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Gryphon Gear: Rare Beasts of the Track


#141

All that quality slider abuse makes my Znopresk gland hurt so badly :stuck_out_tongue:

:wink: Intresting work however.


#142

You seem to have made a typo which makes my Skoda 50 times more powerful.


#143

[quote=“Kubboz”]You seem to have made a typo which makes my Skoda 50 times more powerful.

God damnit, first the hp:kg thing, now this xD good spot.

Yeah I know… The engine sliders are still all 15+
Except for the race headers. There’s actually very little in terms of performance boost up there so I think it’s more like 11 or 12 <_< as for the rest, body got dropped to 10, brakes to 11, entertainment and driving aids to 10 (because damn high tech on entertainment makes it heavy), and suspension to 6 or something. Lap times were only minimally affected, and yes, the tech sliders are still way up there, but as a result the cars have total costs of like 120000 and 135000, prod. Units 2000 and 2400 respectively, which is a lot less than my usual 200k+ and 4000 unlts.

Bottom line is, FR cars are hard to make super fast. I might next look to see just how cheap a hypercar can be, but I won’t expect it to be a GG product >_>


#144

I should commission to GG the tuning of the “everyone supercar” Znopresk Zeus :unamused:


#145

If you are serious about that, I would be honoured to. It’d be the obvious step to tuning something fast but affordable… a more realistic dream for the real world!


#146

I’ll send you the car (and probably I’ll rebuild it) once the new game update is available.
Deal? :wink:


#147

[quote=“NormanVauxhall”]I’ll send you the car (and probably I’ll rebuild it) once the new game update is available.
Deal? :wink:[/quote]

Ok! Any restrictions you wish to place on it to honour the Znopresk spirit, I’ll honour them.

Though I don’t have any time at the moment so it’ll probably be some weeks before I really get to it. But thanks!


#148

Hi guys. Been a while, but it’s always a while between me coming up with new stuff. Also, as I said elsewhere, I was planning to hold a BSLL2 soon, but due to too many work commitments, I’ll have to postpone it, probably until this time next year. Besides, as far as story writing goes, BSLL events are actually quite important to the direction of this company, and Cen and I need to catch up with the plot lol. Also, not writing BSLL2 allows me to actually finish the thing that I really need to be finishing, that Mille Cavalli Shootout from last June :blush:

But before that, I do have something for you. You can see where it came from, based on the conversation right above, in this thread. It occurred to me that our economic situation as a whole could stand to really hurt the bespoke car companies, particularly in Australia, and that Gryphon Gear, with its low profit, high overheads, low unit turnover, would be especially vulnerable when a volatile market implodes. I’m no economist, but I’ve attempted to explain why, and thus the rationale for this new partnership in a short story below. I tried to make it a bit entertaining, but I honestly don’t know how entertaining or dramatic you can make talking about economics :laughing:

Anyway, if stories are too much for you, just skip ahead to the car presentation at the end of the post.

A few notes/disclaimers:
[ul]]There are a few expletives in the story. I don’t censor stuff often./:m]
]Sadly, I had a story to go with the Mercury presentation but never posted it. It took place between the end of the first BSLL and this story. Some of the dynamics and the reactions to certain things would probably make more sense if I had posted it, but I’ll have to settle for posting it later./:m]
]The characters’ opinions are their own, and not necessarily that of the author. Except Strop. It’s fairly safe to say that Strop’s opinion as voiced in stories tends to match my own :stuck_out_tongue:/:m][/ul]


[size=200]T[/size]he gang knew something was wrong when they piled into the darkened board room for their Quarterly Meeting and the only Board Executive there was Dan. Little mousy Dan, in her powerdressing finest, smacking the end of her riding crop in her palm.

Immediately Strop’s hair prickled on end, pupils dilating, and he would have bolted from the room if not for that big lug Boden, who was in the laborious process of squeezing himself through the door. Pushing through the palpably heavy atmosphere, they sat down one by one: Strop, chief designer and concept artist; Hannah, founder and chief engineer; Boden, Hannah’s husband, head of mechanics and fabrication; Tesla, former “tool bitch” turned second-in-charge of mechanics; Hunter, overqualified materials specialist; Luca and Isla, twins and floor managers of Gryphon Gear’s two production lines; Noah, head of electrics, who was dragging along resident computer nerd Waxwell. Kai, their semi-tame test driver, shuffled in and diffidently plonked himself into the chair at the far end, swung his feet onto the table, and promptly fell asleep. Finally, the well-antlered manager behind the scenes, Assistant to Dan and Executive Liaison, dubbed the Deerector, slid into a seat on the opposite side of the table and glared at them balefully.

“I’ll get straight to the point,” Dan snapped, cutting through the confusion before anybody could ask her what was going on. “We’ve done well up to this point, but financially, Australia’s going to go to shit for a couple of years, and that’s going to hit us hard.”

Hannah, arms folded, was first to comment: “Dan, haven’t we been seeing this coming since we started this company? Why this now?”

“Because it’s worse than even we thought.” Dan tapped the board and it lit up, flooding the room with a flourescent glare and making everybody cringe. “This pie chart shows us where our money is coming from.” She jabbed the especially dominant red slice of the pie with her riding crop. “And suffice to say about two thirds of our sales come from China. More specifically the nouveau riche who have ridden China’s boom and suddenly have so much money they want to buy everything we have for sale. It works for us, because we think we make the fastest cars in the world, to them, we make mega status symbols, and that’s what these guys want.”

Not accustomed to the abstract concepts of economics, Hannah frowned. “What’s your point? That if the market goes arse up we’ll lose all of our customers?”

“Sort of, but worse.” Dan tapped the screen again. “That was just to point out that we as a company are dependent on the Chinese just as much as Australia as a whole is dependent on China. We’re their number one source of raw material exports because they’ve been industralising. That’s one reason why we didn’t feel the effects of the 2008 GFC nearly as bad as elsewhere around the world.”

“Bullshit,” Hannah bristled, almost rising out of her chair. “We felt it alright. Or at least I did, even if you didn’t. All our local car manufacturing and fruit companies wouldn’t just go under if we weren’t in trouble would they?”

