slower than the Copen but eventually this car came really close to the Copen’s laptime. When she got out of the car there was a little smile. Handling wise I’m happy with it. A small flaw is its understeer and soft suspension. Acceleration feels much better due to the close gearbox. This car is kept in high revs easily which makes you feel power is there and acceleration is there. Even when it is slower than the Copen. The Cervo feels much more alive! But it looks…who came up with that design?! Tall roof and short wheelbase. It has a lot of space but it isn't a real looker don't you agree? You make any car look good! I said… Men…..was the answer. Meanwhile she got the keys of the only rear wheel drive car in this little test. The Cappucino. Before she closed the door of this funky Suzuki she told me that the dashboard and its looks felt a bit dated. She quickly closed the door and with a small burnout the Cappuccino went for its milk.

    [​IMG]

    I couldn’t stand she said that before she left. I like the Cappu. My wife drives one every day to work and on the weekends when she goes to the city with her girlfriends I take out that little Suzuki to enjoy myself around the countryside. Even with legs above the dashboard and pushing more pedals at once than is intended it’s still loads of fun.

    I suddenly was snapped out of that moment as I saw the Cappuccino coming around the corner sideways. Sideways, are you kidding me?! In that car I could just see an immense row of teeth. Danica was smiling from ear to ear. Crowds applauded as she went on drifting through every bend possible. During those 10 laps it was a spectacle to watch. Such a small car, so cheap! Real value for money. The Cappuccino was faster than the Cervo and the Copen. After the 180 and 360 she parked the Suzuki. Now that’s what I call fun! Well you know what I think about its dated looks. But driveability, cornering, the rear wheel drive, the stiffer suspension and the sporty feel you get when you are inside makes everything OK! I want one! She said. When a 250 Mph woman tells you she enjoys I tiny car like that, it must be quite something!

    [​IMG]

    Last but not least was our OFC-1, what does OFC-1 even stand for? I have no clue. Take your pick! (http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/OFC) But just look at it. Really beautiful design, lovely interior, shiny wheels. Of all the cars this is the best looking. With the roof down, hair in the wind. You feel like a 1960’s movie star. As Danica got into the OFC-1 she did it more elegant. She adapted herself to the style of the car. Everything went calmly and with flair. Driving from the parking onto the streets went gentle. Was she in for a cruise? 7 gears to choose from, flappy paddle gearbox and she was taking a cruise. After the first round or 2 she became a bit fed up with the sightseeing drive. Danica did put the pedal to the metal. This car looked fast and stable. She was in the car with a smile but it was not as big as in the Cappuccino. Lap times improved consistently and by the end it was the only car that hit the 1.11.xx marker. Wow! Impressive! She did park the car in the same elegant and gentle manner as she drove off in. She got out of the car and told me, this car is so easy to drive. Good suspension, good acceleration. It has a nice sound and very decent gearbox. The car is very stable. Does not suffer from the understeer problem and has great cornering ability. But….because it does nothing wrong and because it is so well balanced it’s not a real challenge to drive fast. When you drive too fast into a corner there is never a sense of, aaaaaahh I’m going to hit a tree or something. It’s a very very good car but it’s much less fun than the Cappuccino. Which brings me to my final conclusion:

    1. Suzuki Cappuccino just puts a smile on my face every time I drive it!

    2. Daihatsu OFC-1, fastest car of the 4 but its fun factor is lacking.

    3. Suzuki Cervo, 3rd because of the gearbox. At least it makes an impression that it is fast.

    4. Daihatsu Copen, nice looks but dull performance. This one could stay in the garage.​

    I had to give her some credit here. The Cappuccino is the one to have, even if it is your wife’s car!

    After all the cars were loaded into the truck we went out to the local Fish and Chips restaurant to discuss our race day in sunny London.

