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CSR74: Back On Track


#96

2005 400-GXR TrackSpec


#97

$60,000 MSRP ($25,295 w/o markup)
4.9L V10
6-speed paddle-shift sequential gearbox
Electronically enhanced suspension
Manually adjustable traction control and stability control
Lightened interior with Recaro racing seats and MOMO steering wheel
Pre-installed mounts for 5-point harness and roll cage (sold separately)

Moar photos


#98

’05 Dragotec Sagitta Heresy Q&A

Is it painted?
What? Yes, of course it is, why wouldn’t it be? We’re dragons, not savages.

0-60?
Maybe? Depends on the driver and if traction control is off or on.

Is it comfortable?
Hahahah-ooh you were serious. No, no it isn’t. I mean, well, it has two seats and a radio? And you know, an actual interior.

But is it fast then?
Ah not that fast, you know, may make GT3 spec cars look slow, but nothing F1 special. Goes around Laguna Seca in a quite average 1:33.

That’s one big wing, any special aerodynamic reason for its size?
No, but it looks cool doesn’t it?

Can it drive upside down?
Maybe when there’s a rocket strapped to it?

Does it have a special engine
Nah, just a four pot, well, one that churns out 500 hp, but still just a mere 4 cyl.

What’s so special about it then?
Why don’t we go for a drive?


#99

oh fuck you, I already submitted :joy:

Since you’ve won this round, how about you send me that file after this is over for science?

Edit: so it turns out that Elt’s entry has pushed the engine tuning to the point it makes my tune look sensible. And yet if I also tune his suspension… I can either push the cornering G to 1.53, or I can lop another tenth off his lap time…


#100

Entries are closed.

I have received 36 entries. However, I have chosen to ignore Lorenztype’s entry on the grounds that his copy of the game is pirated.

Rest assured, reviews and final results will all be posted within 72 hours.


#101

CSR74 Reviews and Results, Part 1: First Cuts

shameless double post warning, now updated with verdicts on any missing cars

Selling the Miata may have helped my friend take up track days, with a view to entering actual races in the future, but it also left me with a vacant space in my garage that just had to be filled. Eventually, though, the day I feared would never happen finally came. Around three dozen cars were parked in the paddock at Laguna Seca, awaiting my verdict. Soon, it was time to get down to business and test each one at the track, with the aim of creating a shortlist of suitable cars. After hours of track testing filled with highs and lows, here is what I had to say about them.

conan - Mitsushita Jesta 1.5E
Lap time: 1:39.29
Challenge factor: 1.067
Test notes: "Despite being FWD, its raw power helped it set a sub-1:40 lap time. But there’s way too much weight over the front wheels (most of it coming from the twin-turbo V6), and even with reverse staggered tires, managing the understeer was a challenge. Worse yet, it doesn’t look any different from all those other Jestas on the road. If a company wants to give me a track car, it must look like one, not some bland subcompact.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

BoostAndEthanol - Keika Twist 2.2 Cool and Good
Lap time: 2:01.62
Challenge factor: 0.8
Test notes: “Hideous. Too many useless wings and camber; not enough power or speed. Couldn’t even break the two-minute mark, and the torque split was all wrong. Either revert this car to stock configuration, or scrap it right away - it’s nowhere near as cool or good as they claim, because it’s been riced out beyond all recognition. In other words, a sow’s ear from a silk purse.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Vri404 - MV-Neru Ghost 10
Lap time: 1:49.54
Challenge factor: 0.94
Test notes: “Too much power, not enough control - it may have 700 horsepower under its hood, courtesy of its humongous V10, but what’s the point if its tires are too small for the job? It’s also nose-heavy, which doesn’t help. No wonder it was slower than I wanted it to be. This thing is more at home on the Bonneville Salt Flats than any road course.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Jaimz - FM HiWay V8 Speciall
Lap time: 1:41.91
Challenge factor: 1.05
Test notes: “Muscle car powertrain in a compact tuner body. This is a fast one, for sure. However, it’s not just nose-heavy, but also just plain heavy. And it exceeds my budget by a fair amount. Even if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be as track-ready as I would have wanted it to be, despite its high-displacement V8.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Mikonp7 - Haapala ProtoTyp Street
Lap time: 1:40.02
Challenge factor: 1.063
Test notes: “Looks like a modernized IMSA GTP prototype from the 80s or 90s, and has the speed and handling to match, but not the braking. The undersized brake discs are to blame and ruin what is otherwise a very tempting package. Sub-standard braking performance is unacceptable in any track car, especially one as fast as this. It’s a shame, considering that its mid-mounted V10 also sounds like it belongs in a race car.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

