Tuner Challenge 5 Judging and Results!

Discussion in 'GT4 Tuning' started by mafia_boy, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    Kingofweasles' Clio Sport V6

    Laptime: 1'22.626
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 20
    I took the car on the track, and my very first lap was a 1'23.8. Not bad, but at the time, I felt that the car was close to its limit. Within another 3 laps, I managed a 1'23.390. I was surprised, and again I thought 'no way I can improve that'. Within 10 laps, I'd managed a 1'22.626, with another 2 laps under 1'23. So the car kept offering more to me. The straight-line speed isn't actually that great, but the car makes excellent use of its gears, especially out of corners. Nothing was out of place, and I could choose the perfect gear every time. Only on one section of track was I forced to redline the car. Performance was great.

    Handling: 22
    I'd never driven this Clio stock before, let alone a tuned one. So I didn't know what to expect. The car feels very soft, and even when pushing it to its limit, the car seemed to float through the track. The problem with this, though, was that I couldn't easily judge the limit of the car. That laptime above might be reasonably good, or mediocre. The cornering was phenomenal, I could take corners at a much higher pace when I was pushing it ( I'd skid slightly, and the car would seem to oversteer a bit). This was especially helpful in the esses. Out of small corners, there wasn't a single problem with entry or exit. Seriously. The only thing I noticed was a little bit of Lift-Throttle-Oversteer. Since I could get on the throttle extremely early, I could let go of the throttle for a split second and still make the corner at a good pace. The braking is set up well, too: there's a lot of turn-in and the car brakes quite easily. Very good braking and manoevrability for a mid-engined sportscar.

    Versatility: 18
    The car feels like an overpowered go-kart. I could do virtually whatever I wanted without facing any negative consequences. Forget to brake? The car stops extremely early. Slide a little on corner entry? This was very easy to control, and it's not unusual to slide under braking. See, a lot of MR cars are versatile. I know I'm stereotyping, but oh well. This car in particular has no hesitation taking odd lines, or overtaking from the outside. The only reason it's not a perfect score is because of the slipperiness under braking. It's not n00b-friendly ;)

    Laptime: 18
    A very decent laptime for a Clio. I loaded up a ghost for the NSX-R and I was matching its pace in the last sector. A very solid time.

    Improvement over stock: 4
    It's hard to improve a car that was very fun to begin with. In the stock version, the handling was almost the same as the tuned version. However, the gearing was worse in the stock version. The first couple of gears were, in my opinion, too small. In a lower-powered car it'd work, but not this baby.

    Total: 82
     
  2. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    Rotary Junkie's RX7 Spirit R Type A

    Laptime: 1'21.867
    Benchmark: 1'26.949

    Speed: 24
    Quite simply, an extremely fast car overall. I mean, the gearing is a bit weird at first glance, but I was amazed when I could pull 1'21 laps. The gears are set up so you can get plenty of power at the lower speeds, and I would be racing down the straight in 5th gear, just in the red. What is with everyone and 5th gear? Acceleration out of corners is superb, and to be honest, I drove this car more than the others. I just have nothing to complain about the performance, except that the performance in the higher gears was slightly lacking. That, and the fact that 6th gear had no use, was all that got to me. Chuck in some more power and it'd be perfect!

    Handling: 22
    I never got tired of the feel of this car. Thanks to the spring rate, the driver could control the car. I was able to predict braking points very quickly, and the car is extremely stable under braking. So stable, I was trail-braking every corner just to see if I could get it sideways. I couldn't. The car won't wheelspin, even from a standing start at full throttle. The brakes are also quite strong, so I could brake reasonably late with it. The actual cornering attitude of the car surprised me. It's very solid, and it's very manoevrable. I could produce solid laptimes because of this much quicker than any other car. Nothing unexpected happened when I was cornering, but I felt that the turn-in was a little too stiff. Actually, the whole car is a bit stiff. It's enjoyable, but if I could improve it, I would. Otherwise a great car.

    Versatility: 17
    This was a little difficult to judge, so I entered a race meeting with it. I tried a few different ways of overtaking other cars, and most of them worked. Taking the inside of other cars was easy, but due to less turn-in I would go wide. Out-braking the opposition was easy, and taking them from the outside was no hassle. However, whether you could actually pass or not varied with the corner. Taking a different line is recommended for passing only, otherwise you're going to get slower laptimes.

    Laptime: 20
    The car was 5.082 seconds faster than the benchmark, so a perfect score here. Not many cars can get a full score, so that goes to show how capable the car is.

    Improvement over stock: 6
    Believe it or not, the actual feel of the car was very similar. There was more body roll, but the turn-in of the car was really awful at some points. Aside from that, there wasn't much to improve in the first place. Which is why RJ has made the gearing twice as good. Stock gears are disgusting, and there aren't enough to get all the power from corners. The cornering, even without a wing, is still quite good, but the downforce improves it dramatically, even if the car is a little stiffer.

    Total: 89
     
  3. mcsqueegy

    mcsqueegy Premium

    Messages:
    1,855
    So... there you have it. RJ takes first place, with what I'd consider the easiest car to drive fast. I've included a graph for convenience, which shows not only the laptimes, but the sector times, and the gaps between them. If I had to choose a car for the fun factor, I'd probably go with the Clio V6. Not particularly fast, but playful and easy to destroy the opposition with :)

    [​IMG]

    Once again, if there's any problems with the scoring, or spelling errors etc, let me know.

    -Macca
     
  4. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Hello everyone. Just wanted to note the only thing I'm doing differently as I judged the Middleweight Division is I didn't do as many "retunes" with my own settings. Too time-consuming...and I wanna get the TCV5 judging done just as soon you want me to get it done. :guilty: It's summer time in my country, :cool: after all...I wanna enjoy at least some of it, even tho summer is my least favorite season. :guilty::indiff:
     
  5. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: NSX-R Evo. II

    Tuner: VTiRoj

    Garage: RRV Motor Works

    Best Lap: 1:23.569



    Speed

    Top Speed: 147.0 mph


    Good speed in this one...reliable traction, too. Lots of grip mid-corner, and the front-end noses into corners easily. All of which helps our Speed category. It's a high-dollar mid-engine sports car, after all, built to provide all of this. There's only a couple of criticisms here.

    The NSX engine isn't exactly a torque-monster, so there were those moments when this one lags a bit out of corners. Those revs are very fluid in their delivery, as long as you keep them high, and this means gearing needs to be precise. Now, about those gears...:mischievous:

    The gearbox is barely tuned. It's useful at Twin Ring, but I couldn't help thinking that it could have been even better if a little more thought was put into its set-up, so that the car shuffles out of corner with the best efficiency.

    Anyways, we're supposed to install a full-custom unit, and then make its Auto setting taller than it already is. We're supposed to push 6th speed a bit as well, even tho we won't be needing 6th at Twin Ring East. Other than this, there isn't much of a gearing change. :confused: While I applaud the fact that this gearbox isn't (therefore) too busy, I couldn't help thinking that if it were tweaked even further, perhaps it could have been even better.

    Like I said, the NSX has a rather torqueless engine. Narrow powerband, too. I'm not knocking too many points off the power/gearbox relationship, I'm just saying I think there's room for improvement.


    18
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    Handling:


    Quite an easy one to drive at speed. :D The NSX was developed by Honda not as a poser; it actually is supposed to have prowess on par with other sports car manufacturers who have been in the game much longer than Honda/Acura, which helps the Evo II. There are a few criticisms, tho (aren't there always?) :indiff:

    The brakes are barely tuned at all. The NSX-R Evo II. hasn't got horrible brakes, thanks to the fact that it's got a wing kit. The extra downforce generated by this wing kit adds airflow resistance, which helps slow the car from high speeds, but (again) the braking ability could have been better.

    Braking has to be FIRM in the NSX-R Evo II. It doesn't have to be super-early, but neither can it be later than some others which have made an appearance in the TCV5/Middle Weight class, lest some understeer makes things hellish once we're deep in that upcoming corner. Again, I wish those settings were stronger. Why install a balancer but then leave them near-default? :confused:

    Same goes for the limited-slip device. :confused: The limited-slip is set with its default accel of 40, which is rather unnecessarily strong. The initial & decel settings have been reversed so that they look like this: 20/10 instead of 10/20. Understeer in the NSX-R Evo II. isn't horrible, but I did happen to notice there was some which shouldn't have made an appearance, especially mid-corner.

    While nearing super-tight areas, I'd brake and shift down while steering-in minimally. Just before the apex, I'd start steering in much harder, and sometimes, the front-end reacts by not reacting enough. Not true understeer if I had braked at the proper zone...more like a limit. The steering radius itself isn't as tight as it should be.

    In regards to brakes, limited-slip, and the tranny: it's like having an automotive tuning research & development department spend exactly two minutes on their project, go out for lunch, and never come back. :boggled: R&D then goes on an extended vacation, touring the area around the town of Motegi, slapping themselves on a job well done.

    When needing to quickly change direction (under power), there are some moments when the Evo II will lag just for a moment before doing so, which hurts in the sweepers. I'm guessing a stronger front wing could help? Not sure, nor did I try any retuning. It's summer, after all...gotta spend some of it outside! :O:cool: One thing I did like was the fact that all you got to do is lay off the gas for just a split second to cure this. The car immediately corrects itself into the racing line you'll want with some controllable lift-off.

    The strong accel setting (40) also adds a bit more understeer mid-corner than necessary when powering-out, meaning I couldn't nail the gas as early as I wanted. Once you've got this car properly balanced mid-corner, it'll throttle steer, which is great, but needing to avoid those moments understeer (mild as it is) is also a necessary step.

    Other stuff. The springs and dampers are set very strong in the NSX Evo II, with a minimal ground clearance all around. There's also a rollcage. All of this had me fearing that the car would react drastically while travelling over Twin Ring's rumble strips, but fortunately; this isn't as much of an issue for this Middle Weight car. Having wings probably helps, as well, keeping the car more glued in position while it travels over the esses portions.

    At worst, I'd lose some precious cornering angle as the car ran over rumblies, but I never experienced wheelspin or excessive inside pulling. Lightweights are more prone to getting squirly over bumps simply because they haven't got as much weight keeping them in place.

    Fortunately, VTiRoj's machine wasn't affected so much here. There were moments when I'd find the NSX getting a little off-balance over rumblies, almost like stepping on a slippery rock, but these were rather rare.

    18
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    Versatility

    Above-average mark here. It's easy to drive this car around, garnering predictable behavior and good lap times while varying corner lines, especially when making a casual run. But those average brakes, limited-slip device, and occasional understeer place a few limits when going for speed, meaning racing lines need to become stricter.

    (17)
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    Car vs. Battle Monster:

    More good news. The NSX-R Evo II readily DESTROYED the BATTLE MONSTER right away. If I couldn't make an average of about -5 seconds over the MONSTER, it was because I had screwed up somewhere around Twin Ring.

    (18)
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    Improvement over Stock


    Some good things :) and some not-so-good things. :indiff: The good stuff first.

    For those who'd like an NSX that's a little "safer" to drive (with steering that's not quite as grabby and less overall body movement, for instance) here's a remake for you. Personally, I think the limited-slip is set too strong. I'd prefer the NSX-R to be like the stock version. It's hard for me to dock points here, tho...both cars offer their advantages. But the final kicker is: there IS more understeer (and less ability to steer-in as strongly) in the RRV NSX than there is in a stock NSX-R, which hurts more than it helps. :indiff:

    The transmission is a bit shorter in VTiRoj's auto, which helps. In the stock version, gearing around Motegi after gearing the NSX-R Evo II felt downright sluggish, and NOT just 'cause there's less power involved. The RRV version also is lighter, :tup: but I don't think the rollcage is necessary.

    One area where there's not really much improvement from stock to tuned is brakes. I felt the stock version actually offered a bit of an advantage here, since it was more willing to trail-brake into turns.

    4

    Total Score: 75
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  6. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: '99 Nissan Silvia Spec R (S15)

    Tuner: Jonn79

    Tuning Shop: Killer Chinchilla Garages

    Best Lap: 1:25.823


    Speed:

    Top Speed: 145.2 mph top speed


    Again, not a very torquey engine...Nissan employs its infamous 2.0 liter turbocharged beastie in the Silvia. With an intercooled Stage 3 turbo, I feared there might be some turbo-lag in this one, and perhaps there is. Fortunately, Jonn79 has the Silvia Spec R geared such that we never get to find out. :tup:

    Five gears possibly come into play in this one, but I found I could get better lap times if I avoided 2nd in Twin Ring's slowest corners, and instead left it in 3rd. Like I said, turbo lag doesn't get to ruin these moments, since the tach needle falls somewhere in the 4,000s at its lowest, which is just where torque (and probably boost) start happening.

    When driving for the sport of it, I found I could use 2nd as an engine brake. :dopey: 2nd can be used out of hairpins (and other tight areas) but beware: for it is very touchy. Give more than 3/4ths throttle, and wheelspin takes over from here, folks. Perhaps a heavier flywheel + stock driveshaft, and some additional chassis tuning can be used to minimize this further. But like I said, I was able to avoid this altogether by keeping the KC Silvia in 3rd gear.

    Acceleration and speed are otherwise as good it gets in the Spec R, thanks to the fact that the gearing mostly fits. Minor criticisms happen in the second esses area, and also nearing Turns #2, #8, and the final hairpin. The gearing is such that we're forced to shift up for just a second (lest we tap upon the RPM limiter), and then shift back down just as quickly. I noticed Jonn79 didn't really set the gears (other than literally a click here and 3 clicks there). He only changed the final drive. A bit more preparation, and these brief upshifts could have been avoided.

    13
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    Handling:


    It's those little things that count in the TCV5, especially when comparing one car to the next. Overall, this is a fine retune. I could surely use it during a racing situation, but there are areas that could have been improved, no doubt.

    Braking is actually (finally!) not one of these areas. The brakes in the Spec R are set stronger than they are in many others so far. The actual brake settings could have been pushed even further, I thought at first, but as I was really going for a good time, I concluded that to do so would hurt this car's ability to brake into corners. Stronger brakes might hurt this car's turning-in-while-braking flexibility. And this car needs all the flexibility it can get...

    If we're looking for a single trait which gets in the way of further dominance, it's the understeer that winds up hurting. While the Spec R doesn't display "muscle-car" type understeer, when compared to others of this competition, the front-end is where the most problems lie (assuming one never uses 2nd gear and therefore avoids wheelspin, if so, add fishtailing and possible countersteer-saves to the problems list).

    Anyways, understeer shows up entry-curve. Let off the brakes, and it doesn't always go away like it would if this car were more flexible (I'll get to this in a minute). Sometimes, the car understeers out-of-corners, too, but I felt this was easier to avoid than it is during entry and mid-corner. There just isn't enough flexibility in this car, which hurts it here and there. :indiff:

    Maxed damper settings. Maxed stabilizers. Strong coils all around. Rollcage. Once again, I had problems while needing to incorporate rumble strips into my racing lines. Might as well call them "fumble" strips or bumble strips, ha haa. Anyways, there were those moments when traveling over these areas that the car starts bouncing, and gets just slightly out of the angle I needed. There were a few times under power (even in 3rd gear) that a bumble strip would cause some extreme wheelspin all the sudden. :crazy:

    Finally, there were those moments when one of the tires would dip into some grass (not a true grass-cut, just a dip), and all-a-sudden the Spec R would find itself getting entirely pulled out of proper orbit. :scared: So I had to be more careful in this one than I had to in the other middleweight car I drove so far (VTiRoj's NSX).

    This car is like a brick on 4 wheels due to all those maxed/extreme suspension settings. True, it doesn't dive hardly at all while braking-in, nor is there any extreme body movment, which theoretically is supposed to be beneficial. I would prefer more flexibility, though, and felt there should be more. It would help.

