Pedal of Choice - Issue 4 Out Now!!!

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

  1. 888 Tuning

    888 Tuning

    Lovely work guys, really well done. After an absence from this game and site for a while it comforting to see things progressing really well, I think i'll have to hang around a bit more ;)

    Are you interested in other submissions for review ?
  2. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    Pedal of Choice wants you! Well, maybe not you you, first you have to prove yourself. After doblocruiser announced his retirement from Pedal of Choice due to other commitments, we decided to hire another writer to the magazine, but rather than pick someone, we thought we'd open it up anyone by holding a competition. The rules and criteria are simple
    - Pick any article or any theme you like, with 2-3 cars involved
    - Write a story involving or comparing those cars
    - Points are awarded for originality and writing skills
    - You do not have to gather performance data eg. acceleration times
    - PM your article to Paulie, ASH32 and 80Y 2C2
    - Deadline is 12th July
    - We'll publish the best 2 articles in our next issue of Pedal of Choice, but note that only 1 person will get to stay on as a permanent writer for Pedal of Choice.

    Good luck to all, we look forward to hearing from you via PM.
  3. AyJay


    "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." :lol:

    Just finished catching up, now I'm gonna have to wait for the next one like everyone else! A piece I'd like to see in a future article is a little info and maybe mini-interviews on each writer. Quick questions so we can get to know each of you a little better :)

    Also, how long should the article submission be? Roughly as long as actual articles?
  4. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    Rest assured work has begun on the next issue of POC.:tup: I like your interviewing the writers idea, and yes, the submission article should be like a real article.:tup: (There's no word count though if you're wondering :sly:)

    Edit: Tick tock tick tock, time is running out to get your entries in.......
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  5. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    Just a couple of days to get entries in!
  6. Boffin


    I'm glad you like it :)

    Yeah I'd be open to answering some questions

    Articles can be as long or as short as you want, but in order to put in all the right info in an easy to read manner, you shoulf be looking at something like our review length. But base it on length per car - not per article. You have to give equal(ish) amount of words to each car - covering all the bases for each, with an intro and a concluding paragraph.

    Most importantly, HAVE FUN. :D
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  7. Peter

    Peter (Banned)

    I hope I can be 1 of the best 2. I'd be honored to get published.
  8. Pepsi0


    Hats off to you guys writing Pedal of Choice, because when GT5 comes around, that's going to be a lot of hard work.
  9. ASH32


    Actually I looking forward far more to writing Pedal of Choice once GT5 has come out than I am to writing Pedal of Choice using GT5p, as is the case at this moment. You can definitely say I am getting tired of prologue now. I can wait to get my hands on some different cars and to be able to test on some different tracks. Sure it might be a lot of work, but it will be a lot of fun too. :D
  10. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    Absolutely, GT5 will also present sooo many options.:D The deadline has passed for entrances to our "Hire a Writer" competition and the winners have been chosen. The winners are..........

    Nah J/K you'll have to wait until the next issue to find out.:sly:
  11. Pepsi0


    I know, Gran Turismo 5 will be out of this world, but I'm just saying, with it being so massive, it's going to be a lot of work, and indeed that is a good thing because you'll have fun whilst doing it.

    Also, I was going to submit an entry...but didn't...I finished writing it but didn't submit it. I feel really stupid now.
  12. Peter

    Peter (Banned)

    When is the next issue coming out?
  13. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    We take a very long time to do things in Prologue evidently. I should be able to start writing the article by the weekend, a couple of us have already done the tests for the cars we're writing about this time, so it could be a couple weeks max I guess.
  14. AERO_HDT


    I'm disappointed I missed this - sounds like great fun! Paulie, lemme know if you're looking for a writer anytime soon, I'd be glad to help!

  15. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    Pedal Of Choice


    - The Real Driving Magazine -

    Finally the new issue of Pedal of Choice is being released, with no real excuses other than laziness and the need to hire a new writer after the unfortunate resignation of doblocruiser. In order to hire a new writer we've held a competition, which is discussed and shown in this issue. The other main article in this issue is the battle of the Japanese tuning companies Mine's and Amuse, as the Mine's R34 and Amuse S2K duke it out for top honours. We hope you enjoy the latest installment, and I personally hope it's the last issue for a little while before we get a massive budget increase with far more cars to choose from and review and compare.

    Japanese Tuning Shootout

    For years now the Japanese tuning market has arguable been the biggest in the world, with numerous companies offering their own high-po versions of the production cars, and even competing in annual competitions against each other such as the Tougue and Tsukuba Super Lap. Now Pedal of Choice has the opportunity to have our say in this age old grand rivalry, as we pit the Mine's BNR34 GTR against the Amuse S2000 GT1. Both are highly tuned track day time attack cars, with huge aero improvements, big power increases and complete work overs of the handling department including big brakes, semi-slick tyres and tuned suspension. Ought to be a good battle indeed!

    Japanese Tuning Shootout by Paulie
    As a tuning garage owner myself this is almost more to see what my competitors are up to, even though I'm not a Japanese tuning company I wouldn't mind taking on the Tsukuba Super Lap challenge myself in one of my own vehicles one day. So, today we're at Suzuka, Honda's proving grounds, and we have the Mine's GTR and Amuse S2000 ready to go. We'll start with the Amuse then shall we?
    The Amuse bears almost no resemblance at all to the original S2000 it was built off. The aero kit, especially the Sydney Harbour Bridge perched on the decklid, makes it look cartoonish even, but at the same time offering HUGE amounts of downforce. The turbo is arguably even bigger and runs equally large amounts of boost through the V-Tec 4cyl. I strap in, check my electronic surroundings, absorb the boy racer red (and ugly) interior, and I'm off out of pit lane.
    The acceleration is phenomenal, although it does die off a little as you reach higher speeds where the aero drags the car down. The engine note is everything you could hope for from a 4cyl, smooth, solid and not too high pitched. The super close ratio 7spd gearbox mean you're always in a higher gear than most road cars would ever use, even at the hairpins I'm staying in 3rd gear and still fighting large amounts of wheelspin. The car is very twitchy at any speed, although surprisingly fairly controllable. It points and turns extremely well but it's always a battled with oversteer, disappointing considering the amount of downforce that's supposed to be keeping it planted on the road.
    The grip mid-corner is extreme until you punch the throttle, with a slight hint of lift-off oversteer. During the top speed runs the aero did its job and kept it stable, although 7th gear was a little long to reach the top speed, perhaps they factored in for runs using less attack on the adjustable rear spoiler. Overall it is a fun and very involving drive, I'm impressed. Above all it is fast, having lapped Suzuka in 2'04.404 after a few laps. I wouldn't recommend this for drivers without experience though, you'll end up in a wall before you realise you're even spinning.

