AGC 28: Reflex

Okay, these are brighter. They don’t look quite as nice but at least you can see the details (kinda)


Zephorus Autos
Romangna Velocita


2020 Edition


4.0L V8 N/A

8spd RWD

These cars are not a real product of any manufacturer, any likeness or other similarities to real brands is purely coincidence. Top trim model shown, actual model may change in final submission.


Mikawa Hush

"You keep on driving for your life. Everything around you rapidly crumbling, engulfed in flames. Cars, buildings, people... the city meets its demise before your eyes. You're all alone...

…or are you?"



2.7m wheelbase / 4.42m length / 1.99m width
1,406 kg curb weight
5L Twin-Turbo V10 pushing 1,444 hp
0-100 in 2,5s
Rear-wheel drive
7-speed dual clutch transmission
461 km/h top speed

Approximate cost: 160,000 AMU

by Kotatsu Design Team


Becket Hurricane Announced to Compete in Reflex

Become the storm with the all-new Becket Hurricane, built to blow its way through the fires of Reflex like a gale-force wind.

More Pics


Engine: 3.7L twin-turbo flat plane V8
Max Power: 681 hp
Top Speed: 210 mph
0-100 kmph: 2.6 s
Drivetrain: AWD
Gearbox: 6-speed dual clutch
Weight: 3,487 lbs
Wheelbase: 2.7 m
Approx. Cost: 60,000 AMU


We at Elite regret to inform you that during testing the Zeron X caught fire. Since we have been forced to rebuild it we also decided that we may as well improve it.

Now onto the rebuild!

The 2018 Elite Zeron X 2.0

-3L V10
-Wheelbase 3m
-Height 4.2m (approx)
-Width 1.48m



Romagna Schiavona 512R

The glorious blade: 5 liters 12 cylinders naturally aspirated 1000 horsepowers.


cobretti slipstream my beloved


I have yet to receive .car submissions from the following prospective entrants:

@DrDoomD1scord @Riley


Kastell Kaiser LMT

A rear engine, RWD hypercar powered by a 4L TT Boxer 6 making 1022hp and weight of just 1145kg.

More pics


Becket Bootleg 666

For the 2,5 men who wanted a Retro American Muscle Car that isn’t from the late 60s. A good-ish entry level car @102.000$?


  • Carbon fiber everything except the wheels; this plastic is fantastic (damage modeling is Gran Turismo level, right?)
  • A 5L V8 with the Power of the Beast, 666 HP
  • It’s a boring NA DOHC 4-valve but at at least it’s a Crossplane for more Rumble & Beckets of torque
  • Revolutionary Level is over 9000
  • AWD and nimble
  • Racing Becket seat and rollcage, customizable HUD

(Rebadge of an unreleased Retro Remake of a certain bug)



If you haven’t submitted your entry, you have 7 hours left (at least as of this post)!

dun duuuun, dun dun duuuuun, dun duuuuun, dun dun dun dun dun dun dun

I’ve already started writing reviews and preparing review images, but there’s still a fair bit left to do, so I’m thinking of splitting the first round of reviews into two unequal parts.

  • Split it into two, why not
  • Keep the round as a single post

0 voters

The rest are coming later™

7:00 PM
Brighton, England
Reflex (Alpha Build) Outsourced Car Reviews I

It’s 7 in the evening, and the Chalk Cliff Studio office is dark save for the glow of a desk lamp emanating from behind a cubicle. The owner of the cubicle, technical director Mark Olney, is currently performing the “tedious” task of playtesting all of the outsourced vehicles. Mark’s testing regimen remains the same for each car: a 3-lap race around a random course, with seven NPC “drone” opponents rubberbanding towards the player’s car as needed.

“Quick off the mark for its size, this SUV is the ideal retaliatory weapon. Just don’t expect to outrun anyone in it.”

The beefy Becket Reaver 730 piqued Mark’s interest beforehand, so it’s the first to be thrashed around, with the course of choice being Industrial Park. He has no frame of reference as to how fast or slow heavy vehicles like this are supposed to be from a standstill, but the Reaver has no problem keeping up with the rest of the grid despite all the drones being sports cars. It isn’t the most responsive in corners, but that’s nothing that stomping on the brake and then flooring the gas can’t fix.

During the race, the corners of Mark’s mouth curl upward when he sees a large orange-outlined black hexagon with an arrow on it. His power bar having been filled roughly two powerslides ago, he empties it with a single press of the circle button on his controller.

In-game, the side of an under-construction high-rise closest to the road is blown up, causing the upper half of the structure to topple over and crush three opponents under the rubble. The screen shakes violently as shockwaves fling two more racers into walls and yet barely nudge Mark’s brick on wheels. He drifts to the right, onto a new route opened up by the building’s collapse.

Although the drones don’t have any trouble catching up to the Reaver, they struggle to stay ahead of it for long, as the tanker truck and gas line explosions they try to wreck it with only backfire on the other racers ahead.

Of course, as Mark finds out when he tries to take a shortcut through a gas station, even the Reaver has its limits. A perfectly timed detonation causes it to flip end over end as it falls apart like Lego. Good, Mark muses internally. Can’t have a mobile bunker becoming the meta in Salvo mode.



