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FIGHT ME (Market Research Gryphon Gear style)


#183

@CNCharger1 For the love of god, read the first post and realise that the deadline for this competition was nearly 5 months ago.


#184

To be fair the question still didn’t specify whether that was with the intent of sending it into this challenge, lol.

So to answer the question, can CNC make a car for less than 35k? Well, I have no idea. May you? Sure, but not to enter this challenge. The deadline was nearly 5 months ago and I’m 3/4 through the reviews and post-hoc analyses.


#186

Let’s leave stuff that isn’t GMR related out of this thread :joy:


#187

I wasn’t applying for this ompetition. But with Royal out of the picture, I can make a car for under 35K.


#188

Y’know, I think I speak for all of us when I say we’d really love to see that creation. :+1:


#189

Ok, back to business, sorry for the extremely lengthy delay. Between work (new interns on my double take, yay!), study (big exams in 4 weeks, yay!) and everything else it’s looking pretty unlikely I’ll be able to get all the reviews done before Feb 19 (the exam). Which is shocking. Very sorry about that. But no matter how long it takes I’ll still get them all done and do the proper analysis after, you can bet on that.

Today we’ll be bringing you two extremely contrasting vehicles: a bus of a hot hatch, and the thinnest meme.


@Leonardo9613

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First Impressions- Strop

Quasar, a highly regarded, long running model, with multiple awards under its belt for being bulletproof value. Having successfully expanded beyond their South American homeland into the NA and EU markets, with the opening of the Asia-Pacific market the Australian customers are clearly in their sights with a small release of their full range, all the way from their entry-level Tellurium to this range topper, the RS325, named for its 325 horses, definitely quite north of what one would normally consider Quasar fare. Little hints adorn the hood and bodywork, but Baltazar keep it restrained, letting its image do the talking. In many senses, it strays from its comfortable and convenient ecobox roots far less than many of the other entrants here. Accordingly, I’m guessing that it’s going to be offering a softer ride than the sporty oriented offerings here. I’m definitely curious as to how it stacks up with the ever increasingly complicated demands of the modern hot hatch owner.

First Impressions- Kai

The Germans, they’re in every car now.

Driven Civilly

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Shromet eat your heart out, the North Americans aren’t king of plush this time around. Despite the rather cosy seating setup thanks to the format, the experience is more akin to being swaddled in featherdown blankets than, say, the “well this is actually kinda cramped” of the Armada Fore. It’s also whisper quiet, almost literally. Lexus levels of quiet. This, plus the AWD drivetrain makes for quite the bus of a hatch, the true polar opposite to the Fore. Apart from the relatively subtle external visual cues, the only thing that immediately lets you know this model has a bit of pep to it is the upgraded row-your-own with the fairly meaty, precise clutch. More subtle cues would be the gauge cluster, sporting higher numbers on the boost gauge and the redline. But it’s when you start the car and apply throttle you realise wait, something is definitely up here. Down low, it’s all business as usual, but hit a certain point and a big hand scoops you up and flings you down the road. Clearly the 325 gets its number from not being boost-shy, but the engine’s been heavily upgraded to match its character, so it’s not so much frantic and raucous, so much as underscored with a certain gravitas. The result is the sensation of unstoppable momentum, like the Juggernaut, bitch. It’s not surprising therefore that the ride is more muted and pliant and the brake feel softer. But far from abandoning the driver, the steering is precise and the chassis surprisingly nimble, only understeering a little when pushing hard on the long on-ramp test.

Driven Hard




On the Hillclimb- Strop

Out of just about all the cars tested today, the Quasar was the one that stepped the least out of (or into!) character when pushed hard. It’s mostly all Dr Jekyll in here. The only thing that really changed was the boost coming in full bore, filling the cabin with an airy rasp. By civilian car standards this was by no means a slow car, but it was also one that did not even care to offer particularly aspirational sporting credentials in the form of visceral thrills or rock hard suspension and twitchy steering. Aside from the work keeping the car in the powerband, it offered the same solid, stable ride at speed as it did in the city. The boost itself wasn’t even particularly tricky, given the high weight and the AWD. It was a drive that you could easily think to yourself pushed the limits of the car but didn’t make you particularly nervous, so long as you remembered you had to brake on time. In this day and age, 200hp/kg is more the realm of the “rather warm” than the out and out “hot”, but at the same time, 325hp is… you know what it’s all going to get more nuts as time goes on. If not for the amount of boost required to get it to where it does (and that’s still pretty far behind the opposition), the Quasar would be the sane one.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

No drama, no worries, no excitement… better than valium.

