The Automation Gamer Challenge [NEW THREAD]

:fr: 1978 Alvent Automotive 280 Vitalite Group 5 :fr:

Relatively-new French company Alvent Automotive just released it’s first sportscar, powered by a 2.4 fuel-injected inline 6 engine producing 140 hp. Car was a hit at the time, but it didn’t reach it’s popularity very easily. To advertise the car, they went racing. The car was built in several specs, most notably in Group 2 and 5. Customer teams even built Group 4 rally cars. This very chassis, #280-5-002, is the factory Group 5 car that raced in World Sportscar Championship (today WEC) in the 1978 and 1979 seasons. Just like the production car, this one is equipped with a 2.4 L inline 6 engine. Except this Group 5 version is turbocharged, making 600 hp at 7600 rpm. On top of that, it’s also more than 200 kg lighter than the production car, Group 5 version weighing just over 900 kg. This very chassis is the most successful factory car, that scored 1 overall victory, at Silverstone 6h in 1979 and 4 class and 3 overall podiums. Factory cars were recognizable by their predominantly blue and white Rothmans liveries that they wore throughout the factory campaign. Another 8 customer cars were built which continued to race into the 1980s in World Sportscar Championship, IMSA series and Deutsche Rennsport Meisterchaft. Several teams modified their 280 Vitalite chassis with better bodywork and more powerful engines to keep up with quickly-advancing competition. The final season for a variant of the 280 Vitalite Group 5 car was the 1983 IMSA season, however, the 1982-facelift 280 Vitalite continued to race in other championships around the world such as WRC in special Group B spec until it’s replacement, the mid-engined C12 arrived in 1984 and touring car championships such as ETCC, DTM and ATCC in new Group A spec before it was replaced by the turbocharged 220 in 1987. The 280 Vitalite remains the most raced car Alvent Automotive ever built having raced on approximately more than 2500 occasions.

I just want to add a little comment; these two cars are a bit old at this point, made them this past summer and I simply didn’t have enough time to create an entire new car or completely remake this one having only noticed the challenge yesterday.

So here’s chassis #280-5-002 alongside a production version of the car.



Tristella A5 “Goshawk”

Tristella’s motorsport program has always been a cornerstone of the brand since its inception and the new era of regulations would be no exception. With the group 5 regulations, they saw their opportunity to develop turbocharging and aerodynamic technology. The base of the racecar was built upon the new Accipiter supercar, with the bodykit widening the already wide car to the limits of the regulation. Through the trails and tribulations of awful reliability issues, exploding engines and aerodynamic quirks, eventually evolved a monster of a racecar. With 770 hp on tap from its 3.0l twin-turbo V8 engine, the A5 was blistering quick down the straights, even if its launches were bogged down compared to its rivals due to its turbo lag and wheelspin. Top speed varied depending on setup, but even on the full attack grip configurations it topped at 345 kph. Weight was up to 1035kg by 1981, after components had been sufficiently beefed up to handle the massive torque and power produced.

Though reliability had always been a bit of an issue for the A5 “Goshawk”, when it all worked it was remarkably fast, bringing huge success when it finished races. Through its span and iterations from 1976 to 1982, its most successful year was 1981 when the stars aligned and reliability woes had only sparsely appeared.

Tristella Accipiter 300QV Turbo

The road going homologation model was the Accipiter 300QV Turbo. While it was sold and produced in the required numbers, these turbocharged models were known to be tricky to drive and unreliable compared to its naturally aspirated models. However, with 330 HP and a weight of just over 1220 kg, cumulating into a 0-100 in the low 4 seconds range and a 310 kph top speed, the 300QV Turbo was very quick when it worked, true to Italian supercar nature.



1980 #88 Turból F4 “Cigarette Boat” G5

History of the F4

Turból’s F4 had a convoluted and lengthy development period dating back to the late 1960s. In the 1960s, Turból’s affordable spots car option was the Anguila, a small and simple FR machine with independent rear suspension and a selection of small engine options.

