It may have been slow in terms of time but it was hella fast in terms of power to weight. As to how it felt and how it stacks up, remains to be seen.
will there be another round like this or no?
Probably though I’m running a bit behind even my extremely generous schedule of “finishing sometime in May”. Once I’ve written up the notes I’m actually going to do a controlled test on tyres itself but that’ll probably start sometime in September.
By “September” do you mean “January”?
yeah probably lol
Which January? Are we working on the Valve-Time calendar?
Don’t tempt me!
Don’t want to hijack your thread but Valve have announced a release date for HL3!!!
By the way just so everybody knows I actually am chipping away at the final verdicts and a fully ordered list of entirely subjective “how much would I want to actually keep this car as it is” (phrasing very important). I’m mainly slowed down by the typhoon of destruction known as my 3yo niece. Once I’m done with that I’ll replace this post with that.
And after that I’ll go about putting the detailed feedback into video form.
The Written Verdicts (Part 2)
These are based on, as I said, a subjective assessment of the overall sense of a car and how likely I would like to own it (in a loose sense), as an enthusiast but also someone who had to live with the car. My assessment of costings and livability were admittedly quite loose because I mainly wanted to see what factors I had to account for when assessing driving in Beam, so please don’t take the order too literal. This said, I have ranked the cars in a specific order, so without further ado I’ll start with…
No Offense But I’ll Skip Straight To The Insurance Payout
@brunator BCT T1001S 525TS
Thoroughly unenjoyable except perhaps in a straight line LOL. Even with better tyres the lag was something awful and the dynamics very loose with barely any steering feel. It’d take more than breaking the budget slightly to rescue this one!
@NiuYorqCiti Ponni Pistero - RS
With way more power than grip, it overshoots the critical point of being able to have fun and rewarding skill by a country mile at any speed. But fret not: upgrading the tyres already goes a long way to remedying this and making the most of its actually good potential.
@Dorifto_Dorito Nohda Strato (82) Super Strato Turbo (87)
I never want to drive this again. The lessons: don’t put a powerful turbo engine in a short wheelbase rear-engined car with a widebody kit unless you’re driving all the wheels or have some seriously stiff suspension. Shame though, it’s one of the best looking cars.
@Lordred Pulsar Defiant
What I said about the Nohda, except in this case much of the issue would be solved by the Automation UI now allowing you to match damping and spring rates. Then it’s just a matter of matching the swaybar rates too. Why did I rank this after the Nohda despite this scoring worse? Because the wonky swaybar setup was an easier kind of impossible to work with, haha.
@Mad_Cat Petrov Ferro Coupe
Not quite the right kind of car for this challenge, this was submitted due to a misunderstanding of the brief. As a civilian car it’s not bad though it’s a touch thirsty. Detune it for economy and it’d be a passable cheap shitbox runabout of the era. But I’m after a sporting car, not something I’ll rag around the slum in a shitbox destruction derby, which is exactly what I’d do with this.
Stay tuned, all the verdicts are written so tremble in fear and dread!
The Written Verdicts (Part 3)
Okay sorry for delay. Onwards we go!
Weirdly Wrong, Weirdly Disappointing*, or Just Plain Weird
*disappointing as in at first the car seemed solid but then throw some curveballs at it and it fell to bits, usually on the downhill, which gives us some useful tips on how not to tune suspension…
@PugeHenis Stelvio O-56
An oddity. It was certainly not designed for street use, but it’s not fast enough for rally use. And the very unconventional setup works well in good conditions and surfaces but throw curveballs at it and it reacts badly…
@MAX_POWER Kettenblitz 950QD
What seemed perfectly reasonable ended up being a skittish one-wheel-peeler. I’m very sure MAX_POWER would be very disconcerted to learn this. Lack of an LSD really limited its performance and probably cost it nearly 5% in time. I’m still not sure if that was the main reason or there was some other freak aberration of physics afoot here.
@Ornate Akuna Sprinter HF
This is kind of what happens if you don’t tune a FWD sedan for sporting use, say, compared to the Kuma. It felt lumbering and wallowing and the only reason it had any speed around the track was because it had lots of tyre. A prime example of how quick doesn’t always mean enjoyable to drive.
@stm316 G&W Stamford 85
After several rounds of diplomatic denials, I’ll finally admit it was a relatively boring drive save for the fact it’s RWD. It’s also pretty expensive and pretty thirsty for a 2 seater as comfy as it is. I can’t remember where all the money went.
@JANXOL Cyanide Motors 1982 Terrier - S1
At first it seemd quite alright despite the unusual balance between springs (stiff) and sway bars (very loose), but the more I tested it the more disproportionate the response became. Great fun in good conditions. Forget about the rest. Accessibility averaged out to a 5 because in some places it was an 8 but in others a 2.
