Forza Car Pack Duel - August vs September

All car packs are not created equal. The strength and appeal of a car pack is dependant on several factors. Are the cars driveable? There are several very cool cars in the game, like the Porsche 959, that are no fun to drive. The cars have to be cool, they have to be customizable, and they have to be fun. It also doesn’t hurt to be rare or limited. 2old2play takes the ten cars from the August Playseat Car Pack and pits them head-to-head with the eleven cars from the September Pennzoil Car Pack. In a dual review there can only be one winner!


1962 Lincoln Continental vs 1983 GMC Vandura G


I nicknamed my Lincoln “Moses” because it parts a crowd of cars on the track like the Red Sea. The Lincoln boasts a curb weight of 4,929 lbs stock, and my B-Class tune brought that weight up to a robust 5,115 lbs, which makes it the heaviest tuned car in my garage. The addition of a race supercharger and some exhaust work took the horsepower from a flat 300 to a respectable 503.

Jones B-Class tune:
0-60: 6.251
Top Speed 173.8 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:25.505
Top Gear Lap (stock E-Class): 1:39.857

I love it when a van comes together. The 83 Vandura is not the same van that BA drove in the A-Team, but clever tuners and painters can get it pretty close. The stock weight on the Vandura is a staggering 5,582 lbs powered by 165 anemic horses...but Jones does not drive factory-spec vehicles. My B-Class tune trims the van to a manageable 4,525 lbs powered by a supercharged 496 hp V-8.

Jones B-Class tune:
0-60: 4.103
0-100: 14.828
Top Speed: 156.4 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:24.531
Top Gear Lap (Stock F-Class): 1:52.155

The Winner: August, 1962 Lincoln Continental
Although the Vandura hits on the A-Team nostalgia and actually has a better Top Gear lap time, the Lincoln’s pure brutality, top end speed, and public lobby reciprocity possibilities (say that fast 3 times) give it the edge over the GMC. Sorry, Hannibal.

2013 Ford Boss 302 Mustang vs 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SLR


Seeing the new Boss 302, complete with Laguna Seca badge, at the Texas State Fair was the absolute highlight of my day at the fair last October. However, at 444 hp and 3,631 lbs, the 302 is a bit under-powered compared to other modern Mustangs. My A-Class build adds no horsepower and loses only 30 lbs, yet still ripped an extra five seconds off the clock at the Top Gear track.

Jones A-Class tune:
0-60: 3.057
0-100: 8.262
Top Speed: 189 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:19.396
Top Gear Lap (stock A-Class): 1:24.378

The 1955 SLR is a hybrid of the famous 300 SL Gullwing coupe and a formula race car. A product of progressive German engineering the SLR sported an aluminum body supported by a hollow, tubular steel frame, keeping the curb weight at a slim 1,984 lbs. Powered by a 310 hp Mercedes race engine and a sporty 5-speed transmission, the SLR meant business. I brought the SLR up to A-Class by adding 22 horsepower and chopping off nearly 240 lbs. The result is a very light, yet powerful, piece of driveable art for almost any track.

Jones A-Class tune:
0-60: 3.382
0-100: 8.403
Top Speed: 169.1 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:19.115
Top Gear Lap (stock B-Class): 1:28.073

The Winner: September, 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR
While the 302 is a nice car, it’s a long way from being competitive in the target class, and between Ford, Shelby, and Saleen, the 302 does little to distinguish itself from the other Mustangs in the game. On the other hand, the SLR is incredibly tuneable. I managed to pull a balanced B-Class tune, a grippy A-Class tune, and an S-Class top-end monster that chews track at 217 mph and was a mere split second behind my Bertone Mantide in pulling down a personal best at Old Mulsanne with a clean 3:47.665 lap time. That’s one fast German!

2013 Scion FR-S vs 1967 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia


The Scion FR-S was heralded as a return to the great RWD Japanese sport cars of yesteryear. While the FR-S may have blown away the car reviewers, thing are a little different on the track. The new Scion is fast and fun, perhaps even leaderboard material, but it needs an experienced driver to unlock its potential.

Jones A-Class Tune:
0-60: 4.413
0-100: 10.663
Top Speed: 177.3 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:20.943
Top Gear Lap (stock C-Class): 1:29.769

Porsche and Volkswagen cars share quite a few qualities: rounded styling, air-cooled engines mounted over the rear drive wheels, etc.The 1967 Karmann Ghia is no exception. The the placement of the 53 hp engine gives it a decided traction advantage over similar cars and the design of this lightweight German give the Karmann Ghia an immediate accessibility. You could throw parts on this car, without making a single adjustment, and still have a competitive racer. During my testing I landed a personal best (PB) at the Infineon NASCAR Circuit, and was hot on the heels of my Aston Martin Cygnet time at Ladera.The racket from the air-cooled engine is fantastic, and adding a race turbo only amplifies the cacophony of exploding pistons.

