Sunday, June 29, 2014

Forza Motorsport 5: Power vs. Grip

When choosing a track toy, do you need a track toy that is focused on power or focused more on grip? To find out, I went to Mount Panorama, which is located at New South Wales, Australia, to find out.


Here is the venue and here are the cars prepped for this comparison:

The KTM X-BOW R. The track toy armed with the super sports car technology for the 21st century. It comes with the Audi 2.0L TFSi engine producing 295HP of power and 295lb-ft of torque. It only weighs around 1,786lbs.


And then, the Caterham Superlight R500. Top Gear's 2008 Car of the Year. It maybe 32HP less than the X-BOW R but it weighs 670lbs less than the X-BOW R so despite that power difference, its lightweight bodywork is worth the gripping capable enough to classify itself as a track toy.


There's a saying that goes "Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere". That was the word from Lotus founder Colin Chapman because some car companies value aerodynamics over engine.

So, while the X-BOW R is 60% more on power and 40% focused on weight loss, and the Caterham is more on weight loss and a little care less on the power despite the fact that it has better power-to-weight ratio than the Bugatti Veyron; guess it's time for me to grab the bull by the horns, bite the bullets, and literally put these track toys to the test at the home of the Bathurst 1000.

So there it goes. The X-BOW did it in 2:29.627 while the Caterham R500 did it in 2:29.215, meaning the lightweight R500 beaten the powerful X-BOW by about 1/3rd of the second, proving that subtracting weight is better than adding power. Maybe that's why there are some wanted to lose weight rather than add power to create a track-focused high-performance vehicle.

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