Car of the Week 228: COTY GTS Finale

  • Thread starter Racer283
The 'problem' with the Mk1 Golf is that there hasnt been a legitmate use for this car? Like in leagues or custom etc.

Like the Mazda race car, great looking design, daresay great drive model... what compeitions do we use it in besides lobbies?

Its the problem I have with a lot of the cars they added post launch, they just get lost in the N-class abyss, never to be balanced to compete against similar cars of comparable performance
I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Volkswagens, in an exercise of understatement and slowly easing readers into a review, which Esther the editor insists to me is important for some reason. You can imagine then, that I wasn't super thrilled to be told in the one-liner text message I got this week to go to Flat 4 Garage in Meguro, Toukyo, THE place in Japan to go for all your antique, air cooled, rear mounted Flat 4 Volkswagen needs. I was to be there on even shorter notice than usual to meet with and pick up both the car and Esther the editor. Oh, and just to spice things up, the message didn't mention what the car was, either.

Things always gotta be mysterious and dramatic in COTW, doesn't it? Then again, I really don't think words were designed to describe the sheer, unadulterated, appalling atrocity that at best vaguely describes this week's car.

"So... what the hell is this?", I ask, dumbfounded and aghast when I first laid eyes on the rancid lump of rusting metal before me, hoping Esther could tell me more about the car and its sorry condition, having arrived before me.

"This is a first generation Volkswagen Golf, more commonly known as the 'Mark I'. This car is of significant historical value as it marked a turning point where Volkswagen shifted their main vehicle lines from air cooled, rear engine, rear drive layouts, to water cooled, front engine, front drive layouts. Intended as a replacement for the Beetle, the Golf similarly enjoyed tremendous success in the market, thanks to its combination of packaging, pricing, and, in the case of this GTI model as well, performance. An icon now in its own right for its ubiquity, this car is very much a 'People's Car' - true to the name of Volkswagen."

Esther lecture slowed for a bit with uncertainty as she realised I wasn't easing up with my stare and scowl. "Is this a test?", she asks. "This is the third best selling car model in the history of the automobile... surely you know more about it...?"

"No, this is a sheet car."

"How can you say that without having driven it?"

"How can I not say that after seeing THIS?!"

"Yes, well, it has quite the personalised flair..."

"Quite?! I think this 'people's car' has had way too much 'people' in it."

"Now, come on, Lee. I'd say you've been very lucky as far as car allocation goes in COTW. You've seen the rusted out cars found abandoned in barns others have had to drive against you. Please be an adult about this."

Against such adult logic dispensed to me by someone who looked way younger than I, all I could do was roll my eyes so far back, they might've done a full 360, and then some.

"Besides, this car is courtesy of an ardent fan of COTW reviews. They even have all these COTW stickers on the car, which you yourself hardly even use, if I'm to be completely fair here."

"That's because the cars I've been handed up to this point hadn't needed stickers to hold the bumpers together! We review the cars factory fresh, completely unmodified! How am I to offer a valid opinion on a car if it's in THIS state?!"

"Which is why you're picking up the car here instead of the car being delivered to you as usual." I detect a bit of a bite in her last statement, despite her objective word choice and completely flat tone. Something about this woman simply refuses to be written down. "Our mechanics have been hard at work all night long installing factory original parts on site, sourced at the last minute. We didn't have the time for the exterior... and really, the conversion cost combined would've surpassed the value of a new car entirely."

"So this is a sheet car."

"This is a historic car, I'm told. It seemed like a real bargain; it costs way less than the historic cars we've raced... you know..."

I sigh. "I don't get the appeal. Any way you look at it, it's just a clapped out, old butt hatch."

In a reversal of the usual roles, Esther then goes on to tell me more about the car: how this first gen Golf alone sold more than a million units in its nine year production run, and how this car is widely considered to be the first "hot hatch", while we waited for the scurrying mechanics to put on the last of finishing touches in trying to revert this grandma car back into a virgin beneath the skin. Given its historical significance and how common they are, and in turn, what kids tend to do with them, I'm not sure if it belongs more in a scrapyard rusting and rotting, or polished to a showroom sheen on display in a museum. And it, mind bogglingly, seems like it would be right at home in either scenario.

Despite being a road going car (in theory), I'm told the owner of this car expressly forbade us to drive it on public roads in Japan. That might explain the lack of a Japanese plate conversion, but I suspect there were more reasons than that for the car not being legally allowed to be on public roads. Nonetheless, the Golf was loaded up onto a truck to be ferried over to Tsukuba Circuit for the first race of the week. As a result of the people's car not being able to ferry people, poor Esther and I have had to resort to another hatchback to get us there: my Amemiya FD that I drove here to Flat 4 Garage. Missing out on the historic holiness of the Golf for the two hour drive through the heart of Toukyo, we've had to make do with modern atrocities such as having air con, airbags, power steering, ABS, a locking differential, a speedo that actually read below 20km/h, and having to use all four wheels instead of just two. Urgh.

Life is so difficult and unfair!


A lot of people criticise the FD for being a claustrophobic car, and I agree. Compared to the FD however, the Mark I Golf was so tiny, it felt less like squeezing into a rabbit hole and more like putting on a jacket; you don't get into a Golf as much as you wear it. And just like putting on a jacket, you'll hardly see it once you wear it, giving a very natural and shockingly intuitive feel to be in the driver seat, with a commanding view of all that surrounds you. The car does such a good job of disappearing around you that it really did sometimes feel to me like everything on the road I saw before me, I could walk over and reach my hand out to grab, instead of operating a machine to drive over and then get out to touch.

Once the lights went green, everything got even better, and I forgot all about the looks of my car. I've always loved racing small, slow cars, because they promote the closest, most mega racing that would put to shame modern F1. Unlike the nonsensical hot hatches of today, the Golf doesn't destroy the driving experience with a twenty mile wheelbase, rack twisting torque steer, and understeering into the next country every corner exit, trying to prove a frankly stupid point. Rather, the charm of the GTI lies in the single most important ingredient in a sports car: simplicity, and in turn, lightness. Because the Mark I GTI lacked everything I pointed out on my way here to Tsukuba, it weighs in at only 890kg (1,962lbs). That's lighter than a NA Mazda Roadster while offering a whole row of rear seats, to give some context.