On the track

I hope you aren’t racing to win. The Quasar wasn’t built for winning races and it’s not pretending to try either. This isn’t some cheaty stripped clubsport article, it’s the full fat cruising machine that goes fairly briskly in a straight line, but with the exception of the Shromet is pretty much in a different class of car. Outgunned by the tourers, out-cornered and out-braked by the other hatches and completely outclassed by the dedicated sports cars, just be content to wave them by as you steer around corners with one hand and a mug of tea in the other, your spine not creaking from excessive G-forces and your ears not ringing from all the road roar from those low-profile tyres. Know that speed is in the eye (and the arse) of the beholder, and, well, you’re not prepared to compromise on your philosophy of life just to squeeze a few seconds off.

Pros

  • Genuine Quasar article
  • Inoffensive and pleasant to live with
  • Won’t ruffle your feathers unless you don’t like boost

Cons

  • A lot of engineering and boost for not a huge amount of gain
  • The only people who would really want to buy this would be people who think they want a sports car but they don’t know anything about sports cars so they go for the sporty version of the reliable normal car they know and love which means it’s going to sell a lot and damn that’s a smart if a bit cynical move how dare you.

What Real Car is this like?

A mix of the VW Golf R and the Ford Focus RS

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~35000

Verdict

You thought you wanted to go fast but actually you just wanted a faster Quasar.


@Mr.Computah

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First Impressions- Strop

Putting the rocket in Pocket Rocket, this kei-sized box is barely a nose longer than Accursio Criceto Metro, but instead of going for outlandishly lavish, it decided to go full hardcore instead. It’s worth noting that this is a car that is expected to wildly exceed budget, else be sold at an astounding loss, having been essentially rebuilt from the ground up from its very City counterpart into a carbon-bodied racing spec super special edition. The exhaust, the intakes, the tyres, are all beyond any regular road spec. Hell, even the engine is on the opposite end of the car. I’m not even convinced the authorities will let it drive on the roads, even though it technically passes muster. Beyond being a technical exercise whether or not anybody buys this will be largely up to just how crazy people get over miniature racers right off the factory floor, or whether they still prefer to hot it up themselves. Certainly there is plenty of success in the sporty small car market, but going this far, while it stirs a certain curiosity for me, may well be dampened by the sacrifices and costs. Is it too much?

First Impressions- Kai

If it’s gonna be 9/10 obnoxious I don’t see why we don’t turn up the boost and shoot for 15.

Driven Civilly

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*100 units total

I’ll say one thing: while it’s a perversion of the original, or even a complete re-envisaging, this Pulga has purpose. The interior is snappy ergonomic glue-you-to-the-seat just shut up and drive stuff that channels the screaming exhaust note right to your ears. There’s little distraction, just the wheel, the pedal and the flappy paddles (and a bare minimum of amenities). The ride is… the ride… the ride is actually just plain crashy. The car shifts and jitters around on every bump and that’s because a split second after hitting the bump the springs slam into the bump stops and the whole body bounces as a result. Every bump. And just about every corner, too. I mean, the original MX-5 liked to ride on its bump stops (no sway bar) but this was shooting for a very different experience. It kind of reminds me of the time I was driving behind this ultra riced 2005 Toyota Echo, decked out with all the body kit and ridiculous muffler and riding about 2 inches off the ground. I almost rear-ended the fucker because it slammed on the brakes so it didn’t lose half its kit to a pothole. Speaking of which, fuck speed humps, fuck driveways, and fuck manhole covers. I kind of understand what it’s like to be a motorcyclist now, except in this car you’re doing the ride on 25 profile tyres you won’t find outside a specialist race outfitter. Puts the hard in hardcore. What’s far less hardcore, as Kai mentioned earlier, is the ultra low boost turbo. It’s so restricted that apart from a tiny bit of lag, there seems to be almost no discernible difference to what would probably be a much more raucous and responsive ride if one had just stick to letting the exhaust run out the back instead of recirculating it.

Driven Hard




On the Hillclimb- Strop

Let’s put the suspension issues aside, and call them character. I expected big things from the little Pulga. With a comparatively modest power to weight ratio of 207bhp:ton (not much more than a Toyota Aurion, for example), this was going to rely on being light and having a wide track width to stick to the road and blast around those corners. And sure enough it had oodles of grip. The front is light and floaty and tends to wobble more over the bumps, but at full tilt, the hairpins can really crush you in your seat. In terms of dynamic cornering it was second only to the Criceto at low speeds, and with its setup, it felt much much faster. The over 10k redline comes to the fore here, encouraging, nay, demanding that you absolutely rev the tits off it banging through five of its six gears. But take care, while the car has power steering that it probably doesn’t need, it instead lacks stability control, catching the unwary driver who has never driven rear-engine. But with that mastered, this here is the true cornering machine, punching well above its flyweight. Thing is, with the right tuning it would probably do much more again.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

Good thing about the wide stance is the box won’t roll over in the corners.