After crossing the finish line, the satisfaction on Mark’s face is evident. Too bad there’s no one else around to see it.


OOC: I can say without a doubt that I would’ve regretted instabinning this entry. It fills its niche in the Reflex car lineup with panache, and despite a few stylistic elements borrowed from an existing car design or two, it also brings new ones to the table, including the high-set light bar that divides the rear window, or the narrow vertical taillights that are flanked by rear fender vents.

Aside from the distance between the floor and the pedals, and the short gearing resulting in a less-than-ideal top speed, the Reaver has what it takes to shrug off little things like crash-landing planes, falling trains, and ruptured gas mains.

“The Becket Hurricane combines a muscular presence with supercar-like agility. It may not be the fastest car out there, but as established in Reflex, speed isn’t everything.”

After a taste of one of the higher-tier vehicles, Mark decides to work his way up from the bottom with the Becket Hurricane. Although neither its stats nor its status within the game seem particularly impressive, he’s confident that it’ll leave a strong impression on players who are just starting out.

With its muscular haunches, razor-sharp mirrors and aero, and almost comically large triple exhaust tip (which sticks out a bit too much for Mark’s liking), the Hurricane is shaping up (pun intended) to be an attractive early unlock. Mark decides to take it to the Airport track, planned to be one of the first available to players.

Whoo! As the race begins, Mark instinctively leans back in his chair as the Hurricane’s quick acceleration causes it to magnetize to the front of the pack. The drones’ difficulty has been reduced, resulting in fewer remote detonations for him to outrun, but the same can’t be said for the actual drones due to the Hurricane’s mediocre top speed. Regardless, he scavenges enough power through turns to prepare a “little surprise” for the group of cars ahead of him on the second lap.


A suspension monorail track running parallel to the finish line explodes, flinging a fast-moving train off of it and down the race course. It plows through three drones, the barrier separating the first turn from the central airport building, and then the glass facade of the building itself, grinding to a halt against a row of check-in counters. The rearmost train car detaches to block the existing path, and another drone, too slow to react to the impromptu change in routes, drives directly into it.



As the race continues through the airport building, Mark, caught up in the thrill of the hunt, fails to notice a massive hanging sculpture being dropped from the ceiling until it’s too late.

…Oof. At least I can catch up.


OOC: Another strong candidate for inclusion in Reflex, the Hurricane is a no-nonsense supercar with aggressive looks and performance to back each other up.

The S5S is generally regarded as a hard body to work with in the rear unless you break out the 3D (as Riley has), but in this case, you’ve managed to neatly frame the rear fascia between the spoiler, wing, and decently tall diffuser. It could use a pair of rear vents, though.

I’m also personally not a fan of the flat orange indicators and the gold flake paint on the exhaust tip—I would’ve respectively used the mod gauge glow material (with a metallic grey or chrome unlit colour) and gold-coloured steel or aluminum instead.


Mark stares at his screen for a few seconds, before snapping back to reality and examining the car that currently lies in front of him.

Between the greyscale Hurricane as a placeholder icon and the missing description string, Mark gets the impression that this entry has been phoned in somewhat. The design, primarily consisting of modern elements grafted onto a WWII-era soap bar with reckless abandon, also does it no favours, and there isn’t a single splash of colour to break up the sea of black carbon twill.*



Without even starting a race, Mark decides to save himself the trouble of staring at that car for three whole laps, and decides to move to something more palatable.


OOC: This is claimed to be a modern car with a retro design instead of a restomod, but unless you were going for a 4-wheeled version of the Eliica, the proportions just aren’t there.** In addition, the execution of the Bootleg’s design compared to those of your other recent entries leaves a lot to be desired (with the exception of the taillights).

It’s those two points, along with the puzzling decision to put road car infotainment in a semi-stripped racing interior, the “lolcage” in the trim name, and the instances of the number 666 without sufficient underworldly design cues to back them up that make this car come off as a bit of a shitpost.

A massive shame, since I believe you have the skill to make a decent genuine entry.

*The fenders are supposedly red carbon, but the visual difference between it and the black carbon is negligible.

**This isn’t to say that every old body is off the table for a modern car; with the right bumper and side skirt treatment, you could turn the Swinger (E-Type) into a raw FR sports coupe in the vein of the Ryback Coyote (seen below) and the infamous Ryback Firestorm.

“The Wiltflower’s four-wheel drive and computer-controlled active suspension aren’t the best for drifting, but with no stability control, they’re all the better at putting the twin-turbo V10’s power down.”

This one looks… interesting.

From the car selection menu, Mark is currently eyeing a low-slung hypercar with a deep red paint job, which looks like an out-and-out hypercar despite its mid-tier status. He can only just make out the thin grey lines that separate the burgundy parts of the body from the black parts, and unfortunately for him, this build of the alpha doesn’t have the alternate colours properly hooked up yet.

The front of the so-called Kastell “Wiltflower” seems like standard hypercar fare with its DRL line-adorned headlights and lower grille arrangement, but as Mark uses the right joystick to pan the camera around to the rear of the car, it quickly occurs to him that the apparent typo in the car’s name is just the tip of the iceberg.