    Here are the test results of the Piccadilly Track Day

    Laptimes around Piccadilly Race Track in London


    Daihatsu Copen
    [​IMG]
    Drive: FWD
    Tyres: N2
    Laptime: 1.13.251

    Suzuki Cervo
    [​IMG]
    Drive: FWD
    Tyres: N2
    Laptime: 1.13.267

    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95
    [​IMG]
    Drive: RWD
    Tyres: N2
    Laptime: 1.12.210

    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07
    [​IMG]
    Drive: FWD
    Tyres: N2
    Laptime: 1.11.995

    Acceleration Times 0 – 60 Km/hr
    Daihatsu Copen 6.1 seconds
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 5.5 seconds
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 5.6 seconds
    Suzuki Cervo 5.4 seconds

    Acceleration Times 0 – 100 Km/hr
    Daihatsu Copen 15.1 seconds
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 13.7 seconds
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 13.6 seconds
    Suzuki Cervo 14.2 seconds

    Acceleration Times 80 – 120 Km/hr
    Daihatsu Copen 12.7 seconds
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 12.8 seconds
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 10.1 seconds
    Suzuki Cervo 12.5 seconds

    Acceleration / Braking 0 – 100 - 0 Km/hr
    Daihatsu Copen 19.8 seconds
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 17.1 seconds
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 17.9 seconds
    Suzuki Cervo 18.7 seconds

    Top speed, tested at Daytona Oval
    Daihatsu Copen 186 km/H
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 187 km/H
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 190 km/H
    Suzuki Cervo 159 km/H


    Kei Car Kup by ASH32

    Well I am here today at Suzuka, to pit these four Kei Cars against each other. I will be testing
    them all on the Suzuka East course, to see which is the best Kei Kar. All cars have a max horsepower of just 63bhp, and have factory fitted N2 tyres. All cars will also only have 5 clean laps to set their time.

    So here we go, I start with the Daihatsu Copen, which at 830kg is the heaviest of the cars I will be
    testing today.

    [​IMG]

    It's also the most expensive at £15,000. Now, I know its top speed is only 115mph and it's
    0 - 60mph is around 15sec, so I wasn't expecting much, but the Copen is just rubbish. I think the best way to describe it is to call it lifeless, there really is very little to say about this little car except that it's boring and a complete waste of £15,000. After its set of five the best lap was a 1'12.328.

    Now it was the turn of the Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07, after the Copen surely things can only get better, well yes and no.

    [​IMG]

    You see while the OFC-1 is a better drive than the Copen it's not by a lot. Its top speed is a whole 1mph faster than the Copen, the acceleration is better than the Copen's though, so at least there is one positive. Don't get me wrong though this is still a poor car and if it costs more than the Copen (the price isn't known at this time), then it could well be a worse buy than the Copen. After its five laps it managed a 1'12.127, so a little faster than the Copen, but not by a lot.

    Then it was the turn of the Suzuki Cappuccino, at £14,600 and with a 0 - 60mph of 13.4 seconds, it's already looking better than the Daihatsus before I even step into the car.

    [​IMG]

    The weight is over 100kg lighter too, so that will definitely help it. So I stepped in, and as I drove it I could tell it was faster than both of the Daihatsus and a lot more fun too. Mind you that wouldn't have been difficult, if someone wants to know what cars to not buy it's them. To be fair on the Cappuccino, it's actually a fun car to drive, it's not overly quick but it does the job it's supposed to do and it does it well. After a far more enjoyable five laps, the best time the Cappuccino produced was a 1'10.902. So unsurprisingly that was the fastest so far, by over a second too.

    The final car I would drive would be the Suzuki Cervo and as it's top speed is only 99mph, I was dreading it.

    [​IMG]

    Could it really be worse than the Daihatsus?
    Well thankfully no, sure it's nothing remarkable but at £14,180 it's almost £1,000 cheaper than the Copen. The Cervo's acceleration is also a little better
    than the Copen's, but nowhere near the Cappuccino's. The gearing on this car is so close, you feel like you are constantly changing gears, this is not helped by the seven speed gear box. When you are accelerating you are already hitting fifth gear at 50mph, it's crazy. After its five laps, the best I manage was a 1'12.247. Just faster than the Copen and just slower than the OFC-1, not bad for a car lacking in top speed.

    Conclusion

    Well this is quite an easy one really, the Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 wins this one, hands down.