On the track

The Calder Track favours fast cars, there’s no doubt about that. It’s one thing for a certain Fujiwara to fling a lightly tuned AE86 down the Mt Haruna touge, but you’d be dreaming if you could think that being the protagonist of your own manga will save the AE86 from getting blasted off an actual race track by something with more power. As it were, this car was absolutely blasted past by just about every other car on the Thunderdome, while almost nudging the rev limiter at its top speed of 197km/h. But to its credit, it used its crazy cornering powers to cling onto and even avenge itself against some of the tourers and budget sports coupes. But consider that this car is far more expensive than half of them and far harder to live with than the other half, and it’s enough to give you pause to consider your priorities. You must really want to have a special edition Pulga to get this car. Or, you’re desperate to wring the hell out of a tiny car and are willing to pay some serious dollar to do so. The mysterious appeal versus cognitive dissonance of the remade Pulga is certainly something worth exploring in more detail later on, so stay tuned.

Pros

  • I love the idea
  • I really want to like this car

Cons

  • But it makes no realistic sense
  • It takes what should be approached with simplicity and makes it quite complicated
  • And most of the choices and tuning ends up punishing the driver

What Real Car is this like?

A Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart on an Olympic training regimen and several illegal supplements

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~80000 and bring your own trailer

Verdict

When it comes to hotting up ecoboxes, there comes a point where one has to ask what the point actually is. This is so far beyond that one should consider seeing if it can be sanctioned for competition instead.

Disclaimer: not that this is going to stop us from keeping the unit we’ve been gifted… for… science…


#190

Hey people, I have some, er, bad news. My PC has just burnt out.

Right now I can’t tell if it’s just a temp sensor or more likely I’ve fried the mobo. The power source is fine. If it doesn’t boot I’m yanking the HDD and trying to salvage.

If that doesn’t work then what I’ll need is for people who haven’t been reviewed yet to send me their cars one more time. I will go through the list and tag everybody so I can get this done (it will be next week, I have an exam to sit in 7 days). I don’t know how well this laptop can handle Automation (it’s a word processor and internet browser not a gaming laptop). So we’ll see.


#191

Sorry for the double post, I have some even better news.

So I was going to fix my PC and resume reviewing earlier this week. That won’t happen now. Why?

Feb 19th was the day I was supposed to sit a very important exam. We spend years preparing for it on top of working full time and it all comes down to one day, all over Australia and New Zealand.

This year, the body that sets the exam saw fit to attempt to change the format of the exam which required outsourcing the administration of the exam to an external company.

In short, the execution of the exam was so badly botched that it had to be abandoned just as I was completing the sixth and final hour, thus prompting a state of national emergency because the exam requires that 1200 doctors across Aus/NZ get pulled out of their jobs in public hospitals for four days to sit it and is well known to be a locus of junior doctor suicides, so, as you can imagine, fucking it up only exacerbates all these things. The exam has been rescheduled, but not before several major news outlets reported on it, the Australian Medical Association submitted a letter of demand, lawyers started crafting a class-action lawsuit against the college, and the Federal Health Minister had to get involved.

To summarise, the exam is the centrepiece of their candidate assessment and gateway to specialisation. This is the most colossal fuck up the RACP has ever achieved in the history of Australian medicine.

Our new exam date is March 2nd. The week after that, I return to work in Adult Internal Medicine.

I’ll do my best to get my computer fixed and finish the reviews in the weeks after that. But unfortunately if I could have done anything better, it would have been to finish the reviews long before this point. As it stands I should really be cramming some more right now.


#192

Ouch. Good luck with the retake. Hope it goes better the second time around.


#193

okay sorry about the long dead thread. A number of things have happened:

  • I resat the exam on March 2nd
  • I found out on March 15th that I passed the exam thank fucking god finally do you know how many years it took me???
  • I rebuilt my PC with all new parts and kind of overkill because I’ve not been looking at the market for 4 years and had no clue
  • And therefore realised too late that my CPU doesn’t run Win 7 unless I really force it to and play silly buggers with the BIOS which I… can’t be bothered to
  • And MS Office 2010 doesn’t run in Windows 10 <-- edit: I can’t remember what the issue was, but this is wrong, unless you’re trying to use Office Starter.
  • Also work is busier than usual and now I am preparing for the next exam in August, so it’s hard for me to squeeze everything in

But I’ve finally got all my hardware and software updated, my files back in order, and I am ready to get this done even if nobody cares about Kee anymore. I’ll get going next weekend. There should be 8 or so cars left.