    I also felt that the deceleration setting in the limited-slip (left at its default of 20) also hurt the car's turning-in ability under braking. The Spec R's other tuning (initial setting slightly increased, acceleration setting slightly decreased) I didn't have any issues with...however, I noticed that throttle-steering wasn't as extreme as it could have been.

    15
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    Versatility


    There is some versatility here, especially when driving for sport. But make a small mistake (especially during Best Lap/BATTLE MONSTER mode), and the Spec R suddenly punishes you. :mad: It's not very forgiving if you brake just a tad late, or steer in just a tad too weakly. It doesn't allow enough leeway, which hurts the score here.

    12
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    Car versus Battle Monster:


    I initially found myself fighting for a good time that beat the BATTLE MONSTER Evo VI. Once I got used to the Spec R (with all its stiff behavior) I did find myself killing the monster lap after lap.

    14
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    Improvement over Stock


    There are the usual improvements: the Killer Chinchilla version is lighter and has a more appropriate transmission. :tup: What else is new, right? :lol: I could use 2nd thru 4th in the stock version. In the KC version, I could use 3rd thru 5th (with an option for 2nd). So that's an improvement. There is also less unnecessary body movement (less diving, less mid-corner roll) in the KC version.

    I would give Jonn79's brakes a bonus since they are stronger (an independent 100 to zero mph brake test confirms this), except for the fact that I didn't feel that the KC Silvia offered as much flexibility as it needed to turn-in with greater sucess.

    The Silvia in its stock state simply allows more flexibility overall, during all cornering situations. It understeers mildly, but is more forgiving about it than the Killer Chinchilla remake. It tackles rumble strip areas with no drama, as well. There's no risk of wheelspin in 2nd gear in the stock Silvia, but this is (of course) merely the fact that Jonn's version has alot more power.

    So the final tally> the car is basically more willing to work with us/less willing to mock when stock.

    3

    Total Score: 57
     
  7. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: '98 Mercedes-Benz 230 SLK Kompressor


    Tuner: Paulie

    Garage: Aussie Tuners

    Best Lap: 1:27.250


    Ooh, a Mercedes! :O Is this just Paulie's attempt at a touch of class, a true threat to others in the TCV5, or a bit of both? The plot thickens!

    Speed

    Top Speed: 140.4 mph[/b]


    Ah....a supercharged small-engine car. Something new here for us to play with. The SLK is (unfortunately) underpowered for this contest. :indiff: Paulie notes this with a shrug. "I'll get eaten" he says. :( It's not really that bad, although this IS almost the slowest Middleweight of the contest, thanks to mazdaman withdrawing his RX8 concept from the TCV5.

    The tranny in particular is well-tuned. I like it. :tup: Always the right gear for every curve & corner; and since this is a 5-speed, there isn't too much work involved. :tup: I took a quick read of McSqueegy's write-up of the Kompressor, in which he had some issue with this car's gearing, but I never truely did. *shrugs*

    There are some things working against this car, but it's doing the best it can so far as speed and acceleration go...it's just not as fast as some others, which hurts the score, of course.

    11
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    Handling:

    Some issues here, but also some positives. :) I like the fact that the suspension isn't too stiff. :tup: Stiff springs & stabilizers would definately hurt the SLK, since it's a short-wheelbase/short body auto with a convertible top.

    I actually think the rigidity refresh & rollcage might be doing some good as well, since the Kompressor is a convertible. Lessening body movement and making the car more easy to pilot overall (in theory, and somewhat in practice for Paulie's car). But I'm glad the suspension itself is more pliant and not another batch of concrete on wheels. :odd:

    Traction is greatly reliable in this front engine/rear-drive. :tup: Even in 2nd gear, thanks to the Benz's grippy rear tires.

    But...there are some issues. Again, the brakes could be stronger. Also, there are toe settings here, which I feel is unnecessary. I noticed immediately that if I removed the toe, this car turned-in more sharply and had a more flexible feel.

    As in the Silvia Spec R I just drove, Paulie's Kompressor also demonstrates small amounts of understeer here and there, just enough to hurt. It means braking and steering need to be absolutely rehearsed and firm. If you get both just right, the car usually does reward by locking into a mid-corner groove, thanks to minimal Initial & Decel ratings in the LSD. But it's like having to pass a small initiation test every time a corner comes up. :scared: Fail the test, and the headmaster swats you on the knuckles! :ouch: It made me more nervous than I should have been at times.

    Out of corners, the car mildly throttlesteers, although this was a bit unpredicatable. This throttlesteer could have been more reliable and easier to employ if there weren't any toe settings, and if the rear were staggered upwards. Overall, the SLK isn't horrible in the Handling department, but it could use some more work.

    18

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    Versatility:


    Very similar to the Silvia I just drove, although the SLK gains a couple points since I could blast out of corners in 2nd gear with no fear of traction-loss, and the SLk happens to feel more flexible; more willing to work with the driver. Both cars don't offer much leeway when small mistakes are made, however.


    14
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    Car versus Battle Monster


    It took me a couple laps in the Kompressor to defeat the BATTLE MONSTER, but it wasn't a great defeat. Again, it was really a matter of me getting used to Paulie's effort. Once I got used to it, I could defeat BATTLE MONSTER times more reliably, but only by a few tenths. :indiff:

    11
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    Improvement over Stock

    The usual. Paulie's [skipping record]car is lighter and has a more approrpriate transmission that isn't so tall.[/skipping record] I also felt Paulie's car is less nervous than stock. Body movement feels more controlled, with less chance of the car throwing the driver into a racing line which feels less-than-desireable.

    It also understeers less out-of-corners, although this is offset by the fact that it understeers more into them. The front-end of the stock version feels dartier; as if it's too easy to give too much input and wind up too far inwards. This is offset, unfortunately, by the fact that I liked the was the stock version feels more ready to attack corners....again, more flexible. :indiff:

    The brakes in the stock version felt stronger, but I attibute this to the fact that it was alot heavier, with less power--so no points docked there, but also none added. :indiff:

    Again, wish Paulie's car had more power. It might reveal some hidden capabilities (perhaps better throttlesteer) if it did. (4)

    4

    Total Score: 58
     
  8. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: '97 Toyota MR2 GTS (with high mileage).

    Tuner: AWDA

    Garage: AWD Advocate

    Best Lap: 1:27.509


    Y'all love some MR2s, dontcha? ;)


    Speed:

    Top Speed: 141.3 mph


    I like this. I'm supposed to buy a high-mileage MR2 GT-S. I got one with just over 38k on its odometer. Is that high enough? I hope so.

    I applaud AWDA for sticking to his heart, and entering a car which he knows isn't gonna be the fastest. He enters it anyways. :) He could have added more power, even more than 352 horsepower, and still made his auto conform within Middle Weight regulations. Personally, I wish he had topped up those horses, but whatever. Let's get our hands dirty.

    Yet another Toyota product. In his description, AWDA says that his car is a vast retune...that he wanted to start with a crappy used car and turn it into a diamond, rather than start with something which already has merits. Those aren't his exact words, but you get the point. Anyways, he's entered a great retune. I only wish he had taken his goals a bit further. As it is, he couldn't fully take the "sports" out of this sports car; which means no wing. No weight reductions, either. :eek:

    So this car starts off with a few lacks when compared to others thus far. The engine / transmission relationship is not one of these lacks, other than the fact that it's very busy. Like a couple others so far, it seems quite necessary to keep your gear shift knob in HIGH ACTION, so that you keep pegging that 6,000 rpm peak hp area, but all this activity also causes distraction at times. Since the 6,000 peak is about 1,300 rpms lower than redline, it's possible to never hit redline while driving this car, ever. Not at Twin Ring East, anyways.

    On the other hand, if you want, you can keep the AWDA GTS in gear longer if you want to. I sometimes did so as I approached Turn 8. This area has a slight uphill, so I found it okay to keep the car in 5th, rather than absolutely needing 6th. There was a run I did where my ghost and I were neck-and-neck in this area, and the ghost fell ever-so-slightly behind because it upshifted into 6th, while I remained in 5th on my current lap.

    Anyways, there's always the correct gear for every turn. There better be, since there's 6 speeds to choose from! I'm not sure if this one could benefit with a taller gearbox (so that 5th is tops) or not, nor did do my own retest. :odd: But the fact that there's some flexibility with gearing helps the score.

    But like I said, there's some lacks in the power/weight department which place this car somewhere towards the back, so far as this contest goes.


    10
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    Handling


    Could this car have done better if it had a wing? Probably. :guilty: But I do have this to say: I like what's happening here, in the handling department. Well, mostly I do.

    There's sometimes just a hint of understeer...a well-placed limit rather than something which is always giving us grief. AWDA has carefully set the limited-slip to allow some stabilizing action, but also plenty of MR2 freedom. The car (unfortunately) seems quite dead-set against steering-in while braking. But let off the brakes or throttle, and it'll lift off alot more aggressively. It changes direction quickly, yet doesn't feel as nervous as an MR2 usually does. It's also got good MR traction. :tup:

    The lack of a wing hurt the previous section (Speed), but it's helping here in the handling department, because I could USE this car's natural movement to make the car do the things I wanted. :)

    I really dug the way this car feels quite tossable, and ready to tackle Twin Ring East, even without a wing kit. Weight hasn't been reduced, yet it's this extra weight that really gives the AWDA MR2 some character. :tup: It's like having a great dance partner, one who slips and slides if you want her to, but also knows how to keep a sure foot. I could work with this car. :tup:

    There was one time in particular when I was entering Turn 8. Braked heavily, twisted the steering a little too hard, and let off the brakes. The MR2 was now in a mild sideways slide, but I had the perfect orbit! :cool: So I let go of the steering. For like almost a full second, the car was perfectly sideways! When I was about halfway between the first part of the S and the 2nd, I carefully grabbed the steering wheel, added some gas, and got it all back again. :tup: This car is like that; very intuitive. I could spend alot more time having fun with it, if I didn't have so many others to judge. :indiff:

    Anyways, some minor criticisms, now. :banghead:

    Again, those brakes, :ouch: not set as strong as could be. :( I noticed this especially when going up against the BATTLE MONSTER (which has fantastic brakes). There were a couple times I could keep up with the MONSTER's ghost, but it wasn't due to out-braking it. The MONSTER always outbrakes the ADWA MR2. The deceleration setting of 28 in the LSD further limits this car's ability to trail-brake into corners, as well, although it does give steering-in an overall smoother feel.

    As I mentioned before, the MR2 (as tuned by AWDA) doesn't like turning-in sharply while braking, which means get all your braking done early and firmly, and then let off the brakes while turning-in more sharply as you near the apex. It took me awhile to figure out how to do this properly. At first, I was trying to brake all the way to apex, which is bad 'cause all this car wants to do is understeer if you turn-in sharply while braking. You have to let-off those brakes towards the end of the zone if you want it to steer-in with a sharper angle.

    The AWDA MR-2 has a rollcage, and has had its chassis re-stiffened. Although the suspension wasn't set super-stiff, I blame the rollcage especially for those rare times when the car would get antsy over rumble strips. Jolts to the tires and suspension have more of a chance of affecting body movement because the MR2's flexibility is more rigid; and since there's no wings, there's not as much aerodynamic action stabilizing the upper portion of the car; keeping it in place. I know this because I did a quick retune with wings. Antsyness diminished.

    So far as points go, there is only a single point being taken away because the times that the AWDA MR2 gets affected by the rumblies were rare.

    But it's a well-balanced car, a very mature car. That seems to have been AWDA's goal, and he succeeded at that.


    19
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    MR2s are as versatile as can be, maybe a little too eager to please. AWDA's version keeps alot of this behavior, and his car retains alot of its flexible action.

    Tricky braking action is what really limits the score here...as we leave corners, this one's majorly versatile, meaning there's usually several ways you can take off. :tup: So overall, not a bad score, yet not as good as it could be.

    15
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Car vs. Battle Monster


    Obviously if this car had that wing and some more power (or less weight) the score here would no doubt be higher. I wish it was. :(

    10
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock


    There's a list of improvements. The weight is the same as a stock version, but the way AWDA's MR2 transfers weight is one of these improvements. The AWDA version feels less likely to display extra body movements which can throw a stock version out of its racing line. Important stuff when we're trying to navigate those S-turn areas. Yet it also offers some fancy, controllable options while cornering (as explained above) which is a plus.

    The gearing..another improvement. No surprise there. The AWDA version feels like you can push it harder to some extent; it feels safer. Where it loses (compared to stock) is the fact that it doesn't feel as flexible, especially while braking. A tad more understeer under power, too.


    5

    Total Score: 59
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  9. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Pontiac Solstice Coupe Concept '02

    Tuner: McSqueegy (Macca)

    Garage: independant

    Best Lap: 1:23.703


    Another bit of playful rivalry here, as Macca admits he made this car to be "as fast as VTiRoj's NSX". :scared: I spent about 2 hours trying to get this car (silvering the S License) so it better be worth it! :odd:

    j/k. :guilty:

    Speed

    Top Speed: 145.7 mph

    This is one of the many cars PD didn't bother to provide any torque or horsepower figures for in the Home garage. :mad::censored::yuck: It pisses me off because now I have to "guess" where and how to shift gears in this car. :tdown: Thanks PD. Keep up the good work.

    Anyways, if we look at the power curve graph that shows up as we're tuning, we can see that the Pontiac Solstice Coupe has a torque band that's mostly as flat as a mesa, with a very spikey horsepower peak. So I'm looking forward to a car that has the ability to trek out of tight areas, even from a gear higher than usual. Those revs will pile up in a smooth fashion, too, with no discernable kick. It looks as though peak power shows up right at redline, too, or perhaps just before or even after it? :confused:

    This seems to be correct, so I did my shifting at around 6,000 rpms, which is redline. Sometimes, I even shifted just after 6,000. That seems to be the target area, and Macca has geared the Solstice just so. He even says "this car likes to redline" in his description.

    Notice as we're rolling down the first straight, for instance, the car starts to redline for about 3 or 4 seconds. This isn't accidental, sloppy tuning. I think he thoughtfully has the car redline on purpose here, in an effort to grab all the horsepower from this area of the tachometer as possible. :tup:

    There are several other areas where the 2.2 liter 4 redlines again and again: before Turn 2 (in 3rd gear), before turn 8 (in 5th), and before turns 10 and 11 (at both moments, the car redlines in 4th). I'm not docking points for ANY of this; it seems totally necessary to let the tach get up this far. Again, I can't be 100% positive where peak power actually rests in the Solstice, but it seems to be right around this area.

    The downside is: shifting is quite busy in this one. It's a 6-speed, and we're definately using gears 2 thru 6th. 6th must be employed in both of Twin Ring East's longest straights...which means *BANG BANG BANG BANG* go the downshifts into 2nd for Turns 1 and 6. :crazy: It must be done, and it's tricky to manage all this activity while balancing the car's brakes, and then nosing in the front-end. :nervous:

    I mentioned earlier how this car's got a huge, almost Audi-ish, table-shaped band of torque, which means it's possible to drop those revs somewhat lowish (in theory) and get some good movement out of slower corners, even from 3rd gear. In practice, this isn't very practical, at least not at Twin Ring East. Yea, the car successfully pulls in 3rd, but too much understeer results too easily. You can't just bury the throttle in 3rd gear without lots of finessing, since Twin Ring East is plagued with super-sharp bends...and honestly, 2nd really does cause the best acceleration. This is a 4-cylinder, after all, not a super-torquey V8 or the C1 Corvette's slant-6. Also, that extra downshift into 2nd is necessary to help us provide more slowing-down action. :idea:

    Well, I managed a Lap Time of 1:23.703, during my 140-ish mile drive. I don't know whether to be embarassed by the fact that this doesn't come within a second-and-some-change of Macca's time or not....that's as good as I could get, dude. :guilty: During this run, I almost did another Pete Townsend on my dual-shock, as I was getting rather frustrated after awhile. So, there's several cars in TCV5/Middleweight that beat the S-License/Silver Trophy special, but it's not for lack of trying on my part. :guilty:

    19
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    Handling

    There's lots of things I like here, and some I don't prefer, so let's get discussing.