At this, Dan’s demeanour almost softened, but she remained even. “You’re right, Hannah. I never forgot what you went through, or why we’re even here in the first place. But that’s the truth, and that’s why it’s worse than we think. Holden, Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi pulling out of Australia just goes to show how little we’ve done to create a viable export industry outside of cows and coal. The cows is, well, that’s a story for another time. As for the coal, let’s just say if China’s running out of steam, and most of the number crunchers think it is, then most of Western Australia is going to turn into a ghost state faster than you can say FIFO. Hell, it’s already happening.” Dan pointed to the graphs labelled Mining Export Profits and ChiNext Index, both of which featured a precipitous dip after a surging boom, like the power graph on an 90s VTEC engine. “Export dries up further. Consumer confidence will be shattered. Nobody will buy anything, and since our governments in their vote chasing wisdom didn’t invest in the future, our future, which is becoming our present, is going to be fucked, because our own economy finally goes into a long overdue recession, and this time, it’s going to be a deep one.”

With the exception of Kai, who was asleep, and Waxwell, who was playing with his phone, most of the rest sat in silence, too oppressed by the intensity of the talk and the Deerector’s censoring glare to say anything, so they left it to Hannah, who was currently rubbing her forehead. “I thought you said you were getting straight to the point Dan.”

“I am. But if I didn’t say all of this now, you’d drag it out of me after what I’m about to say next, only you wouldn’t be listening. I know you guys.”

Hannah and Dan glared at each other. “We’re not going to like what you have to say are we.”

“No.” Dan took a breath, drawing an imperceptibly raised eyebrow from Strop- a moment of nervousness? But he didn’t even have time to process that nor brace for impact before Dan made the pronouncement: “We can’t make any more million dollar cars.”

Somebody had thrown the windows open, the glacial gust of Melbourne’s rain laden wind blowing through the room and dropping the temperature a good ten degrees. Everybody stiffened as one, and even Kai woke up, jerking upright in his chair. “Did you just say no more Mephisto? No more Mercury?”

“ESPECIALLY no more Mephisto,” Dan emphasised. Kai threw up his hands in disgust. “This can’t be! Hannah, do something!”

Hannah needed no instruction, for she was already fuming. “The Board put you up to this didn’t they, that’s why they aren’t here now. You call them up right now so I can give them a piece of my mind and tell them where to shove that suggestion of theirs!”

Dan sighed and maintained her glare at Hannah. “It’s not a suggestion. And yelling at the Board won’t save our company. I for one agree with them.” Boden reflexively put his hands on his wife’s shoulders, but she shook them off, jumping up and knocking her chair over where it clanged on the floor, making everybody else jump.

“You say you haven’t forgotten what I went through, but have you forgotten what this company means!?” she shrieked. “This is an Australian company. We’re resilient! We’re determined! We’ll rise from the ashes of the past and be who we are and whoever doesn’t like it can get stuffed. And now you’re saying we can’t be who we are?”

“Hannah, could you keep being who you are if you ceased to exist?”

“That’s not the point!” Hannah would have jabbed her pointy nail directly into Dan’s nose if not for Boden’s restraining hands. “You can draw all your pretty graphs to paint doom and gloom all you like, but we’ve worked our asses off to come this far in just a couple of years. I know our bottom line is good. We turn a profit. We have plenty of contacts and sponsorships. And all our people are good people who came together under this vision and like hell I’ll let the Board change that or lay anybody off!”

“Which is precisely why it’s our responsibility to respond to the situation to alter our business model to one that ensures our survival,” Dan hissed back.

“Wait wait hold up for a minute,” Strop belatedly found both his voice and his cojones. “Do you mean to say that we’ll be going back to scrounging a living off making sportier versions of affordable shitboxes? Because I don’t think any of us would be cool with that.”

“No, if you would let me explain-”

But Hannah, too fired up to wait, jumped in first. “Do you realise just how much impact such a shift will have on all of our staff? How much we’d lose in operations, shuffling logistics? There’ll always be customers for our cars and we’ve already sold out our entire production run of Mercury and Daeva in preorders and you want us to cancel that?”

“Sorry for the interruption.” This time it was Luca and Isla, barely audible in the rising volume of the argument. “The production of Mercury and Daeva need to be stopped when?”

“I bet you I know where this is really going, this is a bait and switch isn’t it. You’re going to say actually no, there’s a way to save the production line and cut the racing team aren’t you. You can’t fool me, I know the Board’s been opposed to our racing from the get-go and-”

“If we stop producing cutting edge tech we might as well be dead in the water, because it’ll be a capitulation and all come snowballing down…” That was Hunter, for whom the penny had just dropped that his tenure in particular was in potential jeopardy.

“No Mephisto is simply unacceptable. Unacceptable! Where will the rock stars get their two thousand horsepower cars from then? That shop that does up Gallardos??” No prizes for guessing who that was.

By this point, most everybody had gotten to their feet and were inching closer to Dan while barraging her with their questions. As commanding a presence as she was, she was also the second shortest there, and against nine raging beasts (okay, more like one furious, one merely angry, two concerned, four confused, and one not even paying attention), her diminutive stature placed a hard limit on her effectiveness. She drew her arm back, about to resort to the crop, when a hand reached out and closed around the crop. Momentum broken, Dan looked up, as did everybody else, to find the Deerector had also risen, towering antlers nearly scraping the ceiling. Second in stature only to Boden, but with a multitude more pointy bits and a far more curmudgeonly demeanour, everybody collectively agreed that it was wiser to stop arguing.

“Everybody,” the Deerector spoke with barely more than a murmur. “I suggest you all resume your seats, so that Dan may finish her explanation, after which you may ask questions.”

