LaVache Horseless Carriages [MY2019 Sedan Lineup]

This is the official thread for the third member of the IMP Automotive Empire.

LaVache Horseless Carriages is an american car maker founded in 1934 by the descendants of french immigrants. Their cars are mostly middle-class, with some sports cars thrown into the mix. A specialty of LaVache are large displacement V6 engines, all LaVache cars manufactured after 1966 were equipped with V6 engines of varying size. The best known of those engines are the original Big-Block V6 with up to 444cui and 350hp (SAE net) and the 305 V6 nicknamed “the Cow”, first used in 1976 and still used today in highly developed form. Following the first oil crisis of 1973 LaVache fell into serious financial troubles, leading to the acquisation of the company through IMP in 1982. Within the IMP Automotive Empire LaVache has the privilege of semi-autonomity by using engines of their own design, but it ranks below IMP and Monolith (Monolith is the brand name of the IMP Commercial Vehicle Corporation).

Car models:

LaVache Standard (1934-1949), Full-size Sedan

LaVache Standard Premier (1939-1949), Full-size Sedan

LaVache Premier Executive (1949-1967), Full-size Sedan

LaVache Ramjet (1960-1980, 1982-present), Full-size sedan

LaVache Scourge (1965-1980; 1982-1985), Mid-size sedan

LaVache Octane (1968-1972; 2014-present), Muscle/ Sports car

LaVache Sunstreaker (1974-1978), Compact Sedan

LaVache Skywarp (1985-present), Mid-size Sedan

LaVache Thrust (1995-1998), Supercar

LaVache Thundercracker (1996-present), Compact Sedan

LaVache Trailbreaker (2000-present), Mid-size SUV

LaVache Cliffjumper (2014-present), Compact SUV

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Time for some supercars to get attention.

The 1990s were a good time for LaVache Horseless Carriages (for the sake of simplicity I’ll call them LV from now on), after the horrible 1970s and the 1980s which were dominated by restructuring processes following the IMP takeover in 1981, the company could finally focus on the actual products again. First off was a completely new engine. The first generation 6V50 series V6 was retired in 1992 and the compact-er 6V39 ultimately replaced by the IMP developed 6V881 in 1988, even though it was kept in production until 1991. However the 6V50 was to LaVache what the LS is to General Motors, and therefore a successor was developed. The new engine actually used a modified 6V39 block and cylinder head with slightly offset cylinder bores and a thicker block by 1". The end product had the same bore and stroke capacity as the old 6V50 but was identical in size to the 6V39. The new 6V50 engine (it was technically the third generation after the original OHV got Aluminum cylinder heads in 1986) was actually lighter than the 6V39 as the new, optimized cylinder heads were now manufactured from aluminum as well. The 6V50T3 was used in the 1993-1994 LV Ramjet '87, the 1995 Ramjet '94 (SOON) and this, the 1995 LV Thrust Supercar.

The Thrust was LVs answer to the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 and Dodge Viper RT-10. Unlike those it was mid-engined, so it would probably qualify as the first american Supercar if this wasn’t Automation where this had been done a thousand times before. It featured two highly developed versions of the 6V50T3, both with 5.0L of displacement and unique to the Thrust, even though both were based on the existing 5.0 engines used in the Ramjet since 1992. One of them was naturally aspirated and developed near as makes no difference 400hp due to a more aggressive intake plenum and exhaust setup despite its pedestrian Direct Acting OHC design, which gave it one of the highest specific outputs of any american car at the time at 80hp/L.
The rest of the car wasn’t actually that special, the design was very much a 1990s supercar design with the obligatory pop-up headlights and the chassis wasn’t outlandishly futuristic either, just honest plastic on steel. Equally, like most american cars of the era the interior was relatively cheap and taken almost straight from a base model Ramjet sedan (how’s that for parts sharing).

On the other hand that made it cheaper than european supercars and only slightly more expensive than an Acura NSX despite being a lot more powerful. It may not have had the NSXs Ayrton Senna tuned handling (in fact the Thrust’s handling was tuned by a guy called Steve), but it handled just well enough to be quick around a track still. And you really can’t complain about 0-62 time of 4.3s and a top speed of 180mph. But none of that mattered when there was a turbo model with MORE POWER.

It’s 5.0L Twin-Turbo V6 produced just shy of 500hp and a donkey of torque. Some suggest that the car made way more than the advertised 490hp and 490lb-ft, maybe that was underrated from the factory, or maybe the boost controller was of such shitty quality that it always ran with 5psi more boost than intended. Regardless, it now did 0-62mph in 3.8s and hit 190mph. That the turbo lag made it even worse to drive than before didn’t matter anymore. Unfortunately it also lost the pop-up headlights in the process because it wasn’t actually very aerodynamic. Oh well.

