PC3 Project CARS 3 | Developer Blog: Handling Upgrades

Paul Jeffrey

Slightly Mad Studios have revealed a new development blog posting about their new Project CARS 3 game... handling.
  • PCARS 3 available now on console and PC.
  • New game features heavy focus on car customisation.
  • Latest title moves away from the original sim roots.

Another new developer blog insight post about the new Slightly Mad Studios created Project CARS 3 videogame has been released recently - this time with a view to the way handling upgrades are represented within the title.

Casey Ringley, Vehicle Technical Art and Handling, gives you an inside look at Handling Upgrades in Project CARS 3

Handling part upgrades in Project CARS 3 aren’t “fudged”, they work directly with this physics engine, and that results in some interesting choices when it comes to your upgrade path. Adding an aero’ upgrade will benefit your handling, for example, but the extra drag is going to cut your top-end speed. As with power upgrades we covered last week, there’s a balance to be found.

PCARS Upgrades 1.jpg

Tyre Upgrades
Your tyres (if you’re doing it right!) are the only part of your car that will ever touch the track, and that means all handling upgrades will ultimately affect this one key component of every car.

Upgrading from the harder default-spec’ Sports tyres to Track tyres (with a medium compound) and finally to full-blown soft compound Race tyres with affect both your grip and, with less rolling resistance, your top speed and acceleration as well. The softer the compound, the better the grip.

Moving to softer compounds for increased grip will also install wider tyres where beneficial. The wider contact patch not only increases grip, but also changes the slip curve to feel sharper and more agile at the expense of quicker breakaway when driving over the limit.

Brake Upgrades
One of the first upgrades many drivers and tuning shops will consider when upping performance of any car is the brakes. It won’t make you any faster on a straight line, and it may not even help you get more grip through a turn, but braking stability is paramount driver confidence and performance. Sports brakes will give you the cutting edge when you stomp on the middle pedal while Track and Racing brakes will give you even more stopping power with the added benefit of being able to adjust brake pressures, brake balance, and bias.

Suspension Upgrades: Road Cars
Your suspension is how you can make the tyres work more efficiently out on-track and that’s key to handling performance. With a Sports Suspension, you can get the ride-height lowered—which will improve handling—while also getting some camber thrown in to aid with both turn-in aggression and apex-hugging performance. Add a full Track Suspension upgrade and you get to tune your ride-height the way you want as well as adding anti-roll bar rates, dampers, ride heights, camber, and toe angles—essential to managing the way your car reacts under brakes, in turns, and when you load up the throttle. The suspension upgrade is a vital element for race-winning performance.

Suspension Upgrades: GT Cars
Certain GT cars—especially those in the GT B and GT C classes—use suspension tuning as a balance of performance measure (restricting ride height, camber angles, etc.). The first stage of suspension upgrade for them removes these BoP restrictions, allowing the cars to run much lower ride-heights. This not only improves handling agility, but also can have significant gains to the car’s aerodynamics; a lower car has less drag and more downforce as the underbody becomes more effective. The top-level suspension upgrade for GT cars, like in road car classes, enables tuning of all aspects of the suspension.

Aero Upgrades
Leaning-up the bodywork for road cars will also add mild amounts of downforce. On GT cars, they both add downforce and increase the tuning range. Lift:Drag efficiency goes up with these upgrades, but just remember, they don’t come for free, and the cars will see some additional aero drag to pay for the downforce gains.

Weight Reduction Upgrades
Less mass to move around is a universal positive to car performance. Colin Chapman’s mantra remains the backbone of your upgrade path: “Simplify—then add lightness.” Reducing the weight of your car has plenty of benefits: faster top speed, better acceleration, and better handling. With a Sports and Track reduction, you’ll see significant weight loss. Add a Racing reduction and you’ll strip weight and add the benefit of being able to alter your weight bias, useful to find that ideal weight distribution. Upgrading your car’s bodywork in race cars can also result in better aerodynamics, which will give you top-speed gains as well by giving you the ability to adjust your splitter rear-and-front as well as an aero’ package.

Differential Upgrades
A diff’ makes a big difference to the handling capabilities of your car, even in factory spec’. Upgrading will give a big boost to your cornering capabilities. The diff’ works by allowing the outside wheel, while in a bend, to turn faster than the inner wheel, thereby increasing grip and stability. Upgrade to a Race Spec C, or B to obtain both Preload and Power Ramp tuning, while the Race Spec A will add Coast Ramp as well for the kind of deep-dive setup tuning that will give you a big advantage out on-track. This can be really useful in fine-tuning the car to a driver’s personal style.

Original Source: PCARS 3

Project CARS 3 is available now for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Got questions about the sim? Want to share your thoughts and opinions about the latest title with the sim racing community? No worries, head over to the Project CARS 3 sub forum here at RaceDepartment and start up a new thread today!

PCARS 3 Footer.jpg
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M D Gourley

What an awesome game:D, more than happy with my purchase :confused:and now that I am happy with my TSXW Wheel settings:thumbsup: (personal tastes of course;)), PC3 is enjoyable for what it is.

Purchasing the above mentioned upgrades allows for great specific 'Tuning' in purchased cars...although I will have to study the effects as personally, 'Set-Up Tuning' is a daunting excerise as I don't know what I am doing :redface::rolleyes::roflmao::roflmao:

Screen shots of my favorite cars purchased with upgrades and will have a permanent place in my Garage :inlove:
Just using the 'Daytona Credit' race to build up some credits.
0 PROJECT CARS 3 DAYTONA BMW crop copy.jpg
1 PROJECT CARS 3 DAYTONA Mustang copy.jpg
2 PROJECT CARS 3 DAYTONA Lancer crop copy.jpg
3 PROJECT CARS 3 DAYTONA Escort copy.jpg

The Upgrade path of my Lancer to the Max, just for fun - PIR 1179 :confused::D:rolleyes::geek:...although the maxed out version is only a little quicker than the first 'Race Conversion' upgrade, I ended up just downgrading to the previous upgrades and leaving it at PIR 461...but still having access to all the 'Tuning' goodies;)
00 PROJECT CARS 3 LANCER first UPGRADE crop copy.jpg

...MAXED out Lancer:confused:
0 PROJECT CARS 3 LANCER maxed out UPGRADE crop copy.jpg
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Mario Kart 64 physics blog. Introducing upgrades:


Handling part upgrades in Mario Kart aren’t “fudged”, they work directly with the physics engine. :confused:

That results in some interesting choices when it comes to your upgrade path. Slipping into a banana peel will not benefit your handling, for example. As with power upgrades we covered last week, there’s a balance to be found (and lost if you hit a banana).

Not enough info? I can write a longer essay about bananas if required
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As a Pcars1 backer i have a lot of time for Casey Ringley, His technical posts about the cars development etc on the Pcars forum were golden, I kind of feel that Casey is wasted where he is, It would be great if he could get in with someone like Kunos or Rieza, Also he would run rings around so called experts on here! :roflmao:
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Cote Dazur

SIM Addict
die in peace?? drinking champagne on yachts.. dudes..

Don't get me wrong, there is never a reason not to drink champagne on a yacht, all good, but if your are implying there is cause for celebration at SMS for what PCars3 as achieve so far on any level, I suggest to cut on the champagne a little and regain a clear mind to see things as they are. :D