Sunday, May 8, 2016

Forza Motorsport 6: Sushi vs. Hamburger Redux

Remember several years ago when then-Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson tested an old Lotus Exige S (the one with the supercharged 2ZZ-GE engine in the middle) round the Top Gear Test Track and then raced against The Stig in a Ford Mustang and won? It was the old sushi vs. hamburger debate and now, that tale's about to be retold in its modern-day equivalents.

exige (2) gt350

These are the modern-day equivalents I am talking about. Here, I've been rejoined by the V6-powered Lotus Exige S, the car capable of balancing big power and light weight at the same pace on the track. As for the Mustang side, I've gone for the most track-honed Mustang yet, the all-new GT350. Specifically, a specially-made GT350R. Let's hope this Mustang sounds as it should be because it's been updated twice after problems faced with the GT350's exhaust sound.

Anyway, what can you expect about these two? Well, both of these track-day, road-legal machines are well in tune with the racetracks thanks to its motorsport-derived dynamics that allows themselves to go through the corners as smooth as a baby's buttocks like those triplets in the picture. Although the Lotus Exige S V6 is a bulkier Lotus due to the bulk of its engine, its midship layout and its crafty dynamics still feels like the lightweight Lotus of yesteryears, making it the ideal track toy that you can use it harder and longer, as long as you don't pit in against ultra-lightweight machines like the Atom or the Mono because that would be suicidal.

The GT350R, a special model based on the GT350, is basically a hardcore sixth-generation Mustang I am really like and in fact, I like this one better than the old 1960's GT350 because the old GT350 is for Gran Turismo losers and the new GT350 is fit for Forza faithfuls like you and me. However, there are some idiots, presumably Gran Turismo fans, listed numerous things why they hate the new GT350 as well as many reasons not to buy one. One of the main reasons why is because it's a Forza car and you know how idiots react to cars featured in a Forza game. Anyway, while the V8 engine it powers it is not as powerful as the old GT500, its race-derived dynamics really compensates it and you can really set very fast lap times in this pony car if you set things right. Word of warning, however, is despite its newly sophisticated suspension setup like in the standard Mustang, it can still kick you off like a mechanical bull on the bar.

exige gt350 (2)

Now it's time to compare these two round the Top Gear Test Track and see if the whole sushi and hamburger debate still applies in this modern-day equivalents. Let's get crackin...

And now the results. The Lotus Exige S did it in 1:23.130 while the new Shelby GT350 did it in 1:23.389, meaning that light is right when it comes to track-day sportscars and looks like the sushi trumped the hamburger, but only just.

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