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TECHNICAL DATA

Some of you may notice terms that are used in this website and wonder what the hell I'm talking about. So this page sort of explains things. Like the rest of this site--it's a work in progress.

RPM Limit:
All engines have a redline. When you look at the tachometer (the needle that spins when you rev your engine) you'll notice that a portion of it has a red area. In real life, this area is bad, you don't want to consistently rev this high or your engine will possibly blow-up, or at least suffer a lack of longevity.

In the game, we don't have to worry about this*, but every car still has an RPM limiter The RPM Limit is the highest point that a Gran Turismo motor will rev before the needle won't go any more. It is always higher on the tach than the redline (which is where the red area starts).

* actually, in GT3, 4, or 5, revving into the redline area, and against the RPM limiter, is bad. Our engines won't destroy themselves, but revving this high consistently will lessen their horsepower over time. IN some cases, it is impossible not to rev into the redline; some powerbands have peak power located on (or beyond) redline, which means it will be necessary for us to rev this high, to get the best power, and (therefore) speed.

HOST:

I've reviewed cars from GT1, GT2, GT3, GT4, and GT5. The term "host" is used when I've gotten around to driving a car in that particular game. In other words, if there's a car I've driven (let's say the R34 generation Skyline) and I've discussed it in my review from a particular game, it'll be listed in the "host" area. So if I've driven an R34 in GT1 and GT2, it'll list these two games, but it will not list those games that I haven't driven the R34 in.

  

ACCELERATION:
I test my cars the same way Road & Track and several other car magazines do--by not reving up the engine before an acceleration run. I don't ‘drop the clutch’ at higher RPMs than idle in these tests, unless otherwise indicated. When the clock ticks.:.3..2...1..*BEEP*!, that's when I start pushing the accelerator; therefore, my 0-400 and 0-1000 meter times are lower than what you'd find from others. 

Usually, if you let a clutch in at higher rpms, you'll get a better result, but I don't do this. Why?

Because it's a true test of the engine's full potential - from idle to red-line. It's fairer to compare cars this way, too, and takes less time since I'm not spending 10 or 15 minutes trying to find each car's "sweet spot" on the tach. Also, most of the tests in my reviews are in cars that have not been modified.

Anyone can modify a car and get a better result than what I've posted, of course. But it would take too much time (and there's millions of variables) to mark down every single car's modified potential. Also, I get 0-60 and 0-100 mph times in GT1 thru 4 by pushing "start" (repeatedly pausing the game) while keeping the accelerator planted, and I sometimes consider the terms ‘400m’ and ‘quarter mile’ to be interchangeable, tho really one is slightly shorter than the other.

RUBBER BANDING: Some games feature what is known as "rubber banding". This means the game automatically keeps all the opponent vehicles (the A.I., or Artificial Idiots, lol) close to us. GT and GT2 feature the most rubber-banding. The game automatically can make a car handle better by giving their tires more grip in these games, and it usually does this as we start to get a lead. In some cases (like the Sunday Cup of GT2), the game will also rubber-band in the opposite direction. If we fall behind, the 5 cars in front of us will drive slower.

Rubber banding is supposed to make noob drivers feel like they are more awesome than they are. I have not noticed rubber-banding in GT3 and GT4, but in GT5 the A.I. can sometimes drive more "cooly" as they get a lead. Unlike GT and GT2, the car's capabilities remain consistent in GT5; it's the driver who is now taking it easy, which can sometimes allow us to catch up.

Drivers "take it easy" in GT5 because they can tire as the race progresses, and to conserve energy they don't drive as aggressively.


TIRES:
In GT1, GT2, and GT3, all civilian cars (and some racing cars) start their life on "Normal" tires. In GT4, they usually start on S2 (medium sport) tires. In any GT1, GT2, or GT3 test, I'm using these Normal tires. The Normal tires in the first 3 games are actually not a car's "normal" street tires; instead, they are somewhat comparable to S2 tires in GT4. I've come to this conclusion after doing many acceleration runs in GT4, and then comparing the results to earlier games.