Just Because I Can Dance In High Heels* Doesn’t Mean I’ll Always Enjoy It
*shit, I don’t even know if my feet fit in high heels. This segment features cars that were promising but were a bit twitchy or just didn’t have enough traction or had some other non-fatal quirk that limited maximum enjoyment
@yurimacs Bradford Vector R
If I want to feel alive because every time I get home without dying in a crash and my back is tingling from the rock hard ride I’d get this car. No denying that it was fun in a “don’t even blink” white-knuckle ride kind of way, but if I had to live with that…
@Traviq_125 Iserim Sol
Light and cheap and good for some decent fun, but also perhaps doesn’t offer as much joy with what it has as others do. Definitely more affordable, though.
@SideswipeBL Toreer Sommet 250S
I’m reminded of some of the real life counterparts of early 90s shitty “sports coupes” from the US market mainly (the equivalent Japanese models were mostly FWD). This one was unusually heavy for its size, and was also stymied by the body’s fundamentally wonky suspension, but was actually a decent bit of fun.
@JohnWaldock JHW Lynx S5
On the tricky side of things for sure but with more grip it would make for a competent sports car. With healthy all around stats otherwise and a sharp balance, there was not much otherwise wrong with it despite plenty for me to bitch about with its current rubber.
Surprisingly Less Shit Than Expected
Now we move onto the cars ranging from mediocre to just plain wtf (I’m looking at you Madrias) on paper but were actually a relatively good drive or punched above their weight
@Madrias Ishu Astrion 700T
Designed to do something different than usual, it definitely does this. What it doesn’t do is make sense. Well, actually it kind of does and the numbers are actually quite good but definitely coming out of left-field. It was harder to handle than it looked due to the huge amounts of body roll. But it was faster than it had any right to be. Maybe if the swaybar setup (and the styling) were fixed this would actually be rather strong.
@racer126 Geschenk Gato
Slower, yes, a bit uncomfy, yes. But also decently fun with some play in its handling character.
@Centurion_23 Jade-Gemin GLX
The most honest entry here which bothered to use period-correct tyres was perhaps a little hard done by as a result. Twitchy, shaky, and prone to lock-up, the limits on this car were more a reflection of historical accuracy and an insistence on the no-frills approach. I can imagine this car actually existing and being owned and offering the true tuned Civic Shitbox experience, but how do I score that here?
@Xepy Kuma SU Si Coupe (2+2)
The middle of the road never felt so narrow with this big FWD sedan, perhaps a format poorly matched to the contest. But it performed well enough when treated with the right amount of respect: no overdriving. Did it have the sporting feel? Not in spades, but it didn’t feel shoddy either.
Well, which was it: “Weirdly Wrong, Weirdly Disappointing*, or Just Plain Weird”?
And… TOLD YOU SO!
I’m grateful you took the time to test the car so extensively! I’ll have to take much greater care tuning the rear suspension in the future, but I’m still not giving up on the open diff gang c:
The middle one, because I looked at the total costs and it just didn’t add up. Most other cars that matched it except in comfort were barely 2/3 the price. What panel material did you use again?
Galv steel mono / steel. Fun fact: It now has an approximate cost of $20K.
The calculations have changed quite significantly so I wouldn’t worry about that as much… Chalk this one up to me needing to refine how i calculate ownership costs for future comparisons, because I definitely didn’t make that a priority here!
So, what you’re saying is that once I fix the desktop again, I should retune the suspension to something between version 1 and version 2, paint it purple, give it an angry redesign, and maybe consider a nice 1.2 liter inline 5?
I suppose I could do that. Not sure when, though.
The Written Verdicts (Part 4)
I swear I’m getting somewhere with this but it’s also recruitment time so I have to lodge my annual job applications, always something I look towards with great zeal and enthusiasm. Not to mention that my research project is falling further and further behind…
Not bad at all, I’m Semi-Hard*
get yo mind out of the gutter
@Lava_Cake TX7 B6
This is a solid contender for best daily driver car (for those who don’t need to seat more than 2 or carry a lot of groceries and are total beginners). It’s very hard to get yourself unstuck. Flip side is that it has extremely restrictive handling limits. So for an enthusiast it might be a little like trying to lean a bicycle with the training wheels still attached…
@Aaron.W Tanaka Aventis (4th Gen) - 2.0 TR (3DR)
This thing knows how to hustle, with barely any power yet heaps of hind leg cocking it’s full of character for the plucky driver to exploit. But being right up the top end of the budget with its fancy interior and 2 seats in a hatch it’s clearly a special Cup variant. Is it really worth it?