Sufficiently muted, in Hannah’s case muted but fuming, everybody did as told, and Dan kept going as if nothing had happened. “Thank you. To address Hannah’s point about our present finances, our problem is that since the conglomeration of local parts manufacturers went arse up along with the big players since everybody started outsourcing parts, labour and finally product, even if we assemble everything locally and make many of the parts ourselves, we still import materials from everywhere. Our engines are the biggest culprit, since we subcontracted the one major firm in Germany who makes magnesium blocks, and that’s just one example. All that is probably going to get a hell of a lot pricier. And yes, we’re a surprisingly profitable outfit, but that’s only relative to bespoke small businesses like us. The real profit margin is tiny, and the money’s still going to dry up. And if it does, that’s when we lose people, but we can’t afford to lose anybody because we still need to keep up our capacity or we’ll definitely be finished. We just have to find the demand elsewhere.”

“And the racing team? What about the racing team?” Hannah quizzed.

“Since we’re well invested in WEC now, and that’s the healthiest FIA code at the moment, the racing team is valuable to us, and therefore safe.”

There was a collective sigh of relief, but simultaneously a ripple of disquiet. “I knew it,” Strop lamented. “The factory’s gonna be ricing up shitboxes.”

“Not so fast,” Dan pointed the crop at Strop, shutting him up instantly. “To answer Luca and Isla’s question, first, we will honour all those preorders, so we will continue production of Mercury and Daeva until all 25 Mercuries, 30 Aesmas, and 20 Indras are completed. After that, however, is the tricky part. Given the way you all, and I too, feel, we should find a way to deliver superior performance, except for a lot less.”

“Please explain,” Strop paused deliberately, “How this doesn’t mean we’re going to rice up shitboxes.”

“Yeah, and how they aren’t going to be cars I want to drive directly into a ditch?” Kai added.

“That last request sounds impossible, seeing as you appear to be fond of crashing all cars into a ditch, Mister Kristensen,” the Deerector snarked. Kai blew a raspberry at him.

“The last part is your job,” Dan deadpanned. “As for the main question, we’ll just have to redefine affordable supercar.”

“What, like the R8?” Strop stuck his tongue out. “Ewww.”

“And so, like, corporate,” Noah shuddered.

Dan rolled her eyes. “Well, I didn’t say build a fucking Audi now did I?”

“Dan, I don’t see how this solves our issue of having to change our assembly line structure or processes,” Hannah reiterated.

“Except if we don’t.” Dan slapped the board again, and the image changed. Up came a new logo, one that looked like a big fancy Ž. “Surely you have all heard of Žnoprešk Avto.”

A barely suppressed snigger echoed through the room, for it was a running joke that Žnoprešk and Gryphon Gear were completely opposite things. In her traumatised panic, Hannah missed the joke.

“You don’t mean to say the Board’s proposing a merger with a supercompany do you?”

Dan placed her hands on her hips. “Please stop jumping to conclusions, Hannah. I know they have nothing in common with us. But if you remember our little April Fools joke, the T- To- the Tømtæ.”

“Oh yes, the car I loved so much I did drive it into a ditch!” Kai grinned.

“Yes, that one,” Dan muttered. “Anyway, other manufacturers apparently didn’t get the memo so it ended up being run in a car comparison, where it actually held its own, which is pretty fucking amazing to say in the least. Žnoprešk Avto were there, and more recently we were contacted by their office to see if we were interested in a partnership.”

“Oh lordy, we really are ricing up the Zest,” Strop groaned.

“For Dog’s sake Strop would you shut up about ricing!” Dan slapped the board especially hard, making Strop startle and almost whinney. “Besides it’s not the Zest. It’s the Zeus, Znopresk’s one attempt at an affordable supercar. And they’re extremely good at making affordable without compromise, so I suggest you all start taking notes from them. But they’ve realised that their car may have oodles of power, but doesn’t quite get up to speed elsewhere, so they’ve come to us to take a look at how much we can wring out of it without wrecking its Žnoprešk-ness. In fact, we should be taking delivery of one right about,” Dan glanced at her watch, “Now.”

There was a stunned silence as that sunk in. Dan had everything planned all along, and they didn’t even suspect it until it was already sewn up. Then somebody started applauding, slowly. It was Waxwell, who was still looking at his phone.

“Well played, Dan. Well played. It’s such a shame you aren’t on the internets, you would make such an epic troll.”

Dan winked at Waxwell. “Who says I’m not?”


The Zeus pulled into the warehouse, engine burbling and cutting off. As it ticked, the door opened and out stepped Kai, tame racing driver, to brief the rest of the core team.

“So how’s it feel?” Strop asked. “Did you want to crash it?”

“Almost,” Kai stuck his tongue out. “But not quite. Acceleration is okay, for an NA. It’s a bit, how to say it, stodgy in the corners, just progressive understeer. Good for regular people who think they can drive fast but they can’t, you know? Safe. Predictable. Boring. But it has some potential.”

“Polymer panels. That’ll explain some of the low costs.” Tesla had the car on the rack already, muttering numbers as she paced the perimeter with measuring tape and calipers. Boden, similarly, had unscrewed the undertray and had his horns buried in the engine bay.

Strop nodded to himself. All said and done, the Zeus was a car that genuinely interested him. It had many potential titles, including best car for under 100K, the R8 beater, the European answer to the pony car… not to mention that for its simplicity in form, it had a certain elegance, a counterpoint to the glaring menace and outright Fuck You of his own designs for Gryphon Gear.

“What do you think?” On cue, Dan sauntered up, idly tapping her riding crop against her thigh. “Can you do something with this?”

“Of course!” Strop laughed, trying to hide his nervousness around the crop. “I mean, it’s got similar dimensions to the Mercury, so I figured we’d upgrade the aero with the package from the Mercury, chuck it in the wind tunnel-”

THWAP! This time Strop did whinney as Dan actually did smack him with the riding crop. “Bad horse! No wind tunnel! We’re trying to save money!”

“You’re cramping my style!” Strop protested, rubbing his still smarting flank.

“You heard the lady!” the Deerector called out, as he walked across the floor.

“Nnngh…” Strop attempted to recoup his shattered dignity. “Then I thought we’d beef up the tyres, turbo the fuck out of the engine…”

“Okay good.” Dan produced a clipboard and shoved it into Strop’s chest. “Before you go on, here’s the brief. It also lists all the things you can and can’t change, and the parameters you must satisfy. Note the maximum costs. And especially note that you can’t use carbon fiber.”

