(written by @ramthecowy and @Nomade0013)
Here is your favorite Brazilian guy, and I welcome you to the Automation Beginners League!
It’s the start of the ‘80s, a new decade! We asked you to build a compact front-wheel-drive car with a 1600cc engine. The grid is full of the most different designs possible and as always some of the ugliest things we have ever seen! We’ll start looking at one of these things:
Oh, man, someone please smash the head of anyone who participated at the designing of this thing! It… it looks like… like a retarded cyclop!
And look these stupid wheel arches! Well, at least the rear isn’t bad.
Just kidding! It's still awful! The Crawlington Gravyboat OPAF is made of steel panels and the engine is the Gnux Capacitor, a V6 that produces 199hp, mounted in transversal position and power the front wheels.
Our next ugliness is AirJordan’s Smooth Dart SR and it’s 1.6v6ci190r engine, a V6 producing 192hp powering the front wheels mounted in a transverse position. The body is made of steel panels.
It’s a strange looking car, I can’t decide whether I’m the one on drugs or the creator is. The big smile and it’s too many headlights keeps bothering me.
And this rear? Looks like the taillights are crying with a big sad mouth. It’s like a coin with a happy face at one side and a sad one at the other.
Moving on we have Szafirowy’s car, the PZS Little Wampir.
The looks are good, even if the big red grille is a little flashy, but with retractable headlights it has a real modern feeling.
The rear is good too, with a big red line linking the two taillights, it looks really, really modern.
The body is made of steel panels.
If you look at the side it kinda reminds you of a black boot. The engine is another V6, the Wampir V6 (really creative), generating 200hp mounted longitudinally, but powering the front wheels.
The next one is the JHW 1600S ‘Lil’ Beefcake’ from John Waldock. It’s powered by another V6 producing 172hp, the JHW V6-1600 (another creative name).
That’s a JHW I would buy, it really fit my taste: not too aggressive, not too boring, not too plain. The plastic bumpers give a good detail.
The rear could have more time spent on it, but it looks good, except for the fart cannon.
The car is made of corrosion resistant steel panels and the engine is mounted transversely powering the front wheels.
Our next contestant is the F0X V6iR (what a weird name) from KmFX, a freshman at the ABL. It is a red hatch with retractable headlights (headlights go up, headlights go down).
The front isn’t beautiful, but isn’t terrible either. The bumper sticks out too much to the front and the badge is in a strange place.
Under the hood we have a longitudinally placed V6 sending 177hp to the front wheels, with a name you won’t believe: V6 SOHC4 177hp. Yeah, that’s the engine name.
If the front is mid-ground, the rear is really bad, these bizarre taillights position gives me pain! I’m happy I don’t have too look much at it.
Here we have another freshman at our beloved challenge: Albacete84a and his car the SAF IBLA.
This thing is beautiful! A front end that’s really well designed for once.
The rear isn’t as good as the front, but still looks fine.
Now let’s take a look under the bonnet... finally a proper 4-cylinder! Let’s see the power numbers… wait! Something must be wrong… it only make 86hp? What about the tyres? 185 and 175. Yeah, that’s a original model, someone must have made a huge mistake, I wonder who must be receiving the racing version. Shame it doesn’t go anywhere near as good as it looks.
Now we have TR8R’s car, the FOA Project 80, with it’s 8K160 Inline-4, transverse mounted, producing 160hp.
This one have a interesting front-end, different yet good, much more rounded and smooth.
But the rear-end isn’t really good, the taillights resemble a certain famous cartoon mouse whose name starts with “Mi” and ends with “ckey”. Also the body made of steel panels feels a little heavy - where all the other contestants were close to the minimum weight, this FOA is over 800kg.
Next is the Centauri Neutrino FX16, from Nialloftara, powered by the Hades 1600, a transverse V6 that produces 196hp.
I love how after some time the people just don’t care anymore about the looks of the cars, just throw anything to meet the rules. The front-end looks really generic, isn’t bad, but isn’t good either.
Then there’s the rear, which is even more plain, with exception to the central exhaust.
I’ll hand over to my colleague, Ram, who will pick it up from here tomorrow!
Welcome back to the ABL, I'm Ram! We’ll continue our tour of the cars taking a shot at top spot this round!
Our first car for today will be Gridghost’s Scarab Eruption. Finally, a car with a normal naming scheme.
I have to say I’m honestly blown away. It’s by far the best looking car we’ve seen so far, with lots of attention to detail, a well shaped front and everything is proportionate. Scarab’s done a cracking job on the design.
While the taillights are on the small side, it continues the mature look. Completed with a nice coat of light blue paint, I think it’s safe to say the Eruption has won our hearts. Under the hood sits another transversely mounted 1600cc V6, churning up a competitive 194hp. Not a disappointment yet. With it’s steel monocoque, it comes in at almost exactly the minimum weight, at 775.2kg.
Next up is Newtonmeter’s car.
This fancy sounding car, the Royal Legacy (mk2) does also look the part. Although it seems like they nicked the wheels off a shopping cart, but I suppose it does the job, I’ve yet to see the German do badly. It’s a very functional design too, with proper door handles, lights, a logo on a fancy chrome grill… it does look royal. And look at it, it’s even got fog lights for god’s sake! And indicators on the side!
The rear again continues the unassuming, plain design. It manages to hide the contents of what’s under the bonnet very well, because what is in there is a high revving 1.6L V6 offering up 196hp to the front wheels. Sitting at 776.4kg it seems like it may very well do great again this round.
This time, Komodo has returned with this rather futuristic looking car. It has an interesting contrast of rounded squares to a curvy body but it works fairly well. With a nice muscly bonnet scoop and side pipes, it doesn’t intend to conform to design norms. Which is a good thing, because we love it’s looks!
If I liked the front, then I love the rear! It properly looks super cool with the black accents and shape combination. So does it have the oomph to match the glamour? Packing another V6, this time producing 193hp, I’d say it does. Interestingly the chassis here is made of corrosion resistant steel while the panels are made of conventional steel, but despite that the Tanar weighs in at 775.4kg. Good going for the Japanese, Koolkei has cooked up a great car.
And now for the last of the cars, Xoury brings the Rio. Who’s the company that made this, you ask? Well I don’t know either!
Three tiny little lights adorn the front, on either side of a body colored grille. There’s really not very much to say about this car because there aren’t many things to look at. Really, there’s barely any fixtures, and if they are, they just blend right in.
I thought it was supposed to be a race for hatchbacks but race control says the car is eligible so what more can I say. This car is very… boring. At least the engine is something to talk about, because it’s the first to crack 200hp! The 1599cc single overhead cam V6 coughs up a respectable two hundred and ONE horsepower. The Rio weighs in at exactly 775.0kg with a full steel build. Very promising.
Well that’s the cars. Join me tomorrow for the first of the races at the Beginners Course.
The rumble of the trucks fills the tiny track as the teams start preparing for the first race. It’s early in the morning, and the smell of coffee mixes with whiffs of petrol, rubber and oil. The morning wears on and the teams are busy, offloading tyres, fat chief engineers walking around with their caps on ordering people around. The cars are all out and in their respective pit boxes and the teams are hard at work completing them to start the race. In the background, the drivers start filing in, one by one from the parking lot. Soon, the wail of 6 cylinders screaming at 9000rpm clashing with those of the 4 cylinders shrieking will fill the track and the residents around will be cursing us. Stay with us for the results