Quick-Fire Challenge 6 (QFC6) - Super Mini Mama [Results]]

This round will focus around 2013 B-segment/Supermini cars. With the recent updates for openbeta, there is quite a variety of bodies for this size.

Background: somewhere in Europe, march 2013

Karen (60) is looking for a new car - after a long career of used cars, many of which she would rather forget about. Her current Skoda Octavia (2003) has served her well enough for 6 years, but she wants to splurge on something brand new for once. She’s seen some shit, and worked hard for decades to have a comfortable life.
She’s used to larger cars, but nowadays finds even her Octavia a bit unwieldy. Divorced, and with her daughters well established on their own, she doesn’t need the extra space anymore. She does need 5 seats, or extra cargo space occasionally, but rarely at the same time.
Her friends seem to agree that small cars are much better than they used to be. Far from penalty boxes, they are now comfortable, safe, and well designed. Premium small cars have entered the market, raising the bar for established manufacturers. So, she heads online to see if there’s a small car with her name on it.

Hatchback preferred. Wagons (“long hatchback”) are unusual, but allowed, while other bodystyles will be met with severe skepticism
car length between 3.6M to 4.1M
Doors : at least 4
Seats : 5 full seats (no + seats)
Model : 2000-2013
Body year : 1993-2013
Trim : 2013
Family (engine): your choice, keep in mind a 70s engine will hurt your specs
Price Range : 24.000-29.000

General Trim ruleset:
No racing parts
Quality adjustments +/-: Down to -2, up to +2 allowed
Monocoque chassis only
Following values are maximums, except when stated
Engine :
Overhead cam(s) only - this is 21st Century Europe
Standard or high-flow three-way converter required.
Loudness - 35
Fuel - Unleaded 95 RON (90 AKI)
ET - 120
Mixed material engines (block/head) get an additional +5 ET allowance.
Manual transmission only
ESC Mandatory
Interior: At least standard interior/standard CD
Safety : 40 (Minimum)
Fuel Economy : 7.0L/100 km
ET - 120
Emissions - 60
For greater realism:
No semi-slicks, offroad or utility tires
Rims maximum 16", profile minimum 50.
Tire width must end with a 5 (example: 195/50R15)
Engine cooling >=50
No Advanced Trim adjustments (hiding chassis/engine, or stuff that can’t be seen or affect anything (like engine scale) is acceptable)
“Max Load Capacity” stat must be 350kg or higher.
Engine size: Anything larger than 1.6L is uncommon in this class, apart from top performance models with up to 2 liters, but Karen isn’t quite looking for that.

3-star priorities:

  • Drivability - nimble and sure-footed handling, and ease of parking.
  • Comfort - 4 adults need to fit comfortably. Road noise and a rattly ride is unacceptable.
  • Reliability - why would a brand new car not be reliable?
  • Safety - if it aint an NCAP 5-star, it ain’t her car.

2-star priorities:

  • Environmental resistance - her first 5 cars all went to the crusher due to frame rot.
  • Fuel economy - she won’t be driving every day, but once frugal, always frugal.
  • Service costs - a small car should be cheap to run. She would rather spend the money on Mallorca than at the shop.
  • Sportiness - confidence-inspiring handling is appreciated, as is decent acceleration for merging and overtaking mopeds. A 0-100 time of less than 12 seconds is expected.

1-star priorities:

  • Practicality - if it has 5 doors and 5 seats, it’s probably fine.
  • Offroad - needs to handle potholes and speed bumps, and occasional gravel roads, but nothing more.
  • Prestige - she’s not out to impress anyone but herself, as her friends either don’t care or will one-up her anyway.
  • Value for money - while she’s willing to use all of her budget to get the car she wants, if happens to a 1000 or so cheaper than the other options, that’s even better.


  • Vibrant colors - grey and black is boring. White is also okay, as it reminds her of Mediterranean vacations.
  • A “young” & “fresh” style - she’s 60, not 80, so no “old person car” for her, but no boy racer wings please.
  • A low load lip (bottom of trunk lid) will be helpful for her dog, and for loading gardening supplies.
  • LEDs are still uncommon in this class, while she finds some of them cool, the “Christmas lights” cheap variant not so much.