#194

several months later

Heyooooooooo guess who’s back? Your most notorious procrastinator of overly ambitious projects he can’t possibly fit into his life, that’s who! Now that I’ve rotated off the job that makes me want to kill myself leaves me with zero free time and I did unexpectedly well on my first mock exam run (the head of unit who likes to tell all the candidates that their examination made him want to jump out the window gave me full marks which is complete bullshit but I’ll take it), I’ve given myself today to take the first step to finishing this. Five reviews (including the original car that spawned this, the Bellua) remain. This is one of them.


@Madrias

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First Impressions- Strop

Drop tops have a certain appeal. Yet some examples make me ask myself, why whenever I see them. Things like the Holden (Vauxhall) Astra… who the hell would ever want to show their face to the open air and all and sundry in one of those? Thus there’s an entire class of convertible belonging purely to people of poor taste. Then there’s all the high end sports and luxury cars with “Aperta” in their name which actually translates to “I’m rich and I want to show off my Gucci Sunglasses.” However, the Storm… Breeze… Hurricane (talk about a stacked nomenclature) belongs firmly to the class of freewheeling American dreamers who like their everything big and muscley and with the roof down, because let’s give a firm middle finger to the doubters and why not? That’s Storm for ya. The same applies for boring out the oversized I4 to a massive 3.7L and chucking it back under the hood, for the full ye olde vibrating washing machine experience. I half-expected a naturally aspirated V8, but a company has to stay abreast of the times what with ascension of the eco-turbo, but that doesn’t mean that Storm has by any means abandoned any part of its core philosophy: raucous, squarish, brutish and big. 5 meters of black box on the blacktop with a drop top. The one incongruity here is that it looks more like somebody chopped the roof of a Crown Victoria than the iconic sculpted offerings (read: Challenger, Viper, Mustang, Camaro, Corvette), but maybe that has its own appeal to it.

First Impressions- Kai

I’m not driving this without a full face helmet, and that’s saying something.

Driven Civilly

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Santa Monica. One arm draped over the wheel, the other dangling out the side. Sprawled and slouched. Baseball cap worn any which way but straight. Bring your own boombox and turn the dial up to 11. Hydraulics and donks. Five miles per hour down the main drag. That’s how one rolls in this car. That doesn’t do the technical capabilities of the rest of this car any justice but the only thing that anybody will remember about this car is its presence. What the casual observer won’t realise, however, is that this trim was built to hustle. The interior has purpose. The DCT and LSD is a special bit of kit reserved for this trim. The suspension is right on point for relatively flat, steady cornering and the wide low profile tyres provide plenty of grip. There’s launch control and if you pull the paddles with the brakes on and put your foot down to the firewall, you’ll appreciate that 444hp is nothing to sneeze at. This is very much a proper sporting ride despite its size. Yet it’s still one that retains its roadgoing roots, what with a rather decent fuel economy and not back-breaking rode and quite a good boot even with the drop top in place. Aside from the incessant vibration of the engine, it’s far more versatile than one would think.

Driven Hard




On the Hillclimb- Strop

Christ on a kebab stick, for a big barge this thing can corner. Almost too big to fit on the road, driving at full tilt was like threading through the eye of a needle, but the Hurricane felt steady and planted, well tolerating putting the foot right down coming out of the corners. The front end felt actually a little heavy under braking, not because of fade, but because it never activated the ABS, not like this stopped the anchors from digging in and the rubber providing some seriously stopping power. And it needed every bit of that because it carried a lot of momentum from the surprising amount of speed it put on every time the foot went down. No inline four in a car this size has any business being this fast. In terms of outright pace this barge almost matches the Armada Fore save for having close to 300 kilos on top. But in character it’s very different, instead of wrestling with the wheel, it’s point and shoot, and just watch out for the turbo lag. Not the powerband, mind you, thanks to the larger displacement, the spool comes in nice and low and the torque is laid on thick and even. It’s almost enough to forget that each cylinder is almost an entire liter.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

Almost like it’s not a fat American except that it still is.

