While im working on the long process of building Rosenthal’s history in another post i wanted a space where i could just talk about any of my other cars, specifically the special variants. From race cars to custom builds i’ll post these types of cars here regardless of what company they belong to.
A JDM hatchback that was homologated for Group B rally yet never seen a single event …
In the mid to late 1980s, the Rosenthal brand wanted to shift their primary market to small, affordable sporty cars, so they thought that joining the ever more popular international rally scene would give them the publicity needed to promote the new models. One such model, the Ocelot, was in final development and could use a much needed publicity boost from the new Group B racing category.
To develop the Group B rally car out of the normal Ocelot, Rosenthal first turned to the newly acquired A.R.T.A. (Apollo Racing Team Association) since they already had extensive experience in motorsports including rallying and had won the 1981 WRC manufacturer title with a Kyrd Turbo, a similar small “hot hatch”.
Initially coded the “MR-Rally” project, its design of the rally car originally started in late 1980’s at Rosenthal’s HQ. However, the complexity and scale of the project would soon see it move to America. Home to A.R.T.A., The team would nonetheless provide crucial input as to how a proper rally car should be developed, especially by keeping ease of service at the forefront. Back in America, Rosenthal had appointed a team of twenty engineers. The design and build of what later came to be known as the Spec MR came together very quickly.
Budget for developing the Group B car was almost without limit. In fact, the only real constraint that the engineers had was to fit a high performance rear wheel drive package into the diminutive ocelot bodywork. The normal production ocelot was a front-wheel drive car but it was decided that, as opposed to the competition, the ocelot would be mid-engined for better weight distribution, traction and would be designed with a fully purpose-built chassis. However, for marketing purposes, it was paramount to keep most of the ocelot’s exterior body lines and features as intact as possible. Hence, the Ocelot Spec MR officially became a silhouette car.
Originally, the engineers intended to mount the engine longitudinally and facing forward but there was obvious lack of space. Furthermore, such a layout would have made it nearly impossible to quickly service the belts and pulleys. So, in late March, by strong suggestion of A.R.T.A. they had settled on a transverse setup.
The engine also incorporated the “DPV” (Dispositif Pre- rotation Variable) anti-lag system first seen on Renault’s turbocharged Formula One engines. The system uses a variable size hole to allow air into the turbocharger’s inlet side nearly at all times to help keep the turbine spinning off-acceleration and reduce lag. However the system was yet very basic in design and most drivers preferred a healthy dose of “LFB” (Left Foot Braking) to keep the boost levels up.
To keep a low center of gravity it was decided to use a gearbox that was bolted behind the engine rather than below it (as in the usual transverse engine / transaxle setup). This would also help counter-balance the weight of the engine which was fitted behind where the passenger seat was on the right side of the car. It had also transpired that the entire transmission layout would revolve around the availability of a 5-speed, Luckily, such a transmission was available in the parts bin: the Lynx had a proven and sturdy unit. It would save the engineers much time by not having to devise an entirely new transmission albeit they had to much modify its inner workings.
In early February 1987 Rosenthal had a working car: it ran for the first time at the A.R.T.A. test facility. It was hoped that the 200 homologation road cars would be built by the end of that year so that the team could compete at the 1987 Monte Carlo Rally. However, the only running prototype had only just begun testing, and the car shown to the press was merely the second prototype - a rolling shell without an engine and drivetrain. Hence, building 200 highly-specialized cars with factory-level quality in just about 8 months seemed frivolous at best.
To make the process as fast and easy as possible, Rosenthal elected to make all of the road cars to the same specifications; dark charcoal grey in color and right-hand drive in layout. Rosenthal produced all the structures used as their base standard ocelot shells which were then considerably modified. The cars were then shipped to a special factory in japan for final assembly. The assembly-line would build the original 12 cars from which the fleet of rally cars would travel back to the main Rosenthal HQ.
Despite best efforts, the original deadline would not be met. However, this gave time to enter one car as a prototype in the Monaco Rally where it finished second behind a much under-powered four-wheel drive Citroën. However, the Ocelot used was a road-going model with prototype “Clubman” (Fender Kit & Wheels) specifications far less sophisticated than the upcoming working rally car.
