The last couple of daily rivals events have been forgettable. Generically overpowered cars on generic racetracks. But the current weekly challenge has shaken up my game a bit. It’s been educational. I’ve advanced my knowledge of cars and how to do car talk. And my collection has grown. Let me show you.
The current weekly event and the monthly event both take place in heavy rain. The monthly event has you driving a nimble little Lotus Exige in the rain. More on that later. The weekly event seems to want you to drive a Caterham go-kart in the rain, since it’s named the Caterham Hurl. However, unlike any of this season’s events so far, you get to choose among different cars, including your own. Any class C road car in your garage is eligible. If you don’t feel like driving an open-cockpit go-kart in the rain, you can drive something with a roof. So I hopped into my 2020 Corvette Stingray, designated Chick 3 because it’s the third car I bought. I did a few laps in the rain and set my typical bronze league time. Which is fine. Remember, I’m in this for the long haul. Consistency, not skill, will earn me big points at the end of the season. And along the way, I’ll discover places like Bathurst’s Mount Panorama.
After logging my best lap and looking at the folks on the leaderboard around me, I noticed quite the variety of cars. Hmm, surely some of these cars are better suited than others to this track in these conditions. My Corvette Stingray — which I actually think is pretty dumb, and I only bought it because it was on sale — doesn’t seem like a popular choice. Maybe I should try one of my other class C cars? Chick 7 is a matte black Toyota Supra with an upgraded engine. Chick 11 is my new banana yellow Lotus Exige. Or maybe I should see what the best times were driving? So I scrolled over to the folks who’ve logged platinum times. Sure enough, every single one of them drove a Nissan I’ve never heard of. To be fair, I haven’t heard of most Nissans. But I’ve especially never heard of this one.
In rivals events, Project Cars 3 will just loan you whatever car you need for a challenge. So I haven’t been doing a lot of new car shopping. In career mode, you’ll buy cars frequently. As you move up classes, as you unlock events that require certain cars, you’ll need a rear-wheel drive manufactured in the 90s. Or a Ford. Or a class E car made in Japan. Or a Lamborghini Sian FKP 37, whatever that is. The career mode is cleverly designed to encourage variety and keep your garage growing. But I’ve been driving rivals mode lately, sampling whatever cars Project Cars 3 has on loan for any given event, but still leveling up and earning money I haven’t needed to spend. So now I’ve got $200,000 burning a hole in my pocket. And this Nissan is only $80,000. I can afford it easily. Get into my garage, Nissan! We’re going for a drive in the rain!
It’s called a Nismo. I think that’s also the name of the giraffe in the Madagascar movies. Okay, I just made that up. Much like Nissan just made up a word to call their car. It also has numbers, letters, a dash, and parentheses. Nissan went a little crazy naming the GT-R Nismo (R35). Or, as I call it, Chick 13. Chick 13 doesn’t look like much, even after I paint its butt pink, apply a trippy wargamer livery, and stick a number 13 on it. If you get an unlucky number, own it.
This is also the first time I’ve selected a custom license plate frame.
I chose this one unironically, because I do heart turbo. I just put a turbocharger in a 1971 Ford Escort and I love the way it makes the engine sound. The extra acceleration is just gravy. You might wonder why I have a 1971 Ford Escort. You and me both. The truth is, I have a 1971 Ford Turbo because it was on sale. If someone waves a car at me and says it’s only $15,200 instead of $19,000, why wouldn’t I buy it? I once bought sriracha peanuts at the store because they were on sale. But the sriracha peanuts ended up in the trash. The 1971 Ford Escort ended up turbocharged.
But let’s look at the numbers on this Nissan Nisbo. Let’s look, as they say, “under the hood”. Do I sound like I know about cars when I say that? Can you tell I’ve been practicing in the mirror? I’ll say it again so you can hear how natural I sound saying it. Let’s take a look “under the hood”.
Oh my, look at that horsepower. 598 horsepower is a lot. It’s the most horsepower I own. Frankly, it seems a little excessive. What is it compensating for? Oh, I see. Look at that weight. The Nissan Nipso is also the heaviest car I own, just fifteen pounds short of two tons. What a fatty! But for the platinum ranked drivers on this week’s rainy track, I wonder if the more relevant piece of information is this symbol:
The Nissan Nimbo is a four-wheel drive. Take that, rain!
And, sure enough, Chick 13 easily shaves five seconds off my lap time. Slightly Mad Studios doesn’t let me take my paint job, license plate, and license plate frame into the challenge. My freedom of expression is too much for them. I am the ghost car they don’t want you to see. The world isn’t ready. I’m still only in the bronze league, but I’ve got 23 more attempts. And more importantly, there’s plenty of time for people not driving Nissan Nimboes to log their time in the Caterham Hurl. Silver ranking, here I come?
Next: hump day
Previously: the Corkscrew of the Antipodes!