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The Car Shopping Round (Round 64): Tears in Heaven


Wooo! I made it to the next round of the hot hatch deathmatch. And keep up the good work with your reviews!

PS: In the unlikely event that I get a chance to host the next round, I will take it.


oh shit I’m in the showdown. I should probably mention right here and now that I will most definitely not be able to host the next round if I get anywhere near the pointy end of judging not least because I’ll be trying to do the UE4 design competition… beats me trying to design for that competition, I’m still sucking at it rn


Ok, so weird engine behaviour (yeah, I wasn’t entirely happy with that curve too) and no proper suspension tuning (yeah :joy:), but what do you mean by mediocre LSD?

But at least the GF liked it, it’s something :stuck_out_tongue:


You used a viscous diff iirc, which has a few disadvantages compared to a geared one:

  • Cannot fully lock up, the system requires a speed differential between the two sides in order to transfer torque.
  • As the internal gear fluid heats up (in cases where it’s being used too frequently), the effect of the LSD will be reduced.
  • Mechanical diffs can apply a torque split before wheel speed differs.

Source: Engineering Explained


And, the most “fun” part. When you overheat a viscous LSD, you have a fully locked diff.


Oh, didn’t know that. I just chose it based on the in-game stats :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks for explanation.


Townsend: We are the Kings of Turquoise. :stuck_out_tongue:
Yeah, I figured the 1.5L turbo I3 was a bit of a gamble.


You thought 1.5L Turbo I3 was a gamble? Try 6L Pushrod V8 :stuck_out_tongue: How that got through to the showdown, I will never know.


it’s pretty simple to me: because VEE EIGHT BRUUUUUUUUM


BRAP BRAP BRAP! Sorry men!


CSR 62: Part two of the reviews

The showdown

(disclaimer: all cars were shod with sports compound for the performance testing)
Here are the finalists, on some nice backroads, hot hatch home turf. However, we’re near the mandatory abandoned airfield to put the cars through their paces and see what they truly are made of on and beyond the limit. Some are full of power, others light as a feather, but all of them got one thing in common: they’re all bloody good fun, yet affordable for joe with not much dough.

First things first, what better way to kick off a hot hatch match than with a drag race? Ofcourse this isn’t the true essence of hot hatches, but in a pub, bragging rights matter. We have the NCA CrossSport with its brute torque, the Kuma ZMD Plus with its featherweight, and the raw power of the Fore Eagle GTi. Aaaand it’s the Fore Eagle GTi that takes the lead early on, neck on neck with the Conan 2000 GT and the BM Berina, with the LB20 Sport and the roaring CrossSport right behind them. The 2000 GT drops back after awhile, but the Berina claws its way back up to the Fore Eagle, but it didn’t claw its way up fast enough…sort of. The Fore Eagle GTi and the Berina finish in a dead tie, both running the quarter mile in 13.86 seconds. The Conan is just a bit behind them, with the LB20 and CrossSport finishing soon after, then the Erin XTune, and the Knuckle H-C. And after the other cars had both breakfast and lunch, the Kuma ZMD Plus finished aswell, clocking in last at 16.39 seconds. Seems like raw power did win, although surprisingly the BM Berina could catch up and finish as an equal, most likely due to slightly better aerodynamics and having 40 kg less to lug around.

First candidate to discuss: the Conan C38 2000 GT. This hatch feels like a brute, but a married one, that settled down, took some anger management therapies, and got sensible. Possibly one of the most refined cars brought along today, gentle suspension, not to harsh on the gas, yet its also a brute, turbo lag leading to some good 229 horses with a quite flat 250 Nm of torque. Not too sharp steering, but feels like its on rails, with a fuel economy of 6.6L/100 km it’s not too hard on the European wallet either when drinking gas. Not the biggest brawler in this lot, but an easy to live with one.
And then we come to the Erin Merna XTune, one of the dying NA breed, it’s nice to have an engine without lag, and a good almost flat torque curve across the entire range. This is what sportscars used to be, great dancepartners for winding roads, its geared LSD almost makes the tyres gnawl their way back to the inside of the corner, which works together well with its predictable, yet not too dull handling. It’s not a featherweight though, compared to the others, and it’s not the easiest to live with either, having a small drinking problem, well known to NA engines. Yet its honest high revving raw sportscar nature makes it hard not to love.
But ofcourse there can be very sweet turbocharged engines, like the L4TC of the LAP LB20 Sport, it may not be as powerful as some of its companions here, but it has a smooth torque delivery with an eager engine, well, to MPFI standards at least. The result is not the leanest engine of the lot, with the LB20 Sport consuming atleast 7.3 Litres every 100km, but can churn out a very torque-y 200 hp, mount this to a chassis that can comfortably seat 5 with forgiving suspension, and you get a very interesting daily. It isn’t the sharpest knife of the lot though, it lacks a fully mechanical LSD some of its competitors can offer, but it manages to dive into every corner over and over.