“Maaaaaate!” Hunter, who had been skulking just out of sight, suddenly appeared, looking like he had just been shot.

“Get over yourself Hunter, you still have work to do. Go figure out how to make active aero work with plastic without ripping it to shreds.” Dan raised her voice to address the group. “Everybody, I expect you to talk to Hannah and have a working plan by tonight, because I want the car done in a fortnight. Any longer and we might as well pack up shop and brace for the economic holocaust. Now get going.”

“Yes Ma’am!” the team replied in unison.


Two weeks later… and we have something special for you!

[size=200]Žnoprešk Zeus GG Tune[/size]

[size=85]Original body by NormanVauxhall. Very little in the way of styling was changed, except for the roof scoop and wings, which are imported directly from Mercury, the exhausts, and the GG Tune decal[/size]

The original Žnoprešk, as designed by NormanVauxhall, is an aluminium frame, plastic panel, ~600bhp supercar that cost a measly ~16500 money units to make. It also comes equipped with standard interior, entertainment and safety, and active sport suspension. With its combination of splitters and a rear lip, plus downforce undertray, It generates zero lift, and has nice predictable handling. And with a top speed of over 350km/h, and making its way around the full lap of Green Hell in 7:50, it does have some sporting credentials to add to its well roundedness, making it a fierce competitor for best sports car you could retail for under 100k. Frankly, I thought this was amazing, given that for most of the cars I make, the material costs alone come to more than that. But then again, I also tend to insist on cars that hustle around the 'ring in under 7 minutes.

For this challenge, I was to try and max out the performance of the car, but in order for Žnoprešk to consider it for production, Drivability had to remain at least 50, Comfort at least 30, and total costs could not exceed 22500 units. Given my interpretation of how cars test (which may change, I dunno how BROBOT will affect the simulation), a properly fast supercar would require a time of less than 7:07, which is to say in the least a challenge. In addition, I committed to leaving the chassis completely unchanged, and the materials of each component also unchanged.

In the end, as Strop declared, the total changes were as follows:
[ul]]Slight increase in fixture quality/:m]
]Addition of two wings, with active aero/:m]
]Very slightly boring and stroking out the block (by 0.5 and 1.2mm respectively) to attain a total displacement of 5999cc, without affecting reliability/:m]
]Going TUBRO MOTHERFUCKER on the engine (well, not really, turbo quality is 3+ and boost is barely 1 bar), and obviously retuning the engine to support that. Still, 1023hp on 95RON!/:m]
]Upgrading air filter and throttle body, upping the redline by 200rpm, and pretty much nothing else/:m]
]Retaining the same transmission, only replacing the diff with a better one with electric LSD/:m]
]Changing the size of the tyres, and upgrading to Pirelli P Zero Corsas (+8 quality semi slicks yields the same price, as total cost of tyres was 2468, which is about what you’d pay for 2 255s and 2 345s)/:m]
]Optimising brake balance/:m]
]Upgrading quality of aero to +13 (Mercury package adapted and fitted)/:m]
]Stripping some of the entertainment out and switching to GG default for safety (-15 Advanced). Adding launch control, because the engine is now turbo and puts out >1000hp/:m]
]Switching to GG default suspension (no active sports! Too heavy! Progressive springs, monotube dampers and active sway bars)/:m][/ul]
Everything else was kept exactly the same, meaning that Žnoprešk can easily continue to build this car mostly themselves, provided we fit the aero and interior. My main point of concern is that this is now a properly fast supercar, but it still has standard seats to save costs. Proper sports seats are bloody expensive however, and may need to be an optional extra. If not, hopefully the extra sturdy harness holds you in your seat :stuck_out_tongue:

That aside, the overall project was a great success, with all parameters on the brief being met, plus my own performance goal:

[size=85]A >1000bhp TURBO megacar with a drivability of 50!? Like uwotm8.[/size]

We (okay, I) was really excited to undertake this project, as well as achieve this result, and it may very well provide some hope for our embattled industry, should Žnoprešk wish to take this prototype all the way to production. NormanVauxhall did also mention in his brief that an optional special CF limited version might be on the cards, and I hope that this will be the case, for with the change in materials plus our own manufacturer supplied tyres, I am confident that we could produce a 7 minute car by any measurement whatsoever, unequivocally a hypercar for the people. The main drawback would be that such a car does double both in production and maintenance costs, so it would definitely be a rarity.

I eagerly await NormanVauxhall’s response!


#149

With the fairly severe (for me) balance changes coming up in the next release, plus the next round of developments, namely, the addition of V12, among other things, it’s now clear that all the cars in GG’s supposed lineup are going to be undergoing complete revisions until the point that the game reaches its final form. This means all GG models and all their associated stories: Nightfury, Mephisto, Mercury, Daeva, plus the other prototypes i.e. Sleipnir, and a few that haven’t been released yet, are going to be rebuilt from scratch in several months anyway. This is particularly necessary for me because I make extremely pointy end cars, and what seems pretty minor in most places is actually pretty extreme at the pointy end. In this case, everything has become considerably more difficult and if I build the way I have in the past, I get hit with huge drivability penalties which severely compromise track performance. In addition, I can no longer feasibly abuse tech sliders with 15+ and pretend that my car will be realistically sold (well, I could, but given that in the new version, Hypercar-like performance is attainable from a supposed sale price of about 240000 money units), I’ll have to be mindful of what I do. That’ll become even more obvious when engineering costs are implemented…

This being said, I’m still here to tease something that’s been in the works for a while: following on from the success of the Znopresk-GG partnership, comes a similar, yet rather different project from Rennen-GG. The car was spotted being put through its paces on the quieter roads around GG’s HQ North of Melbourne…

[size=85]As always, thanks Google Earth for your fancy mapping technology[/size]

Stay tuned for a behind the scenes excerpt and breakdown!


#150

Nice little teaser.