    [​IMG]

    It's not even close, the extra weight of all the other cars give the Cappuccino a real advantage, so much so I don't really have anything bad to say about it. Not only is it the fastest, it is also the most fun to drive. With a FR drivetrain to the other's FF, it is definitely more alive and that is a good thing. The other cars, especially the Daihatsus, are really boring to drive in comparison. The nearest challenger is actually the Suzuki Cervo. While it has many drawbacks I just can't help liking it, but in no way could I recommend it above the Cappuccino. The Cappuccino is absolutely the best Kei Car to buy if you are in the market for one.

    Here is a Summary of the Kei Car's specs.

    Acceleration Times 0 - 60 mph.

    Daihatsu Copen 15.0 seconds
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 14.1 seconds
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 13.4 seconds
    Suzuki Cervo 14.6 seconds

    Acceleration Times 50 – 75 mph

    Daihatsu Copen 12.9 seconds
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 13.1 seconds
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 10.6 seconds
    Suzuki Cervo 12.8 seconds

    Acceleration / Braking 0 – 60 - 0 mph

    Daihatsu Copen 18.8
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 17.4
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 17.1
    Suzuki Cervo 18.4

    Top speed, tested at Daytona Oval.

    Daihatsu Copen 115mph
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 116mph
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 118mph
    Suzuki Cervo 99mph

    Suzuka East Lap Times.

    Daihatsu Copen 1'12.328
    Daihatsu OFC-1 ’07 1'12.127
    Suzuki Cappuccino ’95 1'10.902
    Suzuki Cervo 1'12.247

    Kei Car Kup by 80Y 2C2

    Kei cars (Keijidosha for short) are Japanese lightweight cars that are as much about price as a Veyron is about speed. They usually feature sub 660cc litre engines which give out a sub 100hp rating from sub 4 cylinders. In order for these engines to be able to move anything, the body has to be little. In short everything is little. This includes the price tag but also the performance figures.
    Before I write anything else, I just want to recalibrate you with my comments – as we are talking about Kei cars here. When I say the handling is brilliant, I’m not talking in the same league as the Z06 featured later in this edition. And the same goes for acceleration – granted, it would be a bit behind the Viper (also seen later in this edition) but I’m talking in comparison with the other Kei cars. You have to make the best with what you’ve got.

    And what have we got? Well, we have the Suzuki Cervo, the Daihatsu OFC-1 prototype, the Daihatsu Copen and the Suzuki Cappuccino. I have brought them all here to the small town of Grindelwald in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland. This place is widely known for being in the shadow of the very intimidating Eiger Mountain on the north face. “Eiger Nordwand” to the locals. Now many of you have heard that Switzerland is home to some of the best driving roads in the world and I have picked this place as it has some stunning sweepers and hairpins to give these little Kei cars the best advantage possible with an uphill section to differentiate the best from the rest.
    When I arrived there the night before, all the roads were covered in police restriction tape and I thought it was another perished hiker found in the pristine hills of Grindelwald, but this was not so. The mayor of this charming little town heard I was coming and closed the main road in and out of it for my use only. I had my very own tarmac rally stage!

    So, I climb into the Cervo (albeit with a lot of optimism).

    [​IMG]

    This has (as with all the others I’m testing) a 63hp 3 cylinder engine. What gives this such a pop is the extremely close gear ratio coupled to a semi auto ‘box to give constant drive. This helps give it respectable standing start acceleration times, although don’t expect this to go for too long. The acceleration dies out and eventually stops at a meagre 99mph. The handling is also a bit hit-and-miss. Initial turn in is great giving you lots of confidence to persevere with an open throttle, but this is a bad thing as it doesn’t hold front end grip for long and you really have to wipe a lot of speed off before it comes back. Overshoot a corner and the work you have to do to correct it is unreasonably large. Understandable really, when you consider the wheels are about as thin as Keira Knightley on a diet. This car was designed to be used for short distances in a built up area – and I’m sure it’s very good there, but on the track, it’s rubbish. Nuff said.

    With my spirits dampened slightly, I hop into the funky new OFC-1 prototype and instantly I’m impressed by the lower seating position.