On3CherrySnake - Farox Cielo 4.8
Lap time: 1:43.75
Challenge factor: 0.882
Test notes: “Good power from a big V8 up front combined with all-wheel drive traction makes it very easy to drive, despite all-season tires. Quite enjoyable, too, and looks great to boot, rather like a Supra Turbo reimagined for the Aughts. Fortunately, it is as fast as it looks.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

SideswipeBL - Ronin Tenjin SR8
Lap time: 1:50.88
Challenge factor: 0.806
Test notes: “Like the Cielo, it’s got a V8 up front driving all four wheels, but this one’s been poorly tuned; I was expecting this engine to make between 80 and 100 more horsepower, considering the fact that it has VVL. Combined with the car’s high weight, the result is an underwhelming lap time, and it wasn’t a very exciting drive, either. Bottom line: when you do an engine swap, as seems to be the case here, go all out or don’t bother at all; this one is too half-baked to be worthwhile.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Tsundere-kun - Righello
Lap time: 1:39.02
Challenge factor: 1.087
Test notes: “It’s got a big, powerful V8 up front, but that’s not the only reason why it was so fast. Thanks to its cutting-edge active suspension, it was rock-solid stable throughout the lap, and never let me down. At all. Plus, it has the looks to back up its speed.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

Aaron.W - TSR Kansai NR5 10th Anniversary
Lap time: 1:42.12
Challenge factor: 0.836
Test notes: “It was as fast as its tuner car looks suggested, and was very forgiving, but the powerband from its twin-turbo V6 is way too narrow. The reason for this can best be summed up in two words: turbo lag. Seriously, why does it take ages for the boost to kick in? This thing is just so lethargic when off-boost that it might struggle to get going from anywhere but high revs. No wonder it turned out to be a disappointment in practice.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Elizipeazie - Anhultz Terrasport
Lap time: 1:57.22
Challenge factor: 0.831
Test notes: “Looks fast standing still, but with so little power on tap, it struggles to get out of its own way. The fact that it weighs 1.5 tons doesn’t help. It’s not as exciting as its sleek looks suggest, either. This thing, like so many others here, is all show, and no go.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

watermelon3878 - CVM SC32
Lap time: 1:42.86
Challenge factor: 1.238
Test notes: “Looks the part, and thanks to a combination of light weight and a punchy V6, goes the part, too. Quite tricky to drive on the limit due to the absence of stability control, but still one of the more exciting cars tested here. Yes, it uses up nearly all of my budget, but it does so with enough justification to end up on my shortlist.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

flop404 - Turini Berlinette 250
Lap time: 1:43.19
Challenge factor: 1.236
Test notes: “Looks like a 21st-century interpretation of an Alpine A110, right down to the metallic blue paint job. Not the most powerful car, but very light, at 1.1 tons. No wonder it made good use of its turbo inline-four’s modest power throughout the lap, especially with the amount of downforce it generates… Unfortunately, it’s badly built on the inside, with pieces of interior trim falling off at random intervals. Even in a lightweight track car, I don’t want anyone cutting corners with build quality. Instead of this, I would rather have something that doesn’t feel like it’s hastily thrown together.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Geronimo - Horven Type-A Redline
Lap time: 1:40.25
Challenge factor: 0.92
Test notes: “It reminds me of a DTM racer, and has the power and grip to match. Unfortunately, its reliability is compromised by inadequate engine cooling, even though it exceeds the minimum threshold. Raw speed is useless without reliability, and this car proves it.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