Jones C-Class Tune:
0-60: 6.517
0-100: 15.2
Top Speed: 132.6 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:26.961
Top Gear Lap (stock F-Class): 1:53.157

The Winner: September, 1967 VW Karmann Ghia
The FR-S would positively kill the little VW in a race, but they’re in different classes. I have no doubt that the FR-S could be a leaderboard car, but only in the hands of an experienced tuner and gifted driver; the Volkswagen is good to go as is. The point goes to the VW for its accessibility and for squarely hitting the nostalgia button.

1962 Triumph TR3B vs 1958 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk1


1962 was the final production year for the TRB3. The first British car to utilize the front disc/rear drum brake combo, the TRB3 also had a 105 hp, inline 4 cylinder engine, a distinctive deep-set grille, a synchromesh gearbox, sporty low-slung doors, a live rear axle, and independent front suspension. The Triumph is easy to tune and competitive from F-Class all the way to B-Class, where it toppled my Big Healey PB at Maple Valley Reverse. If your goal is to build a Roadster for the B-Class Roadster events, the TRB3 will be a nice fit.

Jones B-Class Tune:
0-60: 4.478
0-100: 12.534
Top Speed: 147.6 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:25.115
Top Gear Lap (stock F-Class): 1:46.134

1958 was the inaugural year for the Austin-Healey Sprite. The Mk1 used an Austin design and a modified Morris engine. Known for the smooth design, the Mk1 Sprite had no door handles, a trunk that had to be accessed from the car interior, buggy headlamps, and a perpetually smiling grille. The little Sprite is not great in its stock form: the anemic 45hp engine has trouble moving the car and the wishbone and leaf combo suspension travels a lot in the turns. I tuned the Sprite to C-Class, adding horsepower and a race suspension, and it performs admirably, especially on tight, short track like Ladera and Positano.

Jones C-Class Tune:
0-60: 8.365
0-100: 14.632
Top Speed: 138.1 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:27.525
Top Gear Lap (stock F-Class): 1:51.381

The Winner: August, 1962 Triumph TR3B
I have to tip my hat to any roadster that can knock the Big Healey off of the leaderboard. The little Austin-Healey is a great, and historically important, automobile, but it lacks the competitive edge that the Triumph has and loses points for being tricky to tune.

2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport vs 1953 Chevrolet Corvette


The new Lexus GS350 F Sport has been branded as a dual-threat blend of luxury sedan with sports car performance. I would, however, brand it as a dual-threat blend of boring to drive and handles like shit. In stock form, I could not pull a clean lap at the Top Gear Track, even though I ran it a second time “just to be sure.” I’m sure, it sucks. I converted this AWD turd to RWD and topped it out in B-Class; this improved the handling, but not the fun. A test drive at Motegi put it a full 3 seconds slower than my PB with the Big Healey. This car has a lot of potential, perhaps in a higher class, but I’m trading mine in as soon as I post the pic for this article.

Jones B-Class Tune:
0-60: 6.125
0-100: 13.604
Top Speed: 177.2 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:24.313
Top Gear Lap (Jones AWD B-Class): 1:26.599
Top Gear Lap (stock B-Class): 1:30.139 (dirty)

Only 300 Corvettes rolled off of the assembly line in Flint, Michigan during 1953, the Vette’s historic “Year One.” Powered by a relatively tame 160 hp V6 and only offered with an automatic transmission, the first fiberglass Corvette was more of a European-inspired cruiser than the sinister Stingrays that followed. The Corvette is relatively light for an older American car with a stock curb weight of 2900 lbs. My C-Class tune is only 309 lbs lighter, with an extra 66 horses under the hood. The Corvette is capable of PBs on certain tracks, like Maple Valley, but it’s way too cool to care about those kinds of things.

Jones C-Class Tune:
0-60: 6.021
0-100: 15.64
Top Speed: 145.2 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:27.135
Top Gear Lap (stock F-Class): 1:40.801

The Winner: September, 1953 Chevy Corvette
Yeah, the Lexus is a piece of shit and would have lost to any car in the September pack, but the reverse is also true: the Corvette would have won against any car in the August pack just for being an inaugural-year Vette. Truly the stand-out vehicle from the September Pennzoil Car Pack.