Out back, the curved contour formed by the rear fenders is interrupted by a pair of decidedly tacked-on angular vents. Mark is intrigued by the exhaust placement, which brings to mind a specific Italian one-make racer from the 2000s, but his reaction becomes one of bafflement upon finding out that the exhaust tips, for whatever reason, have brake lights on them. The placement of the fuel filler where a standard centre-exit exhaust would be is also beyond explanation.

Although Mark likes the livery pattern on the hood and behind the rear window, he’s not a fan of it elsewhere, with the awkward zigzagging of the black stripes towards the rear and the random pair of horizontal bands running across the car. Welp, hopefully it drives better than it looks.

Throwing the Wiltflower around the Shipyard course, Mark deems it to be worthy of its stats as a mid-tier car, except for its suspicious eagerness to turn on a dime without drifting. As he drives next to a large, fully loaded container ship, the maximum-difficulty AI decides to bury his car in an avalanche of shipping containers that neatly fall into the shape of a ramp leading onto the ship.



Or at least, Mark’s car is supposed to be buried, but the roll cage comprising what remains of the Wiltflower is instead shot sky-high due to a collision bug, and the incorrectly set-up damage deformation has also turned it into something vaguely resembling a sea urchin dipped in mercury.

Clearly disappointed with this glaring physics oversight, which he realizes is also the source of the unusually sharp steering, Mark has made up his mind—with the technical team’s hands full, the car won’t make it into the game before its release, and to him, it’s also not worth troubling the artists to redo the rear end and livery.


OOC: For starters, you left the weight optimization at 50, making this technically an instabin. Despite that, although the car looks decent at first glance, the design starts to fall apart in places.

Behind the front fenders, there’s little, if any, rhyme or reason to the placement of the black stripes and which paths they follow. Speaking of the black stripes, they barely contrast against the maroon paint chosen for this build.

Last but not least, save for the diffuser, the entire rear seems to be the result of a general lack of thought put into the design… or a gallon of alcohol. Actually, maybe the latter would explain the lit exhaust tips, which are a violation of common sense if there ever was one.

Mark decides he’s had enough for the evening and calls it a day, turning off his PC and heading out of the office. Hopefully, tomorrow’s testing will have more fitting cars in store for him.


Oh wow, very good round with insane detail. This is a fun one to say the least!


I decided to do short gearing for a couple of reasons, mainly that it gives a better off-road score, and that, realistically, you wouldn’t want a brick this size on chunky tyres to go too fast (even the most powerful tuned G Wagens and Raptors and TRXs don’t go nearly as fast as this).

Anyway, really nicely done reviews, glad to have scored positively!


I’m happy that people are enjoying the reviews so far!

While I can see where you’re coming from, I decided to lean more into the stats of Split/Second, wherein heavy vehicles are generally given higher top speeds than lighter cars on the same level to make up for their lackluster acceleration, agility, and (usually) drift speed, as the descriptions below lampshade:

The Bandit is strong and heavy, but it’s also very quick in a straight line - provided it’s a very long straight line.

Despite its size, the Titan has a spectacular top speed, if you can reach it. The key is maintaining speed through the corners, so pretend it’s just a muscle car with no back seat.


I love the game design you have going on, with the car select in the top it’s very cool. Worth the effort for sure.


Not a bad result so far for my first challenge on these forums! Also love the effort put into the review images. Can’t wait to see the rest!


10:00 AM
Brighton, England
Reflex (Alpha Build) Outsourced Car Reviews II

The following morning, amid the regular office bustle, Mark wastes little time in testing the remaining batch of cars.

“Not your average all-rounder, the Guttersnipe is a jack of all trades, with its all-wheel steering making it a master of one.”

Waiting for the rally car’s description to scroll along, Mark’s eyes light up at the mention of all-wheel steering. That oughta make things interesting. And what better course to test it on than Reflex City, with its many 90-degree turns?

By the middle of the race, Mark is reconsidering his decision to set the drones to Elite difficulty. Although the Guttersnipe’s agility is practically unmatched, it comes at the cost of drifts being next to impossible to do cleanly anywhere other than tight corners. As a result, he has to resort to slipstreaming from the middle of the pack to build up power.

Well, shit, guess I got no power for the subway route, Mark mutters internally as he heads into the second and final lap, having used all of his precious little power on smaller explosions to desperately try and rein the leaders in.

Mark’s patience with the Guttersnipe’s unwillingness to drift is finally exhausted when, at the behest of a drone, a Skycrane helicopter drags a giant mining truck across the road like a little kid would drag a suitcase along the airport floor after a three-hour flight. Both the car and his hopes of winning the race are nothing short of flattened.

“Fuck!” Mark’s unsuccessfully stifled outburst turns heads in the office for a few seconds.



Something about the way the car handles doesn’t sit right with Mark, and as he digs into the car’s code to pinpoint the cause of “this bullshit” (as he so eloquently explained it to the others a minute ago), he finds that the car is noticeably lighter than it should be. No wonder…


OOC: Another 50-weight-optimization-related instabin with a number of other shortcomings, the Elite Guttersnipe RX presents an interesting concept, but both its design and tuning let it down. For starters, more could have been done with the engine—it peaks at redline, and said redline is well over 1000 rpm short of the engine internals’ stress threshold.

