- This article also has a troubleshooting page.
- This article is about the player's Satsuma. For the abandoned version, see Satsuma GT (abandoned).
The 1974 Satsuma AMP is a subcompact Japanese coupe based on the Datsun 100A/Nissan Cherry E10. It is the player's car and the principal vehicle in My Summer Car, serving as the player character's project car.
Design and inspiration
Its age is further reinforced through the intro of the game, which shows the player's mother giving birth to the player in the back seat of the car in 1976. It can be assumed that the family-owned that car back then, and its more pristine condition circa 1976 suggests a 1973 to 1976 model, judging by the rear lights available back then. Final drive flanges are triangular. Together with bigger tail lights, this tells us that car is either a 1973 or 1974 model. Later models shared the round flanges with the successor model F10 that was introduced in Japan in late 1974. Sales of this "Cherry F-II" model started outside of Japan a couple of years later, in 1976. Production of these two Cherry models overlapped a couple of years. The official model year of the car was finally confirmed through the updated drag race time slip, which refers to it as a 1974 model, making the car 21 years old as of Summer 1995.
From the note left by the player's parents, we can clearly make out that this car belongs to the player's father. The parents also say that it will be sent to the junkyard if the player doesn't do anything with it and that he can keep it after he assembles it and makes sure it passes inspection. It is implied the Satsuma is the player's 19th birthday gift because of the birth sequence in the intro.
The idea for the car likely originated from the Finnish comedy and drama film Pohjanmaa, since, like the Satsuma, the Datsun in the movie doesn't have a gas tank door and has the same license plate like the one received in the game after inspection: VBX-403. A yellow Datsun 100A with leopard seat covers is also featured in the film Vuonna 85 ('In '85').
Features and performance
The Satsuma is equipped with a 1.0L (988 ccs) inline four-cylinder gasoline engine, with a front-wheel-drive four-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission and features a four-wheel independent suspension.
Compared to other drivable vehicles in the game, the Satsuma is one of the most technically complex vehicles in the game, with a fully-working and accessible engine, chassis, drivetrain, suspensions, cooling system and electrics comprising of a large number of individual parts to be assembled with the aid of a toolbox (a spanner or ratchet set). The car's original wheels comprise of narrow steel rims with worn road tires (which can be adorned with stock hubcaps) that must be salvaged from elsewhere in the beginning. The car is also highly customizable with a myriad of available performance parts and cosmetics as well as tuning options. Its interior is among the earliest vehicle interiors in the game to be fully-functional, with working sun visors, window winders, dashboard instruments, window wipers, mirrors, a folding passenger seat, seatbelts, and a glove compartment (added in the 17 April 2017 update, along with the circular black fuel cap).
The car's stock parts are typically revealed to be wholly inadequate for long term use, with parts starting out with a mixed bag of conditions, the radiator struggling to keep the engine cool, the worn suspension system and tires poorly suited for dirt roads, constant leaks of the motor oil and brake and clutch fluids even when the car is not running, and an aging stock oil filter and battery in need of replacement. A considerable number of parts can also deteriorate from use (i.e. tires and engine components) or detach from impacts (i.e. the fuel tank, bumpers, doors, etc.). For these reasons, the player is expected to constantly conduct maintenance and repairs on the Satsuma and replace many of the stock parts out of necessity. The Satsuma is also the only vehicle to store body deformation data.
The top speed of the Satsuma varies. At the car repair shop, a lot of final gear settings can be chosen (see below), which changes the top speed and acceleration of the car. 3.700 is the longest ratio and gives the highest top speed, over 220 km/h.
Final gear change options
Every final gear costs 1,350 mk.
- 4.286 (default top speed, 192 km/h)
- 3.700 (223 km/h)
- 4.625 (the shortest ratio, gives the fastest acceleration, recommended for rallying, top speed 180 km/h)
- The Satsuma's power band is at the higher RPMs (4500 to 6500). Remember to downshift at low RPM to take advantage of it. DO NOT ever downshift over 5000 RPM because the engine will fail catastrophically, causing extensive damage and some parts (such as pistons, main bearings) to become disassembled. These can all be repaired or replaced at Fleetari's Repair Shop, but it will be very expensive.
- When cornering at high speeds, the back end may lose grip which could result in a crash. Take corners more slowly or be ready to countersteer. Alternatively, you can put something in the boot to add more weight to the back (e.g., a beer case or two).
- Besides the windshield of the van and the Gifu, the Satsuma is the only car that has parts that can actually break. Consider that when driving.
- There are many bumps in the road that can rip out your exhaust, fuel tank, bumpers or wheels. Take your spanner/socket set and the car jack with you to make quick repairs on the road.
- If you experience a coolant leak, or you simply forgot coolant and your temperature is rising, pop the car into a higher gear or hold the clutch to let your car roll in neutral after building up speed, as higher RPM means more heat production. Alternatively, you can always drink something that you have with you and pee into the radiator, which might buy you enough time to reach your home or Teimo's shop.
- If the car doesn't start after a crash, check if the fuel tank is still attached. The fuel tank commonly falls off after a crash. If it has, reattach it.
- If the car doesn't power any of the gauges/lights and won’t start after a crash, the battery has fallen off, the battery now being the easiest main part to fall off in a crash. To reinstall it, loosen the negative and positive terminal clamps and reinstall the battery, then tighten the terminals back up.
- The stock radiator in the car is not very effective for heavy driving and will overheat when doing so. Therefore, it is recommended to buy the racing radiator first. The racing radiator is also one of the few aftermarket parts to pass Inspection.
- The car doesn't have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), so heavy braking without using the clutch will cause the front wheels to lock up, potentially stalling the engine or causing you to drive into a ditch, damaging the front of your car.