Next up on the athletics tests on the airfield is a low speed slalom, surprisingly enough, the Knuckle H-C managed to clear it the fastest, although it’s enormous 265 mm tyres might give good reason to its ridiculous low speed grip, tossing its body around with ease despite not being the lightest. Second fastest turned out not to be the lightest, but the Fore Eagle GTi, its finely tuned chassis most likely is the reason to this, putting 225 mm of rubber to the ground on every corner. Next up is the Conan C38 2000 GT and LB20 Sport in a tie with a milder chassis setup. Surprisingly the Kuma ZMD Plus ties with the Merna Xtune, despite its light weight, but it does have small rubbers. Last comes the V8 behemoth named the CrossSport, with a weight of 1450 kg is hardly surprising.

But let’s talk about the lil one in this group, the Zenshi Kuma ZMD Plus, its living a true David vs Goliath story here with its mere 133 hp, a lot of torque it doesn’t have either, but what it does have is good ol’ fun. The engine behaves like a rotary surprisingly enough, revving all the way to 8500 rpm without any torque in sight at the low end, with its turbo blending in as a sort of VVL. This engine, coupled with a lightweight, razor-sharp, balanced, LSD-equipped chassis makes this car something rather special. It’s perhaps not the fastest, and definitely not the most daily-able, but it seems to capture the original hot hatch spirit perhaps most of the lot here. Yet sadly, its price tag is rather steep for the amount of car you get, a lot of funds seems to have gone into the actual carbon fibre bucket seats, which, quite frankly, do feel great.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the monster named CrossSport, from NCA. To say it’s a sleeper is an understatement. The last car you’d expect a 6L V8 in is this, and it, well, puts all other torque outputs to shame with 470 Nm, hell, there’s 450 already at 1000 rpm, give this baby some more aggressive camshafts and a bigger exhaust and you’ll see some serious shit. Did I say it sounds amazing too? IT SOUNDS BRILLIANT, start this up in a city and you’ll make a good living selling a change of pants. This isn’t its only party trick either, its well balanced chassis makes it bloody good fun in the twisties too, but well, how it does this is the problem, with 150 mm rear tyres you really dont want to go into the Twisties too fast, and with 190 mm to the front its a mismatch too, so it’s hard to swap your tyres round for these one wheel open diff burnouts. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of torque steer a huge V8 gives, this car is living on the edge in its finest. Also, despite having 5 seats its comfort isn’t up to part to some competitors either. And despite having a V8 it “only” drinks 8.2 Litres every 100 km, still a lot more than the rest of the lot though, yet, could we please see more V8s in hatchbacks?
Next up is the steampunk mobile, or well, the Knuckle H-C. Relaying on good ol NA power the engine is good fun, although the redline brings an abrupt end to the fun. Through a fully mechanical LSD this mobile manages to claw through the corners rather darn swiftly, especially with the immense grip of the 265 mm behemoth tyres. Seeing these tyres mounted onto magnesium wheels at this price segment was rather…unexpected, but a nice touch. They really went all out with the spinny bits at Knuckle, yet sadly these tyres are properly expensive to take care of, along with its 8.1 L /100 km thirst, but that’s to be expected of an NA engine, also, I had the issue that the transmission sometimes popped out of its 3rd gear, so this is a weird issue that could indicate some corner cutting there.

The last, but not least test, is racing these babies around the airfield track, in a time attack ofcourse, insurancewouldntcoveritotherwise. Rather unexpectedly at this point the Armada Fore Eagle GTi finished was the fastest, putting down a strong time of 1:23.93, a bit slower were the C38 2000 GT, and the BM Berina. The LAP LB20 held a brave fight but was significantly slower than that lot. After that came the wide tyre monster of Knuckle, followed by its NA inline 4 companion, the Merna XTune. The Zenshi managed to beat the V8 behemoth, which came in last.

Then it’s time to take a look at the BN Berina 1.8T. See that 1.8T in its name? It’s important, it’s quite possibly the most important piece of this car. It’s a delightful turbocharged 4 pot which makes a healthy 243 hp, while only consuming 5.0L/100 km. The car whose heart it is is quite damn comfortable too, and even puts its power down using a geared LSD, has double wishbones on all corners, hell, it also has affordable 205 mm tyres. It’s a huge shame then, that this Berina, freaking, under-f*cking-steers. So much potential, but just no fun in the corners. But it has double wishbones on all corners, so possibly a good alignment could solve this flaw.
Well, we should really address the orange elephant in the room, shouldn’t we? The fastest of almost every test here, the Armada Fore Eagle GTi. Not a lot of lag, revving to 9K rpm, 250 hp. There’s not much to hate about this engine, it’s not the most responsive, but that’s about it. Hell, it even gets above average fuel consumption of 6.5 L/100 km. With a geared LSD, and a balanced chassis at any speed, it’s pretty clear then that the Fore Eagle only has one hobby: Going bloody fast, any time, every time. It doesn’t have the most character, but what it does have is a recipe that works, really really well. And that 9k rpm redline, well, a redline a day keeps the carbon build-up away. Asides from this all, it’s still easy to live with: comfortable interior and springs, so really, this one car was the one without any flaws, the fastest, and despite its high servicing costs not too expensive to live with. So it would be ridiculous to not crown this the winner of this showdown, congratulations Armada.

