So, two days ago on Status Report it was mentioned that the top speed of the Action X Centurion was historical, that it was based on the South African Olifant (no relation to that BabyOlifant fellow from the WoT forums):
Naturally, this made me curious and so I started digging into the history of the Olifant and the upgrades South Africa made to their Centurions.
Project Skokiaan began in 1972, with the goal being to replace the always unreliable 650hp Meteor engine. The replacement was the 810hp V-12 AV-1790 gasoline engine, which had seen service in the early variants of the M48 Patton, which was coupled to a new three speeed automatic transmission. In 1974, Project Semel was undertaken to further improve both the engine and tranmission, and it was under Project Semel that the Centurion reached a power to weight ratio of 16.5 hp/ton and a top speed of 50km/h, up from the 35km/h it got with the 650hp Meteor engine, and effectively doubling the vehicle's range.
Now here's where it gets interesting. Under Project Olifant in 1976, the engine was replaced with a 750hp V-12 AVDS-1790 (used on the M60, and Israeli Centurions and M48s) and possibly a new transmission, which lowered the power to weight ratio to 13.4hp ton, and the top speed down to 45km/h, however the range further increased due to the diesel engine and fuel efficiency. With some other improvements, this became the Olifant Mk. 1
Near as I can tell, it took the Olifant Mk. 1A to finally replace the 20-pdr with the 105mm L7, but it's the Mk. 1B that's interesting. The engine on the Mk. 1B was repalced again with a 900hp engine, but apparently this was later superceded by a V12 950hp engine, possibly an American engine by way of Israel. In addition, the entire suspension was comprehensively rebuilt with individual torsion bars for the roadwheels rather than the outdated Horstmann suspension.
So having researched all of that, I went back and looked at the engines of the Centurion Mk. I and Centurion Mk. 7/1 in-game, of which the elite form of the Centurion Mk. I is the Centurion Mk. III, and the elite form of the Centurion Mk. 7/1 is the Mk. 9. The Centurion 1 starts out with a 600hp Rolls-Royce Meteor engine, upgrades to a 650hp Rolls-Royce Meteor engine, which near as I can tell pretty much all of the Centurions in British service used for the entirety of their service, and finally as an elite engine it gets a 750hp Meteor engine that may or may not have existed, and certainly wasn't mounted on any mark of Centurion even close to a Centurion Mk. III, which with its historical 650hp engine, went a whopping 35km/h. In-game however, the top speed of the Centurion Mk. I is 40km/h,
The Centurion 7/1 on the other hand, starts out with the 650hp Meteor engine, gets the aforementioned (and possibly fictional) 750hp version, and then gets a 950hp Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, that I can only find a single source as to ever being fitted to a Centurion. What's incredible however, is that the top speed of the Centurion 7/1 in-game is still 40km/h, even though the South Africans managed to get 50km/h with the 810hp AV-1790, and 45km/h with the 750hp AVDS-1790 and a lower power to weight ratio.
However, it doesn't end there, as I came across something very interesting along the way. Namely that the Olifant Mk. 2 has a 1040hp diesel engine, also possibly of US origins via Israel. I even found an article from 2005 detailing that BAE had won the contract to upgrade more of the Olifant Mk. IBs to Mk. 2 standard, which includes 1040hp engine. So having found this, I decided to go back and look at the stats for the Action X Centurion on Status Report and something jumped out at me:
Makes you wonder just what was meant by that statement regarding the Action X and Olifant, huh?
Anyway, I figured this could be a thread for instances like this, effort posts detailing just what Wargaming got wrong or might be fucking up in some way, either knowingly (as I believe to be the case here with the Action X being given some South African upgrades to make it competitive), or ignorantly, because they couldn't be bothered to do basic research. Hell, maybe I should try sending this into Status Report, get my name in all the papers or some shit.