For as much as I bemoaned the lack of features in the Golf on public roads, that might end up being more praise than criticism on the track, as the Golf immediately wins drivers over with the sheer simplicity and ease of driving the moment they turn the wheel for a corner. True, there are no differentials, no ABS, no nothing at all to help you around a corner, but it is precisely because of the lack of these technological features that I find defines the charm and driving experience of the car: everything is barebones, dead simple, and as a result of that, not only do you feel everything in the car, but you and only you alone are in control. There aren't twenty million drive modes to choose from. There is no complication, nothing to think about. You get in it, belt up, turn the ignition, and drive. Launching it? Just drop the clutch and hammer the throttle pedal down as hard as you can. Watch and hear the wheels spin a little bit, and you're off. No traction control, no modulating clutch and gas, just... get in and go. Approaching a corner? You brake, you let off the brake, you turn the wheel, and you give it gas. There is no drama. There are no surprises. And unlike most raw, hardcore cars without aids like Vipers, Yellowbirds, and TVRs, there is truly nothing intimidating about the Golf, making it an easily accessible entry point to learn how to drive without all the modern electrical and mechanical bells and whistles. Every parameter of the dynamics of the car is within expectations. You drive it like a car, and it goes like a car, bells and whistles be damned.

And, you know what? The Golf might lack ABS, locking diffs, and all that. But that's because it really doesn't need any of that crap to keep itself in check, unlike modern hot hatches that try to cram 300 horses through the front wheels. Because a literal golf ball travels faster than this car, and because the front disc brakes are weak as hell as well, the lack of ABS really doesn't detract from dry driving at all, even with pedestrian Comfort Medium tyres. You can pretty much stand on the brake pedal and the tyres won't even complain - heck, you can still turn the car a bit even with full braking on Comfort Medium tyres, to give you an idea of how lazy the brakes on this thing are. I kid you not when I say that the only place where I've managed to get the tyres to even squeal under braking is down the tricky downhill off neutral braking zones of Bathurst, and even then, the tyres just complained; never locked. Thankfully, because the car is so lightweight, the brakes are perfectly adequate for the speed the car does, never once leaving you feeling wanting for more.

Oh, and of course, in the wet, the wheels WILL lock if you just stomped on them. There, now you can't sue me. Surprised what needs to be explicitly spelled out nowadays... sheesh.

Oh, and the open differential? Almost inconsequential as well, due to it's modest power output. You'll only notice the lack of a locking differential if you pull the car off centre on full throttle suddenly, which causes the soft car to lean laterally. You'll then notice the engine revs subtly rise, but like a passing fart in the wind, it passes so quickly, it's not worth much thought. You simply don't need a differential with only 111PS and FWD, and driving the Mark I in 2020 makes one seriously rethink what a car needs and ought to have, even if I know perfectly well that we can never have a car as simple as this again.

Truly, the single most attention grabbing and complicated thing on this car is perhaps its golf ball shaped shift knob, which lets you play with five forward cogs (and one reverse) in this car. That's right: this peasant 111PS hatchback actually has more forward gears than a top of the line, turbo 911 of its era. Let that sink in for a minute.

There's are two design philosophies in video games that are pivotal to create addicting and satisfying gameplay, that still serve as a backbone to video games today. They are, "easy to pick up, difficult to master", and "the better you do, the harder it gets." Just like a video game in the eighties like Contra, the Golf is easy to learn the basics of. And really, the basics are all you'll need to do amazing things with it. Try to get better at them, however, and that's when the fun truly begins.

The harder you drive the Golf, the more you try to squeeze tenths and hundredths of a second out of the car every lap, and the car discreetly comes alive. Just like a video game, the Golf sets out its own rules to the player up front and eggs the driver on. This car is wonderfully communicative, all without the complication and language barriers of words. With all the rules of the game spelled out for you non verbally, fairly, and intuitively, how finely and consistently can you hold your perfect line through a corner to squeeze every last thousandth of a second from it?

Get it wrong, and the car will duly bite, like a great teacher should. At speeds so low, it's unlikely to be anything that won't buff out. Because of the car's light weight, it never feels uncooperative or unable to do what you're asking of it. Rather, it's the finer things, like the suspension, the tyres, the throttle control - all wonderfully communicative things that are in your control and yours alone - that will make or break any given corner. Suddenly, all the farts in the wind become important. Suddenly, you need to be smooth with your inputs to prevent the open diff wasting power. Stomp on the brakes while the car is too off neutral, overcook a corner just a tad bit too much, and there is no power to help mask your mistake, and no rear wheel drive to help rotate the rear end out. And with only 111PS to get you to the next corner, you will be feeling that mistake for a long, long time.

Get it right, however, and it will truly feel as gratifying as learning how to tap dance on a tightrope. Just like a good video game, the Golf is its own reward for mastering it: it is INSTANTLY and INSANELY gratifying, leaving you wanting more and more of that same euphoria. Whether intentionally or otherwise, the Golf is an excellent, excellent teacher, due to its price, simplicity, and non intimidating nature. It will bite, but not debilitatingly so, at every mistake you make. And it will reward you in spades for getting it right, moreso than most other "sports" cars today. A lot of people claim that karting a great way to learn race driving - I disagree. You want to learn how to make a car go fast, buy a Golf Mark I. This has suspension, this has air in its tyres, this has gears. Most karts don't. And you won't learn how to maintain and take care of a car with a kart, would you? The Golf is not only an absurdly good teacher on track, but it is a good mentor in real life as well, I suspect. The road worthiness, extra seats, and trunk space are also nice bonuses.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how the "original hot hatch" fares against a modern "room temperature hatchback". Of course, when I wondered this, I hadn't yet been aware that several years ago in COTW, a Mark I GTI completely destroyed a Mark IV GTI somewhere in an American desert. Union Jacks, teeth punching, and aliens may or may not have been involved. Unbeknownst to this sorcery at the time, I indulged in my fleeting naïveté and innocence, and rented a fourth gen for myself, unwittingly poised to repeat a cursed cycle of events, as though I had just found myself the protagonist of an oddly motorsport oriented horror story. I rented myself... a Demio.


Challenging VW to a race in a diesel? Not the brightest idea I've had.

Of course, the first race I did in the Demio, I was sandwiched between a comparatively inexperienced driver beside me who wouldn't back out, and Vic bump drafting me from behind ensuring I couldn't back out, either... on the entry to Dragon Trail Seaside's Chicane of Death... in reverse.

Some days, you just gotta admit that you're cursed and accept it raw in your backside.

Anyway, on paper, the modern Demio loses out significantly: it has seven less ponies than the Mark I, and the pony deficiency has to cope with a whopping 190kg more. The diesel engine in the Demio needs to be short shifted, which puts it at an immediate disadvantage to the petrol engine making all its power up top in the Golf. Truly, the only advantage I had for certain was that I had insurance covering the Demio, I had a pop up HUD displaying my speed, sat nav so I know where the track is, had better fuel economy so I had to pit less over the 4 lap race, and I have one more forward overdrive gear. If I were being optimistic, I could hope that a few of the horses in the Golf has gotten sick of the fake grass in the golf course and wandered elsewhere (can you tell I've no writing talent from my analogies?) (Editor's note: we didn't need your analogies.)

