Location: Kingston, Surrey
So “Dirt 4” may be a little easier to pick up and play, but “WRC 7” is probably more rewarding in the long run. And running those real tracks, with real drivers and real weather is pretty damn cool. I don’t think it has the same graphic fidelity or smoothness as a “Project Cars 2” or a “Forza” -- though the lighting effects are awesome -- but if you’re into rally, it’s every bit as fun.
It’s easier to drive with your thumbs tucked in, but you will have to use the handbrake, which is a stretch when also navigating the regular brakes, gas and turning inputs. I don’t know if there’s a better way, except maybe a Ken Block-style stick jutting off the side of the pedals. At any rate, the Thrustmaster Sparco P310 is by far the best -- and most expensive (checking in at 700 smackers) -- wheel we’ve ever tested.
In order to stop without skidding, rhythmically pump your foot up and down on the brake pedal. This will essentially replicate what an ABS system does, albeit nowhere near as effectively or quickly. Remember to look where you want the car to go and steer there, and try not to ‘panic freeze’, as you'll simply lock the brakes and have an accident.
It’s stomping the major routes that our Vauxhall still shines. On a fast-moving motorway, the Cavalier is surprisingly subdued, with minimal wind or road noise, demonstrating that all those hours in the wind tunnel were fruitful. And this 2.5-litre V6 engine has even more grunt than the 2.0-litre in our test, delivering effortless roll-on performance, despite being paired to a rather sluggish four-speed automatic gearbox. It’s easy to see why 'the Cav' was the repmobile of choice.
As ever, most buyers in this market will buy on a PCP finance deal, where the X2 could be more competitive. Demand is expected to be high, though, meaning that Target Price discounts will be slim for the forseeable future.
Traveling the globe to race in both the WEC and F1 in the same season sounds grueling, but it might be possible. The circuits have provisional schedules, and there's just one conflict — the U.S. Grand Prix and a WEC race in Japan are both penciled in for Oct. 21.