    [​IMG]

    I’m off and loving it. The handling is really good with constant grip coming from the front and rear for the duration of the corner. You really have to stab at the pedal to get any dulling from this. Acceleration is good too. The OFC-1 features the same semi auto gearbox, but with a longer ratio which means you don’t have to change halfway through the corner. Because of this gearing, the power band is more accessible in top gear and this means the OFC-1 can achieve a 116mph top speed. Not too bad considering that this and the Cervo have the same power and weight. The noise from inside is great too. There’s this whine that sounds out of something with more cylinders, but out side the car, it sounds normal. The only thing you have to be careful is that it can make you over confident which leads to later braking points. The downside of this is that the brakes aren’t as bitey as the weight suggests they should be. While they aren’t bad, they could be better.
    Over all, this is quite the complete package if you are willing to give up the outright speed, but it feels good in this company.

    So, after a taste of a good roadster Kei car, can the Copen live up to the pressure?

    [​IMG]

    Er, no…no it can’t. It has the speed to match most things here but it doesn’t do it in any fashion. It’s like “there’s your speed, now leave me alone”. It doesn’t have a particularly nice noise, it doesn’t look particularly aggressive, it doesn’t do anything to anything….it’s just there, somehow instead of 15000 of your hard earned credits. The handling? Yeah, there’s some of that. It’s alright around the bends with some throttle change needed to ensure it stays on line and because it is FWD, you can chuck it in the bends, but apart from that, nothing to really report. You may think I’m trying to find things to say here and, in all honesty, I am. It truly is uninspiring, even just thinking about it. Really, if you buy this, you will only be ‘Copen until you get rid of it. That was a joke, and so is the car.

    Ok, now with the mixed bag behind me, I turn to the last in the test, The Suzuki Cappuccino.

    [​IMG]

    On the surface, this looks like the best of the bunch. It’s got rear wheel drive, 690kg, proper manual gearbox, and a top speed of 118mph. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, 118 in a matchbox IS fast, and loud. How it gets there is good too. The car pulls hard in all gears. Off the line acceleration is beaten by the OFC-1 and the Cervo because of the manual with clutch gearbox whereas the other two feature semi autos but where the Cappuccino comes good is in the 50-75mph acceleration range where it trumps the others by some margin. The Cappuccino is also quite goo through the corners as well, showing all the signs of a peppy little sports car. The entry grip is great but on N2s, it suffers a major problem. Much like a Lotus Elise on a fast corner, the Cappuccino starts to slide out of tight corners, yet it doesn’t have enough power to generate wheel spin yet there’s just enough power to keep it sliding. This means that the car loses forward momentum and it slows the engine. This means you have to be really smooth through the corner, but this makes it more involving. You have to work to get results, much like a proper sports car. This car is impressive. It’s got the looks and the performance credentials. In fact so much potential was seen from this car, the boffins at GTT (Gran Turismo Tuning inc.) decided to make a manic tuned version – but that’s another article.

    After test all of these cars, I can appreciate why people would buy them, well some of them anyway. The Cervo is good for touring the back streets, and they have designed it so it is possible to take it on the highways with its long 6th and 7th gears, but with those thin tyres and poor build quality, the road noise is far beyond bearable. The Copen is something you might give to someone who rates cars in terms of cuteness instead of comfort, performance, or anything else that actually matters. But if you give a car to someone, chances are that you’ll be living with them, and do you really want the neighbours see the Copen on your drive? Thought not.
    So we are left with the OFC-1 and the Cappuccino. Both of these cars are really satisfying to drive. If you want a car with some style, some performance and ease of use, I’d say go with the OFC-1. It can post some good lap times and I was able to go fast straight away and it was comfortable with that low driving position. But if you want a driver’s car, you really have to get the Cappuccino. It’s got plenty of character, speed, looks and you really have to concentrate to get the most out of it. Your pick.