A note from the test driver was that the car seemed to lack aerodynamic downforce and seemed to fly in an unpredictable manner over jumps. The problem was narrowed down to the transverse and offset position of the engine which gave the rear of the car a tendency to roll on its center of gravity after cresting on a jump. It was an issue that unfortunately could not be fixed so late in the development process, thus ultimately bringing Rosenthal and its Spec MR project to an abrupt stop as developing an entire new chassis with multiple homologated cars would be impossible to accomplish in time for the rally season.
Built for offroad use this All Carry can tackle dangerous roads with ease
This modified All Carry can best be described as a hybrid of a highway truck and off-road truck. It excels on paved roads, even beating highway trucks in its class due to its light weight and smaller fuel tank. It now possesses an advanced 4x4 drivetrain and has a differential lock making it a decent off-roader however due to its size it often struggles in deep mud and water. This All Carry also has above average fuel economy due its light weight making it good for long distance hauls despite its small fuel tank.
When carrying any load, its speed and momentum can be used to cross ditches and short muddy areas. Although its now a 4x4 with a diff-lock and off-road tires its still quite light. As a result, it tends to struggle more with loads compared to the more traditional 6x6 trucks, especially when carrying heavy cargo.
1 of the many street racing teams on the Shuto Expressway
Team DiveBomb can usually found racing around the C1 Inner loop and has quite a rival against another team that share the same highway. In fact, this interesting team races to defend its turf against other racers who give the C1 loop a bad name. These C1 Inner-Loopers drives nothing but Zender’s, a domestic brand. In the past this team pursued pleasure over winning but changed when one of its members was forced into a race which seriously injured them, totaling the car and ending the driver’s career. Since then the leader established the goal of overthrowing any who would race with “dishonorable intent”. Their motto is “Exile the vicious driver.” Therefore, they have a fairly good reputation amongst other teams. Their level of racing is certainly not low, and with the recent addition of its new team leader “Meteor Knight” they have a good chance of climbing to the top.
Blue Star & her 2004 Zender Kitsune
An original member She has good reflexive nerves allowing her to skillfully weave through other cars. Her engine produces more than 300hp. However her only problem is fear, which in turn results in her slowing down too much when entering a corner.
It is not her skill is inferior, but she tends to decelerate when she gets close to other racers so she prefers to get ahead asap to better dictate the flow of the race. The weakest member on the team she tends to has a bad reputation with other female racers if she loses thanks to her whining defeatist attitude.
Flame Comet & his 1990 Zender Yokai GTS
"He joined up after the team was reformed. Perhaps this is because of he secretly likes the new leader’s car? The youngest driver on the team his parents have nagged him to, “Quit because cars are dangerous.” This has however fueled his passion to continue racing with the team.
Because he has not spent money on tuning due to working as a gas station attendant, his car isn’t as powerful as the others yet his innate skill and familiarity with the car greatly covers the it’s weakness.
Shining Moon & her 1991 Zender SX180
Harold as the “team mechanic” her settings and understanding of car tuning are on a professional level, not surprising given the fact she understands all things about cars. She tends to change her car’s settings in between races depending on the road conditions
An original member, she views the leader with some disdain, as she puts it “how can he be so fast yet know so little …” Being quite a studious person, she has a lot of knowledge about cars and uses that to her advantage during all of her races.
Old Nova & his 1972 Zender Yokai
A veteran member who originally formed the team. At one time, he even held a no-loss record thanks to his boxing mindset often saying “It isn’t over till I say its over”. His weapons behind the wheel are his stamina and judgement along with the monster engine installed his racing style overwhelms his opponents.
He allows the opponent to get ahead, then follows him at precisely one-car length. He approaches corners, barely clearing the sides then does his overtake at the point when the opponent has become overpowered. The former leader of the team he gave the position to “Meteor Knight” after 1 race claiming “im getting to old to lead these youngsters”.
