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CSR 108 - Get (Rally) Schooled


#104

Submissions are closed!

Thank you everyone for participating, and please wait warmly while we go to bed. Time zone is a harsh mistress, after all. Expect Part 1 in less than 24 hours from now.

In the meantime, please have a cup of tea while you wait.

image


#105

The Karen Chungus, design by @MasterDoggo , technical design and ad by @XenoYparxi


#106

2012 Jerboa City
Styling by @mat1476, engineering by @mcp928

Disclaimer:
I do realize other CSR cars are compact RWD and from the same era, however since CSR doesn’t have a grand continuity (nor should it, too restricting) then by default I base the class exclusive claim on IRL cars. Yes, the BMW 3 series is a compact (or atlest was for a while) but it is a luxury sport. This competes with Focus, Malibu and Dart (in the US).

I know this is reaching, but it just sounds good in the advert.


#107
Reviews, Part 1

Featuring the most indecisive judges in the world

Before we begin the reviews, we would like to announce the entries that have already fallen before they even got their chance to fight against the rest of the contenders. These cars, in one way or another, didn’t adhere to the established rules.

@nialloftara - Exceeded Trim ET limit.

@Rise_Comics - Minimum environmental resistance not met.

@CMT - No ESC equipped.

@DoctorNarfy - Minimum environmental resistance not met.

@SpeedLife1 - Exceeded Trim ET limit.

@Leonardo9613 - Minimum environmental resistance not met.

@Kyuu77 - Exceeded Engine PU limit by 0.3.

If you own one of those cars, then congratulations, you have unfortunately been instabinned.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let us move on to the main course!


In the coffee break room, the Emu Crocker Rally School team is chilling while a stack of magazines and a laptop are sitting on the nearby coffee table. Jim, the mechanic, and Trent, the instructor, are reading the copious amount of car pages, looking for the fabled new beginner rally car. Obviously these two seem to be the most excited people in the room after hearing that Mr. Crocker finally agrees to replace the old units.

T: "Okay, before we can propose a new car to the boss, the first thing we need to do is to find out the best bang for the buck out of a car. How many choices do we have currently sitting?”
J: checks list “Twenty nine cars, more or less.”
T: “Lovely. I’ll start.”

@machalel - AAAA Sparrow LS

T: “So for the first car, we’ve got the AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
Everyone in the room: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"

T: ahem "So. The 4A… A4? A-A-A-A? Whatever, I’ll just call it the Aaa.

The Sparrow LS is safe, easy to drive, and reliable.

Pros:
Reliable and responsive engine
Easy to drive
Decent mileage
Good safety

Cons:
Average stats of the bunch
Aluminium chassis

T: “Ooh, this car uses a fancy semi-space frame chassis. Do you know how to DIY a bent aluminium frame?”
J: “Like hell do I know. Best we would do is send it back to the dealership to repair. And that’s going to cost us a lot.”
T: “So it is. But will you pick this car for the shortlist, if it weren’t using aluminium chassis?”
J: “Ehhh, probably? I have a feeling that there will be better cars down the list, though.”

Thus, the AAAA Sparrow was not considered.

@Bmaggiori - Nexra GTX

The Nexra GTX is an almost-decent all-around package that is riddled with some questionable engineering choices.

Pros:
Cheap to repair
Good engine reliability

Cons:
Power cuts off before peak RPM
Poor braking ability
A little slow

???:
Longitudinal FWD

T: “Huh? What is this? A longitudinal front-wheel drive transmission? Is it really that simpler to repair?”
J: “Not only that, the premature RPM cutoff is a real chin scratcher as well.”
T: “But the proposed service costs plan won’t lie, right?”
J: “I know, but… Should we really accept this one?”
T: “Let’s just put it in the “Maybe” pile for now, rather than just bickering endlessly like this.”

Thus, the Nexra GTX was put on the new “Maybe” pile. The cars in this pile are going to be compared at the end against each other, since the team had difficulty in reaching for a conclusion in time.

@Private_Miros - Cicero Cato 1600 TFS Ralley

J: “Next up is the Cicero Cato 1600 TFS Ra-- Rallye? Ralley? How the hell am I supposed to pronounce this? Ah bollocks, I’ll just read the review for this car.”

