GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Venturi Atlantique 300 GT

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atlantique_400.jpg


SPEX

Year: 1999 `````````````````````````````````````` Type: Sports Car
 
Country: France `````````````````````````````````` Host: GT2
 
 
Price: $104,150

 
Length: 166.9" // Width: 72.4" // Height: 46.5"
Wheelbase: 98.4"
Overhang: 5'7"
Track: 59.1" [F] 62.9" [R]
Ground Clearance: 4.92"
Weight: 2,755 lbs.
Layout: Mid Engine / Rear Drive
Tires: 205/50ZR-17 [F] 245/40ZR-17 [R]
F. Suspension: double wishbone
R. Suspension: multilink
Brakes: vented discs
 
Engine: 3.0 liter V6
hrsepwr: 213 @ 5,500 rpm
torque:
207 @ 4,000 rpm
 
Lbs. per HP: 12.93
HP per liter: 72.3
Credits per HP: $488.97
 
Aspiration: turbo (twin?)
Fuel System:
Valves per Cyl: 2
Bore x Stroke: 3.66 x 2.87"
Compression: 7.3:1
Redline: 6,750 // RPM Limit: 7,000
Transmission: 5-speed manual
 
0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
0-100mph: 26.811
 
400 M: 14.743 @ 96 mph
1 KM:
26.811 @ 124 mph
 
Test track: 1:45.422
 
Top Speed at Redline
1st: 41 mph @ 6,750 rpm
2nd: 69 mph
3rd: 102 mph
4th: 146 mph
5th: 165.34 mph @ 5,900 rpm
 


 

-----------------EXTERIOR-------------------
 
What the hell? France actually makes a supercar? Where have I been?!? To give us an idea of the vastness of Gran Turismo 2, I've owned this game for 8 months now and it's taken me 8 months to finally get behind the wheel of a Venturi! I've competed against plenty of them, though.
 
Like many other exotic automakers, Venturi cranks out very few examples of their product, and seems to have been just a few steps ahead of bankruptcy from time to time. Partially, it's the high cost of production, and partially it's simply because most folks have never heard of Venturi! Gran Turismo 2 states this on the Atlantique's info page, and various sites on the 'net echo the same.
 
Let's assume you had the money to afford one. You're rich (duh), and all your friends are rich, too. Not only that, but they're obnoxious about it. They like to brag about their wealth overtly, and you're currently at a party (or soirée, as your snobby pals refer to it). Over in one corner, Rich Ashitt and Rob DaBanks are chatting about cars.
 
 
“I just landed a triple-bonded deal with Starbucks” says Rob “and with my money I'm gonna purchase a Ferrari, I believe”.
 
“Well, that'll look good pulling up next to my 500 SEL, won't it?” says Rich.
 
Just then, that snobby French baroness Alotta Monét shows up. Who invited this bitch? Not to be outdone, she casually mentions the Bentley she just had detailed, and so finally you decide to chime in.
 
“Well, guess what I just perused the other day?” you ask as all eyes are cast your way. “A Venturi Atlantique! Yes sir, I'm livin' the good life now!”
 
“Uh...a Venawho?” ask the three snots as you turn crimson.
 
Later, you're at an upscale, trendy bar downtown, where everyone wears black and drinks fashionable concotions with more syllables than your lawyer's letterhead. Yeah, your kinda place. The mood here is more relaxed than at that ‘party’ you vacated earlier, and it's time for some real fun.
 
You decide to impress a chick at the bar. She's sipping a bomb of a drink, hovering over a plate with a two ounce portion of roasted duck, scallions, and pine nuts that cost $45.
 
“Hey you wanna go for a ride?” you ask after an hour of insipid conversation.
 
“Okay!” the starlet perks up, “what're you driving?”

“Well, I just got a Venturi Atlantique 300 GT, and it's parked....out..side.”

“Uh...you got a Venawhat??” she asks, looking at you like you're George Costanza. What a deal-killer.
 
Alrite, enough bad jokes. :-/ Let's get down to business.
 