nerd - The SuperCouch
Lap time: 1:58.93
Challenge factor: 0.883
Test notes: “Oh my God, this car is horrible! Actually, it’s not so much a car as a sculpture for promoting… Communism? It has a V8 all right, but it makes just 120 horsepower - an unwelcome throwback to the nadir of the Malaise Era, 30 years ago. No wonder it was so slow, though not as slow as the riced-out Twist. To add insult to injury, it’s much more prone to oversteer than its lack of power suggests, and feels like it will suddenly disintegrate any minute. I’ve heard reports that the car it’s based on is bad enough, but in this form it’s even worse - a sow’s ear from a sow’s ear. Get this abomination out of my sight at once and dispose of it immediately!”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Nicking_HC - CSM Hibiki RS
Lap time: 1:45.89
Challenge factor: 1.225
Test notes: “Its body shape and orange paint reminds me of the Supra Turbo from The Fast and The Furious, but without the crazy decals or huge turbo boost. A tad tricky to drive on the limit, even with just a normally aspirated V6 under the hood and pushrod rear suspension, but still fast enough for me. And it sounds great, too.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

ZSCHMEEZ - Albatross 300S
Lap time: 1:50.7
Challenge factor: 0.803
Test notes: “Underpowered and overweight. Too slow for its good looks, and not that exciting to drive either. The mid-mounted inline-six really needs more power, but as it stands, this thing is better suited for cruising down Highway 1 at modest speeds than attacking a track flat-out.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

LinkLuke - LLA Minx 2
Lap time: 1:56.00
Challenge factor: 0.887
Test notes: “One of the slower cars here, not just because it’s underpowered, but also because it has a noticeable torque hole in the mid-range. Looks nice enough, but what’s the point if it doesn’t have the power to match its looks? I’m no poseur, and since this is a poseur’s car, I’m not bothering with this.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

findRED19 - Grand Motors Spite
Lap time: 1:41.00
Challenge Factor: 1.016
Test notes: “Underneath that muscle-car styling is a live rear axle and a pushrod V8, but I wasn’t fooled by its seemingly outdated technology. This is a proper muscle car, with loads of power and torque, but it handles surprisingly well and proved to be as fun to drive as its sleek exterior suggested. Should I keep this one in contention? For now, I might.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

machalel - AAAA Solasta GTX
Lap time: 1:46.89
Challenge factor: 0.849
Test notes: “Nice pearlescent purple paintjob, shame about the front end, which looks like it came from a CLK, but with worse proportions. It’s much heavier than I’d hoped, and the engine runs out of steam after reaching its torque peak. No wonder it wasn’t as exciting as its power figures suggest.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Mr.Computah - Caliban Type SC TO
Lap time: 1:44.49
Challenge factor: 1.011
Test notes: “Looks fast, is fast. Not too fast, though, but strikes a nice balance between ease of use and intensity. Also a real lightweight at nearly 1.1 tons. I could drive this car all day around a track if I wanted to - this is an enthusiast’s delight, period!”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

strop - MM Silhouette Oscuro
Lap time: 1:32.79
Challenge factor: 1.311
Test notes: “What a machine! It may be a tiny FWD coupe, but it’s so light that it doesn’t need as much power as some of the other cars here. It’s incredibly grippy, too. However, it’s very difficult to drive, but it might still be worth it for its sheer raw pace. I might want to consider it - for now.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

HighOctaneLove - Bogliq Coyote 460 Street
Lap time: 1:48.76
Challenge factor: 0.846
Test notes: “It resembles a shrunken DB9, and has plenty of power under its hood. But the wheels and tires on this thing belong on an economy car, not a sports car. Like I said before, power is nothing without control, and this car is another example of a mismatch between the chassis and powertrain. That ought to explain why it was slower around the track than expected, especially when it threatened to oversteer under power.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

JohnWaldock - JHW Trakstr
Lap time: 1:54.18
Challenge factor: 0.795
Test notes: “Incredibly small and light, but not much power from its inline-three. Still not the slowest, though, but by far the easiest car to drive here. I could actually have more fun in one of these, strangely enough. You know what? I might still consider this one.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

