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Chrysler Phaeton

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phaeton.jpeg


SPEX

Year: 1997 ``````````````````````````` Country: USA
 
Type: Sedan `````````````````````````````` Host: GT2
 
Price: $100,000 (Prize from muscle car series)
 
Length: 215.0" // Width: 78" // Height: 55"
Wheelbase: 132"
Overhang: @6 feet 11 inches
Track: 63" [F] 61.3" [R]
Ground Clear: 6.1"
Weight: 3,527 pounds
Layout: Front Engine / Rear Drive
Tires: Goodyear P245/55R-22
F. Suspension: double wishbone
R. Suspension: independent dual A-arms
Brakes: solid discs ?
 
Engine: 329 cubic inch V12
Aspiration: normal
Tested HP:`` 510 @ 5,500 rpm
Tstd Torque:
491 @ 4,500 rpm
Fuel Syst: ?
Valves / Cyl: 4
Bore x Stroke: ?
Compression: ?
Redline: 6,000 // Rev Limit: 7,000
Lbs. per hp: 6.92
Hp per Liter: 94.4
Credits/ HP: $196.08
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
 
 
0-60 mph: 5.712 seconds
0-100mph: 10.701 seconds
 
400 M: 13.615 @ 116 mph
1 Kilo:
23.336 @ 151 mph
 
Test Track: 1:29.709
 
Top Speed at Redline
1st: 47 mph
2nd: 89 mph
3rd: 138 mph
4th: 189.43 @ 5,900 rpm

 

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--------------------EXTERIOR-------------------
 
According to what I've read, most folks win the 1997 Chrysler Phaeton from one of GT2's Muscle Car races, take it for a test drive, and sell it; gladly accepting the $25,000, and wondering how the hell such a monster made its way into GT2 in the first place. While I can't blame them, I also have to disagree with them.
 
The Phaeton is not totally useless. It (of course) has little prowess in the handling & maneuverability department-> but unload some credits, and you may be surprised. I also would like to tell them: "Hey dudes, lighten up. This is a VIDEOGAME." Besides being the Ultimate Driving Simulator, GT2 is supposed to be fun!!!!! Let's inject some fantasy and see what happens.
 
On the other hand, I'll be tactful here. Don't try and race the Phaeton unless you're Gran Turismo experienced. ...Unless you're driving a Phaeton around for shock value, going for an attempt to scare the buddies that you race in 2-player mode, I'd say you might as well sell it or leave it in the garage! It looks good in there. Cars like the Phaeton ALWAYS look good in garages, car shows, and museums...they look silly and out of their element trying to race in videogames.
 
The '97 Phaeton gets its retro looks from the 1940 Chrysler Newport. Starting in the gangster era straight up to the early '60s, Chrysler was in business making ‘parade’ cars, believe it or not. The Newport, Imperial, and other gynormous models all got their turn riding along at 2 mph, while political figures, beauty queens, and movie stars rode in back waving to the millions. If Al Capone had lived today, he'd surely own a PlayStation, and would perhaps spend plenty of time racing a Phaeton when he wasn't gang-banging the streets of Grand Theft Auto. Oh yes, this reborn Chrysler lives up to those hulks from yesteryear, and holds quite a classy image as well, does it not?
 
Unfortunately, class and dignity mean little on GT2 tarmac.

Most likely, you'll be riding along in your Phaeton, enjoying some Cardigans and smoking an ivory tipped cigarello...the crowds oohing at your metallic- gold colored saloon, when some brain-dead punk in a beat up RX-7 crashes into the Phaeton's quarter panel, denting up its pristene hand-crafted shape!!!!!!
 
The Phaeton is heavy, but at 3,527 pounds, not as heavy as I expected. It falls far below our famous Aston Martins, even though it is larger than they are. I thought for sure the Phaeton would weigh somewhere over 4,000. Perhaps it's Chrysler's widespread use of lightweight parts? The frame and body are made of steel, but the engine block and heads, for instance, are competely aluminum. And since this one has some Viper material in it, I'll bet there is some carbon-fiber artfully used here and there; but unfortunately I couldn't find out for sure.