She has strong prejudices against the following, based on previous experiences (you may find them irrational, but the customer is always right eh):

  • Any Automatic transmission - she needs to feel in control of the car.
  • Turbos - unpredictable, uncomfortable and unreliable.
  • Rear wheel drive and/or rear engine - no, nay never no more.
  • Leather seats - cold in winter, bacon-searing hot in summer.
  • Models older that are older than 2008, or look like it (boxy bodies, amber turn signals, skinny pillars, unpainted plastic bumpers)
  • Very tall cars (SUVs) - they look like they would tip over in a strong breeze.
    Edit: You may decide to challenge one of these prejudices at your own peril; after all, she has overcome the challenges of computer work, card payment, internet banking and smartphones - because they actually made her life better.

Naming convention: Model and Family: QFC6-{Forum Username}
Trim and Variant: [your choice]
Submissions open July 24th.
Deadline is July 31st. at 18 : 00 UTC+2 The polling was quite in favor of this date, and it’s fine by me. If a major update drops the next week postponement date is August 8th, but this seems unlikely to happen as it would also affect CCPC
Game version:Open beta
Send car file to me by PM, if you used some obscure mod consider adding that info.
Also, add a post in the thread with a photo or a few, and whatever you want to tell about the car.

Will not be jugded. Would recommend a basic interior(seats, dash and steering wheel), to benefit the overall aesthetic.

Previous QFCs :
Original QFC with expanded ruleset

Round is now live and open for entries

Inspiration gallery - while not all of them would make it onto her shortlist, they give a sense of vibe and detailing - now with captions for your googling pleasure

Audi A1 Sportback

Mazda 2

Peugeot 208

Ford Fiesta

Opel Corsa

Suzuki Swift

Citroen DS3

Renault Clio
Mini Countryman
Honda Jazz (Fit)

Mini Clubman

Fiat 500L


23.07 1) added disclaimer on prejudices, deadline set, inspiration gallery added
23.07 2) reduced price range, added performance target (0-100), added minimum max load, added value for money 1-star, added ESC, Monocoq only
24.07 3) clarification on mixed materail engine ET and load capacity, added engine size realism note
24.07 4) updated inspiration, adv.trim amendment, deadline-game update note

  • Deadline July 31st 18:00 CET
  • Deadline August 8th 23:00 CET

0 voters

I’m off for a festival the first weekend in august (3rd-8th), so let me know if you prefer a tight schedule (according to QFC spirit) or more time.

Why there is limitation on wheels size? I just want my car looks more “young” so plz at least change it to 17" and 45 profile at minimum.


What colors in particular will our Karen prefer the most? Warm shades (red, orange or yellow) or cool tones (green, blue or purple)?

My suggestions, don’t want to come off as too pushy or anything

If the round is about small hatchbacks I think 3 doors should be allowed but with a practicality bonus for 5. After all the Mini, Alfa Mito, and Citroen DS3 weren’t available with 5 door versions in this time period.

Speaking of which, could you please add some inspirations for the round in this brief with some pics? Not all of us are from Europe or live in countries where small hatchbacks are seen as anything other than shitboxes, so some people might not know what to expect.

Lastly, the bit about turbos….this is 2013 and turbo technology has improved to a point where they are commonplace in European small cars. They already come with a reliability and cost penalty so maybe it could be structured differently

I dunno, someone in their 60’s is probably set in their ways. I recommend we embrace the ask. Imagine an informed car shopper with strong opinions about these things. Been there myself!


I agree, at the end of the day if a buyer wants a 5 door car and doesn’t really like turbos then they won’t look at them. So why hurt your challenge chances by making the wrong type of car

I think the transparency towards some of the buyers wants is quite handy really.

do we have some inspiration for this?

That’s definitely fair, I’m just confused as to where those preferences fit in with realism rules, as small turbo engines are realistic for this time period and class of vehicle. And whether engineering choices that can potentially change the customer’s opinion, ie low boost low lag turbos, would have the ability to do so.

I’m also not from Europe and am not completely clear on what constitutes as a “premium B segment “ if a Mini, which had 3 doors in 2013, doesn’t. Not trying to come off as someone trying to waste the host’s time, just wondering if my interpretation of the brief is different from someone more acquainted with the European market.