So, could a more modern, more practical, insurance covered, sensible small hatch you can actually buy (or rent from Times Car Rental) keep up with a near 40 year old grandma of a car? Has age made the Mark I completely irrelevant today?

Almost, actually.

In Jeremy Clarkson's voice: TONIGHT, two grey hatchbacks drive closely to each other...

Vic wins nearly every race...

and aliens in an American desert!

Despite the gigantic difference on the spec sheets, the Demio only loses out slightly to the Mark Is on the straights, thanks no doubt to its one extra forward gear, and heaps of torque from the SkyActiv-D diesel. You can make up most of it in the corners, because while the Golf is a strict test of driving skill, requiring its driver to baby it around a corner to extract the best from it, you can (and have to) rag on the more modern car around every corner to keep up with the Golf. You have to be more aggressive and sharper with all your inputs - stomp on the brakes, pull hard on the steering wheel, toss the car with reckless abandon into a corner and trust that the car will cling. The better composed suspension setup enables the driver to be much rougher with the car, though I find that it isn't nearly as communicative as the one in the Golf, nor do I find it to be as good a teaching tool. But, because it more tightly controls the body movements, it makes better use of the uprated Sports tyres we were running for the race, which is where I think the time difference comes from. On more appropriate Comfort tyres... I'm not so sure if the Demio can keep up.

I once said I would rather spend two hours in a Demio than five minutes in a LaFerrari. That's how much I love the Demio and the driving experience it provides. Hopping out of the Mark I and directly into the Demio however, I'm flabbergasted by how numb and insulated the whole driving experience is in the modern car. The Demio hadn't half the fidelity, half the sense of occasion, from every avenue of communication a car is capable of, be it tyre noises, pitching, rolling, engine noises, throttle response, steering feel... as surprised and flabbergasted as I am to say this... the Demio isn't half the driver's car of the Mark I. I'm not sure if you noticed, but I'm kinda a Mazda fanboy by the way.

At the end of our weekly excursion, I do have to admit I've been quite impressed by a Mark I GTI. But in the few days it has taken me to write up to this point, I'm still quite torn on whether I like it or not, and whether I would recommend it to anyone.

Again, I'll lay my biases out on the table: I'm not very drawn to Volkswagens. Yet, the Mark I GTI was genuinely impressive - surprisingly so. I've praised the car for its lightness, for the raw experience it can provide. The excellent visibility out the cockpit. The noises. The softness. The simplicity, the accessibility, its non intimidating factor, and the precision it trains you for by demanding at all times. But that to me sounds like praising the whiteness of rice... they ALL do that. All cars of its era share those same traits. Sure, I'm told it's stiffer than a standard Golf. I'm told it has more power. But it's hard to really feel that extra stiffness and power without the context of being in the seventies and eighties, because today, it just feels... basic. Soft. Powerless. Indistinct. And just like white rice, there isn't really inherently anything wrong or bad with it. In fact, entire nations depend on it. It's just... on its own, it's so hopelessly bland, it's nigh intolerable. And that perhaps is why this car's owner had to do what they did to it.

I'll admit, a big part of the reason why my heart isn't so swayed by the Mark I is that, by 1983, you already have way better options than the Golf. For 5K USD less when brand new in the eighties, you could've had more power. You could've had the same practicality. You could've had a more iconic engine that redlines WAY higher. You could've had the same five speed stick. You could've had a car that was stiffer sprung, more well put together in the twisties, without sacrificing ride quality. You could've lapped Bathurst a whole FIVE SECONDS faster. You could've had a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. You could've had rear wheel drive.

For 5k USD less in 1983, you could've bought an AE86.

If the Mark I is a great teacher in grade school, then the 86 is like a lecturer in college, offering you way more depth in coverage with the same fidelity in the little details. The 86 will put the same emphasis on driving smoothly. It will even teach you about weight transfer, balancing the car, and how to induce, hold, adjust, and retrieve a slide - something the FF Golf couldn't. It will excite and enthrall you like nothing else on the road, even today. If the Golf handles like a go-kart, the 86 is telepathic by comparison. It's stiffer sprung, it's more composed and better put together in the corners, and it will encourage you to play and make you feel like a superhero in seven seconds more than the Golf would in seven generations. It will utterly destrolish any lap time set by a Mark I around any track. Hell, the 86 out accelerates the Mark I in a straight line! When has that ever happened? An 86 outrunning someone in the straights is the automotive equivalent of the sun eclipsing the moon! And if all that isn't convincing enough an argument, the Trueno 86 has pop up headlights.

I get that, in 1983, it would make more sense to compare a Mark II to the 86, but I honestly can't forsee myself preferring any FF Golf over the 86. And in modern times, I'd like my hatchback to actually have five doors, air con, warranty, ABS, and parts readily available. And have wheels that don't require special tools to remove. And don't require Hazmat suits to drive. And have gearboxes that don't explode after 5 centimetres on the odometer. Truly, a modern Golf sounds to me as much of a maintenance nightmare as people think my FD RX-7 is.

I just don't see the point of a Mark I, or any Golf, in any time period after the seventies, is what I'm trying to get at. I can only recommend the Mark I if you own a race driving school. For anyone else, I opine that there are better packages as a whole out there than the Golf.

It therefore earns my first Neutral verdict.

My first attempt at a German plate. There MIGHT have been a detail or two wrong about it ;)

Many European companies have conquered this grueling 24hr race but let alone the only Japanese company to take on this race was astonishing back in June 1991. You would be able to recognize the car by the noise of its Wankel Engine when it fly by you down the Mulsane Straight. I find it kinda ironic that this car is chosen because the 24hr of Le Mans was this past weekend. Let's welcome the iconic Mazda 787B to COTW. This weeks car is chosen by @XSquareStickIt

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Bring your own earplugs!

Eight years. Three games. And not ONCE did anyone think of testing this historic, orgasmic screamer of a car. Y'all a bunch of uncultured pigs! :lol:

I know everyone's been busy lately, but it'd mean a lot to me if more people shared their thoughts of the 787B. Even just a few short sentences would be amazing. I know I'm a fanboy, but I really want to know what people think of it, both the good and bad.

by the noise of its Winkel Engine

It's *Wankel* engine though...

It's called a Winkel because it wins, duh.

...okay I'll see myself out.
*peeks through keyhole* *talks behind door*

*ahem* I adore the 787B. I'm sure some have noticed this much, in a few of my posts.
First, the bad. I don't have VR. So, I can't look around the cabin as much as I'd love to. Limited vision to see all the detail. That's it.

Everything about the car is good. The sound. The shifting. The sound. The RAYS wheels. The sound. Awesome brakes and handling for a Group C car. The sound. The livery. The four round headlights. Watching a replay of it in wet conditions. The sound.