1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 vs 1966 MG MGB GT


Built, as a cheat,  for Peugeot to enter a “homologated” version of this car in B-Class Rallies, only 200 of the mid-engine, AWD 205 Turbo 16s were built to show rally officials that Peugeot had a road-version of the rally car. The 200 hp 205 Turbo 16 was actually built by Heuliez. The engine was accessed, from the rear, by raising the rear of a vehicle, like a hatch, similar to a Lancia Delta. The car proved to be extraordinarily underpowered to propel the AWD drivetrain, and the suspension was too soft to negotiate turns well. I was not very ambitious with the tune and left the Peugeot  in C-Class: adding tires, tweaking the suspension, and adjusting the toe and camber to counteract the AWD understeer. My tune only gains a second and some change at the Top Gear track, and you will never see me drive this car again.

Jones C-Class Tune:
0-60: 6.518
0-100: 17.858
Top Speed: 137.5 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:30.975
Top Gear Lap (stock C-Class): 1:32.130

The MGB GT is the “closed” version of the MGB Mk1 Roadster, the closest rival to Triumph’s TR. The stock MGB GT has a brisk 95 hp engine and handles nicely for an F-Class car. I bumped the MG into C-Class and was very pleased with the outcome. It’s sure-footed, even without aero, and the 167 horses fell very appropriate for the 2, 153 lbs of British steel. The little MG is good to go on any track.

Jones C-Class Tune:
0-60: 6.861
0-100: 20.647
Top Speed: 141.4 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:27.993
Top Gear Lap (stock F-Class): 1:44.174

The Winner: September, 1966 MG MGB GT
The civilized Englishman will beat a cheating Frenchman every time. The MG handles better, shaving 3 seconds off of the Peugeot’s time on the Top Gear Track, and is far better suited for almost every track.


2003 Aston Martin DB7 Zagato vs 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Zagato


The 03 DB7 Zagato is one of the rarest Aston Martins: only 99 were ever made. The 435 hp DB7 sported a “double bubble” roof and a sculpted back window, courtesy of a rekindled relationship with famed Italian coach-maker, Zagato of Milan. I kept the Zagato in A-Class with just a few upgrades to tires, suspension, brakes, and a modest horsepower improvement. The result is an amazing and competent intermediate to long track racer. It handles well without the addition of tack-on aerodynamic assistance and tops out at nearly 200 mph. Va-va-voom!

Jones A-Class Tune:
0-60: 4.13
0-100: 9.3
Top Speed: 199.3 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:20.748
Top Gear Lap (stock A-Class): 1:25.040

Based on the successful DB4 tourer, in 1960 the DB4 got the “Zagato treatment.” Improvements in the form of a lighter chassis, independent front suspension, triple Weber carbs, a hood scoop, and compression enhancements gave Dave Brown that ol’ racing fever. The DB4 Zagato was not nearly as successful on the track as Aston Martin had hoped, but it was still one hell of a car. The stock version is very ass-happy and the oversteer is positively fatal. I kept mine reined to B-Class to concentrate on handling without upsetting the balance by the over-addition of horsepower. The result is a modest gain of 10 hp and the loss of only 91 pounds from the stock weight of 2,791 lbs, but the difference between stock C-Class and tuned B-Class versions is like night and day.

Jones B-Class Tune:
0-60: 5.306
0-100: 13.264
Top Speed: 153.1
Top Gear Lap: 1:24.515
Top Gear Lap (stock C-Class): 1:32.511

The Winner: Too Close To Call
The 03 Zagato is superior in almost every way to its predecessor: it’s faster, technologically superior, and far easier to tune than the little DB4. However, the 1960 Zagato is not only a failed racing experiment by a company that could do no wrong, its rarity in incalculable. There were only 99 03 Zagatos made, but due to delays from Zagato, only 19 of the 1960 model year DB4s got the Zagato badge, and only 4 of those were meant for the road, as the remaining 15 were purpose-built race cars. So, in case you were wondering why the DB4 Zagato costs so much more than the similar DB5, now you know.


2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 vs 1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale


The Killer Camaro has made its way to the Forza track. At 580 hp stock, the 2012 Zl1 is the most powerful Camaro ever built. The engine is a Cadillac engineered masterpiece utilizing the Corvette’s two-stage exhaust system. I bumped mine from a stock A-Class madman to a barely tamed S-Class insane asylum powered by 621 horses. The upgrade loses 799 lbs, leaving the the Killer Camaro at a trim 3,250 lbs.

