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Thread: The Physics of Japanese Cars Expansion

  1. #1
    Vehicle Technical Lead Casey Ringley's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    The Physics of Japanese Cars Expansion

    Time is almost here for the next bunch of cars to go live! Some notes on their physics model development to keep you busy in the meantime...

    Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI T.M.E. - Cool little variant of the best looking Evo here. Done to celebrate WRC champ Tommi Makinen and built in something like a tarmac rally spec for street use. The 2.0L 4G63T engine put out a nice 276hp with very little lag and smooth power delivery through the 5-speed manual. Much nicer gear spacing on this one than the later Evo X FQ400! You won’t hate at all that shift from 4th to 5th like on that other one. Sadly, a lot of the detailed technical info on what exactly went into making a T.M.E. seems to have been lost to time. Good news is it’s a popular car (very popular) to tune, so I put in a range of suspension tune options that spans most aftermarket stuff I could find and stuck it in the middle by default. Seems to have worked pretty well. Everything about this car is nicer than the FQ400, IMO. Gear spacing is better, smaller turbo spins up better, lower weight feels (so much!) better. All around a great little car for turning laps.

    Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX FQ360 - F$%&^g quick, right? This car is actually quite closely related to the Evo VI TME above. The engine is still a 2.0L turbo and added MIVEC variable timing stuff plus 0.4bar more boost for a total of 360hp. We were able to pull a lot of other numbers from workshop manuals for gear ratios, front suspension geometry, etc. plus things like spring rates and damper dyno data from owner forums. Fun drive, splitting the difference between the Evo VI and Evo X FQ400. It’s a bit heavier than the VI, but still handles very well and the extra 80hp makes it about 20s faster around The Ring. Roughly the same pace as the FQ400, but with less turbo lag and a much better balance as that thing has another 160kg of fat added on.

    Toyota GT86 / Toyota 86 / Scion FR-S - Gotta love these popular tuner cars. People tear them apart and measure every last thing we need to know to produce an accurate simulation model. Found useful shock dynos, ARB wheel rates, and spring rate info for stock and typical aftermarket, track setups. Put everything to stock by default; middle of the range on springs and dampers will match some popular Ohlins DFV units and typical track day springs/ARBs. Our reference car was laser scanned and could be used to get a good model of the rear suspension geometry. The FA20 is a nice engine, but there is a huge hole in the torque curve between 3500-5000rpm on all dyno plots; keep it between 5-7k for most fun. Added two popular final drive swaps as an option. Either one could be useful depending on the track and how you want to drive it. It really is as good to throw around a track as all the reviewers say. Just chuck it into every corner, floor the throttle and hold some angle through the apex. Awesome fun. I expect many of you will have some real world experience in the car to compare against, so it will be fun to see how you think it matches up.

    Toyota GT86 Rocket Bunny - In playing around with the Rocket Bunny bodykit, we thought it would be cool to see how the package worked as a GT4 car. Long story short, it’s great! We cut about 100kg of weight from stripping the interior, etc; figured the body kit could change the aero from 200lbf lift to 90lb downforce; put on our standard GT4 tires with 23/64-R18 and 25/65-R18 sizing (one size smaller than the Ginetta G55 GT4); boosted the engine with a Cosworth supercharger for 335hp; racing brakes similar to the G55 GT4, and some very basic suspension tuning to put it at a similar stiffness to other cars in the class. Runs right on the same pace as the others but in a very fun, slidey kind of way since the handling is so nimble and neutral. Might be the fastest of the bunch at many tracks in qualifying, but it can wear through the tires faster since you are pushing so much harder in the corners to maintain speed. It is a lot of fun.

    Scion FR-S Rocket Bunny - For this one, we took the approach of a more powerful street build that could be used for track days, some light drifting and showing off. We wanted more power than what the Cosworth supercharger alone and ended up using a twincharger type of system to boost the engine, which is kinda cool since we haven't done that on any other cars yet. Stage 1 is the supercharger, creating about 1.1bar boost and 150hp. Then for stage 2 there is a turbo added on top to bring it up to full boost and 500hp. The combination is much more driveable than some big turbo setups we tried where the overwhelming impression was just one of turbo lag. Having that supercharger in there first does a nice job at helping keep exhaust mass flow high for the turbo to work well.

