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FIGHT ME (Market Research Gryphon Gear style)


#163

Koolkei took the maesima an built the turbo version of KHT’s pro drift car :joy: That is totally streetable


#164

I’ve never fully liked the face of the new Eagle myself, but could never come up with something better.

Great write-ups though. It has been enjoyable reading about everyone’s cars through the eyes of the GG team.


#165

At least I know the Dynamite’s not completely the most bonkers thing out there, though it’s… Built for a different purpose. And I can’t wait to see the reaction Kai has to half a V8 in the Storm car.

Still, I enjoyed this batch of updates quite a bit.


#166

Soooo was that all of them?


#167

im pretty sure he said there like 3 or 4 batches left before


#168

sorry no, there’s still 3 or so batches left. This week of work, mainly because of Saturday’s little adventure, has left me much flatter than usual so I am writing the reviews at a rate of about half a day from Sunday. Meaning that we should get one more batch around Thursday. Then I’ll squeeze the next two batches in over the next week.

Then comes the real fun!


#169

Hate to be “that guy,” but do we need to light the pitchforks and sharpen the torches?


#170

Not yet - I would rather give the host as much time as is required to finish all the remaining reviews.


#171

Strop is a rather busy person IRL, he will finish though, few of us can claim to be a Doctor so early in life.


#172

Nope, I have one more review to write in this batch (for my own MM Legatus). Sorry it took so long to finish, just I’ve been working from Wednesday and will be going to next Friday, and our weekends here are back to back all day shifts so I’m pretty fucked atm. Also I have family arriving Wednesday so I’m scrambling to life admin before they get here.

That will make getting all the reviews done before Christmas a bit hard but I will definitely try my best! At this rate I may end up abandoning the 4 batch in favour for the couplet or even a single!


#173

He’s no doctor, he draws horse-people! FACT!! :smiley:


#174

Were just going to leave that alone here. :wink:


#175

Ok all weirdness aside, after many delays I have the next batch here.


@asdren

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First Impressions- Strop

Revera has presence in the sporting scene, because whether it’s executive or track or even hyper, their models always look the part, feel the part, and go the part. When you get a Revera sports car, you probably know what it is you’re getting. Some may level the accusation that this success story has turned them into a bit of a cookie cutter, formulaic manufacturer, but on the other hand, haters gonna hate and if something works, why change it up? So that’s exactly what the XR377 is: a premium, bigger better refresh of a successful MR sports car. Better lights, better interior, big fat GT wing just to remind you what this car’s all about, as if the diffuser and conventional aggression wasn’t indication enough already. This thing is telling you it’s nearly potent enough to run with the supercars. Nearly.

First Impressions- Kai

My face is as excited as my ass is unamused.

Driven Civilly

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After a little work getting in, this is a surprisingly comfortable setting for what looks, on the outside, like an aggressive track toy. Must be the specially molded seats, the snappy interior fixtures that ooze a Teutonic solidity. The ride, too, is pretty soft, the body having an appreciable amount of roll when pushing hard into the corners, soaking up the bumps but with noticeable travel in the wheels, there’s a certain loss of feedback into one’s seat. This is one of the few cars that relies on its technology in the dampers and sway bars to sharpen the handling, which is surprising for its size. If placed on a spectrum between fellow premium mid-engined cars, the GBF 1800, the prototypical GreenMoonCheese and the not-yet-reviewed MM Legatus, it would almost occupy a bit of a middle ground if not for the extra technology invested in it to achieve the extra capability. But it makes no bones about its power, just resorting to pure naturally aspirated, ultra responsive VTEC-like vroom with a little kick up the top end for where you really want to be. Handling the quite hefty power is a delightful six speed row-your-own, the weapon of choice, and continued evidence that Revera never quite abandons certain parts of the enthusiast credo, even if, again, the use of the E-diff belies their real commitment to maximum performance. The upshot of this all, however, is an economy figure more suited to muscle cars. Along with the small size of the car, it… doesn’t have a very big range.

Driven Hard




On the Hillclimb- Strop

What the car lacks in a certain immediacy of feel, it makes up for with confidence. It’s got a small wheelbase, it’s not particularly heavy, it has plenty of power, really big thick tyres and most importantly it has all the doodads working in concert to bring out the most in every corner. It goes fast, stops fast and turns hard, and as a result, it just felt easy finding the latest braking point and it was quite forgiving of hitting the throttle very early coming out the corners. Just a little care must be taken braking hard into complex corners due to the usual mid-engine characteristic, but at lower speeds the brake balance is front-biased, meaning the body tends to pull into line. For a car like this, the feeling of speed is secondary to actual speed, so best to measure your satisfaction not by the tremors in your hands and butt, but by the numbers on the dash and your stopwatch. For that, it clearly punches above its weight.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

This car is a cheat code. Disqualified!