The Cicero Cato 1600 handles very well on the corners, but you might not be happy with its proposed maintenance plan.

Pros:
Decent safety equipment
Quite grippy

Cons:
Poor throttle response
Above average service costs
Below average reliability

T: “This thing handles like a dream, or that’s what I’ve heard at least.”
J: “Aside from the slow engine rev, I see nothing wrong with it, to be honest. But I honestly don’t know. Throw it to the Maybe pile?"
T: “Eh, why not.”

The Cato 1600 awaits its verdict in the “Maybe” pile.

@conan - AG3 VTR

T: “Black and red. Spicy.”

The AG3 VTR does very well for the price it offers, if you could get past the misleadingly-speedy black-and-red color scheme.

Pros:
Decently drivable
Good brakes
Good reliability
Very cheap to buy and maintain

Cons:
It’s not fast

J: “What do you think? Is it any good?”
T: “It’s a damn cheap hatch, that’s for certain. The interior is a bit bare, though.”
J: “Ah, who cares about the niceties anyway. If anything, they did us a favor of pre-gutting the car.”
T: “You may be right. Just needs a roll bar and it’ll be Gucci.”
J: “Uh, I ought to suggest against using copyrighted name in a professional review like this. Who knows if we might going to get copyright striked out of nowhere.”
T: :unamused:

The VTR was put in the “Yes” pile.

@kobacrashi - AYO NR8

The AYO NR8 is what we would call a “sport city car”, because of how agile it is while still retaining very decent score in places that matter.
Pros:
Is on the more affordable side
Engine is quite responsive with acceptable torque curve
Reliability is eh, but is cheap to maintain
Best fuel mileage of all cars

Cons:
Spartan interior
Some users called it ‘cursed’

T: “AAAAAYOOO!”
silence
T: “AAYOOOOO!!
J: “Please stop.”
T: “DEEEEEDADEEDA–Okay."
J: "Anyway, look at how low this thing sits from the ground! This car is going to eat a lot of mud in no time.”
T: “Nah, we can fix that. I mean, it’s not like we can’t change the suspension travel to make it taller, right?”
J: “It’s also using geared LSD… Are we going to be entirely fine with this?”
T: “Mmmmaybe? Probably? Let’s just put this in the ‘maybes’.”

The NR8 was put in the “Maybe” pile.

@yangx2 - Huangdou Shijie Sprite Cu

Despite its Chinese stigma, the humble Huangdou Shijie is actually impressively reliable (but that’s mainly because there’s really not much in it that could break).

Pros:
Cheap to maintain
Nearly-bulletproof reliability
Easy to drive

Cons:
Spartan basic interior

J: “Ooh, I like this one a lot. It might not be saying much about how it’s going to handle on loose surface, but it might do well.”
T: “It’s not the cheapest option around, though. And I expected Chinese cars to be priced at around 10k or less.”
J: “I still think it’s worth a shot, though.”

The Huangdou Shijie was then put in the “Yes” pile.

@HybridTronny - Atera Atom SE

An average hatch, with average performance and average styling, all wrapped up in a bright yellow shell.

Pros:
Cheap engine maintenance costs

Cons:
Average in every other aspect

J: “Would you take this?”
T: “Maybe? I mean, I guess if we aren’t this early yet in the reviews.”
J: “Want to put it in the “Maybe” pile?”
T: “Yeah.”
J: “We’re totally not delaying the judging for as long as humanly possible here.”
T: whistles

The Atom Atera SE was placed in the “Maybe” pile.

@abg7 and @MGR_99 - Lyon Nave S1.6

T: “Ohh, this one is a looker. But is it any good to handle?”
J: “Let’s find out.”

What the Lyon Nave lacks in straight line performance, it makes up for in affordability and handling.

Pros:
Easier to drive than average
Very good brakes
Cheap, cheap engine maintenance costs

Cons:
A little slower than average

T: “Hmmm, this could be a contender to the Nexra. But which one is the better choice?”
J: “I’m not sure myself. Put it in the maybe pile for now, we’ll take a look at some more cars before making a decision.”

The Lyon Nave was the next car added to the “Maybe” pile.