I feel many players don't use it because they think just because it's an NA engine, it can't compete with the turbo cars and the Jag's big V12. Poppy cock. Rubbish. Horse pucky.
It's not even an underdog. The car itself doesn't punch above its weight.
What the major feat are, small little ol Mazda, making a beast without pistons.

Experiment with and without ABS. It'll teach you throttle and brake control. Heighten your senses, your awareness of the track. Prepare you for how far you can push yourself.
Such a rewarding car to drive on a DS4. Must be otherworldly with a wheel. Being able to skip gears. Play with plucking 5th from a slow rolling start and experience the rise in revs to terminal velocity.
Drive it on any track. From Tsukuba to Nurb Tourist. Watch the replay. You can hear it a mile away. If this car doesn't bring a smile to your face, "Why so serious?!". Paint one on like The Joker.

You know what? The GT franchise has fast cars. It has unique cars, but even those unique cars are pretty much like everything else. Out of all the cars that have been in the GT franchise, there's not one car as loud, as fast, making every drive like it's the first time, like this car in the whole game. Not one.
Bring your own earplugs!

Eight years. Three games. And not ONCE did anyone think of testing this historic, orgasmic screamer of a car. Y'all a bunch of uncultured pigs! :lol:

I know everyone's been busy lately, but it'd mean a lot to me if more people shared their thoughts of the 787B. Even just a few short sentences would be amazing. I know I'm a fanboy, but I really want to know what people think of it, both the good and bad.

It's called a Winkel because it wins, duh.

...okay I'll see myself out.



Funny thing is: Winkel is actually a real German word and means angle or degree, as in measurements.

The 787B: I love it. The sound is bonkers. I learned of the car for the very first time in GT3 and it was love at first sight/hear/listen.
Helps, that it also looks amazing and drives fantastically/is super fast! Winning LeMans24h as the first Japanese car ever is icing on the cake.

I even used it in one of my YT vids, and I must day, even in GT3 it sounds "decent":

It's been a very, very long time since I've done anything GT related and just remembered this thread. There's been a whole number of factors which I won't really go at length about, but I am still very much a car man at the end of the day.

And what better way for the absurdly large veritcally-placed rectangular prism to make his comeback than the Mazda 787b?

Now, because it's been an eternity, I needed to get some warm-up to remember the controls and the gameplay. Had to work my way up from the Demio up to the 787b because I wanted to be sure I could put the car through the wringer.

So, the 787b. One of the most infamous racing machines to ever grace the hallowed tarmac of the Le Mans circuit. It's a four-rotor machine known for two things:
  1. Utterly curbstomping its opposition at the 1991 Le Mans and getting instantly banned as a result - it performed so well that it could have run another 24 hours without stopping. To add insult to injury, it used about half the fuel of the next best car in its class.
  2. Being obscenely loud.
My testing methodology will be 3 races on different tracks in Arcade Single Race. Sarthe, Spa and Suzuka will be the track. Gr. 1, Professional difficulty, stock car settings.

Using a Logitech G29 with the following settings:
Manual (MT)
Traction Control: 0
Auto Drive Off
Driving Line Assist Off
Brake Indicator Off
Low Fuel Indicator Off
ABS Weak

Controller Sensitivity: 7
FFB Max: 6
FFB Sensitivity: 6

Sarthe (3 Laps): Finished 1st. Fastest Lap 3:32.168 (Lap 3)
Spa (3 Laps): Finished 3rd. Fastest Lap 2:09.370 (Lap 2)
Suzuka (3 Laps): Finished 3rd. Fastest Lap: 1:52.639 (Lap 3)

Do you notice anything? The Mazda performed a bit worse on the smaller, more technical tracks...Which is an issue with the balancing of the Gr. 1 class. See, the intended sort of triangle here has the Gr.C cars such as the 787b sitting in the niche of "speed over handling", the VGTs in the "handling over speed" niche, and the IRL prototypes as the "jack of all stats".

Except you absolutely cannot afford to trade handling for speed in a category as fast and unforgiving as Gr. 1 outside of a few extreme outliers in car/track combination. The 787b is one of those cars where it's a very cool option because of its historical value and that holy noise coming out of the exhaust, but it has no competitive merit. Especially for a car using 29 year old aero and chassis technology.

Back when this thread was a GT6 thing, we used to rate cars either as Beaters or Sleepers.

Thing is, I can't pick. The 787b is a dream to drive, and that noise that its unique engine gives off is so satisfying. And yet...It's let down badly in a competitive context and has no merit in high-level play, making it basically no more than an expensive toy sitting in the Garage.

There's really only one rating I can give this car.


I know everyone's been busy lately, but it'd mean a lot to me if more people shared their thoughts of the 787B. Even just a few short sentences would be amazing. I know I'm a fanboy, but I really want to know what people think of it, both the good and bad.

Ooohhh, I do love me some group C, but... the Mazda isn't exactly the pick of the liter.
It's called a Winkel because it wins, duh.
Well we'll get to that one.

A bit of background first. During the late 80's sports car racing had started to get relentlessly popular with manufacturers and spectators alike. Group C's fairly open engine formula had allowed for wide and wonderful variety of cars, such as Jaguar with it's large displacement V12s, Sauber running with BMW and later turbocharged Mercedes engines, and both Porsche & Cosworth powering a host of different chassis through the years. By 1990 this meant a lot of money was going through the sport, which was a problem in the eyes of the FIA, who would rather that money was going towards F1. Thus a new set of regulations was proposed for next year. Out with variety and individuality, in with naturally aspirated 3.5 litre engines which oh would you look at that would look very nice in the back of an F1 car. What a coincidence.

Which brings us to Le Mans 1991. The grid was slit up in to two groups, going from the C1s and C2s of yesteryear to the equally imaginatively named category 1 and 2. Catagory 1 would feature new 3.5 cars from the likes of Jaguar, Sauber, and Peugeot. Meanwhile, in an effort to keep participation up pre-91 cars were still allowed to participate in category 2, but were subject to a hefty weight penalty bringing the old cars up to a base weight of 1000kg. Today's Mazda got put in category 2, with a twist. For reasons I can't find, though possibly due to the car's poor performance in previous years (last years 787s failed to finish, after only managing 22nd & 23rd on the grid), the Mazda was allowed to run without the weight penalty, leaving it a good hundred and fifty kilos lighter than the other cars in it's class.

The weekend that followed was a mess.

