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Are American muscle cars really that bad?

Discussion in 'RACE 07 - Official WTCC Game' started by Jeremy Paterson, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. I know virtually nothing about real-life racing cars or sport cars. I always raise an eyebrow when the guys on Top Gear throw digs at American cars, taking every chance they can to rip on them (although they did have one episode where they had a change of heart.) I also notice that the general attitude is that Americans don't know what they're doing with car-building (or driving.)

    The only experience I get with this type of car is through games. Since getting into the Race series, I've come to really like BMW. Occasionally, I'll try one of the American muscle cars and I'm very disappointed in them, especially the Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro. Those two cars are like driving tanks with wheels made of ice. I don't get it. They're horrible in-game.

    I can only come to these possible conclusions regarding the real thing:
    1. The cars really are that bad and deserve the ridicule
    2. They're not modeled properly in the game
    3. I just don't know how to drive them right
    Possibly some combination of those conclusions? I've always liked the big "in-your-face" look and sound of the classic American muscle cars (and these new ones that attempt to re-create that.) But based on my in-game experience, if I had to choose a car to spend that much money on, I'd go straight for the BMW and wouldn't even remotely consider the Camaro or Challenger.
  2. Marian Zelenka

    Marian Zelenka
    The downforce is strong with this one. Premium Member

    You mean civil versions, not that muscle club? I don't know, but I wouldn't call them bad. They are definitely something different than european could expect, but they are fun to drive even with a bit of fighting. They are too heavy, around 1700kg. Personaly, I have big fun with camaro from muscle club, but I can't tell if it is modelled right. Yes, it's indeed strange feeling when you jump from aston martin to camaro. And camaro is quite cheap car and I have read something about bad suspensions on it.
  3. Yves Larose

    Yves Larose
    Premium Member

    i'm from Canada so i can talk about the american muscle cars, lets start with the real life cars, you compare the BMW with the challenger and the Camaro. for me its like comparing apple with oranges, the BMW while having a powerful engine also combine road handling to it and luxury which makes it an overall sport car, now take the Challenger and the Camaro they have powerful engine but lack road handling and that whats make them muscle cars and not sport cars. thats the big differences cause a muscle cars is not a sport car, the philosophy behind it is completely different.

    The BMW is created with the best technologie availble to make the car as sporty as possible while pleasant to drive in a normal way and with the history of the car that comes with it since its first time out. now the muscle cars are made to give a feeling of uncrontrolable power, they are beasts that you have to tame, big block engine with big power but poor breaking and handling with the history that comes with them. American do know how to make sport cars, the best exemple of it is the Corvette and the Viper, high powered cars with the best handling possible.

    ok now about the Simbin muscle cars, lets start by saying that i love them and that i'm pretty fast in them. i'm 42 years old and i've been driving since i'm 16, my first 2 cars were early 70's car (Dodge dart swinger and Dodge dart demon) and i can tell you that i wasn,t an angel on the road so i pretty know how American muscle cars feels like when pushed to the limits. personally i think Simbin have done a wonderful job with them to recreate the early 70's feeling and not how the actual cars feels like, todays Camaro and Challenger should be a bit more sporty while maintaining a bit of the old feeling. for me driving the US muscle cars in the game came naturally and i found out that using the body roll is an advantage with them, the body have to move over the wheels to the limit where the wheel don't spin that way you get a better turn in, as for the breaking not much can be done there, they are big boat so they don't stop on a nickel the rest is all about car control.

    my conclusion are these, while the guy's at top gear knows what they are talking about they think like europeens with europeen cars and totally forget that American muscle cars are not sport cars, they are beasts that need to be tamed. as for the Simbin cars, the Race version is a fictionnal car so its a mix between the GT's and the Camaro Cup which for me makes it very pleasant to drive, as for the street version of the cars well they could have made them a little bit better or closer to the real thing but i still like the 70's feels to them.
  4. Whew. I had long, rambling post with my biased opinions about be exposed by the people with real knowledge here. It did mention Yves Larose, and his CamaroCup buds three times. I cant wait to see the gen5 races.