Obfuscious - LPE 588M
Lap time: 1:32.07
Challenge factor: 1.002
Test notes: “It looks like a real supercar, and has an engine befitting of one, although I’m not sold on some of the styling details Somehow, it managed to overwhelm the opposition (in terms of lap times) through sheer raw power and lots of downforce. Unfortunately, the tranny has only four speeds, and the top speed is limited to just 137 mph. Ultimately not as complete a package as I thought it would be.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Damous - Caveron-Vastra RCE
Lap time: 1:47.74
Challenge factor: 0.782
Test notes: “Decent power from its big V6 up front, spread across all four wheels, but a bit on the heavy side at 1.5 tons. Not the best-looking car here by a long shot, considering the fact that it’s a rally-bred sedan, but incredibly easy to drive. Also quick off the mark and sure-footed under hard acceleration. Strangely enough, it might just end up being a surprise package in this company.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

Sillyducky - Skylaner Cutlass
Lap time: 1:40.61
Challenge factor: 1.34
Test notes: “Not at all gutless - the big pushrod V8 lurking under its rear deck provides a decent amount of power to embarrass some of the more fancied contenders here. However, the absence of driving aids (except for ABS) makes it very challenging to drive throughout the lap. Still, it might just be worth it for the amount of pace the Cutlass has to offer.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

MasterDoggo - Cabart-Danneville RITO V6
Lap time: 1:46.91
Challenge factor: 0.783
Test notes: “This thing looks weird, but at least it’s not downright ugly. Yet despite being FWD, it’s faster than I thought it would be, thanks to low weight, a potent V6 and skillful chassis tuning. It’s really forgiving on track as well. I thought twice about considering this one, but I’ll have to do it anyway, surprisingly enough.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

Stellar_Gale - Thunderbolt NS-R10 Vulcan
Lap time: 1:38.36
Challenge factor: 1.002
Test notes: “Looks like it’s track-ready, but in fact it isn’t, thanks to inadequate brakes. They’re way too small and weak for this car’s monstrous V10 engine. The lack of stability control is even more glaring when you take the poor braking performance into account - in fact, the Vulcan would have stayed under budget if it had better brakes at both ends. As it is, though, I don’t think this car is worth it.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

DukeOfHazards - Birmingham Apostrophy C-body Type-Z
Lap time: 1:43.89
Challenge factor: 0.896
Test notes: “Plenty of power from its turbo in-line four, wrapped up in a menacing tuner body finished in all black (except for the gold wheels). But like the Taikan, the boost comes in so late that I ended up feeling frustrated whenever the engine was off-boost. Turbocharged engines should be more responsive than this, so unfortunately the Apostrophy has to go.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

thecarlover - Mosport Arrow Track
Lap time: 1:44.0
Challenge factor: 1.242
Test notes: “Another case of a car whose beauty is only skin deep. The turbo is too restrictive for my liking (although it helps with fuel economy), and there’s an open diff where an LSD should be. Worst of all, the brake discs are too small to avoid significant (though not severe) fade - a potential sore point during long track sessions. No wonder I’m passing this one on - it’s just not focused enough for my tastes.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

TheElt - BM 5-3
Lap time: 1:32.43
Challenge factor: 1.364
Test notes: “Underestimate the 5-3 at your peril. It drives very much like the Oscuro, but is slightly faster over one lap, and even more challenging to drive. Take a bow, BM, for beating MM at their own game. I’ll keep this one - for now.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

Urbanliner - Matsunaga Gerbera RS
Lap time: 1:37.35
Challenge factor: 1.174
Test notes: “Crazy power teamed with active suspension should be enough to seal the deal here, but it doesn’t - and for good reason. It’s more prone to power oversteer than I had anticipated, and there’s an undesirable torque hole just after the boost comes on. At least it looks good, particularly in deep metallic red, but I won’t be touching this one again for a while.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