    The suspension setup is one of the things I like. :tup: Actually, the springs, dampers, and stabilizers are just about where I might set them if I were to do a blind tune from scratch. :tup: I would play with some variables here and there, perhaps, but suffice it to say I felt comfortable with the way the Solstice (as tuned by McSqueegy) manuevered around. Rolling over aprons (rumble strips) there's rarely any cause for concern. The car reacts to bumps, but it doesn't do so in a vastly difficult manner unless I was totally in the wrong driving line or something. :tup:

    I felt, however, that the Solstice was a bit too stiff with its steering agility. Sort of like several others in the Middleweight, actually--this car doesn't understeer excessively, but it doesn't give enough of a steering angle, either. It's not as strict as the DeLorean I just drove, but there are some definate limits put in place. Once you find these limits, things are okay, but I would prefer more leeway.

    You can't rely on the front-end to save you with extra grabbing for instance if you get just one iota outside the driving line you need; which means you can't rely on too much lift-off oversteer, either. The Solstice lifts-off only so much. You'd better get it right if you want to keep as much inertia mid-corner as you can.

    Um...it looks as if the limited-slip device is the cause here, since there's some Initial action, as well as a dab of +toe up front. It means the car's steering angle remains firm without too much goofy movement, but I'd personally prefer a bit more goofyness.

    The good news is, there's lots of grip in this car. The Solstice is on-par with VTiRoj's NSX, the C1 Corvette, the White Tiger, and several other top-notchers. :tup: Also, there's plenty of smooth, predictable throttlesteer in the Solstice. Playful wheelspin in 2nd gear (and some rear slip-'n-slides) is possible at times if you know how to invite it, but it's also just as easy to avoid this behavior; helping us keep as much traction as possible from this front-engine/rear-drive.

    Finally, there's the brakes. :mischievous: You know what I'm gonna say....:lol: On the positive side, the car trail-brakes to a variable degree, with a lack of understeer while braking, but I'd prefer ....you know....:indiff:

    20
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    Many cars in the Middleweight division are getting high marks in the Versatility department, and the Solstice Concept is no exception. :tup: It's an acrobatic, predictable automobile. The gearbox is also somewhat versatile in its use, although to a lesser degree since the possibility of hitting that RPM limit does keep one from leaving the car in gear too long. This isn't a point-docker, however.

    McSqueegy has placed a few limits with various part settings, perhaps to keep the Solstice within certain steering & manuevering parameters. These limits, and the average braking abilities, are the only things which force us to use stricter driving lines, especially when going for Best Lap.

    On the other hand, there is alot more playing around with driving lines and such when we're not taking the Solstice to its maximum capabilities. Lap times can be very consistent at these times, too. :tup:

    18
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster

    Like I said, I almost wound up smashing Dual-Shock #9 (something like that), in an effort to get some BATTLE POINTS here. :guilty: I did good, but not as good as Macca. :(

    19
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock

    A mixed bag here. Let's start with gearing.

    There's a small improvement, but not as great as in most other cars. The gearbox in Macca's retune is actually taller than a stock box, rather than shorter (as in most TCV5 remakes), which is necessary to keep the RPM limiter from becoming our annoying newest "best friend". But, we're using the same gears (2 thru 6) in the stock version as we are in the tuned version. The small improvement I mentioned is the fact that Macca's gearbox assumes we stay in 2nd longer as we leave Turns 1, 6, 10, and 11. I noticed that a sooner upshift into 3rd is required when driving a stock Solstice. Also, the stock car doesn't redline in 6th as we roll down those longer straights, which means it's possibly not making it to absolute peak-horsepower country in this top gear. :idea:

    The tuned car displays less unnecessary body movement (less rolling, less diving), and is lighter. :tup::tup: On the negative side, I liked the way the stock car grabs into corners more. There's a bit more lift-off behavior in the stock version. Racing lines don't need to be as strict. :indiff:

    Both cars have lots of traction and grip, thanks to what look like some phat tires PD modeled the Solstice on. But there's no vast improvement from stock to tuned so far as traction and grip go. This goes for braking ability, too. I could brake later in the stock version than I could in the tuned version. Now before you say "well that's because it's got less power, and is therefore going slower", let me also add that the stock version feels about 50% more capable with trail-braking action...and that's without any wing kit. :indiff:

    So, some improvements here, for sure. And a few more points to the collection. :)

    4

    Total Score: 80
     
  10. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Shelby Series 1 Supercharged


    Tuner: Adamgp

    Shop: Muscle Car Garages

    Best Lap: 1:22.313



    Speed

    Top Speed: 148.3 mph

    Speed comes easily to this supercharged 244 cubic-inch Oldsmobile V8....so easily, I found myself knocking off an entire second off my previous time in Lap 2. Lap 3, and there goes another second. And another. Another half a second! It seems this would never end, but of course it finally did.

    The gearbox is a mixed bag. This engine has torque-a-plenty, meaning I didn't need to be super-precise as for which gear I was using as I blasted out of hairpins and such. This was a nice treat after driving all those 4-cylinders, which have lots of revs but not so much torque. 2nd gear is best for these forays, but 3rd also can be used from time to time. Torque lifts the Shelby out of slowness again and again. :D It gets a little addicting, honestly.

    Some issues come into play with the gearbox. Into the 2nd turn (the L-bend just before the first set of esses) I wanted to keep the car in 3rd gear, but needed to make a choice between a quick blip into 4th, or letting the V8 hit its RPM limit in 3rd. There were a couple other areas where I had to make this awkward choice....awkward because of the higher speed this one likes to travel at. Needing to shift up all-a-sudden, and just as quickly shift back down a sec later, makes things more difficult than they should be.

    Another issue happens out of hairpin areas and the backwards bend (turn #10). There's a full-custom limited-slip in place, but it's set with all minimal settings. :confused: Why install it in the first place? The criticism here is that I couldn't plant the throttle as early and with as much punch as I would have liked. In these areas, rare moments of wheelspin had the chance of taking over an otherwise perfect traction-launch if I weren't careful.

    So far as Top Speed and acceleration are concerned, this one is like the star Quarterback: fast as hell, and dodgey as well. :D But being the quarterback doesn't necessarily put one at the top of the class. Gymnastics are involved, too. :idea:


    21
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling


    Here we have some more wacky settings, or what looks to be so at first. But this car works, fortunately. Surprisingly. :) It displays plenty of behavior which assists us thru those corners. :tup: Criticism is at a minimum for once. It helps that the Shelby Series 1 has its transmission located towards the rear of the car, which gives it a perfect 50/50 weight distribution. :tup:

    This is the first front-engine car, for instance, in which I could get some honest-to-God trail-braking action with. Just like in the Fudge Stratos, but with an overall safer feel. The front-end digs in, the rear slides out just so (if you want it to), yet all of this is very controllable.

    Have a look at those spring and damper settings. They're much stronger up front, which seems to be an effort to make sure the front-end doesn't dive even more under braking, and while lifting-off. :tup: This car already does so enough. I might have even lifted the front ride height a few clicks to garner a tad more stability (my preference, but not absolutely necessary).

    Mid-corner, the car locks in with ease. When traction is guaranteed, the car also throttle-steers out of corners (assuming we're not in 2nd and wheelspin shows up while getting over-eager). But the fact that wheelspin does show up during a contest full of cars which don't suffer from it removes a couple points.

    But again, those wacky brake settings. :odd: Just above default up front/max in rear? Yikes. I didn't know what to expect. In the TCV4, Adam's Mustang understeered massively, and under braking refused to trail-brake at all. Fortunately, the Shelby's brakes happen to be fantastic, but I think this has something to do with them being fantastic even while stock. Unlike that Mustang, I could trail-brake the Series 1 Supercharged.

    So again, the usual criticism from me: the brakes (especially the fronts) could be stronger. But overall, I have little to knock. This car mostly did everything I told it to do. :tup:

    21
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    Versatility

    This one is about as versatile as Robin Williams. :lol: It plays many roles successfully and with ease.

    I could keep it within a half-a-second while varying cornering lines, even while going for the best speed lap, which helps the score massively. :tup: Mistakes can be made (at the speeds I was going, they WERE made more often than I'd like), yet the Shelby feels mostly forgiving and tries to help you out of the minor ones. :tup:

    There were those moments when it got squirrely out of turns, but this is avoidable with a bit of throttle preperation. But the fact that the gearbox runs out of revs too early at points also hurts the score because it means you're forced to comply with tricky shifting scenarios in a couple places around Twin Ring East. A little retooling could have avoided this by keeping the car's whalish V8 in 3rd longer, which it has absolutely no problem doing.

    ....But mostly, a fine effort.

    17
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Car versus Battle Monster

    Perfect score here. Even in my first lap as I was getting acquainted (and got slightly off-track), the BATTLE MONSTER simply got pwned. :lol: Just before the final Motegi hairpin, I took a look behind me and saw the Evo 6 way back in the previous curve, a mere speck in my eye. :cheers: (20)

    20
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock

    Gearbox is shorter, so that's an improvement. :tup: On the other hand (as noted before) I never felt as though I was forced to choose a new gear in the stock version. Both cars have torquey small-blocks which garner easy acceleration, too.

    The Muscle Car Garages version also is lighter, bla bla bla. It doesn't display as much body movement, yet I felt just as confident in the stock Shelby even though its body wallows a bit more. There's barely an improvement in brakes, so no points docked by no points gained either. Neither car understeers excessively, which is something I wish more cars in the TCV5 possessed from stock to tuned. Both cars feel flexible in corners, but the stock one never loses traction when leaving them (which the tuned version can be prone to if you get over-agressive with throttle).

    Although the Muscle Car Garages version handles itself with more of a "race car" feel (stouter, slightly quicker to react, etc), I also felt that this was offset by the fact that it could have been better had the brakes and limited-slip been stronger.

    5

    Total Score: 84
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  11. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: '02 Honda NSX Type S

    Tuner: a112

    Garage: Forza Barbieri Motorsport


    Best Lap: 1:23.313


    Another NSX thickens the plot further. :mischievous:

    Speed


    Top Speed:146.8 mph

    Very speedy this one is. a112 fully admits he's trying to keep up with McSqueegy's Solstice and the RRV NSX Type R.

    There's lots of capability here...speed and accleration are both very fluid in this version of the NSX, almost like a constantly running flow of water, so long as you keep those revs high. a112 recommended an early shift in this car (before redline), which I tried, but didn't feel it made much of a difference.

    Speaking of shifting. I made a huge mistake when I was buying parts for this one. Assumed I'd need a full-custom gearbox. :guilty: Got all the way to the track, and was setting up the car. Wait a minute...where's the tranny settings??? :boggled:

    a112 is VERY LUCKY the close-ratio box actually works at this track. Very lucky indeed. The only place there looks like there might be a prob is going into turn #2. As we pass under the bridge, the NSX starts to redline massively. Just when it looks as though speed is gonna get penalized by the RPM limiter, it's time to brake. Lucky, man...I would have docked points for sure if I had hit that limiter, but I didn't. Anyways, shifting is busy in this one. It's a 6-speed, so I expected it would be.

    Otherwise, speed (and employing it) is mostly uneventful. This car is comfortable with going fast. Most of the points are getting docked when comparing the NSX to some others in this contest, which happen to be faster. :indiff:

    18

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling


    FINALLY some nice, strong brake settings, :D:tup: slightly too strong, as a matter of fact. I could feel some ABS pulsation into some faster corners, which means those brakes (in theory) are doing their job a little too well, overcooking the rotors.

    In GT4, I'm not sure if this becomes a truely negative thing (so far as brake distances are concerned) nor did I do my own seperate tests to find out. Perhaps Scaff has some info on this in his Tuning Guide.

    Anyways, this car happens to trail-brake to some degree, which is fortunate because if you brake just a tad too late, mostly what shows up is understeer. :ouch: But I'm only docking a single point here. Parnelli likes strong brakes. He likes them muchly.

    The rest of the car varies from great to problematic. :indiff: I really dug (like I said) the fact that this car trail-brakes at times, but this was unpredictable. Sometimes, I couldn't get the front-end to dig into turns enough (especially into the esses portions); in this regard, the NSX isn't very forgiving. :indiff:

    But it's like having a 2-faced friend, who lies to you one moment and tells you how great you are the next! The Forza Barbieri NSX Type S might enter a turn with a bit of a frown, understeering just a tad. Let off the gas (especially in slower turns) and now it's completely changed its tune >>> lifting-off in an excessive manner, sometimes to the point that I'd need a bit of countersteer to regain balance. :scared: After awhile, I could manage to make this extreme lift-off more of an option; getting it to help the car around, rather than cause small amounts of distress. Lay the gas on, and sometimes there's throttlesteer, but other times, the car wants to understeer a tad. It's exciting, yet hard to predict.

    All this seems to be coming from those extreme toe settings + a 1-way differential. Like I said in some other review, having a 1-way is like having a giant ON/OFF switch back there. I love fixed diffs for GT4 racing, but in the TCV5, I was wishing for a FC unit, which could have made things smoother.

    And again, we have a rollcage with very strong coils all around, and matched with middle-strong shocks. At least the stabilizers offer some leeway, if they didn't, I may haven't been able to even make a 1:23.xxx. Rolling over rumble strips is where I'd really lose my mind in the Type S.

    Bounce Bounce Bounce. There goes my perfect turn-in. There goes all that magnificent rear-end traction. There were even some times when leaving the final hairpin that I'd drop the gas-pedal, while the inner rear tire was on that blue & white curb, and I swear I felt some musclecarish axle-hop!

    To achieve good times in this car requires one manage an Emerson Fittipaldi-like clean run that included mostly a lack of curb-touches. Unfortunately, I am not Emerson.

    16
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    Some limits have been set in this one (some necessary, some not) which hurts the score. The NSX does have some flexibility, however, even while driving very hard. The gearing also allowed me to experiment at times, especially since I didn't always absolutely need an upshift into 6th during the 2nd long straight, or 4th before turn #2.

    But like I said, limits are in place. Small amounts of understeer here and there. The rear-end which helped when I needed to swing the car thru a hairpin, but caused understeer as I was trying to navigate the esses. It's still a flexible car, fortunately. (15)

    15
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Car vs. Battle Monster

    BATTLE MONSTER? We don' need no steenkin' BATTLE MONSTER! (20)

    20
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock

    There's the gearbox, which probably isn't as fuel-efficient if we needed to take the Forza NSX Type S on a road trip, but feels almost perfect here at Twin Ring. The twin clutch and ultra-lite flywheel fire those shifts into place immediately. And the tuned version is lighter. Its brakes feel more solid for the much-faster driving the TCV5 requires.

    But the stock version feels more willing to lock into a proper line. Its front-end is untractable. No understeer whatsoever. A better balance. Rumble strips don't cause drastic consequences.

    In contrast, the tuned version understeers lightly at times into turns, but then overcompensates mid-corner, thrusting the driver into an awkward situation of too-much lift-off oversteer. You countersteer. Sometimes, it then understeers too aggressively out of corners (courtesy of that fixed differential).

