rFactor - Palatov mod review

Discussion in 'rFactor' started by Rhys Gardiner, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Rhys Gardiner

    Rhys Gardiner

    Using racing sims as a promotional tool is not a new concept. Over the years, we have seen many companies, track operators and racing teams utilising the software provided by ISI, SimBin, iRacing, Kunos and the like to promote their activities and products, or to simply have a bit of fun. Unless you were living under a rock this year, you will remember the round-by-round Formula One track guide videos the Red Bull F1 team did using their simulator, which is based on a modified version of rFactor; and very recently, rFactor track maker “Riches” recived the blessing of the owners of Circuit Park Zandvoort in his pursuit to model the most realistic version of the track yet seen outside iRacing.

    Another link in the chain was added recently, with quite a different focus than many other promotional rFactor mods – it is essentially an interactive advertisement, as well as a testbed. Palatov Motorsport is an American motorsport company based in Oregon, which is making their first foray into large-scale vehicle production with their ready-made trackday car, the Palatov dp4. It comes in three versions: A “base” version, a higher model complying with SCCA regulations, and a four-wheel drive hillclimb version. The dp4 rFactor addon serves mainly as a “try before you buy” test drive of the car, without having to spend a sizeable sum of money on visiting the Palatov factory and testing the car in the flesh (or metal, or any other synthetic material). The company has said that it also aims to use the rFactor engine's capabilities to test and evaluate new versions of the car before they hit the production line. The mod comes with two PDF documents: One, a breakdown of the mod's details and what to do to get the best out of it (I used a fresh install for this mod to ease the burden – there are a few special requirements), and the other is the obligatory brochure for the actual car. It includes pricing, dimensions, and everything else that would be useful to a potential buyer, as well as an interesting demonstration on how the car can fit onto a trailer to be taken to and from the racetrack.

    Yes, it does look a bit ungainly at first...

    Initially, I looked upon the car with an element of surprise and curiosity. It certainly doesn't look like your average trackday car – an almost square wheelbase, side mirrors at differing heights to each other and a bulbous aerodynamic covering with nothing more than the driver's head and a small roll hoop peeking out of the top, just to the side. And let me tell you, it is tiny – barely 2.6 metres long. The Palatov dp4 is quite possibly the oddest-looking motor vehicle I have ever seen, if not a bit cute as well... I can see it as a plush toy in my mind's eye.

    However, my slight amusement at the car's looks quickly turned to white-knuckled thrill at the way it drove. The options available in the upgrades menu for this car reflect the real world costs of the dp4, which is billed as a small, affordable trackday machine. It is Colin Chapman's philosophy for the lightweight Lotus Seven taken to the brink of insanity: It uses a small Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engine, but weighs less than 900 pounds. This, combined with wide sticky tyres, tunnels under the floor producing ground effects and a wheelbase that is almost as wide as it is long, means that the dp4 is an absolute monster under brakes and through corners, despite having a top speed of only around 200km/h. The response from the car's razor sharp steering as I pounded it around various tracks was amazing, and I found myself braking almost right before the apex of a corner, so grippy and clean-cut is the car's handling and braking. With the car's ability to brake so late, corner so fast, and not miss a beat unless you overstep the limit (which you'll have fun exploring), I'd go as far as to say the car has almost too much grip – in a good way!

    ...But take it out on the track and everything changes.

    I'm facing yet another one of my “dilemmas” - I am struggling to find anything at all that is missing the target with this mod. If anything, it's the sounds, but even then it's not a valid point, because Palatov have said that their sounds were recorded indoors with an iPhone because they couldn't take sound samples while the racing season was on, and they will be updating it with better sounds once the weather clears up next year. This mod, this car, is just too damn good. Here at RaceDepartment, I am certain it would make for some excellent club races.

    I am sure that a few real life racers with a bit of extra cash in their pockets will take a serious look at this lovely little car thanks to this excellent representation of it in what is one of the most popular sims on the market.

    What's great about it: One of the best driving experiences available in rFactor, by far – a car with this much grip and adrenaline-pumping fun should not exist in real life, and yet, it does. The realistic modelling and customisation options really help its case as well.
    Could be improved: The sounds, but even then, they are going to be fixed. Aside from that, nothing... seriously.
    Should I download it?” Try and find a reason not to!

    Click this link to download the Palatov mod for rFactor
  2. Antonio Abreu

    Antonio Abreu

    I have this mod, and be sure to congratulate the creators of the mod, I loved it, this 5-star driving to leave the hair standing.
    adrenaline to the limit.
    Thanks Palatov

  3. Jitesh Mistry

    Jitesh Mistry