    Performance Results

    Cervo
    0-60mph – 13.450
    50-75mph – 13.866
    0-60-0mph – 16.986
    Top speed – 99mph
    Lap time (Eiger) – 1.36.951


    OFC-1
    0-60mph – 12.983
    50-75mph – 11.583
    0-60-0mph – 15.620
    Top speed – 116mph
    Lap time (Eiger) – 1.35.474


    Copen
    0-60mph – 15.066
    50-75mph – 13.250
    0-60-0mph – 18.698
    Top speed – 116mph
    Lap time (Eiger) – 1.37.637

    Cappuccino
    0-60mph – 13.533
    50-75mph – 10.550
    0-60-0mph – 15.700
    Top speed – 118mph
    Lap time (Eiger) – 1.34.823



    Muscle Car Madness


    In complete contrast to the Kei Cars, we find the muscle cars! Generally, for a muscle car you're looking at a big torquey engine up front, and a diff out back. Muscle cars are a class of vehicle that have survived well over half a century now, and only now in the face of the current economic and environmental climate does its existence seem uncertain in the future, a fact that saddens the deepest part of my heart. So could it be then that here and now we have reached the absolute pinnacle of what the muscle car will reach? Well, to be honest we don't know, but that doesn't stop us from getting some of the fastest muscle cars on the street to the track for a good old fashioned showdown!

    Muscle Car Madness by Paulie

    I found myself overloaded with excitement when I successfully arranged a comparo test between 3 extreme muscle cars. Sure I had to travel to Japan for the majority of it, but who cares! The Corvette Z06, Viper SRT10, and SL55 AMG were all mine for a whole day. Once at the track there was essentially no messing about, it was straight into it, first up being the V10 Viper.
    When you first get in the Viper you realise it's a very awkard arrangement, the steering wheel is big, the seating position low and visibility is poor. No matter, because once you squeeze the throttle and feel that effortless surge of acceleration you're focusing on what little vision you have!

    [​IMG]

    So, time to start pacing some laps at Fuji Speedway. The turn-in on the Viper is not lightning fast, but it's not resistant to point the nose in and you can brake late with confidence. The cornering speed, looking back, is certainly higher than the SL55 AMG, but there is more understeer than the Z06. It may not have AWD-like traction but for such a high powered RWD car the Viper's biggest asset is defnitely its ability to get those rears hooked up, it just hunkers down and goes. The Viper also loses out on top end as 5th gear is just too long and you never really quite reach the power band. Surprisingly the Viper only manages to beat the SL55 from 80-120km/hr, and either equals or loses to in every other straight line test.
    Perhaps a bit out of place in this company, the 2 tonne SL55 AMG is a luxury cruiser through and true, but it makes no excuses for its 367kw V8, which aided by a dead quick shifting auto gearbox and lots of traction actually allows this car to eclipse the Viper in a number of acceleration tests and even top speed.

    [​IMG]

    More than likely though if the Viper had a shorter 5th gear it could probably achieve higher top speeds than this Merc. Apart from acceleration the SL55 has a few other tricks up its sleeve too. First is engine note, that AMG V8 just screams the sound of a jet fighter. Another is the interior, which isn't as practical as the Corvette, but out of the 3 here is the nicest place to be. Its last major asset is the ride. The SL55 can run over bumps, jump and ride kerbs and be unphased, the Corvette and Viper on the other hand will brake into oversteer and wheelspin when you show them anything other than smooth track. What the Merc can't do is corner. While the car's chassis feels quite capable, when you shove a 2 tonne convertible with intrusive driver aids (which cause the car to bounce unctrollable while the unsuccessfully keep all that weight in a straight line) into a corner the result is not high G-forces.
    When you first drive the Viper you realise it's a decent handling car, then you drive the AMG making the Viper look even better, the Viper is still a supercar after all, THEN you drive the C6 Z06 Corvette and it just blows the other 2 away.

    [​IMG]

    Faster in every single test, the Z06 feels like a supercar in every aspect. The turn-in is razor sharp, but steady and controllable at the same time, as are throttle and steering inputs. The rear end is a little twitchy and prone to oversteer which does indeed hinder the Vetter from going even faster. If Chevrolet removed the crappy tyres it has now and replaced them with tyres that actually gripped the road this would be nigh on unstoppable. A lot of people like to criticise the Z06's long gears too, but unfortunately they've no idea what they're on about. It works perfectly as a 5spd gearbox and a 6spd would only make wheelspin.

