Cars similar to the BMW M235i Racing and the Mazda MX-5 Cup

gluon

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Hello everyone!

Since I've started using Assetto Corsa I've been mostly interested in GT3 cars but also on less performant cars, with a typical weight to power ratio between 4 and 6 kg/hp like the BMW M235i and the Mazda MX-5 Cup.

These two cars in particular, as entry-level racing solutions, handle quite well and do what you tell them to do, which in my opinion makes them ideal for anyone who's relatively new to sim racing. They're easier to drive and simpler to set up than any GT3, nevertheless I feel perhaps even more fun when driving them for long periods.

So my question is basically what other racing cars have you been enjoying driving that have similar performance levels to these funny little cars? GT4 is probably too close to GT3, so ideally I'm looking for cars that don't really belong to any group, other than being quite popular among amateur club racing.
 

Andy-R

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Abarth 500 AC maybe Lotus 2-11 GT4 also, although it doesn't have the same grip from it's semislicks as the cup cars do with their slick tyres so bizarrely (for the sort of car it is) it is more of a straight line hero in comparison but is less crazy than the other GT4 cars. I think it belongs to some sort of sub category of GT4 but I don't really follow that sort of racing.
 
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RasmusP

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I actually prefer the non gt4 2-11. Nice fun car!
If you want something small and fun but a lot grippier try the Praga R1. Imo the gt4s are way slower, heavier and closer to the BMW 235i than to the gt3s so maybe give them another chance :)
If you don't dislike front wheel drive:
- Audi TT cup
- mod car: Seat Leon tcr (here available)
 
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gluon

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Thanks for all the suggestions. The Lotus 2-11, Praga R1 and Mazda RX-7 definitely got me interested. I had already tried the Abarth 500 AC which is definitely a funny little car to drive.

Like @RasmusP said, maybe the GT4s feel closer to what I want than to GT3s. To be honest I haven't tried any yet (I've just read the specs), thus I'll surely be trying them soon, as well as all the other cars mentioned here.
 

Andy-R

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If you're racing with other cars try running the MX-5 cup and Abarth cup car together :thumbsup: They are pretty close at some circuits.

The Abarth 500 AC is my favourite FWD race car in Assetto Corsa. Very lively and good fun to drive IMO.
 

gluon

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If you're racing with other cars try running the MX-5 cup and Abarth cup car together :thumbsup: They are pretty close at some circuits.

The Abarth 500 AC is my favourite FWD race car in Assetto Corsa. Very lively and good fun to drive IMO.
Nice tip. Usually I go single class when racing against the AI due to performance differences, but knowing those two are close to each other could make it more interesting. Speaking of AI, from my experience it's hit and miss, depending on the track/car combo. They actually race fine on official tracks, but what I always struggle with is that when overtaking them on tight corners, they're a bit careless. It's not like they crash into me, but if I don't stay as far away as possible, they won't do any effort to avoid light contact.
 

gluon

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I've tried the suggested cars and generally they all felt pretty good. The Praga R1 has almost infinite grip, one can really drive it hard. The Lotus 2-11 felt quite close to what I was looking for and reminded me of a car I love from rFactor 2, the Radical SR3.

I also took the chance to drive the Porsche Cayman GT4 and immediately fell in love, so I'll leave the suggestion here.
 

RasmusP

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I also took the chance to drive the Porsche Cayman GT4 and immediately fell in love, so I'll leave the suggestion here.
Try the maserati. It's more fun than the Cayman for me but didn't come with abs so a bit of practice is needed. Corner exit drifts are way easier to hold steady than with the Porsche :)
 

gluon

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Try the maserati. It's more fun than the Cayman for me but didn't come with abs so a bit of practice is needed. Corner exit drifts are way easier to hold steady than with the Porsche :)
You've mentioned something crucial there, corner exit drifts. This is one of the reasons why I've started this thread actually. Some faster cars like the GT3s are awesome to drive, but I'll invariably end up spinning it due to an uncatchable mid corner or corner exit slide on some races. I've progressed to the point where this doesn't happen too much, nevertheless it's still annoying to waste a race like that.