@Oldenways - Quost Renner SSA i3

The Quost Renner, as good as it is to drive, made compromises on technical quality in favor of cheap price.

Pros:
Easy to drive
Cheap to maintain
Sips fuel

Cons:
Poor overall reliability
Weak engine response
Poor brakes

J: “Yeah, I don’t think I would take a risk choosing this one. Besides, we still have many more to look at.”

The Renner was not considered.

@NoahC - Yinzer Mantra VLSD

T: “What’s this envelope?”
J: “Oh, that? It just came in a mailbox this morning and I forgot to hand it to the Boss. It’s a personal letter from Yinzer addressed to him.”
T: “I want to read it.”
J: “Mate, it’s rude to read letters not addressed to you-”

Trent ripped the letter open anyway.

J: “Ah, piss.”

As Trent unfolded the letter, several pictures also fell from it.

T: “Good Lord, what is this car.”

Pros:
Quite cheap to maintain
Nice handling
Has AWD

Cons:
High price
Not very quick for the price it offers

???:
It’s a convertible
It has carbon fibre bits in certain places

T: “It’s got carbon fibre on it. Mmmmm, surely the new ‘uns would love to put a dent on those on their first day.”

J: “Yeah, I don’t think the boss is going to like it anyway. Too slow and expensive.”

The Yinzer Mantra VLSD’s proposal letter was put into a new envelope, and the crew also slipped in a new letter saying that they are not interested. That envelope was then thrown into the bin.

@Mikonp7 - Popas Rushba 4Door

Hailing from the harsh winters of Russia, the Popas Rushba comes in an affordable package but care is required to properly drive this car. Or should we say, “manhandle” it.

Pros:
Cheap
Has three stripes on the bonnet

Cons:
Takes forever to brake
Understeer issues… in a RWD car
Poor quality power steering
Slow

T: “Hey, check this one out. Imported straight from the Motherland, and it’s quite low-priced, though not as cheap as the AG3.”
J: “Hmmm, I’m not sure… Hey, what about this next car right here?”

@thecarlover - RCM Fox EL

You can’t really go wrong with this cheap and very red hatchback, because it has little that could go wrong on you.

Pros:
Cheaper than the Rushba
Drives better than the Rushba
More reliable than the Rushba
Brakes are better than the Rushba
Better economy than the Rushba
Is not a Rushba

Cons:
Slower to accelerate than the Rushba
Lowest power output of all cars

J: “Bloody hell. Yeah, I’d take this car any day instead of the Russian car.”
T: “Even if it’s slow as sin?”
J: “Eh, that might be concerning. But a cheap car is still a cheap car!”

The RCM Fox EL got put into the “Yes” pile, while the Popas Rushba didn’t.

@VicVictory - Keystone Savant PXE

This giant sedan has nothing too offensive about it. Unless if you would call its crossover-like physique offensive.

Pros:
Easy to drive
Okay reliability
Cheap engine maintenance costs

Cons:
Sits right in the middle of the average pack

T: “They certainly weren’t wrong about it being inoffensive, but it seems pretty beginner friendly.”
J: “Yeah, it’s even got a 6-speed, and the engine is pretty cheap to maintain, even if it is rather average everywhere else.”
T: “We’ll put it in the ‘maybe’ pile for the time being, keep our options open.”

The Keystone Savant awaits its verdict in the “Maybe” pile.

@TheTechnoVampire - Rawshal Xeno

A quick hatch with bold styling, and a turbo that we wish spooled just a little bit earlier

Pros:
Good acceleration

Cons:
Sluggish engine
Turbo lags a little
Higher than average price
Poorer than average reliability
A little worse than average handling

J: “It’s making some good power, and it shows in that acceleration figure, but reliability doesn’t seem to be the best and it’s a tad expensive.”
T: “That turbo could be an issue for beginners, it’s not the most ideal setup from what I’ve heard.”
J: “While it is fast, there’s been better cars overall. I’m a fan of the styling though.”

The Rawshall Xeno was not considered.