    There's a few things I wish I could have done to eliminate these behaviors. Perhaps I should enter a car into the TCV6 :idea: (4)

    4

    Total Score: 73
     
  12. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Fudge Boxer S

    Tuner: ABud

    Garage: Fudge Tuners

    Best Lap: 1:25.748


    Speed

    Top Speed: 145.3 mph

    Here's a very flexible engine, comfortable with higher revs, as well as lower-RPM torque-grabs. This flat-6 engine has lots of advantages in Motegi's faster areas, as well as its slower ones. It doesn't quite stack up to others in the Middle-weight category unfortunately...just a bit underpowered it is. :indiff:

    What hurts here are a couple things. Number one, the gearbox isn't tuned to its absolute best. I would have preferred a taller 2nd gear. Leaving hairy hairpins and other such areas in 2nd is tricky; lots of wheelspin can show up if you're not careful. :scared: Odd, since the Boxer S is a mid-engine car. :confused:

    Like I said, the Porsche-cloned flat-6 motor had no problem reaching down into the 3,000s if I (instead) chose to keep the gearbox in 3rd, but I feel a taller 2nd gear could be an improvement. When nearing turn 2, and halfway from 2 to 3, the engine also starts redlining dangerously in 3rd, requiring a costly, short-lived upshift into 4th. This extra work damages in its own small way, but damage is damage. You can't keep the car in 4th at these moments while needing to power-out..understeer is risked, which means it's best to shift back down into 3rd again

    I did like the fact that I could keep the car in 4th (redlining) without an additional upshift into 5th while approaching Turn 10 (the backwards bend). :tup:

    There's also that 1-way differential. Not very smooth. And what's the point, if it still allows possible wheelspin?? :confused: A fully-tuned differential could have given us better traction, and allowed the rear-end to transition from lift-off to power with less chance of understeer. :odd:

    14
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling

    One thing I do like about the Fudge Boxer S is its tossabilty. Braking is good, too, because the Fudge lets you brake-in while steering-in, and then on top of that, there's plenty of lift-off behavior, too. :tup:

    Porsches are challenging machines, but they challenge you mostly in a good way. Once I figured out how Fudge's Boxer S likes to be driven, I found it possible to find that perfect racing line, throw the car's steering into it fully, and lock-in perfectly. Employing throttle during these moments (what the car magazines call "throttle tip-in") is easy and intiuitive, and the car's safe handling limits work with its speedy engine.

    At these moments, the only thing which ruined was that 1-way differential, which garnered just a tad too much understeer as I attempted to power thru the sweepers. It's not just the sweepers, undiesteer also shows up when trying to leave hairpin areas. You can't plant the throttle as early as you'd like. I blame this mostly on the differential again, as well as some suspension settings. I simply didn't expect this from a Porsche-clone. No no no.

    Also, the damper settings haven't been played with at all, which limits the car from throwing its weight around as quickly as it could have. The Fudge Boxer also gets tricky over rumble strips (strong coils are to blame, too, as well as untouched stabilizer settings, although not so much). There's also some toe, making the Boxer a tad less flexible than it should be.

    I'm making it sound worse than it really is. Under normal driving (for fun), the Boxer S does an okay job. But when going for DEFEATION, all-a-sudden there's alot of "nos" being thrown around. :banghead:

    20
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    A little stiff with its cornering and gearbox presentation, but I could work with the Boxer S, experimenting while building good lap times. Limits mostly start showing up only once we're pushing much harder.

    16
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster

    A tricky car at its limits. Once I figured out how the Fudge Boxer S likes to have its meals, I could feed it some cooked BATTLE MONSTER meat lap after lap. This car isn't immediately accessible for such behavior, tho. You gotta learn its tricks, first.

    14
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock

    There's the usual improvements. The Boxer version is lighter than stock. Its gearing, while awkward and bothersome in a some areas, is a more appropriate fit, overall when compared to stock mostly because it toys with the torque & power area we need more often.

    There's the usual demerits. Some additional (unnecessary) understeer under power, which could have been avoided. The stock version doesn't display nearly as much understeer. The Fudge Boxer feels too stiff when compared to stock, as well. It doesn't navigate corners quite as intuitively as a stock 3400S, which does so in a more progressive manner (especially so far as lifting-off and adding throttle mid-corner go). The stock version handles the rumblies with less complaint.

    Then there's the stuff that feels about equal from stock to tuned. The brakes in the tuned version are stronger, but at the higher speed the Boxer S travels at, they wind up feeling like they've got about the same prowess as in a stock version with its weaker engine. Turning-in while braking feels about the same. So does overall tossability. So does traction. :indiff: Both cars are great in all these regards..but that's the problem here. :(

    3

    Total Score: 67
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  13. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Toyota MR2 G-Limited '97

    Tuner: Leonidae

    Garage: Mad Finn Tuners co. (MFT)

    Best Lap: 1:26.257



    Every race and automotive competition has had its share of tragedies. Unless you've been living in a cave for the past few days, there's no way you could have missed the greatest tragedy of the TCV5 so far....:nervous:

    It's really a shame what's happened here. In case you really are living in a cave, :confused: I (as an American) have the NTCS/American version of GT4. Which means there is NO 6.2 mile version of the MR2 G-Limited sports car Leonidae entered into the TCV5. I located a car with about 33,000 miles instead, which sucks because I can't get anywhere near the power his auto is supposed to have. Leonidae has told me privately not to give him with "pity points" :lol: and just judge the car as it is, which is admirable. So here goes....



    Speed
    :

    Top Speed: 142.9 mph



    Yet another Toyota 4-cylinder in a mid-engine car, which means plenty of traction, never any wheelspin, but also never any surprising moments happening back there. :)

    All of this makes for a very predictable experience so far as speed (and racking it up) is concerned. The G Limited travels around Twin Ring East, smoothly laying down what limited power it has with no issues, ever. I could beat the BATTLE MONSTER, could beat a few other Middle Weight class cars, but unfortunately couldn't eke this one to the top (where I feel it belongs) so far as pure speed is concerned. :indiff::(

    But ya know...life goes on, and all that. :indiff:

    So, some good news. Gearing in this car feels highly appropriate for Twin Ring East. Interestingly, 6th gear never sees action. I double-checked Leonidae's settings just to be sure. Yup, got it right: an auto setting of "12" matched with a 4.000 Final Drive. All other gears are in place. :D And 6th is dead weight. Of course, it's possible that I would have needed to use 6th if my car had been the more powerful 6.2 mile version.

    Despite this, I never felt the G-Limited has any issues with gearing. There's no moment where a gear winds up being too tall,, despite the MR2's narrow power-band and lesser power in my 33k machine.

    Actually, "narrow" power-band is a bit inaccurate...the MR2 has a spikey horsepower area, but its torque-band is very broad, covering a great number of revs. Perhaps this is why it conveys its message so smoothly. :idea:

    Again, always the perfect gear for every area. :tup: I could use 3rd gear when travelling thru both esses areas without any need for awkward upshifts into 4th. I could also leave the car in 4th gear as I approached Turn 8 (into the 2nd esses area), letting it redline rather than upshifting into 5th. :tup: An extra upshift at this moment would be costly, you see, since it would mean shifting into 5th for just a sec, and then downshifting into 4th, and then downshifting again into 3rd while braking & steering-in. The fact that I could let this car redline, instead of needing that extra upshift (and then two downshifts) means I could more-easily concentrate on transitioning into this tricky area. :tup:

    So much good stuff to say. It's unfortunate I don't have a PAL disc, so that it would have been even better. :(

    13
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Handling:

    In lots of ways, the G-Limited has some similar traits to the Toyota MR-SC TRD Leonidae entered for the Lightweight division. But there were some differences between these two cars, some of them not so good. :indiff:

    But I'll start with the good stuff. Again, the G-Limited is not unnecessarily stiff with its settings. Traversing over grids was not usually a problem, although there were some rare moments when it became a problem. During these moments, I noticed it was usually because I had approached these rumblies a bit too aggressively. But I can't pin down why this happened in the first place (so far as settings go). Not a huge deal, tho.

    The main similarity between this car and Leo's Lightweight? Both of them corner with precision and a sense of "safeness". Traction is always guaranteed, too. Understeer (assuming one brakes early) is also minimal.

    I did feel, however, that the G-Limited was a bit too safe, unfortunately. I noticed the steering can be cranked very hard. This is fully necessary, since the steering actually feels heavier than one would expect from an MR2.

    I noticed this especially in the sweepers (turns 3, 4, and 5, and turns 8 & 9). The G-Limited doesn't fully cooperate here...it doesn't transition from side-to-side quite as fast as I'd like. :indiff: Not as flexible. I didn't notice this with the MR-SC, and after studying the settings between both cars, I figured out why I didn't notice it. It's mostly a difference in the limited-slip devices found in both cars. The G-Limited has a stronger Initial setting. It's only set at "25", but this setting is where I place most of the blame. One has to really prepare while turning-in in the G-Limited. And once you've started turning in, the orbit feels a lot stiffer than it should be.

    The plus side: steering can be cranked mightily. You crank that steering, and the car won't get too wobbly mid-corner. Nor does it ever get nervously goofy, like an MR2 usually does. On the bad side, there just isn't enough flexibility. The front-end doesn't dig-in far enough. :indiff: There's hardly any lift-off oversteer, which could be used to get this car into corners via a tighter angle. Instead, one must steer in, wait (sometimes agonizingly), before dropping the gas-pedal. :indiff: The MR-SC also displays this behavior, yet it's much milder, and not at all bothersome like it is in the G-Limited.

    I understand what Leonidae was going for here. He's trying to make an MR2 (which by his account, is a "soggy-handling boulevard cruiser") into something with a safer feel. My opinion is he went too far with his goal. :indiff: I would prefer more flexibility....even if it reintroduced some nervousness.

    Braking must be very FIRM and very precise as well, and a bit earlier than I would have liked. A good note is: it's easy to find braking-zones in this automobile, all you have to do is look at where the little skid marks appear on the track. :lol: The G-Limited likes to be braked EXACTLY where these skid marks begin. :odd: That at least made my braking experience predictable. :lol: I even tried braking just slightly after the skid marks. EVERY TIME I tried this, however, I would wind up too deep into the upcoming turn, performing damage control while trying not to understeer. :scared:

    Brakes. Speaking of brakes, I would prefer stronger front brakes. Stronger brakes might cause this MR2-derivation to fishtail and lose control at a higher-speed track like Grand Valley or Nurburgring, but at Twin Ring, they could have been stronger. That's all.

    16
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    That lack of flexibility I was just talking about hurts the score here. :indiff: Even when driving for sport (somewhere between warming up and going for Best Lap), I kept noticing REALLY NEEDING to take up larger cornering paths than I would have expected from an MR2. It's mostly due to that limited-slip setting, too. I KNOW it. :indiff:

    12
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster:

    Evolution? Smevolution! Despite its lesser NTSC-derived power, I had no prob keeping the BATTLE MONSTER Evolution VI in my mirrors. :tup:

    (13)
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock:

    Ugh. I expected I'd be able to rate this section higher, dude. :(:nervous::cry::facepalm:

    The good stuff first. The MFT version is lighter with a more appropriate gearing scenario. :tup: It hasn't got the stock version's bad habits of diving excessively under braking, soggy steering, and generally feeling altogether swampy. :lol:

    The stock version seems over-eager to tackle corners; its front-end zeroing-in way too far, even though the MR2 G-Limited (when stock) is vastly underpowered. It grabs too much, in other words. Leonidae's makeover doesn't do this at all, in fact, it feels much safer in this regard. But I wish it did maintain at least 25% of the original car's eager-to-please steering habits. I wish the tuned version locked into a groove earlier and more easily. Ah well...

    While braking, the tuned version feels more confident, but also hasn't got as much flexibility, which means it's harder to trail-brake in the tuned version. There's no real improvement with braking here, but neither is there a demerit.

    Both cars have more traction than a bulldozer. I'm giving a point here because the tuned verison doesn't get as wobbly as the stock one under power. It doesn't throttle-steer with as great an angle as the stock MR2, but its smoothness while throttlesteering cannot be ignored. This is something I would seek myself if I were to put an SW-era MR2 into a racing scenario.

    (5)

    Total Score: 59
     
  14. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: AMMT Corvette ZR-1 Limited Edition (C1) '10

    Tuner: Codename L +

    Garage: Austra-Manx Motorsport Tuning

    Best Lap: 1:21.614


    What a lovely surprise. This car, the AMMT Corvette ZR-1 Limited Edition, happens to be the oldest entry into the TCV5, despite the tuner's claimed 2010 production date. :odd: Nice try, Codename. :lol:

    Speed:

    Top Speed: 144.6 mph


    The original 'vette didn't have a V8, instead it came equipped with the 235 c.i.d. "Blue Flame" slant-6, a very torquey engine also found in some of Chevy's trucks from the time. The torque in this one is really remarkable. Found myself relying on it quite a bit, which is a good thing.

    As you're driving for sport, it's something you can rely on if you forget to downshift far enough. In fact, I did a little test. Slowed all the way down to zero mph, put the car in 2nd gear (with codename's transmission, not the stock 2-speed) and the 235 pulls smoothly right out in 2nd. :dopey: It does the same in 3rd gear. In 4th, it still does the same, although it finally bogs down at first (the exhuast backfiring and stuff). :scared: If Gran Turismo had a challenge where we could tow motorhomes with our cars, certainly a torquemonster engine like this would get high marks. :p

    Anyways, my point is: this is not an engine that gets its advantage from lots of revs, instead it's one that creates lots of torque. There's a swell of speed which happens from 3,500 rpms to 4,500, which means I found it best to shift a little early...before redline, in fact. :cool:

    There's a bit of versatility with this engine due to its compact, torquey range of revs. When driving for sport, the 235 feels comfortable leaving tighter areas in 2nd gear, but it can also walk away in 3rd if you so desire. :tup: I also noticed towards the end of the first straight in Gear 5, the car won't redline. It seems Codename did this so that the engine is staying in its proper range of revs, even during Motegi East's longest straight. :tup:

    So, always the perfect gear in every corner, and one has options when driving for sport (but not so much when going for Best Lap).

    Speed is top-notch...but there were some cars like the Shelby Series 1 and White Tiger RX7 Spirit A, which were faster during straights. But, the Corvette gets a better lap time, mostly due to what's happening in the next section.

    22
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling

    Getting to drive this car is like going on (what you'd think) will be the dream-date you've been waiting for. :O:D

    She's good-looking, but in a classy way, rather than the tramps you usually wind up with, who look sometimes may look good, but don't catch the eye in such a way as the C1 Vette does. You see a future with this one...you're already thinking of taking her home someday to meet your mother. :sly:

    You take her on the floor for some good old-fashioned ballroom dancing. :D:dopey: At first, you can't believe your good luck and fortune! She's feels just right for you! As the man, you're expected to be the leader, and she lets you lead, making you blush. :O All the previous skank-hos you've been dating for the past twelve years are nothing but memories now. This IS THE ONE. :lol:

    But somewhere, it all starts to fall apart. She let you lead early, making you feel like a MAN, but as the band picks up the pace later on, she seems to be clearly mocking you. :O She heads left when you try to go right! :ouch: She makes an unexpected series of moves and you nearly trip over your feet! :mad: And finally, just when you were thinking things couldn't get any worse, she actually STOMPS ON YOUR FEET!!! Oooh, the agony! :banghead:

    The C1 is a tricky one for sure, but it's got lots of unexpected merits, as well. One might think this ancient vehicle should have no place in a contest full of modern autos, but I happen to know that the C1 Corvette (as modeled by PD) has many admirable traits, and I know why "mr argentina" entered it.