1st: @strop
2nd: @TheElt
3rd: @abg7
The playpal (4th): @Grandea
The beast (5th): @Dorifto_Dorito

As strop already made clear he passes on hosting, the question is if TheElt is willing.


Yeah, I was referring to the understeer.


What an exciting conclusion to the hot hatch deathmatch! The only thing that would have made it better would have been narration from Tiff Needell himself. And yes, I definitely feel vindicated with my third-placed finish this time around. It was clear from the get-go, however, that the Armada was going to be untouchable in all respects - it was just too good. Props to strop for nailing it!

And I do have a rule set or two ready in case I have to host CSR63. They just need to be tweaked a bit…


Absolutely brilliant round, loved the commentary, and congrats to Strop and TheElt for winning!

@Dragawn just so I can get some advice from this, what would you do to improve the suspension on the Merna X-Tune? I’m still a noob when it comes to this so any tips are greatly appreciated.


+1 here. I want to improve my Opel… I wanna say Montes @Dragawn


Considering the weight of 1367 kg I would’ve gone with bigger tyres for a performance vehicle, 225’s instead of 215’s would’ve helped a fair bit already, which is period correct with irl (Megane RS), perhaps even
235 mm’s considering it’s automation. Then you could’ve backed off on the extreme camber (anything above -1.5 degrees is pretty damn hardcore for a street car). With 235’s you could’ve gone -1.5/-0.1 for the camber, giving you 0.05G’s more than you did now. You safely could have gone 17 inch wheels too, which would’ve taken a bit more rear camber, but that’s a matter of taste. (Higher profile tyres are more forgiving, while lower profile ones give a bit more grip and are more responsive but less stable and comfortable).

As for the steering graph, or in general: if it ends with a pointy bit and is straight, it’s an indication that the car is very neutral steering until right on the limit, the longer it’s straight, the more it remains neutral steering, when the Yaw rate goes to infinity it means the car spun out (oversteer), when it goes to zero it means it didn’t corner anymore (understeer). Keep in mind though, that very neutral steering isn’t predictable as the end of the grip isn’t communicated, for example early S2000’s were known for snap oversteer, however for FWD cars this was fine imo as very neutral steering means lift-off oversteer.

@vmo I seem to be having a hard time getting your car not to understeer, as it’s very front heavy, a bit of positive camber on the rear ( -1.5/+0.2) and a very aggressive sway bar setup (e.g.2000/5800) could amend it though. Positive camber is something to be avoided though, as it’s deliberately flawing your car, but sometimes it’s a better sacrifice to be made than an even more aggressive camber angle on the front, to keep the tyres wearing front and back more equally.


Well, that was unexpected. Cheers for the fun round, it’s a bit of a shame that I’m abysmal at suspension tuning but who doesn’t love that safety net of comforting understeer, eh?

I’m up for hosting, hopefully have something together and working within 24h



Thanks Dragawn, and also fine show to everybody else. If anybody didn’t already know, the Armada Fore is probably my one big mainstay car (outside of GG) and it’s supposed to be the model that carries almost their entire revenue, so winning this round and events like these means a lot as it, uh, lends a bit of credibility to the company credentials.

We’re getting very close to the point of hitting the thread 10000 post limit, and I’ve received some suggestions as to what to do next. dragawn conan gave conan who gave me the idea of seeing if we could create a separate forum section for this thing (since it’s been going for over 2 years now and counting) and make each round a new thread. I’ll have to ask the devs what they think, but first, what do you all think?


As I was the one who gave Conan the idea (you ain’t gonna steal credit for that so easily mate, although admittedly he was the one to communicate it further and he has my gratitude for that), I liked that solution the most.

Not only does it keep things tidy, and very easily accessible, but it allows for further discussion of a previous round if so desired, or well, this discussion for example could have been held in a separate dedicated thread. Dedicated threads make it easy to find old challenges again for possible inspiration and to see what already has been done.

A “compromised” version of this with 2-3 challenges in a single thread already could prove to be rather chaotic, and storing links to relevant posts is more administrative work than just separate threads, which I don’t think should strain the server any further.

So yeah, I hope the devs could be kind enough to provide Car Shopping with its own section.


Thanks men!