@Rezn.TM - Masada Brazen RS1

Coming in at the top of the price range for the tested cars, the Brazen isn’t quite what we’d expect at that price
Pros:
A little more comfortable

Cons:
Expensive in pretty much everything
Relatively average despite the price

T: “It’s pretty pricey, and it doesn’t really have much to show for it.”
J: “The interior’s nice I guess, and it has AWD and LSD, but that’s about it.”
T: “So that settles that.”

The Masada Brazen was not considered.

@Arvok1 - Alfora Tutti

The Alfora Tutti offers poor value for money, but hey, at least you can crash it and still come out alive.

Pros:
Ridiculously good throttle response
Safest car of the bunch

Cons:
Very poor brakes
Expensive price
Higher than average maintenance costs
Poor fuel economy

???:
Dual solid axles
Billet steel crank, but cast piston and piston rods
Fuel octane not fully used
4-speed manual

J: “A 4-Speed? Are you sure you didn’t grab an 80s copy? And surely these solid axles can’t be good for driving dynamics.”
T: “It’s also pretty expensive, and those brakes certainly aren’t helping its case.”
J: “Right, well i think that settles it.”

The Alfora Tutti was not considered.

@z2bbgr - SBA Rosales Mk.IV R150 ES

A simple little hatchback with nothing too special about it.

Pros:
Cheap engine maintenance
Quite easy to drive
Decent fuel economy

Cons:
Somewhat expensive
Low engine reliability
Slow acceleration

J: “That engine reliability looks rather concerning, especially considering it isn’t cheap.”
T: “It does seem pretty beginner friendly though, and engine maintenance is cheap.”
J: “Even still, I don’t think the cheap maintenance can offset the downtime from the more frequent repairs.”

The SBA Rosales was not considered.

@Jaimz - DMC Blytz

The DMC Blytz is what you’ll get when you install all the good (and bad) traits of a fully-fledged sports car into a tiny, more affordable hot hatch body.

Pros:
Fastest 0-100 km/h of all cars
Most powerful engine of all cars on the list
Decently controllable

Cons:
Poor reliability
High service costs
High price

T: “This one’s got a 6 speed too, if quite expensive.”
J: “It’s lightning fast though, but that reliability worries me a bit. Maintenance isn’t going to be cheap either on this one.”
T: “You’re right. I think this if we were even going to pick this one it’s going to be more geared towards the higher-skilled drivers.”

The DMC Blytz was not considered.

@TheTom - AMW Cricket 1.8

The AMW Cricket is fun to drive around, if a little high on the price bracket.

Pros:
Good acceleration
Good brakes

Cons:
Not the best value for its price
Turbo is slightly laggy

T: “I dunno… Is this going to be too much trouble to keep around?”
J: “I’m wondering that too. It’s pretty expensive, and maintenance doesn’t come cheap, reliability isn’t good enough to offset that either.”
T: “I’ll take that as a yes.”

The Cricket was not considered.

@Dragawn - Dragotec Discord

The Dragotec Discord is what we would like to call the “Perfect budget sports car”.

Pros:
Cheap overall maintenance costs
Very reliable engine
Generally more affordable
Handles well on corners

Cons:
There really isn’t any

T: “This car looks really niiiice.”
J: “I second that, I’d be down to buy it off looks alone, but it’s got a solid kit to back it up too, reliable, cheap to service, decently quick, handles well…”
T: “I think we both can already agree on a verdict here.”

The Discord got accepted into the “Yes” pile.

@donutsnail - Legion Scram Spartan

As if held together by dried roadkill kangaroos and voodoo magic, the Scram Spartan is a very strange piece of engineering that, for some reason, works.

Pros:
Well-equipped safety options
Very easy to drive
Very responsive engine
Affordable
Very cheap maintenance costs

Cons:
Lower than average reliability
Worst fuel economy of all cars in the list

???:
Thin aluminium chassis and body panels
2.4L OHV engine
Longitudinal FWD

J: “Yikes.”
T: “Hard pass.”

The Legion Scram Spartan was not considered.

@ST1Letho - ČMZ Tiria 1.6

A humble hatch of Czech origin, the Tiria blends in with the crowd pretty easily.