Meteor Knight & his 1992 Zender Yokai GTS-4
The former C1 loop Champ he accepted the invitation of becoming a team leader from “Old Nova” after losing to a series of races to a rising group called the “7 Sins”. His stable driving has no weakness while his relaxed style pressures the opponent. Low height, speed-focused settings and a rear spoiler help him to get the needed downforce.
He Tuned a common sedan into a highly capable street car able to tackle the C1 loop, will race any challenger as long as its on the C1 loop. Removed everything from the rear seats and radio to save as much weight as possible, admits the car isn’t comfortable to drive long distances anymore.
After loosing to all members of the “7 Sins” in back to back races he felt the need to prepare not only himself but others to the new threat. Now a team leader his team is skilled yet has much to learn.
One of the members of the rising team “7 Sins” who plan to control the entire Shuto Expressway
2nd in command of the rouge group who plans to dominate the Shuto Expressway “Golden Weapon” embodies the Sin of Greed. She will only battle a racer who’s car looks expensive or has rare parts on it. Despite her highly selective requirements to race, her skill are unmatched when racing on the C1 Loop. The reason behind it being that “A lot of high end stores line the Loop Line, why wouldn’t I enjoy beating somebody then going shopping later …”
A student from a certain academy that accepts gambling as its norm her reasoning for joining the 7 Sins was simply wanting to “own” the Shuto Expressway. Born from money and never having heard of the word “no” has led to her having a bratty and shallow attitude, never one to be comfortable with a single hobby it came to a surprise to those who know her when she took up street racing saying “im beyond money and only race to fulfil what money can no longer obtain”.
Gold Weapon & her 1996 Zetaku Pursuer
Having spent a small fortune on building a high end luxury car then sending it off to the most prestigious tunning company in Japan Gold Weapon’s Zetaku Pursuer now only shares the basic frame with its normal counterpart, everything from bumper to bumper has been changed in some way to achevie its level of ability. Wrapped in gold the car shines brightly as it races down the Shuto Expressway even at night.
This Pursuer closely resembles a street legal Race car more than anything yet its owner is starting to grow bored with it and is looking for something else thats more expensive, with well over 600hp and with over 1000kg shaved from the car this pursuer is no longer a slouch. Having the ability to accelerate a breakneck speeds and to continue accelerating beyond 300kph Gold Weapon is known to “appear out of nowhere then disappear in a flash of gold”
She was one day approached by a mysterious man who told her “do you want to own the expressway?” since then she races to achieve that dream, beating all who race her. While her driving skills are above average her car more then makes up for it with it race derived parts, the car itself has no weaknesses thanks to the money spent on it all. Hand made aero parts, a race engine from a foreign country and a strong transmission draw out 120% of the car’s ability. Under the right conditions its said amongst the 7 Sins that Gold Weapon is even faster then their leader.
One of the members of the rising team “7 Sins” who plan to control the entire Shuto Expressway
A member of the rouge group who plans to dominate the Shuto Expressway “Late-Night Master” embodies the Sin of Lust. One can only wonder how he came to be in such a position as to be grouped with the fastest team the Shuto Expressway has every known yet here he his. A racer with no qualms on who he chooses to race, skilled on the ShinKanjo Loop “Late-Night Master” choose this area due to how the lights at night simulate a rave at a club. He can normally be spotted parked on the shoulder at rainbow bridge “dreaming of the nightlife from afar”
Famous for his driving ability as well as his ability to flirt with the opponent’s passenger during a race, many have lost both their dates and race all in one night. When he isn’t racing he’s busy writing and publishing essays on skirt chasing regularly in popular adult magazines, his other nickname is the “Speed Dating King”
Late-Night Master & his 2000 Zender Yokai GTS-4
Sprayed in hot pink and kitted out with flashy aero one wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that this Zender Yokai GTS-4 is owned by a female driver yet He choose this look for his car as away to “stand out from the others”. However you’d be wrong to assume that no work has been done to anything mechanical, with its engine makes just over 500hp the car’s weight is no less then 1123 kg meaning this car accelerates very fast for a street driven car.
