In my 80s Racer the car only had two gears, a “low gear” and “high gear” much like the racers from that era. The implementation is quite simple. With some easing functions I made sure that the low gear accelerates fast but has a limit to the speed. The high gear accelerates slow but gives the car a higher speed.
However in the Virtua Racing game, the formula one car has more gears. A couple of easing functions build on top of oneother is not going to cut it. Since I’m going for a more arcade racer, I don’t need real physics. In fact, the game logic will be mostly 2D. Thus a 2D physics engine to deal with my cars accelerating and a bit of drifting will suit my game nicely. Time for some research! Reddit has a nice topics about cars, gears and how to simulate it. Another great find is this one by Marcus Monster.
The reddit topic was quite a revelation; the current speed of the car is used to calculate the rpm of the engine. In all interesting stuff.