The LeGran S V6 at the East Coast, USA Gas Station.
By Jacob Hampton
In the December 21, 2016 update for BeamNG.drive, otherwise known as Version 0.8, a new and unique vehicle was added to the game: the 1984-1988 Bruckell LeGran mid-size front-wheel-drive sedan. This car, equipped with a beam axle at the rear and a gaggle of measly engines, has to be one of my favorite vehicles of BeamNG.drive, and not just because of its newness. Although the 1990-1996 Gavril Grand Marshal, the 1988-1991 Ibishu Pessima, the 1985-1989 ETK I-Series, and the 1953-1954 Burnside Special all have the Bruckell sedan beat in power, the LeGran more than handily uses what power it has, while being quite fuel-efficient and costing very little to buy.
The LeGran’s drivetrain options are quite pathetic compared to the more powerful vehicles in BeamNG.drive. Four engines (a 92-horsepower 2.2-liter inline-four, a 114-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-four, a 151-hp 3.3-liter V-6, and a 158-hp 3.8-liter V-6) motivate the front wheels of the Bruckell sedan, and the 3.8-liter V-6 can be equipped with a Stage 1 supercharger to bring the power up to 203. Four transmissions (4- and 5-speed manuals, as well as 3- and 4-speed automatics) are available. In comparison, the Grand Marshal – a car that be had for a similar price – has two transmission options (a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic), but from standard puts out 215 horsepower from its unsupercharged 4.5-liter V-8, and up to 607 horsepower from the Stage-3-supercharged 5.5-liter V-8. The 1988 Pessima starts with 123 horsepower from its 1.8-liter inline-four, and can push out up to 543 horsepower when upgraded to a 2.0-liter inline-four with a Stage 3 turbocharger; the even more powerful Burnside pounds out anywhere from 153 to 1,519 horsepower. In other words, the LeGran isn’t much of a drag car next to its rivals.
A sample of the LeGran range: the 158-horsepower SE V6 (black), the 114-horsepower S (grey), and the 203-horsepower V6 Sport (red).
Whereas most of the other sedans, such as the Hirochi Sunburst and the Burnside Special, are either rear-wheel-drive or available with all-wheel-drive, the LeGran is one of two sedans to never use its rear wheels for motivation (the only other FWD-only sedan is the 1996 Pessima). That may seem disadvantageous for straight-line acceleration (and it is, with the 203-horsepower V6 Sport getting to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, and the lower-power variants achieving 60 mph in 9.4-13.8 seconds), but it is not at all handicapping for racing. Compared to the 1988 Pessima and the I-Series – two cars that are in the same era as the LeGran – the Bruckell isn’t all that slow around a track. At the small Industrial Site Racetrack in the Perimeter layout, the LeGran’s front-wheel-drive layout meant that it could pull itself very neatly into the track’s tight corners. While it was not as fast as the 351-horsepower ETK I-Series Race (which did a lap time of 49.547 seconds), the LeGran V6 Sport’s 52.015 lap time puts it two seconds faster than the base-model Hirochi SBR4 supercar, and it is only four tenths of a second down on the 358-horsepower all-wheel-drive 1988 Pessima Custom.
Another great advantage to the LeGran is its low price. The 1988 and 1996 Pessima, the Grand Marshal, and the I-Series all start off in the $2,500-4,000 range for a base model. While $4,100 is not very much for an I-Series, the Bruckell sedan begins at $1,500 for its base model with the 92-horsepower inline-four and a 3-speed automatic. That may not sound like very much car for the money (and it is not), but that low base price means that on a budget, the LeGran would be far easier to customize into a race car than the more expensive competition. For only a bit more than the 123-hp, $2,600 1988 Pessima 1.8 DX, the $2,650 LeGran S V6 has 151 horsepower from its 3.3-liter V6. For only $3,850, the V6 Sport LeGran can annihilate almost anything at its price level that isn’t an Ibishu Covet, while costing only $250 more than the Grand Marshal Base. That’s not even considering the Burnside, which costs an insane $17,500 for the cheapest 3-speed manual version, and up to $35,000 for the Drag variant with 1,519 horsepower (which still wasn’t faster than the LeGran Sport around the Perimeter race track, with a 52.172-second lap time).
The LeGran also is a relatively lightweight vehicle in comparison to the other American sedans in BeamNG.drive. While the Burnside and Grand Marshal may have quite a bit of power from their V-8 engines, they both weigh between 3,950 and 4,150 pounds. That is a substantial amount more than the more average 1988 Pessima and Sunburst, both weighing about 2,900 pounds from standard and maxing out at 3,075 pounds in their Hill Climb variants. However, the more power-limited LeGran weighs a mere 3,009 pounds in its base trim, with the heaviest Luxe V6 at only 3,142 pounds. Although it may not be Pigeon light, the LeGran is by far the lightest American vehicle in BeamNG.drive, with only the Gavril Barstow coming anywhere near it.
That light weight gives the LeGran better fuel mileage than the Grand Marshal and Burnside, as well. The base-model Bruckell, at a steady 55 miles per hour, achieves a decent 26 miles per gallon (mpg); the SE inline-four LeGran achieves an even better 32 mpg. The Grand Marshal Base, however, only gets 21 mpg at 55 miles per hour – a ways into pickup truck territory for a sedan; the Burnside is even worse, averaging a pitiful 10 mpg with the three-speed manual. While only slightly more efficient than the 1988 Pessima and the I-Series, which achieve 30 and 31 mpg respectively with their base models, the LeGran certainly is a lot more economical than the full-size American sedans.
A front-wheel-drive (FWD) sedan that only ever is front-drive, and that has only 203 horsepower at max, doesn’t sound very fun to drive. However, the LeGran is very much enjoyable compared to the “sporty” Sunburst Sport S, 2400tix TTSport, and 1988 Pessima GTZ. Whereas these sedans practically do every basic task for the driver through their all-wheel-drive systems and turbocharged engines, the LeGran can be a more rewarding vehicle to drive fast because of its relatively low limits.
Overall, the Bruckell LeGran is an amazing vehicle to drive, and is a lot more practical than the Ibishu Pessima or ETK I-Series. It may not have sophisticated suspension, high power, or great handling, but it does have more than enough capability to beat quite a few higher-priced vehicles around a racetrack. It’s the most fuel-efficient American car as of right now, and is certainly one of the most fun vehicles to drive in the game along with the Ibishu Pigeon and Covet. The unpretentious and subtle-looking LeGran is quite possibly “le grandest” sedan in the game, and one of the best vehicles ever in BeamNG.drive.
Picture Credit: BeamNG, J-2, Myself
Info Credit: BeamNG, Myself