In terms of design, while the single-piece Audi R8 taillights have been used to passable effect, the rounded-rectangle aesthetic in general hurts aggressiveness, and the yellow halogen fog lights and multitude of flat orange indicators (including on the… front fender vent slats??) similarly impact the modernity of the design. Also raising an eyebrow or two are the transparent window glass (in spite of the lack of an interior), the awkwardly placed vents on the otherwise barren hood, and the exposed, unguarded intercooler that almost begs to get damaged beyond repair in a fender bender. Oh, and the rear radiator fans are positively Hugh Mogus.

Last but not least, while four-wheel steering in the context of a game that expects you to drift is interesting, I decided to lean into the less desirable implications of such a mechanic, since, well, I wasn’t looking for a rehash of the Wiltflower bin.

“A meticulously engineered GT racer with the engine behind the rear axle, the Kaiser LMT takes corners like a champ with its nose pointed forward… or sideways!”

Ooh, I love a good not-a-Porsche. And this looks like quite the drifter, too!

The Kastell Kaiser LMT, as it’s referred to in the game, makes almost no effort to hide its real-world inspiration, but as Mark is inclined to believe, no one does rear-engined speed machines quite like those odd German folks. He has high hopes for this one, especially given the failure of the last few cars to meet his standards.

Taking the Kaiser to Reflex City once again, Mark takes his time to get used to the car’s unique drifting behaviour; it seems to corner much tighter when burning rubber, which helps it snake through the cityscape’s multitude of sharp turns. It also holds drifts well through said sharp turns, though its grip makes getting the rear end out in the first place tricky.

Mark notes that even with Reflex's distinctly arcadey handling, the Kaiser could use a little more refinement. Nevertheless, he’s having a much better time in the Kaiser than in the Guttersnipe, and as the home straight approaches, the orange-outlined hexagonal icon calls to him.

Without warning, the stretch of road ahead of the finish line explosively caves in to reveal a wide yet somewhat short under-construction railway tunnel. At the other end of the tunnel lies another hole in the road that, with the help of collapsed bits of a tunnel boring machine acting as a ramp, whisks the cars away to an area of the city outside the regular race course.



That’s more like it, Mark muses to himself, satisfied with another successful race.


OOC: Elevating the obligatory Beetle on steroids beyond Split/Second's own Cayman-Panamera hybrid, the Kaiser instead follows in the footsteps of the new 935, but I feel like the rear fenders and lower front and rear vents are a downgrade from the real car in terms of how blocky and rectilinear they are. Additionally, I’ve seen taillights mounted low on race cars, but not that low.

Curiously for something made in the image of an archetypically overengineered German performance car, no quality besides in safety was used whatsoever. This is despite a cost cap that, in retrospect, is probably more than enough for +10 quality across the board.

Lastly, while I wouldn’t go so far as to call the Kaiser “mid”, its overall design isn’t quite as aggressive as I would like (though it is clean), and something could be done to visually break up the single-colour bodywork, even if only in the form of a single longitudinal stripe.

“Bringing a rolling sculpture like the Schiavona 512R onto the set of Reflex doesn’t sound like the smartest idea, but its performance makes it that much more worth it to win in style.”

With more subtle accent colours and surfacing, the Romagna Schiavona 512R forgoes the expected guns-blazing stylistic approach for something more elegant and reserved. Mark wonders if that’ll be offset by its performance, as at first glance, it does seem fairly tail-happy.

This time, the track of choice is Passenger Port, located adjacent to Shipyard but following an almost entirely different route. Instead of under-construction tankers and towering gantry cranes, cruise ships and a sprawling terminal building lie in wait, ready to crush racers’ cars—and their chances at victory—at a moment’s notice.

Mark gets off to a strong start after using a trio of taxis to steamroll the race leader, but after a wing of the terminal building next to the track is rocked by a domino-like chain of explosions, he’s forced to fight an especially strong shockwave for control of the car, narrowly avoiding faceplanting into a concrete barrier. He loses two positions, but luckily for him, it’s still only the first lap.

As expected of the higher-difficulty drones, however, one slaps Mark with a medium-duty box truck. Almost literally, as the flaming truck swaps ends while behind hurled across the width of the track, leading Mark’s Schiavona to T-bone it. Unfortunately for the drone that just wrecked him, his power bar is full.

As the cars speed along a wharf, a loud foghorn signals a medium-sized cruise ship picking up steam from a pier before plowing into the concrete berth, running aground, and coming to rest with its bow wedged into the formerly glass-panelled facade of the terminal building. Two drones crash into the ship’s hull before a nearby section of the terminal collapses, leading the surviving cars onto the building’s roof.



I’m thinkin’ I should buy the animation team some drinks after this one… oh, and the car’s certainly not bad either.


