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Old 03-07-2008, 10:49 PM
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Default The Consulier Takes on Honda's S2000 & Infiniti's G35



….It really is like an airplane, and speaking of airplanes, I think I would have been less impressed on my first flight had I flown something more advanced than a Cessna 172. The thing with something like a 172 is that you feel everything. In the simulator, the aircraft reacts, and you take it into account. In the airplane however, you really feel it.

Now, I’m not just talking about the fact that you feel G forces or even that your body is subjected to the environmental changes of flight. I’m talking about the fact that as the air changes, you feel it in the controls. You’re constantly aware of things like the wind or differences in air pressure- even – and especially- if you’re just holding level flight. In these cases, when you’re essentially trying to do nothing at all, changes in the air push back through the controls to you. This is what I mean when I say, the show unfolds before your eyes and nothing goes without notice.

This is what it is like to pilot the Consulier. When you arrive at your destination, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. You’ve personally transgressed dozens of miles. That’s how I felt when I arrived anyway…because getting there wasn’t so easy…

I’ll confess. It was hard work. I was strapped into the Consulier trying to chase down a G35 and I had to work. I was really focused on feeling out the road. At every open straight I knew the G would leap forward. I’d look to grab every last inch to help keep pace. It didn’t seem to matter. The G seemed to impossibly pull forward on me… but then I’d feel the boost pressure jump and I’d halt its advance….almost. And then we’d enter another corner…




In a line you will have trouble keeping up with a G35 in the Consulier. Now this G35 I was trying to keep up didn’t have any extra power, but it did have suspension and brake work done to it. Luckily for me, stopping distances on the Consulier are competitive however, and in general this can be used to an advantage, depending on (1) how daring the G driver is and (2) whether he has the factory Brembo braking package if he’s been at it for a while.



Turning in, the Consulier teaches one to drive smoothly thanks to its always-aware steering. In contrast the G35 with its power steering, although excellent, leaves the turn-in error largely to the driver. It’s that difference between flying a Cessna yourself where you feel everything, and then having ‘by-wire’ aid. Through the turn the G offers reasonable feel but again it’s not the same experience as the Consulier, which again, has the ballet to unfold before your eyes. Or more appropriately, in your hands.



At the apex, the Consulier holds another advantage- its steering is less likely to be upset by mid corner bumps. Although the G will be very planted, drive it aggressively and the steering will transmit off camber changes and bumps to a greater degree than the Consulier, relative to the overall feedback the car gives. Powering out of the corner, the Consulier allows you to get on the gas early thanks to it’s 40/60 (front/rear) distribution, where as the G’s 52/48 distribution forces you to hold balance until much later. On the flip side, the G’s naturally aspirated engine provides easy torque immediately on exit, and in general, feels responsive at all times on the street. It’s also more forgiving to mistakes in gear selection…



So that's a summary of some technicals- But how do they feel in comparison?



Driving the Consulier is like being in the general infantry in a war. You see it all and take part in everything. That is to say, there’s a lot of work to be done and the work isn’t going to get done by itself.



The G35 on the other hand is easy. Now it’s not like you’re sitting back at base disconnected from the war front, but if you’re not attentive, the small granular details will pass you by. It’s the nature of the beast between the power assist and weight. But it must be said, coming from the Consulier, it’s very easy to drive fast. With the same effort, the difference is amazing. With a relatively inexperienced- but capable- driver commanding the G, I was having a very difficult full-time job trying to keep up in the Consulier.



The difference was most pronounced when I switched cars. In contrast the G felt light. As noted it sometimes felt like it wanted to skip over apex bumps but on the flip side it was very easy to go very fast. Thanks to how the car is setup, the force of the assistance while you drive is reassuring. Combine that with solid feel and the net result is a lot of confidence…which will only lead you to go even faster. With very minimal work the car can be precisely positioned very fast through turns…



…but you can’t talk about turns in this group without talking about the Honda S2000.



With 2900lbs of weight and a really tight suspension, turn in on the S2000 is “right now” immediate and controlled. It’s a simple car. It gives an entirely different sort of driving experience going without the amenities of the G35.



Compared with the Consulier, the S2000 is similar to the G in that it’s relatively easy to drive fast, and due to power steering, offers a very different feel. Again, pay attention or the details of the show may pass by you. Like the G it’s not a major issue because you can precisely position the car, but when it comes to feel, the Consulier has an advantage here as well. But getting back to positioning the car, the S2000 truly is a fine machine. It’s steering is very refined and turn in is crisp. Its gearbox is excellent. In these regards it’s quicker than the G. It’s simple but very efficient and a pleasure to use. Like a good point and shoot camera…



The S2000’s power band, like the Consulier, is somewhat peaky however. When you’re in a S2000 out of VTEC, or a Consulier out of boost, you just won’t accelerate very hard. Unlike the G35, both must be taken to their upper reaches to really move…



So while this comparison could go on, lets face it: these are different machines for different purposes.

The Consulier weighs 2,200lbs and is all-composite, mid-engined, and rear drive. It’s setup to perform on the track and work on the street. I’d say mission accomplished. While its ride isn’t too terrible, the weighted controls may wear on the uninitiated.




In terms of performance, the Consulier’s handling and braking are very, very competitive. But as far as straight line performance goes- the car is ripe for the SRT-4s engine. In stage 3 trim, with over 300hp, thanks. Or even better, the 4G63 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution engine that Mosler’s rumored to be thinking about. With that kind of engine, this car would be a transformed animal on the street.



Now yes, the car has more than adequate performance and handling as-is, but extra power would only bring out the best in it…and before I receive any hate mail on how potent the car is without that kind of power: I’d say that it really is like flying. It’s made special by the do it yourself aspect and the unique capabilities that come along with it. But seeing as how the Consulier is only operating in two dimensions, extra power would not only add more fun but also heighten the experience within the dimensions it operates in. If the Consulier had more power, there would be an even greater incentive to master it on the open road.



So ultimately, the Consulier’s fans will know who they are before they even drive it. It’s for those of you who prefer a more traditional, if not hardcore drive. It’s for those of you who despise power steering and related technologies and long for true lightweight performance. Against these cars, it would probably be very potent on the race track where lap times are the utmost priority. In that environment, its 2200lbs weight and raw steering, braking, and handling become your best friends. On the street though, the story is a different one as it becomes far more a question of taste and personal preference...

… which is exactly what this all comes down to. Stay tuned for my closing thoughts on these three cars, and my most surprising take away from a weekend of driving…



(To Be Continued...)
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: The Consulier Takes on Honda's S2000 & Infiniti's G35

Might have to join in the next set of test cases
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: The Consulier Takes on Honda's S2000 & Infiniti's G35

maybe if mosler drive my car he will change his mind on putting that 4g63
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: The Consulier Takes on Honda's S2000 & Infiniti's G35

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribsdaman View Post
maybe if mosler drive my car he will change his mind on putting that 4g63
^ We will see if he want to take a drive after we finish with it
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: The Consulier Takes on Honda's S2000 & Infiniti's G35

i have a bone to pick with mr. mosler, y the f*** did he drill out holes in the bumper fo the license plate, u dont ever ever ever do that to a s2000, whats wrong wid u mannnn, damn
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