    Here are the performance results:
    0-100km/hr
    Viper SRT10: 4.6sec
    SL55 AMG: 4.4sec
    Corvette Z06: 4.0sec

    0-160km/hr
    Viper SRT10: 8.9sec
    SL55 AMG: 8.9sec
    Corvette Z06: 8.7sec

    0-100-0km/hr
    Viper SRT10: 7.2sec
    SL55 AMG: 7.1sec
    Corvette Z06: 6.5sec

    80-120km/hr
    Viper SRT10: 2.1sec
    SL55 AMG: 2.3sec
    Corvette Z06: 2.0sec

    Top Speed
    Viper SRT10: 295km/hr
    SL55 AMG: 300km/hr
    Corvette Z06: 313km/hr

    Fuji Speedway F Lap Times
    Viper SRT10: 1'51.157
    SL55 AMG: 1'54.381
    Corvette Z06: 1'49.298

    To conclude, which muscle car you buy depends on what you want it for. Some people want a cruiser that's easy to live with and still blows everything else away at the lights. In this case the SL55 AMG is the best car for you, it has a comfy ride, nice interior and goes hard on the straights. If you have even remote sporting intentions though, the Z06 is the car to have, it accelerates, handles and laps faster than the others.

    [​IMG]

    There is no questioning that the Z06, and undoubtedly its bigger brother the ZR1, are on top of the muscle car food chain. Another thing worth mentioning, SL55 excluded, the modern muscle car is a very capable handler. The small amount they trade off in the corners they make up on the straights.


    Muscle Car Madness by 80Y 2C2

    America! The place for everything big. You got your big personalities, big food portions and, most importantly to the Pedal Of Choice, big displacement.
    Happily, the people here have figured out that if you’re going to have big engines in cars, you might as well have a big place to test them. I pray thee – survey the magnificence of the Daytona Speedway!
    Like most ovals (speedway ovals that is), the middle bit has been filled with twisty add-ons to provide a technical section giving those pesky, lighter, underpowered European cars a bit of a catch up period before the big American muscle cars thunder away on a wave of noise in a straight line to the horizon. We have the technical section at our disposal today.

    Which big American muscle cars would those be? Well we have some native coupes in the shape of a Chevrolet Z06 Corvette and a Dodge Viper featuring a 7L V8 and an 8.3L V10 of pure power respectively, and we’ve brought along a not so pesky, light or underpowered but defiantly European playmate in the shape of the AMG Mercedes SL featuring the 5.5 litre sledgehammer V8 affectionately known as the “blower”.

    The Viper. Since the early 90’s it’s near the top of any schoolboy’s dream car list. Those curves, those vents, those stripes! The old model had a reputation for being quite a tail-happy, snappy car which would eat you alive, digest you, dump you and then repeat the process 5 times over per second – but only round a corner.

    [​IMG]

    The new model with its new, bigger, more powerful engine promised to do the process 8 times per second, but after driving it for a bit, it just wasn’t the case.
    You see, the new model is aimed at a rather different target market - Gangsters. When a gangster is cruising around LA in his big black SUV, he thinks he is well hardcore. But after he gets burned off the lights by a fat jogger, he changes his tune. What does he do? He types “Biggest engine”, “aggressive design” and “24’ rim compatible” into a search engine it comes up with the new Viper. Kachinnnng!
    So how is this car to drive? Well it’s quite easy actually. The suspension might be soft, but it has an amazingly neutral feel about it. With a bit of work, you can enter a corner at considerable speed and keep in shape. Alternatively, you can hang the tail out with no problems at all. You feel like you are in complete control which means that you can push it to the limit with ease and exploit all it has to give. All of this said though, it is a bit blunt. The turn in isn’t as responsive as you’d like and once it is going sideways, there’s no real way to correct it before the straight.
    In a straight line though, it’s hard to fault. The acceleration comes in a HUGE lump and propels you from 0-60 in 3.733. It may have 509hp but it’s got rear tyres wider than Texas to help with the onslaught of torque. High speed stability is commendable as well. Cruising at 170-180mph showed no real need for major alertness or input. It really was just cruising speed for it. This car was made for straight lines, yet because of the changes, it’s made it better around the corners as well.

