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PC3 Project CARS 3 | Developer Blog: Handling Upgrades

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
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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I was really hoping this was an update. According to SteamDB, Project CARS 2 has 3x the active users (1,167 users) of Project CARS 3 (330 users). But I've yet to see any firm plans for improving the title from Slightly Mad Studios. I hope they can make some changes and bring people back, but the developer silence continues to be concerning
At least on Twitter they are promising an update, but very silent in the forum. SMS is Codemasters now and I guess there will be monthly updates like usual.

I already spent more than 16 hours into the game and enjoying it. It's addictive to me, the AI get challenging somewhere in the D-Road class as well as the hotlaps and other challenges and I like the handling and upgrade-stuff. Modern road-cars are too heavy and you can easily shove off 300 kg without switching to a higher class or give lighter cars like the Alpine a bit more grunt. It's basically a Forza-copy, but IMO the handling feels rounder than pCars 2 and reminds me of WRC9. Certainly more semi-sim, but nailing the basics and unlike WRC9 there is motion- and tactile-feedback in pCars 3 as well as VR. I just miss TrackIR-support in both.

I also think many sim-racers could improve their driving-skills with pCars 3, because this corner-indicators (can be turned off) are a great practice how to tackle corners and let's face it: the majority of sim-racers are failing with those basics.
Thanks SMS! I play now to PC2 (again) and AMS2 and have fun and pleasure!
My evening: try to play PC3 15 minutes, getting sad, and 2-3 hours online PC2, AMS2 or ACC :)

About Champaign on yacht: I think no

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I tried playing PC3. I couldn't take it any more after 7 hours. It was getting worse as I got farther. I can't imagine what it's like trying to play bumper cars in a GT3. Back to Assetto Corsa for me.
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Things that i do not like about the game are what happened to a proper braking line, and also in other game like Forza Horizon series you are able to swap AWD RWD or FWD why is that not in the game. Also getting credits sucks in the game every time you level up a tick that gives you money why can we get both money and credits at the same time.

Nick Hill

Gee, upgrading the handling in the greatest racing game to ever grace a hard drive?!? I wouldn't have even thought that possible, but here we are I guess.

I heard that one of the beta testers, upon taking a single lap with the upgraded handling, was brought so rapidly and firmly "to attention" that he passed out from a lack of blood flow to the brain. Ian had to give him the rest of the day off to recover.

We're very lucky to have the opportunity to buy such software. By all rights, it should be in a lab somewhere because it's almost too perfect to exist in such and imperfect world.

Nick Hill

Pet Theory: PC3 was rushed out the door so Codies could get them on the real next thing?

That doesn't strike me as particularly far fetched, not at all.

I'll be honest, for as much as I get joy from making fun of PCars, I think SMS and Codies is a really intriguing marriage. PCars does many things very well. It just does the most important thing - the driving - pretty meh overall. On the other side, Codies has cranked out a couple series as of late that I think are quite good - F1 and Dirt Rally. They're both just sorta narrowly focused, I think.

If you can imagine taking the good bits from PCars and the good bits from F1/Dirt Rally and marrying those into a single title...I mean, that could be a legitimate Forza/Gran Turismo competitor. Really.

Of course, that's easier said than done - software doesn't really work that way where you can take a little of this, a little of that, click your heels and voila. Especially so when you consider the SMS and Codies engines are likely apples and oranges, but I can still dream right?
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.
View attachment 406533 View attachment 406534 View attachment 406535 View attachment 406536

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;)
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...MAXED out Lancer:confused:
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Stop smoking weed :))) this game is disaster...