On the track

You know that feeling when the supercars of today come to best the race cars of yesteryear, the legends that you would nut over while staring at posters on your bedroom wall as a teen? (ok, ok I’m not sure if that was your experience but this is a car community so probably…). Well, it’s that kind of bittersweet feel one is faced with here. Not that the likes of the FRE Feroce S4 and the Znopresk Zeta ZRP are old school, but in a way they are, built with the mindset of driving on a wing and a prayer, powered by brute force. This here is not brute force, potent as it is. It’s beating the brawns with the brains, using the magic of science. With no extra effort and minus all the sweat and tears, it corners faster, with more stability, stops harder, and gives more room. It effortlessly blasted past all the lesser cars (those plebs), as well as its direct rivals, and stuck right on the race-bred cars with more power and tyres and balls.

Pros

  • A technological marvel
  • Punches above its weight
  • Without breaking your back or really making you have to do anything much really
  • Great throttle response

Cons

  • Lacks the visceral feel of speed dynamically
  • Small size plus thirsty means small range
  • Will be quite costly to service

What Real Car is this like?

Can you imagine if VW were to make a proper MR sports car with a real engine? Yeah no I can’t either, but there you have it. Maybe let’s call it a half-price Ferrari, even.

How much would it sell for in the real world?

Probably 110 grand easy

Verdict

If easy mode doesn’t get you a high score, this is the cheat mode that gives you a great score but you know you didn’t really earn it, because the cheat was just that effective.


@lordred

disclaimer: Strop wrote this review while inebriated. Prepare for even less filter than usual

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First Impressions- Strop

If the Nimrod was a plain tourer, this one’s a slab. Similar format but somehow manages to achieve an even, er, slabbier, blocky look. From the rear it’s not too bad, if a little simple in that way that USDM somehow manages to achieve looking about a decade behind the rest of the world (not to put too fine a point upon this). But at least it knows where it stands: V8 modor (even if it has a turbo a la M4), four seats, heaps of seating room and even more boot space. It’s beeg and beefy, and therefore, hilariously unsuitable for the hillclimb, and that’s precisely what will make this so much fun. Even in the land of 2017 when everything is being sharpened and honed to a fine point, somebody had to make a sledgehammer along the philosophical lines of the touring sedans of generations ago, nevermind the fact that this is actually the sporting makeover of such a beast. That will be our point of interest: how sporting can you make a barge?

First Impressions- Kai

At least Michaelangelo sculpted a work of art out of that fuck off block of marble he got. This is just the block.

Driven Civilly

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You’d think a big sedan like this, with so much room, would be all plush and comfy. Wrong. The interior is all business and screams out ‘I WANNA GO FAST’. It’s all lightened with bucket seats and lightweight dash and all the gauges you could poke a stick at. There’s only 2 speakers. But it doesn’t skimp on safety in the slightest, going for all the doodads in the high end of technocratic modern cars. The suspension, too, is fairly firm, the feedback immediate and the body relatively flat through cornering. And the steering, for such a front heavy, big slab of a car, just so direct! Perhaps part of this is due to the wide tyres, as noisy and prone to tramlining as they are, certainly equipped for the hefty weight of this car and promise heaps of cornering grip. And yet, on the other hand, the engine is tuned for lazy feet, the kind that don’t want to make a habit of putting the foot down yet having all that torque barely above 2krpm, much like the cruisers of old. Same, too, with the fuel economy. It’s like the turbo wasn’t even there to change what the car was about, so much as to accentuate it.

Driven Hard




On the Hillclimb- Strop

You know what, the Orbital was expected to do horribly on the hillclimb. Big fat sedan with a big fat turbo torque spike in the middle and the power coming on all at once, and not a particularly high power to weight ratio in this field. And in a sense, it wasn’t the fastest thing around by a long shot. But by the same token, it was far from the worst experience. What was the secret? Oodles of grip from those big fat tyres, and a very stable ride. With that, the most care had to be taken in the slowest of hairpins and the tightest of exits, particularly in first, but aside from that, there was a very satisfying sense of meaty push. It wasn’t a rapid, urgent feeling, rather it was an impression befitting of its size and it was somewhat surprising that one could, maybe three quarters of the time, push the pedal with impunity without worrying about spinning out and ending up in a ditch. In this sense, it was in good company with the other tourers, again, with the exception that this was supposed to be the sporty one of the bunch.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

With a drive like this, the seat fabric should have had 3 kinds of softness.