Pros:
Good fuel economy

Cons:
Average just about everywhere else
Somewhat expensive
Slightly laggy turbo

J: “Is this a Skoda? Oh never mind, not quite a Skoda, but still having Czech origins.”
T: “It’s very good on fuel, but it’s on the more expensive end of the budget.”
J: “And it doesn’t have much to show for that price either. It has a 6 speed, but that’s pretty much it. Turbo’s rather unresponsive too.”

The Tiria was not considered.

@mart1n2005 - Courageux Saint-Malo GT

This hatchback is a more affordable option, but it might stack up on repair costs pretty quickly.

Pros:
Cheap buying price
Cheap engine maintenance costs

Cons:
Poor general reliability
Poor engine response

J: “These reliability figures don’t look promising, and the general service costs aren’t particularly cheap either.”
T: “It’s on the cheaper end of the scale though, and with some decent features, but it seems like the engine doesn’t like to respond quickly. That could be an issue.”
J: “I don’t think it’s worth the extra time in the garage, even if it’s relatively cheap.”

The Saint-Malo was not considered.

@zschmeez - Albatross Turlock 1.8T

With 113 kW on the wheels, 5.6L/100km of fuel economy, and cheap price tag, this is solid car for city driving. But you’ll need to have your wallet prepared on every oil change and general service.

Pros:
Good reliability
Good fuel economy
Cheap purchase price

Cons:
Expensive repair costs
Braking performance could’ve been better
Every other stats are average

T: “This one looks like it could be a good base. It’s pretty cheap, and it’s reliable too.”
J: “Those brakes are worrying me a bit though, more cost to get it prepped.”
T: “There’s nothing else that really sticks out to me, but there’s some more value for money picks out there.”
J: “So, is it a no or a maybe?”
T: “Maybe.”

The Turlock was put in the “Maybe” pile.

@mcp928 and @mat1476 - PMC Jerboa City WDH

This stylish rear wheel drive hatchback has potential to be a good car, but unfortunately not in this configuration. We would recommend a higher trim level instead of this.

Pros:
Decent engine and overall reliability
Brisk acceleration

Cons:
A little oversteery
High price
Mediocre fuel economy

J: “What do you think? Good value?”
T: “If it were $2.000 cheaper, then, yes it’s a good value. Otherwise, I’ll pass.”

The Jerboa was not considered.

@cake_ape - Mons Pluto

The Pluto has a lot of weaknesses.

Pros:
Easy to drive
Cheaper to maintain than average

Cons:
Worst fuel economy out of all cars with turbocharged VVL engine
Touchy, overpowered front brakes
Understeery for an AWD car
Weird torque graph
Poor quality basic interior

T: :grimacing:
J: :grimacing:

The Mons Pluto was not considered.

@R30hedron - Rhebus Spirit

Despite some eyebrow-raising compromises found on the rest of the car, the Rhebus Spirit is a mostly solid car.

Pros:
Decent handling
Good engine reliability
Good safety rating

Cons:
Low quality brakes and chassis
Poor fuel economy

J: “Ooh, I’m a big fan of this car’s engine. Flat torque graph for days, and cheap to maintain, too.”
T: “Too bad it’s not clad in the best body. Would the boss agree to compromise everything just for a good engine?”
J: “We can… You know… ‘Borrow’ an existing car that happens to use that engine and use it in one of our cars.”
T: “Hey, I thought I was supposed to be the bad guy here, not you.”

With a heavy heart, the Rhebus Spirit had to be let go.

@Xepy and @CorsicaUnknown - Kadett CC

”Throw me around the corners, I dare you. I double dare you.” At least, that’s what we thought what the car would say, since it’s so much fun to drive around in.

Pros:
Very good brakes
Snappy handling
Decent acceleration

Cons:
Awkward torque graph

T: “The maintenance costs plan is a bit of a turn-off, but damn me if it isn’t a nice handling car.”
J: “Want to put it on hold, then?”
T: “Yeah.”

The Kadett CC was put in the “Maybe” pile.

@GetWrekt01 - Sparsam Citispeed 1.7

We would describe the Sparsam Citispeed as the automobile equivalent of a cockroach: Small, quick, incites fear when you encounter one, and will make you feel very, very unsafe inside.

