THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
With the newly-released Ferrari Essentials Pack for Project CARS 2, there’s no better time than to dive into the cars featured in the Pack: I’m going to give you some useful hints and tips on how to extract the most performance out of them.
Given the spread of history between the cars—some dating back to the late 50s and some taken from Ferrari’s almost-current production line—it’s probably most useful to start at the beginning.
Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB
The oldest car in the Pack and one that, not surprisingly, lacks in performance compared to the more modern cars you’ll find in-game. Having said that, it doesn’t make it any less fun! The Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta features a 3.0L V12 that pushes out a good 260hp. Couple that with skinny tyres, drum brakes and “vintage” suspension, and it all amounts to a car that requires smooth driving techniques that, done right, will prove enormously rewarding. If you want fun, you can certainly get aggressive with the wheel and throttle because this old baby likes to be manhandled: pitching it into beautifully progressive slides is a fun-time guaranteed, but of course that’s not the fastest way to drive it.
If lap time as opposed to just having fun is your mission, then you need to be smooth on the brakes—in other words, get your braking done prior to turn-in. Let the car roll through into the corner off throttle towards the apex, before gently getting onto partial throttle and balancing it through the mid corner. As the turn starts to open up, feed the power in to apply more weight to the rear and make it squat into a nice neutral slide to power-out of the exit. Being smooth and progressive here will be the key to carrying good momentum through and out of each corner for the best possible lap times.
Old cars really do respond to momentum; don’t lose it by aggressive braking and too much time in oversteer conditions.
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
The next car up is very similar to the 250 GT Berlinetta, this time more lightweight, with more power and a more roadster-style bodywork for better aero performance.
The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa features a very similar 3.0L V12 to the 250 GT Berlinetta, but with higher compression pistons, it’s producing around 295hp. It again has skinny tyres, drum brakes and a 4 Speed H-pattern gear ’box.
Whilst being lighter and a bit nimbler than the 250 GT Berlinetta, it again requires the same progressive approach. Brake in a straight line, roll into the corner, balance the weight of the car through the turn with the throttle, and then feed more power in through the exit.
With the car being lighter though, it is a bit snappier when it comes to turn-in and the slides, requiring you to be a bit more alert and on top of it, as over-correcting can lead to the car snapping the other way. Still, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear if you choose to really push and wrestle the car around the track, feeling like a hero as you catch the progressive slide and hold a nice drift.
Ferrari 512 BB LM
Despite competing against other Group 5 monsters back in its day, the 512 BB LM has been placed with the Group 4 class in-game. This was a conscious design decision considering the car is a good 200kg heavier and about 300hp down on some of the top dogs in the Group 5 class. The Group 4 class therefore was a much better fit, and the 512 BB LM was placed in there to be competitive.
The handling of the car can be a little peculiar at times: with slimmer tyres at the front than the rear and quite a long wheel base, it can understeer on you at times especially when you open up its 475hp. It will require a smooth technique with patience to once again get the nose tucked into the corner.
Turn-in response is good, but getting on the power too heavily mid-corner and through the exit can lead to understeer, and some cases oversteer, making the car a little unpredictable to drive. If you’re smooth with her though, she’ll respond nicely and reward you with good lap times. But here’s a warning: Push the in-game 512 BB LM to the limit too long and you’ll burn through the tyres and find yourself struggling for grip in every turn.
In my opinion, the most iconic car of the Pack, and quite possibly of all time! The Ferrari F40 was very much a race car for the road, producing over 500hp with maximum boost from its twin turbo 2.94L V8 and capable of hitting the mythical 200mph. It has very wide rear tyres because of that, and double wishbone suspension, but despite the power the car is quite easy to drive.
It being a very powerful road car, smooth technique is required to get the most performance out of it. The car is beautifully balanced on turn-in as you can use a little bit of trail-braking if needed to hook the car into the apex. Too much, though, and the rears will come around on you, and carrying too much speed in will probably see you understeering wide so be calculated with your approach into the turn.
Upon the apex, there is a very nice sweet spot just as the turbos are spooling up and kicking in, where they spin the rear tyres up just the right amount to help rotate the rear in a neutral slide, requiring little steering effort. Get too heavy on the throttle though, and you’ll probably find the turbos spinning those rears too heavily causing large amounts of oversteer. Fun, but not good for lap time, so be careful in your throttle modulation and you will be rewarded.