Proud of its look “Late-Night Master” stands by his choice of parts and color stating that “my car is light so i can chase my love all night” as imprudent as he can be his skills are a different story, fueled by what he calls “passion in the chase” he has honed his skill to a point where he is able to race as closely as possible against any opponent
One night he was approached by a mysterious man who told him “Do you want to be loved by everybody on the expressway?” since then he raced with the goal to become an icon of want, someone to be sought after no matter the time or place. A very focused driver behind the wheel he would rather stay close to opponents until he’s gauged both the driver and passenger then speed off, waiting at the finish line to trade numbers and romance the passenger of said opponent. The car itself is his “love letter” to all that he races.
If the Wangan Slickers Challenge were ever to be rebooted (especially since we’re running a newer game build compared to what was used for that challenge), Divebomb and 7 Sins would fit right into its lore.
That would be awesome! I get my inspiration from the game TXR0 so I have lots more lore revolving around that
Low poly count hurts lmao, but I can see the similarities with the colors
An unlikely contender turned Dakar competitor
What began as a simple “What If” turned into a dominating performance at the most challenging event ever, the Dakar Rally. The twenty-eighth running of this world-class race began in Lisbon, Portugal, and finished in Dakar, Senegal, that year. The 5,619-mile journey winds over terrain consisting of everything from fine, deep sand to hardpan desert that has been baked by the sun for centuries. It should come as no surprise then that a race of this magnitude and caliber attracts some of the finest drivers and vehicles in the world.
Representing the United States were a small group of world-class racing drivers and navigators. After competing in last year’s Dakar Rally, the team once again joined forces to create Team Dakar USA. Having firsthand knowledge of just what it takes to compete in such extreme conditions, the knew that they would need an equally tough race car if they were to even think of bringing home a victory, what would come to a surprise to everyone was the choice that was agreed on, a Kobold K2! However with a full sponsorship program involving Kobold, ARTA, BF Goodrich, and several others. The team set to work building a machine capable of taking on the brutal terrain that leads to Dakar.
With a curb weight exceeding 4700 pounds major weight savings and a powerful motor and transmission combination was necessary to make it through the sand dunes and other terrain encountered by the team. The powerplant for this platform consists of a mid-mounted, fuel-injected, twin turbo, 6.0L V-8 with alloy block and heads built by Sol Racing. Special tuning and mapping software designed specifically for desert racing was also provided and engineered by Sol Racing. The fuel system consists of twin fuel tanks, with 1 being placed where the engine once was in the front and the other being placed over the engine exactly in the middle of the truck. Both fuel Safe fuel cells are capable of carrying 100 gallons of gas. Depending upon the terrain, the mileage range of the Kobold K2 varies, but in a worst-case scenario about 500 miles can be covered before a scheduled refueling.
The new powertrain system would incorporate a 4-gallon plenum is tasked with feeding double-filtered air to the engine, Race headers with a double Hi-Flow muffler to keep the engine within noise limits. The Kobold K2 would also uses an advanced engine management system and software along with a digital dash and data logger system. A five-speed sequential manual transaxle delivers power to the rear wheels via a multiplate race clutch assembly.
A custom space frame was fabricated from 4130 steel alloy to ensure that the Kobold’s durability was not compromised. The front suspension consists of double A-arms with coilover springs and specially valved, four-tube bypass shocks, while the rear features strong CV joints and stub axles. Stallion coilovers and dual-tube bypass shocks bear the Kobold’s weight at each rear corner. The total vertical wheel travel for the front and rear suspensions is 20 inches.
The monster Kobold K2 was an impressive vehicle. With high-tech parts and intelligent engineering would combine to make this an top off-road contender, no matter where it competes off-road. While only one was ever built with no replacements, Team USA was able to pilot the Kobold K2 away from danger and would make it a stellar showing at that year’s Dakar Rally.
Power Train: A Fuel Injected Mid-Mounted 6.0L TwinTurbo V8 which produces 605HP @8000RPM and is mated to a 5spd Sequential Race Transmission
Chasssis: A Custom Space Frame Chassis with a Fiber Glass shell weights in at 2438LBS, 20inch Long Travel specially designed Stallion Suspension, Supplied BF Goodrich size 37X14.50R15 Tires