So, the Fireblade. What can this car really do? Such little power, but such little weight – a complete contrast to the XKR in my last review.
Well…it’s disappointing. I will start with the sound which is essentially identical to that of an S2k Turbo, which we already know sounds like it’s running on frogs. This isn’t so bad because it is hugely higher pitched, so it just sounds it runs on frogs that haven’t hit puberty yet. If that’s even possible. Racing exhausts change this sound to…something I can’t remember, but it’s better. But still annoying.
I’ll say here one of the big disappointments with this car – its real life comparison. Most of the smaller engined Caterhams tend to be calm but still relatively fast accelerating. This is a more powerful Caterham, technically speaking – about R300 level, I believe, but the R300 in real life is so much faster than what we have here. The car here feels more like low Roadsport spec – which this car is not. Bear in mind also, the R500 version is faster than a Veyron on a track…try to drive a Caterham here like that and you’ll be veering off the circuit.
The power level itself is simply not good enough. 165bhp in this car is not a lot, but then you remember the car weights a scant 369kg. However, even so, the car feels like it has about only 130 of those horses with that. The engine only has 93 ft-lb of torque, which seems to contribute to the slower speed of the car, but the gear ratios are all too long for the car. This is also the car that gets screwed over by the PP system more than any other car in the game, no matter what state it’s in. Stock it claims to have 552PP, but with the actual speed of the car in a ‘fair’ (according to PP) race you will be completely ousted. Fully tuned the car has 626PP and 255bhp, but the car still does not feel anything like a 626PP one. 626PP, for your info, is more than what a Chaparral 2D has stock, and almost equivalent to what an S2k Turbo will get fully modded. What a sad case.
And if you thought the 369kg of the car would make for blitzkrieg cornering, you’re wrong. In fact, the cornering still feels the same as any other Ferrari, Lamborghini or Mercedes when stock, and that’s worrying and once again demotes hugely from its real life style where as a pure lightweight it will speed through corners like nothing else can.
Obviously, against its rivals (PP wise) it is completely ousted in performance, but at least the price for the Caterham is a bit better. Where as, say, a Murcielago LP640, would cost 385,600 Cr., the Caterham is a rough 60,000 Cr. to purchase. You can also win your own Caterham – albeit in the hugely grueling FGT Championship in A-Spec – the only non-endurance I still haven’t done yet (the championship saves thing by the way is all wrong, quick saves suck beyond comparison). Besides which, if I had 60,000 Cr., there is another option that actually squashes the Caterham from rollcage to wheel cover.
If there is one thing good about the Caterham, it’s that the looks are pretty old school. The Seven has been in concept since the 60’s so it’s only right that it would be at least rather retro. I would say that it does look rather good like this, since you can see much of what you can’t in other cars. I like that. Seems pretty informative.
However, to be honest, that’s where the only good lies with the Seven. It really shouldn’t be as bad as this, but PD managed to it up royally with this. The stats are much overrated to what the car actually is, and it really ruins the car as a whole. In real life, these specs would be super fast. In this game, they’re far too slow.
And why did I use one in my fanfic? Well…because of how crazy it is in real life…so at least it makes it look crazy. The truth is though…it isn’t. And despite the score I’m giving it, I will not be trashing it, because it isn’t rubbish – just a completely missed opportunity. Now PD, give us an R500, and make it FAST. Now.