    So, I turn to the SL55 AMG. This car was designed (as were all AMGs) to be a nutters muscle car with a dab of German precision and some sheep’s clothing.

    [​IMG]

    The natural colours for one of these are dreary greyish shades and they are commonly found on the autobahn quietly but quickly transporting German bankers from one franchise to the next in immense comfort and style with the supercharged V8 at idle. This was designed to go under the radar of small boys looking for fast cars. Couple one of these next to a bright orange Elise and you know which one they’ll flock too, but you also know which one will win in a drag race. Small things add overall subtle suggestions that this isn’t all pose. The extra vents, the lowered stance, the four cannons at the back all show this thing is made for the outside lane. It laughs at speed limits. Given that the Merc weighs 2 tonnes, and when the TCS is off it isn’t actually off, this car doesn’t handle. It attacks the corners with the sincerity of a goldfish and with the finesse of a ballet dancing grizzly. It bobbles to the point where you lose traction and you have to wrestle with it every inch of the way. Thankfully, when no one else is on the track, I found this to be quite fun. It has meatiness that almost replicates what input to give to the wheel and pedals. There is however an issue because going through the corner is fine, but the entry can be a bit tricky at the best of times. The brakes, after trying to stop a car while a 500hp engine puts power to the rear wheels for no reason, are now faced with stopping the 2 tonne car while it’s being chucked into a corner. “Those tinted wheels aren’t an option?” - “No sir, it’s brake dust”. In short, it doesn’t really work. There is a huge dullness to the steering when the brakes are applied and it doesn’t start to turn until the driver is brave enough to let off the brakes. It’s hard work trying to get it where you want in an entry for a corner.
    What isn’t hard work in this car is getting the needles to dance on the straights. This is down to two main factors. The supercharged 5.5L V8 certainly helps, but coupled with the lazy, fast automatic gearbox and you complete the look of the effortless power and torque that lies within. The acceleration is constant because there is always drive to the wheels and while it isn’t as good as the rivals off the start, it pulls through at overtaking speeds – exactly what German bankers need it for.
    In many ways, this car replicates the badge – the silver arrow. Wasn’t really meant for going around corners, but it excels on the straights.

    So, after testing a muscle car from the USA and one from Europe, it appears we have not progressed far beyond where we were almost 40 years ago in terms of handling. The muscle cars appear to be still featuring large, powerful engines with no thought put into handling.
    In theory, the Corvette Z06 should be no different from this. After all, it features the 7L LS7 V8 pushing out 503hp. If you look further into the story however, you might change your tune. The engine is now further into the car and lower – this helps both the front, rear weight balance as well as giving it a low centre of gravity. Just looking at the wheel base of one of these hints that it could be good around the bends. It is amazingly low and wide which add to the aggressive look. The Z06 has seen a lot of media attention because of its cornering skill. In 2006, it beat many European supercars for the Fifth Gear fast car award. In short, this car is supposed to right the wrongs of muscle cars.
    Does it? Well yes and no. On the straights, almost nothing can beat it in both acceleration and top speed (we could get ours up to 196mph!).

    [​IMG]

    It has some skill in the corners too. There’s no denying that it is amazingly nimble. The turn in is great, the exit is great, but it’s a bit unstable. High speed corners baffle it as do chicanes. The back end always has a tendency to let go and this means you can only ever drive it at 8/10ths. I found I could never get the most out of this car, even though it posted better track times than the Viper. In order to drive this thing really fast, you need to really concentrate and be in the zone but when you’re there, all of this car comes together. It can be planted around the corners and very fast on the straights – and the engine noise just makes it all better. It is forever howling and it revs quite high which is unusual for such a big engine. In order to keep this car so planted, it requires the more subtle input. Everything needs to be smooth and gentle; otherwise it turns into an untameable beast. In theory then, this car could be driven as fast by the Dale Lama as it could by Michael Schumacher. Word of warning though; don’t drive this if you are angry – you’ll just be going in circles – and crashing.