    Theoretically, this car should be a massive, challenging retune. The original Corvette, after all, had a live-rear axle mounted on leaf springs; which sounds like it could have been borrowed and then re-engineered from one of Chevy's pickup trucks from the time. It stopped via drum brakes. :scared: Its tires were bias-ply whitewalls (when stock)...and they weren't anywhere close to the low-profile rubber found nowadays.

    But I've driven C1s in GT4 plenty of times, and it's actually a very capable machine within the game. When I track-tested a C1 for my website, I found that it accelerates slowly (PD got that part right) but that it stops from 100 mph to zero in just 3.28 seconds, despite the fact that it's supposed to be equipped with drums. This beats almost every modern vehicle I've ever tested. Yea, right, PD. :tdown::odd: Honestly, I think PD should have given the Elise the C1 Corvette's brakes, and vice-versa, if they were interested in keeping things real. :odd:

    Despite its '50s-era suspension and tires, the C1 (as modeled by PD) has phenomonal brakes, and a lack of understeerishness. It dives and dips into corners, yet rarely loses cohesion. :odd: It even trail-brakes to a great degree. :lol: Gimme a break, PD. :odd: So I don't blame Codename for entering this treasue because it's got alot working for it from the get-go. :tup:

    Anyways, enough talk, let's get to business. :rolleyes: Like I said, those brakes are killer. In many cars during this contest, I've been needing to brake into Turn 1 starting at about 100 meters. In the AMMT Corvette, I could start braking at approximately 75 meters...sometimes slightly less than 75. The actual brake settings Codename has given us aren't very strong, but in my opinion they don't have to be...this car's brakes are part of what allows it such low lap times. :tup:

    From here on, things aren't so reliable, but neither are they as catastrophic as one would expect from a 55-year old automobile. This is the part where your dancing partner starts seemingly trying to trip you as you attempt to keep leading her moves. :ouch:

    Tricky, this one is. And it all depends on the little stuff. The AMMT Corvette sometimes trail-brakes efficiently, but take that corner at literally a degree out of place, and it'll understeer instead. Enough to make you grit your teeth! Mid-corner, the car sometimes travels over rumble-strips with no drama...but if your steering angle is just a little out of place, your throttle a little too aggressive, suddenly there's wheelspin ranging from mild to massive over these bumps. :ouch:

    The Vette throttle-steers with massive traction, assuming you've got both its rear tires within a correct traction-zone. If you don't, it's possible to stomp that throttle and get the rear end to react with a huge variety of behaviors: anything from mild throttlesteer, to a slight, slippery, sideways motion, to angry wheelspin :mad: can result! :lol: In this way, the Corvette is one of the funner cars of the TCV5 when driving just for fun. It's got a huge possible range of behaviors for us to explore! :dopey: TCV4 stuff, again. This one reminds me of those Devil Z-cars with regards to all the oversteer-possibilities it has.

    But for all these reasons, it's also losing some points here, especially once I started doing some faster laps. :) The AMMT Corvette's massive, gummy tires are probably a good portion of the problem, as the car snaps around at times as its tires flex and twist. :ouch: I didn't have so much of a problem with Codename's actual settings, honestly. There's not much I would try to change. At first, I thought the limited-slip was especially looking too strong, but once I got to know the car a bit more, I realized Codename's settings are actually perfect.

    One could make them stronger to try and get rid of some of the fishtailing out-of-corners, but the car would lose some of its necessary flexibility. One could make the limited-slip weaker, but then they'd be risking more possibilities of smokey rear inner-tires at an even lesser throttle rate. :banghead:

    But anyways, good job, Codename L. It seems you've put alot of thought into the AMMT Corvette ZR-1. But unfortunately, it's one of those cars which will always have issues. :indiff:

    15
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    A high score here. I can attest this easily, as I did lap after lap in this one. When going from BATTLE MODE DEFEATION (1:27-ish) to 1:23.xxx, the AMMT Corvette is hugely versatile. You can make mistakes. You can explore n00bish racing lines. Doesn't matter.

    Even tho the car is difficult at times, it still works with you enough to keep things in the pocket. Those great brakes, grippy tires, and Codename's chassis work help out here as best they can.

    It's once you've gone into INSANE mode (1:22.xxx) that you'll need more solid racing lines. But I'm still awarding a high score because I normally wouldn't have much reason to push this hard. :sly:

    18
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster

    The AMMT Corvette simply slaughtered the BATTLE MONSTER right away in the first lap. :lol: From there on, I simply got carried away, trying to push those lap times lower and lower. A 1:22-ish lap time would have garnered a perfect score from me. Too bad we can't score a "22", that's what this car would get if "20" wasn't the max. :)

    (20)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock

    Codename L is in luck here. :sly:

    Since the original C1 'Vette is such a worthless choice for a racing car, there's gonna be all positive marks here. Virtually EVERYTHING has been improved to some degree. The only thing that isn't a vast improvement is its brakes, matter of fact! :lol: Both a stock C1 and the AMMT have awesome (unrealistically awesome) stopping power, so it's hard to improve in this area.

    The transmission, attached to that modern clutch, ultra-lite flywheel, and carbon driveshaft, is the largest improvement, which ain't that hard to accomplish since the stock "Power-Glide" version has only TWO SPEEDS. :lol: He coulda just thrown a full-custom box in, left it at all-default settings, and it would still be a vast improvement. :lol: The reason, of course, that this is a big improvement is that the AMMT version can stay within its proper power/torque area at all times.

    The car is lighter, too. :tup: When stock, the C1 has so many goofy handling traits--it dips, it dives, it rolls, it gets confused. Its front-end grabs in too strongly during slower corners. The AMMT does none of this, thanks to its firmer, modern suspension & limited-slip work, although it's still a tricky ride. In my opinion, it would be hard to improve on this trickiness, without introducing another set of tricky behaviors in place of the ones you're trying to get rid of.

    The only negative thing (as per this contest) that Codename's car does that the stock one doesn't do is throw lots of wheelspin if you strike the throttle at the wrong moment. However, this isn't as bad as it could have been since Codename did a decent job setting that limited-slip in place, but it's still something the stock C1 never does under normal conditions.

    The tuned version also gets goofy sometimes over rumble strips. :eek: It understeers, but the driver has some options to avoid this, so no docked points there. :tup:

    The tuned version, overall, isn't as flexible as the stock version. At first, I thought I might need to demerit this, but as I got to know the AMMT better, I decided that its stronger sense of firmness, its and what safety its stronger LSD offers at such high speeds is more valuable than flexibility. :tup::cheers: Again, it's hard to improve on this. I know, 'cause I tried.

    (8)

    Total Score: 83
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  15. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: White Tiger (Mazda RX7 Spirit R Type A)

    Tuner:: Rotary Junkie

    Garage: RRV Motor Works

    Best Lap: 1:22.269



    I gave Rotary Junky and VTiRoj some :censored: for entering "tuner" cars into the Lightweight category, so I'm pleased that they've entered regular sports cars for the Middleweight. :tup:

    * Quick note...I screwed up, and bought a full-custom diff for Rotary Junky's car. :dunce: But a retest has been done, and things are looking good for RJ in the Middleweight. The struck-out text below is the original text I wrote with the FC diff installed, but it doesn't count any more (hence, it's crossed-out.)

    Speed:

    Top Speed: 147.6 mph


    Rotary Junkie notes his car is here to "take down a certain NSX". A little sibling rivarly between RRV? :D :sly: Let's find out.

    Very smooth power delivery in this one. Again, revs must be kept highish. There's never any turbo-lag, however, which means 2nd gear is fully useful for those "down under" reacharound grabs.

    So far as the gearing goes, it's a massive retool (in comparison to VTiRoj's entry). 2nd thru 5th gear come into play, with an option (not completely necessary, but possible) for 6th gear as we travel down Motegi East's longest straight. I felt completely comfortable with gearing in this car. 2nd can be used out of turns 1, 6, 10, and 11, and 3rd can be used for turns 2, 3, 8, and 9. :tup: Very pragmatic. I felt Rotary Junky took the extra time and effort that was lacking in VTiRoj's NSX. :tup:

    Another nice touch? I could keep the car in 4th gear if I wanted as I neared turn 8 into the 2nd set of esses. The rotaries still have plenty of room to perform their magic. The tach needle passes peak power area, true, but it doesn't redline. :tup: So I could keep it in 4th, or I could upshift into 5th for (theoretically) a re-dig into peak-power country.

    Peak torque rests at 5,000 rpms, with peak horsepower at 6,500 rpms. Generally, I was upshifting typically at 7,000 rpms, which safely puts the tach back to 6,000 (or thereabouts). Like I said, sometimes, I wouldn't shift right away; instead, I'd let the car get near redline. :tup:

    Those revs just keep winding out in a smooth fashion, which helps keep traction at a premium. There's zero wheelspin (assuming you never use 1st gear), and lots of revs to play with. :tup:



    When installing the limited-slip, RJ has us simply install it. But not tune it. Which I thought was odd. But at least he gives us a reason here. :odd: It's supposed to mimic an OEM Torsen unit, you see. I'm not sure if it does so or not (as I've never driven a real-life car with such a device) so I can only note what I noted.

    A bit understeery at times under power, especially out of turns 8 and 9 (the second S-turn area) which I felt could have been minimized further with a weaker accel setting. I noticed this small bit of understeer out of other turns, as well. If you get the exact racing line and balance you need, some of this understeer can be avoided as the car throttle-steers more successfuly, but for this reason, it isn't as flexible and ready-to-tackle some areas as needed, which can slow things down a little.



    The White Tiger is equipped with maxed-up wings happens to help a lot around various sections of Twin Ring. :tup: ** skip to double-asterisk below And all you need to do to get rid of understeer is to let off that gas. Goodbye, understeer. But this also means, I was letting-off at times when I didn't really want to yet. :indiff:

    **(continued from above)

    One of the things these full wings allows us to do is experiment like hell, yet seek all the racing lines you need in all 11 of Twin Ring's turns. :tup:

    So far as actual speed and acceleration goes, this one is rating above average, as far as its Top Speed and Lap Times go. :tup: But the fact that I needed to be more careful with the throttle to avoid understeer out of sharper areas is hurting the score.


    22
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling:

    Some really interesting settings in the chassis department. Notice RJ has set the White Tiger with 135 mm of ground clearance. :boggled: This is where a stock Spirit A is set, so why not set the tuned car this way? :idea:

    ...And I gotta say, here is finally a car which traverses over rumble strips (mostly) and doesn't get bothered! YESSS! :) It means I could drive over such areas (if needed) with minimal consequences. Now, I could feel my dual-shock motors relaying these bumps to my hands & fingers, but the actual movement of the car was usually not so affected. :tup:

    But here's the good news. This car is so atheletic, it's possible to not incoporate rumble strips into your racing lines AT ALL. Racing lines can be played with quite alot, actually (now that I've removed the full-custom diff ;)). This is gonna help the Versatility score massively, but I'm not gonna get ahead of myself just yet...

    Rj has noted that his car is stiffer than a regular Spirit A, which is fine. Only occasionally would this stiffness (stronger coils & maxed front stabilizer bar, but no rollcage thank goodness) bother the White Tiger over rumblies. :tup: If I nailed a good racing line, I wouldn't have to worry about any of this, though.


    I already noted the extra moments of understeer in the previous section. Again, these weren't super-strong, so far as Handling goes, but definately something to watch for. The car lifts-off and throttle steers enough to make it still a flexible one. I could distinctly feel the mechanical effects from "decel" to "initial" to "accel" in this car as three seperate behaviors, 1...2...3. Interesting.


    MMmmmm. What else? Ahhh brakes. :sly: I did like the brakes in this car...stronger up front. 8/4. Very nice. :) They could have been a little stronger, as I didn't notice I could brake any later than I should have, but I'm not complaining (for once) about this.

    When driving this car [u[without[/u] the full-custom limited slip, the brakes feel damn-near perfect, though. :tup::tup::tup: :cheers: I found there were some areas in which I could now brake just a tad later than previously done, and trail-brake lightly while doing it. Which means I could get some syrupy-sweet racing lines into corners...the kind of racing lines that make you damn-near CRY when you nail them! :(

    I'm looking at the White Tiger's rear camber, which is kicked out almost an extra degree. Combined with the flexible rear sway bar, perhaps this camber is what makes this car feel very tossable. You can toss the rear of the White Tiger around, having fun, or actually using it to throw the car in the the cornering line you need.

    The only criticisms left (after removing the FC LSD) is just a small amount of stiffness while travelling over pavement (and not a rumble strip). The car's steering feels just a smidge numbed, courtesy of a couple points of negative toe up front.

    On the other hand, there's so much steering agility; tossing the car just so and keeping it locked in extreme racing lines can capably be done with ease if the driver is skilled. So what if there's a little numbness now and then? The actual things you can DO with this car negate this minor detail.

    The other issue is also minor. The ground clearance of 135 millimeters means the White Tiger's body sits higher than TCV5 average, and has more lateral and swaying movement (especially towards the rear where the sway bar is weak). The suspension is stiffer, true, but there's still some possible extra movement caused by this raised body work (raised as compared to default Racing Suspension settings) which can hurt racing lines.

    But I could usually use this extra movement most of the time in a beneficial way. The White Tiger is a hugely versatile machine WITH the limited-slip, but only gets better WITHOUT it....

    23
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility


    A versatile car, when driving for fun. :tup: What hurts here when driving for Best Lap is that understeer I mentioned above. It means one must keep those racing lines laid out like train tracks, lest the car start heading off-track. :ouch: On the plus side, the White Tiger does happen to claim it all back immediately like a Poker player who cleans house if you lift-off the gas. :tup:


    This car will WORK with you, but it also works for you. It's almost like it has a "Will Work for Premium Fuel" sign on its hood. It's an eager employee, waiting for the boss to hirre it. :lol:

    You can make mistakes in the White Tiger and hey...it's okay! If they're minor mistakes, usually this car will let you try again. Just slow down...zip the steering in a tad, and gather back the racing line you should have had. The White Tiger will let you do this.

    When trying to nail best laps (and almost getting there) the White Tiger still offers its long resume of flexibility. :tup:

    The multi-tasking gearbox and brakes (actually, the ability to trail-brake, let-off the brakes, and experiement with an array of racing lines after braking) is all helping the score here. :tup:


    20

    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster

    That poor Evo got its ass kicked six ways till Sunday in this match. :lol: And I'm not just being playful with words. It actually is Sunday today. Bad jokes aside, good work.

    (20)
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock

    Here's where I slaughtered the Blue Lighter during the Lightweights. Fortunately, the White Tiger does a little better.

    There's the usual stuff. The tuned version is lighter. :tup: Its gearing is shorter, which means one can use the power-band more properly. :tup: The stock version has taller gearing (2nd thru 4th come into play) and one must usually drive it to redline to extract all its potential.

    When switching to 3rd person view, one can also see how the stock version (as awesome as it is) also suffers from more body movements: diving, rolling, and squatting.

    The brakes in the tuned version are stronger. I can tell by where I need to brake into Turn 1. Either car requires braking at exactly the same place (100 meters) to properly make the tight L-shaped corner. The fact that I couldn't brake any later in the stock RX7 (despite the fact that I was carrying less speed) means there's a definate improvement in braking ability. :tup:

    Some areas where stock feels more capable? The stock version is more flexible. It turns-in while braking more successfuly. I could make mistakes in this car; braking too late and stuff. The stock version is more forgiving in this regard.
    Both cars do happen to lift-off with about the same ability, considering the tuned version is travelling at a greater rate of speed while doing so.

    Both cars throttle steer, but the stock version suffers from less understeer out-of-corners, and less undertsteer overall.

    (despite its weaker suspension settings) and less differential interference. The tuned version feels a bit numb in comparison, but offers all the same possibilities, with less possible swaying body movements.