- The Satsuma, being an old car, experiences leaks. After driving for some time, you must check the oil and most importantly the brake fluids. Also, make sure that all of the brake line bolts are properly tightened.
- Make sure to fasten your seatbelt (if stock seats are installed) or the racing harness (if bucket seats, four-point harness and roll cage are installed) when driving. Not only do they reduce the risk of fatality, but you will also be fined for not wearing a seatbelt if you pass through a police checkpoint unbuckled.
- The Satsuma has removable seats, which makes it easier to transport more goods, but make sure you do not remove the driver seat or else you will not be able to drive.
- To save up on cash, don't use coolant and pee in the radiator instead.
- It takes five seconds to cold start the satsuma.
- Don't ever step on the gas while starting with racing flywheel, car will overrev and breakdown.
- It is possible to set fire to the car, causing parts to break, the paint will also blacken. (disappears when you save)
- The Satsuma being a front wheel drive car understeers alot on dirt roads. It is very recommended to slow down on each corner unless you're going around 60 kilometers per hour.
Tips and tricks
It is highly recommended to buy the air-fuel gauge and extra gauges while rebuilding the car. With that said, you can easily tune the carburetor at home with the air-fuel gauge. The extra gauges are just needed to check the oil pressure and battery charge. Other than that, you should try to find the RPM gauge. After all, the car's clock is just useless when you've got yourself a fancy watch after fighting at the pavilion. Last but not least, if you've got the dough, buy the racing radiator as soon as possible. The stock radiator is half dead and if you want to keep using it, pair it with the GT grille instead.
The car has no anti-roll bars, making it easy to flip and make barrel rolls if crashed at a high speed.
Custom paint jobs
The Satsuma can be painted with a custom template. You can do this by picking the "Custom paint made by artist" option in the brochure at Fleetari Repair Shop, after having edited the template in the game's folder. Below are a couple of example paint jobs.
- The below skins are only for demonstration. If you'd like to share your own creations, please do so on the Reddit or the Steam car skin thread, as the wiki is not a personal file host.
Satsuma AMP GT
Following the 20 August 2019 update, an upscale GT spec Satsuma is explicitly revealed to exist in the game's canon. Based on a poster of the car in the player's bedroom, the Satsuma GT is touted as having a twin-carb upgrade on its existing 1.0L engine that increases its horsepower to around 70 hp, capable of top speeds of around 190 km/h and an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in ~12 seconds. The variant is also equipped with a front and rear spoiler body kit, GT paintwork in either orange or green, sporty 8-spoke rims, as well as an RPM gauge in place of a clock, and a premium steering wheel and central short-shifter console with wood grain finishing.
While the player's Satsuma does not start out with a GT trim, the player can eventually fully outfit the car with GT upgrades, a requirement to complete the "Satsuma GT" achievement. The complete list of necessary components to unlock the achievement includes a GT grill, a center console, GT rims, a GT steering wheel, a GT rocker cover, special GT trim body paintwork (available from Fleetari's workshop), a front spoiler, a rear ducktail spoiler, a window grille, twin carburators, and an RPM gauge on the dashboard meters.
The Satsuma GT is suggested to be inspired by the Datsun 120 GX prototype.
- The Satsuma has a horn on the default and a GT steering wheel that can be used. There is no control for it in the settings, but one can press on the steering wheel to honk at people. At this moment it does not affect anything.
- The rear window has two stickers, one being the popular white rounded sticker with the country's identifier (SF) and the second being an ad for the Satsuma, probably still from the dealership when it was brand new. The slogan "Sitkeään suhaukseen Satsuma" means roughly "For tenacious driving, Satsuma". It's a parody of the slogan "Lujaa Lada Laatua" ("Strong Lada Quality") that was used by the former Finnish Lada importer Konela. Prior to the 13 March 2017 update, the rear window of the car had a sticker that reads "Oispa Kaljaa", which translates to "I wish I had beer", a common Finnish joke.
- It's never explained why the Satsuma is fully disassembled at the start of the game. There is nothing mechanically wrong with the car other than the parts being old and worn. All these parts can be put back together and the car will drive normally. The only exceptions are the battery, radiator and oil filter.
- A "satsuma" is both a type of mandarin orange and plum; the former is commonly sold in Finland. "Satsuma", besides being the name of a real town in Japan, could, therefore, be a play on the name of the real car the vehicle is based on, the Nissan Cherry. Given that it is a citrus fruit, and the automobile frequently breaks, it can also be loosely interpreted to mean "Asian Lemon".
- A wreck of a Satsuma, implied to be a GT variant, can be found alongside a GT center console and it can be towed to Fleetari for some money.
- There is a poster of the car flipped over in the Lindell inspection shop.
- Satsuma is actually the car manufacturer, as evidenced by the Alternator belt while it's not installed, as well as the Center console GT, which has "Satsuma Motors" written in it. The car's actual model name is AMP (A badge can be seen next to the right taillight), based on a nickname the car has in Finland, "Sata amppeeri", which translates to "One hundred amp" and is written as 100A.
- The player can "tune" the gear ratio longer than 3.700 via MSC Editor. Search for gear ratio tuning in the "Satsuma Report" section.
- While the engine is turned on the Gear Stick will shake, likely meaning it needs new Transmission mounts.
- During the 90s in Finland the 100a was known as a cheap and common car, popular among amis teens. This is why many characters in the game shun or make fun of the Satsuma.
- With 60 FPS, the GT trim Satsuma can do 0-100 in 12 seconds, for Satsuma it is almost 15 seconds.
- The Ignition sound effect was likely taken from a video on YouTube named 1979 Datsun 120a F11 Coupe cold start up, as the audio from 0:07-0:11 bares an exact match to the sound file that plays in game.
- If the cars rolls over, the engine shuts off.