On the track

Once again the bigger engine came to acquit the car. There was no doubts that it could corner with the best of them (the best of the ones that didn’t take advantage of active aero, that is), at higher speeds, and despite most of the power coming early, there was little concern about the Orbital running out of huff at the high end, blowing easily well past 220km/h on the long straights, thus dispensing easily with the softer end of the hatch market (just as well), but falling prey to the Fore, with its ridiculous cornering, and the Cavallera, with its ridiculous power. As expected, it fell somewhere in between the muscle and the touring, both in times as well as in character.

Pros

  • The ride is flat, the steering direct and the grip plentiful
  • Very satisfying meaty early power delivery for those nostalgic for the big blocks

Cons

  • Not nearly as comfy as its size suggests
  • Not nearly as urgent as its interior suggests
  • Fuel economy and maintenance costs will burn a hole in the pocket of the unwary

What Real Car is this like?

Dodge Challenger Coupe R/T Scat Pack

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~60000

Verdict

It may have switched to diet coke, but stills like its steaks raw and fatty.


@squidhead

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First Impressions- Strop

GG has collaborated with KHT before, and if one thing could be said about it, the two companies may have an almost identical focus (the ruthless pursuit of speed) but they go about things very differently, and, well, sometimes, differences attract. KHT is obscene in its meticulous, functional approach to speed, and GG is obscene in its vulgarity and making things that really oughtn’t work, work through sheer force. KHT wanted to find out how to cut loose, and GG wanted more insight on how to work smarter beyond smashing things with a bigger hammer. The Augusta, KHT’s very own budget-ish model, is a reiteration of their mission statement and looks the part. Clearly styled by the designers from Kuat Drive Systems, the Augusta is all grill and line, all vortex generation and rigidity. There’s no evocation or imagery here, there’s not even any fancy headlight trickery or contoured body shaping like GG is all about. Begrudgingly, KHT refitted its models to suit the stringent Fruinian safety criteria of the future, which gives me sympathetic pains, but it’s still a lightweight machine for that. This should be a showcase.

First Impressions- Kai

I feel like I’m putting on a Stormtrooper helmet. immediately Tesla pulls her hair up into twin buns, lies down on the ground and says: “Aren’t you a bit short for a stormtrooper?”

Driven Civilly

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A seat is for sitting in. A steering wheel is for turning the wheels. A car is for driving. That’s the KHT experience in a nutshell. We hadn’t seen padding this non-existent in a production car since the days of early GG when we had to scrimp every last gram out of the Mephisto because the engine and the drivetrain weighed more than most entire sedans. The fit is quite unforgiving too, if you’re too fat not only will you have a hard time getting in, you’ll feel particularly pinched. There’s no trace of comforts or compromise here. Pure steering feel, with no assistance. None of that namby-pamby ESC, either. If you fuck up it’s all on you. But the traction control and the E-diff are still there, because without that, if you spin the wheels too much, maybe you’ll go slower. Such logic, for sure. Same applies to the suspension: it’s not tuned to help you feel the road so much as to help the car respond faster. I’ve never seen such hefty front sway-bars outside of a racing car. The result is a flat-as-a-tack ride, full of jitters, yet at the same time, the springs are also set to take the worst of them out, which, in theory, improves contact with the road. It’s like the spiritual opposite of an MX-5.

Driven Hard




On the Hillclimb- Strop

Lightweight. Thick tyres. Fancy diff. Almost no wheelspin. It’s strange that a car this hardcore is extremely tolerant to putting the foot right down almost all the time, anytime. The brakes are a bit more rear biased than expected, and despite ABS that meant the rear feeling a little flighty under hard braking, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, rather, the technique required was more trailing the brake into the corner while getting on the throttle. But the biggest surprise here was for all those things, the car just didn’t have that much cornering advantage. I was expecting it to wipe the floor with the Armada Fore, what with its similar power but much more focused and less compromised platform. Instead, it spent more time wiping the front tyres on the road, only beating the far heavier Fore by barely 1s. And that’s probably thanks to the decidedly odd swaybar setup of a whopping 780kg/degree on the front and less than half that on the rears. I can’t help but feel that it makes things harder for the wrong reasons, the slower reasons, and it doesn’t actually make things that much more fun, either. Did I miss something?