    Fact sheet

    SL55

    0-60 – 4.176
    0-100 – 8.710
    0-60-0 – 6.912
    50-75 – 2.422
    Top Speed – 186mph
    Lap Time (Daytona Road) – 1.59.604

    Viper

    0-60 – 3.733
    0-100 – 9.501
    0-60-0 – 6.298
    50-75 – 2.187
    Top Speed – 182mph
    Lap Time (Daytona Road) – 1.57.604

    Z06

    0-60 – 3.733
    0-100 – 8.566
    0-60-0 – 6.183
    50-75 – 1.850
    Top Speed – 196mph
    Lap Time (Daytona Road) – 1.55.764


    So, it’s now time for a conclusion. All of these cars have little foibles. The Viper is great in straight lines and it’s amazingly stable and forgiving – but it’s a bit dull in the corners with no real feedback of where the car is on the road or what the wheels are doing. The SL is great in a straight line but is absolutely useless in the corners with the ABS continually trying to launch you into a wall or the skies. Turn-in under braking is almost non existent. The Z06 is great on the straights but amazingly tetchy in the corners, constantly prone to snap the rear out. All these cars are equal – but two are more equal and these are the Viper and the Z06. Both have the exact same acceleration times. The Viper is a great car to step into and drive with some good track results. It’s easy to drive fast. The Z06 requires a lot of concentration to get it all right but when it does come all together, it’s almost unbeatable – on the straights and corners. For this reason, it’s my pick. I’d have the Z06.
    [​IMG]





    So once again we come to a close on an issue of Pedal of Choice, we made the hat-trick, our third one out. Already we've come a fair way thanks to feedback from readers, and especially this issue we hope you enjoyed the new "Vehicle Specifications Sheets" and learnt something new. I learnt something new, and that is that 80Y 2C2 can write really well, and I hope you agree with me because I'd say he's here to stay. Well, until next time, see you later!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  16. Boffin

    Boffin

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    I'd just like to say a big thankyou to Paulie, ASH32 and doblocruiser for giving me a chance at writing for this great magazine!:tup: :) :dopey: :)
     
  17. Skygrasper550

    Skygrasper550 Premium

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    Cappuccino baby, yeah!! nice 3rd Issue guys.., :tup::tup:
     
  18. PASM

    PASM Moderator

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    Nicely done again!!! (although I just hate Comic Sans :ouch::dunce:)
     
  19. MinoltaMan89

    MinoltaMan89

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    As they say, third time's the charm;) Best one yet.
     
  20. C-ZETA

    C-ZETA

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    Best issue yet - especially liked the Muscle Car Madness part! ;)
     
  21. simonbeef

    simonbeef

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    Very nice, I particularly liked the contrast between the two tests.
     
  22. Peter

    Peter (Banned)

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    That was amazingly written. Kudos to you all at pedal of choice. I'd love to write for you guys, i have some not bad writing skills, but it would take me a while to become as good as you guys are.
     
  23. Boffin

    Boffin

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    thanks guys!:tup:
     
  24. ceiling_fan

    ceiling_fan

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    You're all doing great work here :tup:
     
  25. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

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    Thanks for all the comments again guys.:tup:


    :lol: Too bad, it's staying as Comic Sans.:sly:

    After reading 80Y 2C2's articles I feel very in-adequate, even if I don't entirely agree with his opinions on some small things. (The whole point of having different writers is to represent different opinions).:sly:
     
  26. PAPAOSA

    PAPAOSA Premium

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    Nice work guyz.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  27. Boffin

    Boffin

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    YOU feel in-adequate?!...our feeling are mutual then (about some things anyway haha)
     
  28. FLASH48

    FLASH48

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    Very nice read guys! Keep up the good work!!:):tup:
     
  29. Mad94d

    Mad94d Premium

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    Fantastic write up guys.:tup: Always love reading Pedal Of Choice, Especially when it's got Muscle Car Madness in it!:D
     
  30. Rusty*

    Rusty* Premium

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    Great issue guys! I'm impressed with how you guys word and detail the magazine.
    Keep it up guy's! :D:tup:
    Rusty*