So one of my strategies is to soften the rear suspension and anti-roll bar as much as possible to avoid those drifts, albeit at the expense of a little bit too much understeer. Lap times and telemetry show that I'm faster that way though.

But anyway, getting back to the topic, this is why I want to drive less powerful cars now, especially for long races. On these cars, even if I still get slides, I have more time to catch them and generally I won't spin. I do like the occasional drift, as long as my skills are enough to almost always catch it, which happens to be the case with GT4 and "track day" cars. Maybe it's me, but in AC, GT3s can catch you off guard far more often than I would expect.

So yeah, I've noticed that tendency for corner exit drift on the Cayman, but tweaking the suspension it was somewhat under control. That said, it wasn't totally eradicated so tomorrow I'll try the Maserati, hoping I can finally find a new car for long races that doesn't constantly want to kill me. As for the lack of ABS, I've recently got used to drive the Radical SR3, which also misses it. :)
 

gluon

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I've tried the Maserati like suggested by @RasmusP. It's a pleasure to drive out of the box. Like you said, it's more forgiving than the Cayman and once you get used to its brakes, you could drive it all day long.

That being said, I also feel at home with the Cayman after some setup tweaks. I might be a bit biased towards the Porsche because I've always enjoyed the 911 GT3 R.

Anyway, I'll be driving these two a lot from now on to replace the M235i, going back and forth so that I don't get bored with either.
 

gluon

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As an illustration of how well behaved these GT4 cars are, here's my fastest lap around Magione (one of my go-to tracks for quick testing) with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport:

 
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Andy-R

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Cool stuff. I've hardly touched those GT4 cars but my guess you could probably knock most of that .434 off by braking much deeper into the first corner whilst aiming it more towards the inside rather than releasing the brakes on the outside where you start to turn in, then having to coast/feather for quite a while until the exit appears :thumbsup:
 
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gluon

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Cool stuff. I've hardly touched those GT4 cars but my guess you could probably knock most of that .434 off by braking much deeper into the first corner whilst aiming it more towards the inside rather than releasing the brakes on the outside where you start to turn in, then having to coast/feather for quite a while until the exit appears :thumbsup:
Indeed, usually I try as much as possible to trail brake deep into the corners, but this Cayman in particular doesn't like braking and turning at the same time. There's something in the weight shifting of this car that really upsets the rear when I exaggerate trail braking, unlike for instance the M235i where I can do it easily. This is probably setup related and I'll try to address that, because like you said I'm coasting a bit too much. I'll let you know about my progress.

As a reference, I think I sort of do what you're talking about with the M235i on this lap:

 
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RasmusP

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What I see with both the Cayman and especially with the BMW:
I think you could hit the throttle earlier and more aggressive! From my current understanding and point of skill I'd say after the apex, the steering wheel should almost be straight, wobbling left and right from center position to maintain a stable drift angle while the rear steers around during the exit of the corner.
Maybe try this :)
 
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Andy-R

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Indeed, usually I try as much as possible to trail brake deep into the corners, but this Cayman in particular doesn't like braking and turning at the same time. There's something in the weight shifting of this car that really upsets the rear when I exaggerate trail braking, unlike for instance the M235i where I can do it easily. This is probably setup related and I'll try to address that, because like you said I'm coasting a bit too much. I'll let you know about my progress.

As a reference, I think I sort of do what you're talking about with the M235i on this lap:

Yep more like that indeed :) If it doesn't like to turn whilst braking you could point it at the inside of that corner entry when you start braking and straight line it, I think it would be faster... worth a go!
 
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RasmusP

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Yep more like that indeed :) If it doesn't like to turn whilst braking you could point it at the inside of that corner entry when you start braking and straight line it, I think it would be faster... worth a go!
And also put the brake bias further to the rear. Just came to my thoughts :p
 

RasmusP

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Little video around mugello from me.
You can see what I mean at the two right handers of the chicanes. Steering goes straight or more like searching for grip while the rear is very loose and the traction control is doing its job :)
 
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gluon

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Little video around mugello from me.
You can see what I mean at the two right handers of the chicanes. Steering goes straight or more like searching for grip while the rear is very loose and the traction control is doing its job :)
Hmm, I don't see any video, maybe you forgot to attach? :)