The latest Gran Turismo Sport “World Tour” event has been quite a show in Salzburg, Austria today. In addition to some great racing, Polyphony Digital used the live stream to show off a freshly-updated Fuji Speedway track and an assortment of new cars, including the NSX Type R, Nissan 300ZX, and Porsche 911 GT3 (997).
While all will be popular additions, there’s another Porsche coming that is particularly special, and it has a long and somewhat secretive history in the Gran Turismo franchise: the 2001 Porsche 911 GT3 (996).
As hardcore fans of the series (or those of you who own our GT reference book, GTPEDIA) know, the 996 was actually the first (and, until GT Sport came along last year, the only) Porsche to ever appear in Gran Turismo.
It was completely hidden within Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, only accessible via Game Shark cheat code.
Through various interviews, we learned the 996 was one of Kazunori Yamauchi’s personal favorite cars of the day. He even owned one, and his personal car appeared briefly in the Attack Gran Turismo DVD which offered a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec.
There has long been speculation about why the 996 was in the game at all: perhaps it was pulled at the last minute due to the start of the Porsche/EA exclusivity license that expired in 2016? Perhaps Kazunori just wanted to be able to drive his favorite car in the game?
We may never know for sure, but at least it doesn’t matter so much anymore: after 17 years of waiting, we’ll all finally be driving the 996 in Gran Turismo Sport: the car will arrive in the game via free online update next week.