VXR - FM6

Discussion in 'FM6 Photo Mode' started by VXR, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. VXR

    VXR

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    Hi, welcome to my gallery. In here you can expect to find longer posts, maybe even driving impressions of the cars featured if that's of any interest.

    Cheers, VXR.
     
  2. SlipZtrEm

    SlipZtrEm Administrator

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    Turning a gallery into a series of mini reviews? I can't wait. :D
     
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  3. VXR

    VXR

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    Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 and 155 Q4 Autodelta

    When left standard, you can easily see the lean as the car enters a fast right-hand corner. The car seems to have a soft nature, but the Q4 set-up gives it worthwhile bite at the front, without being totally front-lead.

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    Some handbrake antics are required to loosen the back end at Hockenheim's near-90 degree left. The rear is able to get lose, but only with severe provocation and rarely does it become a handful.

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    Another shot taken at maximum attack. A credit to the car that it could do this time and again without much cause for concern.

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    This fictional modified model sees a modest increase to 235bhp via an enlarged displacement, sports intercooler and race exhaust. The 17" wheels and touring car stance give it a purposeful look.

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    The race suspension keeps the body in better check, whilst the couple of degrees negative camber affords decent turn in for FWD-based platform.

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  4. ImaRobot

    ImaRobot

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've always liked how you show off the body roll in your shots. It makes for some great action shots. However, the side profile of the modified version is what does it for me :tup:
     
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  5. VXR

    VXR

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    Cheers @ImaRobot it's the body roll that does it for me in car photography IRL and I think that strongly influences me to the point of obsession at times. It's only when I'm really inspired do I tend to look out for different types of shots.
     
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  6. VXR

    VXR

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    A Reasonably Priced Car - The Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Tech Line

    Chosen not for its exhilarating performance or lithe handling, but for its price, can the typical European family hatchback be any fun on track? Armed with real-world experience of several Vauxhalls, I took to Brands Hatch to find out.

    With its 1.6 producing a modest 114bhp and 114lb ft of torques, the Astra was never going to emulate the famous touring cars that have raced around here over the years, but knowing Vauxhall engines well, they do have their moments. Second gear is often a strong gear for the company and so it is here, relative to what you expect from a 1.6. Its only achilles heel is uphill when the car has fallen out of its rev-range. In third along the Brabham Straight, the engine gets rather coarse and boomy. These family hatchbacks rarely have tuneful engines; often they will sound downright strained when opened up and that is the case here.

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    It was quickly established that the order of the day for the car's handling was safety understeer, a class norm.

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    A visual representation of just how sedate it could be driving this car.

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    Two shots from the same corner (into the Cooper Straight). The car is relying heavily on its mechanical grip to stay in shape.

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    A few laps into the test, I'd developed more of a cornering attitude. With the chassis set-up for safety, that meant taking bigger risks and really leaning on the tyres with quick steering inputs and using the curbs. Both shots taken at Sheene.

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    Eventually, I was aware of trailbraking into Paddock Hill bend and the way it closed the car's angle of attack. Within a couple of laps, I was able to bring the rear into play for a more dramatic shot. This is the only corner where you carry enough speed for lift-off oversteer to occur, however, on this track.

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    All in all, the Astra isn't going to entertain many people, but knowing their cars, they do have an ability to soak up a good beating and their softer, safer chassis do afford some moments of fun for the spirited driver.
     
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  7. ImaRobot

    ImaRobot

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    Bringing something fresh with these Photo Op Reviews. Definitely makes for a good read when trying to pass the time, so thanks for that :tup:

    As for my pick, I would say the second to last. Nice perspective and a great action shot!
     
  8. VXR

    VXR

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    Thank you @ImaRobot it really was getting hard to shoot with such mundane cornering haha. My next update will be a little more interesting.
     
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  9. NTX

    NTX

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    Been reading your work, and you really bring a great new thing to a photo gallery. Reviews are a great addition pal, well done!! BTW, great capture in the last Alfa 155 photo, a very good way to see how good are things in FM6, even the small details :)
     
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  10. VXR

    VXR

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    Just William - Renault Clio Williams at the Nurburgring

    I was always a fan of how the fast first-gen Clios looked. Back in the day, my cousin had a red 16V, the basis for RenaultSport's limited edition Williams. Whilst my cousin's car made do with a 137bhp 1.8 valver, the Williams was heavily worked on, with a 2.0 displacement and uprated cams and rods amongst other changes. Built to homologate their rally entry, the muscular Clio shape remains one of my all-time favourite hot hatches. Putting out close to 150bhp in this size of car is no mean feat; the Astra GSI from the next size up was using a 2.0 16v of that output in 1993.