On the Hillclimb- Kai

These skidmarks, too accurate for sand people. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.

On the track

This is where the Augusta should acquit itself. Flat as a tack is quite desirable on a well-surfaced track, and the nimbleness off the line, coming out of corners, proved to be an asset. So, too, did all its drag reducing downforce generating bodywork, for despite not having any active aerodynamics in the name of lightness, it still had plenty of puff to power past 240km/h on the Thunderdome. With no bumps on the road to speak of, the corners were all dispensed of hard and fuss-free, delivering jabs to bloody the nose of similarly powered but less hardcore offerings such as the more urbane Adenine “Misty”, the Kunai Cavallera, and nearly keeping up with the most muscle of muscle, the RPG Eagle, which packed more than half as much power again. But of course it had to, it was a track car. Speaking of which, it also effectively outclassed all of the cars in its own market, cementing its intended place as the hardest of the dedicated lightweight track toys. Yet again, worryingly, it was nearly upstaged by that bloody Fore GTi, having left it for dead off the mark, in the back half it kept edging back until it was right in the mirrors at the end of each lap. Unnerving.

Pros

  • Light and punchy
  • Takes no prisoners
  • Germanic functional styling

Cons

  • Sitting on a concrete block for a day would be more pleasant
  • Counterproductive suspension setup
  • Germanic functional styling

What Real Car is this like?

I dunno. A Praga R1 wannabe tuned ass-end first?

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~120000 because hardcore TRACK DAY BRO

Verdict

It’s a hard man’s car, to be sure, but, like overdoing it at the gym, if you juice on testosterone too much, you end up having a hard time getting it up in bed, and then, what was the point again? (Hint: I would soften the front sway bars to 240 and then go from there. The handling will be easier, the cornering much better, and the lap times faster).


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First Impressions- Strop

Every single ad for Matteo Miglia starts out with the anecdote that reads something like: back in 1980 whatever it was Matteo Miglia only wanted to prove the world wrong. It’s a great line, but once you’ve been around for over half your lifetime, surely it must get old trying to stake your reputation on being contrarian. At any rate, the car that line refers to was the first Legatus, which was initially built as a RWD Group B racer (because that’s where all the cool kids were), except of course, when Group B went arse up, they ended up homologating it for Group A. Naturally, back then, the Legatus was supposed to be a spiritual relative to the Stratos in order to stick it to the AWD cars, but ended up being more closely related to the Fiat X1/9 in design. Mr Miglia was merely the head of a smallish division of engineers in the OM when it broke up, and it wasn’t like he had a massive bankroll, so he had to make do. Perhaps that’s why the legacy of winning and persisting against the odds is so central to the company narrative: even moving into the era of the supercar mad boom, as high end as they could afford to get was the Merlo, and that was about as Ferrari as an NSX, if you get my drift. Perhaps this was also a driving force behind the MM credo of focusing on the smarts (as well as not actually being affiliated with a design house). But the world evolves and so did MM, and therefore so did the Legatus, with iterations and generations almost resembling the Skyline GT-R, growing from a competitive race car to a boi-racer’s poster, to a super sports tourer. The Legatus Turismo here wears all 30 something years of that on display today, a mishmash of old cues and new lines, full of functional purpose yet nostalgic. Jesus that was a long preamble.

First Impressions- Kai

Oh! I, uh. Umm. Hmmm. How many optical illusions can you fit on a car?

Driven Civilly

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The new aspirations of this particular trim are immediately apparent. Formerly the domain of cheap cloth and rickety seats most tuners ended up swapping out for Recaros from the get-go, these seats are the fully adjustable synthetic breathable leather kind. There’s a full suite of controls in the door for the windows, the mirrors, there’s more speakers than there are seats, there’s a nice responsive LCD display, the steering wheel is meaty with strategic grippy spots but is still based on lacquered wood. The classic all-digital dash that swept the 80s remains. It’s not quite as cohesive or snappy as contributions from companies that have been doing this for years, like the Revera, but it’s a huge step up in what will be just one in a very wide range of trims. Nonetheless, MM has put the enthusiast front and centre, with a row-your-own with a short, sharp action and… seven gears? Of course, one for the actual touring, so one can burble along the freeway at a scant 2200rpm. With the 285 wide tyres, the road noise is ever present, but in this trim at least, a valiant effort has been made to dampen it to barely perceptible. Yet, on the other hand, in a nod to the traditional Italian exotics, it’s somehow a little more cramped than many of its competitors, and the rearward visibility is frankly rubbish (the downside to its retro-future styling). Thank goodness for the reverse camera. The biggest hints as to the modernity of this generation of MM, however, is their embracing the latest engine technology, even while somehow insisting on the naturally-aspirated approach, to deliver impressive fuel economy even with an impressively responsive throttle. In fact even if there are no specific engine mapping modes, due to the longstanding habit of MM cars to use dual cam profiles, it’s like there are two engine modes, the one for under 4500rpm, and the mode for over 5000rpm all the way to 8800. The ride is staunchly old school, with springs and no electronics or hydraulics, keeping things firm yet planted, but not so hard there isn’t a bit of roll. It’s for those who don’t want to break their backs but still want to feel the road, as is the resulting handling.