Nicholander - 400-GXR TrackSpec
Lap time: 1:45.86
Challenge factor: 0.919
Test notes: “It looks like a tuner car, but it’s more of a serious sports car than I thought - AWD and a punchy turbo I4 combined with active suspension make this a force to be reckoned with on the track. It’s as forgiving as it is fast - and quite fun to toss around too. Quite frankly, this one deserves to stick around.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

Chipskate - Bowen Danio 510R
Lap time: 1:37.68
Challenge factor: 1.184
Test notes: “If it looks like a supercar and sounds like a supercar, then it is a supercar. And I have every reason to be right. Lime green suits its sleek lines very well, but its race-bred suspension, aerodynamics and powertrain make it feel more like an F1 car than anything else here. Indeed, it proved to be one of the fastest cars here, and yet it wasn’t too difficult to drive, contrary to expectations.”
Is it on my shortlist? Yes!

Dragawn - Dragotec Sagitta Heresy
Lap time: 1:33.0
Challenge factor: 1.216
Test notes: “Immense power in a lightweight car such as the Sagitta is a recipe for disaster if you haven’t tuned it properly. It wants to oversteer into a wall or a gravel trap all the time. In fact, it’s scarier than any stunt on Fear Factor, and clearly not worth the effort. Turns out they gave it too much front camber - whoever did that to the Sagitta is asking for trouble. A shame, really, considering its blistering lap time and striking exterior styling.”
Is it on my shortlist? No.

My work wasn’t done yet - I still had to pick out some finalists from the shortlist - but at least my task was now easier. Or so I thought…


CSR106 - Late Night Hours
#102

Yeeeees! Made it to the next round :grin:


#103

Oh my everything, I really need to change these glasses of mine. That last sentence states I made it onto the next round. Hold on…

Wait, what!? Hibiki made it? It beat the Arrow, it beat the Twist, it impressed Mr. Track Guy (he never really got a name, did he)? I… I’m at a loss for words, I really am. Downsizing, you didn’t fail me! :heart_eyes:


#105

ok, i’m shocked my 103hp 995cc I3 super Eco car made it through.

it does over 40MPG UK for god sake!


#106

A small correction if I may, MM have nothing to do with making the Oscuro even if they approved the use of the platform. Especially in 2005 they wouldn’t be able to afford CF tooling. I never named the outfitter that made the silhouette build, but you could as a joke refer to them as Mystery Maker :stuck_out_tongue:


#107

I’d hardly call 3.8% fade in sport conditions “severe.” As for the LSD, it’s hardly a requirement with less than 250 hp, and while I did try one out it did pretty much nothing to the car except drive the price up, hence why it was omitted.


#108

Depends on the power to weight ratio and the format. If that’s 250hp in something the size and drivetrain of a Lotus Elise for example, then you bet it will benefit from an LSD, let alone in even a Ford Focus RS from 2005.

What Automation doesn’t show you is the behaviour of the car under power in corners and, essentially, how much the inside wheel slips. That’s really where the LSD is most relevant in this context.


#109

This just made my day 5x better! (I probably get too excited over video games) can’t wait to see final results! :slight_smile:


#110

Woooops. I should have remembered that removing the carbon fiber gave me the leeway to put that quality slider back to a better value. I certainly had the room, both in ET/PU and in total costs :thinking:

For my defense, this fits well with the lore, though. I had this Lotus/Alpine philosophy of shaving weight, and poor interior quality is also a staple of these cars :wink: :wink: :wink:


#111

CSR74 Reviews and Results, Part 2: Finding the Finalists

After the first round of cuts following the track test, there were just 13 cars left for me to evaluate further as I pondered the pros and cons of each one. Eventually I settled on having to choose from five finalists, but finding them took a little more care than making the initial shortlist. Ultimately, though, I was able to determine exactly which cars would still be in contention. So here’s a rundown on why the shortlisted cars made it to the top five… Or not.

Farox Cielo 4.8
Notes: “Forgiving and fast, but the tires are not quite as grippy as I thought they were. Its AWD system saved it from being unmanageable at the limit, but I want my next track car to have proper high-performance rubber, which the Cielo clearly does not have. So unfortunately this one is no longer in contention.”
Is it a finalist? No.