    Next up the worshipped Skyline GTR, can it live up to the hype, and can it top the formiddable Amuse? Let's see. First off, it's not as powerful or as light as the Amuse, there's certainly not as much compressed air being force fed to the engine by the turbo.
    Additionally, the aero isn't quite as out there, looking almost similar to standard, but still providing plenty of downward force, so hats off to Mine's over Amuse in that department. Getting in, it's not as technological or lairy on the inside. Conventional guages and sensible colours make it far nicer inside. So, out on to the track we go.
    The acceleration is not as rapid, and the engine note as you step on the loud pedal is a little raspy and a little tinny.
    As I drive through the first corner the difference is immediately noticeable. We have both on and off throttle understeer mid-corner, followed by big oversteer on corner exits. I was expecting extra traction and an easier car to drive due to the AWD, but I'd have to say there's not much extra traction to the Amuse, a big let down. Braking from high speeds down to corners makes the rear end feel a little squirmish, so whether you're slowing down or speeding up confidence is not a high point in this car. The extra weight in the front makes it feel a lot more sluggish and docile compared to the Amuse. During our top speed run we were still experiencing understeer through the banked corners. This car doesn't feel anywhere near as good as the Amuse, and the lap time proves it, at almost 3sec slower it clocked 2'07.242, and it was even harder to achieve this time compared to the Amuse's lap.

    Here's a summary of the performance results I found:

    Amuse: 3.2sec
    Mine's: 3.3sec

    Amuse: 6.3sec
    Mine's: 6.3sec

    Amuse: 5.6sec
    Mine's: 5.7sec

    Amuse: 1.5sec
    Mine's: 2.0sec

    Top Speed
    Amuse: 320km/hr
    Mine's: 310km/hr

    Suzuka Lap Time
    Amuse: 2'04.404
    Mine's: 2'07.242

    Overall I find this easy to award the win to the Amuse, it takes ever category without a doubt. Now I know what I'm up against, I can begin development work on my vehicle to attack the Tsukuba Super Lap next year I hope.

    Japanese Tuning Shootout by 80Y 2C2
    The Japanese are fast becoming notorious for making great driver’s cars. Mazda put out the MX5 and RX7 and 8, Honda put out the S2000, the Integra, Civic Type R and the supercar rivalling NSX, Subaru had their SVX and still have the STI versions of Liberty, Legacy and Impreza, Mitsubishi have their Evo range as well as the Starion from a while back, Toyota joined in the fun with the Supra and MR2, and Nissan came along catering for every driving style with the Z range, the SX range and the Skyline GTRs.
    Trouble is, while most of them are great to drive, they base their greatness on chassis design, not power output. This means that while they are great to drive on a windy road, they aren’t going to win over any fans when the competition for bedroom wall space consists of something yellow, some thing red or something silver – all brandishing badges with at least one set of hooves on them.
    There are exceptions. Today, if you take an underpowered hatch, paint it lime green, fit the rear wing section nicked from a 747 and give it wheels bigger than a teenage driver’s insurance cost – you’d fluke your way into getting respect. Heavens, if it’s grotesque enough, you might even win DVD space along with countless other butchers.
    These cars are usually fitted with basketball sized turbos with every possible noise known to man coming out from either the bonnet or the hello kitty shaped exhaust pipes and while some of the tuned cars out there drive brilliantly, sadly they’re all painted fluorescent orange with “tasteful” TE37s in green – and this really wouldn’t match well with your normal social life.
    Good news though – because help is at hand from a few Japanese tuning houses that have risen out of the rubble of what is considered “the trend” and will sell you a tuned car that doesn’t look like a jet plane collided with an oversized 3yr old’s birthday cake. Even better news is that they have a reasonable following of fanboys who would rather these amazingly engineered pieces of kit over a Hyundai with elephantitis and a plank of 4by2 on the back providing “downforce”. You can put your faith back in humanity. The figures are what grab them in. Some of the numbers are staggering – even for Europe. So – as I sit in the freezing morning at Suzuka I ask myself – can this new breed of tuners live up to the hype? And if so, which one is the king?

    The office and several internet sites have helped me narrow the decision down to two cars that seem to win the people and critics over. Which is how the Mines R34GTR N1 base and the Powerhouse Amuse S2000 GT1 Turbo are now being prepped in a garage close by. Both cars have an S3 grade tire fitted – the softest road legal tire allowed – but if the engine figures on paper prove to be correct, they won’t make a huge difference.

    After another hour of waiting, both cars are ready – and I go for the Amuse. On the face of it, this looks to be like a hugely beefed up Honda S2000 with an ironing board on the back and a "tasteful" red interior. However, if you take a peek at the vent that is the bonnet, you'll probably find that this thing isn’t all show and no trousers. What you’ll find instead is a turbo charged VTEC that makes a hysterical 617hp. 617hp! And it’s only bolted onto a car 1120kg in weight! So how does it drive?
    Well to not put too fine a point on it, it’s terrifying. On the straights, it just tears down the tarmac – and if you’re in anything lower than third, tearing the tyres as well. The noise it makes is satanic. Think of a caricaturised noise of a 4 pot rice mobile – then times it by three in decibels and two in pitch. It is, quite frankly, the perfect match to go with the 7 speed gearbox. While you’re accelerating like a mad man, the revs always seem to be very close to the red line – ensuring maximum power is available more of the time.
    With the car being so light, it is quite skittish on some of the faster sweepers – but I’d suspect it’d be unmanageable if it didn’t have the aero aids. I suspect what makes this thing so snappy is the 7 gear gearbox. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love acceleration as much as the next guy, and it’s great in a straight line, but when you’re trying to put 617hp down through close gearing onto the ground, the back becomes amazingly playful. While you still get the sense that it’s an amazingly sharp and accurate machine, none of it really shows in full colours as you are forever keeping focus on what the rear wheels are doing instead of other more important things. Quite honestly, I could have driven it harder with 5 or 6 cogs instead – and it would have pulled just as hard. So at the limit, it’s tetchy and quite dangerous to others who happen to be on the same bit of road as you. However, if you lower the urge of your driving style just slightly (like 9.5/10ths), you will hit a sweet spot. With the correct throttle, the Amuse with will just glide through the corners. Of course you feel like you’re going at 5/10ths (this is down to the noise going a lot softer), but you’ll realise after overtaking most of the competition in a technical section that a little less goes a long way.
    In the sweet spot, the Amuse is much more manageable. The stability is impressive and you can really feel the aero aids doing exactly what they were designed for. With more tentative throttle, the steering input can be more aggressive and the whole car turns into a really nimble machine. The steering is telepathic and it points exactly where you want it to – it's sort of like an amplified version of the original S2000 it’s based on. The braking is awesome. There is plenty of turn-in under braking as well as plenty of stability, and it has a reassuring bite that tells you that you’re actually slowing down. The short gearing helps too as you can really use the engine to slow the car down quite a lot. So – while the Amuse might look like just any other tuner cars, this time the performance justifies the looks.