Note: I had to use ITBs and race intake to make the engine fit in the engine bay due to height issues. So please Lord Killrob mein Führer give me them 90°V6 engines??


Plot twist: Vector W8 was american supercar too and it appeared earlier.

No Vector was a hypercar in the sense that it was a ton of bullshit claims with nothing to back those claims up (still is, actually)


No Vector was a hypercar in the sense that it was a ton of bullshit claims with nothing to back those claims up (still is, actually)[/quote]

W8 was for real though. They made 19 which is a similar number to many modern-day hypercars. The W8 was sold to customers and tested
by many magazines. Car and Driver recorded 1/4 mile in 12.0 @ 118 mph. The car was fully functional and many examples are still around and in driving condition.
Of the eventual fate of Vector you are of course right.

Back on topic: interesting cars, OP. Especially techincally. I like the fact not everyone is pushing silly 1000 hp engines :slight_smile: 5-liter V6 is an interesting solution;
probably very space-efficient I would assume?


No Vector was a hypercar in the sense that it was a ton of bullshit claims with nothing to back those claims up (still is, actually)

W8 was for real though. They made 19 which is a similar number to many modern-day hypercars. The W8 was sold to customers and tested
by many magazines. Car and Driver recorded 1/4 mile in 12.0 @ 118 mph. The car was fully functional and many examples are still around and in driving condition.
Of the eventual fate of Vector you are of course right.

Back on topic: interesting cars, OP. Especially techincally. I like the fact not everyone is pushing silly 1000 hp engines :slight_smile: 5-liter V6 is an interesting solution;
probably very space-efficient I would assume?[/quote]

But none of those W8 could ever verify their claim of 650hp and 230mph.

Hardly. The engine I use has the same bore and stroke (108 x 90,8mm) as a GMC 305 V6 from the 1960s. Due to the way the fuel system is positioned on V6 engines in Automation it ended up being too tall for the engine bay, unless I used individual throttle bodies and a race intake. I have yet to find a mid-engined engine bay where it actually fits with a sensible intake. Then again it’ll fit in just about any non-supercar body.

In order to generate Thrust, first you need a jet. A Ramjet in this case. Enter the 5th generation.

Development of the 5th generation LV Ramjet began in 1990. The oldschool body-on-frame chassis was carried over from the 4th gen, which some may consider “conservative”, but in all honesty the car was LVs answer to the Panther and B-Body platforms so it didn’t matter. One thing that was changed however was the rear suspension, now fully independent with semi trailings arms, which did give the Ramjet a minor advantage in terms of handling. The other area LV engineers were very concerned about was aerodynamics. The previous Generation was quite boxy and unaerodynamic, which didn’t really fit the aeronautical name of the car. The car got a completely new fastback bodystyle with a drag coefficient of just 0.27, one of the lowest of any production car at the time. The only engine available was the proven LV 6V50T2, albeit in many different variants.

The base trim for the Ramjet was the CT4, aka the fleet special designed specifically for rental car agencies and taxi drivers. The main goal of this trim were low running costs, both in maintenance and fuel. The engine was a highly detuned 4.1L version of the 6V50T3, making just 170hp and 240lb-ft, but returning 29mpg paired to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The wheels were of the cheapest steel variety imaginable, and the rear featured drum brakes instead of discs. It was cheap and it did what it was supposed to do, and most of them ended up in junkyards after they had fulfilled their 500.000 mile service life. Even then most of them ran without issues thanks to pragmatic but tough as nails construction with gear driven OHC and six bolt main bearings that didn’t mind running without any engine oil for a week… or five.

The next trim in the hierarchy was the ST4. It had the same engine and transmission as the CT4, but here it developed 217hp and 255lb-ft. The only other difference were the 4-wheel disc brakes.
This particular model was popular with elderly drivers, probably because it was comfortable. Today, one of these in good condition with low mileage with cost you nothing at all because one does not simply buy a Ramjet ST4, you inherit it from your grandparents, making it the perfect high-school ride for a 16-year old.

The ST5 was similar to the ST4, except it used the full bore 5.0L V6 with 258hp. These are actually pretty popular with budget street racers, as they are dirt cheap to buy, easy to modify and can hit 160mph in stock form thanks to their great aerodynamics.