    There are some areas where it's impossible to improve from stock to tuned. Both cars have great traction, with zero interfence from wheelspin an easy possibilty corner after corner. Both cars offer plenty of mid-corner grip, and racing lines can be played with.

    Also, The front-end of both cars (stock and RRV White Tiger) grabs corners with precision while trail-braking AND lifting off.

    7

    Total Score: 92
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  16. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Proto Motors Spirra V8

    Tuner: Drifting 24/7

    Garage: Red Zone Autoworks

    Best Lap: 1:25.105


    This one has me very curious. It's like PF's Elise from the Lightweight division with its rearward ballast weight. It's like Camry Fan's N-Tune Elis from Lightweight division with its forward weight ballast.

    Speed:

    Top Speed: 144.0 mph

    Another car which likes those higher revs, despite its small-block V8, so I kept them high, shifting at or slightly beyond redline. And Drifting 24/7 makes it easy to do so since only gears 2 thru 5 come into play. Gear 6 is dead weight, but it's also not needed for the Red Zone Spirra here at Twin Ring East.

    Like I said, I usually shifted this one at redline, but into certain corners (turn 10, for instance) I noticed I wasn't forced to shift as early. I could leave it in 3rd while approaching this corner, rather than requiring a short blip up to 4th. :tup: So even though this car's got a spikey horsepower area, I wasn't always forced to stay within its actual spike. :tup:

    On the other hand, the lower side of the horse-spike is not as recommended. :indiff: Despite the V8, I noticed if I got "down-low", the Spirra gets sluggish. 2nd gear is not affected as much as the others; but for this reason, the Spirra's lower revs can't be counted on like they could with the TVR from the Lightweight division, or Codename's 'Vette.

    On the other hand, there's lots of traction in this car. The D24/7 Spirra also does its best to help us in those corners.

    The rest of it (so far as scoring goes) is just comparing this car to others found in the Middleweight division. I had no true issues with speed or accelerating in this car since there's never any wheelspin. The perfect gear can be lodged in every corner, yet shifting isn't too busy in the Red Zone Spirra. :tup:

    15
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling:

    As mentioned before, this one's got the same situation as Camry Fan's PF's Elise from Lightweight. Weight piled in the front rear. I thought this might make the Spirra handle in a similar fashion, but the two cars have some major differences. I find these differences interesting in a scientific way, and am having problems not comparing the two cars. But I'll remain objective. :idea:

    What I discovered with the N-Tune Elise (lots more understeer overall, and some other difficult traits when cornering) fortunately isn't the case with the Spirra. The Red Zone Spirra feels alot more balanced, so far as how it attacks corners. In this car, there some entry understeer, but it's mild, and mostly shows up if you don't brake as early as you should.

    **continued below...


    What I was fearing in PF's Elise (rear-snap oversteer & spins) never happened as I drove his car. Not once. But it's all here for us to enjoy with the Spirra! :lol:

    When I was a kid, me & my friends used to play with Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, sometimes pushing on that car's trunk with our thumb to simulate a wheelie, since the front-end would lift upwards. That's how the Red Zone Spirra feels, except there's no wheelie involved. And no giant thumb sticking out of the sky. :lol:

    This car feels as though it's carrying a HUGE weight on its back-end. You can even notice this while travelling down straights. As you're speeding along in a straight direction, try tweaking the steering a bit. The car reacts by steering as you'd expect, but then it twitches one extra time from the rear, as though the chassis is readjusting itself. ;) It's partially the weight, and partially the fact that this car has some extra ground clearance when compared to others. The dampers are also not super-strong, which is fine. :tup:

    While it's an interesting study into ballast weight + chassis possiblilities, it doesn't always make things easy. :indiff:

    Now the good thing is we can use this rearward weight to our advantage once we get the hang of it. Those who have been complaining that all cars in GT4 do nothing but understeer have obviously never tried racing the Red Zone Spirra. :lol: ;) You can have AS MUCH OVERSTEER AS YOU WANT, and then some in this car. :dopey: It's like having an auxillary steering wheel--steering from the rear. :idea: The bad thing? It also makes the Sprirra extremely dangerous to drive!!!

    I had several spins in this car, even while driving mildly. It seems D24/7 set the car's ground clearance with its rear sitting 5 millimeters lower than the front to lessen the possibilities of this, but it's still a risk. :ouch: And if I managed to save the car from a spin, it would still wobble unnecessarily at times, creating some extra movement that could destroy racing lines on-exit. :ouch: There's actually so much text I could write about the Spirra's oversteery behavior (caused soley by that extra weight) I won't have space for it during this write-up. Suffice it to say, there's always an issue happening back there. :( Not always a pleasant one. To be fair, it can be fun at times. TCV4 stuff again, but dangerous here in the TCV5.


    **continued from above

    The brakes (once againnnnnn) are barely set from default. :indiff: I mentioned before how the typical Middleweight car can be safely braked from 100 meters into Turn 1. With ballast weight mistakenly put towards the rear, the car needed some extra braking time, but this isn't true with weight in the front. :tup: As so, I could typically brake from 100 meters into turn One, which means the Spirra is just about average with its braking as per this contest. The Spirra usefully trail-brakes to a small degree, as well. :tup:

    Well in the Red Zone Spirra, it's more like 120 meters....110 if you're extra careful. And it MUST be braked early, otherwise, the car understeers on-entry, :doh: which is NOT a pretty sight;for as you start cranking the steering (and the front-end loses it) the REAR also loses it sometimes, so that the entire car is now in a mild slide. :banghead: And a spin is risked. :facepalm: If you don't go for the spin, you'll probably need to just go for the push, which means going for the sand or the grass. Doh!

    Now the GOOD thing is...assuming one does start braking early, the car offers us a sweet reward towards the end of some braking zones, especially as we near turns 1, 6, 10, and 11. It's similar to the AWDA MR2, matter of fact. You DON'T need to brake all the way in. It's possible to let off the brakes early before these particular corners; letting the rear-end of the Spirra swing around, so that the entire car now has this incredible steering-angle. :D


    ...I also noticed I didn't always need to brake before turns 3 and 9...instead, I could simply let-off the gas, let the cars tires catch the brunt of slowing down a tad while steering-in, I had the racing line I wanted and I was on my way. :D


    It seems (perhaps) that all of this is what D24/7 was trying for in this car. Lots of steering angle in slower corners with a total lack of entry-understeer (assuming braking is good & early), as well as the ability to use swinging (and slight tire sliding) into medium-fast corners as a substitute for brakes. If so, he definately suceeded. :tup:

    Of course, all of this doesn't always go as planned. :ouch: Like in the Fudge Stratos, it took me awhile to get the hang of the Red Zone Spirra. There was a great trial & error (mostly error) period involved with both cars. An experienced driver can "learn" either vehicle, however. But let's move on....

    Another issue is very minor. I did notice there was just a hint of understeer on-exit, probably caused by the fact that those front tires aren't getting a good amount of traction at this moment, since most of the weight is now piled towards the rear. This minor understeer rarely caused me pain, unless I was outside of the Spirra's pre-approved racing line, rolling onto one of Motegi's narrower straights. The short straight after Turn #1 is a good example, as well as the straight after the backwards bend (turn 10). You only have so much track to save you in these areas. Since I wasn't normally expecting any understeer from the Spirra, these areas were the only ones that became issues.


    Anyways, there's a couple more good things to note. The car has less problems on-exit than it does on-entry. Its weight mid-engine layout virtually guarantees there's gonna be bulldozer-like traction. It's one thing you can finally count on with this shifty-mobile. :D The Spirra throttlesteers with great command and flexibility. :tup: We can even dial the throttle back to half, and reliably watch the entire car tighten up its steering angle as we're exiting. It's like having this giant, variable-speed action at our command, although with weight up front (rather than piled in the rear), this action isn't quite as drastic. :dopey:

    The other good thing is the Spirra is barely upset by tumble-strips. :tup: Possibly since it's got plenty of ground clearance, and the suspension itself isn't set with too much stiffness. There were some moments of squirrelyness over these bumps, but they could usually be blamed on that extra rearward weight, not the suspension tune itself.

    Minor dips into grass were another story, though. The Spirra doesn't like these too much, and gets wildly pulled to the side if you happen to get over-aggressive while cornering. I'm not docking points here. It's not like driving thru grass is supposed to be happening in the first place....I just thought it interesting that the Spirra reacts the way it does, while most others so far do not.

    There are some traits (apparently caused by the front-end weight) that could become a problem if the driver isn't ready to handle them. For instance, the front-end understeers a bit on-entry if you don't brake firmly enough. But it also grabs once you let-off the throttle, sometimes mildly, and sometimes moderately. The Spirra NEVER lifts-off like it did when I mistakenly put weight in the rear, however. :scared:

    There are also some extra, minor body twitches here an there; again, apparently caused by this weight. Something to be careful with, because they can show up entry-curve, mid-curve, or when exiting turns. Most of the time, these twitches don't cause much drama, but there were those few times when they can happen to throw the Spirra just outside of the racing line you're desiring.

    There is also a large variety of behaviors possible, some unexpected, and some expected, now that the ballast has been placed up front. I got surprised into hairpins, for instance, when all-a-sudden I'd manage to get the front-end grabbing much more forcefully somehow. The rear finally lifts-off more aggressively (tho with none of the extreme pivoting rear ballast creates), and the rear-end can be placed in a controllable slide as an end result.

    This sort of behavior can hurt the Spirra's handling (as racing lines can easily get destroyed), but helps in the next category. Overall, I see what D24/7 was going for with front ballast, and the settings under the car, as well. All this works much better in the Spirra than it did in the N-tune Elise. :cheers:


    17
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    Here we have a mixed bag.

    That weight does make the Spirra more versatile since it increases steering and cornering possibilities in unexpected ways. But it also introduces new problems. Mainly, it's those extra body movements I was talking about. Minor stuff, but stuff which can become a pain occasionally as the car skates, wobbles, and/or twitches here and there.

    You can't corner too aggressively in this one, even when driving mildly. That's a no-no. You always have to keep in mind the fact that to do so could cause you to be facing ass-end-first. :ouch: Driving this car sometimes, one must visualize a set of train-tracks for it to travel on. :lol:


    The brakes also hurt here since they're not very strong, although there were some corners in which I'd normally need brakes in other cars, but didn't need them at all in the Spirra.

    When driving for sport, the Red Zone Spirra (correctly tuned) is very versatile. It allows you to make small cornering mistakes with everything except braking. It's got a flexible nature, even with those 85 extra kg's up front, although there IS some noticable effect on cornering lines which could screw an inexperienced driver in the long run.

    When going for Best Lap, the Spirra still allows some experimentaion, although there are more limits to this, of course.

    We can be versatile with gearing. There's some options with leaving this car in gear into a couple corners, letting it safely redline. :tup:

    Again, a mixed bag. Overall, some points docked, but some unexpected ones added.

    17
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster

    Took me some laps to defeat the BATTLE MONSTER as I recovered from trips into the sand and whatnot. But I was persistent Mr. D24/7. And here are your BATTLE POINTS. :D

    15
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Improvement over Stock

    What's interesting about the Red Zone Spirra and its stock cousin? The two cars are only about 50 horsepower apart. I've never driven a Proto Motors Spirra yet, so I wasn't expecting a couple things.

    The tuned version feels more neutral than stock, which is a + because a stock Spirra V8 actually oversteers rather excessively. In the Red Zone version, the front-end works with the rear in a smoother fashion. :tup: oversteers to excess, but so does the stock version. There's no true improvement here, in other words..the only way to improve upon this would be to balance the car, making it even easier to drive. But while stock, the Spirra suffers from alot of the same issues as the Red Zone car, it just isn't as extreme. There's no fear of a spin while driving mildly for instance. The stock version does happen to get a bit doofy at times, however. :eek:

    I also noticed that the stock version felt like it wanted to enter corners more-readily. Its front-end digs in with more passion, even if I didn't brake as early as I should have. And mid-corner, the Proto Motors Spirra doesn't suffer from the stock version's shiftyness. Like I said, I could work with this shiftyness after awhile, but there's still a point docked here because the stock version is easier to drive in this regard, yet it still performs the some of the same service (the rear swings around) as the tuned version. All this is bad news for Drifting 24/7, I'm afraid. :(

    Some advancements? Okay. :) The Red Zone version incorporates 5th gear more successfully. In the stock version, I needed 5th to make the end of the first straight so the car woudn't redline. Problem is, this becomes a brief, awkward upshift, and then you need to (of course) shift right back down again as you enter Turn 1. In the Red Zone, I could use 5th for a longer set of moments, getting more of the car's V8 powerband into the equation.

    The tuned version is also lighter. :tup: Its body and chassis feels tighter as well. Despite its 130/125 mm ground clearance, the tuned version is lower than stock, not to mention its suspension is stiffer (but not TOO stiff). This means less: it suffers from less extraneous body movements. Less rolling, especially. :tup::)

    (7)

    Total Score: 71
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  17. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: '00 Renault Clio Sport V6

    Tuner: king of weasels

    Garage: Bellomo Motorsports SPA

    Best Lap: 1:23.785



    Speed:

    Top Speed: 143.0 mph


    Here's a very smooth, flexible engine. Peak power rests at 6,000 rpms, and the redline is at about 7,500 rpm, which means it's possible to spend your entire time driving this car aroud Twin Ring and never hit redline. It's best to shift this one early, to grab an earlier swell of horses. Speed builds easily from lower gears since the mid-engine's weight keeps traction forced on those rear tires. :tup:

    But also, the king of weasels has arranged the gearbox so that 2nd and 3rd are short throws, which is an obvious effort to get a faster burst of lower-speed acceleration going. 4th gear feels much more like a cruising gear, it's so obviously taller. 5th feels neither shorter nor taller, and 6th is not needed at all. One has the option of shifting up to 6th during Motegi East's longest straight in an effort to drop the tach needle back below the V6's peak power area, but I found this unnecessary, and actually hurtful, because that extra upshift causes just a smidge extra + to our lap time.

    But the bottom line here: it's nice that we have options in this car, so far as gearing goes. I could leave it in 4th as I approached turn 8, for instance, as the car redlined but never hit its RPM limit. Or, I could upshift into 5th to grab that extra bit of horsepower. In this particular area, there wasn't as much of a benefit to leaving the Clio in gear like there is on Motegi East straight #1.

    One thing that's hurting the Clio Sport (in regards to speed as compared to other TCV5 Middleweights) is this car's larger aerodynamic frontal area. I mean, it's a blocky-shaped car in comparison to others so far. A real-life Clio (while stock) has an aerodynamic drag of 0.370, which is on the high side for a sports car. Let's not forget the fact that the Bellomo Motorsport version also has wings equipped.

    What does all this mean? Well, I'm noticing the Top Speed of 143.0 mph is a bit low, as compared to others. This car's got great acceleration down-low, but starts to slow as aerodynamic forces build as the car gets well above 100 mph. It's just something getting in the way of an even better lap time, etc. Perhaps this is why the king of weasels went with wing settings which are about 2/3rd lower than max.

    17
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling:

    Good marks here. :tup: I noticed the king used settings which are very close to default in all cases. There's a few things to look at; but mostly, this car does what I want when I want, with little back-talk. :tup: It turns-in while braking, suffers minimal understeer, and leaves corners with the usual MR platform efficiency.

    The front stabilizer is stronger, which is a small criticism. Driving over those rumblies usually guaranteed a bit of front-tire lifting, which is the only really negative I noticed. :indiff: This wasn't a huge issue since I learned to work around this, but there's still a point docked here. Overall, the rumble strips rarely cause anything too drastic in the Bellomo Clio Sport. No massive pulling or bouncing or wheelspin issues under power. Just some minor front-end hopping which probably could have been avoided with a weaker front sway bar. Like I said, I could work around this. It's not a huge point-docker.