The first problem came during qualifying, when one of last years C11 Mercedes-Saubers took pole, followed closely by a new Jaguar. The gap to car in third, one of the brand new Peugeot's was almost 4 seconds. Only one other cat 1 car would make it into the top ten, which is not the best look when trying to promote your new "improved" cars of the future. In an effort to either save face, or utterly baffle spectators, all the cat 1 cars were allowed to start ahead of the cat 2 cars on the grid. The race would start of led by two Peugeot's, with their first real competition, the Mercedes, starting in 11th, and the race winning Mazda would start all the way back in 19th. Jaguar had decided to pull the XJR-14 from the race in favor of last years race winning XJR-12s, because of the second problem, reliability. The 905's would not keep their lead, during the first round of pit stops the #5 Peugeot would catch fire during refueling, costing it several places as it was being put out. Not that it would matter too much as only an hour and half into the race that same Peugeot would end up retiring with engine issues. The #6 later followed it's example and retired around the six hour mark with ignition issues. With the flagship cars gone Mercedes was free to take the lead as the Mazda and Jags would follow them up the order.

A Mercedes 1-2-3 looked likely until reliability issues started to creep in at the Swiss manufacturer. Mercedes #32 would be the first to fail, an object striking a hole in the undertray of the car costing the car several places as the team replaced it, only to have the car later fail completely. The #31 was next, suffering gearbox issues, which while they didn't take it out of the race would ultimately cost them the podium. The Mazda meanwhile had not only kept the Jags behind it thanks to better fuel efficiency, it was only two laps behind the remaining leading Mercedes. It wouldn't remain there though obviously, as with less than three hours to go smoke would signal the end of Mercedes' hopes. A broken cooling system left the mechanics with an overheated engine and no way to fix it in time, leaving the Mazda to pick up the lead, where it would stay till the end of the race.

After more than a decade of trying Mazda would finally get the first, and final win at Le Mans not only for itself, but for rotary engines in general. Despite the disastrous showing of the new regulations, with only one of the twelve finishing cars being a cat 1 car (which finished last), FIA would stick with them. This meant no more twin turbo V8s, Turbo flat sixes, or rotary engines. From here it would the usual tale of ridiculously expensive cars scaring away manufactures until group C died in 93', because we can't have nice things without F1 ruining them.

Apologies for any spelling or grammar weirdness, I'm not much of a writer usually.
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Its fast. I mean without even much in the way of any real skill and my 2nd lap EVER on the Nurburgring, I did a 6'15"... absolutely miillion percent sure deep sub 5 mins is easy with minimal practice.

Nothing weird in mine except a praiano tune and max power and weight loss at Level 1 (ie. no points spending).

I think its 888hp?

However the ride was too wild. I needed TC1 ABS1 and thats it. 360km/h final and I just pinged 352km/h on the straight.

I also did the trick of trying to accelerate in 2nd gear out of corners as 1st gear is a bit low. Hairpins are awesome with this much power (not really).

I havent driven this around Le Mans but its got to be easy given that the Ring isnt too hard in this car.

Also I feel like this car has been given a bit of Japanese bias boost compared to the western rivals but we may never be fully sure since the 5 cars cant be driven in a group environment in the game outside of gettng 5 friends together etc.

If you thought I wasn't going to post a speel on what is undoubtedly the hero car of my fleet, then you have been sorely mistaken.

Let's roll back the clock to the GT6 days. Lewis Hamilton was a COTW regular. The PS3 was still alive and well. And in true Nismo fashion, I had only just bought GT6 despite the game being out for two years already. The GT-R GT3 was one of the first big let downs for me in the GT6 days. When I first saw it, I WANTED IT. I was just getting educated in the ways of GT racing, having played NFS Shift 2 and gained a grasp of the ins and outs of the GT3 and GT1 classes. It was a GT3 Nissan, what's not to love?!

Well, as it turned out, the GT-R GT3 was an understeering, underpowered, underwhelming brick of a thing.

So you can imagine my hesitation to sign for Nissan in the Manufacturer Series when my only eligible Gr.3 car would be the exact same car I'd written off years ago. Maybe it was curiosity. Maybe it was my unwavering loyalty to a manufacturer that was at it's best thirty to fifteen years ago. Whatever it was, I signed with Nissan and took delivery of a GT-R Gr.3.

And after many, many seasons of driving it, years in fact, I don't think there's any other Gr.3 I'd drive. Any Gr.3 I COULD drive.
Here's the thing. The Gr.3 Nissan understeers. To the McEwens and Turismo Lesters of the world, it's not their first choice. In fact, it's probably not in their top 5. Or top 10. Or top...

..okay, okay, you get my point. But the thing is, driving it takes a surreal understanding of its characteristics, you know it's going to understeer, so you set up for the corner accordingly. It takes a bit of getting used to, but is well worth it. Why? Well, the Nissan's overwhelming strength is its raw speed. Up until rather recently, it would dominate anything and everything in a straight line. This made it particularly dominant at tracks like Fuji, Blue Moon Bay and (Funnily enough) Suzuka.

Last season, it got power reduced not once, but TWICE, which left it with arguably less of an edge, but if some of my recent performances are any sign, it's still very much a capable and dominant race car, able to do battle with the best of them. VLX_GTR proves this time and time again, and honestly I strive to get into that top split action in the mighty Nissan! It's sharp, it's quick, and due to its lack of popularity among the top, I reckon it's a sleeper!!

To finish, here's some of my best FIA performances in this beast of a car:

"It's very simple to judge a racing car; if it wins, it's good. If not, it's bad. Quite literally nothing else matters in a racing car." That's what I always say in my reviews when the subject is a racing car. By that line of reasoning, the 787B is a good racing car.

In fact, it is as good a racing car as I am bad with dry humour. It's no secret by now I'm a bit of a Mazda fan, and to me, the 787B is the single most influential and sensational of racing cars; it was the first ever Japanese car to ever win the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race outright, and for 27 long years, was the only Japanese car to do so. It still remains to this day as the only non-conventional piston engine car to win the event, amidst a fairy tale like story of last chances, decades of effort and preparation, befuddling politics, and of course, utterly ridiculous luck that would make even the most imaginative of harem authors wince.

As a result of these highly unusual breakthroughs, Mazda fans will slap its instantly iconic, recogniseable from a mile away orange and green RENOWN (RIP) livery on any Mazda, from Demios, to Roadsters, to RX-8s. Mazda themselves won't stop hogging the number "55" in all their racing cars, both fictitious and real, and you can be as sure to find the word "Mazda" brochures of any Mazda car as the words "787B", "Rotary Engine", "pioneer", "Jinba-Ittai", "never stop challenging", and "1991 24 Hours of Le Mans". Rotary Engine fans, often mocked for the unreliability of their cars, need only point to the 787B and say, "they're reliable if you take care of them, bro!"

The 787B is so historically and culturally significant, that to this day, it's still being maintained, put on display at Mazda's Museum in Hiroshima (tours in English are entirely free, by the way), and brought out for demonstration runs in fan events as recently as 2019. Mazda as a company has always been largely defined by the Wankel Rotary Engine, and the "2616cc" R26B Naturally Aspirated 4 Rotor in the 787B is THE definitive, granddaddy of Wankel Rotary Engines, and so it should stand to reason as well that the 787B is simply THE definitive Mazda as a result, which is why I've chosen to review this car in celebration of Mazda's centennium this year.