However, when I first started GT4, I was convinced I should try using N3 tires because these are supposed to be the best ones comparable to real-life; perhaps what we call "3 season" tires. Some tests, therefore have been done on N3 tires in GT4, and some with S2s. At times, I have noted which tires I used, but sometimes I haven't.

GT5 is the odd game here. It's the only game so far in which a variety of cars can be shod with a varitey of tires. Comort mediums, comfort softs, and hard sport tires are usually what can be found on the majority of them. For this game, I usually just use whatever tires the car is equipped with when it's bought. The difference between this game and others is that GT5 tires don't equate to the Normal and Medium Sports of earlier games.


OIL
Also in GT3, GT4, and GT5 it is now possible to make a car's power higher simply by getting its oil changed with a viscosity that's better for high rpms, higher temps, etc. After much debate, I've come to the conclusion that getting oil changed represents making a modification to the car in some situations, therefore it is no longer stock.

However there are two things to consider:

1> by the time I made this "no oil change" rule, I had done many tests with oil changed. Most GT3 tests and a few GT4 tests are done with cars that have had oil changed. I'm not going back to do them over, it would take way too much time, but I've at least tried to make a note of when oil was changed and when it wasn't for a few tests. 

2> GT4 and 5's used cars are an exception here. Changing oil in a used car will usually bring its power back to where it was when the engine was new. This is maintenance, not a modification. In other words, if we have a '97 Camaro in GT2 with 285 hp, but in GT4 the same Camaro appears with (let's say) 24,000 miles, its power will rate less than it should; in this case 258 hp. I'll change the oil in order to boost it up to 285 (or wherever it lands) to make comparison between both tests comparable.  

3> GT5 also includes engine rebuilds. I will get a rebuild if an oil change does not place a car's power high enough, but this depends. If that Camaro from GT4 made 285 hp after oil change, but it only makes 283 in GT5 after oil, I will not get the rebuild, because doing so will place the Camaro's power beyond 285. I always try to aim for power which is most consistent to what's found in earlier games, basically.  


TOP SPEED:
In most cases, you'll see a top speed given for each gear of a car's gearbox. Unless otherwise noted, this will be the speed recorded at its redline. Often, the engine will pass or won't be able to reach its redline in the car's highest gear, and in such cases the peak RPM number is given.


MONEY:
Sometimes I get lazy and write $ ("dollars" instead of "credits"). I really mean credits (cr.), so go by this.


GENERAL TECHNICAL DATA AND HISTORY:
I get a lot of the info in these reviews by cruising the 'net, so if there are any factual inconsistensies, there's usually a web-site somewhere to blame. Some of my go-to sites are: www.supercars.net / www.carfolio.com www.conceptcarz.com / www.maximum-cars.com www.musclecarplanet.com / www.edmunds.com / www.nctd.com / and www.musclecarclub.com / www.wikicars.org / www.wikipedia.org / www.amayama.com and others which get more and more obscure.

In addition, I do a fairly extensive amount of research just by typing a car's name into the search engine and seeing what comes up. This happens to be much easier for some vehicles than it does for others. (Ford GT40 or Lancia Stratos versus Daihatsu Move or Subaru 360, for instance).
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QUOTED versus TESTED:
Whenever you buy a car in the game and take it to the garage or tracks, you'll notice like 90% of the time its horsepower figure will change. In my tests, the QUOTED horsepower, torque, and their equivalent revs per minute are the figures you see at the dealership. The TESTED or FINAL figure comes from those numbers that show once I'm at the track in either GT1 or GT2.

In GT3, I get horsepower & torque figures after breaking a car's engine in and getting its first oil change. In GT4, sometimes I'll post figures pre-oil change, and sometimes I'll post them post-oil change (depending if the car is new {with low-mileage} or used). In either case (GT3 or GT4) what you're reading will be the FINAL figures. You'll need to go to the garage (instead of the track) to see these figures.

GT5 also features wildly inaccurate data from the dealer sometimes. The difference between this game and GT3/4 is that we can get the real figures from several spots (garage or track) rather than just in the garage.