After visiting over 20 websites (all of which say the same things over and over) I gave up...couldn't find much detailed info about the Phaeton and how it was designed and constructed.
 
When I raced my Phaeton in the Expert-level Event Generator, I kept all the niceties. My car's interior was left completely stock with the front / rear ‘cowl’ equipment, speedometer, tachometer, climate controls & radio for both front and rear passengers, split air conditioning... all that good stuff.
 
....In other words, I didn't get any weight reductions. How did it do then?
 

--------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-----------

Surprisingly, the Phaeton did just fine, winning 4 out of 5 of those Generator races against the best the Sim disc had to offer: a Mine's R34 Skyline, Mazda RX-7 C-spec, two TRD-tuned Toyota MR2s, and a '98 RX-7 Type RS all took turns battling my heavy, bloated land-yacht. ...Which thankfully is equipped with a small-block V12 engine ...yeeeeah...that helps. I only lost at Rome Nite after poorly navigating some of those hairpins and L-turns. Not much help for the Phaeton there.
 
The Phaeton cruised along with poise around the heavily banked turns of Red Rock Speedway. As expected, I had a win at horsepower-happy Midfield as well, but to all you Chrysler Phaeton detractors out there, I also won at Autumn Ring, WITHOUT needing to slam into anybody (tho the sim cars all took turns trying to beam me, of course), so take that Phaeton hatahs!
 
Well, the V12 is a virtual steam-roller, with its massive power and torque. Despite being over 3,500 pounds, acceleration comes easy to the Phaeton....a 13 and a half quarter can be achieved stock, and the kilometer in just 23 seconds ain't hurtin. Actually, it's pretty frickin impressive. By the end of the 1000 meter dash, the Phaeton was cruising along at 151 mph. Despite its massive frontal area.

....Woah woah woah woah.... wait a minute. Let's just say that again. ONE KILOMETER AT ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-ONE MILES PER HOUR. Hey now!
 
If that isn't good, I don't know what to say. Despite being just a 4-speed, my cruiser held fast up to a Viperish 190 mph around the Test Track! Simply amazing. Still, there are plenty of issues with Chrysler's Phaeton and its powerplant.
 
First, there are no major engine upgrades except for the computer chip, crank balancing, and port / polish, all of which won't add much power. At best, the Phaeton gains just 58 hp once a racing exhaust system is added. (612 hp @ 5,500 rpm with 560.23 ft-lbs @ 4,600). While this is alot of power, its hard to find any races in GT2 in which it can be effectively used. Read on...
 
Polyphony's engine graph tells us peak power is acheived at 6,500 rpm, even tho the orange horsepower line clearly apexes at 5,500. Remember this when you're shifting that manual box. Also like I said, there are very few Simulation races in which the Phaeton can competitively compete in GT2. It will either be over the HP limit, under-powered, or over-powered. Try and enter one in the Tuned NA series, for instance, and its 500+ horsepower will pretty much guarantee you'll never have to worry about the car's sucky handling becoming a deterrent, as those Integras and Civics fall far behind. No challenge. Take a Phaeton to the Gran Turismo All Stars, and the car's lack of downforce, poor suspension support, and massive weight means it'll be in 6th place almost every time unless you're REALLY good. That's why I raced the Event Generator...it's pretty much the only place to find a somewhat fair challenge. The V12's awesome power gets displaced by the Phaeton's sloppy handling.
 
Another issue is (the last I think) the engine note. The V12 doesn't quite sound impressive like I was hoping. I did find that a sports system did get a more soulful sound than a stock tailpipe, though.
 
The car's 4-speed is useful, and on some tracks, the MOPAR close and super-close trannys (both of which are 5-speeds), are also useful. Peak torque located just 1,500 rpm below the redline got those rear-wheels spinning with too much smoke, so I found extra clutch, flywheel, and driveshaft parts weren't really needed.