No dialogue about the Wankel Rotary Engine will be complete without mentioning the sound it makes... and the abysmal low end torque... and the weak apex seals... the "devil's scratch marks" caused by said apex seals on the housings of the engine... and heating issues... and how it drinks oil with almost the same ferocious thirst as actual gasoline... and the incompletely burnt carbons churning out the exh- look, we'll get to those in due time, okay? The SOUND of this thing... is utterly ungodly. Being an engine that operates on an entirely different principle of internal combustion, it of course sounds like nothing else on the road or grid.

I could tell you how sharp, baleful, and impatient it sounds. I could describe to you how it sounds like a maniacal, cackling, benevolent god writhing in self pleasure at its own comically devious plots when simply idling at a standstill. I could describe to you how insanely loud it is, that even on most wide open racing tracks, the sheer dimensions of noise that erupt from that tiny little "2.6L" package would reverb and echo off what little structure there is on a racing track. I could speak metaphorically about how guzzling and angry it sounds, shrieking with a woeful vengeance as though it wants to rend the air itself asunder with each approach to its redline. And Volker Weidler, one of the three drivers that drove the #55 car to overall victory in 1991, will probably also tell you that it made him deaf in one ear. But honestly, why would I waste my words and your time, trying to describe something that every motorsport fan needs to hear at least once in their lives?

And that, right there, is one of the very many reasons why I will never bother with F1.

So, with all that said, securely put on your earplugs, make sure you're comfortably seated, fasten your racing harnesses, close your eyes, take a deep breath and utter a prayer, because I'm about to tell you that...

The Mazda 787B is a load of crap in Gran Turismo Sport.

I am never ever going to get back into the good graces of the folks at Mazda after this, am I...?

If you were expecting a Le Mans winning car to exhibit acrobat like agility and flexibility, with the eagerness of a kitten on catnip chasing after a laser pointer dot held by a drunkard, you'd be right... twenty years later. As a whole, Group C cars seem to me like they emphasise straight line stability and ease of driving above all else - which makes sense in a 24 hour endurance event split between just three drivers. As a result, the 787B handles like a freight train - it can and will go fast as all hell, but good luck getting it to stop and turn.

It should perhaps come as a surprise then, to learn that the 787B weighs in at only 830kg (1,830lbs), comes with carbon composite brakes, and enough frontal area to write this entire review on. If those figures aren't enough to shock your Category 2 wheel spats off, then perhaps the weight distribution figure will: despite it's rear mid engine layout, the 787B has a 49:51 front to rear weight split, according to Gran Turismo 6.

Despite the turn-in lethargy I feel every corner that is more befitting a derailed freight train than a prototype racing car, it's still difficult for me to believe the weight distribution figure, especially when you consider the 100 litre tank of fuel sits snug in the very safe, balance conscious, performance oriented space between the cockpit and the howling engine.

What's exactly is so heavy in the nose of the car, that weighs almost as much as the engine, the towering rear wing, the gearbox, the diff, the full 100 litres of fuel, entire lakes of coolant and oil a 700HP Rotary needs, and two radiators all combined?

One BIG BOI radiator, apparently:

Whatever the cause of the very odd nose heaviness of the 787B, it is excruciatingly unwilling in the turn-in of every corner. It's not exactly unable, per se, but it will really make you wrestle and wrangle it to get it to meet with the apex of every corner. And I really do mean to wrestle and wrangle, as there is no power steering in the 787B to help you twist any of the 300mm section front tyres to do your bidding. With the comically huge rear wing, long wheelbase, even larger 355mm section tyres in the rear, AND the suspension setup biased towards understeer, every corner entry really does feel like you have to put the Twin-Tube Carbon-Kevlar Monocoque chassis into a Crucifix Neck Crank to get it to turn, and it will flex, twist, and writhe in agony despite being lauded for its torsional rigidity back in the day - this is a near 30 year old car, after all.

But, you know, perhaps it's a good thing that the steering is so heavy, because how else would you know that your front wheels are planted to the ground? While the lack of power steering does make turning the car feel more like arm wrestling a bear, it's somehow just as uncommunicative and lacking in feedback as well. You wouldn't even guess the heft in the steering at speed just by looking at it, because not only does the front end look lacking in downforce, but the rear end of the car is absolutely STACKED with aero bits: A wing wide enough for an adult to comfortably sleep on is entirely overhung from the rear for the maximum see-saw effect to lift the front end up, supplemented by not one, but TWO Gurney Flaps, one on the wing and one at the edge of the main body.

Oddly enough, the car has shocking amounts of aerodynamic grip through the speedy twists and turns of Toukyo East and Kyotou Yamagiwa, despite looking like it shouldn't. I'm not sure what exactly is generating the downforce up front, but nonetheless, the car's personality does a complete 180 at these high speed sweepers, belying every expectation it has planted in you at lower speeds and exhibiting immediate neck snapping turn in, almost as though engaging 5th gear transforms this granddaddy Group C car into a modern LMP1 car (RIP that too).

Unfortunately, it just about seems to straddle the line between "relying on the black magic that is downforce and go in balls out at downright reckless speeds with only the blind faith that only more speed can make everything better", and "HOLY CRAP TURN TURN TURN I REGRET EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE WHY DID I LISTEN TO THIS DUMB ASIAN KID ON THE INTERNET WHO ISN'T EVEN BEING PAID TO WRITE REVIEWS?!" You never really know how the car will behave and react in these high speed corners every time after you chuck it in, as one moment, it will have shocking, unbelievable grip, and the next, it's understeering into a wall. Because of how quickly it switches between these two extremes with almost no communication, it's just a question of "which all are you hitting, the inside or the outside?" This ambiguity and snapping between extremes I theorise is due to the car having the downforce to carry itself through, but the tyres feel and sound so out of alignment that they can't even take advantage of all that weight pressing over them, causing them to let go immediately with no warning once they hit a completely arbitrary tipping point, and with how fast the misaligned tyres burn themselves as a result of all that slipping and scrubbing, good luck sussing out that tipping point each lap.

Yes yes, XSquare's whining about the default suspension setup again in a game he loathes but still religiously plays in spite of that yadda yadda I know I'm a hypocrite shut up we're here for a car review not a person review.

The alignment, spring rates, ride height... everything is wrong in the car, because Gran Turismo Sport slaps on a "one size fits all" setup onto all racing cars according to categories. I of course don't have the correct numbers, because I don't work for Mazda (yet......). But it doesn't take knowing what's right to know that this setup is wrong. For starters, it scrapes on the Mulsanne Straight, and you will very clearly hear the front inside tyre scrubbing and screaming more than the outside at every corner. This not only hurts the cornering speeds of the 787B greatly, but it also causes the tyres to burn at such a ridiculous rate that no two laps of Le Sarthe can be driven with the same braking points or lines... on Hard tyres... at 1x wear... on a track that has you on full throttle 85% of the time. You will be visibly limping with this car just on the second lap alone with tyre wear on. I have NEVER felt tyre wear this bad in my entire life!