    I took to the Nordschleife to experience the car on track, having driven it in Italy and Northern France over the last year.

    I first noticed that the car was really keen on corner entry. On this early downhill section of the Nord, the front-heavy nature of the car was evident, guiding its nose into the apex with the lighter rear end wanting to come into play.

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    Pushing on, the car actually resisted oversteer really well. The broad torque curve from the big 2.0 helping it to plow through almost any corner it came across.

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    That did however create a propensity to burn through its rubber at a prodigious rate, although the car didn't tend to enter terminal understeer when doing so out of a corner. A commendable feat on narrow 185 section rubber.

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    With the colder track temperature in the night air, I'd hoped to play around with the handling at a safer location. I could sense the car had a mobile rear, it just needed the track width and decent run-offs to exploit it.

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    Alas, no matter how I drove it for the first few laps, it remained resolute in the face of tomfoolery, with my trail-braking resulting in nothing more than quicker turn-in, and adding power just saw the wider front track find plenty of grip.

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    If I was going to get some oversteer action, I was going to have to trust the car and let the tail go on its own. I'm glad I worked up to it, as then the back axle gets loose and the fun begins.

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    French hot-hatchbacks were renowned for this kind of behaviour in their time and this car is thankfully no exception. Once discovered, this rudimentary 'bung' provided plenty of slip-angles several times.

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    As a big fan of this car, I really hoped it would turn out to be as fun on a track as it was on the road and I'm not disappointed. If anything, its tenacious front-end grip and steadfast rear make it a potential hot-lapper at the top of E-class. It's one of those cars that might not be overly fast, but once you find the rhythm it's seemingly highly consistent in its approach.

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  11. ClydeYellow

    ClydeYellow

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    Hnnng, you just reminded that I had an appointment with the Clio Williams. Hopefully she won't be too angry at me for being so late.
     
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  12. NTX

    NTX

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    Love the car! I also love how you talk about it, and yes, its a fun car to drive. :)

    Note - You have driven this iconic car at the Green Hell, respect!! :)
     
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  13. StoneyNUFC

    StoneyNUFC

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    Really enjoy the reviews, something refreshing. Love the bodyroll shots ha
     
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  14. Pebb

    Pebb

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    My favourite from the latest update has to be shot 1. :)
     
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  15. Loving the Touring car stance, plus the last pic of the clio, you could almost be forgiven for thinking its a photo of the real thing. :tup:;)
     
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  16. VXR

    VXR

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    Ever since I raced Rio for the first time in the demo, I've been utterly fascinated by the track, spurred on by wanting to visit the city in reality. I wanted to wait and do it justice - as I would strive to do with my real camera given the chance - and construct a theme for the series of shots. I researched public service vehicles of Rio De Janeiro and replicated a sightseeing bus and a local taxi using the most relevant vehicles in the game. I also resurrected a paint job from Forza 3 that now had a home to call its own and finally, I took scenic shots, mostly captured in the vein of my favourite mobile apps, Retrica and Instagram.

    Sightseeing - Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus.

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    The iconic Cristo Redentor, high upon Corcovado Mountain.

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    The wayward handling might actually need some Christian intervention...

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  17. VXR

    VXR

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    Local Hero - Volkswagen Scirocco R touring car.

    Originally designed in Forza 3, I finally have a Brasilian track to drive it on.

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    When I think of Brasil, I think of bright colours and a natural vibrancy. This influenced my original design.

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    Competing in the Brasilian Touring Car Championship, or the TCCB in Brasilian, the spec 1.6 Turbo 4 Scirocco is a 360hp circuit racer.

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    Local hero Luis Edmundo gets in some practice laps in front of a partisan crowd.

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    Posing for a promotional shot. Rio's Grand Prix is in its fifth year and growing bigger each year.

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    A spectacular final corner, with colourful ticker tape cannons to greet the winner.

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  18. VXR

    VXR

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    An Honest Real - Making a Living in Rio De Janeiro

    I googled Rio taxis and one of the images that came up was of a Nilo Piçanho taxi, with a simple, yet distinctive yellow and blue livery. The phone number is the real life one, BTW...