The Ramjet RT models on the other hand are much more serious machines. The entry level RT5 is visually identical to the ST5, and it too has the 5.0L V6, a hybrid with the forged high-compression bottom end of the RT5 S, but the low-lift camshafts and small diameter valves of the ST5. It makes 300hp, the heavy duty package (limited slip differential, stiffened chassis rails) as standard and it’ll do 170 mph. This particular model is popular with drag racers because of its aerodynamics. In fact, the fastest 1/4 mile time of any stock block Ramjet was set by Bob Robson’s heavily modified 1996 Ramjet RT5 with a 1400hp twin turbo 5.0 which did a 7.93s pass @ 171mph.

Onto the truly collectible stuff, the Ramjet RT5 S is the sportiest of all Ramjets. It’s engine is the same as in the RT5, but features a higher lift camshaft and a more aggressive intake and exhaust, as well as an additional oil cooler and larger radiator. It may only have 20hp more than the RT5, but its strength lies in the corners. The entire chassis has been further beefed up with upgraded springs, dampers, vented four piston brakes at the front and two pistons at the rear, low-profile 18" wheels with sticky high performance tyres, widened track and aggressive camber. The result was a car that, over 20 years after its launch is still hailed as one of the best handling body on frame cars ever despite it’s size and weight. The pièce de résistance however was its 5-speed Borg-Warner T5 manual transmission only available for the first three model years due to poor sales making it one of the most sought after (and expensive) models. Later models had the 4-speed automatic from the turbo.

The RT5 Turbo is the high-end model of the Ramjet family. It has a 5.0L twin turbo V6 that produces 375hp and nearly 480lb-ft of torque. The Turbo however did not have a manual transmission option like the RT5 S it is based on, and it also lacks the suspension upgrades from said model but because of the immense power it can reach over 180mph, making it more of a straight line sports car killer. The distinctive feature of the RT5 Turbo are its fancy hood scoop and ducktail wing. But there was still one car that even the Turbo couldn’t catch…

This is the RT5 Interceptor. It combined all the best bits of the Ramjet RT5 models, mainly the narrow-body of the RT5 with the engine and transmission of the RT5 Turbo and the cylinder head and oil cooler of the RT5 S.
It also received cop shocks, cop suspension, cop brakes, cop wheels and reinforced concealed push bars. It had 435hp, did 0-62mph in 5sec and had a top speed of 190mph. Unfortunately it was in fact not sold to the general public as this model was for highway patrol units only. If the Police were driving in one of these, your chances of escaping them were minimal. The chances of spotting them were even lower, because the only visual difference between an unmarked RT5 Interceptor and your granny’s beige ST4 was a small cooling duct on the side:

Thankfully, due to the high price and maintenance costs only about 1,500 of them were built in 1995 and 1996, making them incredibly rare and expensive on the used market (three years ago, a well seasoned, but also well maintained example sold for $113,500 at a police auction).

Overall, this generation of Ramjet was very successful, selling over 730,000 units between 1994 and 2001, most of which being CTs and STs. CT and ST models were known as indestructible if uninspiring cars much like their main competitors. Since 2008 a story about an elusive immortal Ramjet circulated on the internet, in which a very early ST4 drove over 600.000 miles in america with only half of them including regular maintenance, crashed multiple times and later exported to Bolivia where it supposedly still rolls around flattening potholes with its original engine and chassis.
The much rarer RT models on the other hand earned a cult following in the tuner scene because of the overbuilt engines capable of withstanding immense power.

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  1. What a great year. Not that I can think of anything extraordinary that happened in 1985.

But it was the year that saw the most advanced LV vehicle up to that point, the Skywarp.

The Skywarp was the first all-new LaVache since the infamous 1974 Sunstreaker and also the first launched after LaVache was bought by IMP. Incidentally it wasn’t actually new at all, it was still based on the updated Sunstreaker platform (although thankfully with greatly improved rust proofing) and powered by the same 6V39 engine as its predecessor. The “new” part was provided by a completely new, aerodynamic shape and completely new independent rear suspension. As before, the range was divided into three models:

ST2 - the economy model with a 2.9L V6, a four-speed manual transmission and rear drum brakes
2.9L OHC V6, 138hp, 168lb-ft, 2712lbs, RWD, 123mph, $9,900 (1985-1988)

ST3 - mid range model with a 3.3L engine, five-speed transmission, rear disk brakes
3.3L OHC V6, 174hp, 197lb-ft, 2720lbs, RWD, 136mph, $11,400 (1985-1988)

ST4 - luxury model with 3.9L engine, standard 4-speed automatic transmission, leather seats and cassete radio
3.9L OHC V6, 209hp, 231lb-ft, 2866lbs, RWD, 140mph, $12,300 (1985-1988)

All in all a very safe and sensible car, guaranteed to be popular with OAPs and people on a budget, and the right car for a brand that was quite literally dead just four years ago.
But surely there had to be more to it than that??