    500hp is a real handful in something so small and it does have some pretty good drift potential when you drop the tire pressures very low. That aspect will improve greatly in the near future with some STM R&D work AJ has underway, but it's surprisingly good right now...if a bit too difficult to transition out of a big angle. We might also have some other interesting cars coming which will be even better-matched for showing how tire rubber behaves in the transition from traditional slip angle vs. force model to a gooey/slidey rip grip model at the extremes of temperature and abuse.

    Slightly modified the suspension geometry for this version of the car so it can be set with very low front steer axis inclination and caster angle, as I've noticed is the trend is pro drift builds lately. It helps in that the huge steering angles don't cause extreme jacking motion which destabilizes the car, but can soften steering feel through the FFB at very low's a trade off.

    Standard tires for this one are Nitto NT01 in sizes 235/35-19 front, 275/35-19 rear. Good for 7:40s at the Ring if you avoid going sideways for the whole lap.

    Toyota TS040 - For me, this car is the highlight of the packages. Just love working out the details for these hybrid LMP1s. Manufacturers never give out detailed technical info for current race cars (and rightfully so), so we have to go into full forensic science to sort out the details of how it works. The car is a hoot to drive. Where it’s main opposition, the R18 e-tron, is only mildly hybridized in the 2MJ class and drives mostly like a normal car, this thing has a Mario Kart Golden Mushroom on it. It is the fastest car with a low top speed that you'll ever drive. The thing with these hybrids is that getting the fastest lap is all about acceleration, not a top speed advantage. It's a strange feeling; when going for fastest laps you will have lower top speeds than a GT3 car, but getting to it so much more quickly means you are over 20s per lap faster at typical tracks. Notes on a few of the sub-systems below.

    Aero: The car made news for having a (maybe...probably illegal) flexible rear wing system last year. We copied that here with via active aero system so it sheds about 300lb downforce and 60lb drag at typical Le Mans top speeds of 300kph. Efficiency drops a bit and balance shifts 4% forward when this happens. Numbers are just guesses, but should be in the right ballpark. I think this was much more significant to their performance than most realize. My own lap times around Le Mans dropped about 2s when adding this feature.

    Power Unit: The 3.7L, naturally aspirated V8 is good for 520hp from 7000-8500rpm. Nice smooth engine. Hybrid motors add another 480hp (when over 300kph, below that speed they are torque-limited) split probably around 40/60 front/rear knowing the TS030’s rear-only MGU-K was good for 300hp. Configured the hybrid so that, driven normally, it uses all 6MJ of the energy at low speed for acceleration as that's best for lap times. Burning a full charge will take you from 60-280kph at an amazing rate and is about 3s faster over a lap of Le Mans than using it for top speed boost, even if top speed drops from 340kph to 300 when used that way. It is possible to use it for top speed on our model: Get up to 250kph or so without using full throttle and then give it full beans. That's when you'll see the power meter approach 1000hp and it will shoot up to 350kph in about 5s. Impressive, but only ever useful for passing slower traffic.

    Gearbox: Slightly odd setup here. I can't find any evidence of 1st gear being used. It is always in 2nd even at 60kph behind safety cars, in La Source, Arnage, etc. 1st must be only for leaving the pits under electric power when the engine hasn't fired up yet. In Le Mans gearing, 6th gear takes it to 285kph, even if top speed in the most effective hybrid mode is only 295-300kph. 7th is purely for fuel saving and when they want to use the hybrid for a top speed boost. Then all of the extra hybrid torque means that 3rd/4th gear is fine for all but the slowest corners. Expect to be spending most of your time at most tracks in 4th-6th gear.

    Some best laps turned in testing so far:
    Le Mans: 3:23.5
    Silverstone: 1:43.1
    Spa: 2:00.5

    EDIT: I goofed in the notes. The tire model update below wasn't done in time and will be happening for patch 6, not 5.