 

---------------CHASSIS / HANDLING------------

Sometimes, you just know what's gonna happen next. It doesn't take ESP or any precognizant skills, it's just good old common sense. You might be watching a movie, for instance, and some bimbo is about to walk through a door.
 
“Don't walk thru that door!”
 
You say this because...you know what's gonna happen next.
 
When you pick up a newspaper from any major American city, you will know without even looking at it that most of the news will be bad. Is this precognition? No, it's simply common-sense. Which brings us here, to this review. Look at the Chrysler Phaeton, take it to the tracks, especially the curvy ones. Anyone know what's gonna happen next? ;)
 
Yes, we are gonna need lots of help here. Amazingly, it can be done. This giant boat-tail sedan (emphasis on the word ‘boat’) CAN win races, and we can get it to behave....though this is all relative to how you define ‘behave’; 'cause it will never truely behave...that's for sure.
 
Hey everyone, meet GTmastah_69! He's a guy I met here on the 'net, he's unemployed, he's a total Gran Turismo newbie, but he talks like he knows his stuff. And today, he's gonna assist in a little experiement while we watch. Now let's watch GTmastah_69, shall we?
 
Here we are, it's a beautiful day here in Seattle, and our test n00b is currently revving up the engine. When driven completely stock, the Phaeton does just what we think it will. Acceleration is a bit touchy in 1st gear, but even GTmastah_69 can excell here. Now here comes turn #1. Hopefully our novice driver braked early (I mean REALLY early)! Chances are he didn't, so here comes the understeer. Now he's really in a bind.
 
Finally, the Phaeton has slowed (with a bit of help from the tire wall) so he makes his second mistake: GTmastah_69 has mashed the throttle. Hell, even I've made this mistake, but at least I know how to recover. Uh oh, GTboy isn't doing so well. He's just sent the 18 foot-long car into a spin. Yikes. That wasn't pretty. Hey, that's my dual-shock, don't throw it!
 
GTmastah_69, you might wanna try an easier car, look here's a nice...Toyota Vitz. .....;-D
 
When the Phaeton jackknifes from too much oversteer, things really get ugly. Like I said, even experienced GTers can get this wrong. Even when driven well, with appropriate parts like a full-custom suspension, super soft tires, brake controller, and full limited-slip underneath, the Phaeton still wants to slip and slide. When it finally gets gripping the way it needs to, the exaggerated trunk-swinging and the car's massive weight transfer is downright unnatural-looking and funny! Kinda reminds me of the Plymouth GTX the way this one swings about.
 
But it can be done. We can win races in a Phaeton! Too bad there aren't any Dusenbergs or Cords for it to compete against.
 

 
 

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PROS

1). A genuine V12 engine that provides major stomp! Acceleration is golden.
 
2). So is the top-end. The Phaeton will hit 190 mph totally stock despite its weight and semi-aerodynamic profile.
 
3). It's a novelty. Where else and in what other videogame will you find a Chrysler Phaeton? Huh? ).
 
4). Easy to win from the Muscle Car Championship. Those who don't like the Phaeton get a small bonus for selling it.
 

CONS

1). I know I'm contradicting myself here, but just how did the Phaeton make it into GT2? Why?
 
2). There aren't too many races the Phaeton can enter competitively. It'll either blow the sims away too easily with its power, or its poor manuverability will kill the engine's prowess in more challenging races. Only pros and experts should drive this one in the Event Generator, where it gets a halfway decent shot without too much or too little advantage.
 
3). Poor handling. Understeer. Oversteer. Sliding. Alla dat.
 
4). Engine upgrades absent. Who knows, if the Phaeton had 100 more horsepower, would it be able to take the All Stars? We'll never know.
 
5). Even with full weight reductions, the super-large Phaeton remains difficult. No race-kit (big surprise, huh?)
 
6). You will need all the best parts underneath your credits can buy.
 
7). Poor brake response. More money spent dude.
 
8). Out-of-corner torque is often too much for the differential to handle. The traction control might be a good purchase for some. Otherwise, careful with that gas pedal, man.
 

Originally Published: December 28, 2005

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