#151

The V12s and balance changes are here! The good news is that BROBOT in de-randomised form is also here, which means much more realistic times on all the tracks, which is like my Christmas come early as far as Automation is concerned (I can’t thank Der Bayer enough for the work he has done on that, plus all the people who helped him organise and run the various challenges that refined the process).

As I mentioned previously, this does mean a big shakeup of the GG lineup, plus a revamped history to more realistically reflect the development cycle of even a manic company like GG. I’ll be taking this opportunity to highlight how the cars already here will change, which ones can be rebuilt already, and which ones will need to wait for further game development. I’ll also provide a bit of information on what will come in the future.

In a non-exhaustive, bare-bones chronology (prone to revision with ongoing changes to the spreadsheet calendar which Cen and I are developing):

Note that while some real-life companies and potentially real-life people will be referenced in this fiction, and this universe makes reference to real-life occurrences, unless otherwise specifically stated, fictional characters and companies do not in any way shape or form purport to have any likeness or event relating to these real companies or people

#2011- Wretched Beginnings

  • A senior engineer (Hannah) from a major local Australian manufacturer (Holden) is made redundant after ongoing disputes with management. She impulsively decides to open a tuner shop with the promise to make all things wild. Her husband (Boden), resigns from his engineering role at a prominent Italian (German-owned) supercar manufacturer and flies across the world to support her. Mutual friend, burnt-out corporate lawyer and property magnate (Dan) provides the initial capital by sourcing them a garage. By the end of that year, a small group of about a half dozen have a cozy operation restoring and retuning cars (mainly GM/Holdens)… but it is a far cry from their original dreams of ‘all things wild’.

#2012- Enter Chaos

  • A disgruntled doctor (Strop), suspended from his posting in a non-patient-care related work incident, joins the group as a graphic designer. With virtually zero engineering background and knowledge, he immediately starts stirring the pot with wildly outlandish ideas and constant homages to the most superlative of performance vehicles. While he butts heads with Hannah, his ideas resonate, Dan encourages them to take up a big gamble, pursue their dreams and try to make an Australian supercar manufacturer that will actually survive, and commits the majority of her property portfolio as collateral. Gryphon Gear proper is born.
  • Nightfury, their first car, is born from the rebuilt body of an old rat racer, an expensive small volume order from a German engine manufacturer, and a lot of stolen intellectual property. It is disturbingly fast and makes waves on social media. It also causes an incident that leads to Strop impulsively hiring a troubled rookie racing driver (Kai) who suffered a clash of personalities in his first major professional racing gig and found himself suddenly jobless and stranded. Much to everybody’s confusion and horror, racing division Team Ninja Horse is proposed and formed before the company is ready.
  • Many shenanigans follow. Some companies agree to sponsor TNH and some other outfits, intrigued by the Nightfury’s growing performance credentials, start looking to GG for sponsorship. But as the company struggles to garner interest in their street-legal conversion of the Nightfury prototype, this is barely enough to keep them from imploding in a puddle of red ink. It doesn’t help when Kai spectacularly crashes Nightfury at a local meet and ends up, after a very tense in-company standoff, ‘on probation’.
    #2013- Do or Die
  • After the initial success of Nightfury, Strop naturally wanted to ‘slap a turbo on it’ to see what it could really do, and used its rebuilding as an excuse to do exactly that. With revamped (borrowed from a decommissioned F1 car) aero, it subsequently broke a number of time trial records. This was part of a plan for GG to move towards its trademark specialty: overboosted turbos, as epitomised by none other than-
  • Mephisto. That firebreathing >400km/h somehow-road-legal but never actually useable as a daily driver icon, and the anthem of GG’s brute force approach to everything. Priced like a hypercar except even more potent, this was GG’s first commercially successful car, coveted by the obscenely rich with a taste for exotica, numbed to everything except the constant threat of death. But being built mostly by hand, the company could only support a staff base enough to build 25 units a year, as part of their bid to be recognised as an OEM for automobiles to further their racing ambitions.
  • The pressure was on for the race team (particularly its driver), and happily they delivered. TNH teamed up with Smolensk, DQE (soon to become AMW) and Strkyer to form a supergroup, developing a set of rally cars that took the Bavarian Rally by storm. Teaming up with sportscar manufacturer Dragotec, they contributed to a clean sweep of their respective classes at a 24h Le Mans event. From their own individual efforts, they managed second place overall in an international touring car series. The clientele of their tuning house took a turn for the upmarket, and with a decently improved inflow of cash and capital, things were looking much healthier for GG’s bottom line, though their situation was still delicate and kept in the balance somewhat by Dan’s collateral… and the investments of several of her connections and partners who made up the Board of Executives.
    #2014- Halcyon Days
  • As the automotive manufacturing industry sputters and gasps its last in Australia, GG continues its plans for world domination expansion, looking to consolidate its position as a valuable community hub, both internationally as a racing shop and outfit, and locally, as an employer increasingly surrounded by town development. As such there were no new cars released, and much of the main company’s efforts focused on building and updating their facilities. A separate warehouse was built for the purpose of production, the operations headed by Japanese auto-nerds (and coincidental twins) Luca and Isla.
  • In the meantime, Strop was transitioning from impromptu Team Principal of TNH (he was never really team principal material anyway, it was mainly because it was his idea and nobody else wanted to do it) to integrating the small but growing network of engineering and design expertise for their next major development projects: conquering hypercars on every given drivetrain and format: FR, MR, M-AWD and possibly even FF if they could manage it. This involved a lot of liaising with a couple of the more, er, interesting characters of the core group of GG, including the IT guru, shady hacktivist and inexplicable fan of Ponies (Waxwell - a.k.a the guy who did all of their illegal industrial espionage), the master electrician, a surly, ultra hipster snob (Noah), and the materials expert, an over-qualified, esoteric lives-in-the-basement neurotic terrified of the fact he has three degrees in the same thing and is still half a half-assed idea away from relying on Centrelink benefits (Hunter)
  • The first fruit of these labours is the prototypical and controversially styled Sleipnir (no presentation available), the MR hypercar all about delivering tight track performance.
  • Meanwhile, Kai finds his stride racing in GT and Touring Cars, in the Japanese Super GT and as a reserve driver to Australia’s own V8 Supercars (incidentally his first job from which he was unceremoniously dumped in 2011)/*:m]
    *]Also, GG attempt to host a gumball rally for the lulz. Rumour has it that it turned into something much bigger and badder than that. Also, Kai’s former teammate, perennial playboy and layabout dork Sam Neil, invited himself along and crashed their very expensive MR prototype Sleipnir, but somehow manages to get himself hired to be the TNH race team consultant the following year (after discovering that he had, in fact, fractured his spine while wrecking Sleipnir, and thus permanently lost his seat in V8 Supercars). This triggers flares of several cases of PTSD due to the disturbing parallels to 2012.