OOC: Design-wise, this execution of the quintessential Italian V12 grand tourer consists of less bark than bite, making it more at home in something like a simcade. Unfortunately, as well-intentioned as the idea to tone down the aggro may be, it finds itself at odds in the context of this challenge. This isn’t to say, though, that it’s completely lacking in that area (as evidenced by the rakish fastback profile, sculpted sides, prominent rear diffuser, and very wide fender flares), but rather that it could use less Ferrari and more Lamborghini.

Regardless, between the general idea, realistic design direction, and clever fixture usage, it’s still a fairly competent entry, and one that the Reflex team will give consideration.

“When Italian ferocity meets explosive velocity, the end result packs quite a punch. We wouldn’t recommend adding drifting to the mix, though.”

From one Italian supercar to the other. Only, this one has its engine on the other end of the driver and, unfortunately for Mark’s play style, doesn’t seem nearly as drifty despite its speed. It’s also quite a looker, but the suspicious lack of a front splitter gives him pause. Nevertheless, it’d be quite a shame to not give it a spin, so to the Freeway course Mark goes.

Early on, he finds that although the Velocita isn’t particularly opposed to throwing its tail out, it tends to lose quite a bit of speed in the process, so drifting along wide, sweeping turns isn’t really an option. This being another urban course, however, there are also plenty of tighter turns offering better opportunities for Mark to gather power. In the Velocita, drifts also come in the form of being shoved across the width of the track by explosions ringing out from the facades of the many trackside buildings.

Approaching the finish line and the stretch of two-story highway shortly after it, Mark seizes the opportunity to strike.

Earth-shaking groans and creaks spell doom for the two drones ahead, as the roadway above them buckles like a concrete and steel tsunami. This wave of explosive carnage effortlessly flings parked cars and semi trucks into the air, where they land onto the course below. Although both drones manage to weave between the rain of traffic, they ultimately fall victim to a tanker truck that explodes as soon as it hits the ground.

Lastly, a chunk of the upper story falls onto the lower one and causes it to collapse, creating a small jump that leads Mark and the drones behind him away from the freeway and into a park.



Mark can’t help but let out a hearty chuckle after witnessing the destruction he’d just wrought upon his opponents, and perhaps Reflex City itself.


OOC: The Velocita’s design has plenty of points of interest that set it apart from the other cars in a good way, such as the noticeably low-set headlights or the classic rear fascia arrangement (i.e. lights above plate inset above exhausts), but also in a bad way, like the lack of engine bay vents on the rear fascia (yes, that’s all black trim), the poorly integrated rectangular rear ducktail spoiler and the boxy corners next to it, and the aforementioned lack of a front splitter, which, to be blunt, makes the car look “chinless”.

Ultimately though, it’s the Velocita’s textbook Italian supercar flair that gives it an edge in looks, and performance-wise, it’s no slouch either.

“While Mikawa hasn’t elaborated on what ‘Hush’ means, we think it has something to do with the concentration needed to keep this beast under control. If you succeed, it’ll be more than worth it.”

Skipping over the Becket Reaver 730 for obvious reasons, Mark finds himself looking at a sleek white hypercar with never-before-seen speed and acceleration… or so the stats say. Only one way to find out if those numbers hold true.

For this race, Concrete Canal is the track of choice, as he hopes its sheer width and large corners in places will give him the opportunity to open the taps on the Hush’s engine. It has no alternate routes, and it’s a little long for being a three-lap course, but Mark has some ideas on how to change that before the game’s release.

As soon as the first corner, the Hush stands out from the rest through handling alone, as its tail starts to step out in corners without Mark even touching the brake. With plenty of coaxing through countersteer, Mark manages to straighten the car out, realizing that he may have an entirely new monster under his control. So this is what the description meant, huh? Well, goddamn.

As the canal snakes along, the Hush’s rear tires can’t catch a break, with Mark keeping the rear end angled out just a little bit… or a lot. The constant drifting sometimes ends up flooding his power bar, but not before two or three drones overtake him and he’s forced to straighten out to catch up again. But with everything he’s throwing at them, the only other thing that slows him down is the wrecked drones’ roll cage-reinforced midsections littering the track.

One thing seems to have kept them behind for longer than usual, though, that being another Skycrane using a mining truck as a giant, expensive wrecking ball before unceremoniously dropping it onto the track. The victim? A sizeable road bridge, followed by 5 drones.



Ohhh yeah, this one’s a keeper.

Mark’s thankful that this one’s a higher-tier car, since otherwise, players could easily powerslide through a good chunk of the game’s races.


OOC: I know the Mikawa logo may seem like the laziest of the bunch, but I just thought it’d be neat if I mashed together an M, a ミ, and a. Anyways…

With sculpting rivalled by few other entrants, aggressive proportions to rival sports prototypes, and an exhaustively detailed interior complete with a power gauge, the Mikawa Hush ticks all my boxes where aesthetics are concerned. (Well, except for the somewhat ungainly triple round exhaust tip, which, like the Hurricane’s, sticks out a little too much. There are also a couple of ambient orange interior lighting elements that probably need fixing.)

And with over 1400 horses working to spin the entire planet under the rear wheels, I couldn’t help but envision it as having the same handling characteristics as arguably the most drifty non-DLC car that isn’t the Ryback Firestorm—the good old Cobretti Slipstream.