These figures (tested or final) are actually the accurate ones; for whatever reason, PD chooses to post inaccurate numbers at the dealership. In some cases, this is how it's sometimes done in real-life. So, many of my reviews boast the TESTED or FINAL figures.


ENGLISH vs. METRIC:
Sorry to all you out there who are more acquainted with the metric system. The metric system actually makes more sense, but unfortunately I grew up with the English Standard system (like most Americans) so this is what I use. Anyone who's got a problem figuring this can try going to www.onlineconversion.com or www.calculator.com - I've found both of these sites useful when my plug-in, vintage 70's era Hewlett-Packard calculator dies. A lot of times, cell phones also feature conversion pages to make things convenient for those who want to know how pounds and inches translate to kilograms and millimeters. 


OVERHANG:
This is the measure from the center of the wheels (front and rear are measured seperately in real life) to the extreme front or rear portions of the car (usually the bumpers). Cars have varying amounts of overhang, depending on style or functionality.

Cars with a lot of overhang generally will have more weight transfer during braking and cornering, making them difficult under these conditions, but sometimes this extra sheet metal is put to good use aerodynamically, and the extra weight can also make these vehicles more stable over bumps, giving us better grip and traction. This category includes many sedans and American muscle-cars, as well as some coupes and sports cars. Cars with little overhang generally have better maneuverability, but lack drift capabilities, stability, and sometimes style, as well. This includes many hatchbacks, Kei-cars, and some coupes or sports cars.

WHEELBASE:
This is the measure of the car's length from the center of the front wheel to the center of the back wheel. Compare the wheelbase to overhang by subtracting the car's total length: L - overhang = wheelbase. Cars with a lot of wheelbase (in comparison to less overhang) generally are more stable, though this also depends on weight and how tall the vehicle is, too.

TRACK:
This is the measure of the car's width from the inside of the left and right wheels. A car's track usually varies from front to rear. Those with a wider track generally have more stability while cornering, but less maneuverability. Those with a narrower track will typically have less stability (they can get looser while turning) but they might also have the ability to snake their way through turns, finding cornering lines that a car with a wider track won't be able to take.

TRAIL BRAKING

Trail braking simply means we brake into a turn, attempt to steer, and the vehicle does just this; it steers-in while braking. I have found many front-drives (especially performance-oriented FFs like the Honda CR-X) can trail-brake into tight turns extremely late, but it's possible that any drivetrail can use trail-braking.

Trail braking is an effective means of getting past our opponents on the tracks, because if you can brake & turn at the same time, often this means we can brake later than our enemies. But this depends. Some vehicles will not trail brake at all, and will need to be braked in a straight line. This sometimes means braking will need to start earlier than in a similar weighted car that can trail-brake.

UNDERSTEER

Understeer is one of the most dreaded words in the world of motorsports. What this means is you drive into a corner, steer the car, but the car does not steer-inwards as effectively. In effect, it's trying to still go straight to some extent. Understeer is also known as "pushing". Understeer can sometimes be avoided through tuning and/or using stickier tires, but the best way to avoid it is to slow down! And sometimes, slowing down is impossible during a race.

Torque steer is a cousin of understeer, and happens most often in front-drives. Torque steering happens when the accelerator is pushed, and this causes the front-end to try to straighten out while we're still trying to turn. In a real car the steering wheel itself will now be trying to straighten out as well. We can't experience this with dual-shock controllers, but I have heard that the better wheels out there are going to simulate torque steer to the point of madness!

Some front-drives (Honda's Integra and Volkswagen's Golf GTIs, for instance) seem to have mastered a lack of torque steer. They do this through a combination of mechanical and/or electronic means. In these cars, instead of torque steer the front-end will tend to grab inwards out of turns (similar to throttlesteer in a rear-drive), tightening our exit angle and allowing greater exit speed.

OVERSTEER

Also known as "stepping out". This means the car's rear (rather than its front) is taking a wider path than usual. Oversteer is sometimes desirable (in comparison to understeer) because it's exciting and fun, but in some cases it can also damage a car's lap times and racing lines. There are many varieties of oversteer, and I sometimes use terms for such.

