Racing red

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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This season for many is synonymous with holidays, relaxation and fun, but for many others it often coincides with the busiest working period of the year, as the guys from Kunos Simulations can confirm.

Inaugurated slightly earlier last June 17 with the announcement of the partnership with Porsche, summer 2016 in the Vallelunga racetrack offices must be really on fire; not only are we one step away from the highly anticipated publication of Assetto Corsa on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, scheduled for next August 26, but the Roman software house has just released the RED PACK for PC, a new thematic DLC that is having a success amazing on Steam, where since his debut he navigates between the first and second position of the best-selling products. The reception of the fans was even warmer than that reserved for the excellent Dream Packs and Japanese Car Packs, and the reason is all linked to the "name" of the package; in fact, red is the color historically associated by the FIA ​​with Spanish racing cars, and in the RED PACK there is a selection of seven beautiful cars from the Bel Paese, translated by prestigious brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. Red is also contained in the name of the new track in Laserscan, that is the fascinating and very fast Red Bull Ring in Spielberg (Austria), which adds to the list of official tracks available in the Spanish simulator.



Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and the Red Bull Ring of Spielberg in the RED PACK of Assetto Corsa


Evolution continues

Before diving into the analysis of the new racing cars, it is necessary to spend a few words on the 1.7 update of Assetto Corsa, which introduces some very interesting innovations both in terms of features and pure simulation, without forgetting the Maserati Levante S free for all, a powerful crossover SUV pioneered in the title garage. The first detail that leaps to the eyes of the virtual drivers is the new pre-race view, which instead of framing the track focuses on the silhouette of the chosen car, strictly on the side and with the door open to show its well-kept interior.


Once the steering wheel is held, attention must finally be paid to the false start, which penalizes the players on the basis of three distinct types of sanctions. However, it is once on the track that the most important interventions are noticed; in addition to a more refined artificial intelligence, with more unpredictable driver behaviors and intimately linked to the specificities of the controlled car, especially when overtaking and cornering, there is a further step forward in the performance of the tires, the flagship of the work Kunos Simulations. The new Tire Model (V10) is available on almost all the RED PACK cars and in the future will be exported to the rest of the garage, as well as the brake temperature management, which in the next updates will be accompanied by other algorithms to simulate even pads and air flows. Discerning gamers can finally set the settings for turbo, ABS, Traction Control (TC) and more directly on the wheel, a "taste" of the plethora of rumors related to the Ferrari SF15-T, which we will discuss shortly. To all this are added refinements to the 3D models and the sound of some cars, new parameters for the App, more realistic weather effects and a whole series of fixes that improve the racing experience, from the penalty attributed to those who go to the pits through the ESC command up to a new multiplayer code to improve the connection. In short, Assetto Corsa continues in the constant process of evolution and maturation promised by Kunos Simulations.


Taurus and Trident

We begin our analysis with two old glories of Formula 1, a category well represented on Assetto Corsa. The Maserati 250F 6C debuted in the 1954 Argentine Grand Prix driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss, a true icon who won the world championship in the year of its debut and in 1957. Characterized by four gears, a weight of 670 kilograms and 270 horsepower, the car requires a lot of practice (and patience) to push it to the limit, due to skimpy tires, poor brakes and a constant tendency to oversteer. The spin is in fact always around the corner and it is necessary to stroke the gas pedal to avoid unpleasant inconveniences. The polygonal model is excellent both indoors and outdoors, as is the sound of the engine. With the 250F T2 12C, the heir with twelve cylinders and 310 horsepower, the situation is not very dissimilar, although it oversteers with less unpredictability. The model differs from the 6C for the five gears, a couple of noticeable humps on the bonnet, the more aggressive roar and a different arrangement of the indicators on the dashboard.



Some dedicated special events are available for these F1 legends, such as Source of pleasure in Magione, Up and Down in Zandvoort and Almost at home in Imola.