(Come to the dark ​ power oversteer side… we have cookies! ​ Level 2 Power Plays for days!)

“The bona fide race car that is the Zeron X can put plenty of distance between itself and the competition. Unfortunately, all that speed means it’s utterly defenseless when the competition strikes back.”

Mark certainly hadn’t expected anyone submitting a formula car for inclusion in Reflex, much less one with a yellow canopy. It kind of reminds him of the sci-fi Lego sets he used to have as a kid.

The stats are noteworthy too, as befits an end-game vehicle: it’s ferociously quick, it’s made of paper, and it can drift to at least some extent. Although Mark thinks its speed could be maxed out as well, he thinks the following black-and-purple car might have something to do with this one’s current stat of 9.

In other words, it’s no beginner’s car. Thankfully, Mark’s no beginner.

Speeding between sun-baked rock faces and the bones of decommissioned aircraft at the Scrapyard course, the Zeron doesn’t seem to care that it’s technically driving on a dirt road half the time—it drafts behind opponents, gets its handling upset by shockwaves, and rebounds headlong into the action all the same.

After having just driven the tires off of the Hush, it takes Mark a few corners to acclimate to the Zeron’s lack of power oversteer, or willingness to oversteer in general. However, he finds that when it does, it doesn’t lose too much of its speed.

After yet another almost-successful attempt by a drone to wreck the Zeron with explosives dropped from a helicopter, disaster strikes when explosive charges planted into a cliffside suddenly chuck car-sized boulders across the track… or does it?



Instinctively slamming the brakes, Mark scrapes the Zeron’s nose against a boulder, somehow escaping a guaranteed wreck with only scratched paint… until a drone rear-ends his car and causes it to fall apart where it stands.

As the technical director, Mark knows better than anyone that that’s not how cars are suppposed to crash in this game. He wonders if the same programmer that made landing on top of another car wreck the player’s car as a cheap failsafe is responsible for this, too…


OOC: While the rules call for a roll cage, I don’t see why a halo wouldn’t also count, at least in the context of a formula car. Not that I’d taken formula cars in general into account anyways.

50 weight optimization aside, this car is mainly let down by three dubious design choices: the use of the tire sticker material on the body, the yellow canopy, and the glowing “2.0” on the nose and wing endplates (the latter two of which are more sci-fi than present-day). In addition, there are a pair of lights on the front wing, but given how flat they are, I can’t see them as anything other than DRLs; at least to me, a pair of actual headlights would need more depth to them.

Overall, the idea of a formula car in Reflex sounds like a blast, but even discounting the rule breach, this specific example leaves me wanting something more polished.

“The Naginata may come across as unwieldy compared to your average prototype, but its sheer power should keep you out of reach of anything thrown your way.”

So this is it, the fastest car in the game. Like its polearm namesake, the Elite Naginata looks like a weapon on the track, with more heft than a katana but also a further reach. And reach it seems destined to do, with an aerodynamic body, long wheelbase, and… unusually thick vertical fin. Mark isn’t convinced by the messy mix of round and hard-edged parts either, but he has yet to find out just how fast it can go. And the Airport course, with its forgiving turns and long runway section, seems like the ideal proving ground.

Even on Elite difficulty, the lifeblood of which is ruthless rubberbanding, the drones struggle to keep up with the Naginata. Although it’s much more receptive to sliding than the Zeron, it loses quite a bit of speed in the process, and Mark finds that he can’t slipstream behind opponents for power if there are no opponents to slipstream behind in the first place. Although Mark is still able to fill up parts of his power bar in places, the point remains that this car may very well be too fast for its own good, with few redeeming qualities to make up for its shortcomings.

Heh, I wonder if I can even outrun this route switcher, Mark ponders as he sends the monorail forward once again.



The game answers with a resounding “no” as the Naginata follows too close to the stray monorail cars and gets its front end pinched by one. Mark decides that it isn’t worth the effort to both rebalance and redesign this car.


OOC: The only bin where hard requirements weren’t a factor, the Naginata tries to position itself as a more modern equivalent to the swoopy endurance racers of the 2000s, but falls flat on its face thanks to a myriad of design oversights. The blocky lower air intake and front splitter stays clashing with the sleek upper front fenders, the random dip in the bodywork on the nose, the “side vent” cutouts that in actuality are mostly blocked off by bodywork, the fin that’s half a foot thick, with what looks like architectural crown moulding on top… the list goes on.

The hexagonal pattern got my attention at first, and the way it’s carried over to the headlights isn’t bad, but the taillights are a different story; the disjointed shape the hexagons create there looks more at home on a petri dish than even as part of whatever Hyundai and Kia are throwing at the wall nowadays.

To top it all off, even by arcade racer standards, 2286 horsepower is a lot, and if you were expecting the Naginata’s world-beating stats to carry it through the challenge, I’m afraid you misread the priorities.

After having reviewed all of the cars, it’s time to find out which studio to contact to fill the remaining gaps in the car list. To that end, Mark suggests that other Chalk Cliff devs take the wheel so he can gauge everybody’s impressions on each of the remaining cars.

