2020 Maestro Baton Speciale
LHE (Larriet-Hudson Enterprises) announces the new 2020 Orbital Sublime.
No mater where you go, the best way around this world at an Orbital level.
Consta-Shift 8-Speed smooth ride transmission
Memory foam leather seats, with eight way adjust ability.
All new flat-curve E20-303-10N V10 engine.
All for $49.950
I’m at 23 entries so far.
Entries are now closed, with 24 submissions and 1 pending due to the short notice of opening the submissions. I’ve started on the reviews and aim to have everything complete in the next three days.
In an alternate universe, where the cars looked dieselpunk, Zavir never moved it’s main HQ to Italy and never switched to V6s…
The new Zavir 99 Turbo Six is not just a car - it’s an oasis in the move with it’s silky smooth and silent engine, standard automatic transmission and advanced audio system. And it’s an oasis that can move fast, with 334 hp and 500 Nm on tap delivered by a 3.75 I6, while also achieving 32 MPG economy, thanks to it’s lightweight full aluminium structure.
Thanks. The best thing about it is that it uses just two colours I already had and that looked ok together and was meant to be temporary But well, sometimes temporary solutions last the longest
On an overcast and smoggy Friday morning, Henry is having a cigarette with his morning coffee, overlooking the bustling street below his 28th floor apartment. It’s too early for this. His secretary has set him an appointment to discuss a new case at 11 AM sharp Monday morning, so he needs to get his new car before that. The few times he had to work on a case with his car in the shop were terrible, so anything to avoid going through that again. After breakfast he’ll get on his computer and take a look at what’s new in terms of cars. That should get him an idea of which dealerships to visit. Henry’s still an old fashioned guy; he wants to get a feel for things in person before considering anything. At that, he’s on the end of his cigarette and downs his coffee to head to the computer for some preliminry research.
Two hours later and Henry is stepping out of a cab in the area between the city’s central shopping and industrial districts. As usual the smog is thicker here, but this is where the highest concentration of car dealerships can be found. At that, he fishes his lighter from his trench coat, lights a cigarette, and crosses the street to see his first car of the day…
At this early hour, the only people at the Albatross dealer were the staff. At least that’s what Henry was hoping; he’d never heard of them and they very well could be selling lemons. He quickly recognises the gleaming black 460 from the ad he saw online and steps towards it. First impressions are… not too good. What looked like a graphical issue along the side of the car turns out to truly be the worst trim application he’s ever seen. How did this ever get approved? Other than that, it’s a very very big car with a modern but quite plain design. The Albatross designers did not manage to pull off the minimalist look they seem to have wanted to achieve. A brief internal debate and cigarette later, Henry is leaving the dealership behind for the next one. $48,600 is too high a price for a car that misses the mark on being stylish. What’s a private eye without a properly stylish car, anyways? Lighting another cigarette he hopes this bad start isn’t foreshadowing a day of dashed hopes.
With the quick dismissal of the Albatross, Henry is doing good for time. He’s just finished his cigarette as he gets to the Allistair dealership. Prominently displayed in the front window is the Nighthawk Custom. Seeing it in colour is not much different than the black and white ad. It looks great without being too over the top. The design flows together nicely and is full of little details that jump out the more he looks at it. He can definitely see himself driving this just from how it looks. Passing the first private eye test, Henry steps inside.
The interior of the Nighthawk is a plush and high quality premium coccoon comprising of four full size seats. Now this is how to conduct a stakeout.The twin sunroofs are a great touch that could also aid with that. Everything is simply nicely laid out and put together. A 6-speed automatic graces the centres console, a slightly dated but well proven layout. What does seem concerning is the 4 star safety rating and the list of safety equipment. It seems Allistair has skimped a little, which is a shame in a $49,650 car. It should still be safer than his old car, so it’s not a deal breaker yet.