    The suspension itself is set with mid-range coils and near-default shocks, which allows the Clio Sport alot of its native flexibility to be kept intact. Which is mostly good, but a little bad. My only criticism here is the car had a habit of throwing its weight around, especially during the esses, and this gets felt doubly (when compared to others) because the Clio Sport happens to have a large back-end area. It's modeled after a hatchback design, after all. Once you start shifting the car from side to side, you start to feel those rear tires "catching" this extra inertia which would be absent from a car with a lower trunkline.

    The good news is, I could work with this to some extent...allowing the rear to swing out a tad; getting a tighter cornering angle, but I had to be careful with this. The front-end can get a bit grabby mid-corner once those brakes are off. The king of weasels seems to have set this car's limited-slip with regard to avoiding some of this. Notice the Clio's accel and decel limited-slip settings of 20/20, which allow the car not to get too crazy with lift-off, but also let it throttle steer with a lack of understeer.

    There were some moments of understeer, but only if I didn't brake and turn-in strongly enough. :ouch: This happens out of turns 1, 9, and 10 especially, where there isn't much track-space to save you once you get onto the straight. There's a hint of understeer exiting from other corners, as well, but I never had to worry about it out of these turns since there's more track to let it play onto. Like I said, the understeer showing in the trouble spots was avoidable, but here's what I'm getting at....

    Here we go again with these weak brake settings! 4/3. :lol: Don't you guys want Parnelli to slow down more safely, so that he can get your car a better lap time, thereby ekeing it even further into the Middleweight finals? :lol::eek: Oy. One thing positive which can be said is there's lots of leeway during braking, which makes trail-braking easy, but I could still easily trail-brake with doubled settings, even with a slightly shorter brake distance. :idea:

    Granted, the Clio Sport (stock, or as tuned by the king) has some respectable braking in the game, but I felt they coulda been even better. Overall handling & manueverability is good, though.

    20
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility:

    A hugely versatile car, let's be honest; a little too versatile at times. :lol: Other than needing to keep brake distances solid, the Bellomo Clio Sport tackles those corners with a wide range of possibilities, which means experimentation is at a premium. The limited-slip and weak brakes are what's keeping this car from a perfect score. But this car's still got it all in the Versatility department.

    (18)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Car vs. Battle Monster

    Poor BATTLE MONSTER. Sure is getting lonely getting its ass blown away again and again. :(

    18
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock:

    One thing which is a huge improvement is the tuned version feels alot more taut than a stock Clio Sport V6. There's less diving while braking, and less roll during cornering. This means less overall extraneous movement, which makes the tuned version feel more confident while attacking corners. :tup:

    The front-end of the Bellomo Motorsports version doesn't grab as wildly as the stock version while turning-in, and this is good because I felt the stock version's steering is too grabby into turns 3 and 8; which garners too much lift-off too easily. One must be more careful with steering-in while driving the stock version. The Bellomo Motorsports Clio manages to keep plenty of the stock version's native flexibility, dialing out this front-end imbalance. Steering in the stock version is more touchy overall.

    The trade-off is there is more understeer in the tuned version while leaving corners. You gotta be just a tad cautious with that throttle (as I explained in the Handling and Versatility sections). :scared:

    The gearbox is an area which hasn't had a vast improvement, tho it is improved. We're using gears 2 thru 5 in the tuned Clio. Same goes for the stock version (if one is truely keeping the engine within its peak-powerband area). In other words, this car hasn't got a too-tall gearbox from stock to tuned, like we find in many other cars, so it's hard to improve upon gearing from stock to tuned. The main area of improvement is the fact that the king of weasels has arranged those lower gears (2nd and 3rd) in a rapid-fire fashion, so that they allow for a better kick out of slower turns. While stock, there is a huge moment of time (well over half a second :scared:) being lost as the clutch dis- and re-engages from 2nd to 3rd gear.

    Hmm what else. :D The Bellomo version is lighter. :tup: And...the brakes don't feel like they're any better from stock to tuned, which isn't causing any points lost, but no points ganied either. :indiff: This is partially due to the fact that the tuned car has wings. The downforce generated by these wings help slow things down from higher speeds, even tho the actual brake settings aren't very strong.


    7

    Total Score: 80
     
  18. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: Mazda RX-7 Type R Bathurst R (FD 1997)

    Tuners: PF and CamryFan

    Garage: partially independent, partially N-Tune Performance

    Best Lap: 1:24.723


    I'm a little confused. :confused: Apparently it's a collaboration of some sort between CamryFan and PF, with CF tuning just the transmission? :confused: Anyways, one thing I like is we have the option of using either a newsed or used Bathurst. PF has given parts/horsepower requirements for both options, which means I don't have to sit here all day looking for a super-low mileage car. I managed to find one with 17k on its odometer, got the parts, and off I go...

    Speed:

    Top Speed: 147.2 mph



    Another rotary engine car. Peak power and torque sit closer together, with 1,500 rpms of difference between the two. The good thing is: there's a powerpack of turbo boost in this area, but if you get below 5,000 rpms there's no worries. There's never any perceptible turbo-lag in the Type R Motegi, even if you trek out of a slower corner in the "wrong" gear. ;)

    That isn't a criticism, by the way. I found this car theoretically should be leaving corners 1, 6, 10, and 11 in 2nd gear, but in practice I wasn't forced to always use 2nd. Matter of fact, I found both hairpins (turns 6 and 11) could be taken safely using 3rd gear. I could use 3rd out of those other two areas, but needed to be more careful while doing so since the Bathurst Type R Motegi understeers more heavily in 3rd.

    Anyways, it's nice to have options with gearing choices, is it not? In some straight areas of the track, I could keep the car in gear longer, letting it redline without hitting the RPM limit. :indiff:

    On the other hand, one criticism that's easy to make happens if you leave sharper turns in 2nd gear, laying too much throttle. This is risking some wheelspin. It's not muscle-car wheelspin by any means; but the rear loses a bit of traction as throttle is feathered, and the RX7 re-orients itself.

    Also, gear-shifting is quite busy in this one. We're using gears 2 thru 6 (with an option to drop 2nd occasionally), and 6th is definately needed during Motegi East's two longest straights. The advantage is this car always has a highly accelerative feel to it, and speed keeps building steadily, so long as you keep those shifting fingers busy. The downside is this is another car which gets tiring to drive after many laps, as gear-shifts are constant.

    Also, there were a couple areas where I'd be in 3rd gear, need to place a quick upshift into 4th, and then tumble down into 3rd again; lest that RPM limiter gets tapped. :ouch::indiff: One of these areas is the small straight between turns 1 and 2. In the 2nd S-turn area, it's best to leave the Type R Motegi in 3rd gear, but tricky because it starts redlining mid-S, and letting-off the throttle drops speed massively. So you jump back on again, risking some understeer leaving turn 9.

    It's hard not to compare this RX7 to the White Tiger. The main difference in lap times is due to the fact that the Type R Motegi RX7 hasn't got a wing kit. But notice: both cars can drum similar Top Speeds....about 147 mph down Motegi's longest. :tup: Interesting.


    17
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling

    Unlike the RRV White Tiger, which features a highish suspension (compared to others in the TCV5), the Bathurst Type R Motegi has had its suspension lowered almost all the way. PF has chosen an original suspension, for whatever reason.

    The suspension itself is set with a softer tune than I would have expected, which is fine. PF's RX7 does get a bit nervous over the rumblies, and this means you occasionally can't attack corners as aggressively, but overall this car doesn't suffer from extreme dancing during rumble-strip moments. :)

    Again, my main criticism are the brakes. :indiff: I'm not going into detail here....I'm starting to sound like a broken record. :yuck: The fact that there's no wing kit on the Bathurst also hurts its braking ability. The car does trail-brake as successfully as others, however, assuming you start braking early. :tup:

    Another issue is high-speed steering during the esses. It's not quite grabby enough, which is obviously the lack of a front wing setting. When needing to change direction from side-to-side, there's a noticable lag before these commands are felt. Not true understeer, this is more like those front tires need a moment to grab fuller traction.

    Other than this, I'm liking what I see here. The limited-slip settings are weak, which allow plenty of flexibility, yet provide some stability. Throttle-steering out of slower areas is just as good as it is in many mid-engine cars so far. Making the accel setting stronger might further kill the rear's habit of losing traction in 2nd gear, but I didn't find this fully necessary.

    17
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility:

    A hugely versatile car, but also some obvious limits.

    The lack of a wing kit, odd gearing moments, 2nd-gear wheelspin possibilities, and watery braking make the Mazda RX7 Bathurst Type R Motegi not as much of a King here as it should be.

    There is also a bit of understeer under power (as well as that lack of front-end high-speed steering ability I mentioned in the Handling section) which hurt the score.

    15
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster

    It took me 3 laps to figure out where this one likes to be braked, which means it looked as if the BATTLE MONSTER might reign supreme. :scared: I toppled him, however, and here are some battle points, sir PF (and Camry Fan).

    16
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock

    There's the obvious bits. The tuned car is lighter, and its tranny keeps that tach needle more firmly where it should be.

    The stock Bathurst can be driven safely as an automatic if you like (but don't try this at home kids!) since it feels more necessary to take it all the way to redline. ;) The tuned version also displays less body movement and feels more confident with higher speeds, bla bla bla. This confidence assumes you keep those racing lines strict, however.

    Some areas where stock>tuned? The stock version requires less braking time and (therefore) distance. Yea, I know it's slower and all that, but if the tuned version had a wing and/or stronger brake settings, it could have made for a true improvement. Also, the stock version throttlesteers even better than the tuned one. I could leave both hairpins with full-throttle all the way in a stock Bathurst, for instance, gassing up those rotaries well before mid-point with a total lack of understeer or wheelspin.

    Both cars steer-in with great success; the weakly-set LSD in the tuned car allows this, but the stock version grabs in just a little stronger. I'm not knocking a point for this, but I am knocking one since the stock car can transition over fumble-strips with less drama, which means one doesn't need to be as careful as they're steering in.

    4

    Total Score: 69
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  19. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

    Messages:
    10,448
    Location:
    United States
    Car: DMC Delorean S2

    Tuner: Tandem

    Garage: independent

    Best Lap: 1:24.269


    Nice to see a New Member sucessfully joining the contest. mazdaman also tried to make a go of it, but apparently got sidetracked. :(

    Funny thing about Tandem's entry: I was doing some testing (during Lightweight) and had a random thought: what if someone entered a DeLorean into the TCV5? I think I had this thought as I was testing PF's Elise, 'cause I was thinking of rear-engine cars, but this was before Tandem showed up. Maybe I'm getting a little precognizant in my middle-age. :boggled::scared:

    Speed:

    Top Speed: 145.7 mph

    New tuner Tandem provides us with a cute story about how he found his car in a cornfield, charred up, but otherwise useful for our amusement. After some work with a flux capacitor, it was ready to roll. Something like that, anyways. ;) I'm assuming all this stuff has something to do with the movie Back to the Future, but I'm not sure. I saw the movie when it originally came out in the theatre, and I forget what the plot is now.

    Anyways, a little history. When the DeLorean was originally released, it was heavily criticized for lots of reasons. Like the stainless steel body meant it couldn't be painted easily, which is why all DeLoreans are silver-gray. The craftmanship was shoddy, it was priced $12,000 more than it was supposed to be...and on and on. The real problem was: here you have this so-called 'sports car', and yet it was quite sluggish (especially considering its price). It had a "PRV" V6 motor, which was engineered in tandem (har har) between Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo.

    Anyways, the original car was quite a slowpoke, but Tandem's car certainly isn't. But it's not near the top of the pack either. The DMC DeLorean, as tuned by Tandem has some advantages in its favor so far as accelerating is concerned. It's got loads of traction due to its rear-engine/rear-drive layout, and it's also certainly just as fast as many others in the Middleweight crowd, as we can garner from its 147 mph Top Speed. Then why isn't it making the best laps?

    Is it gearing? The PRV motor (yea, I know it's not technically a PRV since the 2004 model year denotes this car as "tuned", but whatever) has its peak power at 5,750 rpms, and a redline of about 6,750. The gearing definately reflects some thought as to keeping this car's revs closely within a proper area. Tandem has had us elaborately set the Final Drive, lower the gearbox's Auto Setting, and then lower the Final Drive. Then not supposed to touch a thing, except for a very minor tweak to 3rd gear. :lol: There's also supposed to be a minor tweak to 1st gear as well, but I never used 1st.

    I found the gearbox to be flexible, and not too busy, unless you want to stay busy. Shifts technically should happen early, though, to keep the tach needle back in its best zone, but there are some areas of Twin Ring where we're not absolutely forced to shift early. :tup: Rolling down the first straight, for instance, we can shift up to 6th gear to try and grab a little extra horsepower, or we can keep it in 5th while the car safely redlines. Honestly, there isn't much difference. You can choose option 1 or option 2. Either way, you'll still be going about the same speed towards the end of the first straight.

    There were a couple other areas of the track that were like this: one could keep the car in gear longer, or shift up. Your choice. :tup::)

    So this car has some speed, and it has a useful gearbox. It's power rests exactly at the TCV5 limit. Why is it not a winner then? :confused:

    18
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Handling

    Overall, this is a good retune, but there are some things I definately would have done differently.

    But let's start with the good stuff. Stock DeLoreans are a pain in the :censored:. Understeer, understeer, understeer. It's difficult to get them to do anything but plow when they're stock, unless you slow way DOWN. You can't have any fun with the rear, even tho it's a rear-engine car and you'd think this might mean you can swing it around at times.

    The DeLorean as tuned by Tandem has got those wings set to MAX (well the front spoiler is, anyways) which helps immensely to get this car to behave more as we'd like. There's also plenty of mid-corner grip. :tup: The DeLorean throttle-steers to some degree, and has more than enough traction.

    But like I said, I woulda done some things differently. The (guess} brakes are top of the list. :indiff: As a rear-engine car, the "slow in" maxim applies...problem is, you gotta give it plenty of time to slow. :indiff: More than I'd like. :(

    **I have a theory here...perhaps y'all love those weaker brake settings because they work with wheels better? :idea: Perhaps dual-shocks can't communicate braking as well; hence stronger settings work better? As a dual-shock user, I am therefore not getting the fuller benefit???? :confused:

    Anyways, there's other stuff. This car really loves to take its time in those corners. :ouch: I mean, the steering is rather slow. Not the steering ratio itself, but the fact that this car likes taking very WIDE cornering paths. :scared: This is gonna hurt the Versatility score more than it'll hurt the Handling score, actually. But yea, those cornering paths..you REALLY gotta prepare well in advance to get a good turn-in.

    This is not a trail-braking machine, except in small degrees (probably thanks to the wing kit). Brake a hair too late, and it's understeer city. Brake in at the proper zone, and you still gotta WAIT an extra moment (compared to some others in the Middleweight) before you can nail that gas-pedal. I'm making it sound worse than it really is; I'm just trying to illustrate there were some excruciating moments in this car if I nailed the gas just a nanosecond too early. And got severely punished for it. :mad::banghead::p

    On top of this, there's throttesteer, but it sometimes takes another moment to get it to happen. :scared: I blame ALL of this (wide cornering paths, understeer, lack of quicker steering) on the limited-slip. This is one of those cars that honestly doesn't need one. What needs to happen in this car is more flexibility. This car (with its wings, lowered ride height, and clever damper tuning) deserves better.