While the the car was an accomplished and well-reviewed sports car, it sat in weird middle ground: faster and more expensive than cheap and cheerful small options, but smaller and lacking the big-block engine options of it’s primary domestic rival, and less sophisticated and prestigious than many European rivals or it’s mid-engine stablemate Corsair. Development on the next generation model began in the late 1960s, with the intention of keeping the car inexpensive, but with the space for the cheap power of Turból big blocks. Unfortunately, this plan met backlash internally, due to fears that giving the Anguila much larger engines would cannibalize sales of the far more expensive Corsair. After a bit of infighting, development was eventually greenlit, under code name Project F4, with the expectation of releasing the car in the mid 1970s.

The economic turmoil of 1973, however, completely re-directed development. With a flagging global economy over the following years, Turból shelved development of Project F4; the Anguila would instead be replaced by a more versatile product, a low-cost, more passenger-oriented 4 seat vehicle being co-developed with Japanese partner Homura.

While this appeared to be a deathknell for Project F4, it would be thrown a lifeline: in this depressed global economy, Turból executives deemed the mid-engine Corsair was no longer economically viable, and it’s replacement would need to be more affordable and more comfortable. Into the breach once more stepped Project F4, picking up where the project left off, but with re-enineering to do to better fit it’s new direction as a flagship sports/GT.

Meanwhile, in the UK, economic unrest, poor labor relations, and a testy relationship between British and American management, Turból’s mainstream British arm, Legion UK, was shut down in 1975. To try to avoid additional ire of the British people and government, Turból acquired and invested heavily in SAV, an English engineering firm focusing on motorsports. Since the F4 was now destined to become Turból’s flagship sports car, the newly-formed Turból-SAV Engineering Ltd. would joined the engineering efforts to make sure that racing versions of the F4 would be ready to race as soon as the production model could be homologated.

After a famously long development period, the Turból F4 was released in 1979, bearing it’s now famous codename as it’s model name. Although it’s cokebottle shape already looked somewhat out of date, the F4 released to rave reviews.

The Cigarette Boat

Upon release in 1979, the F4 was available with two top-tier engines: the familiar Turból big block, 420ci, 6.9 liter OHV V8, and the new Turból-SAV 3244: an all aluminum, flatplane, quad cam, 32 valve, 3.2 liter V8. Racing versions of both were available; Turból semi-works US racing branch, Oates, could produce great power from the old pushrod mill, but the SAV-developed flatplane, with F1 roots, fuel injection, and turbocharging, was a lighter and more powerful engine for teams who could afford to run it.

The most famous example of a Group 5 F4 is this, chassis #3. Raced in the World Sportscar Championship in 1979 in Division 1 with the big block Oates motor, it was affectionately nicknamed the “Cigarette Boat” thanks to it’s bellowing V8 soundtrack and distinctive Morley Cigarettes livery, which turned the boxy rear flares into what looked like giant cigarette packs. Though a fan favorite, it was not especially competitive against the turbocharged competition, so for the 1980 season, the Cigarette Boat was refitted with the SAV twin turbo engine. Although it’s distinctive crossplane bellow was gone, it was much more successful in this guise, producing just over 800 hp and it’s weight reduced to 1045 kg.


Oh I am going to get slapped why does everyone have 800hp, 550hp wasn’t quite enough clearly

i mean i got 660, but its not like it matters here anyway

Note: there are some links within this post. They lead to posts from other threads that contribute to this vehicle’s overall lore.

Made in collaboration with @kookie

Blast from the Past

Zacspeed Racing partook in Group 5 before the silhouette days. Prior to 1968, Zacspeed ran 875s in the Group 6 Prototype-Sports Cars category. Come 1968, however, the FIA restricted Group 6 cars’ engines to three liters in displacement. With the Silver-York 427 four whole liters over this restriction, the 875s were rendered obsolete, meaning the team needed to switch gears.

Group 5 attracted Zacspeed’s attention because starting from 1969, minimum production was reduced from 50 to 25 cars. Since the team rebuilt its race cars with a new chassis every race or two, this gave them the idea to build a whole new car to race in this series. The end result was the Zacspeed 408, which ran 12-cylinder engines hovering around the class’s maxiumum displacement - five liters.