On the track

With a good power to weight ratio, a trick clutch, and big tyres, we expected this to be competitive even with the roof down (not that a soft top should be left up at speeds of 240km/h). Once again, the handling was rather sure-footed, even at high speeds thanks to the hydraulics in the wing, though, being so nose-heavy, the front did take some work and patience getting around the tighter corners, and, again, some care had to be taken on the brakes given the rearward bias. At the very least the weight was predictable and the feedback was direct, allowing the driver to feel exactly how much grip there was left in the front tyres. Among the pony/muscle group the Hurricane was comfortable at the faster end, though obviously not pitched in the same class as the Eagle GTR, and on raw times alone found itself pipping the similarly powered Kunai RS, and narrowly outdone by the completely philosophically alien Adenine Misty. Once again, though, the bloody Fore GTi squeezed through in the corners, the difference in their exit speeds ensuring even with the massive power difference the Hurricane couldn’t catch it on the straights.

Pros

  • Well sorted ride and sporting tune
  • Still quite civilised for the road
  • Proves the eco turbo can deliver where it counts

Cons

  • Engine mounts will probably need frequent replacement
  • I wish it had an i6, that would have just elevated it to a whole new level
  • Being this large and only having two seats becomes an increasingly evident compromise the longer one lives with it

What Real Car is this like?

Dimensions of a Challenger. Ecoboost of a Mustang turned up to about 14. Looks straight from the 90s. Take your pick, really.

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~35000

Verdict

You wonder who’d buy one, until it starts appearing in Hip Hop music videos and movies where it’s driven by the good guy except the good guy is actually a bit of a douche.



#195

It’s been two months since my last post. Since then, 4 weeks remain until my exam, I’ve done so many practice exams and haven’t seen the sun in so long I think I’m Vitamin D deficient and have seasonal affective disorder.

So naturally now is the perfect time to cook up another one of these so I’ll finally only have two more reviews to do until I’m done.

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First Impressions- Strop

What is this exactly? That’s a really good question! The offroad, er, credentials and 802bhp seems to imply it’s some kind of Trailblazer special. Yet its fully furnished interior with a trim not out of place on a high-end sports car suggests… or attempts to mask? the raw experience. Maybe it’s just there to dull the clatter of gravel on the undertray, because that stuff can get hella loud. Of real note, this is one of the few cars that has an engine volume to rival that of the GBF… and it shows, what with the bonnet having to make room for the manifold cover, just one of several EXTREMELY LOUD stylistic touches. After a bit of further inspection and much more head scratching we all concluded that this was really an off-road car that was pretending to be road legal. I mean, yes today it came in standard sports tyres but the native track width and rims are rally car sized. The suspension is rally. The drivetrain is AWD but also has a manual locker. Sure people drive to the track and back, but what about driving to the rally and back? Or perhaps it’s a contender on the scene for a new undiscovered kind of rallycross. The mind boggles and the eyes need bleach.

First Impressions- Kai

It came pre-douched! Where’s the fun in that?

Driven (Not) Civilly

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Exceedingly wary of every chequered decal and every glare from those people in blue, we ultimately decided that no, there was absolutely no way we were making it all the way to and from each test site without being pulled over. The flame spitting out of the side outlets (not legal in Australia!) sealed the deal. What we did do, however, was take a little cross-county jaunt to see what it was supposed to do, because there’s heaps of tracks good for that kind of thing around where we’re at. And the verdict there was, surprisingly, despite gravel pinging off the undertrain still being loud as fuck, the ride wasn’t too bad. Yes it had pretty small range of travel and some of the parts actually designed more for 4x4s did give the car grief, but for the most part it was far from crashy and stayed very level. The one thing that really took us by surprise was that this car is actuall hefty. Heavier than a Veyron hefty. None of us are sure where all the weight came from, considering it’s not that big, and it’s also not all that roomy (far from cramped), but it really felt like it had a lot of momentum, something that was easy to forget when all four wheels launched with up to 800hp, but something very easily remembered when trying to actually stop on a loose surface. It’s a good 700kg up on an FIA approved rally car.

Driven Hard



On the Hillclimb- Strop

Carefully was the watchword here. Even with the tyres cleaned and scrubbed, 205s on every corner did not for much traction make. Where the hydropneumatic suspension made for much better ride offroad, there was not much corner feel and frequently I found myself tugging the wheel to only belatedly realise the tyres were scrubbing. Early and frequent braking was necessary, and with the tall gearing it there was a lot of downshifting to keep the big turbos spooling for the fits and spurts of explosive acceleration. All the hairpins made for hairy moments with too much throttle immediately producing a spectacular four wheel peel. Fortunately, 50:50 power distribution and a front heavy car kept the tail-happy shenanigans at bay. The end result was a time that was, really, not fast at all (in fact only the Quasar and the other off-roader was slower, and for that other offroader that was because it actually came in offroad tyres). I’d have liked to say that the speed didn’t matter because it was fun, but, to be honest, it was really mostly out of its element.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

I was right, I hated it. Can we go back to going sideways on gravel now? Can I get air in it? Like, a lot of air?

