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DescriptionAn F-Zero machine is a racing craft used in the futuristic world of racing in which the F-Zero Grand Prix takes place. F-Zero machines are capable of reaching speeds from 900 to 1600 km/h, depending on the machine settings. F-Zero machines can weigh from less than a ton (which is considered light) to numbers well above a ton and a half (considered a heavy machine). There are many factors that help F-Zero machines reach their exorbitant speeds, being the first and most obvious the lack of contact with the ground, which eliminates friction completely. However, in order to retain control and avoid slipping over the tracks, machines are equipped with a device known as G-diffuser system, which allows F-Zero machines to get a hold of the magnetic tracks that all F-Zero circuits have. This system is what allows them to hover a few centimeters above the track, instead of falling over it or fly away. However, some particular terrain types block the action of the g-diffuser system, making the machine lose magnetic grip and drifting over the track instead of holding accurately into it.
F-Zero machines are easily tuned before each race, by allowing the pilot to choose between having a better acceleration or a higher top speed, according to the track. Steering response and grip are not tuneable, theay are predetermined characteristics of each machine. The steering system used by the ships are standard three way rudders, much like the ones used in modern airplanes. However, by using these rudders in combination with variation in the intensity of the magnetic field of the g-diffuser system, a pilot can voluntarily sacrifice grip to initiate an almost full sideway drift or a leaning in the machines level angle to increase cornering abilities. The engine used by an F-Zero machine is a lightweight plasma engine that works at very high temperatures but produces a huge ammount of thrust that, combined with the hovering action, allows the machine to get to it´s super-high speeds. PLasma engines are also equipped with a system that allows them to sacrifice some of the ship´s energy in order to increase their power output and work ratio, creating a short but powerful boost. The higher the machine´s boost rating is, the longer and more powerful the boost is. Machines are also rated in body strength; having a higher rating means the machine is more durable and shock-resistant, yet it also tends to increase weight by the added body armor. The grip rating shows how steady is the machine while cornering; a machine with a high grip rating will tend to take turns in closed racing lines and not tail-wagging unlike a machine with a lower grip rating, which drifts easily. A machine´s weight affects all of the previously mentioned categories; a light machine is easier to handle and has better acceleration but is less durable, while a heavy machine can sustain more damage and get to higher top speed using the inertia created by it´s mass.