1972 arrived with a bevy of changes, including applying the Group 5 classification to the Group 6 category. Engine sizes were now reduced to three liters, banishing the 408 to Group 7 (better known as Can-Am). In its place came the 248, a 12-cylinder car free from the production restrictions the previous iteration of Group 5 utilized.

With 1976 on the horizon, Group 5 was revamped yet again. No longer could prototypes run in this category - competitors needed to modify production-based vehicles homologated in Groups 1 through 4. Zacspeed could not just throw a 12-cylinder in a light frame and get away with it anymore - they needed to bend one of their few production cars, the Zacspeed ONE, into a race-ready form.

1982 Zacspeed ONE Turbotarga

This would not be an easy task. The ONE did its own thing in more production-based classes, such as the ONE GTO finishing second at the 1970 24 Hours of Nürburgring. One of the perks to this program was how its new body tested a wedge-shaped front end with the lights implemented in the front. With improved aerodynamics and favorable owner responses, headlights on the bottom were here to stay.

The next key innovation came from the aforementioned 408. That car was banished to Can-Am, but while there, its 12-cylinder engine grew a few tenths of a liter larger and got hooked up to two turbochargers. This experiment, the 408/7B “Turbohammer,” did more than spit flames and hiss. It proved turbocharging’s viability in motorsport. The Turbohammer program ran from 1972 to 1973, and its findings were put into practice with the 1975 Zacspeed ONE Turbo.

Presented here is a 1982 example for this car. The Turbotarga is what happens when the fanbase prefers their near-death experiences without a top. Inside is the same 3214cc twin-turbocharged flat-six as the racing variants, but the wick is turned down to a reasonable 313 HP. It comes with plenty of turbo lag and is crammed behind the rear axle, which mix to complete a 0-62 MPH sprint in 3.8 seconds.

Despite the more radical bodywork and open top, it weighs it at just over 950kg. Part of this is due to its monocoque chassis and aluminum body, but it is also due to not having much in the first place. Later models, such as the 1989 Turbotarga, came with power steering and ABS. This does not. Add the fact it has a five-speed manual transmission “as God intended,” and it becomes clear why purists flock to this model even if they may not extract the maximum from its package.

Of course, to sell on Monday…

1982 Zacspeed ONE 5 #43 "Arctic Hare"

…You must first win on Sunday.

The ONE 5 was built from the ground up to fight. Grip and power were the two factors Zacspeed Racing focused on, especially considering how much weight was stuck in the rear. The bodykits applied to this car grew wide and wild, keeping the lights toward the bottom of the bumper and the wing as large as possible. Restrictions on the flat-six got loosened, and with more boost came almost double the power when it first appeared in 1976. By 1978, some versions made almost 650 HP, and these numbers only climbed as boost increased.

ONE 5s, such as the #38 car called “Peregrine”, rapidly spread across teams as a solid option for seizing high positions. As Zacspeed shifted focus toward other projects in 1979, customer teams developed their own ONE 5 specials, with some exceeding the factory cars on pure performance. Zacspeed Racing caught wind of this one-upmanship, and despite its shift in focus, it set out to build the ultimate ONE 5.

Grip was provided by the same 380-section rear slicks as some other ONE 5s. Turbocharging was advanced further to run an immense 840 HP. There was one new trick up the sleeve, however: ground effect. Ground effect primarily appeared in Formula One at the time; Zacspeed Racing started using it in 1979 with the FZ79. Aerodynamicists from the F1 team noticed that with the ONE’s monocoque chassis, it was possible to implement ground effect tunnels. From there, it was just moving components here and there around to grant clean airflow through them. On top of greater cornering, already aided by a curb weight of 1025kg, ground effect generates less drag, letting the Arctic Hare punch through 340 km/h. The Arctic Hare is the only ONE 5 sporting ground effect.