On the track

Having seen its natural deficits on a tarmac surface, immediately the crew started laying bets as to whether or not it would actually be slower than the Quasar on the track. In retrospect that was a bit of a silly bet, because when allowed to properly stretch its legs, even with virtually no contact patch, the GX-4 could fly. Yes, the corner speed was abysmal. But by the end of Thunderdome it managed to peek into top gear and make up much lost ground. Once again cornering, and particularly the chicanes, was a joyless affair, a punctuation of sawing the steering wheel and hoping one got the speed right. The straights, however, were where it was at, which, of course, again begged the question why one would make a car for the dirt so heavy. Even funnier was when the Erin Nardella overtook the GX-4 on the inside at the hairpin… and the GX-4 couldn’t quite catch up.

Pros

  • power
  • POWER
  • POWEEEEEEEER
  • Actually kinda comfy and potentially streetable

Cons

  • …if not for the hideously obnoxious styling
  • What makes it good on the dirt makes it not good on the road
  • But a lot of the setup is also for the road which makes it less good on the dirt
  • And it’s disconcertingly heavy!

What Real Car is this like?

Converting a Dodge Challenger for the dirt. Or a Bowler Nemesis EXR without the ground clearance

How much would it sell for in the real world?

In a more suitable body, 150 grand. As it is now, I have no idea.

Verdict

I was initially thrown by the rallycross impression when I realised it couldn’t corner to save its driver’s life. It was clearly out of its element in the road tests, especially given the competitors. But this could be a gem of an idea if it were a bit more focused on the offroad. Higher body, more low down torque than top end power, shorter low gears. Or much lighter, with a smaller engine. But then I guess it wouldn’t be a Dynamite!

Now where did I put that other offroader, would be a nice time to get that one out…


#196

What did it get lost again?


#197

No not at all, I do have it! I’m just speaking figuratively as it is the next on my list.

and here it is


@Zabhawkin

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I apologise for the shitty images. Several of the Kee mods have gone missing due to… reasons I’m not entirely certain of. So the appearance was significantly changed, hence I had to use previously published images and cleaning them is infinitely harder

First Impressions- Strop

So maybe previously I was looking for a Bowler trapped inside a small car. This is the Bowler. There’s no illusion whatsoever what it’s supposed to be and designed to do: a rugged offroad beater that can boulder. Possibly very fast. The features are true to the ethos: simple makes for worry-free dune bashing. There’s a minimum of interior electronic accessories; I’d have to go back to childhood to remember a time when keyless entry wasn’t a thing. The panels are even bolt-on. The rest of the credentials are extensive: giant offroad tyres, locking diff, proper 4x4 mode, a solid rear axle, ultra low-range gear, a heavy duty tow hitch. And a proper engine with the torque where it should be: everywhere. I appreciate that compared to just about everything else, this has no business being here… but on the other hand, that’s perhaps the entire point.

First Impressions- Kai

on the freeway An L and an R on the shifter? Is that for Left and Right? cue desperate shouts of NO DON’T TOUCH THAT

Driven Civilly

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Civil? Unlike the GX-4, this is definitely road legal, but around town, the experience is, well, what you’d expect from an ultra-dedicated 4x4 offroader: rough. Everything rattles. The rattles echo. The seats are hard because, well, you can take a hose to them, just like the entirety of the interior in case sand gets through your A/C vents, which, if used as intended, it’s bound to. The fuel economy is horrendous. The tyres, well, they roar. At highway speeds it drowns out conversation. Faster than that… well perhaps just don’t! One looks over and sees all the fake fancy SUV stuff and you get the feeling of “ha, I’m sitting in the real deal.” And if part of you feels a bit jealous and pining for some of those creature comforts, well, this thing has no time for pretenders. The main saving grace is the active suspension with multiple modes, though, really, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that’s for anything other than adjusts the settings for your kind of offroading. This is definitely the kind of vehicle in which you’re just there to get to the track… and we’re not talking the racetrack. With this kind of experience you better be going well off the beaten path. So of course, that’s what we did: take the real hilly recreational off-road tracks off the Hume. Suffice to say, the O117 ate them for breakfast. And the surprise lesson there was, despite being tall, it’s actually a pretty compact machine, particularly since it has very little overhang, perfect for not scraping your bumpers off on a boulder.