    So to the Mine's Skyline GTR. The Skyline GTR – its synonymous with Japanese tuners and sports cars in general and has just about always been at the forefront of what’s possible in a car. The grip and straight line speed has always dumbfounded drivers. Thing is – everyone who drives one says that yes, while the chassis and electronic wizardry is great, it is a bit underpowered. Japanese laws at the time governed that all cars should have a maximum output of 276hp – so that is what the R34 GTR claims to have. However – if you find me a Nissan technician who will say with a straight face the R34GTR had only 276hp, I’ll show you a liar, or a flying pig – one of the two. The actual output was more like 340hp – yet it is common belief that to extract the most out of what an R34GTR has to give, 400hp is what is recommended.
    Mines may have gone overboard on the power side by giving their GTR a not so manic as the Amuse but still pretty immense 591hp. They’ve also managed to bring the weight down to a sportier 1340kgs. So, hooked up with the famous GTR AWD system that allows power to the front wheels only when they start losing grip, this GTR just keeps sounding better. To add to this, the fact that this car wasn’t designed for straight line speed (even with 591hp), rather for responsiveness and nimble handling is almost making me frothing at the mouth. Does it drive as good as the hype suggests?
    Well, let’s be clear. This is one mean GTR – any GTR with 591hp is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The straight line speed is amazing and while it doesn’t accelerate as hard as the Amuse higher up, in the lower sections it certainly shines. The gears are really well spaced which means that the upshift from redline leads straight to the juicy section of the power curve. The noise is as all good Skyline GTRs should be. The RB26DETT has a manic growl that is the epitome of what all GTR tuners are aiming for. It’s terribly loud, and it wails more than a teething baby – but that’s how it should be. So, with it ticking the boxes for straight line speed – what about it doing what it was designed for? The throttle response is something they hit perfectly. The power is very accessible which is great for going round corners. Handling wise, it’s terribly difficult. While the gearing is perfect, applying a sensible amount of throttle will usually result in the back coming out, and eventually bringing the front with it. A change of driving style would help the lack of front end grip in these instances, but nothing I could do would stop the back from stepping out in seemingly spectacular 4 wheel drifts.
    Thankfully, the Mine's isn’t as snappy as the Amuse which means that you can gather everything up to a certain extent, but it’s very annoying nonetheless. The brakes are vague – with not enough reassurance to tell you that you’re actually slowing down. Turn in under braking is tolerable, but I was disappointed at the vagueness of the brakes – I mean, they work, but I just can’t feel them. The worst thing, however, is the steering when off the power. I don’t mean lift off, I mean when it’s coasting through a corner, there’s absolutely not bite coming through the front wheels. Once the fronts have lost traction, the car really needs to slow down quite a bit to gain it. At speed, going through a high speed corner, it really is treacherous getting it to stay on the desired line.

    So – Which one is the best? Well, there’s no doubt that they’re both desirable, and they have huge presence wherever they go, but the decision is not a hard one to make. The Amuse tops it by some margin. It’s faster and handles great too – even though you need to get really accustomed to the car before becoming too aggressive with the inputs. The Mines is another way to tune a car. The engine delicious and even though there were a few handling shortfalls, I could drive it close to its limit. The problem was that it really was a bit blunt in some cases where the driver wasn’t being given optimal feedback to make changes. While it’s still a Ferrari beater (by far), it just doesn’t have the goods to keep up with the Amuse.
    What this test has also proven is that these high powered Japanese tuners really can tune a car these days. For the price you pay for a Ferrari, these cars will sound better, have more street cred, go faster and mostly likely be more reliable….or you could just buy an untuned version which won’t be as fast but just as fun.

    0-60mph: 3.055
    0-100mph: 6.472
    0-100-0mph: 9.838
    50-75mph: 1.938
    Top speed: 195mph
    Suzuka Lap: 2.08.242

    0-60mph: 3.350
    0-100mph: 6.533
    0-100-0mph: 9.966
    50-75mph: 1.883
    Top speed: 197mph (202Mph with help)
    Suzuka Lap: 2.07.009

    Japanese Tuning Shootout by ASH32

    I just got word that Head Office wanted to see me, I was a little worried about what exactly they wanted to see me for. The only way to find out would be to go there I guess. So I took the bus, while it was only a short journey it wasn't a very pleasant one, that's when it hit home, what if they are going to fire me, my future might be bus ride after bus ride and I didn't want that. Upon arrival at Head Office, I was presented with an envelope, I asked what was in it, but I was just told to open it to find out. So with a little trepidation I did, you can imagine my relief when I saw a plane ticket to Florida in it and a hotel reservation too. Great they are giving me a weeks holiday I thought, but in fact it was even better than that. I would be going to Daytona Speedway to test out the Amuse S2000 GT1 and the Mine's BNR34 GTR, I just couldn't wait. Luckly I didn't have too, I was leaving later that day, so I went home to pack my bags. It is strange how my excitement made the bus journey home feel far better than the one earlier. Tomorrow I will be in Florida.