Body-sway oversteer happens if the car enters a turn too 'hot' (too fast), and then the weight of the rear starts causing it to pull outwards. This happens mostly with cars with lots of rear overhang or weight (wagons, for instance).  Body Sway can sometimes also be caused by improper brake balance, or rear tires that aren't grippy enough.

Throttlesteer is the most desirable form of oversteer, for pure grip-styled circuit racing, that is. This is also called "steering from the rear". Throttlesteer mostly happens to rear-drives. It means the gas pedal is pushed, the rear wheels are not slipping, and this causes the entire car to take a tighter line (inwards, rather than outwards) out of the turn. Tighter lines are desireable because this means we can usually force more speed as we exit. Performance-oriented rear drives throttlesteer most often, but some all-wheel drives (like AWD Skylines) are sometimes configured to throttlesteer as well.

Lift-off oversteer. This is also desirable for circuit racing, sometimes. Lift off means we enter a turn, braking appropriately, and start turning while still braking. The car may be gripping, or it may be understeering. Now  when we "lift off" the brakes, the car car's front may start gripping or grabbing more strongly, and this can sometimes cause the rear of the car to start getting a little loose, or (at the extreme) it'll lose control or get "squirrely". This also applies to throttle, as well. Sometimes when lifting off the throttle, this will cause the car's rear to step out, causing a tighter line on exit.

What is happening is when the throttle is being pushed, most of the weight is going towards the rear. When we let off (release) the throttle, weight is now being thrown frontwards. Assuming the front tires can handle this extra pressure, they'll now start gripping with more force, causing the front-end to start taking a tighter line.

Lift-off oversteer is often desirable as a tool for racing. GT1 often has extreme amounts of lift-off, but by the time PD started modeling cars for GT4 and 5, they've now got an appropriate amount of feel, for those of us who want to drive cars that handle realistically. Any drivetrain type (FF, FR, MR, RR, AWD, and 4WD) can potentially lift-off, depending on tire type, settings, and driving style, but mid-engine/rear-drives and rear-engine/rear-drives can be expected to do so the most.

Power-oversteer is caused most often (again) in rear-drives. We force the gas pedal, and the rear tires start to slip and smoke. The rear then "steps out". Rear-end slipping is is fun at times, but also dangerous to lap times. Those who start to master this sort of oversteer can eventually learn how to drift, and drifting (should I even bring up the subject) is basically the art of maintaining a rear slide as long as possible, smoking those rear tires, while also maintaining control of the car; keeping it from spinning.

Opposite lock is also required for a slide to be considered a 'drift', competition-wise. This means the front-end is turning in the opposite direction of the turn itself, which is known as countersteering. So if the turn is a lefty, the front wheels will be pointing as far as possible to the right as the drift is maintained.

Countersteer is also used during normal (non-drifting) cornering at times. If the rear of the car starts stepping out too much, getting too sideways basically, turning the front-end in the direction of the slide is often necessary to get things straight again. So if the rear-end starts sliding to the right, we'll also need to countersteer to the right to correct this.

TUCK-IN or "GRABBING":
This is opposite of understeer. Grabbing is another term I made up to describe a situation that happens when you turn into a corner, expecting understeer, but instead find your car's front wheels actually have too much grip. Instead of finding yourself heading towards the outside wall, you find yourself heading towards the inside.

This happens with a lot of light-weight FWD cars and some AWDs, especially if they're equipped with sticky tires, but it can happen with any vehicle. The remedy is usually harder tires, springs, dampers, or more front-end camber and/or ground clearance. In a worst case scenario, the car's front end will grab too much, which can make the rear of the car prone to a spin-out.

FRONT-END SNAP BACK

FESB is found mostly in GT4. PD (for whatever reason) was on a crusade in this game to limit the amount of possible oversteer. Most cars which oversteered in various ways in earlier games now were very difficult to to manage. Oftentimes, if we try to drift a car in 4, and then try to countersteer the front-end to maintain the drift, the front-end "snaps back", and often steers the car dramatically in the countersteer direction. This often causes a spin, or at least an awkward moment where we lose our drift, which really sucks!

FESB also happens in a handful of GT5 vehicles, but it's rarer, and can be avoided to some extent by using harder or cheaper tires.