Jones S-Class Tune:
0-60: 3.223
0-100: 7.070
Top Speed: 200.8 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:15.476
Top Gear Lap (stock A-Class): 1:21.156

The 1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is a featherweight of a car sporting a 2 liter, 245 hp V8 mounted in the middle of the car. Despite what seems to be a can’t miss formula for race success, the 68 Tipo 33 was almost always outclassed by the Porsches and Ferraris of that era, and Alfa Romeo did not truly enjoy a winning season with the 33 until the late 70s. However, in Forza Land, this is a winning recipe for leaderboard greatness. Easy to drive and ample in acceleration, the 33 Stradale is one of the easiest cars to tune and drive in the game. If there was ever an A-Class starter car in Forza 4, it would be the 33.

Jones A-Class Tune:
0-60: 1:18.526
0-100: 10.541
Top Speed: 160.9
Top Gear Lap: 1:18.526
Top Gear Lap (stock A-Class): 1:25.231

The Winner: September, 1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
As great as the Camaro is, it simply does not have the leaderboard potential of the lighter Alfa Romeo. The Alfa is every bit as capable as the Ford GT-40 or the Ferrari 330 P4, and that age-old duel has now become a sexy Forza 3-way.


2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track vs 2011 Citroen DS4


The newest version of the Genesis Coupe was designed specifically by Hyundai to keep up with the 2012 model Camaro and Mustang. Hyundai has developed a high pressure fuel injection V6 that effectively produces 348 hp in a vehicle that weighs 3,433 lbs. My S-Class tune boasts 703 hp at just under 3,000 lbs, barely past the threshold where horsepower and handling balance, and just ever so slightly outclassed by cars like the Enzo Ferrari.

Jones S-Class Tune:
0-60 3.971
0-100: 8.338
Top Speed: 210.9 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:18.064
Top Gear Lap (stock B-Class): 1:27.370

The Citroen suffers from several problems that have a direct bearing on this review:
1. It’s French.
2. It’s front-wheel drive.
3. It’s not fun to drive.
4. I don’t like it.

Despite my obvious bias against any cars from France that are neither Bugattis nor R1 Peugeots, the stats on the DS4 would have killed it anyway.

Jones C-Class Tune:
0-60: 7.597
0-100: 21.703
Top Speed: 154.3 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:30.365
Top Gear Lap (stock D-Class): 1:35.398

The Winner: August, 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track
The anemic and nerdy Citroen never had a chance against the powerful and composed Hyundai. Cest le vie.


1989 #63 Sauber-Mercedes C9 vs #91 & #93 Viper SRT Motorsport GTS-R



Turn 10 has attempted to provide Forza fans cool, rare, fast, and historically important vehicles in their car packs: the Sauber-Mercedes C9 is all of those things. This Merc won Le Mans in 1989 and is likely biding its time to take over the world. Good to go in its stock form with 800hp contained in a mass of just under 2,000 lbs. My tune adds no horsepower and is actually 3 lbs heavier, bringing the total weight to 1,998 lbs. I took a break from writing this article to do a bit of racing and, as fate would have it, my buddy Oldschool was running this very car against 3 other R1 racers in their stock forms. In order to even the cars out he forced the Merc to suffer a 10% reduction in both traction and horsepower to make it fair. That means that this car is at least 10% better than the best R1 cars in the game. I would have to agree.

Jones R-1 Tune:
0-60: 2.608
0-100: 5.1
Top Speed: 246.4 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:03.549
Top Gear Lap (stock R1-Class): 1:04.190

The two new R3 Vipers, the #93 and #91 SRT GTS-Rs, are identical. Perhaps introduced into the to counter player reliance on the the recent GT2 Corvette, the dual Vipers are up to the challenge of Chevy’s Corvette threat. With a stock 475 horsepower and a curb weight of 2,743 pounds, the Vipers are light, agile and powerful. Strip off the restrictors and that horsepower swells to an impressive 568. Hey ladies, check out my swollen horsepower!

Jones R3 Tune:
0-60: 3.202
1-100: 6.434
Top Speed: 183 mph
Top Gear Lap: 1:12.651
Top Gear Lap (stock R3-Class): 1:14.687

The Winner: August, 1989 #63 Sauber-Mercedes C9
The top cars from both packs were pitted head-to-head, and the Merc comes out on top. There is nothing wrong with the Vipers, but the R1 Mercedes is without a doubt the best car in the game. It scores a perfect 10 in 4 categories: top speed, acceleration, handling, and braking. It is the balls-out best car choice for any track from Positano all the way to Le Mans.



The Verdict

September wins by a score of 5 to 4. Both car packs are obviously very good, and worth the pittance Turn 10 is charging to acquire them. If the Zagato duel had a clear winner the final verdict could have even been a draw. I would suggest buying both packs and deciding which is better for yourself, you’ll thank me later.


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