    The only thing I'll add is the American muscle cars have a cult status in North America , and now matter how good/bad they ultimately perform, we love them. Sort of like harley davidson.
  5. Dariusz Swiderski

    Dariusz Swiderski
    Premium Member

    As a european, i never had the pleasure to try the real thing, in any form. And my first impression of the muscle cars in race07 was similar to Jeremy's, more like a boat then a car lol. But i persisted, just changed my driving a bit to suit and i DO enjoy them. Its the mental attitude you need to change, like Yves beautifully explained. Nothing to more to add lol.
  6. Hello

    I´m european (portuguese), i had the opportunity to drive a 85 Camaro when i worked in Luxembourg, in a cars seller.
    Yes you can say that the car is boat, but is fun to drive and i only drive a few miles with it and i have to say for my shame that i spin the car in a taffic circle (don´t know the exact word), to much gas!! But i didn´t do any scratch to it for the sake of my job. I always dreamed about american muscle cars, that was my dream come true. And i have a 72 Ford Granada V6 to restore but will take time because at the moment i dont have money, it´s not a muscle car, but at least it is american build.
  7. The current crop of muscle cars are, at least outside design wise, throwbacks to the 60's legends. If you think these handle badly, you should have tried one of those - leaf springs were not happening through the S's. :). That said, status with those cars was made on dragstrip, not on the road. They had to look good, sound better, and be wicked fast in a straight line. The current generation handles light years better, but even though a Shelby SuperSnake might have 750 HP (800 to come this year - for around $80k, btw), and an Eibach coil-over suspension, it still has a solid rear axle - and there's only so much you can do with that handling-wise. It's all about taming the beast that it is. (there is no replacement, for displacement ;) )

    I rented a GT500 last time I was in Vegas and was suitably impressed (for an automatic). Last real muscle car I owned was an '88 5.0 Mustang convertible, and it was way tail happy under power :) . I think the modeling is decently accurate.
  8. I have yet to give the cars in game a decent run, but I have a bit of experience with the American Muscle cars in real life. I have owned a Dodge Challenger with a 360hp 360, a 71 Mercury cougar with a 351 Clevland, a 69 Mustang with a 302 and have had the pleasure of driving a hemi powered 'Cuda from 1970. The folks above are correct in that they were designed to compete on the dragstrip, not the road courses, but the Mustang and the Camaro of the late 60's early 70's did fairly well on track as well. The Mustang did exhibit a bit of tail wag at higher speeds though, so the driver had to pay attention a bit more :)

    The newer cars that are represented in game I would call 2 of them Muscle, the Caddy is just another car to me. The newer cars do sport better suspension and brakes as well as higher tech engines and handle a lot better on the road courses than the pony cars of the past. I just wish they had put the Mustang in the game as well to compete with the Camaro.
  9. Thanks for the well-informed replies! I could see how these would be better on a drag strip than a road course. After reading some of these responses, I decided to have another go at them with a different goal in mind: "Tame the car, not the track."

    The problem is that I find myself driving painfully slow to keep it under control. I'm spinning the tires in 3rd gear for pete's sake! I just can't keep it on the road with any decent acceleration.

    I can relate to Brett's analogy about Harley-Davidson since I have one of those myself. They're heavier, louder, more expensive, and slower than just about any sport bike out there... but there's something about them that just speaks to people. I see the same thing with the muscle cars, I guess I had just hoped they'd drive a little better than they do on the game. It's like when you find out your childhood hero isn't all he's cracked up to be.
  10. I have no experience with muscle cars in game or in real life, but from what I know/have heard the point of the American muscle car is horsepower as cheaply as possible, i.e. don't bother with multilink independent rear suspensions because American roads don't demand it. An M series BMW has been a completely different animal.

