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Old 08-16-2003, 01:21   #1 (permalink)
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Velvet Duo - Drive update

Now that the Mustang and GT-p have reached 10,000 and 5,000 km respectively, it's probably a good time to update the drive experience.

The numbers

Fuel consumptions honours go to the Mustang with 14.90 l/100 km against the GT-p with 16.70 l/100 km of premium unleaded in both cases.

Service costs also go the way of the Mustang at 3.47 cents/km to the GT-p at 4.70 cents/km.

With the 50% higher insurance costs the total operating cost a km is also lost by the GT-p at 33.02 cents/km to the Mustang at 24.74.

The Problems

Mustang

So far nothing has fallen off but the interior trim is already starting to look a bit worn and it's impossible to keep the front seatbelts untangled when using the ghey seat belt holders. The boot requires realignment and I'm adding a set of mudspats in the interest of keeping the unprotected rear quarter panels in resonable condition.
Likewise it's getting a set of (very expensive) slimline weathershields to stop the rain from coming in.

GT-p

It still rattles when started on random occasions - random enough that it has only done it once when we had an FPV engineer present. The flat spot when accelerating after being on a trailing throttle is annoying and no closer to being resolved than when first looked at.
The brake squeal when reversing took awhile to fix but is now largely resolved.

The Drive

They both have their faults and joys in different ways.

The Mustang is still cramped, uncomfortable, has the fit and finish of a Grade 3 school project and makes various clunking noises from odd places.
On the positive side, the exhaust note is to die for and the sheer adrenaline rush that comes with winding it out to the redline in each of the first three gears doesn't ever grow tiresome.
Traction is optional with the broad spread of torque and wet weather driving requires caution or fast reactions.
The suspension doesn't take kindly to bumps, which are capable of throwing the car off the intended line but that at least ensures that you stay awake.
The ride is generally compliant although the worst of our suburban streets can be felt and heard if taken too fast but the seating position is absolutely hopeless whatever size you are.

The GT-p conversely has excellent fit and finish even though I have yet to find a driving position that doesn't leave the lower back suffering after any period of time. There are no extraneous rattles or other noises and the ride is almost plush.
The exhaust sounds better from outside the car than within which is a pity but the excellent sound system (almost) compensates for that.
From a driving perspective the engine feels fairly flat until the cam comes into play at 3500 rpm but after that it is hang on time as the engine spins to the redline to do it all over again. Thankfully the gearing keeps the car well in that power band most of the time and there's just a seamless rush towards the horizon.
Initial turn in makes you aware that there is a lot of weight being carried around but the grip and chassis balance are confidence inspiring although you are always mindful that it will not reward over zealous entry speeds. Doesn't matter if you do carry a little to much entry speed as the braking is simply awesome - from any speed.

The whole driving experience is ruined, however, by the flat spot after trailing throttle. It's hard to describe how frustrating it is but let me paint you a picture - the scene is one of my favourite little bits of road just out of Melbourne, mostly 1st and 2nd gear corners with the odd straight in between. In a well balanced car it's about as much fun as you can have with your pants still on. It's one of those bits of road where you are constantly on and off the throttle and where you need to be accurate with your apexes or it will bite hard.
In the GT-p it is just dangerous. Every time you are at an apex and apply throttle to accelerate out of the corner you meet a flat spot which the brain tends to overcompensate for by applying more throttle which turns into too much when the throttle actually decides to respond. Just too hard to even bother.

To put that into hard numbers, the GT-p is 23 seconds slower over the 4 kms of road than the T-Series was despite having more rubber, better brakes and more power to play with - and it's a damn sight scarier too. The Mustang (by comparison) is 6 seconds quicker than the T was and I'd resonably expect the GT-p to be faster again given the abundance of mid range torque.

Conslusions

For day to day, relaxed driving, I'll take the GT-p everytime with the traction control turned off.
For a track day or a blast down a bit of winding road, I'll live with the faults in the Mustang and take that instead.
If the engineers at FPV ever actually manage to resolve the flat spot issue then the GT-p would be the weapon of choice if only beacuse it is by far the more comfortable car of the two.

Cheers
Russ
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Old 08-16-2003, 01:52   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

Does the flatspot just affect your car or is it a problem across all GT's/XR's?
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Old 08-16-2003, 02:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

Is this the new drive by wire that you are experiencing Russ causing a delayed reaction.
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Old 08-16-2003, 03:18   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

You mention the T series being quicker than the GT-P over this selected bit of road, can i ask what the ride is like in the T compared to the GT?
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Old 08-16-2003, 05:03   #5 (permalink)
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I've definately noticed what you are talking about in my XR8. Seems the throttle is slow to react to your imputs when you are on and off the throttle. I have also noticed this while cruising on the highway and you want to speed up by a k or two and you very slightly touch the throttle and it doesn't do anything or it will take one or two seconds to react. I was thinking that maybe Ford have installed some sort of torque reduction in their software to protect the drivetrain a bit. Does anyone know if there is a torque reduction setting in the BA.
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Old 08-16-2003, 05:21   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

Quote:
Originally Posted by cs123
Does the flatspot just affect your car or is it a problem across all GT's/XR's?
My straw poll by PM of the Boss290 owners here indicate that it's a standard feature. Hadn't heard of it in Boss 260's but the comments from Boss XR seem to indicate otherwise.

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Old 08-16-2003, 05:25   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

Quote:
Originally Posted by galaxy xr8
Is this the new drive by wire that you are experiencing Russ causing a delayed reaction.
We initially thought it may have been a torque reduction strategy built into the PCM but as it can happen anywhere in the rev range and on quite light throttle openings we have ruled that out as a possible cause.
The present thinking is that there is a calibration issue with the fly by wire - in this system there are 5 separate inputs used by the PCM to control the throttle and it seems as if these aren't all talking to each other after driving on a trailing throttle.
No doubt the fix will be coming as I know the FPV engineers are working on the issue.

Cheers
Russ
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Old 08-16-2003, 05:28   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordy
You mention the T series being quicker than the GT-P over this selected bit of road, can i ask what the ride is like in the T compared to the GT?
One of the most noticeable differences between the T and the GT-p is in the steering balance - the T-Series cars certainly had considerably more feel but were worse in initial bite. They didn't tramline the way the BA does either.

From a ride perspective it's probably a slight advantage to the T-Series, especially on poor quality surfaces (most of Melbourne in other words) and when pushing on.

Cheers'
Russ
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Old 08-16-2003, 07:38   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Re: Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

Quote:
Originally Posted by russellw
We initially thought it may have been a torque reduction strategy built into the PCM but as it can happen anywhere in the rev range and on quite light throttle openings we have ruled that out as a possible cause.
The present thinking is that there is a calibration issue with the fly by wire - in this system there are 5 separate inputs used by the PCM to control the throttle and it seems as if these aren't all talking to each other after driving on a trailing throttle.
No doubt the fix will be coming as I know the FPV engineers are working on the issue.

Cheers
Russ
It would be interesting to know if Team GT in Procar's GT Performance series are having similar problem or if they have sorted it out. I could imagine that this problem would make the GT a nightmare to drive around the track.
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Old 08-16-2003, 18:21   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Velvet Duo - Drive update

I've asked the question Grunter.
They've managed to tune some of it out with the help of FPV engineers - according to the reply I got their only complete solution is to replace the FBW with a manual throttle body from an AU.

Cheers
Russ
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