There was.

In 1986 LaVache added the RT4 to the line-up.
The RT4 was NOT powered by a puny 6V39 V6, it had the debored 4.1L 6V50 engine. “Oh that’s great”, you might think, but the 6V50 is a cast iron Pushrod engine as opposed to the 6V39s OHC valvetrain, so the actual gain in power was just 10hp and 18lb-ft. Fortunately the RT4 had a clear sporting edge with larger wheels, brakes and sports tuned suspension. It was also only available with a 5-speed manual. At some point engineers thought that it could need some more power, so for 1987 they added a turbocharger to the engine. Now it made all of 258hp and 353lb-ft, which combined with the light weight made it a legitimate rival for Buick’s GNX.
Yet that still wasn’t enough, so just for fun the engineers increased the horsepower some more for 1988.

The resulting RT4 Turbo II produced over 300hp and 380lb-ft and also received 255/55 R16 tires and a limited-slip differential to put that power on the road. With that kind of power it accelerated to 62mph in just over 5 seconds and easily rocketed past 165mph thanks to the slippery shape. Combined with the immense tuning potential of the 6V50 it has rightfully become one of the most beloved american cars of the 1980s. Production of the Turbo II was ended in 1989 due to the certain government agencies disliking the way it converted fuel into speed.

4.1L OHV V6, 222hp, 249lb-ft, 2897lbs, 148mph, $16,850 (1986-1987)

RT4 Turbo
4.1L OHV V6 Turbo, 258hp, 353lb-ft, 3119lbs, 156mph, $19,995 (1987-1989)

RT4 Turbo II
4.1L OHV V6 Turbo, 304hp, 381lb-ft, 3133lbs, 167mph, $21,240 (1988-1989)

The first revision of the Skywarp happened in 1988, when the base engines were replaced with new powerplants, but that is a story for another day…


I’m liking the LaVache Turbo II. Definitely a worthy opponent.

Loving the Skywarp, but where did you get that body?

It’s an old mod body from Pyrlix which I had since the pre-steam Community Modpack days. You can find it on steam I believe but you’ll need to perform a LUA edit to make it work because otherwise it’ll appear completely pinked out like some other old mods.

Also, thanks for your appreciation.

Opponent for what?

Opponent for anything in its class

My oh my, that is a great looking car. And a great range of trims/engines too.

Why thank you

Time for the origin of the Ramjet nameplate.

For the 1960 model year LaVache developed a successor to the fourth generation LV Premier Executive. Given the dawn of the space race between the United Spades of Arthritis and the Untitled Soviet Submarine Retailers LV marketing thought looong and hard of a suitably snazzy name, and eventually settled on the Ramjet suffix (the Premier Executive name was dropped with the second generation in 1967). Mechanically it wasn’t all too different from the predecessor, but in order to save some costs it was chosen to abandon the old 381cui V8 for a 400cui V6 that made exponentially more torque at low rpm and was some 38lbs lighter despite the ridiculous bore size. Naturally those early incarnations of the stupid but functional Bigblock V6 had some issues with smoothness, most of which were gradually being resolved over the years. The original 400cui V6 produced a claimed 348hp and 476lb-ft (SAE Gross), so more like 270hp and 390lb-ft as installed in the car. The car didn’t see very many changes throughout its production run, in 1962 the by now horribly outdated tailfins disappeared, and in 1964 the engine was bored out to 444cui, resulting in 385hp and 518lb-ft. For marine applications there was even a twin-supercharged variant with 550hp and 800lb-ft of pushing power.
[creators note: it is virtually impossible to fit a V6 with these kind of dimensions (120x107mm bore/stroke) into any existing body, so the car you see here has an inline 6 with identical specifications because that’ll fit no problem at all]

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As promised, here is the facelifted Skywarp.

Many things were done to the car, the front and rear fascias have been restyled to be both more modern and more aerodynamic, there is also a new dashboard with better materials sourced from LV’s parent company and it now has TWO airbags. Other changes include a new all-aluminum V6 that isn’t much more powerful than the old cast iron turd, but much more efficient and lighter thanks to greatly reduced internal friction and Multipoint fuel injection.

The Turbo models were unfortunately dropped, due to… “environmental reasons” :wink:. The naturally aspirated RT4 S however remains, now with a 3.6L DOHC V6 that makes 281bhp still paired to a 5-speed manual transmission. It is considerably sportier than before, effectively being a Turbo II with a lighter, slightly less powerful engine while retaining all the chassis upgrades.