Driven Hard



On the Hillclimb- Strop

One thing about 4x4? It’s for offroad use. Not just a a badly surfaced road, like this hillclimb. That means lugging around this tall high-profile offroad tyre shod lumbering brute driving just the rear wheels. I can safely say that not once was I able to apply full throttle, not even on the middle sorta-straight section where I even hit fifth gear. And where this excels in the dirt and over the rocks, well, it was hopelessly scrubbing and scrabbling. The hairpins were handled with about as much balletic grace as a muscle car on stilts. The shifter was extremely busy due to the low gearing, to the point it was actually easier to short shift like crazy and just let the torque do the talking. The main saving grace was the brakes: extra grabby and easily the most responsive part of the drive. The other part that came to the fore was the ride: far from the floating sensation I expected from the active springs and 85 profile tyres, each bump transmitted through the body with a far greater immediacy belonging more to a modern performance car on “ultra sport” mode. Those must be some hella stiff dampers. Aside from these things, naturally, the performance was about what one might expect if they took a 4x4 on a tarmac rally: in a class of its own, or, a good quarter of a minute slower than the slowest.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

Can we just skip the next bit and go back to the dirt track?

On the track

If the O117 was out of sorts on a sealed backroad in a forest, well, on a wide open race track…

With the suspension firmly set to “road” mode, the dampers did their job, keeping the ride remarkably flat through the otherwise rather unsettling experience of hustling around high-speed corners. To its credit, I suspect that this being lighter and more planted, it would do a far more creditable job than many of its faux SUV rivals with a whole lot less roll and probably a lot less rolling over at that too. This was a chance to see (and hear and feel, oh god) the high end at full chat and the O117 certainly did that, making full use of its great 515hp to pull it well past 200km/h, a thunderous and bone-rattling affair that we wish never to repeat again on tarmac. Testing had to be truncated because the tyres were literally not rated to go at those speeds on the road, but not before noting that in actual fact, thanks to the relatively mitigated losses past a certain speed in the fast sections, the O117 wasn’t being completely annihilated by everything else to quite the same degree. Sure, it was easily beaten by literally everything, but on the home stretch and the Thunderdome it was a menace to the likes of the Nardella, the Pulga, the Criceto and the Quasar. Incidentally, with the locker on and all four wheels firmly engaged, the 0-100km/h sprint time was a significantly brisker 5.5s… still only faster than the diminutively proportioned but ultra-full fat Criceto but thinking about that kind of performance on dirt, that would make for quite the experience.

Pros

  • Proper off-roader
  • Extremely unpretentious
  • Puts all those boutique posers and bespoke fancy machines in their place for a fraction of the price

Cons

  • This isn’t the track that most of you were thinking of
  • Not actually that liveable unless you live to go bush

What Real Car is this like?

A stripped down Bowler Nemesis

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~60000

Verdict

True to form, this is DMA at its finest. Its strict minimalism ensures that only the hardest, truest of offroad nuts will spring for it, but on the plus side, you know that those who do buy it will take it where it wants to go… and not a racetrack.


#198

4 days short of one year since I created this thread, here comes the final review (that isn’t the Bellua itself).

Gee I really need to get better at this “not making projects that are too large and real life gets in the way” thing huh?


@gridghost

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I apologise for the change in format and the awful job I did cleaning. Several mods were missing again so I decided to go with the original images sent. I hope nobody is reading this with a bright background theme or you’ll probably go blind

First Impressions- Strop

This is the car that, out of the entire lineup, is most like the GBF Bellua philosophically. it’s cheaply built and puts huge amounts of donk in a mid-ship format. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles and the presence but it does have the speed of a supercar, and that’s the sole selling spoint. The main difference, well actually there are many. First, it doesn’t shoehorn a truck engine into the bay, rather, it takes something a bit more appropriately sized. Then it goes ham on the turbo. We’ll see how that turns out later. The second thing is instead of going for a stylistic package that has no business gracing something so budget as the GBF did, it stayed simple. Real simple. Like 15 years too late to the party. But frankly, at this budget, it feels a bit more appropriate, as does when one sits inside and notices it’s got about as much ambience as a regular Hyundai. And that’s perfectly fine (I mean, Hyundai’s aren’t half bad these days), at least, that’s what we thought. Then again, that’s precisely one of the cognitive conundrums that the GBF project generated in the first place, and begs the question as to what parts of the “I’m so damn fast” package are mandatory and in what combination.

First Impressions- Kai

What kind of a name is Scarab? Eh, who cares, finally back to proper sporty cars!