Righello
Notes: “One of the most balanced cars of the bunch, and one of the fastest. Sometimes, when you throw the kitchen sink at a track car, it ends up being better than the sum of its parts. Unlike the Cielo, this one will stay around for a little bit longer.”
Is it a finalist? Yes!

CVM SC32
Notes: “Despite not having stability control, it’s still a blast to drive. One of the best sub-400-bhp cars I’ve ever tested, probably due to clever chassis tuning. Come to think of it, would you need more power when the basic mechanical package is so good? I guess this one will still be up for consideration.”
Is it a finalist? Yes!

CSM Hibiki RS
Notes: “Another front-engined, rear-drive sports coupe with a non-turbo V6, but this one is actually less powerful than the SC32 - chalk that up to its smaller engine. That explains why it can’t get anywhere near the SC32’s pace; as such, its high challenge factor is more difficult to justify than with the SC32.”
Is it a finalist? No.

Grand Motors Spite
Notes: “I don’t know if it’s witchchraft or something, but somehow they’ve made a live-axle design embarrass a lot of IRS-equipped cars. Especially since it’s got a lot of power under its hood. It runs the Righello very close, and has a more analog feel, but is just as well-balanced. I’m struggling to split the two, so this one might still be in contention.”
Is it a finalist? Yes!

Caliban Type SC TO
Notes: “Another well-balanced machine, and a very light one too. Even though it’s a sub-300-bhp car, it’s just so enjoyable to drive on track that I can’t help but put it in the top five.”
Is it a finalist? Yes!

MM Silhouette Oscuro
Notes: “For sheer pace this car is almost unbeatable, but in the end it’s actually too challenging for my tastes compared to some of the remaining cars. Even so, I have to salute MM for such lunacy.”
Is it a finalist? No.

JHW Trakstr
Notes: “The polar opposite of the Oscuro - mild-mannered and very easy to master. Unfortunately, it’s not fast or exciting enough to keep up with any of the finalists, so it has to go.”
Is it a finalist? No.

Caveron-Vastra RCE
Notes: “Faster than the sluggish Trakstr, but positively boring to drive when compared with some of the best cars on the shortlist. Too much grip and weight to really raise my heart rate.”
Is it a finalist? No.

Skylaner Cutlass
Notes: “It blows the Caliban away in terms of raw pace, but it’s too tricky on the limit, especially since it is completely devoid of driving aids. I can live without traction control, but not stability control, and since the Cutlass has neither, I have to let it go.”
Is it a finalist? No.

Cabart-Danneville RITO V6
Notes: “Another car that’s fast but dull. Very light, though. Even so, I often find myself wishing this car were much more exciting.”
Is it a finalist? No.

BM 5-3
Notes: “Basically a faster, more challenging Oscuro, and hence too difficult to tame for my tastes.”
Is it a finalist? No.

400-GXR TrackSpec
Notes: “Looks good enough in isolation, but off the pace compared to some of the other front-engined coupes on the shortlist. Ultimately needs a bit more power to push its weight around, and so it can’t go any further.”
Is it a finalist? No.

Bowen Danio 510R
Notes: “The closest thing here to a complete package - blistering pace, superb handling and just the right amount of excitement. No wonder it’s staying around.”
Is it a finalist? Yes!

And so there were just five cars left for me to consider. Deciding on a winner was going to be a tall order, given that each finalist had so much going for it…


#112

To be fair, entering a GT car as a track-focused mata replacement was a pretty long shot :stuck_out_tongue:


#113

Oh my god. Not only survived the first cut. My car actually getting into the finalist. Even words can’t express how happy I am! :joy:

*By the way, I have some difficulty to check all the cars. It’s quite annoying. Anyone can teach me some way to check all the comments made by a specific user?


#114

You made my day twice, finalist, HECK YEAH :grin:


#115

*around Laguna Seca only. And also significantly more expensive to drive ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Nonetheless thanks for the memes. Next time @TheElt we’ll really push it to the limit :joy::ok_hand:


#116

fell at the second. expected, but happy to have advanced with that thin of a meme