Concealing this potent package and one transmission mounted upside-down for lower ride height was an ever more extreme fiberglass bodykit. Off visuals alone, the car’s evolution into a prototype not unlike its predecessors was crystal clear. It sounds unfortunate, then, for it to be developed in Group 5’s twilight. Group 5 was shut down in favor of Group B from 1983, the same year, coincidentally, that F1 banned ground effect. That did not stop the Arctic Hare and its ONE 5 brethren from flocking to IMSA GTX and JSPC, where their kind was still accepted. The Arctic Hare in particular did quite well in IMSA even with the rise of purpose-built, ground-effect GTP cars as the Arctic Hair itself was already in essence a GTP car. Its drivers were John Paul Newman and Derek Bellof.

Arctic Hare remains the most extreme interpretation of the ONE 5. It borrowed experience from Zacspeed Racing’s Formula One team to develop aerodynamics to a new level. In return, the ONE 5’s numerous lessons on turbocharging were key to developing the engines Zacspeed relied on throughout the turbo era.

Wabbit Season


600 hp here, but I’m taking the Zakspeed Capri approach :joy:


SEIKATSU Special Engineering Research Institute

Background: 1971 Seikatsu KR2500s. Foreground: 1981 Seikatsu KR2500s "SUPER TURBO."


Seikatsu Motion Dynamics had never seriously focused on motorsports in its fledgeling years due to clashing values and shifting priorities within its upper management and board of directors. After Akira Inoue assumed the title of executive director in 1962, the green light was finally given in the late 60s to establish its factory racing team, known as Special Engineering Research Institute, as part of Inoue’s long-term plan to cultivate Seikatsu’s worldwide presence.

With a change in Group 5’s ruleset in 1976 mandating modified production-based vehicles as opposed to purpose-built prototype racing platforms, SERI saw the perfect opportunity to field its exotic KR mid-engine roadster in what would be its official racing debut.

1971 Seikatsu KR2000s in "Alabaster Red"

The KR was introduced in 1971 Q2 as Seikatsu’s flagship performance model. Its midship engine layout and wedge silhouette was a stark contrast to the more conventional MR, GR, and UR front-engine rear wheel drive sport coupes that preceded it. Despite the staggering development costs associated with developing a new family of V6 engines and a mid-engine car platform, the KR enjoyed moderate success both in its home market and abroad, particularly in the United States.

The KR2000s launch model had a 2.0L overhead cam V6 with an output of 112 hp SAE net. The international version was released months later with an additional KR2500s model that used a larger 2.5L V6 producing 136 hp SAE net. Seikatsu’s decision to use more conventional materials like steel in the construction of its bodywork was made in the interest of ease of production and quality control, although as a consequence the KR was noticeably heavier than its European counterparts. The bespoke chassis and suspension had considerable engineering input from select motorsports teams, most notably Bergwerks, whom SERI would seek for consultation again when developing the Group 5 KR.

1981 Seikatsu KR2500s "SUPER TURBO" in testing phase

Preparing the KR platform for Group 5 was a heavily involved process that required significant modifications from the roof to the tires. The heavy steel bodywork was entirely replaced with fiberglass panels and an extensive aero and widebody kit to increase high-speed cornering performance and accomodate wider racing slicks. With engineering consultation from Bergwerks, the chassis was thoroughly revised for significant gains in torsional rigidity and the suspension rebuilt to appropriate racing specification.

1981 Seikatsu KR2500s "SUPER TURBO" with two-tone livery applied

The 2.5L V6 was fitted with two turbochargers and an intercooler, quadrupling engine output to over 550 hp, albeit with a considerable amount of turbo lag. Combined with an extremely short wheelbase under 2.2 m (86 inches) in length and a comparatively low curb weight, the KR2500s Super Turbo was notoriously sketchy to drive when pushed to the limit and required significant discipline from the driver. But when placed in the right hands (and with a careful throttle), the Super Turbo could effortlessly slingshot itself down straights and through corners at breakneck speeds, proving that once floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bullet ant is a tried-and-true method for achieving quick times and an even quicker death.


Progress update

Reviews have been mostly completed, Expect a final post within this (technically next) week.

Hang on in there!

Any comment on the current state of the judging?

Time to release: 4 days

10:00 AM, Deuterium Entertainment building
Tiny comic shaped lore

The Cutting Room Floor

@VibingWithOllie - Meyer Type A Slantnose - 81.75pts (14th)

It’s an unfinished model, We can’t put this in the game. We also couldnt quite confirm this was a real car at all. It’s sad, considering the quality of what’s there is fairly good.
It also came in some odd format, We had to look a while for a program that could read it.