As a result of this... very convenient suspension setup and stability inclined aero, the car understeers for days on end, from corner entry to exit. It also has the aforementioned lethargy in slowing down, requiring a markedly longer distance to come to a stop than its Group C peers, despite being the lightest car in Group 1 by quite some margin. The stability inclined setups do at least mean that you'll have a very easy and assured time putting down power though, especially because the NA engine will never surprise you, and will only give you exactly what you ask of it. It's just... sometimes, you'll be surprised at how much you've asked of the engine when it gives you exactly what you've asked for in a full, ten course meal of explosive power, seasoned with unhealthy amounts of understeer. This is not just the single most understeery MR racing car I've driven to date - it's the single most understeery MR car I've driven. Full stop. As previously mentioned, this is more a Rotary Powered freight train than a car.

Truly, the only good thing about the 787B is its engine, which defies every expectation and reputation to be something that's genuinely astounding. Rotary Engines, especially the ones without forced induction to patch up its woeful low end torque, have always been known to be peaky engines. But, because the 4 Rotor R26B has telescopic intake runners that varies intake length according to engine revs to achieve some type of witchcraft called resonance supercharging or something, the powerband on this Naturally Aspirated Rotary Engine is, quite simply, nothing short of gasp drawing. Peak power may be at 9,000rpm, but peak torque comes in at a middling 6,500, and you have even, precise, smooth, and immediate power all the way to about 9,500 before the engine completely dips off. Yes, those still look like astronomical figures, but for some perspective, that's almost half of the entire 8k rev range giving you useable power. Put your foot down at anywhere between 6 and 9.5k, and this thing will get up and go with an immediacy, urgency, and almost glee, as though it had been looking for an excuse to get angry all this while.

As a result of the uncharacteristic plateaus of torque spread out over long gearing typical of Group C cars, coupled with the car's astronomically high redline, you can do some truly ludicrous feats of shifting in this thing. For example, during this week's race at Spa, I lugged the car out of Bruxelles in 2nd, almost hitting redline going into No Name. I then braked for No Name, upshifted into 3rd, and powered out, and I believe that's the fastest way to drive through that complex. And if all that hasn't been enough praise for this engine, the 1991 Le Mans race proved that it is shockingly fuel efficient, as well, betraying yet another expectation of Rotary Engines.

(Not much of a photographer IRL, ngl...)

Of course, part of its fuel economy is allegedly due to the engine being detuned to 700HP and limited to 9,000rpm for the 1991 race. There are LOTS of articles that claim it's capable of 930HP and 10,500rpm, but I've yet to find a single instance where Mazda explicitly states those numbers. Though, making peak power right at redline does lend credence to that detuned theory. In Gran Turismo Sport, we get a puzzling, middle of nowhere 790HP and 10,000rpm redline, though it's worth noting that the 787B can be brought up to a whopping 941HP in the game - an arbitrary ceiling for non Hybrid Group 1 cars it would seem. Its astronomical redline does mean that it has a rather high top speed of 371km/h (230.5mph) drag limited with just its default gearbox if you do bring its power up.

Being a Group C car, all its power goes through an old school, proper five speed stick: H Pattern, three pedals, and all. The gearbox was a joint effort by Porsche and Mazda, and features a dog-leg shift pattern straight out of the insanely successful Porsche 956 of the eighties. Infuriatingly, Gran Turismo Sport uses the conventional shift pattern for the 787B in the game as opposed to the dog leg.

Group C cars are, puzzlingly, essentially right hand drive cars with the gear lever on the right as well. This means that you'll have to climb over the exposed gear linkages to get into the car. It's a really confounding layout, if the dog leg gearbox isn't enough to trip you up already. No one's still doing that "run into your car and start the engine on the grid" thing in 1991, are they? Nonetheless, Group C cars are among the very few racing cars in this game you can drive with a H Pattern Shifter, and certainly the only ones that feel even remotely modern with radial tyres, ABS, and such. I only WISH I had one for my Logitech G29 to make the engine truly sing.

In the cockpit of the car, you can see sticky notes stuck beside the tachometer, retained as they were 29 long years ago. Written with black markers, these give glimpses to various benchmarks for the drivers to hit in the fateful 1991 race. Being already so far down in power, the drivers of the #55 787B were told to drive each lap of the 24 Hour race flat out as though it were a sprint race... for all of the 362 laps the winning #55 car ended up doing of the then recently altered la Sarthe.

The two real time digital readouts next to the tachometer gives readings of the instantaneous fuel economy in km/ℓ, and the fuel remaining in ℓ. If the instant fuel economy readout is to be believed, 9,000rpm at full throttle would give 1.80km/ℓ, which is close to the 1.85km/ℓ the sticky notes denote is the minimum fuel economy in order to achieve the target of 7ℓ a lap. The last digit in the decimal place doesn't work in the game, however. Being limited to 9,000rpm also limits the 787B to a top speed of a paltry 340km/h, which the car will readily hit as-is without slipstream, for a good few awkward seconds before having to brake for the Mulsanne Chicanes and Indianapolis.

Very oddly however, the fuel readout reads 85ℓ at maximum, when the actual car has a 100ℓ tank. How the game handles this disparity is that the remaining fuel in percentage is applied to 85ℓ, and displayed as such. So, if for example, if you have half a tank of fuel, instead of reading "50.00", it'd read "42.50". The low fuel warning light comes on at 10% remaining, which is 10ℓ of fuel in the tank and 8.50 in the readout. Why Polyphony Digital couldn't have just made the readout accurate instead of making me do mathematical gymnastics in the middle of a race, I won't ever know.

Lastly - and this is admittedly a very nitpicky point about the car's interior - it lacks the protective amulet behind the driver's side seat and the red sticker above the gear lever that the real car has had since the 1991 race:

The protective amulet/ talisman/ sticker/ good luck charm, whatever you want to call them, are from Take Shrine (read as tah-kay) in Hiroshima, where Mazda's HQ is located. They read,「多家神社交通安全御守護」, read as "Take Jinjya koutsuu anzen o shugo". It roughly translates to "Take Shrine Protection for Safe Driving". Given that the only components on the 787B that failed in the 24 Hour race was a headlight and a precautionary wheel bearing change, I'm a believer in the efficacy of the charm. The 787B in the game missing this charm, and the red sticker above the gear lever I feel robs it a lot of its soul. But maybe that's a good thing, considering how badly represented as a whole it is in the game.

