1998 Sports Sedan Challenge [Finished, results in]

Making a good sports sedan is a challenge to every car manufacturer because it has to be the complete package. Obviously it has to be fast, but it also has to be practical and easy to drive because it is, after all, still a family sedan so it can’t be too hard to drive for when mommy has to take the kids to school or go grocery shopping.

The engine has to be powerful without being overwhelming and it has to sound meaty but not deafening.

The suspension has to be sporty enough to allow for spirited and dynamic driving, but it still has to remain comfortable and composed, yet it can’t be too soft either.

On top of all that, the car has to be well equipped but it can’t cost a fortune to buy because otherwise daddy would have to take a massive loan from the bank just to buy a car, which mommy would never agree with.

Getting all of these things right is a very difficult task and almost every car that attempted this delicate balance fell short in at least a few of these areas. That is, until the E39 BMW M5 came out in 1998. Even today, more than two decades later, it is still widely regarded as the best and most complete sports sedan ever built. Not even BMW themselves have managed to make another car since then which is as well-rounded but also as engaging and fun to drive as the E39 M5.

Let’s see who can make the best all-round sports sedan, the near-perfect driving machine for the whole family.

  • Year: 1998
  • Body type: 4-door or 5-door sedan (NOTE: The Saleen S7 body is not allowed here, even the version with 4 doors)
  • wheelbase: 2.75-3.00m
  • Chassis: Monocoque or Space Frame
  • Engine position: Front
  • Engine type: any
  • Premium Unleaded fuel
  • must have three-way or high-flow three-way cat.
  • max. loudness 55
  • no race intake/exhaust
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Tyre compound: no Semi-Slicks
  • max. tyre width 255mm
  • max. rim size 18"
  • Interior: at least 4 full seats, premium interior or better, premium Entertainment or better, standard 90s safety or better
  • Minimum safety: 50
  • Minimum drivability: 35
  • Minimum comfort: 30
  • quality sliders: -3 to +3 allowed everywhere.
  • price: up to 50.000$

1 front and 1 rear aero fixture allowed, no wings
no invisible/hidden aero fixtures

Judging criteria:

  • Exterior Styling
  • Drivability in Automation (+1 point for every 3 drivability score over 35, e.g. a car with 41 drivability gets +2 points)
  • Comfort in Automation (+1 point for every 2 comfort score over 30, e.g. a car with 36 comfort gets +3 points)
  • Performance in BeamNG (Automation Old Race Track, Hirochi Medium race track, East Coast Street Course)

For styling, each car will get a subjective score from 1-10
In the races, first 10 places will get points. 1st place = 10 points, 2nd place = 9 points, … 10th place = 1 point. 11th place and below = 0 points

Overall score = Styling Score + Race 1 score + Race 2 score + Race 3 score + Bonus drivability/comfort points
Tiebraker: West Coast Drag Strip (fastest quarter mile time wins the tiebraker)


BMW M5 E39

Jaguar XJR

Mercedes E50 AMG

First valid submission counts. If your car breaks one or more of the rules, I will ping you as soon as I notice the flaw and you will get one resubmission. If your car fails again, you’re out.

I strongly prefer submissions through my discord because that way it’s much easier for me to track who submitted what, how many people submitted while I was gone from my PC, etc. Join my discord here: Tom Henks Chillout , then drag and drop your car file into the “community-challenge-files” subchannel.

However, if you don’t have discord and can’t install this free desktop app for some reason, you can also submit your car by sending me a PM here on the forums. Since I typically only check the forums once or twice a day, I might not get back to you as quickly as I would on discord.

Deadline: December 12th, 2021 at 5pm CEST
Race 1: December 12th, 2021 at 6pm CEST
Race 2: December 18th, 2021 at 6pm CEST
Race 3: December 19th, 2021 at 6pm CEST
The races will be streamed on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEazrZkjQcCxLaMmj79c62Q


Hmm… 1998 RWD, that’s going to be a Bricksley. Question is whether I give you a big straight six or a modest V10.

Do you have a price limit in mind?

Does this apply to both front and rear tires, or the average width of front and rear tires?


it says 50k in the rules

Just noticed, thanks

Also, 4 seats in 4 and 5-door cars seems like one too few (except in higher-end luxury cars). And why are there no engine/trim PU/ET limits? Because I think there should be (at least for ET).

Guaranteed I’m failing the styling round this time. But, I’m having fun building the Bricksley Sentinel.

Im not gonna go super hardcore for this challenge, i just want to finish higher than last.

Tfw I have a car that would fit this perfectly but it’s AWD and purposefully a bit ugly :pensive:

Working on this prompt I have started to notice that Mercedes design is prominent in my subconscious even though I could only name a handful of models.

Are you testing cars in Beam NG using a steering wheel?

No, unfortunately I don’t have a wheel. I’ll be using an Xbox controller

here is what i have, the Matsuma Tiger

Why no AWD or FWD?

because there was no AWD or FWD sports sedan out there in 1998 that could compete with the M5 or Jaguar XJR

1 Like

1998 M5 and Galant VR4 had exact same 0-100KPH… but my prototype is RWD so it doesn’t really matter.

the Galant may have had the same 0-100km/h time, but was it also as comfortable and as well equipped as the M5? Probably not, and that among other reasons is why the Galant VR4 is generally not considered as a competitor to the M5, but you can argue that it sort of competes with the M3.



An econobox based rally homologation car is not really the same thing as a fast luxury car, which seems to be the focus of this challenge.