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  19. VXR

    VXR

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    Rio em Filme

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  20. StoneyNUFC

    StoneyNUFC

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    Great shots throughout but the Rio em Filme set is fantastic. Love the confetti shots.
     
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  21. FosterG

    FosterG

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    This is some really cool stuff VXR, Cristo Redentor thru the bus window is epic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
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  22. CAMAROBOY69

    CAMAROBOY69 Premium

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    Whoa your pics have really come to life in the last few updates. Great work! Loved ALL the Rio shots. I also like the description with each shot.
     
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  23. NTX

    NTX

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    Very interesting update pal! The VW Microbus set is lovely let me say! Sightseeing, really?!! :)

    The Rio em filme has very good captures, being my favourite the one with Cristo Rei, very, very good!! I just feel like a tourist here :)
     
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  24. Yeah that Cristo Redactor thru the bus window I agree, its genius! I can't think of a better word to describe fosters "Epic" but it is! And the Rio em film set and confetti too are really beautifully timed and detail shots. I love how you capture the flags. It's an orgy of colourful and well placed positioned shots. Even the plane is red and white :D :lol:
     
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  25. VXR

    VXR

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    Thanks for all the comments guys. It really helps having a few hours to curate shots, rather than taking the same stock shots I always do when I've got a spare hour if I'm lucky.
     
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  26. VXR

    VXR

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    Third Time's a Charm - BMW E46 M3


    For some it's the four-cylinder E30 version, for others the S65 V8 E90/92/93 and even the E36 for a smaller percentage of M-fans. For me however, the perfect M3 came about with the third-gen E46 version. Taking the E36 Evo formula and refining it to a car better suited to the new millennium, BMW created the luxury performance coupe by which all others were measured and found wanting. Audi tried to topple it with a blunt instrument in the form of the 4.2 V8 S4 of 2003 and Mercedes offered their take with the C32 Kompressor. That car was more like the car the Audi should have been, really; more rapid luxury than a sports car that happened to be luxurious. Trying to best a car with near-perfect weight distribution, a high revving six and wonderfully measured handling seems like folly.

    My hyperbole for this car might seem a little OTT, but BMW simply don't make this type of M-car now and for me, there will never be another much-loved M product. Here I test a standard 2005 Imola Red M3 and a tuned, Phoenix Yellow example.

    Tester's note; I'd have chosen Laguna Seca blue, yet here's where one of Forza's confusing spec issues arises; if it's a 2005 model, then the colour options are correct, but then why not update the car itself to reflect the CS model of that year with minimal effort? The CSL-style wheels were already modelled back when the E46 M3 GTR street car was in the series.

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    My initial experiences with this car were all about balance. Having owned an E36, I know just how well BMW set their cars up for handling. Nothing feels quite as right as their ability to change direction so quickly and the adjustability between neutral to oversteer handling. The E46 here actually adds the requisite modern safety understeer to its repertoire, but with such a sweet engine/chassis combo, it's just so easy to trim its line and be on your way.

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    Thankfully, when it's just you and an empty track, it's not hard to be tempted by power oversteer and it doesn't really get much better than this from a European car. Turn in, get on it in second or third and just let the rear tyres light up, time and again.

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    In this environment, it's an addiction.

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    No matter the angle, the long-wheelbase gives it wonderful stability, so these languid, smoky drifts are utterly recoverable. I've not yet experienced such a rewarding RWD car in the Forza series as this. The oversteer seems believable and just enough to be fun, without being over-egged. In this regard, 6 blows the rest of them into the weeds.

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    One of those cars that just looks so good when dirty.

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    The second example is a track day special. Race intake and airbox to bring power to a CSL-aping level. CSL-style 19" wheels in cup-spec tyres and a spoiler from the M3 GTR. The lower suspension and negative camber give it a mean stance.

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    3.5 degree negative camber on the rear is obvious from this angle.

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    Along a decent straight like this one (Curva Del Serraglio, Monza's kinked straight), the induction work adds the bark only a carbon airbox can give. Nice touch from T10 to add a bit of the CSL sound via the upgrade path.

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    The car can settle into a neutral rhythm, if you're not too heavy with the throttle on corner exit.

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    However, with so much camber and decent torque, it's easy to overwhelm even these sticky tyres. Unfortunately, the oversteer isn't as sweet as in the stock version, with some of the delicate balance making way for overwhelming sideways action. I'd like to tune this one more to quell some of the drift and make it more of a proper track weapon.