    Day one at Daytona
    Well I am now in Florida and the weather is perfect, so nothing should stop me taking the cars out on the track. So I headed to Daytona. When I arrived I was greeted by a couple of guys who explained to me that today I will have to make do with taking the cars
    out on the oval section as the road section wouldn't be open until tomorrow. While I won't be able to get a true reflection on the cars until then, the oval should at least show me which has the best top speed. Before I was able to go on the track I was told I would be sharing the track with a few others today and to be careful and mindful of them at all times. Once the formalities were out of the way it was time to hit the track.
    First up was the Amuse, at the end of my short run I clocked a lap of 48.196sec, with a top speed of 198mph (I did reach 213mph but that was with the draft of another car). Then it was the turn of the Mine's, after it's run I clocked a lap of 49.551sec, with a top speed of 194mph (although I reached 204mph in the draft). So the Amuse was the quickest both in top speed and in overall lap time.
    While it's top speed
    was only 4mph faster, it was well over a second quicker than the Mines, this was mainly because the Amuse could hold it's speed far better through the turns, of course the extra top speed was a factor as well, even if it was only 4mph. This however isn't really the tests that count, I will find out far more about the cars when I take them on the road course tomorrow. But after a brief time testing them both, I fully expected the Amuse to win.

    Day two at Daytona
    So on to day two and this time I arrive at the track to drive on the road course, it is time for the proper test. When I arrived at the track the next day I found out that the Amuse was having it's tires replaced, it seems that I wore them out yesterday drifting and sliding round the track, whoops. So this time, that dictates that the Mine's is up first.
    Mine's BNR34 Skyline GT-R 06. There is not much to say about the look of the Mine's, it looks similar to the standard Skyline, Mine's have added a little aero, but have mostly concentrated on performance over looks and that isn't a bad thing. The Mine's is a decent looking car, if nothing spectacular. Now on to the track. The first thing you notice while driving the Mine's is the understeer, there is quite a bit of oversteer too. You have to be really careful with the throttle, too much and you will definitely spin. The car is also a little unstable on the brakes. I expected this to be an easy car to drive, as it is an AWD, but it certainly isn't. In spite of this, this is quite a nice car to drive, at least for me anyway. I quite like the fact you have to put a bit of effort into the steering to get it round the corners. After a short session of driving the best lap was a 1'50.784.

    Amuse S2000 GT1 Turbo. First of all I have to say I really like what Amuse have done to the S2000, yes you could say it is a little over the top, but I like it anyway. My first thoughts were that surely the amount of aero parts they have added will surely help the car a lot. However I am not too keen on the interior, but I can live with that, after all it's performance that counts.
    Now that the tyres have been replaced I set out on the track. As soon as I set off, I can feel how much easier it is to turn the car in, compared to the Mine's. The Amuse certainly doesn't understeer like the Mine's, although it does like to oversteer, a lot.
    You have to be really careful not to accelerate too hard coming out of the corners, otherwise the back end spins around quite easily. It is stable under braking, unlike the Mine's but still with all the extra downforce I was really surprised the car was so twitchy. The Amuse's weight at 1120 kg, is 220kg lighter than the Mine's and the lighter weight certainly helps to give the Amuse a definite handling advantage over the Mine's. That being said, while it is relatively easy to drive slow, it becomes a whole different beast if you try to go fast. I am sure professionals will have no trouble controlling it, but I spun the car quite a lot.
    The Amuse outputs 619bhp and has a close ratio 7spd gearbox and the 7spd certainly helps to create good acceleration, if you can control the wheelspin that is. So the Amuse is lighter and more powerful than the Mines so surely it will be quicker. Well, yes it is, my best lap in the Amuse was a 1'48.427.

    Which is the Best? Well let's start at the price, the Amuse is priced at £250,000 and the Mine's is priced at £200,000, so the Mine's is the cheapest, by £50,000. Next the top speed, the Amuse reached an un-aided top speed of 198mph, while the Mine's only managed an un-aided top speed of 194mph, while not a lot of difference, the Amuse takes it. Well what about the total lap time? On the oval, the Amuse lapped in 48.196 seconds, while the best the Mine's could do was only 49.551 seconds. On the road course the difference was even greater, the Amuse lapped the track with a best of 1'48.427 while the Mine's only managed a best of 1'50.784. That is almost seconds a lap slower, the Amuse takes this test.
    Now which one was the most fun to drive, that is just as important. I liked the challenge of driving the understeery Mine's, but again the Amuse comes out on top, it is a great car to drive, it is slightly easier to drive than the Mine's, but not too easy as to be boring and lifeless. While not perfect it is a good drive.
    Overall deciding a winner in this test is quite easy, the Amuse is faster, both in lap time and top speed, it has the better drive and in my opinion it looks better as well. The only test the Mine's wins is on
    price, but for an extra £50,000 the Amuse is worth it. The Mine's is a good car, don't get me wrong, if you buy it you'll still enjoy it. You would have enjoyed the Amuse more though.

    Hire a Writer Competition

    After doblocruiser announced his retirement from Pedal of Choice due to other commitments, we decided to hire another writer to the magazine, but rather than pick someone, we thought we'd open it up to anyone by holding a competition. The rules and criteria were simple:
    - Pick any article or any theme you like, with 2-3 cars involved
    - Write a story involving or comparing those cars
    - Points are awarded for originality and writing skills
    - You do not have to gather performance data eg. acceleration times
    - We'll publish the best 2 articles in our next issue of Pedal of Choice, but note that only 1 person will get to stay on as a permanent writer for Pedal of Choice.

    So with that in mind, 4 aspiring writers set out to creat an article intended to blow our socks off. We must congratulate all 4 of you for the work you did, and would like to thank both AyJay and PJ-FFL for your submissions, we enjoyed reading them all. But as it goes, we had to pick two that would get in this issue, and only one could be the winner. So congratulations to both MetalheadA7X and 888 Tuning, with 888 Tuning taking the top honours. Here are their winning articles:

    MetalheadA7X's Submission
    The Intercontinental Challenge.

    As I sit in my hotel overlooking the Swiss mountains, eating breakfast, I feel a sense of anticipation overwhelm my body. Today was going to be a big day with a huge challenge ahead of me. I have been sent to the Eiger Nordwand circuit to try to figure out which continent has produced the best supercar. Europe, North America or The Far East. Waiting for me in the garage at the track there are 3 of the most revered cars from across the globe. For Europe, the Ferrari 599, for North America, the Corvette Z06 and for The Far East, the Nissan GTR. All different but excellent in their own ways. Today I was to find out which would be the best around the Eiger Nordwand track.