2015- Necessity is the Mother of All Evolution

  • The year started with so much promise (well actually it was kind of like a phoenix, rising from the ashes of yesteryear). Out of the PR disaster that was GG’s rumoured afiiliation with ‘terrorist organisations’ (an unpleasant side-effect of the BSLL becoming the Most Wanted League), other riskier, like-minded companies approached and replaced the previous companies as sponsors and benefactors.
  • Giddy on rarefied fortunes, GG went on to debut a car they had been working on triple-time, the long-awaited substance to Strop’s infamous boast in 2013 that he would beat Hennessey to not just the 300mph mile, but also the 500km/h mark while not going bankrupt. The version of Mercury, that made waves at Geneva was a mule, but also the first ever car that boasted not just a 1 hp:kg ratio, but DOUBLE that, and somehow still made it around corners. But that was the incomplete version with a fixed wing. The production version of Mercury was a car on the level of superlative exclusivity, like a McLaren F1 GTR, Lamborghini Veneno, Koeniggsegg CCX-R Trevita or Agera One:1. More than that, it was seen by many as the ultimate petrol hypercar ever, bridging both the worlds of ludicrous speed and track performance. It was immediately met with clamouring to ban it from every public road, to be barred from racing in any ratified codes, and naturally, pre-orders flooded in to the point the pre-orders were attempting to outbid each other for the bare two dozen to be built.
  • On top of this, in a shock-and-awe tactic of sheer bravado, the design team worked quadruple time to announce yet another prospective lineup, this time, the FR hypercar, Daeva. After this, Strop was forced to go on a holiday as he had become extremely difficult to work with.
  • But then reality set in. The costs and demands on the Mephisto Maintenance and Repair unit skyrocketed out of proportion. Australia’s financial outlook as a whole crashed and burned into a pile of smouldering ashes atop the ruins of the mismanaged mining boom. Suddenly, high risk automotive investments weren’t sexy anymore. And with the already unavoidable and imminent doom of Australia’s auto manufacturing sector closer than ever, GG had to urgently look for ways to stabilise their assets and secure their output, or, more crucially, become more cost effective. This would require frantic soul-searching over how GG could stay true to their ideal of ultimate performance while delivering more for less instead of more for… more. The most bitter pill to swallow was the reality that they could no longer afford to occupy the ivory tower of impossible cars and expect to remain alive until they had more clearly established themselves.
  • Thanks largely to the entrepreneurial work of Dan, a multi-stage plan was enacted. Salvation came in the form of the unexpected partnership with European car giant Znopresk, famous mainly for its efficient, cost-effective eco-boxes and family cars, but looking to impress with their homegrown supercar on a budget, the Zeus. In a flurry of frantic redevelopment, a Zeus GG Tune was well-received and went on to make not only production, but GG was commissioned also to make a limited edition, with an engine supplied from Znopresk subsidiary, BMMA, to run in a Znopresk-supported factory team in the upcoming AMWEC. The payout from the sales of the Zeus alone went on to cover the engineering costs for 2016 and then some, a company-saving achievement given their other measures taken to limit tooling costs as a result of the Zeus phase.
  • Following this, GG also entered a limited run partnership to tune an edgier supercar, the Rennen Kusanagi (pictured in the teaser above. With carbon fiber panels and a M-AWD layout compared to Znopresk’s polymer and MR, this car would introduce a new kind of philosophy and performance focus to GG, adding a layer of subtlety and challenging them to find the maximum out of tighter restrictions. The result was a car that would excel on the tight and technical, a car more enjoyable to drive on public roads, heralding the possibility for GG to develop cars that were more accessible, while surpassing the performance of even a hypercar on tight, technical tracks.
  • As gruelling as the development work was, so too were the race commitments, with Kai signed up for multiple exhibition appearances as well as a full season seat in WEC, in the GTPro class, on top of his already doubled testing schedule. This year was particularly unkind to him, and went largely unnoticed for most of the year due to his unique position of reporting to multiple departments. This, plus a general sense of fatigue among the staff, eventuated in a company wide review of workplace practices and workflow at the conclusion of the year.
    #2016- What Next?
  • Now that TNH will be joining Znopresk for the forseeable future (though details on who reports to whom etc. are still to be clarified), they have the best opportunity yet to develop their skills as a racing team and work with extensive factory support. Their main involvement will be, as mentioned, racing the Zeus in GT/WEC type races (for the purposes of this fiction, I’ve therefore prospectively earmarked Sillyworld’s AMWEC as taking place across a whole season in 2016 as it seemed more realistic from a world-consistency perspective). This will also mean much less in the way of single and reserve driver type commitments, considerably freeing up Kai’s calendar but with prospects of greater earnings and reputation in higher stakes challenges.
  • Mephisto’s production run has, for now, drawn to a close, and that production line has switched predominantly to honouring the pre-orders of Mercury./*:m]
  • Rumour has it that major supplements and energy drink company, Scarlet Ox (lol, geddit?) approached GG last year with a view to organising an official exhibition gumball rally in 2015, but the plans were scuppered in the face of increasing financial instability. But in 2016, might we see… a return of the BSLL???
  • The development unit must make a decision- they have two prospects, with the potential for a rich legacy, but it is difficult to decide which one to choose… (more on this below)

#How Will the Cars Change?