As art lead Bryce Iwashita takes a seat in front of the break room TV, a booming voice is heard as a cutscene shows empty, innocuous-looking parts of Reflex City.

“On today’s episode of Reflex…”

Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane by helijah | Mining dump truck by Arahan

Very good reviews, I’m happy I made it to the finals.

Here are some fun facts about the Kaiser LMT:

-LMT stands for both Limit and Le Mans Tribute, and I put some easter eggs in the car to reflect this:

-The obvious one is the “Nobody’s Perfect” from the Porsche ad showing the results of the 1983 24h of Le Mans.

-The position indicator has a 1/19 for the 19 Porsche victories at Le Mans, and the lap counter 9/35 is a reference to the main inspiration for this car.

-Last lap is the old record of the 956 at the Nordschleife, while the best lap is the current record of the 919 EVO

(I just noticed the rollcage goes through the times xd)

I also wanted to make a tribute livery similar to the one the 963 is running this year at LM, but unfortunately I didn’t have the time.


2:00 PM
Brighton, England
Reflex Outsourcing Vehicle Art Studio Selection

As other devs and artists gather in the break room, Mark and Bryce each grab a controller, and the final stretch of testing kicks off with a split-screen race between two Hurricanes.

Round 1
Race: Hurricane vs. Hurricane

Bryce may not have as good of an understanding of the car’s handling as Mark, but what he does have is a half-full power bar and an opponent to use it on. Trusting his gut, he triggers a line of three vans to sweep across the track in the blink of an eye, catching Mark by surprise and stopping him dead in his tracks.

As Bryce takes first place, he keeps his eyes peeled for anything Mark might use to reclaim the lead… which includes the highway itself.

“Don’t you dare…” Bryce chuckles. Mark only responds with a devious giggle before triggering the alternate route and burying Bryce’s car under several tons of asphalt. Oh, well. He saw it coming from a mile away.

Following an expected victory for Mark, Bryce is impressed by the Hurricane’s proportions and aero, but less so by the exhaust and “wilty” taillights. They’re not dealbreakers for him, though.

Round 2
Reflex City
Elimination: Kaiser LMT vs. Schiavona 512R

“So, uh… who’s next?”

Bryce’s question is answered by programmer Cat Duchamp, and Mark hands his own controller over to Tobias Franks, another programmer. This time, the two duke it out in an Elimination event, with six drones added to the grid so the race doesn’t end after just one elimination.

As the race starts and the timer begins to count down from 60, Toby feels slightly cheated as Cat’s bright blue racer begins to inch away from his Italian GT, but any such thoughts are cast aside after Mark beckons him to stomp the brake and floor the gas into the first corner.

A jarring, reverberating crash sound effect is heard as Toby, having not even thought about countersteering, crashes into a building. A smile creeps across Cat’s face, but at least from Mark’s point of view, she isn’t doing that much better, relying on slipstreaming to gain power.

“Shit…” Toby mutters as he hears the timer count down from 10. Just as he steels himself for an embarrassing last-place finish, he drives by a wrecked drone. A dramatic chime is heard as the words “DI FIUMI HAS BEEN ELIMINATED” appear in the middle of the screen.

Wanting to fill up her power bar like Toby does, Cat tries to drift too, barely pulling it off on her first time with plenty of countersteer and bumping into a wall. That wall tap leads to last place for her, but not for long, as she quickly finds an opponent to use her power on. “ZHENG HAS BEEN ELIMINATED” signals Cat’s own close call as the last of the six drones bites the dust.

Of the two remaining human players, it’s a toss-up as to who will come out on top, and in which car. Will it be the nostalgic track toy, or the tail-happy prima donna?

Unfortunately for Toby, he was too busy drifting and wrecking drones to notice that drifting reduces a car’s speed, and Cat just happened to be taking the same corner in a decidedly less drifty way, giving her the upper hand—and the victory.

Both cars strike Cat and Toby as rather unassuming (the Kaiser’s ground-hugging taillights aside), but the two agree that they each have their own driving quirks, making them useful for either predominant play style.

Round 3
Concrete Canal
Salvo: Velocita

Mark decides to switch things up a bit by having artist Calvin Dominguez go it alone in a round of Salvo mode, which has the usual rigged set pieces take a backseat in favour of a missile-laden attack helicopter. It’s a small blessing that the missiles are aimed at the road ahead of the player’s car, instead of directly at it.

A cluster of blue markers hovers over the road before turning an ominous red, which Calvin interprets as his cue to make the most of the Velocita’s agility. Lke clockwork, the missiles touch down on each of the markers in sequence, and the screen shakes as Calvin grazes one.

As the missiles rain down upon the track, they grow in numbers, with each successive wave beginning to lay a minefield of markers on the asphalt. Eventually, one too many close calls leads to a shockwave nudging the already-battered Velocita directly into a marker, resulting in its destruction.

The good news is that Calvin has two lives left. The bad news is that his wave survival streak is gone, and with it, his 4x score multiplier. As the missiles continue their barrage at the current intensity, Calvin quickly realizes the importance of preserving the initial streak.