    As I entered the garage I was told by a race official that to comply with regulations all the cars must be fitted with a road legal racing tyre to reduce the risk of a fatal accident, so we decided to use a medium compound S2 tyre on all of the cars. First out was the Ferrari.

    As I entered the Italian GT car I could tell instantly that this was clearly a prestige car with great amounts of leather surrounding me in the cockpit. So I fired the big Ferrari into life for the first time to hear the scream of the 6 litre V12 engine. I could tell this was going to be an awesome experience. The 599 isn't a small car and weighs in at 1690kg so it would be interesting to see how this would take the tight corners of the track.

    When out on the track I first set the 599 down the long downhill straight with the throttle almost pinned. The kick from the big V12 up front was astounding, pushing you into the perfectly sculpted racing seats. Accompanied by the howl of the engine this was a truly terrifying experience. The full force of 614 BHP and 448ft-lb or torque sent me down the hill at intense speed only to realise the tight hairpin was looming ahead. A big stab on the brakes slowed me sufficiently as I shifted down the gears using the phenomenal paddle shift gear box.

    Where the Ferrari's problems became evident was when the going got twisty. The high weight and high output meant that careful consideration was needed before placing your right boot back on the throttle. I was not expecting the performance of a lotus round the bends but it still didn't seem to handle as well as a Ferrari should. Even though it lacked some speed during the corners, it made up lost ground along the tunnel straight every time.

    After getting used to the big Ferrari I started to get quicker round the bends as I learned the car's limits, even managing a few drifts when I overcooked the throttle on the long right hand hairpin. My hot lap took a lot of effort but came in at a reasonable 1:13.599 (What a coincidence!)

    After pulling back in to the garage I got out of the 599 only to face the next challenger, the Corvette Z06. This car had a totally different feel inside to that of it's Italian rival. It seemed of high quality but lacked any flair or styling grace with a lot of plastic parts. "Quite typical of American cars these days." I thought. What wasn't so typical was the Heads Up Display which was installed. This is a really cool piece of kit and I believe will soon be common in many other performance cars. The Corvette was running a 7 Litre V8 engine which was also expected putting out 504BHP and 469ft-lb or torque. Unexpectedly, the Z06 is the lightest of the bunch weighing in at only 1420kg. This was going to be interesting.

    As I set off on my first lap the difference was immediately noticeable. The exhaust note was of a completely different tone, producing that huge V8 rumble that is synonymous with American muscle. The rev limiter was set at around 7,000 RPM which was noticeably lower than the Ferrari's. I buried my foot into the carpet and set off in a cloud of tyre smoke. The torque of the Vette is instantly noticeable giving that huge hit of power low down the rev range. As I hurtled down the straight I could feel the car working hard and loving every minute of it. Approaching the corner I used the rather heavy 6 speed manual box to drop into second before attempting the first hairpin.

    This was an experience I will never forget. This car likes to go sideways. I slid round the bend billowing smoke from the rear tyres as the Z06 just loved to drift. I thought to myself "Less throttle!" as I approached the next hairpin. I took this a lot more conservatively, not allowing the rear to step out but I can't say I was having fun. This car just loves to kick the tail out and cause a lot of drama in the process. It handled surprisingly well considering the use of leaf spring suspension on the American beast.

    As I settled in with the big Vette, I just ended up having so much fun tearing up the straights and sliding round the bends. I managed to compose myself for a lap and pulled out a time of 1:14.885 which I believe to be very good going. Back to the garage I headed to drive the final challenger in this 3 horse race, the Nissan GTR.

    The GTR feels very different to the other 2 cars I have driven today, mainly due to the amount of technology on display in the cockpit. There are large computer screens giving boost pressure and G readings along with a selected gear indicator. This is the real wild card of the pack, weighing in at 1730kg with a 3.8 litre V6 twin turbocharged engine producing 485 BHP and 443 ft-lb it is the lowest powered and heaviest of all the cars out today. Also with 4 wheel drive I could tell this would be a totally different experience to that of the 599 and the Z06.

    Out on the track I set away to find that straight line speed and acceleration are not the GTR's strong point feeling rather lacklustre in comparison to the Vette and the Italian stallion. With the evident whine of the twin turbochargers I could noticeably tell that the higher end of the rev range was the best area for this car. This would mean an intelligent choice of gearing at all times. Heading to the first bend I broke down hard to find this car stops quicker than the other 2 tested today which was a suprise due to the high weight. Using the paddle shift I dropped into 2nd gear for the bend. It cruised around, no fuss with high entry and exit speeds. Coming into the second bend I left it in 2nd gear only to suffer from turbo lag on the exit. "Damn" I thought, "You can't drive this like the others!".

    Round the rest of the track the car was unbelieveable, making mince meat of all the corners with traction never a problem. Even when I settled in to the groove of the tight bends there was no rear end drama and it stuck to the racing line like glue. This is one superb handling car which rightfully should be considered in the same league as the Ferrari and the Z06. When I did a hot lap I was astounded with the results. The GTR pulled a 1:11.021 out of the bag! This was most likley due to the extreme amounts of grip and the computer assistance of the GTR's complicated internal workings.

    So, I must come to my conclusion. Which car has won this intercontinental challenge? It's so hard to decide due to the unique nature of all of these cars. The exuberance of the 599, the brutality of the Z06 or the tech wizardry of the GTR. If lap times are anything to go by, they show the GTR to be the clear victor of this challenge, but I know when it comes to supercars you have to pick them by your heart. And my heart tells me the Z06 was the most fun. My head tells me the 599 due to the outstanding engine and performance figure and my lap times say the GTR by a landslide. I know which I would pick and I have my reasons. I must say the Corvette Z06 takes it.

    It is a step forward in American supercar building, yet keeps that appeal that we know and love about muscle cars. This clearly has showed us that the Americans can still play with the big boys in Europe and The Far East.