Sorry if my original post came off as too pushy

I think I will keep the restrictions as is, for several reasons. 1) Tire/wheel size has a weird influence on fuel economy, restriction evens the playing field 2) 17"+ is GTI/ST territory in this class in 2013 3) one of the “flavor” characteristics of this class is uh, youthful styling with modest tire/wheel sizes. As an example, I think your QFC5 entry would like great even with “balloon” tires!
While our Karen has a particulaar affinity to Lime Green, any bright color would do, really. (On the flip side, a Hi-vis vest yellow may indeed be a bridge too far.)
Your “pushback” is quite welcome, no worries!
She had 2-door Ford Taunus back in the 90s and found it very impractical - the rear seat footwells are a nice place for groceries when the boot is occupied by her dog/filled up with mulch. The rear seats are also much more accessible with the extra set of doors, for day trips with similar aged friends and grandchildren (rear-facing child seat in a 2/3-door is super annoying). Also, the 3-door hatchback kinda died out around this time with slowing sales (traditionally ,they at least looked better than the 5-door (example: Opel Corsa) but newer offerings looked more dorky than their sharp 5-door counterparts (Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta)). I’m sure if your 3-door car looks good, it will look good with the extra doors as well!
About turbos, you do have a point as especially Ford “pioneered” the use of small turbo engines around this time. I’ll amend the ruleset somewhat; if your turbo car is super awesome and has a decent torque threshold, our client may be won over by turbo power. Her only experience with turbo engines was her then-husband’s Saab 900 turbo, while a very cool car was not to her liking. Keep in mind the “traditional” turbo advantage in fuel economy vs power is kinda flipped around in the current game version, as I found out in the last round.
@Lanson @mart1n2005
Yes, the point of the rules/bias alert is to remove some ambiguity, like the manual-auto conundrum. While our client’s name is Karen, and quite opinionated, she’s not the stereotypical “Karen” yelling at service workers - more like your typical sweet-but-no-pushover mom, aunt, teacher or eldering collaegue.
Yes. The DS3 is the only inspiration vehicle with 3 doors, but as Citroen demonstrated with the new model DS3 e-tense, the distinctive style is not compromised by extra doors. I added the Mazda 2 twice as i quite like it, lol

1 Like

Will price / value for money matter at all? Or does Karen not care whether she pays 20k or 30k?

Good point, I’ll add this as 1-star priority.
20-30K price range I see now is a bit too wide, so I’ll narrow it down a bit. After doing her own research, Karen found out registration, dealership fees and a set of winter tires add up to about a 1000. Also, the 20-24.000 cars she looked at first just seem too simple for what she has in mind. So new target price 24-29.000 automation coins.

I know this will get push back from a few people but I think semi space frame should be banned as it’s too cheap compared to its weight, safety and the fact it’s fully aluminium. I believe Audi used it on the A2 in this class but by 2013 I don’t think it’s used on any small cars as Audi uses a normal mixed metal monocoque like everyone else

There is a large point here about a partial alu chassis choice or mixed ahs and plain steel but since they don’t actually exist not much can be done about that

I just went ahead an restricted to Monocoque Only, to get rid of all the sketchy options (ladder, truck spaceframe) as well.

1 Like

I believe you will find the et limits to be your issue, on both sides. I made a “standard” fwd 4cyl car with nothing special, and no quality drops, sitting at a tick over 120 et so I’m whittling down things to meet.

Really? The limits seem ok, can spare quite a few quality points for 120

I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m saying it’s the limiting factor. Things like running a turbo on a vvl engine, or a partial aluminum panel setup are likely going to bump past 120. It’s a fine limit but it is the defining limit on my testing so far.

So the maximum must be 350kg? Do you not mean that it needs to be at least 350 kg?

I think it means that the max load capacity stat (as listed in the test track and the suspension screen) should be at least 350 kg.

@Lanson @mart1n2005
It seems like the ET limits work as intended - slightly annoying (can’t have all the good stuff), but not too restrictive. You can look at it from a brand identity perspective, while most cars are at least decent at everything, some carmakers stand out with better safety, fancier infotainment, a smoother engine and so on.
I will add an amendment on mixed-material engines.
@Maverick74 @Texaslav
Yes, I will clarify as it does look backwards out of context.