Receiving a pass from the interior inspection, the Nighthawk’s hood is popped for Henry to get a look at what she’s packing. He’s greeted by a turbocharged 5.1L 32-valve SOHC V8. Allistair promises 388 hp and 617 Nm from it, enough to reach 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. So maybe this engine is more fitting for a sportscar than a premium coupe, but Henry can still appreciate it. A quick peek under the car shows a full clad design, a typical suspension setup, and brakes that might be a bit too much. He’ll have to see for himself, as this one’s getting a test drive.
Minutes later and Henry’s behind the wheel in the dealer lot and ready to see what this thing can do. Slipping out of the lot and into traffic is a very neutral experience. The plush interior and finely tuned suspension keep him in absolute comfort while the handling is very predictable. The engine also remains very quiet and does not feel as powerful as stated. Time to get on the Skyway and give the Nighthawk a proper shakedown. Accelerating up the ramp is when Henry finally gets the kick from the turbo around 3000 RPM and is pushed back into his seat while the rumble of the engine and whine from the turbo are ever increasing. So performance is not exactly subtle. That won’t help with staying inconspicuous. Driving back to the dealership, Henry decides to tentatively put it on his shortlist. It’s not quite the right car, but for all he knows it could be the best one he’ll see. Lighting a cigarette as he heads back into the street, he starts walking to the next dealership.
The BAM dealership already had a few customers as Henry walked in. That’s to be expected with such a renowned brand. Walking up to the Bavaria Diesel, Henry is still wondering about the name. The engine in it is not a diesel, and they don’t even offer one without a diesel. Naming aside, it’s an interesting car. The styling is elegant and has a luxurious feel to it without coming off as flashy, so it should still blend in quite nicely. The brownish burgundy colour is also a nice touch to it, along with the horizontal lines popping up in various ways on all sides of the car.
With a simple nod of approval from the visual inspection, Henry steps inside the car to be greeted by the leather clad luxurious interior. This is nice. The rear suicide doors make access to the back seat easy and certainly help with the practicality of the car. The 7-speed automatic and safety features are also an improvement over the Allistair he saw earlier, with the price of $49,500 slightly undercutting it as well!
Popping the hood and having a look leaves Henry confused enough to pull out and light another cigarette. The Bavaria Diesel’s 4.0 engine is a 32-valve 5.0L V8. Is it possible that someone’s put the wrong engine in it? The powerplant is said to produce 303 hp and 431 Nm. The listed 0-100 km/h time of 6.2 seconds confirms that the engine is more than reasonable for getting the small car moving. It’s also worth noting that the brakes seem adequate and the hydropneumatic suspension should provide a comfortable ride.
Having set up a test drive and gotten the keys, Henry’s in the driver’s seat and firing up the engine. It’s quiet. Driving it out into traffic is still a quiet experience, and very smooth from both the power curve and the suspension. Taking the Bavaria up the Skyway is highly predictable and so is its stable behaviour at high speed. The car feels like it can practically drive itself but also easily stretch its legs when needed. He returns to the BAM dealership with a rare smile on his face. Nonsensical naming aside, this is a solid car and a serious contender.
Following the BAM’s test drive Henry is still riding on cloud nine and whistling one of those generic big band pop tunes. The Avalon Industries dealership he walks up to promises one of the more unconventional looking cars of the day. The Jet Sceptere is a small coupe that tastefully blends horizontal and vertical design elements. The Avalon Industries designers have managed to pull off weird without being offputting. This car might stand out a little bit but not in a way that would draw attention, so it should be a decent contender.
Moving his inspection to the interior, Henry is surprised to see a heads up display. That’s certainly a nice feature, it can be very important to keep your eyes up ahead when staying the minimum 30 meters behind for inconspicuous tailing. The transmission is a 6-speed dual clutch system, also a first of the day and a sportier system than expected. This car’s also the first one to have a full bench seat in the back, so while the interior quality isn’t outstanding it can’t be faulted either, and the same goes for the safety features. Overall nice, practical, and very comfortable. An ideal setup for extended stakeouts.