    888 Tuning's Submission

    Evolution of a legend

    The Skyline GT-R is synonymous with Japanese performance. The very name conjures up images of late night gatherings of hard charging street cars in downtown Tokyo as the glimmer of a thousand neon’s dance across the aggressive flanks of the car that has become one of motor sports best known icons.
    Initially a Japan only offering until in 1991 a small number of exports were sent to Australia. Poor sales meant it was never to return, yet throughout the world, and more importantly via the magic and success of a simple video game, the Skyline GT-R caught the attention of motoring enthusiasts everywhere and became a cult classic.

    In the most recent of years Nissan has rebirthed the GT-R with a totally rebuilt vehicle. Interestingly enough their target is pointed squarely at the German performance icon, Porsche and the Ring Record which stands as the ultimate accolade for the performance car.

    To get to where the GT-R is today I wanted to take a look at where the GT-R has most recently come from, how it has evolved and why this car has been the car of choice amongst the local tuning houses such as Amuse and Mines.

    With this in mind I recently took a trip to Fuji Speedway where I had managed to line up a handful of GT-R's and secured some time at a sensational track in the shadow of the famed Mt Fuji.

    Upon arrival I was greeted with the usual courtesies and taken through a run down of the days activities. In the background I could hear that distinctive wail of the RB26DETT being warmed up, yet I could also hear something that sounded like it was tuned a fair bit harder than normal, very tasty indeed.
    My contact had said he would have the R34 GT-R, and R35 on hand for some comparisons and possibly some additional surprises.

    The allocation was 5 laps in each car where 1st lap was an outlap, 2nd lap was a sighting lap to get some feel for the car and the remaining 3 laps were timed hot laps. I don’t consider myself a “Schuey” but a reasonably solid consistent driver. I wasn’t out to set lap records but simply push these cars as far as I was comfortable with and find out what makes them so good.


    R34 GT-R V-Spec II Nur


    We conclude the drivers briefing and I suit up then head down to the pit area. The round tail lights, spoiler and boxy ass is an instant give away to the R34 sitting at idle waiting to go. The body kit and badge tells me this is the V-Spec II (Nur) model.
    Upgrades over the standard spec included an aero kit, brake ventilation ducts a rear diffuser and a ducted carbon fibre bonnet. A stiffer lower ride and larger brake discs hinted towards the performance focus of this model. Even with the addition of the ATTESA E-TS pro system they managed to shave the weight down by around 60kg over the standard GT-R.

    The R34 GT-R used a silky smooth 2.6 litre twin turbo in-line 6. The official advertised power figure was 205kW, however unofficially the power figures from reputable Dyno's was higher than this, up around the 250kW.
    While I don’t expect the R34 to be able to match the R35, my goal here is to understand the roots where the R35 came from and to see if this same ethos that made this car so fast has been carried forward into the new car.
    As I hit pit lane exit and plant the right foot, the rush of torque as the twin turbos spool, pins me in the seat and brings a smile to my face.
    That familiar howl is every bit as good as I remember.
    The car feels well balanced, though the weight definitely makes its presence felt with some understeer when you start pushing in to corners too hard. The AWD is of some benefit here but it needs some balance, get on the gas too hard too early and it will want to understeer, mind you once you are past the apex it’s a different story.
    The brakes did an ok job of washing speed off with the car feeling stable and holding its line nicely. Where the AWD really comes into its own is being able to get on the gas early when exiting a corner. It hooks up well on standard tyres and produces some easily controlled rear wheel steering moments. This is a little contrary to standard AWD's which tend to just want to understeer on throttle through corners and this is one of the traits that makes this car so successful.
    The ATTESA system works well and really lets you concentrate on getting through the corner fast.
    The engine is superb though begs for some better breathing to release that top end.
    The car is starting to feel its age a little but has a fantastically planted feel and is an easy car to drive fast as was indicated by the consistent lap times the car was able to produce.

    No real surprises just a solid well performing balanced car and I can understand how this car with some tuning could be an incredibly potent weapon.

    Weight: 1560
    Power: 251kW
    Tyres: N3

    Braking: 65/100
    Turn in: 54/100
    Corner grip:61/100
    Corner Exit: 66/100
    Balance: 64/100
    Top Speed: 236kph
    Lap Time1: 2:05.812
    Lap Time2: 2:05.952
    Lap Time3: 2:05.574


    After a handful of laps I'm waved in. Back in pit lane and I write some notes down about the car and I hear that hard tuned engine again. The sound grows as another R34 GT-R rolls into the garage beside me. I have already stopped as I read the 5 letters on the side of the car "MINES"

    Mines R34 GT-R


    Mines is a Japanese tuning house with a simple ethos. Make it fast, make it driveable. They don’t go in for large flashy visual customisations, leaving that up to the customer. What they do well is performance.
    The R34 GT-R comes with "only" 205kW but the engine is bullet proof and is easily capable of producing double this figure and a whole lot more. Combined with a sensational AWD system, an incredibly well built chassis that ensured solid handling and this car became an instant easy choice for local tuners. As the cult status of this car grew, locally, from the initial days of the R32 so has the development from the tuning garages such as HKS, Blitz, Amuse and Mines.
    Their current R34 Demo car is powered by the MINE'S Stage-II RB26DETT engine. It is based on the OEM Nissan RB26 N1 block, but it is further strengthened and balanced. The cylinder head is modified to flow the air, fuel, and exhaust more efficiently. Moving parts were lightened where they could be, and rotating parts were balanced. On the R34 N1 demo car, the engine is equipped with two HKS GT2530 turbochargers.
    In some cases they demonstrate the car at 470kW (this is the highest level of power the GT2530 turbochargers can support) though it is usually demonstrated running at 440kW which is what I will be driving here today.
    Weight loss, Brakes, suspension and revised final drive over the standard V-Spec, round out this package and I cant wait to get in.
    From the moment you put the foot down in the Mines, you can feel, hear and sense the development work that has gone into the engine. It breathes and revs so freely. The needle slams into redline through every gear and with 440kW on tap this car demands some respect.
    To say it feels fast is an understatement. Its scary fast, but the boys at Mines have done a sensational job in putting this car together, and the package extends well beyond a few simple engine mods. The brakes and suspension make the standard R34 feel sloppy and heavy in comparison.
    The car goes where it’s pointed and holds its line. Feeding the power on out of corners is glorious as the car simply digs its tyres into the tarmac and tears its way out of the corner the wail from that engine feeding your adrenaline and crying for you to push your foot deeper into the firewall.
    I was expecting a difference between the standard R34 and the Mines, but the difference here is huge. I could play in this car all day. It just begs to be driven hard, always asking for just a little more and yet always feeling in control.