Here's the deal: the Venturi Atlantique is an expensive vehicle, yes, but it's worth it. It starts out at just 2,755 lbs. and can be whacked to 2,451 with all three weight reductions. But it handles pretty good even when fully-laden. For sure, the fiberglass body helps, as well as the size and shape of the car. There is no excessive overhang, no wasted material in the design of the Atlantique (unlike, say....a C4 Camaro).
 
It's a sweet, sexy car. "France's answer to Ferrari" has been said before by some. And there are lots of colors available, almost too many! An indecisive sort like me will take a few minutes to decide the color, I'm sure I'm not the first, either.
 
One bitch about the Atlantique is its lack of modifyable downforce. No racing body. If we want more downforce, buy a 400 Bi-Turbo or the LM edition car. Normally, I wouldn't care, but since the 300 has so much going for it; so much available power, it's a shame to see it go wasted. 
   


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

Sometimes, I seriously think the staff of GT2 data collectors was sniffing glue. Or maybe they did their research in between cocktails at the local sushi bar. Whatever the reason (and I KNOW there's gotta be a reason), it's obvious they nailed the stats for certain cars, and totally goofed it hard-core with others!
 
No where is it stated on any website with Venturi specs that the Atlantique 300 has TWO turbos (the 400 does, though). Nor does it have a 2,946 cc engine (the real one is 2,975 cubic centimeters, and it's only a single-cam engine with 2 valves per cylinder...NOT a twin cam with 4). Also, the power figures are way off, which is absolutely mysterious. Check THIS out...
 
The real-life car has 277 hp, not 213, as used in GT2. Perhaps Polyphony Digital was quoting the KW figure (or trying to), which is 206 in real-life. To make matters more complicated, PD quotes the Atlantique 300 as having 302 hp for the Atlantique's info page. WTF? And lastly...it's spelled Atlantique with a U. PD's spelling of this word varies throughout the game: sometimes it's spelled with a 'u' and sometimes it isn't!
 
At the test track, the Atlantique 300 behaves like a 213 hp car, that's for sure. Real-life testing of the 300 repeatedly quotes the 0 to 60 time as 4.9 seconds just like the Atlantique's GT2 info does, yet I couldn't break 6. Even when dropping the clutch with high revs, the best I could manage was 5.5 seconds. Passed the ¼ mile in 14.7 seconds, and at this mark, the Atlantique hadn't even stolen 100 mph yet!
 
Some supercar. Too bad Gran Turismo got those numbers wrong, it kinda sells Venturi short, as well as Peugeot--the actual maker of the 3 liter V6 engine.
 
Engine balancing, port & polish, and the computer cost $24,000, yet only add 11 hp. Oddly, these services don't add any extra redline area, either. But the good news is really good, though. Lots of power options! Woo hoo! 4 different turbos (as well as the sport and racing intercoolers) are available after-market.
 
Stage 3 turbo costs a relatively affordable $40,000, and will fetch 544 hp @ 6,100 rpm with 486 ft-lbs. @ 5,600. Not bad for a short-stroke engine, huh? And if that's not enough, Stage 4 costs $75,000, yet will net a total of almost 100 extra horses! This is a net gain of 427 hp when compared to the factory-installed stock engine, with PD's mistaken 213 horsepower. But this can't be ignored. The pound-to-power ratio falls from 12.93 to just 3.82 in our game from stock to fully-tuned!
 
Unfortunately, Stage 4 power comes with a price, and it's not imaginary credits. At this level, the Atlantique 300 could really benefit from extra downforce, which it doesn't have. On most tracks, you'll find it hard to control; in fact, I raced this car in a 61-lap Arcade event at Red Rock Speedway last nite and found that I got better lap times with a Stage 3 turbo...Stage 4 was just too rambunctious. Also, it is unrealistic that turbo-lag is almost non-existent with these higher echelons of extra power, but as any seasoned driver knows, most cars in GT2 don't have realistic turbo-lag.
 
The tachometer is good. Lots of revs to explore, tho the redline area itself could be a bit deeper. Gearing is good too. Each gearbox has it's place: factory gears can be used at tracks like Red Rock Speedway or Special Stage Route 5. Close gears (sports) can be used at Seattle or Midfield. Super-close gears can be employed at Laguna Seca or Tahiti. Fully-modifyable racing units only become necessary with the Stage 4 turbo for the most part; the car'll simply run out of redline area as it runs down many GT2 straightaways, otherwise.
 