##Nightfury

  • Remains an F-AWD NA
  • Will still have fixed aero at high downforce configuration
  • But instead gets a Lamborghini inspired but absolutely giant V12

##Mephisto

  • Will also remain a F-AWD forced induction
  • But will, when the game engine allows, have an ultra-elongated engine bay in which I hope to fit a V16
  • Will still require a top speed of at least 400km/h, if not 438km/h
  • And will still need to lap Green Hell in under 7 minutes
  • Will probably still come with semi-slicks approximating the performance of Trofeo Rs, due to POWAAAAAAA

##Mercury

  • Will remain MR
  • Depending on how the engine bay pans out, should have either a multi-turbo V10 or a V12 (if the V12 block from Nightfury fits)
  • Will still have a goal top speed of 500km/h
  • Though will also have a hard limit on fuel economy capped at about 26l/100km
  • Will also need to lap Green Hell in under 7 minutes

##Daeva

  • It is uncertain whether this car will actually make production
  • If so, these cars are likely to ship with sports compound tyres (again, P-Zero sizes)
  • These will be the first GG cars to actually feature any kind of radio
  • The Aesma version will keep its i6 turbo, but hopefully the turbo will feature variable geometry
  • The Indra version will have block from the Mercury, except naturally aspirated
  • This will still aim to be the first FR hypercar that laps Green Hell in <7 minutes

###So what were the possible 2016 cars?

##Orphiel


  • Mephisto’s little cousin (the “redeeming” side of Mephisto)
  • F-AWD, every bit the spiritual successor
  • May get a bi-turbo V8, but may need something with more cylinders than that. Maybe a detuned version of the V10 from Mercury
  • Will have a 1:1 power to weight ratio
  • Will have a radio (but pretty basic)
  • Actually runs sports tyres (again, P-Zero level) in similar dimensions (i.e. max width 345 rears)
  • Still needs to get around Green Hell in under 7 minutes, and generally it does not need to be said that it will still be batshit fast
  • But needs better fuel economy than the Mephisto, however
  • Will have an Automation MRSP of about 250000

##Salamander


Mule model only, design as yet incomplete

  • GG’s first M-AWD car, cunningly adapted from work done on the Kusanagi
  • Many firsts for GG, this is also the first engine not to be sourced from a certain magnesium specialist, as it’s AlSi. In fact, it’s the Australian produced Holden 3.6L block, with DOHC 4 valve VVL/VVT technology, except reforged, blueprinted, port and polish, rebalanced etc. to GG standards, to pay homage to the Australian manufacturing last hurrah (and they’re honestly not bad improvements, but unfortunately too little, far too late). This v6, however, has some Borgwarner-sized turbos strapped to it, and will develop 800bhp while maintaining excellent reliability (like, 77)
  • This will therefore be the first GG car to not have >1000hp or a hp:kg ratio (thus making it ineligible for BSLL style contests)
  • The engine will be mounted transversely, which lowers engineering and service costs
  • As usual for GG’s more accessible rides, P-Zeros
  • Has SIX SPEAKER radio, handsfree connectivity and standard trimmings :astonished:
  • 100 in 2.4s onto a top speed of >350km/h. Think Aventador SV minus the Lambo obesity
  • Still gets around Green Hell in under 7 minutes (and Airfield in 1:08!!!)
  • Has a mixed fuel economy of 11.6L/100km (i.e. better than the hybrid hypercars, and less than half the fuel an Aventador SV consumes, and the best a GG car has ever done by a very long margin!!!)
  • Considerably cheaper at MRSP 165000 Automation units, but also generally weaker as a hypercar due to lower prestige (except still CF because like hell does GG spend all that time setting up a premium CF pipeline then stop using it, geez)

So, what do you think? If you had to choose: Orphiel, or Salamander? Is Orphiel still too old-school and more of the same, or is Salamander… not GG enough?


#152

:open_mouth: Sweet mother of Henry Ford, what is this thingus on the back of Orphiel, my windowshill or what? My vote is on Salamander (unless you’ll change this panelling thingus on Orphiel)


#153

my vote in on the Salamander, but it still needs headlights. Of course, if you need help with those, PM me :wink:


#154

@JasonPoland: what is it about the rear that you dislike in particular?

@Tom: I may do this, when I even start thinking about the headlights! (And tail lights). I’ve put it on the backburner for the time being since it’s a car for next year and there are other things going on currently.


#155

I think someone is being inspired by your Mephisto in real life… jalopnik.com/the-devel-sixteens- … 9588903691


#156

looooool oh god yes. While the Jalopniks seem to hate on it quite a lot, and I do agree that it’s completely daft, I really want to find out what the heck that thing would be able to do when it comes out.


#157

I came here for the company story.
I wasn’t disappointed
I want another Barely Street Legal League to take place


#158

I can tell you now that I tentatively plan for another BSLL to take place in the latter half of 2016. The reasons for this are two-fold:

  1. Almost all the core content in game with finalised balance changes should have taken place by this point, though the exact timing of a stable build remains to be seen

  2. I have some major hurdle exams to sit, first in February, then in July/August if I pass the ones in Feb. My career advancement cannot continue until I pass these exams, they’re expensive, and failing drastically reduces my chances of staying employed, so I really need to pass!!! First BSLL took 3 months and several all-nighters, I obviously can’t do that and study at the same time.


#159

Personally, I like the Orphiel a lot more. But… I’ve never really been a big fan of mid-engine cars to start with. To me, they’re oddly-proportioned ugly things.

Not really a fan of the double-stack wing on the Orphiel, though. One or the other would be good, but not both.

As for the BSLL, well, I look forward to it. It may be a way off, but I can wait for it. The way I see it, what little of the first BSLL leaked into public knowledge was enough to start my character’s descent into crazy cars, and drastic actions to be able to drive them, so participation in BSLL 2 is something he wouldn’t miss, not for all the precious metal in the world. As for me, well, it caused me to start pushing performance limits, seeing what I could do, and made me develop several prototypes, refine my ability to tune without quality slider abuse (too much, at least), and design some fast cars, instead of mundane and boring sedans.