    The AWD system does a sensational job of getting all those horsies to the ground, but if pushed too hard you will find yourself in a Torvil and Dean moment as the cars momentum finally overcomes the traction available.

    So this is it. This is the pinnacle of the R34 development. Sure there are tunes out there pushing out massive amounts of power, but as a complete package this car is king. I was looking for areas that could be improved but to be honest I couldn’t find any real flaws with this car.
    It’s angry yet inviting, it turns in like a car half its size and will exit a corner like no RWD can. If I had stumped the money for an R34 then the Mines tune would have to be a mandatory addition to realize the full potential of this car.

    Tyres: S1

    Braking: 72/100
    Turn in: 79/100
    Corner grip: 75/10
    Corner Exit: 81/100
    Balance: 82/100
    Top Speed: 288kph
    Lap Time1:1:52.484
    Lap Time2:1:50.797
    Lap Time3:1:50.332


    R35 GT-R


    There has been so much written about this car already so I wont go into too much depth around its history and development. The evolution of the GT-R from the R32 to the R34 was a gradual change with each model building on the previous yet still retaining the basic fundamentals of the previous car. That all ended with the R34.
    The R35 was completely redesigned from the ground up. Yet even still they stayed true to a few key principles that made the previous iterations of the GT-R so successful:
    Intelligent AWD
    Powerful and torquey turbo 6
    .. and interestingly a recognition and acceptance that a car didn’t have to be of supermodel weight to be fast.
    While this last fact was acceptable with the early incarnations of the GT-R, the ground up redesign could have easily paved the way for a light weight razor sharp supercar. There was no carry over from a previous model to hold them back here. With their nemesis Porsche renowned for light weight performance, it seemed Nissan was almost thumbing their nose at the German manufacturer by building a supercar that was more Pavarotti than J-Lo.
    On paper the numbers didn’t really add up to the times that were coming out of the factory. Sure it had some grunt but it needed it to haul all that extra weight around. How could this car ever hope to compete with the lithe 911GT2 which comes in almost 200kg lighter than the portly Godzilla.

    The magic is simply the traction that this car has and this is evident from the moment you turn into the first corner. There are some incredibly smart electronics going on here, but for me behind the wheel it’s simply a point and shoot scenario. The car doesn’t sound fast, it’s more just a never ending surge interjected by millisecond quick gear changes as the car rockets down the straight.
    The brakes ? Wow. I was expecting a squirrelly mess trying to pull up 1700kg of car at the end of the Fuji straight but with some small protest from the tyres, the car simply stops. Turn it in and feed some power on and in the car grabs and goes.
    In the same way the Mines R34 sliced through corners so does the R35, though the R34 in comparison felt like an axe where this feels like a katana.

    The other noticeable trait this car has is some healthy oversteer if you were getting on the brakes while turning in. This can only be attributed to the additional weight. While not overly concerning, as it is easily countered by trailing some throttle it does bear mention. It also allows for some Hollywood style corner exits with the rear end hanging way out with all 4 paws dragging the car up the road as you grab another gear.
    I was initially sceptical of this car, but I walk away simply stunned and impressed. I feel that this is a car that I could commute to work each day, trundle down to the shops for my weekly groceries and then on Sunday go and destroy some supercars at my local track.
    The combination of balance, traction and some very smart electronics put this car miles ahead of nearly every other car on the market. What it does and how it does it is simply a new benchmark and breaking new ground in terms of performance cars.
    The engine is gold. For the first time the GT-R lineage now sports a twin turbo V6 instead of the in-line of old.
    While its not the most sensational sounding V6 on the market, it certainly has potential once the tuners get a hold of it. In a way the understated exhaust note from the quad drainpipes out the back reflect the entire persona of this car. Where the R34 V-Spec looked hard, muscular and loud, the R35 is more like your wolf in sheep’s clothing. At a glance it looks nothing more than a mild mannered tourer until you start looking a little closer and realise how perfectly everything ties in and how purposeful this car is.

    Weight:1740 kg
    Power: 360 kW
    Tyres: S1

    Braking: 91/100
    Turn in: 89/100
    Corner grip: 90/100
    Corner Exit: 93/100
    Balance: 93/100
    Top Speed:271kph
    Lap Time1:1:52.062
    Lap Time2:1:52.642
    Lap Time3:1:52.836


    V-Spec R35 GT-R what we can expect.


    While I didn’t have my hands on the production version of the V-Spec R-35 I did have access to one of the "mules" they were testing. If the standard R-35 felt as good as it was, I could not wait to see how this car felt.

    The GT-R SpecV is powered by the standard twin-turbo 3,799 cc (3.8 L; 231.8 cu in) V6 with no increase in (peak) horsepower, but a new high gear boost controller that temporarily increases boost pressure should deliver more torque in mid to high-range revs. Other mechanical changes include a titanium exhaust, reworked suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and 20-inch (510 mm) NISMO wheels. Overall weight is decreased by 60 kg over the standard GT-R.

    I ran my eye over the spec sheet and thought hmmmm not really much change here. But as soon as I was in the seat the changes really made a difference. The loss of weight and reworked suspension made the turn in sharper, more controllable (as if that was even possible!) and allowed for a slightly higher corner speed.
    The better brakes gave a lot more stopping power allowing me to confidently brake deeper into the 2 big hairpins at Fuji.
    Overall the level of grip now available was definitely kicked up a notch and that was reflected in the lap times. The slightly stiffer suspension really suited the Fuji track surface, though may be more of a hindrance on Sydney’s less than perfect roads but this is an issue I could happily live with. Although power was quoted as not changing the dyno showed an increase of around 5kw. This plus the weight loss and extra torque account for the slightly higher top speed reached down the main straight.
    The car simply felt tighter and more in touch with the road surface giving greater feedback and allowing me to push a little harder. For what was only slight changes, this equated to a gain of 2 seconds over the standard R-35 and when you have not done this via power it means promising things for those tuners once they get a hold of this car.
    I’m looking forward to the production version of this to be released so I can do some solid back to back testing, however early on I can see that the V-Spec is going to be fast and well worth the expense. Porsche look out.