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    A BMW M doing what it does so well, heading towards its lofty redline.

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    This generation of M3 has plenty of fans, seen here camped out on the unofficial Garching Corner, AKA Curva Parabolica.

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  27. MagpieRacer

    MagpieRacer Premium

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    Just reading that makes me want to drive it. Nice work.
     
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  28. jakenj9

    jakenj9

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    Really enjoying these min reviews.. What a great idea. That renault clio is one of my favourate cars.. havent got it in fm6 yet. but will have to. And that rio set. wow.. Awsome ideas and great pics. Job well done here... keep it up
     
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  29. VXR

    VXR

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    RS in Focus- 2010 Ford Focus RS

    The first Focus RS of 2002 was a single-minded hurrah from Ford's European Rallye Sport arm. Armed with bespoke bodywork, beautiful Imperial Blue paint and 18" O.Z. wheels, it was the mechanical Limited Slip Differential that grabbed all the headlines. It provided the car with a real marmite character. The second generation Focus spawned its own RS model in 2009. This time, it wasn't so much a harmonious design, more of a tacked on rear-wing and deep bumper styling exercise. Mechanically, it followed the LSD route - by now far more familiar to the FWD market - but also added RevoKnuckle suspension that aimed to reduce the dreaded torque steer. Something had to be done to avoid a SAAB Viggen experience with even more power than that car. Here we have a 300bhp, 325 lb ft super hatch left to drive the front wheels alone.

    Already a recipe for disaster, out track time happened to coincide with an absolute downpour at the Nordschleife over night. With these conditions, it was obvious a more reserved drive was in order to avoid a serious accident. Far from being hemmed in, the car seemed to thrive on this point-and-squirt style, with the fat torque figure giving it plenty of urge and the five-pot's turbo being really responsive for the medium.

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    What a sound, too. The natural offbeat thrum of the five cylinder is met with a gruff, unmistakably turbo sound, all too evocative of rallying. In this regard, the RS badge seems apt.

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    Total concentration is needed on this track at the best of times, but here it was more than vital. Whenever possible, you had to get on the power just to savour the acceleration and soundtrack.

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    Standing water was a big hazard, so the driving style was all about maintaining decent speed throughout the course, whilst trying to avoid the worst of it, often forcing you into a wider line around any given corner.

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    The Karussell was an obvious location for puddles.

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    Unfortunately some couldn't be avoided and you really were best served by slowing down in preparation.

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    If you didn't, then you were going to be dealing with oversteer caused by hydroplaning.

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    All in all, as fun as it had been at the Nurb, you didn't feel like you had seen most of the car's ability. It was so difficult to wring out the engine and carry some speed into the corners that it seemed a trip to a different track was in order. Fortunately, Hockenheimring is further south and had nothing but blue skies and hot tarmac the next day.

    Here, the car was quickly establishing itself as a composed, consistent track weapon. Even then, it didn't take much to light up a tyre. Here, accelerating in second gear.

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    Free from the rain, the car felt every one of its 300 horses and was a quick car around this circuit.

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    The downside is, being so competent at taking corners properly, it didn't seem overly exciting, so inevitably, the inner-hooligan comes into play.

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    At the first attempt, the handbrake turn wasn't very neat or near the apex of Mercedes.

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    I was much closer on the next lap. Despite bringing the handbrake into play and trying to unsettle the rear for some lift-off into corners, it just didn't feel overly satisfying. The rear rarely rotated quicker than the front, so it went into dull understeer and when it did finally break out, the snap oversteer that resulted from trying to catch it felt awful.

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    All in all, it was much happier keeping it neat. If that's your preferred driving style, then it's all good. If not, you might find more enjoyment from some of the other hot hatches.

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    A visual representation of this car, perfectly summed up by terminal understeer into a tyre barrier. If you try to exploit its chassis, it really doesn't enjoy it.

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    Ironically, despite wearing the Rallye Sport badge, it feels much more suited to track work than anything approaching the rally style of driving. My first real disappointment in these tests.
     
  30. SlipZtrEm

    SlipZtrEm Administrator

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    Easily my favourite gallery on GTP right now. Keep this up, it's simply stunning :tup:.

    I can't even pick a favourite image, since it does a disservice to the stories woven around them.
     
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