Pros:
Eye-wateringly quick acceleration time
Cheaper than average cars

Cons:
Sluggish throttle response
Not very good reliability and maintenance costs
Barely passes the safety regulation
Noticeable sportiness brake fade

J: “What do you think of this one? It’s tiny like a kei car, but with honking huge engine crammed inside.”
T: “I’d drive this if I had wished for death. But nah, I’ll pass on this one.”

The Citispeed was not considered.

@XenoYparxi and @MasterDoggo - Karen Chungus XD

This crossover already has the innate disadvantage against others for being larger than the average bunch, and its high price and poor economy does not help much either.

Pros:
Good handling
Good acceleration
Good brakes

Cons:
The name
Expensive to buy
Sluggish engine coupled with laggy turbo
Not-so-impressive fuel economy

J: “I’m just glad that they didn’t call it a ‘Sheila’…”

The Karen Chungus was not considered.


J: “Alright, that’s the last of them, and just in time for smoko too. Who’s up for a cup of tea?”
T: “TEA? F@#$ING TEA? WHAT ARE WE, BRITISH? WE DRINK HUNTSMAN SPIDER BLOOD FOR SUSTENANCE!”
J: “Mate. Ew.”

They decided to have a coffee instead.

Continued in Part 1.5


#108

Wasn’t expecting this… Yay me!! :blush:

DMC take Franklin Marshall cars and sprinkle some pixie-turbo-dust on them. :smiley:


#109

But it’s so nice to drive in beam >.<
But indeed the brakes and throttle response needed to be better.


#110

It’s the first time that I’m not insta binned…

I’m quite happy with the “Maybe” list…


#111

… “giant” sedan with wheelbase just barely longer than a Chevy Spark… :thinking:

But hooray for the maybe pile! :smiley:


#112

Erm, hate to be that guy, but did you open my car file before or after the update? It had a 46.2 in ER when I sent it in… If you want to reject it for rust issues that’s fair, but it was definitely within the minimum.


#113

Really? I opened the car after update, and it was ~43 on our end. You probably have suffered the same ER bug as kobacrashi’s car. We could make a retcon on the review if after we’ve clarified that the car is indeed not bugged.

UPDATE: Nope, it’s still 43 with a freshly replicated car. Sorry.

image


#114

Huh. Well, if I can take any solace, it’s that I can make a darn good engine, even if I don’t know how to make a good car with that engine. The fact that two of my CSR entries have been docked due to brakes is mildly concerning though. I guess I don’t know how to tune brakes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For those interested in the engine's stats:


#115

@R30hedron
You got a great torque curve out of that engine. I can’t get anything but a V8 to do that. I’ll post mine too since I’m out anyway. My VVL is pretty visible, but oddly enough the idle and red line torques are only 14 ft/lbs off.


Also, just for posterity I will post (ie. inform the racing school) that we do offer a pre-tuned sports version.
Sport interior
AWD with geared LSD
3.0L turbo flat 6 making 400HP
All for $37,800

Congratulations to the “yes” and “maybe” cars, looking forward to part 1.5.


#116

Yeah… I had a weird thing where going from a basic to a standard interior added $130 a year in service costs. Which made no sense. But hey, made it to round 2, so :man_shrugging:


#117

Haha, you can take solace that my entry for 107 (tried to make a land yacht that had a very small hint of sportiness) was binned for “brakes turning to dust during sporty driving” … and this one (tried to make a stripped down, but mechanically solid sporty hot hatch) was binned for “touchy overpowered front breaks” - among other reasons. So yea, you’re not alone who can’t find the optimal break requirements for the clients. Chin up, and let’s try to hit that sweet spot next time! :slight_smile:


#118
Round 2 - The Maybe Pile, and Also Finals because It’s Short Enough to Not Hit the Character Limit Yet

The indecisiveness continues

After a quick coffee break (and a 5-hour long Minecraft session), Jim and Trent finally returned to the stacks of magazines to continue where they left off. The sky outside was already red, and the office was getting dark. They had to decide the cars right now, or they’re not able to go home.