The Jet Sceptere has passed the first two tests. Time for the mechanical inspection. Under the hood is a turbocharged 24-valve 2.8L DOHC I6 said to produce 212 hp and 324 Nm. This should be plenty for the size of the car. Reaching 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds will do fine for him. The information says the car can run on fuel as low grade as 86 RON; very strange for a premium car. While it seems fine for the most part, Henry seems something weird with the suspension. A closer look at the centre console confirms it: the Jet Sceptere has a fully active suspension system. Now that’s fancy on something only costing $44,400. While strange it shouldn’t turn out to be an issue, so a test drive is in order.
Starting it up, Henry had to pay attention to the engine even being on. The Turbojet engine is buttery smooth and quiet. Not something he thought about, but it could be useful to leave idling and still not be noticed. Heading out of the lot and into traffic, the active suspension does its best to keep the ride comfortable on the bumpy truck-travelled roads on the neighbourhood. The Jet Scepetere does have a tendency to understeer a bit, fitting for its image as more premium than sporty package. Driving up the Skyway for the high speed shake down has the car suddenly get very loud! Fearing that a bump might have damaged the exhaust system, Henry carefully maintains a lower speed to the next exit and pulls over once he’s back down. Lighting a cigarette and quickly inspecting the car shows no issues. Strange. Leafing through the complimentary brochure gets him an answer: the engineers at Avalon Industries saw it fitting to fit a bypass valve to the system, rendering the quiet exhaust system useless under strain. With that disappointment, Henry quickly returns the car and lights another cigarette as he throws away the brochure on the way to the next dearlership.
A couple of cigarettes later and Henry is in the BM dealership and looking over the Bull. What a BROWN car. The two-tone is tasteful and the design is detailed without being overbearing. In fact, it’s even got a bit of a menacing aura. Quite nice. The abstract door handle places is very strange, however.
Passing the first inspection, Henry gives the interior a try. It’s a nicely appointed premium setup that seats for but nothing really stands out from it. The 8-speed automatic is the most gears so far today, so that’s something of note. What is a serious issues, however, is the basic safety features of the car. Only two airbags in a 2020 car? Really? And on a $49,800 car? That won’t do. Even with claims of 600+ hp from a turbocharged 8.1L I6, it’s not worth the thrills with those risks. At this point Henry grabs two cigarettes, lights them both, and tries to calm his nerves before seeing the next car. If only he could have a drink as well.
What the small ACE-53 hides is a luxury interior with a premium HUD system, only the second one of the day. And there’s a feeling of some quality to it. Despite the small size the four seats are decently spacious and having rear doors is a plus. Practical and comfortable. The semi automatic transmission is a little odd to see, while the less than stellar safety features are also a downside. Despite that, this car doesn’t appear to be a deathtrap like BM’s offering while costing $49,200, slightly undercutting their price.
With a little uneasiness about the safety, Henry lights a cigarette to conduct the mechanical overview. Popping the hood and he’s greeted with enough of a surprise for his cigarette to comically slip out of his mouth as his jaw drops. This small car is packing a turbocharged 40-valve 5.3L SOHC V10. The literature claims 428 hp and 605 Nm. 0-100 is listed as 3.8 seconds. Ho-ly shit this thing goes. Moving to the underbody, a quick glance reveal an AWD system and hydropneumatic suspension. That should make for an interesting drive.
After nervously finishing the cigarette he started while waiting for the keys, Henry finds himself behind the wheel of the ACE-53 and firing it up. It’s quiet. Too quiet. Carefully maneuvering it out into the street, Henry is glad to note how comfortable and maneuverable it is. It really feels like a quality car. Driving up onto the Skyway quickly plants him in his seat and nearly deafens him when the bypass valve opens up and the turbocharged V10 releases its mighty roar. This is the most unassuming supercar he’s ever seen. While it looks every part a sleeper it’s most certainly not the car for him. Quickly driving back down to the dealership, Henry lights another cigarette as soon as he leaves the car. Hopefully the next car is a better choice.