Remaining in the house of the trident, we move on to the fascinating GranTurismo MC GT4, a competition car which, after six years of success, has replaced the Trofeo in the World Series. The new Maserati has about 50 horsepower less than the previous model (from 488 to 430) to fall into the category, numbers obtained thanks to an intake flange, a new rear wing and a different diffuser. The engine, on the other hand, remains the classic 8-liter V4.7 with a maximum torque of 535 Nm. On Assetto Corsa the car is precise, fast and easy to handle and can be pushed "easily" to the limit if you have good confidence with other GTs: the Factory setting however, it does not include ABS and TC, so it must always be treated with respect. The engine sound is amazing, both at low and high revs, moreover it is one of the noisiest even when stopped in the pits. The polygonal model is splendid, suffering only a pinch of aliasing on the wheel arches, while in the purely racing interior the carbon florilege, the Sparco steering wheel and the digital display with a curious salmon-colored background stand out. In addition to the three Maseratis in the RED PACK, there is also the free Levante S of build 1.7, a powerful crossover SUV with 2.018 kilograms, 424 horsepower and acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in just five seconds. We close the paragraph with the Lamborghini Aventador SV (acronym for SuperVeloce), a family of cars even more exclusive and extreme than the custom-built cars from which they are translated. 50 kg lighter than the Aventador LP750-4 base, thanks to the work carried out on materials and aerodynamics, this jewel detaches the 0-100 km / h in just 2,8 seconds and reaches 300 km / h in 24 seconds; thanks to the powerful 12-liter naturally aspirated V6.5 with 750 horsepower that pushes the car to a top speed of 350 km / h. From a stylistic point of view, the Aventador is almost a spaceship, not only for the aggressive, taut and full of aerodynamic aesthetics, but also for the aeronautical-inspired interiors. What is striking, in addition to the precious fabrics with red stitching and the profusion of carbon, is the peculiar digital display with a yellow background that enhances the progression of the engine. On Assetto Corsa the polygonal model is perfect as is the sense of power due to the spectacular rendering of the rumble, although the understeering behavior makes this car rather difficult to master at the limits. However, it remains one of the most fascinating and fun racing cars to launch in skidding and on long straights.


The reds

If you asked an Assetto Corsa enthusiast to indicate their favorite car, the choice would most likely fall on the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2, thanks to an exhilarating engine sound and an engaging driving pleasure to say the least. The Ferrari 488 GT3 featured in the RED PACK is the racing version of the new 488 GTB, and as expected it is another of Kunos Simulations' masterpieces. Equipped with a 8 liter twin-turbo V3.9 with 500 horsepower and 640 Nm of maximum torque, the car is more manageable and precise than the 458 Italia GT2, especially when exiting the curves, it also amazes for the refinement of the roar of the engine, in this case. embellished by the classic 'puff' of the pop-off valve that we are used to hearing on rally cars.

The polygonal model is splendid and the interiors are well-finished: just look at the materials of the containment net around the pilot, which seem practically real and tangible.

The other two reds present in the RED PACK are probably the ones that prompted many to invest the ten euros to buy it; we are in fact talking about the F138, the Formula 1 car driven by Alonso and Massa in 2013, and the FST15 of the 2015 season. The first of the two represented the "swan song" of aspirated internal combustion engines in the premier class, since 2014 hybrid engines have entered the scene with the related aftermath of controversy. The F138 on Assetto Corsa is splendid to drive and listen to, thanks to a truly amazing reproduction of the 8-liter 2.4 horsepower V763 that is enhanced especially during replays. The simulation also involves the KERS and DRS, and since they lack ABS and traction control, if you overdo the throttle or hit a curb at the wrong angle, you immediately end up spinning; however, the behavior of the F138 remains balanced and offers simply insane responsiveness, speed and precision. The SF15-T is undoubtedly the most complex car ever introduced in a driving simulator, and only to manage the electrical part of the engine, including MGU-K, ERS, ICU, braking distribution and other acronyms that say little to the layman. nothing, there is really crazy (with joy) about the steering wheel controls, which must necessarily have a sufficient number of buttons, unless you want to bang your head on the keyboard. Adapting the single-seater to the characteristics of each circuit is a meticulous job and to fully exploit it it is necessary to study its specificities in depth; it is no coincidence that Aristotelis Vasilakos, the developer who, together with Stefano Casillo, takes care of the excellent physics engine, has released an in-depth guide to steal the secrets of this virtual jewel. Due to the greater power of the engine, the SF15-T is even more nervous than the F138, but it is ready to give immense satisfaction to anyone who manages to tame its exuberance and above all its technology. The polygonal model and the sound of the engine are perfectly rendered.

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  • Some models are worth the ticket price alone
  • Il Red Bull Ring in Laserscan
  • The roar of the F138
  • The SF15-T displaces the depth of the simulation ...
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  • ... and to fully tame it you need a steering wheel of the highest level
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