    I would also mess with the ground clearance...raising the rear-end but keeping the front where it is...all in an effort to try to get this car to nose-in a bit more sharply. There's also -2 of rear toe present here, but in a rear-engine car, it's probably necessary to keep some stability happening under power, so I probably wouldn't mess with this. Then again, maybe I might.

    One thing I did like was the fact that the Tandem DeLorean doesn't get too affected by the rumblies, thanks to those middle-lowish coils and weak sway bar settings. :tup: It's funny how predictable this car is in this regard. There were moments when it did get squirrely over the rumble strips, but I always knew when these moments were about to happen. Most of the time, I could traverse over rumble strips, drop the gas for a moment (to keep the car from slipping off the strip), and re-introduce gas the moment I was getting away from these areas.

    The DeLorean gets a little affected here and there, and yea there were moments when I totally lost the orbit I was seeking (especially in the esses) but the good thing is it doesn't BoUnCe to excess over rumblies every single time you need to travel over one. Like I said....lose the gas, and usually you're fine.

    16
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Versatility

    I already touched on this subject up above, and unfortunately here is where the DeLorean has some massive problems.

    This one does turn-in. It does throttlesteer. It's got loads of grip. But it's also got a HUGE turning-radius once you're going for speed, which means you can't experiment at all; lest you risk off-track expeditions, understeer, and very large dints in your thumbs due to mashing that steering mushroom way too hard. When driving for sport, there is more flexibility, but it's still not enough. :indiff: The brakes also minus the score a bit, too.

    On the other hand, I found this car's gearing to be plenty versatile (as mentioned above in the Speed section). :tup:

    10
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Car versus Battle Monster

    Another EVO slam! :cheers:

    17
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Improvement over Stock

    There's the usual. The stock version feels downright sluggish, and not soley because of its lesser power; it's also a gearing issue. We're using gears 2 thru 4 in a stock DMC-12. The Tandem DeLorean assumes 5th gear (with an option for 6th) also sees action. :tup:

    The tuned version is lighter. :tup: It doesn't feel as awkward since it's on a lowered, strengthened suspension. :tup: Less diving, less mid-corner rolling. Those wings help with higher speed treks. :tup:

    Then there's the down sides. :indiff::mischievous: A stock DMC-12 feels less deceptive while approaching corners since it trail-brakes with more success. The front-end digs into corners with more gusto. There's still some understeer while powering-up (in the stock version), but it's less than in the tuned version. :indiff: A stock DMC-12 therefore throttlesteers to a greater degree; and overall doesn't require those larger, rigid cornering paths of the tuned car.

    The tuned version gets more affected by rumble strips, and its braking ability is on par with the slower, stock DMC-12 since its brake settings are weak, but there's some help slowing down due to the tuned version's wing kit. Neither of these issues are huge point dockers, though.

    5

    Total Score: 66
     
  20. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    Judging preamble

    It seems I'm quite late with these results, and I apologise for that, but I'll get them done, promise!

    Also, let me just mention that I've done some of these while quite tired, so please don't be hurt if I've said your car is rubbish. Remember, this is all a bit of fun, and it's not a personal attack on you.

    I used a very similar scoring system to Parnelli for the Battle Monster score (My lightweight time a 1' 31.813).
    Starting with 10 points, every half a second under gains 1 point, every half a second over loses 1 point.

    If you would like anything clarified, simply post in the discussion thread and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible

    With that said, let the results begin!
     
  21. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    Lotus Elise 111R – Vince247

    There is no doubt that the Lotus Elise is a lightweight car – weighing just 870kg stock. This lack of weight means that acceleration should come easily, but the standard Toyota engine is a bit lacking. It also has a fair amount of power understeer, making it a somewhat difficult trackday companion.
    The RVV Elise however has set out to change all that. Power has been boosted to 277bhp, and weight reduced to just 808kg! Surely, this is a recipe for a perfect car.

    Well, maybe not. The problem with the standard Elise was simply that it was unforgiving and you had to get the racing line exactly right to actually get a quick time.
    Unfortunately, the RVV car still suffers from this understeer.

    But, it is a lot more fun in doing it! The power is suddenly there, I feel like I’m actually going somewhere out of the corners. The car is also a whole lot more forgiving, and if you can drive, there’s plenty of lift off oversteer as well.

    The car reached 137mph on the Motegi straight, but I strangely never used sixth gear. It lapped Motegi in 1’ 29.851, a time nearly 2 seconds faster than the Battle Monster in my less-than-capable hands.

    One of the few possible improvements to this car would have to be the gearing – I would love to see a shorter box for this Motegi special, but nonetheless, a very good car.


    The Scores:
    Speed: 20
    Handling: 20 (If only that understeer was less prominent)
    Versatility: 16 (Very forgiving)
    Battle Monster: 14
    Improvement over stock: 8

    Total: 78
     
  22. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    Honda Integra DC5-R - John79

    Coming out of the factory with only a roll cage added, we took this straight down to the test track. And what a mistake that was.
    The front wheel drive chassis struggled to cope with the standard power, spinning its wheels coming out of corners, and diving under brakes, and to top that off, the understeer just killed everything.
    Still, we did manage to set a time, eventually, of 1’ 43.207 in Standard Form

    Let’s see what tuning guru John79 can do with this car.
    And the only thing I have to say is wow. What an improvement over standard. The suspension is rock solid, and the grip levels are easily a million percent better. I was averaging an extra 10mph on the exit speed.
    Sure, it’s still a front wheel drive chassis, so it still understeers a bit, well actually a lot, but hey, this is by far the best front wheel drive car I have ever driven.

    The gearing is absolutely spot on, hit the max power right at the end of the Motegi straight, and was easily able to keep it in the power band.
    The downforce was great, the suspension great, the LSD great, the whole car was just great.

    A fantastic improvement over a previously rubbish car.

    Problem is, it’s still a front wheel drive car in a category dominated by cars that aren’t. As brilliant as it is for its chassis, I’m afraid it’s unable to compete here.

    The scores:
    Speed: 15(Not much power, but still good pulling)
    Handling: 11 (A great improvement, but still doesn’t turn in as sharp as some other cars here)
    Versatility: 11 (Rather unforgiving, thanks to the understeer)
    Battle Monster: 2 (1’ 35.951 still 4 seconds off the pace)
    Improvement: 10

    Total: 49
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  23. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    RVV Motorworks Amuse S2000 - LimeLighter - VtiRoj

    This car in standard form is anything but standard. It grips like a terrier to a leg, and actually has surprisingly little understeer. We managed to drag it around in 1’ 39.867, a highly respectable time.

    The RVV car however fiddles with everything just a little bit, and all these little changes make a big difference.
    Power has been boosted by 22hp, and while that isn’t a lot, weight has been dropped by nearly 200kg, and that is a lot.

    The effect of this means that this car now understeers.
    The understeer is attributed to the new power, and the tyres are screaming for some help. It all honesty, it didn’t feel that different, except for the speed.

    We reached 132mph on the Motegi straight, not the fastest car we’ve tested by any means, but a respectable effort. And when you hit that top speed and slow for the first hairpin, the brakes are absolutely excellent.
    The gearing could be a little shorter, we only just kissed top gear before we had to slam on the brakes, but overall, it wasn’t too bad.

    Our final laptime: 1’ 30.078, a whole nine seconds faster than the standard car, but most importantly, one second faster than the battle monster.


    The Scores:
    Speed: 22
    Handling: 21
    Versatility: 15
    Battle Monster: 12 (It was still very close)
    Improvement: 6 (Even though it was much faster, the original car is great, and this one just didn’t feel much different)

    Total: 76
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  24. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    RVV Motorworks Amuse S2000 – BlueLighter - Rotary Junkie

    Alright, I get the joke. You’ve both done the same car with the same power and weight, well done. This will be an interesting comparison then.

    We start with the gearing, and I never hit 6th, bit of a disappoint but that’s the way it is. Still, we hit 135mph, so that tops the LimeLighter there. It doesn’t wheelspin at all, and feels quite good through the corners. The power band is a bit narrow, but I could easily keep it in there the whole time.

    Handling wise, there was a touch of understeer, but less than the LimeLighter. Brakes were good, turn in was sharp, although the car is very unforgiving in my hands. This will obviously hurt it in the versatility section.

    After a number of laps, we posted a 1’ 28.398, 2 seconds faster than the sister car, and 3 faster than the battle monster. It is also the fastest car around here so far.

    Overall, the car felt not that much better than the standard Amuse, a problem which is hard to avoid with tuner cars.
    It gripped well, it stopped well, and it was fast, but it just felt like a bit of a letdown, very similar to the LimeLighter.

    Scores
    Speed: 23
    Handling: 21
    Versatility: 13
    Battle Monster: 16
    Improvement: 6

    Total: 79
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  25. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    ZZW30 Toyota MR-2 V Edition - a112

    In standard form, this 150 brake MR-2 feels a bit sluggish. It dives under brakes, and while it’s not the worst car ever, it certainly need some work.

    So here we have it. The ZZW30 MR-2. Power has been boosted by well over 100bhp, and weight dropped by almost the same figure. This should make for quite a recipe.

    While pounding around the track, we got up to 140mph, currently the fastest on track. Unfortunately, pulling up that speed is quite a task. The close ratio gearbox means you literally kiss the red line in top gear at the end of the straight, but it takes so much longer to pull it up. I’m not sure why, but it just does.

    The suspension is now rock solid, that’s good. The car still understeers like a pig though. When this is combined with the long braking time, the car is very unforgiving for small mistakes.
    Mind you, if you can slow it down enough, you can still bang in a proper lap, we managed a 1’ 29.842, 2 seconds faster than the Battle Monster time.

    The gearing, while not customised, was just about spot on. A little taller would’ve been the only change, but on Motegi, you literally use every ounce of grunt the thing has, there is no wasted cogs here.

    Overall, I must say, it wasn’t bad, but there’s still room for more improvement on the handling front.

    Scores
    Speed: 23
    Handling: 17
    Versatility: 13
    Improvement: 8
    Battle Monster: 14

    Total: 75
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  26. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    Bellemo Motorsports Speedster Turbo - Kingofweasles

    I used to own one of these cars, and I kept it standard for a long time. It felt pretty nice, and it’s good to see nothing’s changed with Opel’s version. It feels very lotussy, good turn in but a bit understeery. In the company it’s keeping here though, it feels rather slow.

    The Bellemo Motorsports car has certainly boosted power and dropped weight, that’s a good thing. They’ve also modified the gearbox to make it near perfect for the Motegi circuit. Don’t think it’s all perfect though…

    This car has understeer, beyond all belief. I don’t know why, but I just found that every time I’d go into a corner, it’d all go horribly wrong, and this means that you have to really slow down through the bends.
    If you get it right, well, it’s pretty quick. Our “right” lap was 1’ 28.972.
    Get it wrong though, and it’ll kill you, quickly. I did nearly 20 laps, only 4 of them were clean, because I’d brake the tiniest bit late, or turn in the tiniest bit early, and I’d find myself off the track.

    All in all, this certainly wasn’t a bad car, but for me it was ruined by the understeer. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, who knows.

    The Scores:
    Speed: 22
    Handling: 14
    Versatility: 5
    Battle Monster: 16
    Improvement: 5

    Total: 62
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  27. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    Toyota MR-SC TRD - Leonidae

    I’ve driven loads of MR-2’s, not just in the Tuner Challenge, but in most other aspects as well. To improve on it I still maintain is quite a challenge.

    In standard form, here’s a shock. It feels just like the other MR-2’s in this test. It’s a smidge understeery, and suffers from soft suspension, but it’s still a top little sports car.

    This particular tuned car however, is a bit different.
    The power levels here are bang on. There’s no wheelspin, and yet there’s still good power and torque to pull me out of bends.

    The brakes are just fine, stopping well and quickly, the bias set beautifully.

    The car is very forgiving, even when I wasn’t paying attention I could still drive it quickly. Yes, there’s still a touch of understeer, but it’s all very controllable.

    And my only complaint with this car is just that – it’s all a bit boring. I just wish it would slide or lose grip or swap ends on me on the grass. The TRD gurus certainly have taken a car and made it good, but they’ve taken it’s character too.

    Still, on a hot lap, we did a 1’ 30.234, a fair bit quicker than our Motegi Battle Monster


    The Scores:
    Speed: 21
    Handling: 20
    Versatility: 17
    Battle Monster: 13
    Improvement: 7

    Total: 78
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  28. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    TVR V8S - Adamgp

    The wild card of the challenge for me, certainly not something I expected, and also the most awaited car, because it never came up for sale in my garage.

    Anyway, I took this out to Motegi, and in it’s swift and pearlescent red standard form, I thought that the car could be quite a bit of fun, if it had just a smidge more power.
    I could feel the understeer for sure, but it always felt like if I had 20 brake more, I would be doing this test sideways.

    The Tuned TVR (let’s call it a TT) should hopefully make this the most fun I’ve had.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t really. The car understeered off the track so easily, I think of the 40 laps I did, 30 of them were ineligible. The power has been substantially boosted, and it feels like the chassis can’t deal with it. I was hoping for some traditional engine in the front sports car action that never really came.
    Incidentally, out of the 10 laps that did count, our fastest: 1’ 32.160

    It was still strangely enjoyable though. When you do mess it up, it’s quite controllable, and it also gives you a chance to do those sideways manoeuvres we all so badly want.

    All in all, the car is unfortunately still slow. I know that’s harsh, but in my hands, it was the truth. It’s difficult, unforgiving, yet for some reason, still good fun. Confused yet? I am



    The Scores:
    Speed: 20
    Handling: 20
    Versatility: 10
    Battle Monster: 7
    Improvement: 5

    Total: 62
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  29. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    Drifter’s Spoon Civic Type R - drifting24/7

    I’ve never driven any car from the tuning garages before this challenge, so this turned out to be quite an experience.
    Still, it’s a front wheel drive, so it can’t be too scary.

    But my word, in it’s standard form, this thing has a lot of power, and the world’s stiffest road suspension. Every bump on the relatively smooth Motegi circuit would knock the wind right out of me. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

    The drift God’s have turned this car into the best front wheel drive car I’ve ever driven, and I mean that without a shadow of a doubt.

    The turn in is sharp, and there’s quite a stack of understeer with all that power, but it’s all controllable if you know what you’re doing.
    The understeer will hurt it in the points though, as will the in versatility of this car (once again due to it’s drive train).

    The brakes are pinpoint sharp, the gearing was pretty good as well, but unfortunately the understeer killed the time, and made the car impossible to drive.
    Overall, a fine effort.

    Our final lap time: 1’ 33.41

    Scores:
    Speed: 18
    Handling: 20
    Versatility: 12
    Battle Monster: 6
    Improvement: 5

    Total: 61
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  30. in.s@ne

    in.s@ne

    Messages:
    644
    Balang Project Civic EG6 - Balang_479

    In it’s standard form, this car reminds me exactly of the one I used to own. Soft, comfortable, and a little bit of fun.

    The Balang Civic has set out to change all that.
    Everything has been changed, and I mean everything. This 5k cheapo has quickly turned into a one hundred thousand credit transformation.

    And I’m afraid to say, it hasn’t really worked.

    It feels fast, it sounds fast, but I’m afraid it just isn’t. I put in a solid 30 laps, and at every corner, had to hope that the car wouldn’t snap on me like it did do a number of times.
    I don’t just mean a little snap, it properly let go. Something I’ve never seen before from a front wheel drive.

    Other times, it would understeer and I’d end up in the sand. By far the most difficult and unforgiving car I’ve driven so far.

    Unfortunately, these problems led to a snail’s pace lap – 1’ 39.899, the slowest of the test.

    Scores:
    Speed: 13
    Handling: 10
    Versatility: 2
    Battle Monster: 0
    Improvement: 4

    Total: 29
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009