Walking into the moderately busy LHE dealership, Henry quickly spots the big green Orbital Sublime and heads straight toward it. So it’s not very subtle. But it is menacing and looks powerful. It could work as a bit of an intimidation tactic while not standing out too much. The design is surprisingly clean and simple with much less chrome than all the other cars he’s seen today, but it still manages to flow nicely. Certainly a stark contrast to the small ACE-53 before it.
The cavernous interior is entirely premium and also features a full back seat. There’s a sense of quality for the most part, except for the very average safety equipment. Shame. LHE’s fitted it with an 8-speed automatic which promises to be buttery smooth with its shifting. All this space would be great for the private eye life. It could practically become a mobile office. Grand ideas aside, it’s time for a look at the heart of the beast.
Under the gleaming green hood hides a strangely familiar yet different sight: a 40-valve 4.9L DOHC V10. At this rate Henry will expect a V10 from the next green car as well. LHE claims a decent 303 hp and 429 Nm. Not bad for the size of the car, should make for some decent performance without being excessive. A 0-100 km/h time of 6.5 seconds quickly confirms that. A brief look under the car and Henry spots another hydropneumatic suspension system and also an aluminium chassis. Everything checks out, so it’s time for another drive through the smog.
Back outside and with the sun nearing its apex, Henry realises he’s quite hungry and will need to grab a bite soon. But first, the Orbital Sublime. Firing up the V10 brings up a decently quiet rumble. Let’s hope it stays that way. The ride is overall excellent and predictable, power is available when needed. Accelerating up to the Skyway is just smooth. The LHE engineers have made it easy to forget the size of the car in the way it drives and handles. The suspension is not quite the most comfortable of the day but it’s more than enough. Feeling confident about this one, Henry heads back to the dealership and completely forgets about his early lunch for now.
With a rumbling stomach, Henry finds himself in the LAP showroom looking over the Retron and waiting for a turn inside. Getting those close to lunch time there’s more activity at the dealerships. This leaves him the time to have a cigarette and consider the design. It’s a small green coupe, probably powered by a V10 if the last two cars are anything to go on. Even with the low-slung sporty body, the Retron seems very… plain. Sure he wants an unassuming car, but this one is just boring. Like the designer wanted to go to lunch just like him. Well that’s a good idea anyways, so he butts out his cigarette and leaves for a diner he noticed down the street.
That’s all for now, I’ll release the rest of the reviews in one or two more posts before going over the finalists.
bollocks! i thought my review was going too well note to self: always double check!
I’m pretty sure I made the same mistake so you’re not alone.
I think Henry could use some bypass valves for all those cigarettes.
Dang dude, 20 cigarettes and it ain’t even dinner. I have a feeling mine’s gonna be way too flashy. Edit… I think I forgot to name it correctly
And to think I almost tried a V6.
17 October 2019
The CEO of Albatross Motors made a public speech today, after it was discovered that a prototype of the Albatross 460 was unintentionally put on display at the Albatross Dealership in Downtown Diesel City. He had this to say: “We here at Albatross Motors would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Maverick for his negative experience in his local Albatross dealer. The Albatross 460 on display was a prototype which was sent to that dealership by mistake. This is not actually representative of the quality our customers expect from Albatross Motors, and we would like to assure you that nothing like this will ever occur again.” Despite this public apology, shares of Albatross Motors fell 5.2% on Thursday, and investors are beginning to question the future prospects of the company.
I too made the Bypass Valve mistake. Also, the updated seems to have jacked the price of my vehicle up significantly. At 50% markup, I was below $50k (I can’t remember right now if it was 49,500, or 49,950), but now it’s 52,178. I hope that doesn’t hurt me.
As I’ve stated in a previous post, I’m not updating my game until I finish the reviews so every car has a fair chance in the competition.