@ldub0775 & @Maverick74 - Takahashi Soarer LM5 - 135pts (13th)

A high quality model, though a little off in certain parts. We again couldn’t quite confirm this was a real car that raced on Group 5.
(No lore really hurt your score, If you had even some flavor text in your post it might’ve made it through)

@KSIolajidebt - Hoffsman Jäger H-GT5 - 141.95pts (12th)

Another really high quality model, With near to no artifacting on the main bodywork that we couldn’t include because we couldn’t confirm this was a real car.
(Another one where even some spec text could’ve net it enough points to reach the 150 treshold.)

@DonatProdan - Alvent Automotive 280 Vitalite - 147.95pts (11th)

Finally, a car we could be sure actually existed! It was also plentiful around racing, so it sure would net some recognition.
It was another odd filetype, so again we set on a journey to find a program to actually open the thing.
Sadly we didn’t include it for the rather plain livery that was included with the model. Maybe we could add some decals and fake sponsors for a future sequel, if that even happens.

(This was a really neat surprise, The attention to detail on the car is astonishing. Again, some stickers/sponsors on top plus some and it’d been a really strong contender.)

C Tier - Ingame

@Executive & @Ryan93 - Hakaru Cren 1.5R Super Maestro - 153.25pts (10th)

A surprising little fella, It was the only model we got that was FWD and had less than 300hp. Still, The fact that this is a Hatchback with a remarkable Underdog story made it a worthy inclusion in the game.

@Riley - Zephorus BRP - 155.25pts (9th)

This is quite a unique car, Being seemingly Function over Form. It’s not the prettiest, or the flashiest, But hot damn is it quick! One of the few cars we had to Nerf from their IRL counterparts to give the others a chance!

@Aruna - Arion Falco RS Longtail - 158.25pts (8th)

As a bit more of a standard formula for the sport, this car is not exactly flashy But it manages to be memorable with it’s unique “Bloody Wedge” livery that almost resembles scales.
Considering that Arion is a brand engrained within the history of motorsport, It’s a resonable inclusion.

B Tier - Remarkable inclusions

@HurtsJustALittleBit & @Tzuyu_main - Seikatsu KR 2500s Super Turbo - 161.4pts (7th)

it smol
In all seriousness though, The Blue and White livery is fairly simple but memorable, as there weren’t many blue cars on the grid; It also avoids looking empty doing so.
Being so smol, It also is really swift around corners, which is a nice factor of variation for the game’s roster.

@Prium - Cepheus Frequen-Z Sceptre 2.6 - 161.6pts (6th)

This car’s design is admittedly a bit divisive, Some of the team didnt quite vibe with it while Some loved it. Most did agree the livery was pretty impressive, The Gridding being a pretty recognizable mark. it also seemed to have some interesting stories linked to it, which was bound to bring recognition.

@donutsnail - Turból F4 “Cigarette Boat” - 164pts (5th)

Now this is something else. A Big, Bulky American machine with a colorful livery and probably the highest top speed of all the contenders.
Some of the team very much had a bias towards the car for being so explicitly American, one of few in the grid of European and Japanese machines. A nice inclusion to satisfy the US Market.

A Tier - Cover cars

@chiefzach2018 & @kookie - Zacspeed ONE 5 #43 “Arctic Hare” - 166.5pts (4th)

What’s better to represent Group 5 than a Rear engined, Long overhang track beast like this? Not much, i’ll tell ya that.
It’s a very memorable paintjob, being quite colorful despite the pure white base.
Being one of the flashiest cars on the list, This one gets a spot on the game’s Art, Be it the Cover or the side of an arcade cabinet.

@Portalkat42 - #13 Midlands Martini Astrea GXR - 166.75pts (3rd)

if the 2500S was smol, then this is lörge.
The Mart… wait, Martini? What’s a Martini? This looks really like a Tarquini livery, and a really good one at that, It’s just a bit bizarre trying to avoid copyright for a brand we already licensed. Oh well, let’s ignore that.
It’s one big boy, making it quite a standout in the grid. Its also, oddly, Rear engined, Despite what the general shape of it may indicate.

