After sinking in a good few hours last night its time to draw some conclusions about the “Extreme” pack, a misnomer if ever I have heard one. Initially I was disappointed to see the specs available for each of the cars. The Abarth 500 coming in Street spec was a given, but I was surprised to see it come in perf spec as well. Previously I had rated this as a 30% possibility so it was certainly not out of the question, but it did take me a bit off guard. The other 2 vehicles however were much more of a disappointment. Both only came with perf spec, a class which, as I have mentioned here before, is already over crowded with cars yet today it gets 3 more while the other 4 specs are left with just 1 car between them. It does look more and more as if Perf and Street are the 2 default specs and the rest are left to pick up odds and ends where they can. But moving on, lets look at the new cars in a bit more detail.
This was the first of the new cars I took out for a spin, and first things first I should point out that, like the Mini Cooper, it really does not suit my driving style. In street spec it handles, as you would expect, much like the Mini. It has pretty long gear ratios so you can end up holding each gear longer than your opposition but with that comes slightly slower acceleration. I tuned this spec to 1299 with a mix of parts in an attempt to find balance but it feels like I will need to do a bit more experimenting to find the optimal set up for me personally. It brakes quickly and has incredible turn in so for street tracks with 90 degree corners it is pretty handy, however in the long sweepers it suffers quite badly from understeer and due to its short wheelbase when you get a bit of a tank slapper or it can swap ends in a hurry.
In perf spec it is more of the same, just quicker. I tuned my Abarth initially to 1299 with full acceleration bonuses having driven the street spec and noting its slower acceleration. While this alleviated the problem somewhat it is by no means speedy through the gears and would certainly have a hard time keeping up with a similarly spec’d GTR for example. Again, the handling charactaristics did not suit my driving style at all, and its quick turn in and general understeer were more exposed around the circuits of Sebring and Laguna Seca. On the long oval it did suprise me with its top end speed which was more than enough to keep up with the top perf cars, although it did start to get uncontrollable at the far side of 200 and there was quite a bit of sway at that speed.
Overall I would give the Street spec an 8/10, depending on your driving style. If you like the Mini you will probably love it.
For Perf spec on the other hand, I cant see it being used much, so its a 5/10 from me.
2013 SRT VIPER GTS
The 2013 version of the Viper only came with 1 spec, perf of course, and it was, challenging to say the least. In tuning to 1299 I took into account the handling characteristics of the Uplay Viper and decided to work from a base of full grip in an attempt to counteract the inevitable oversteer produced by having 500+ horsepower directed to the rear wheels. The results were somewhat effective as it produced a far more stable ride than I had anticipated. In a straight line the Viper was very, very quick. Even under boost it didn’t make a dive in either direction as I was expecting, just a slight pull one way or the other but easily corrected with a touch of counter steering. In the corners there was initially a bundle of understeer which would turn into snap oversteer with the application of some throttle. Certainly by no means uncontrollable but it may take a while to get used to. Through the longer sweeping turns it tended more towards a touch of understeer, but a quick lift off the throttle was enough to bring it back round thanks to the lift off oversteer.
Overall, the 2013 Viper would get a 6/10 in its current spec. It is a better ride than the existing Viper, but its not going to challenge the Aventadors for perf supremacy.
ASTON MARTIN V12 ZAGATO
The last of the DLC cars in this update was the V12 Zagato. Again, in perf spec only which was a bitter disappointment as I had predicted circuit as a stick on given that is exactly what this car was designed for.
However, taking into account that it was based of the Vantage I used that as a starting point for my tuning and went for a full acceleration build. This made the Zagato a sound handling and fairly rapid choice for the perf bracket. It was by no means a stand out performer but it will certainly see some use in the PvP lobbies from people who like to mix it up a bit with their car choices.
Handling wise it was very predictable, a hint of understeer on the way in and a handful of oversteer on the way out, exactly what you would be looking for from a FR V12. Acceleration and speed are as both fairly predicatable. I will need to do some tests on my own to see if changing from full acceleration to a mix of acceleration and speed bonuses make much of a difference.
I would certainly say the V12 Zagato is my favourite of the DLC cars, but that isn’t saying too much. While it will see some use it is not going to be a default choice in PvP. Overall I would give it a 7/10.
How do I feel about the DLC? Well, a bit underwhelmed in reality. I knew what was coming yet I was hoping for more. The 3 cars made available were not enough to shake up the PvP scene. The choice of customisation was limited and not really what I was hoping for. The cars are beautifully modelled but the specs options were to limited. But this is just the first DLC, next month sees another one which may be more to my liking.