Yeah yeah I know the new engine version is going to come to stable soon and that’s going to mess everything up. But that doesn’t mean I can’t play around with an idea and let you all have some fun while you’re at it.
What’s this a pilot for?
I want to run a challenge where three different people are looking for a fun car to own for 5 years. One is young and broke and needs to use it as a daily (like a good half dozen CSR characters), one is established enough to want a track toy before getting saddled with kids (me, basically), and one is a retiring empty-nester who wants to relive her glory days as the speed queen of the mountain pass before her knee gives out (based on a real granny who ran a lavender farm I once met while travelling through the country). But calculating 5 year ownership costs is complicated and I need samples and willing volunteers who can abuse the game metrics so I know what to look out for.
What do I want?
Make me a light sports/track car from between 1980 and 2000. I mean something that’s pretty cheap and light and seats 2-4 or 5 people but you can really throw it around and have fun with it. What I have in mind are cars that have a power to weight ratio of anywhere between 150-300 bhp: metric ton. Most of you probably have some stupid Initial D Eurobeat blasting in your head right now and you wouldn’t be wrong.
What’s the budget?
Aim for under 10k at 0% markup. Absolutely do not go over 12 or it will be insta ed. I’m not going to require cheaper for older cars because of something something depreciation can’t be bothered to actually nut out the real value.
Any other restrictions?
Yes. But also plenty of freedoms.
STABLE RELEASE ONLY. I HAVE NOT YET RUN THE OPEN BETA AND DON’T PLAN TO DO SO.
DON’T USE THE MEME BODIES. YOU KNOW WHICH ONES I MEAN. I’LL BIN YOU AND YOU’LL GET MAD AND I WON’T CHANGE MY MIND
- Please don’t use light-truck monocoque if available, it’d make no sense
- Unleaded fuel, up to 95RON maximum
- No race filters please, this is supposed to be stock production
- Maximum engine noise 50, this is a road legal car and the cops will give you the stinkeye
- You may use however many lips and spoilers as you like but please use at most one wing. There’s a very specific reason for this I will explain later
- Please be somewhat sensible with fuel consumption. 80s sports cars were often pretty thirsty, so I’ll allow up to 14L/100km but I’ll be making context-dependent comments on that and it will heavily affect my overall impression of the car which will affect judging. For example if you give me a 2000 car that does 14L/100km it’s going to do very poorly against one that does 9, as well as a 1990 car that does 11, and a 1980 car that does 14.
- The transmission can be whatever you like but don’t be afraid to use a manual, I can handle a gearknob rather well ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
- You may limit the top speed of the car as this will be imposed on the exported car, but if you set it below 180km/h it is definitely going to affect my driving enjoyment.
- No semi slicks or chunky offroad tyres. I won’t restrict tyre quality otherwise but be aware that at this budget positive tech points are on tyres actually a poor investment
- Safety minimum is whatever the minimum for Fruinia is at the time of creation
- Seats 2-5 inclusive. I fully expect most will opt for 2 seats but the hot hatch and the 2+2 saloon segment is very viable here and I’ve got a few pilot cars of my own that do this so you can if you like
- Minimum comfort is above 0. 0.1 is fine. 0 is not.
What am I going to do with these?
A few things.
- Assess using the Automation metric just how good a “light sports/ budget track/ budget fun” car this will be. Make a brief written comment about the cohesiveness and cost effectiveness of the choices made and the apparent intent
- If it passes muster, drive it in Beam. Some of you don’t have Beam or can’t run it well enough to get a good idea of how an Automation car translates to Beam. I appreciate that. This is one reason why I’m running a pilot, and also the main reason why I’m using low budget cars. I’ll explain the Beam stage later
- I will hopefully make a more detailed video review of my 3 or 5 favourite cars. It’ll be based on a subjective composite impression of both 1 and 2. Be warned, I’m notoriously slow at releasing reviews because I pour over them endlessly and then get caught up in real life, so it’ll probably be like, May or something by the time I release this bit.
What are the caveats with exporting cars from Automation to Beam?
- Weight: Beam cars come loaded with drivers and passengers so will be heavier than stated in Automation
- Turbo: the numbers are nearly right now. Don’t worry, my game runs at 60fps, even in Italy on high quality so the turbo framerate issue doesn’t affect me.
- Aero: Beam only recognises wings as downforce generating objects. It completely ignores lips and spoilers. It also calculates the incident angle of certain planes, particularly rear windows, so most cars in Beam tend to generate lift at the rear. This will particularly adversely affect RWD cars and mid-engined cars. To counter this I suggest placing a reasonably sized wing on the boot and setting the rear angle to between 30-50. Less than 15 and the pitch with throttle and gear changes may actually cause the rear to lift more which, at speeds of 180km/h plus, can actually destabilise the car. Furthermore, most cars (except total bricks like, say, a Lada or a breadvan) will generate a little downforce on the front in Beam, so be mindful of that.
- Brakes: ABS doesn’t work all that well in Beam, but it takes some wizardry to balance the brakes so that touching them doesn’t lock the wheels up instantly yet also not overheating before I even finish one lap of Trial Mountain. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. Just… be mindful of balancing both. And I won’t mind if you crank the Brake Ventilation up to 100.
If this is all so subjective then how is this going to be fairly judged?
- Beyond the basic impressions of average outputs and fuel consumption for the era I’m not going to pay too much attention to historical accuracy, so don’t worry about things like the 2008 GFC, or whether making a Group B homologation model after the mid-80s is realistic. My “Automation scrutineering” is based purely on how much your choices compromise each other e.g. having awful suspension and trying to cheese the comfort stat by using luxury seats. Or using a turbo so small that it doesn’t provide any top end boost. Or using a geared diff (which is expensive!) when it doesn’t have enough dynamic performance to warrant one etc. etc.
- I’m not going to judge based on styling though if something looks really amazing I’m probably going to like it a bit more (haha I’m superficial don’t judge me)
- The driving in Beam part needs its own section, which I’ll write presently.
What will I do in Beam?
Each car I decide to drive will undergo:
- A flying hotlap around Hirochi: Short
- A ten lap, untimed stint of Trial Mountain to assess “the track feel”
- A 5 lap stint of the main Automation Test Track for the same, except on a much higher speed track with heavier braking (will also report on the Great Engineer Terrible Driver ratio, which is the lap time from a standing start compared to the reported time in Automation itself)
- A single downhill run on Mount Glorious to assess “the touge b a l a n c e men”
- A single, competitively timed uphill run in Italy: Hillclimb 2
Of course, if the car is simply too awful to drive, or is otherwise broken, for example the brakes turn into a pile of molten slag, I reserve the right to terminate a test for my own sanity at which point the car goes in the .
To dispense with any false modesty, I am very confident in my driving sim skills. I’ll definitely wring out the most your cars can give, and I won’t blame the car for errors I make (like grinding gears or crashing due to excessive corner speeds). Note that I will be turning ESC/TCS off unless the car is literally undriveable without it, which shouldn’t happen at these power levels and thus will relegate the car to the . So it’s not going to be a problem if your car lacks these things.
ok got all that? good.
When’s the deadline?
Feb 14th, Midnight AEST +1 , unless new version drops in stable sooner. But if not, Valentine’s day, because ily all pro homo
I forgot to tell you how to submit
As an exported .car file in my forum DMs. Don’t send me the Beam file, because I can’t tell if you’ve tampered with it or not. You’re free to choose whether to post anything about your car in this thread.