Though I do admit, I admire the well defined story so far. Every car has a story behind it, and even being out of date by a few versions, they still pack a lot of inspiration for insanity.


#160

Been a while since I updated this thread, as usual. Due to the change in focus of the development process, I’ve hit a bit of a wall when it comes to the design and rebuilding of my cars, as mentioned earlier. I’ve also had a massive slump in motivation in the last few months due to real life stuff and work etc.

On the plus side I have a few things coming up: an announcement, a story, and some new designs. Before that, I’ll explain what GG is going to be up to in 2016:

[ul]]GG has hit its stride in the professional racing scene, partnering with giants Znopresk with great success in the touring car/endurance scene. The money, sponsorships and positive publicity are all very welcome./:m]
]We’ll also be bolstering our company profile, staff roster and development program quite significantly thanks to a surprise merger. More on the details in a separate post, and more on why this is so significant later on in this post./:m]
]At the end of last year and the start of this year, the seeds were sown for the GG design to be taken in new directions, namely, building cars for the real world, for real world markets. Accessibility was a word previously scorned by GG, but the reality of their clientele and the costs incurred by building the most superlative of machines, as well as the reliability issues and maintenance almost killed the company. At the same time, it is very important that GG doesn’t abandon its vision, which is superior performance by all means./:m]
]Therefore with the expansion of the company plus our heightened profile at higher tiers of motorsport competition, we plan to use our newly increased leverage to further rebuild a manufacturing network and push research in environmentally friendly and emissions reducing technologies, a plan that was heralded by our 2020 design concept, Kelpie/:m][/ul]

Kelpie’s an important milestone of sorts. It’s our way of declaring that hypercar performance from an ICE is entirely possible on 40mpg and better. It means that we have to make some changes to our focus in the way we engineer things, as well as encourage larger development programs to push in this direction. Our main contribution to improving mileage is in furthering research on mass production of magnesium blocks, as well as continuing to collate ongoing research into automotive aerodynamics and manifest them in our evolving models.

If Kelpie is the milestone, we have a number of steps to get there first. It’s thus been decided that Salamander will be the first step along this path, as something more liveable, cheaper, more reliable, less thirsty, but delivering hypercar performance. Of course, we borrowed the engineering of the powerplant from Holden/GM, as we aren’t accustomed to working with 4 valve systems, but we’ll be working from there. And with 800hp powering 1234kg and only achieving 20mpg, we do have a ways to go yet. As to how Salamander is received, we have a couple of reviewers testing the car as I write this, and I guess we shall find out what they say soon. Nonetheless, the die is cast and our path set, so we’ll be looking mainly to continue to improve, provided we capture enough interest to see the 400 or so examples we plan to build. A proper reveal will follow post the release of the first review.

After this, our major hopes rest on ongoing racing and sales success plus relative reduced costs of maintenance from the newer models (out of the 80 or so Mephistos and 25 Mercuries we’ve sold since 2013, a quarter of them have been totalled beyond repair and a third of them have required extensive rebuilding). Should we have enough cash flow for opening up production further, we plan to increase the range and diversity of the lines that we build. In 2012, we were building prototypes and tuning individual cars. In 2013, we were able to open a single pilot, low volume production line. This was improved upon in 2014 and in 2015 we split the one factory into two lines. For 2016 and beyond, we plan to run three lines after a small second factory is built. Supposing this starts well, we may even be able to refurbish our original main office in 2017-2018. But that’s slightly speculation at the moment.

How is this going to work? As you now see, the cars GG builds are all hypercars, but even within this class of car there are tiers of “GG-ness”:

[ul]]Nightfury, Mephisto and Mercury are all gas-guzzling, tarmac incinerating, eardrum shattering over-powered, testosterone-fuelled God tier “fuck you” machines designed to break the limits of human driving and test the limits of speed. They often utilised the latest and greatest in experimental racing technology and were also accessible only to people who did not know the word ‘budget’./:m]
]The revealed but not yet released to public Daeva was designed to a budget, to slay the memory of the Lexus LFA by being a 1000+ bhp FR and yet somehow also being drivable. The technologies it employed were considerable in order to achieve its aims, but not quite as maximal as the first tier, for the purpose of replication of parts. One might even call this tier “the real world hypercar” tier, as it was designed to compete against the hypercar trio and the models from other companies that would challenge them. Had Sleipnir been built past prototype phase, it would likely have become the template for cars of this tier, but that was delayed by the prototype getting trashed when the BSLL got out of hand. At any rate, better late than never, this tier is being reestablished./:m]
]The new tier of cars is the tier that’s working towards achieving the vision of Kelpie: the eco-hypercar. Think of these cars as being almost as habitable as your daily eco-car runabout in terms of comfort and fuel consumption, not to mention vastly superior emissions ratings, but will also somehow smoke the hell out of any car up to and including a hypercar like the Aventador SV. Salamander is the start of this tier, though hardly its best representative./:m]
]As our prototype garages are in good order, we’ll also still have plenty of fun one-off “what the hell were you smoking” builds, including, for example, a real FWD hyper hatch./:m][/ul]

The current question I’m grappling with is a new design study. Keeping in the theme of “reptilian myths and sea monsters”, somewhere in between Salamander and Kelpie comes Ouroboros:




As you can see, I’ve used vmo’s new Huracan side intake in weird and unexpected places, and combined other fixtures (corvette6317’s circular window, necron’s Megane lip) also in somewhat unexpected ways. I’m not sure the design is coherent (I’m quite sure it is not, actually), so things will probably change.

My current question: should I make this a tier eco-hypercar, or a tier regular GG-style hypercar? (GG style means 1hp:kg, of course). I’ve already decided that M-AWD isn’t really worth it when it comes to combining performance and economy, plus the added weight, so it’ll be MR. It’s just a matter of deciding whether to use a 690hp powerplant in a 1130kg car with a fuel economy of 6.8L/100km, or whether to use a 1220hp powerplant in a 1220kg car with a fuel economy of 10.3L/100km. We’re talking times of 6:59 versus 6:45 around Nordschleife, on sports tyres, as it is.