GT5 TESTING

 In all GT games, I have been using the Test Track (GT1 and 2) or Test Course (GT3 and 4). Originally, GT5 did not have a test track oval; Test Course X was released months later as downloadable content. So I intially used Daytona to do full lap testing, and continue to do so for all GT5 tests.  As tempting as the idea  sounds (heh heh) I don't have the time to do full laps around all 18+ miles of Test Course X and live a healthy, somewhat normal life. ;-) 

As noted above, I also give used cars an oil change, and in some cases have GT Auto perform an Engine Rebuild. In other cases (especially with engines that have lower mileage) this can screw with an engine's "stock" power, making it higher than it would have been when the engine was new, so I don't always do the Rebuild.


LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL:

These aren't my words. JMII of www.GranTurismoForum.com gets credit here for what I consider to be the best explanation of this complicated device.


Gran Turismo Forum > Racing & Driving Games > Gran Turismo 2 > TCS ?
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Dodge Man24
GTF Member
Registered: Dec 1999
Location: CT,USA
Posts: 110 TCS ?
Has TCS worked for you yet??
How can U tell?
------------------
NASCAR RULES!!!
[This message has been edited by Dodge Man24 (edited 01-05-2000).]
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01-06-2000 01:50 AM

JMII
Fishing Fool
Registered: Dec 1998
Location: Margate, FL USA
Posts: 7582

Here's my take on the TCS...

After messing with the LSD on the del Sol LM I figured some stuff out with it. First I choose this car because it was my favorite in GT1 for nice predictable drifts.

Anyway... LSD Accel - Soft to Hard: The softer you set it, the more the tires spin independant of each other as you apply the gas. For example, when turning left and
powering out of a corner, the inside tire (the left one in this example) turns slower than the right one (under normal conditions). This is because the right tire has to cover more distance than the left one. If you try to accelerate in this situation the left tire spins as it tries to "catch-up" to the right tire's rotation speed. However if you set the LSD to a harder setting it attempts to keep both tires turning at the same rate. The result is less tire spin, which sounds like a good thing (at first thought). However, it's a trade off- you gain more
control over the car, but it turns slower (and develops some "push" or understeer) due to the fact that both tires now turn at the same rate. This makes the car want to go a nice straight line with little tire smoke... but, a straight often leads you into a wall or off the
track.

So, I turned the darn thing way down and was much, much happier. This does the same thing as the accel setting, but it effects the car under braking of course. As the car slows with this set to hard, both tires slow at the same speed. The advantage is the car does not spin out, but the direct disadvantage is that now you have to "wait" for both tires to slow down to the correct speed before making the turn.

Once again, for my driving style (and the del Sol LM atleast) this sucks big time. I want the tires to break lose under braking since this forces the car sideways and then you can cut a sharper angle thru the turn. Of course (on the other hand) your on the edge of control and can spin out at any second, but that makes it more fun I think.

LSD Inital - Soft to Hard
Think of this setting as the overall "power" of both the Accel and Decel parts of the unit. It seems to effect the speed at which the Accel and Decel portions engage. When set hard, the car "jumps" out of corners and reacts very quickly- instantly making the adjustments noted above. At a softer setting, it engages smoother (but slower). In fact, when set very low, it's almost like turning the whole system
off.

I still need to play around with it, but for now (on road courses atleast) and with the del Sol LM I just turned all of them to 1 (the softest setting) to get the old GT1 feel back. The car slides and drifts nicely once the other suspension/downforce settings are made. However on the new [R] 300ZX prize car, I found it was very lose to being with and thus NEEDED some slip control. I turned them all up a few notches, especially the Inital and Accel. I like the fact the cars gets sideways under braking, so I did not change that setting much.
It's pretty that once set to hard (on accel and inital) you can power out at nearly full throttle and not worry about sliding too much.


Of course the suspension, downforce, traction control and stability control settings effect the LSD greatly. This game is even more complex now, it going to take some time to figure out which settings work with which cars. Also the rally tracks will pretty much require
re-tweaking the LSD since your spinning the tires all the time.

 


 

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