    Last but not least, patch 6 includes some recalibration of tire heating models. Some folks in a G40 league here found an issue where a slight increase in pressure could cause an extreme amount of overheating in the tires. We tracked it down to a fix in a change in how the carcass generates heat at low inflation pressure, but this sent us down a rabbit hole of checking that no cars had completely broken tires with the change. Things are much better with the fix in place. Temperature balance front to rear looks more correct on most cars and it removes something of an exploit that was possible in car setup. You’ll need to take more care with setting tire pressures now and can expect a larger response from those changes.

    With the fix, tires heat faster, more predictably, and will really punish you for poor driving and setup in a way they didn't before. A lot of tires could move to more standardized values without needing lots of extra calibration just to get the right front to rear temperature balance. Before, if rear tires started at a lower pressure, they could run up against a limit near ideal pressure and lose heat; ending up cooler than the front even if the handling balance was strongly biased to oversteer. Now they get nice, consistent heating and show a reasonably higher carcass temp than non-driven fronts, which then filters through to hotter tread. Generally the temps are feeling more representative of handling balance now. Cool stuff.

    While in there recalibrating the heat, I merged in some ideas we've been playing with for pCARS 2. Biggest of those is that most slick tires (those based on our SLICK_GT3 template) now have a larger temperature range for the rubber of 0-200C. This fits in with stuff we've learned from rallycross where tires under extreme stress creep up to 180C or more. This has a pretty cool result of accentuating the camber effects of a tire so the inside edge reads significantly hotter as it should. Implies that our the old cap around 150-165C was limiting heat gain on the inside edge but not the outside. Also does a very good job at punishing the driver for abusive technique.

    Some tire sets also had slight wear rate recalibration to fit with changes brought on by the new heat model. Anything that did change stayed at the same starting grip as before, but some will wear faster now and with a stronger grip loss effect. Prototype work on the upcoming V8 Supercar helped to hone in the right reference point for grip loss on a heavily worn tire. Generally the cost is about 2s over a 2min lap at the end of a run. Go longer than that and you're likely to find yourself driving it off the performance cliff and losing heaps of time.
    Haste Is Slow
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  2. #2
    Superkart Pilot sirsilver1968's Avatar
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    Excellent write up there Casey, so looking forward to trying and tuning these cars, thank you
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    OMG OMG OMG [heavy breathing] (I own a GT86) When are we getting this? Tomorrow?

  4. #4
    WMD Member John Hargreaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Ringley View Post
    We might also have some other interesting cars coming which will be even better-matched for showing how tire rubber behaves in the transition from traditional slip angle vs. force model to a gooey/slidey rip grip model at the extremes of temperature and abuse.
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  5. #5
    Superkart Pilot TwilightUA's Avatar
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    Sounds very interesting, can't wait to drive 86 and LanEvos. Such a great DLC, thank you, SMS

  6. #6
    Superkart Pilot graveltrap's Avatar
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    Always look forward to the Physics of posts thanks for the insight
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  7. #7
    GT4 Pilot
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    I bet Scuderia Paul has just wet himself!
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  8. #8
    GT5 Pilot jimmyb_84's Avatar
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    TS040 and GT86!!!!

    I will be buying this one!!!!!!!
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  9. #9
    Moderator +WMD 1/2 Member Roger Prynne's Avatar
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    I look forward to testing the new tyre temp changes....nice one Casey.
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  10. #10
    WMD Member bmanic's Avatar
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    Casey, have you had a chance to follow our "Street Tyre Improvements" thread? Been doing a lot of drifting tests again on the ordinary street tires and while they are quite nice as they are now (especially within normal racing parameters), they could still benefit from some love. Would be nice if you took a crack at getting some kind of magic flash heating working on the longitudinal grip so that we can finally do good burnouts and keep power drifts going at low speeds, which is currently almost impossible, no matter how you tweak them. You can drift quite well at higher speeds (over 100km/h) but holding a low speed power slide for extended periods of time (aka doing controlled large(ish) donuts) is a no-go in our simulator.. and in a real BMW road car pretty simple to do (BMW Z4 and M3 experience here and IJOJO mentioned just driving the 1M).

    EDIT: for got the link to the thread, sorry..
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