Driven Civilly

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So I said this had the ambience of a Hyundai. I have to qualify this by saying that getting in was a process quite unlike getting into any Hyundai ever. Once made into a concertina and wriggled into the right position, the cabin was actually quite roomy. If not for my ass sitting barely 12 inches from the road, it might even have been called comfy. Of course, with wide tyres front and rear, the road roar on the low-profile tyres was just as intrusive here as in half the other cars tested. I might otherwise have thought the car wasn’t actually half bad for highway cruising, what with the long gearing making for excellent economy. Perhaps with the music turned up loud enough. On the rougher suburban roads, however, a real strange foible reared its head: despite the car being rear heavy, the front springs were far stiffer than the rear, to the point the front liked to jolt and skitter over bumps and road imperfections whereas the rear just kinda soaked it all up. Launching from the lights was a task only successfully undertaken with the aid of the launch control, as the giant snails did exactly as they looked to do: spool rather late at 4500rpm. Below that the torque wasn’t half bad but it certainly wasn’t as advertised, and the difference between boost on versus off was a world apart, almost to the extent that you’d occupy one half for the road, and the other half for the track. The one thing that really didn’t compromise at all was the boot space, or lack thereof. There was enough room for half a suitcase and not a whole lot more, or, barely more room than in an ZZW30.

Driven Hard



On the Hillclimb- Strop

Okay, commitment time. The full 620Nm up the pointy end was certainly an experience. Much care had to be taken in first, especially over the rough surface and coming out of the composite corners. While first was tall the Ceres SR was agile and had plenty of grip, and the hairpins could be taken at speed, so I never had trouble dropping out of the powerband. Then slam it into second and feel the rush! That said, the foible of the suspension played strongly in this event, and I had to back off a lot more often than I would have liked due to the sheer skittishness of the front end. On the plus side, despite what I noted to be an unusual brake setup, the anchors were big and strong and I could stop with confidence. The end result was actually a bit of a disappointment. Trying to drive it as hard as possible on a back road gave it the challenge of a highly-strung race car but not quite reaching the same performance. It was telling that it was actually matched or even outpaced by cars significantly down on power, including the Zeta ZRP and the XR 377 (both 460hp).

On the Hillclimb- Kai

Like playing pinball with the bearings.

On the track

With a perfectly flat and well-surfaced road, the issue posed by the stiff front end changed character. The wide rubber shrieked and wailed as it fought for grip but grip it found. With that addressed it hit its stride, surging ahead, until, that is, the Thunderdome, with speeds of greater than 240km/h. At this point all the ESC kicked in hard, and the alarms started dinging as the rear end got rather floaty. Actually both ends did but the rear end felt particularly flighty. Was there a problem with the wing? Fortunately that was the one place where things got a bit lairy; elsewhere it was mostly business, and that business was being speedy. It made back the time now that it had no problem putting power down, and clocked one of the fastest times of the day, beaten only with either a lot more power, or a lot more dedication to racing.

Pros

  • Great power to price
  • With some tweaking would be easy enough to daily
  • Less of a dissonance concept-wise compared to the Bellua

Cons

  • Turbo power is useless outside of dedicated racing
  • Wonky suspension setup robs it of potential
  • On the other hand, if it looks and feels budget then is that really a better thing?

What Real Car is this like?

A super cut price Ford GT with a Hyundai interior where engineering tried to EcoBoost a race turbo

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~90000

Verdict

Hasn’t fully unlocked its potential. If it were a bit better sorted this thing could be a true contender in a segment nobody knew existed but everybody wants.

There’s actually something to be said about the tuning of this, though this is an old version of the game.

This is the original engine tuning. That’s what I meant by very late spool that doesn’t make it suitable for road use.

There’s a lot of performance to be gained here by actually shrinking the turbine significantly and tweaking the cam profiles etc.

The held values belong to the old engine. The new values are more in line with what you’d expect from a relatively modern (if using old tech, SOHC haha) setup turbo performance engine. It also yielded a faster more drivable and more economical car without even touching any other slider.


And that’s it for the submission reviews! I’ll probably wait until after my big exam in August to post the Bellua review and the verdict on what GG will do next after all that. In the meantime however, have the full graphs arranged in various ways and colour coded. I’ve tried to organise the cars into respective classes based on broad similarities and dimensions, but of course this isn’t to do rank them in any other way than to assess which goes where and what attributes contributed to what.

Also Elt’s submission isn’t coded because he memed it as usual and I can’t classify a racing minivan ffs :joy:

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This is the table by alphabetical order of user:

This is the table by order of hillclimb time:

And by order of racetrack time:

And by power to weight ratio:

If you think any further information is relevant then let me know, eventually I’ll post the entire Excel sheet itself and then you can have a play.