Driven Hard




On the Hillclimb- Strop

It’s hard to say whether this is a car that is quick for being easy to drive, or easy to drive for being quick. Of course that comes with a big qualifier: being softened and paying homage to the old school and carrying all that premium gear, it’ll never be as competitive as the dedicated sports cars with more power and more tricks and less padding. Perhaps then there’s an essence of pleasantness about this Legatus now, even driven hard, which seems somewhat less than a pure feeling. If I wanted pure feeling, of course, I would have sprung for either pure fear in the Trofeo or even the Prestissimo trims, or pure buzz in the Leggera or the Piccante. This is the one you get because you want the tasting plate while sitting in a vineyard tucked away in the hills of Sardinia on a balmy Wednesday afternoon. Before the vineyard closes. You’d go fast but you won’t have to worry about suddenly losing grip and catapulting off the edge of any of the bare open cliffs because the Turismo gives you plenty of berth and warning, which means you can push it as hard as it can go, all the time. The same cannot be said for many cars with nearly 400bhp.

On the Hillclimb- Kai

I can’t tell if it’s slower or faster than it should be, or exactly as fast as I expected.

On the track

The Legatus Turismo occupies a lonely no-man’s land. Most cars in this bracket have active aero. The Turismo eschews this, opting for the clean lines of the, er, humpback. It’s a distinctive take on a classic but the result is something that is hardly a dynamo of downforce. Still, this barely ruffles the Turismo, and the same ease of driving found on the B road is again on display here: never shocking or surprising, but just doing exactly what it seems it should do. Perhaps, in the end, it’s telling that this shares almost identical performance with the larger, plusher Cavallera Kunai. While the mid-engined budget sports car may be a crowded, small market, MM have now gotten into the habit of delivering to expectations, as opposed to subverting them. After enough proving the world wrong, there comes a time when it’s better to prove them right.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Quite manageable for almost supercar fast
  • Funky niche street cred

Cons

  • Not particularly spicy (in this trim)
  • Half purist and half modern does not a purist car make

What Real Car is this like?

A mid-engined 370Z

How much would it sell for in the real world?

~45000

Verdict

Like its ideal buyer, caught between two credos, it yearns for the future yet stubbornly clings on to dear nostalgia.


Ok, I think now with Christmas upon us (and I have a very busy list at the hospital, and I have family visiting), it will be too unreasonable to make everybody wait for batches of 4 reviews. So for the remainder I will release them in ones and twos! There’s like 8-10 left.


#176

Solid mid pack performance for a sports conversion of a family fullsize. Not bad. Should have spent more time making it look nicer!

Made enjoy the Nimrod review more :wink:


#177

You were spot-on about that… As for that crazy Revera, I never expected it to be anything but a track-focused supercar condensed into a smaller, lighter package.


#178

Well you say it’s track focused but that depends on what kind of focus. It’s really mainly designed to corner better and go faster but it uses a lot of technology other cars simply didn’t bother with or stayed analogue. So in reality it’s actually ease-of-use focused whether on the track or otherwise.


#179

The car was created quite a few versions ago, and then hastily got the safety package. All I recall is playing around with the ARB so that it goes back into snap understeer at the limit without checking if the setup is adequate for the current kee version. So, my own fault for not paying more attention. I’ll take the “The concept and intentions are good, but the fine detail in setup is crap” and use it as a reminder to pay more attention.


#180

can I?


#181

Can you… what exactly? can you proofread your own questions so that it’s clear what you’re asking? Doesn’t seem so. It’s very hard to tell what you’re asking.


#182

can I make a car that costs less than 35K?