So, Mr. Stroppy McHorseguy, you are in need of a new car. Well, let me introduce you to the ABR Chameleon:
Model year can be whatever, just be sensible
This body was introduced in 2005, which should be sensible enough even for my father, and let me tell you, he is a tough old nut!
I’ll accept trim years 2014-2016
The Leisure Trim is produced in 2015, so that’s right on the spot!
Limited production and no-mass production parts are allowed
Even so, the combination of reliability, price and enjoyability of the car is our number one priority.
Four/five door is preferred but two/three door is acceptable
The chameleon is currently delivered with four doors and suit your needs very well then
Wheel-base strictly under 3m. I’m not fussed about body type but will lean away from utes and soft-tops unless they offer significant other advantages
Have no fear, the chameleon measures in at 2,58m with a proper roof and is far from a ute
I’m a little tired of Macpherson and Torsion beam setups, but if you can build something that literally outperforms superior setups (e.g. like what Honda did to the Civic Type R), you might yet be able to convince me otherwise
Now, the chameleon does have Macpherson front end suspension, but as we will cover later it has the inherent balance and setup to properly perform, and is able to do over 1g in both low and high speed cornering
Strictly no fiber-glass please, some of our roads have so many stones on them, the bodywork will be ruined within days
Not to worry, we prefer to use metal when building road cars sir.
Looks matter a lot. As I said, design should be edgy/distinctive but not outright douchey. I’ll ignore colour for the time being as I will assume that the car will come in a range of colours, unless you specify otherwise.
Now I can only speak for myself as taste is quite subjective, but we have tried to keep the styling subtle to the laymans eye, yet apparent for those knowledgeable about cars and engineering. Soft widening of the wheelarches, Vents behind the wheels for the brakes and the rear lip are a couple of examples
You may use lips freely. You may use up to ONE wing. For road-legal reasons, the wing must be placed on the rear half of the car, or behind the C pillar if the car has one.
There is a lip at the rear of the car, but we have refrained from adding a wing in order to preserve the possibility of blending in and sliding under the radar. While wings are beneficial for racing, it ruins the subtle sleeper impression.
Any of FWD, AWD, RWD is fine. I’m not looking for a 4x4.
RWD has been chosen as it gives the car that sporty, playful attitude while preserving the economy.
The engine should have a reliability of at least 70.0
Unleaded only. The maximum RON should be 95. I may accept 98 but this will make it much harder to ‘go bush’ and do long road trips
Engine noise should be under 45
Chameleon is well within these limits as should all daily driven cars of this age be.
I am happy to drive auto, stick, or flappy paddles. They all have their pros and cons, so still choose carefully
As you say sir, all of these have their advantages, yet we developed this car for the enthusiasts. While the automatic might be more comfortable, and the sequential a bit faster, almost all enthusiasts prefer the manual gearbox like the chameleon is fitted with. The pure control and experience of a manual gearbox can not be understated.
Because of availability at most tyre retailers, plus road noise, plus simply not looking like the car’s built specifically to beat the clock, the wheels must be not too wide, and have a profile of at least 50. By “not too wide”, I mean the maximum width of the tyre can be determined by the following formula:
maximum tyre width = (car mass in kg + 1150)/10
Bonus points if they're the same size front and rear, so I can rotate them more readily. Semi-slicks are disallowed, because I need to drive this thing rain or shine far more than I do TRACK DAY BRO. Also, I'd really prefer not to have to fork out 3000+ bucks for a set (like I would if you used Trofeo Rs or something), so, like, see if you can keep the material costs of the tyres and wheels total below 1000.
Tires are not to be trifled with as they, next to the brakes, are the most important part of the car. The regular issue Chameleon is delivered with 215/50 tires on 17 inch rims, at 902 each set they are not the cheapest, but who would want to ruin a great car with poor tires. Still, they are withen your price range, as the alloy rims are only 70$
How you set the aero is up to you, since I can always be cheeky and get my car serviced at my company HQ once the warranty expires. But the engine cooling must meet the minimum required
Engine cooling is well within the limits, with plenty to spare should you ever want to tune the car further later on.
The car should preferably seat 4 or 5. It certainly does not need to seat any more than that. You may get away with 2 or 3 if you can convince me of the benefits, but this will be difficult
Mr. McHorseguy, may I call you Stroppy? Stroppy, the Chameleon has 4 seats to obtain plenty of comfort for all people in the car
I do need at least a rudimentary radio, and will have a problem if I don’t have Bluetooth to pair my phone and use handsfree. At least Standard Infortainment recommended, but Basic may be acceptable.
Rudimentary is not a word we are too fond of, the car is of course delivered with Standard Infortainment
Minimum safety of 40, so it’s road legal everywhere. More is good, too.
Safety is always important Stroppy, and that mark is surpassed by at least 30%
You can do what you like with the suspension, just make sure the car doesn’t bottom out too much because one of the things that annoyed me about my Civic was that the front bumper and mudguard were forever scraping against things.
With a ride height of 196mm and -0,4 bottoming out this should not be a big issue at all
Stats wise, I recommend comfort at least 25. I don't care about prestige. Drivability and sportiness matter but not in any specific way.
Of course, I have a complete understanding of this. AS you can see from the technical details the Chameleon is well covered in all these areas
Preferred fuel economy is better than 11L/100km (10km per L), but hey, if the car’s really fast, I might not mind going a bit over.
Why should one exclude the other, Stroppy? With a fuel economy of 8,11L/100km and 0-100 in 5,6 seconds you get the best of both worlds
I’d also prefer it if the total emissions rating was <300.
Preserving our nature and possibilty to drive as long as possible is paramount to ABR, and the Chameleon is no exception at 77,3 in emissions
Track times do matter, getting this thing around Green Hell in under 8:30 would be nice. Faster is even nicer.
Currently the car is very close but not under, finishing at 8.33.82, but I suspect our driver may have been bribed to underperform by our competitors Stroppy! That being said, at the current price there is plenty of money left over to make modifications should you choose that will help you get way below the mark. Not to mentione the perfect weight distribution at 51,3F/48,7R which evens out to 50/50 when you step on it.
Environmental resistance should be preferably over 80. I’m not a fan of rust.
Neither am I, car cancer is not to be trifled with. At 89,62, the Chameleon should last for decades.
It needs SOME storage room. The way this is currently calculated is a bit wonky, so I’m not going to grouse over the actual number, I just need to visually confirm there’s room for a trunk. But I’m not going to ban you from trying to sell me a 2 seater MR coupe with just enough room for a small luggage bag up front. Just saying
No worries, Stroppy. Some competitors might try to fool you, but ABR delivers the full package. This car can be used both as a track car and a holiday hauler!
To conclude, the Chameleon is the entire package. At 24150$ it is a steal and leaves plenty of room in your budget to alter whatever small thing you might want. The torque curve is incredibly even delivering 250nm from 1500rpm up to 296nm at 6600rpm, giving you an incredibly smooth enginge and experience, which should soothe your mother and girfriend when you take then on a trip. The hp curve is also almost linear delivering increasing amounts of power up to the 8000rpm mark, the same limit that Toyota had in their fantastic 4age engines, only this is a 3L inline 6 with almost thrice the power. The blue colour is called happy sky and will melt any girls heart, as they will think it is incredibly cute, while in reality being a wolf in a sheepskin. The handling is great even with the ride height to go a little off road when necessary. Dear Stroppy, can there really be any doubt?
Should you need any further reasons please see the attached specs