@Jaimz FM Cerberus Track
The strongest of the FR coupes, with the character of a tuned sports car. But being so low made for some awkward dynamics in variable road conditions. On a track however, it has delightfully direct response, and it won’t blow your budget or your spine as bad as some of the others…
@CC9020 Fuji RMS GTR Homologation
Fantastic handling on good surfaces but awkward over bumps and undulations. This is a track car through and through, but for two things: 1) a homologation model I expected to have a touch more power especially given how it was geared to the track and rode very firm at that 2) worst brakes in the entire lineup. If not for those things, it’d be duking it out with the Shromet which also had its own brake issues, but somehow not quite as bad.
*I’m still not talking about my dong by the way
@Mikonp7 Haapala CupSport Streetlegal
The ultimate chuckable vehicle. It was clearly engineered to the extreme end of things like the Tanaka, what with its boosty engine and light weight. It could be wrestled around hard, but still felt tight. It ranks higher because it felt like it had more unified choices and maintained its composure better in unusual situations.
@NeO Kitanishi Fleuris SP2000
Solid, predictable and competent. It doesn’t light any particular passions and it has a very clinical and firm limit on its handling, but it reliably achieves its purpose. Manages to hit 95% what its rivals do without putting your back out nearly as much, but you do pay for it upfront.
As a purpose built racing truck this thing is a goddamn weapon. Light, tight and furious. It sacrifices a lot including sanity to get there, and the rear tray does make for some interesting dynamics, not least the high speed handling being vastly superior to low speed thanks to the big wing.
@gridghost Scarab Nova GT-X26
As the big heavy powerful one this is a potent weapon around a track. But it also carries all of the characteristics of a big heavy powerful car in that while it has oodles of grip and is well balanced it can’t magically shrink. While the use of a manual locking diff is interesting this isn’t powerful enough a car to really warrant taking it for D1GP style jaunts… even a viscous coupling would have worked fine to be honest.
Yeah a lot of the AWD cars ranked high. I feel this is because the people making them went much harder and sportier on the tunes with a lot more confidence that the handling would be fine, whereas the FF and FR cars tended to be a lot less powerful and with smaller budgets, there were some significant handling compromises made. Stay tuned for the top 5 though it’s a bit of a mix-up!
more I read about my car the more annoyed that I was so scared of it being oversteery then lol
I see two options:
a) Strop can forgive (although smart ones do not forget) and my car is in the finals
b) There will be post credit extra list of cars, that are good BUT(t) are somehow unfit to be in the listing
Flip of a coin…
Oh yeah well now you reminded me…
The Written Verdicts (Part 5)
okay now you may conclude that my dong is somehow involved in this heading
Yeah that’s right, these are my 5 favourites of the lineup. Not the 5 forgotten or 5 also rans, but the 5 I’ll like to spend the most time showcasing in the video I’ll eventually put together once I get through this fucking job application phase like what is my life right now fuck
@ELBruno Marquez CDD SWS 270i6
The big surprise of the AWD bunch for me considering the front-biased power distribution and weight made me think it wouldn’t turn in so well, but it ate corners like nothing else. This suits drivers who really like to keep their foot down and the lock at maximum. Given the year 2000 sacrifices to livability have been made to eke out that performance but it still makes for a good example of the sports wagon mold.
@DoctorNarfy Shromet Interval GTS
Some say this would combine the best of both worlds: a real engine and a proper sport chassis. It may be one of the heavier cars here but the handling is just on point. It’s easy to drive but has something extra for the brave and the skillful. But the brakes, the brakes! That I’m considering this near the top despite that is remarkable.
@GassTiresandOil Armor Cricket GT4
Fascinating all rounder with 80s turbo power and satisfying handling. I thought that the turbo tune was a bit late spooling but actually couldn’t optimise it much more than that on paper. Punches above its weight in most respects, making it a top contender.
@AirJordan Smooth Notsomuch
The secret of tuning Smoothly comes to the fore: reasonable wheelbase, reasonable weight distribution, reasonable response rate. It’s not the fastest, or the sharpest, but it is one of the most enjoyable rides which offers far better than average nearly everything else and so represents one of the most complete packages. If it seated 4…
@conan Mitsushita Jesta Baleno TCS
The quintessential FWD 80s tuner shitbox in nearly every way shape and form. It encourages the bold and rewards the skillful. It also punches well above its weight, obviously not as much as the stupid ridiculous Fore, but as far as the entries go it’s a fantastic package.
For being authentic, a balance of challenging and engaging but also balanced and versatile, punching well above its weight, and also helped slightly by being a great looking car, I’m declaring that my favourite of this lot is the Jesta.
What now? Well, this test was really mostly for me to figure out some things about exporting to Beam. Hope there’s been some useful information in it, and I’ll try and compile that into something digestible in video format in the coming, er… months haha.