J: “Okay, so far we’ve got 4 cars that are a definite “Yes”, but also 8 cars in the “Maybe” pile.”
T: “If you asked me, I would’ve taken them all and put them all in a giant derby arena. See which car survives the longest.”
J: “Nah, this ain’t a Mad Max movie. After all, after some calcs we only have room for two, maybe 3 more cars if budget permits.”
T: “So that means…” counts with fingers “Four to five cars must go.”
J: :confused:
T: “What?”


First car to secure the first spot was the Lyon Nave. It has some technical merits on top of reasonably good running costs and good looks.
The next in line was the big sedan Keystone Savant. It’s not hard to pick this one, as it is similarly affordable (though not the cheapest one around) while providing solid enough specs to the table.

J: “So that’s two cars in. Do we have any room for a third one?”
T: pulls out calculator “Deducted from the budget Boss gave us, added with transport fees, fuel, and kit for prepping, we still have… $20.000 to spare for a car.”
J: “Just that much?”
T: “Yeah.”
J: “And the only car with a $20.000 price tag is…”

And finally, the Albatross Turlock was decided for the third car in the roster.

J: “Done for the day?”
T: “Yeah.”
J: “Minecraft at 8?”
T: “Hell yeah.”




And now for the finals.

Emu Crocker Rally School, several days later

The air was chill, since the Sun was too busy hiding behind the clouds to radiate its warmth. Earl “Emu” Crocker was walking towards the line of cars, alongside Trent. Jim, meanwhile, called in sick.

T: “Here they are, Boss. Seven cars, all prepped with the right tires and ready for testing.”

Emu looked visibly unimpressed. He was still thinking about how much money that had been spent to purchase all these cars and their respective wheels.

T: “Relax Boss, we could always sell the rest back at near-full price after we’ve decided which car is best for the job.”
EC: “That’s not how economy works in real life, but fine. Which of these should go first?”
T: “Well, your call, Boss. You’re the one who’s driving them.”
EC: “Then… I’ll take the blue car first.”

The Lyon Nave S1.6 got its first turn on the course.

With the engine fully warmed up, the Nave pulled out of the parking lot with grace.
EC: “Not a fast one, innit?”
T: “What were you expecting with this much budget constraint? A Zenshi GT?”

First corner in the course, and the Nave needed a little aggressive left-foot brake treatment. Second turn, the comeback was nice, and so on and so forth. It’s rather slow and tends to understeer just a little bit, but its engine was linear and the handling felt very predictable.

After they were done, Emu felt content.
EC: “That wasn’t too bad to drive at all, actually.”

The next car in line was the white Huangdou Shijie Sprite Cu.

EC: “A Chinese car?”
T: “You have to believe me when I say that this car had the best reliability track record of all cars.”
EC: “I somehow have doubts on how that’s possible, but sure.”

On the course, the Shijie’s power was about on par with the Nave. Not fast by any means, but not horribly slow either. It’s also somewhat more understeery than the Nave, but still generally very controllable on gravel. Praise the Lord for gravel tyres.

EC: “I… have nothing bad to say about this car, actually. It’s not a broken, uncontrollable mess, it’s not expensive, and it’s not downright ugly either.”

After the two were done with the Shijie, Emu picked the black-red AG3 VTR. This spicy hatch was a surprising change of pace. While 77 kW engine rendered it noticeably slower than the Sprite under hard acceleration, the VTR made it up by actually feeling a lot faster than it is on the straights. With neutral handling and a very nice turn-in rate, it inspired confidence and kept teasing Emu to turn faster, sharper, and more aggressively while still providing stability when he screws up. For a second, Emu forgot that the car was front wheel-driven.

EC: “Slow car made fast, this is!”

Feeling happy with the last car, Emu then entered the lean, green, Keystone Savant PXE…machine. And, as quick as a fire is put out by water, Emu’s face turned from excitement to disappointment when he saw how gimped the Savant’s handling was like. Technically, it was 14 kilograms lighter and had 7 more kW than the VTR, but somehow felt a lot more unwieldy than it. Every corner was plowed through as if the car had a hidden grudge against the tire walls. At least the engine was predictable.

EC: “That was like being served a bowl of reheated mac 'n cheese for dinner. All the right ingredients are there, but something about it just feels… wrong."