Ferrari F355 Challenge
The second race car of the Pack, the F355 Challenge is a single spec’ race car that very much works to sort out the men from the boys! Ferrari pretty much took the road car, stripped it, threw in a roll cage, race suspension, brakes and tyres, and then added a rear wing. It features the same 3.5L V8 that produces 375hp from the road car, and a 6 Speed H-pattern gear box.
Handling wise, this thing loves to eat up corners! Turn-in response is immediate, with tons of grip that is incredibly confidence-inspiring and encourages you to get on the throttle early. Power delivery is smooth too, so you really can drive the car hard out the corners with little fear of the tail biting you or kicking out with oversteer. There is a bit of on power understeer if you’re jumping on the throttle too early which is caused by the very stiff front springs in-game, but if you get the timing right, you’ll be slipping through corners almost as if they aren’t there.
Ferrari 458 Speciale A
The first of the three modern cars in the Ferrari Essentials Pack, and a very capable and enjoyable road car too. The car features a mid-engine 4.5L V8 producing 600hp, and with it being naturally aspirated, produces that fantastic Ferrari V8 note.
The balance of the Ferrari 458 Speciale A in-game is beautiful, handling fantastically well through the corners with eagerness upon entry, and with just a hint of mid corner understeer. Using the throttle will help to combat this and rotate the car through the corner and out through the exit, with some nice drifting allowed if you open up the Traction Control Slip to allow more wheel spin.
It’s obviously detrimental to the tyres but is great fun hanging the tail out by balancing the throttle and using the steering control the angle of the slide.
If you want that ultimate lap time performance, you’ve got to keep it smooth and hold the car just short of this limit, right on the very edge of it about to break free to get the power and momentum out the corners.
Ferrari F12 tdf
A lot of car journalists make the Ferrari F12 tdf out to be a tyre-eating sideways monster and that’s the case in-game if you take on the Pirrelli P-Zero Corsa tyres. On the default Trofeo-R tyres, though, the F12 is a fantastic blend between power and cornering performance. The car features a 6.3L V12 producing 769hp with a 7-speed dual clutch gear box, producing rapid acceleration on towards some impressive top speeds.
This being a high-performance supercar, you’ll need to watch your braking points. It’s too easy to build up speed and brake too late, so make sure you’re giving yourself room to bleed off that speed before turning in.
Smooth and balanced throttle inputs are needed through the corner to hold the car, and slightly more throttle is helpful to rotate the car in more. Too much, and you will see the rear kick out a little, so be gentle and feed the power progressively through the turn.
If you get it right, you’ll have a small amount of oversteer to contend with before romping down the next straight. Get it wrong, and you’ll be fighting the massive slide you’d have induced which if you catch and hold will probably have you laughing your head off. Not good for lap times, but still a ton of fun whichever way you’re driving it.
Ferrari FXX K
The “monster” of the Pack. This car is just an utter weapon in all ways! It features the 6.3L V12 from the LaFerrari but tuned to pop out 850hp. Couple that with a 142kW electric motor, and you get a whopping 1,035hp in top-race spec.
Adjusting the fuel map in the ICM (In-Car Management) menu in-game will allow you to switch between different engine modes and power outputs:
- Lean: Limited to 600hp, won’t deploy any KERS energy through the e-motor but will recharge it under braking.
- Normal: Ups the power to 720hp, and will deploy KERS energy and recharge in moderate amounts. This mode is easily controllable, and a good setting to get to terms with the FXX K.
- Rich: The full 1,035hp. It’s full attack mode, with maximum power output from the engine and full recharge and deployment from the KERS energy system.
But with all the power comes great responsibility! You’ll need to be smooth with your throttle application in order to keep the rear in-check, increasing the throttle application as you get the car straight and out the exit of the turn.
Power delivery is silky smooth, but it’s also immediate, so having a large amount of steering lock and throttle application is going to see you sliding and fighting the car to keep it in line. And while braking performance is sublime, you should keep in mind what we said about power—over a ton of hp means you’ll be hitting some insanely fast speeds in an insanely quick time. You’ll need to brake earlier than you think to get it slowed down for the corners.
Turning ability is around the range of GT3 cars, with fantastic grip from turn-in and continuing through the turn to the exit. It’s really just that power that can make the car a bit of a handful. If you’re moderate and smooth with it though, it will reward you with some blistering laps on any track you put it on.
So now that you’ve had a quick intro in the fantastic cars in the Ferrari Essentials Pack, it’s time to sit back and find your passion with @Yorkie065 driving the wheels off these beautiful red cars!