Having to chart a route through each saturation strike on the fly, Calvin finds his heart race rising and his concentration falling. Before long, the message “ONE LIFE LEFT” puts everybody in the break room on edge as the soundtrack’s relentless drumbeats are now accompanied by the dissonant wail of what sounds like an air raid siren.

Eventually, the crash sound effect and the words “OUT OF LIVES” signal the end of the run, with Calvin having reached a score of 67,900 points.

“If it’s okay with you, Mark, I think I’ll step out for a few minutes.”

While Calvin leaves the break room to take a breather, Mark ponders the results of the round before confirming that in spite of their fragility, cars like the Velocita have a place in Salvo mode after all.

Round 4
Passenger Port
Rival Race: Reaver 730

With the help of QA tester Jan Bergman, Mark is about to answer the question “What happens when you bring a truck to a supercar fight featuring the most skilled NPC opponents in the game?”

Plenty, at least according to Mark.

Since the car lineup hasn’t been finalized, the specific rival characters have yet to be fleshed out, so for this race, Jan is “merely” up against a grid of Elite-difficulty drones with regular contestant names.

Having only driven the drone car before, Jan is, like Mark, impressed with the Reaver’s acceleration. He gathers enough power through slipstreaming alone to wreck an opponent with a tour bus, before trying to speed the process up by drifting.

To Jan’s mild disappointment, it takes a bit more effort to swing the rear out, and when the wheels start spinning, the SUV’s speed drops off quite a bit. Luckily, he knows his way around some of the alternate routes, and decides to show the devs the fruits of their labour by sandwiching a few drones between a ship and a hard place.

As a pair of roof-mounted HVAC units explodes only metres away from the Reaver, Jan instinctively braces for the shockwave by countersteering, but finds that the truck has hardly budged, in contrast to a nearby drone that gets smashed apart against a trackside barrier. It’s now apparent to everyone that being weighed down works to the Reaver’s advantage, as the only traps that can touch it are those that do so in a literal sense.

Jan finishes in a respectable second place. The Reaver isn’t for everyone, but using it in a race is quite the experience nevertheless.

Round 5
Industrial Park
Time Trial: Hush

The most drifty car yet versus a game mode where time is of the essence, as is keeping the tail under control. What could go wrong?

Taking the reins yet again, Mark finds himself fighting not only the car’s natural urge to drift, but his own as well. With no power bar to fill, he finds it frustrating that even though the car slides so naturally, the only thing that’ll do is hurt its laptime.

To compound the problem, explosions try to shower the Hush in debris and push it off course, as the track itself seemingly tries to put an end to the lone car’s hotlap. It may seem frustrating on paper, but what good would a plain old time trial be in Reflex?

Heading into the sharp right-hander where the alternate route lies, Mark decides to drift just this once as the familiar under-construction building crumbles and blocks the regular route. The turn is tight enough that he’s genuinely unsure if not drifting would actually be slower. The others in the room are utterly unaware of such thoughts, only witnessing Mark gracefully burning rubber to preserve speed around a corner.

After crossing the finish line several seconds earlier than the target time, it’s evident to Mark that drifting isn’t the Hush’s only strength.

And with that, the testing session is over, and everyone begins to leave the break room, satisfied with today’s results. Mark in particular heads back to his cubicle, and begins typing up an email:

“After reviewing your submission for our in-development racing game, we are pleased to announce that you have been selected to model the remainder of the playable car lineup.”

Before the winner is revealed:
Post-race BGM (timestamped)


11th: @Ludvig
Not quite sure what the point of this entry was. (Please don’t be a shitpost, please don’t be a shitpost…)

10th: @Fayeding_Spray
As solid as the general idea is, its execution was… where do I begin? Actually, nowhere.

9th: @stayin_sus
Hypercars are supposed to turn heads, but not in the sense of one’s face tilting down to meet their open palm.

8th: @Rise_Comics
A rally car would’ve been interesting, but this one is rougher around the edges than the Kaiser.

7th: @DrDoomD1scord
The Zeron X is another intriguing concept whose execution is lacking.

6th: @Danicoptero
Ditto for the Kaiser, but to a lesser degree on both fronts.

5th: @Xepy
Stylistically misses the mark somewhat, but still makes an impression and sets an example.

4th: @DinnerKingDedede
A unique package with a few unconventional design decisions, some of which work to its benefit.

3rd: @Riley
The Velocita doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table, but nevertheless occupies its existing niche quite well.

2nd: @the-chowi
Although I’m a little disappointed that only one heavy vehicle was entered, the vehicle in question makes up for it.

1st: @azkaalfafa
The Hush is just the kind of vehicle I wanted to see in this challenge, with lots of detail to boot.


Thanks to all who participated! I’ve been wanting to do something like this since I first participated in AGC 14 over two years ago, so when the opportunity came, I knew I had to seize it. Although there are a few things that I would’ve done differently in retrospect, I hope I was able to effectively convey the spirit of the one-of-a-kind arcade racer that is Split/Second in the format of an Automation challenge.

Oh, by the way, the game’s DLC cars and tracks are free on PC. Quarry in particular is an absolute blast (in more ways than one)!

Mi-24 Hind by Ashley Aslett