    Weight:1670 kg
    Power: 365 kW
    Tyres: S1

    Braking: 95/10
    Turn in: 96/10
    Corner grip: 96/10
    Corner Exit: 96/10
    Balance: 97/10
    Top Speed:273
    Lap Time1:1:50.152
    Lap Time2:1:49.699
    Lap Time3:1:50.349

    Changes over the standard tune R-35:
    Ride height -10mm F/R from std
    Spring F5/R5
    Damper F4/R4
    Brakes 6/6
    Toe F -5
    Slightly lower final drive


    Mines R35 GT-R - what we can expect


    The tuner’s latest work includes a brand new aero package, which includes of a full body kit plus several additional carbon-fibre accessories. These include pieces such as a carbon-fibre lip spoiler, carbon-fibre hood and trunk lid, and new carbon-fibre side mirrors. There are also custom canards positioned on the front spoiler.

    Modifications to the car’s internals include an upgraded ECU, high-flow air filter and exhaust, an adjustable suspension package with a Mine’s Eibach spring kit, up rated brake rotors and pads, and high-capacity fuel injectors.

    The Mines guys had their mule on hand for me as well. It was tough getting exact numbers from them and I have a feeling they were being a little conservative on the numbers they did give me. But what I found was they had bumped the power up to just over 400kW. Weight apparently had not changed but the aero kits was sure to provide some additional grip.
    The reworked suspension and brakes would also add to what is an already sensational car.
    Out on the track, there was definite improvement over the V-Spec. The extra power they have extracted from the engine really made its presence felt, though this did require a little more control on corner exit as I found myself pointing backwards on my sighting lap.

    The suspension and brakes feel refined and powerful adding to an already confident car and teasing you to push a little deeper and a little harder. I was really impressed with this early version and think these guys have really nailed it. The car exhibits a lot of the traits of their R34 version in so much as it’s a very fast car yet feels totally in control, it FEELS like a Mines car should.

    Is it quicker than the V-Spec ? Definitely. The big grunt and extra sure footedness allowed me to shave another second off the time of the V-Spec and this was really evident in the way this car would drive off the corners and the extra speed down the main straight.

    Weight:1670 kg
    Power: 404 kW
    Tyres: S1

    Braking: 96/10
    Turn in: 97/10
    Corner grip: 97/10
    Corner Exit: 98/10
    Balance: 98/10
    Top Speed:283kph
    Lap Time1:1:48.627
    Lap Time2:1:48.247
    Lap Time3:1:48.584

    Changes over the standard tune R-35:
    Ride height -15mm F/R from std
    Spring F6/R6
    Damper F5/R5
    Brakes 7/7
    Toe F -7
    Slightly lower final drive

    I feel like I went through my own evolution when running these tests. Ideally I would like to have had an R32 and R33 on hand but I don’t think that was really critical to the overall test.
    The R34 was the culmination of the previous versions of the legendary Godzilla. Continually building upon that platform and producing a supercar that was and probably always will be heralded as one of the greatest cars every built in the form of the R34 V-Spec II.
    Highlights were definitely seeing how this car evolved through the hands of tuners and how this car developed the foundations and underlying principles that would make their way to the R35.
    Seeing how the R35 interprets these attributes of balance, traction and drivability and take them to an all new level that frankly, nothing else comes close to, is a revolutionary approach to supercar design.
    Where to from here?
    As we saw with the previous versions of the GT-R, this is just the beginning. With the release of the V-Spec and then the models from the various tuning houses this car will continue to grow its domination and will again become the cult classic in its own right like all the GT-R's before it.

    So here we are at the end of our fourth and probably final issue before the full GT5. We hope you enjoyed reading this one, even though we know we've been slack in getting it to market. We'd like to officially welcome 888 Tuning to the team, congrats. Once again, thanks for reading, and until next time see you later!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  16. Boffin


    No comments eh? Hmm - tough crowd.:indiff:

    Anything you guys think we should change? :idea:
  17. 888 Tuning

    888 Tuning

    I liked it :D

    Forum has focused on the GT5 forum for the past week
  18. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    Rather pointlessly I might add, the stupid speculation and the fact all the facts were brought to attention at the show and what not means 100% of the posts in the GT5 forum have been totally mindless and pointless. I don't go there much any more, I just watch the GTP news page like everyone damn well should.
  19. Nicko

    Nicko Premium

    A very good read guys, well done. :tup:
  20. Boffin


    Thanks guys. And a congrats to 888 tuning who beat the (stiff) competition to become the new writer. I'm just sorry you won't be doing any work too soon - but on the brightside, you're in a good position when GT5 comes out :tup:.

    I must say a big congrats to everyone else who entered. AyJay, MetalheadA7X and PJ (who put an immense amount of effort - and while he sadly missed out - he has improved at least 3 fold) all did fantastic jobs that had me entertained (<---the main goal when writing these). If I missed someone out, I'm sorry :nervous:.

    Cheers guys :tup:
  21. MetalheadA7X



    2nd isn't bad!
  22. Peter

    Peter (Banned)

    Congratulations 888 Tuning. I guess i'm not that good, yet. Maybe i'll get in some other day.
  23. Peter

    Peter (Banned)

    So, what position did I come in? 3rd?
  24. Paulie

    Paulie Premium

    We didn't really decided 3rd and 4th, just the winner and runner-up.
  25. 888 Tuning

    888 Tuning

    Thanks mate... but dont undersell yourself either.

    PAPAOSA Premium

    Nice read Paulie, You and the boy's have a done good job with this issue once again. And of course 888Tunings reviews are great addition to the overall package.:)

    Good work guys.:tup:
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  27. Peter

    Peter (Banned)

    I must say though, that there was much room for improvement with my review. I didn't have the resources to do a proper comparison, as my ps3 had died on me weeks before the competition begun. I most likely would have had a much better review if I had a ps3 at the moment. Once again, congratulations, and good luck to 888 Tuning.
  28. dbarrade


    Sorry, only just discovered this thread, it's a great read, really did laugh out loud when I saw the phrase "a tuned car that doesn’t look like a jet plane collided with an oversized 3yr old’s birthday cake".

    Awesome, thanks.
  29. Boffin


  30. baubry


    I originally thought these were going to be terribly boring, a car magazine based on a video game. However, after reading the first couple, I am eating my words. Excellent work, very interesting.