To cheer himself up, the next car Emu chose was the Dragotec Discord coupe. Being the only RWD finalist, it had a drastically different handling character than its front wheel-driven competitors. The Discord was light, very quick, and agile, well composed in the corners and turned in every corner very well, when the throttle is not pressed.
However, as its name suggests, every time the car corners with the throttle open, the car had an internal argument where its front wheels wanted to perform a foxtrot, while the rear loves to pull tango spins. In other words, when used more aggressively it was more prone to spinning out than any other cars tested so far. Emu thought that this could potentially be an extra lesson on how to control a RWD car on slippery roads, as the rate of speed and acceleration can definitely be felt.

EC: "This is probably the most excitingly dangerous car I’ve ever driven so far!”

Feeling his guts loose after several near-misses with a fence, Emu decided that they should take a quick time-out before continuing.

image

Ahhh, that was a damn good coffee. Where was I? Ah yes, the review.
The next chosen car was the Albatross Turlock 1.8T. Being the only turbocharged car of the lot, the snail’s whistling sounds was a surprising and welcome addition to the sensation. There was a noticeable lag waiting for the turbo to spool up, but once it’s fully spinning, the Turlock pulled hard through the course. All he had to do was keeping its engine from dropping below 2500 RPM. It was, once again, understeery like the previous cars, but not as much understeer as the Savant did.

T: “So, what do you think? Being a turbo engine, it’s going to need more expensive cans of oil, but it’s also quite affordable.”
EC: “Hmmm, I might have to think about it first. It’s not a bad car per se, really.”

Up next was the RCM Fox EL. Stomping the throttle, the two could already feel how inadequate the 63 kW engine was compared to the previous cars. The Fox took forever to get up to speed, even slower than the VTR, and that car is already slow. Entering gravel, it was clear how unhappy this angry-looking Canadian hatchback was to be taken anywhere that’s not a tarmac road. It was slippery and quite understeery, about as bad as the Savant was, but at least it’s slow enough that it doesn’t need a great effort to brake in every corner.

EC: “Why was this a choice in the first place?”
T: “Price and maintenance costs were cheap, so I thought you’d be happy with it.”
EC: “Yes, I am happy, but a car this small isn’t supposed to be this unwieldy.”
T: shrugs “You get what you paid for, I guess.”

Finally, the test drive has concluded. All the cars had left mixed reactions from both the boss and the driving instructor. The day was already getting dark, and most of the shop crew have gone home.

T: “So, Boss, how did they fare?”
EC: “Some did alright, but some were awful.”
T: “But did you find a favorite of the bunch?”
EC: “Oh, you bet I have. That thing deserves a quick trip to the dealership.”


So it is, as the days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned to years, the Emu Crocker School slowly grew larger and larger, each year adding new cars to their ever-expanding armada to choose from. From the cheapest, most basic model up to the fully tuned almost-WRC tier car, they now have it all for all levels of skill. But most of their lineup were derived from the same base car that remains a popular choice out of their entire fleet.

The AG3 VTR.

J: “This was the best decision ever made, I have to say.”
T: “Yeah.”
J: “Minecraft?”
T: “Nah, I’ve grown out of it.”
J: “There’s a new update now, featuring villages and raids.”
T: “Bloody heck. Yeah, I’ll probably try that out one more time.”
J: “Nice.”

Congratulations @conan, your car has struck a deal with the Emu Crocker Rally School.

2nd: @yangx2
3rd: @Dragawn
4th: @abg7 & @MGR_99
5th: @zschmeez
6th: @thecarlover
7th: @VicVictory

I am done writing for the day, now back to Minecraft


#119

And quite rightly too! The AG3 VTR had the right mix of performance and affordability to go along with its panache.

I’ll happily take 4th place considering the strength of the competition. And if none of the top 3 can host the next round, I am available to take the reins, with or without MGR_99. In that case, please give me 24-48 hours to come up with a theme.


#120

I’ll do the next CSR. But I am not at home at the moment (getting my car serviced). I’ll post something within 12 hours.


#121

Ei congratulations man, that’s a really good car. Looking forward to your CSR


#122

Really dumb goof made by me. I thought driving assistance package 2 included ESC because when I tested it in Beam ESC was active.