(It’s interesting that you made the livery Martini instead of the Autoverse Tarquini, that’s sure to give the in-character devs some confusion.)

@66mazda & @S_U_C_C_U_L_E_N_T - Houshou Hinode Garuda - 167pts (2nd)

Remember how we said that not much could describe GR5 better than the Arctic hare?
Yeah. This is said “Not Much”.
What’s essentially a Brick, Turned into a ruthless racing machine. Full with an almost Unrecognizable Longtail rear end, Narrow yet tall rear wing and crossed out headlights, This is one of the best examples of how far Group 5 would go for the sake of performance.
The model itself sadly appeared to be missing some files, such that some of the decals on the Real livery were missing. It didn’t lose much though, so it’ll be used both Ingame and in Advertising art

And finally…

@Xepy - Tristella A5 “Goshawk” - 168.75pts (1st)

Well what can we say, other than that this is the defenitive cover car for the game.
It’s an italian racing machine, Detailed in such an elegant way with golden highlights, Donned with stripes of Tricolore on a Black base.
Under the fancy italian coachwork is an absolute beast of a car, Being by far the quickest out of all of them IRL. The only reason why this might not have dominated every single track it ran at is reliability issues (or just the Astrea edging it out on Top speed at La Sarthe.)
We had to compromise it being one of the fastest cars in the game, And locked it behind difficult unlock conditions on the Home console career mode.

This would be the car to be the center of focus on the game’s Art, From covers to advertisements.

And so, The cover:

With the bosses happy, Cars picked and Development finished, It was time to release the game.
And so it did, To… Some success. The game may or may not get a sequel someday, And surely would be the childhood of some kid somewhere.

Aand that’s the end of the challenge! Sorry for the delay, it was completely on me just being lazy. At least it’s over now, huh?

Congratulations to @Xepy on the win, The performance and looks of that thing were baffling. May you carry the torch of this challenge series.

Also, Thanks to @kaybee for co-hosting. They put in a lot of work, ideas and general good stuff into the challenge, Which wouldnt have been possible without them.

If you have any questions about the review system, Feel free to voice them here or in dms.


The main reason I tend to make the Martini logo custom is that 1) Midlands lore is set in real world instead of a separate autoverse style world, and 2) Tarquini seems to imply that it is a tobacco brand (the tar in it evoking images of the tar the builds up due to smoking), and being a strong supporter of the Martini & Rossi alcohol brand irl, I choose to include it that way. Still happy to have made it onto the cover in 3rd though, and by 2 point difference from 1st at that. X3

Oooh dang, have to say that was a very tough field so I’m very happy to have ended up as #1 on here. Just the submissions on this page I feel like looking back into cause damn those are some nice racecars everyone posted. Thank you for the reviews @TheLapTopX20 and @kaybee , I understand there’s always a reason for the delay, you got it out in the end still with some great graphics too to go along!

I’ll see if I have the time to host, its always super time consuming to do these so I’m going to ponder on it a day or two (plus the whole… 4.27 alpha things going on).


Ok not last pretty happy. If I understood correctly, lack of decals is the main setback. That’s good, I expected that, so yes, I’m very happy how it went. Congrats to Xepy, that Tristella A5 is indeed an amazing car!

Hey, our lil guy made it into the top 10!! im pretty proud considering the fierce competition, GG everyone for this round! awesome round from you two as well


I had an idea for the challenge, but unfortunately I won’t have the time to write things out and judge. So I am passing on to @66mazda and @S_U_C_C_U_L_E_N_T if they wish to host.


Unfortunately, @66mazda and I also won’t have time to host AGC21, so we are passing it on to @Portalkat42 .

No matter how much I want to do the one idea I had for if i were to get to host another round, the mods needed for that currently aren’t in 4.2 yet. I’m also knee deep in hosting CSR, so I’ll also have to pass hosting down to @chiefzach2018 & @kookie.


Unfortunately, we’ll be too busy to host, so it goes down to @donutsnail .