As most folks know, the Atlantique is the only mid-engine car that can be modified with a carbon driveshaft. A reflection of reality, or another Gran Turismo goof?
 

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

This is a mid-engine machine, no doubt about it, but the Atlantique 300 typically only shows its worst behavior under full stress. Sometimes it's simply better tires that are needed to solve this, sometimes, more drastic measures will need to be taken. The suspension sits 125 mm above the ground, and can be lowered to 88 mm (just under 3½") with a racing suspension. You'll need racing parts and super-soft tires if you really want to take this car to it's highest power, since extra downforce can't be bought with an [R] kit. Even so, the Atlantique 300 will still be problematic.
 
Most mid-engine cars have stiffer springs in the rear and softer ones up front, which makes the Atlantique's set-up backwards. Most won't notice its backwards spring rates, or what this means, till they're at a track like Seattle. Here, the variety of bumps and constantly changing angles on the road's surface will keep the rear of the car squirrely--and the 300 has a tendency to nose-dive up the staircase hill.
 
The solution? Make sure to compensate for the mushy behavior with stiffer damper rates in the back if you're using either the sports or semi-racing parts. At tracks with scalloped turns (Red Rocks, High Speed Ring, the Test Track, and to a lesser degree, Rome Night and Trail Mountain) I found that setting the rear camber slightly higher than the front (2.5° vs. 3.3°) helped with stability alot; prevented the Atlantique from spinning under pressure, tho appropriate counter-steer is still needed. Still, the 300 is not nearly as difficult as the Ford GT40.
 
1.5 or 2-way differentials can be used for most racing, mostly to help prevent unwanted squirrelyness; I honestly couldn't tell much difference between either one. The weight of the mid-engine above those rear wheels will guarantee limited problems with tire-smoke and unwanted spinning, but oversteer still happens swiftly and suddenly.
 
Finally, there's brakes. The controller is absolutely necessary in this car at most any level of power! I'd be the first to tell you never to dial rear settings higher than "10"… I think you know why. And for some, the Active Stability Controller device might be a good purchase to help control this beast of a car. Naw, just kidding. ASC does little to help this Venturi. This car is not n00b-friendly. Take a spin in one? That's okay. Race one? Only if you're somewhat experienced.
 
Phew, what a long review. Now I can finish watching CSI: Las Vegas...
 

 

PROS

1). Lots of power options. Four turbos and Two intercoolers to play with. Stages 3 and 4 may seem expensive, but they're worth the credits.
 
2.) The engine's starting hp may not be much, but it allows the Atlantique 300 entry in many of the hp-limited A-license events.
 
3). All four gearboxes can be used, depending where the Venturi is at. Some boxes are suited for some tracks, and others are suited for others. There are no wasted credits here, which is rare.
 
4). Not too heavy, yet also not light enough to cause stability problems.
 
5). Good maneuverability for an MR vehicle (and believe me, you're gonna need it in emergency situations).
 
6). Engine sounds good, tho annoying turbo-hiss takes over the 6-cylinder growl if Stage 3 or 4 power is installed.
 
7). Lots of colors available for this sexy Ferrari-esque auto.
 
8). For those who were looking to race an actual Ferrari in GT2, and were disappointed that NO high-brow Italian supercars make an appearance, perhaps this Venturi could be for you.
 

CONS

1). Price is steep...but then, this IS a low-production supercar. Have you ever heard of one that isn't expensive?
 
2). Redline / limit area is short. Can't be improved with upgrades.
 
3). The 300 only gets equipped with a 5-speed, even after upgrades. Might be nice to have at least a 6-speed racing gearbox, don't you think?
 
4). Twitchy MR handling. Oversteer isn't as constant as some other mid-engine cars, but it can and DOES come out of nowhere. It is a reality to be avoided. The 300 can also be difficult to control under hard braking.
 
5). Soft spring rates in the rear make for mooshy handling if a sport or semi-racing suspension is being used, which becomes a problem occasionally.
 
6). Polyphony Digital screwd up the stock power for this car. No, they didn't just screw up, they really screwed up!
 

 

Published: November 11, 2004
 

 

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