    Of course times have changed, and these days a Cadillac CTS-V has to do well at Nordschleife as well. But I think most Americans who would buy a Mustang would buy it anyway.

    The Top Gear presenters have said quite a few weird things in the past. Traditional automotive magazines tend to be more level headed (but less entertaining).
  11. There are cars with different purpose on the market! Top Gear guys are very much biased to sports cars. They don't like muscle cars (except Hammond who seems to like them), because they don't handle well and use less advanced technologies, they don't like normal road cars because they don't accelerate like a sports car, etc. They also don't like east european cars because they were made by communitsts (what a stupid thing, sorry), and they always test wrecked ones to make the worst picture possible of them! They're sometimes funny, and sometimes I completely hate how they behave! It's much more an entertainment show anyways.
  12. Dariusz Swiderski

    Dariusz Swiderski
    Premium Member

    LOL Peter, they are just taking a piss at every nation/system/language..ect here at Top Gear, you never should take them too seriously :). Its English tradition & humour to do that :D, i love it. And they have a valid point to make even if they go over the top sometimes :)
  13. H34d5h07

    No money, no team racing.

    Im not a big fan of of the muscle car from the game. Mostly it depends on that I can't handle them. :p
    They are great and fun to drive on tracks like Monza, Le Mans etc etc.
    But on other tracks that requires a little more steadiness and technique, they are not fun at all.
  14. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    I think the Muscle cars are great! I like that they are a challenge to drive. They are alot like driving the real thing. I have driven enough American Muscle cars in my life to appreciate and respect them for what they are. And nothing really beats the noise and grunt of a good old pushrod V8.
  15. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    We should try a Musclecar Club race sometime soon. And to make it less frustrating for some, add traction control on low setting.
  16. Dino Paolini

    Dino Paolini
    Premium Member

    We had a lot of Muscle Club Street clubraces in the past few months. All seemed to do ok, no need for traction control there

    (if the rankings were still there you could see them^^)

    On Sunday there is a Camaro Cup clubrace, they are the race versions of course but not entirely different ;)
  17. I was getting frustrated w/ all the race series US muscle cars. Terrible in every one, even the not street versions.

    Got interested in BigRon's Boss302 GTL mod from the seeing the series here. After getting decent with it on a few tracks (wore out mid ohio, what a blast!), I retried the Race muscle cars.

    I'm not great, but I'm driving the cars, their not driving me now.
  18. Marian Zelenka

    Marian Zelenka
    The downforce is strong with this one. Premium Member

    Finally, I finished racing with muscle club camaro yesterday almost on every track. I race 10-15min sprints because of good/bad AI. It was exhausting, but good and I got use to that car. But unfortunately, I wasn't able to finished Nordschleife because AI maked mistake and caused colisions even after three restarts.

    Now I jumped to wtcc extreme and that's shocking!
  19. Having Raced IRL on road courses in different classes through the years I prefer just about ANY BMW to any american car period.

    I raced an '89 Mustang 5.0 LX for 2 years.........damned beast to drive period.....Have raced American Sedan class Camaro and it was OK at best...........Ran Mustang in NASA for a year witha friend.GIAnt power, full coilover suspension etc. it was a beast but made you smile anyways..

    then I got my '88 E30 M3 and it was all over friends...........MOre smiles per mile than any car I have ever owned....well almost

    then I bought my '05 Subaru WRX STI and bumped it to 375 h.p. and my entire thought process about AWD turbo Jap cars changed forever!!! a true weapon with 4 doors.....never got it too the track though but it was VERY obvious it was brutally quick and would handle a beating all day long and ask for more........

    So yeah the AMERICAN MUSCLE CAR is cool...............but it doesn't really respond to sports car style driving unless it's a VEtte.....
  20. i 100% agree with this, i have driven multiple Camaros from all 4 of the first generations. In the game, the new cars drive like Camaros from the 60 & 70. The newer cars, espcially the higher end models, have much stiffer suspension, less body roll, and the oversteer is way less severe than in the game.