ST2 - base model with basic trim and basic performance
2.8L SOHC V6, 155hp, 180lb-ft, 2844lbs, 5MT or 4AT, RWD, 133mph, $14,340 (1989-1996)

ST3 - mid range model, just better overall.
3.2L SOHC V6, 185hp, 210lb-ft, 2930lbs, 5MT or 4AT, RWD, 140mph, $16,760 (1989-1996)

ST4 - luxury trim, comes fully equipped as standard.
3.6L SOHC V6, 210hp, 233lb-ft, 3260lbs, 4AT, RWD, 148mph, $19,850 (1989-1996)

RT4 S - sports model with upgraded suspension and a DOHC engine
3.6L DOHC V6, 282hp, 259lb-ft, 3018lbs, 5MT, RWD, 164mph, $22,830 (1990-1996)





In 1972 the third generation of LVs Full-Size Ramjet was released. Effectively identical to the previous model, it had a redesigned body and some minor improvements to the drivetrain. Due to environmental reasons the compression ratios of all engines had to be lowered. Coupled with the new SAE NET horsepower ratings the output of the base model with the 359cui V6 dropped to 220hp and 329lb-ft fitted with a two-barrel carburetor. 359s equipped with the HO four-barrel carb included in the tow package made 230hp and 338lb-ft.

The optional 388, 422 and 444cui Big-Block V6 engines meanwhile could impress with one major upgrade: A small number of second generation Ramjets fitted with the 444cui engine were equipped with electronic Bendix fuel injection instead of the standard four-barrel carburetor. While the system was fairly unreliable, LV developed a new, simplified mechanical fuel injection system for the 1972 model year Big-Block V6. As a result the 388, 422 and 444 only suffered minor power losses from the more stringent emissions regulations. All BBV6s also had a Hyper-Trak™ limited-slip differential. Each engine was also available in the Ramjet Taureau Estate.

Ramjet 359:
359cui (5.9L) OHV V6, 220-230hp, 329lb-ft, 4286-4632lbs, 3AT, RWD, 128mph (1972-1976)

Ramjet 388:
388cui (6.35L) OHV V6, MFI, 267hp, 377lb-ft, 4410-4725lbs, 3AT, RWD, 138mph (1972-1977)

Ramjet 422:
422cui (6.9L) OHV V6, MFI, 298hp, 414lb-ft, 4460-4775lbs, 3AT, RWD, 144mph (1972-1977)

Ramjet 444:
444cui (7.3L) OHV V6, MFI, 318hp, 477lb-ft, 4531-4824lbs, 3AT, RWD, 148mph (1972-1975)

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1996 was another important year for LaVache HC as not only did the highly anticipated successor to the immensely popular Skywarp finally arrive, but also a completely new type of car never before seen from LaVache: a front-wheel-drive economy car called the Thundercracker. The platform was shared with a number of small IMP models, but was reworked and given sophisticated double-wishbone front suspension for better roadholding. The key attraction though was a miniscule V6 engine, as it is mandatory for all LVs to have a V6 engine. It came in five different flavours and displacements from 1.7L to 2.1L with either a single overhead camshaft and two valves per cylinder or DOHC with 24 valves and made between 95 and 165hp. The trim levels were the basic STE, with very little equipment, narrow tires and long gear ratios for maximum economy, the STV and STL with reasonable accommodations and more acceleration friendly gear ratios as well as the upmarket RTX and sporty RTS, both of which had 2.1L DOHC engines. For a while, both the RTX and the RTS were also available as two-door coupes.

STs basically all look the same, while RTs have unique bumpers and tailgate.

Thundercracker STE: E is for Economy
1.7L SOHC V6, 97hp, 103ft-lb, 2226lbs, 5MT, FWD, $10,300, 1996-2006

Thundercracker STV: V is for Value
1.9L SOHC V6, 110hp, 118ft-lb, 2611lbs, 5MT/4AT, FWD, $11,700, 1996-2006

Thundercracker STL: L is for Louvers (optional)
2.1L SOHC V6, 125hp, 129ft-lb, 2717lbs, 5MT/4AT, FWD, $12,850, 1996-2006

Thundercracker RTX: X is for Xtreme, because this is the 90s
2.1L DOHC V6, 140hp, 144ft-lb, 2785-2831lbs, 5MT/4AT, FWD, $15,300-$15,800, 1996-2006 (Coupe: 1996-2001)

Thundercracker RTS: S is for Sour Cream
2.1L DOHC V6, 165hp, 153ft-lb, 2830-2878lbs, 6MT/4AT, FWD, $17,400-$17,600, 1997-2003 (Coupe: 1997-2001)