I probably should pay a visit to the shrine for some divine protection as well before publishing this review, because I'm about to criticise, of all things, the sound of the 787B in Gran Turismo Sport.

First off, have an unedited video I recorded with the car on game version 1,23, the very patch that the 787B was introduced to Gran Turismo Sport with:

If you've driven the 787B in the game recently (like, if, say, you joined us for our weekly race every Tuesday night, 10pm CST!), you'll know that the above video sounded NOTHING like what you've heard in the game. Not only that, but it was missing its irregular idling "brap brap brap" sound, which would be the FIRST thing you'd notice if you've ever been around the car in real life. It seemed like a really obvious and odd thing to miss, because the 787B in GT5 and GT6 both had the brapping. Hell, even the LM55 VGT has it!

The sound was so atrocious that it was immediately patched in the next update to what we currently have, a huge improvement over that ghastly atrocity in 1.23. It begs the question though: how in the HELL did Polyphony Digital get the sound so, SO wrong?

Well, turns out, PD for some reason, in their infinite wisdom, chose to record an aftermarket 4 Rotor RX-7 from Defined Autoworks for the sound and pass it off as the 787B's.

I'm sorry, but what the actual FRICK?!

Even though the sound has been much improved from Version 1.23, I still have a few issues with the sound of the car. I find that the sound has a very odd, grating grainy effect to it, that makes it sound more like a cheap RC toy car than a legendary Le Mans winning granddaddy of Rotary Engines. This awful sound is most prominent in chase cam. The idle brapping has been reinstated into the game, albeit this time only as a sound sample that plays when the engine is idling, and will abruptly cut when you rev the engine, or even look around with your Directional Pad in cockpit view. In Gran Turismo 5 and 6, the brapping is directly tied to the revs of the engine, and the brapping will increase with frequency if you revved it slowly from idle, until they became so frequent they form a constant, unbroken sound. When the revs fell, the unbroken sound will similarly break into highly frequent braps. Again, you can hear the actual car rev slowly from idle in the above linked video as well, as well as the engine starting sound, which sounds NOTHING like what we currently have in the game.

Oh, and yes, the engine sound is simplified and recycled for the RX-Vision GT3. And yes, that car's most likely going to be the cover car of Gran Turismo 7. Have I ruined enough things for you yet?

So what have we learned today? The 787B in Gran Turismo Sport is a sack of badly covered lies. Quite literally every aspect of it in this game is flat out wrong at worst and dubious at best: its suspension, its power output, the all-important engine noise, the gearbox, the interior, the downforce values... For the love of all that one can consider dear and holy, even the freaking fuel gauge isn't honest. As icing on the cake, it's dumped into the single most nonsensical category in the game: Group 1, where it not only has zero competitive merit, it's downright abysmal. Truly, everything about this mock "787B" is a deplorable, hopeless, lying sack of poop. PD ought to be ashamed of themselves, and Mazda should sue. Really, if Polyphony Digital had to fly over to America for a 4 Rotor RX-7 to record sounds for the 787B, when the 787B is sitting right there in Mazda's HQ in running condition, if they failed to realise things that should be IMMEDIATELY obvious to anyone if they as much sat in the car and started it, like the idle sound and the dog leg gearbox, it makes me wonder if Polyphony Digital had the actual car at all to scan, record, and evaluate its handling for the game. The 787B in Gran Turismo Sport is a disrespectful, lazy, barely concealed con job, and thus a howling, screaming Beater.

The actual car still won the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, though. Nothing else matters in a racing car. Nothing else matters in a racing car...

*silent sobbing in a dark corner*

787B Specifications taken from Mazda's June 2011 press release (PDF)

As much as I whined and complained about the sound of the 787B in this game, I do have to say that, along with Assetto Corsa, Gran Turismo Sport's 787B is the best sounding digital 787B today. GTS has that high pitched wail almost spot on, though I find that Assetto Corsa seems to capture a mechanical whine in the cockpit better, making it sound deeper and more immersive. Here's a mostly unedited video of the sound in cockpit view and cinematic camera, where it sounds best:

Thanks to everyone who wrote a review this week! I SUPER enjoyed reading them! I loved the sheer joy in @05XR8 's review. You should join us for more! I'm really glad to see @Obelisk come back. I've seen his name a lot in the old thread. @TonyJZX as always, for testing the car tuned (and holy hell does it need tuning...). And @Drex124 , that was a really entertaining, succinct, and informative piece you've written. Not much of a writer my butt!
Well after a subtle prod by @XSquareStickIt to get a review out, i’m now getting up to date on my write ups.

Speaking of which, what was the last car I did?

*Checks notes*

Th-the Lexus GT3?!

Did I mention that procrastinating is a 🤬?

Ugh, fine, better Nate than never I guess. :P

In most aspects of life, the 3rd thing in a lineage tend to be letdowns, the 3rd Godfather film, the 3rd Matrix film etc etc.

So when the GT was announced with a 3.5 litre twin turbo Ecoboost V6, same as the Ford Raptor, Ford GT purists felt it would be a difficult third album for the GT.

I’ll admit the V6 did throw me for a loop back then, given they had a perfectly good 5.2 ‘Voodoo V8 in the GT350 they could’ve bolted the turbos on to. :drool:(Did swap a 5.0 Supercharged Jag V8 into it on NFS Heat.)

But over time it’s grown on me, plus around 650hp helps. :D

Once again however, it seems poorly implemented in GTS, I mean seriously, you’re on a race track and NOT in Track mode?? :crazy:

It certainly didn’t feel stiff in the springs and the Racing hards didn’t improve on it.

Braking was consequently affected by it as well as you really had to stand on them and somewhat early too.

I know the GT has potential to be brilliant, but like the 3rd Godfather film, it’s not as good as its predecessors in stock trim. :ouch:

Verdict: Beater 👎

Next up is the road version of the last car I review before this write up, The Lexus RCF.

Ah Lexus, one of the 3 luxury car brands set up by the Japanese to sell more luxurious versions of Toyotas.(The others are Honda with Acura and Nissan with Infiniti.)

In Forza, all 3 are classed as American, but in GT6, only Acura and Infiniti are classed as American, Lexus isn’t.

So despite being created to sell luxury versions of Toyotas mostly stateside, they are still classed as Japanese.

Eh, no point trying to figure that one out, back to the RCF. :)

To describe it in one word? Porky.

It’s almost 1.8 tons and it’s considered a M4 rival?

Mind you, the 5.0 litre all singing, all naturally aspirated V8 is quite a peach producing 471hp high up in the rev range, helping you keep it up there is an 8 speed automatic gearbox sending power to the rear.

Unlike with the previously mentioned Ford GT, this sort of car you expect for it to have soft suspension which while not always racer friendly, is certainly user friendly when it comes to sliding it. ;)

That’s not to say it’s cumbersome, despite the weight it can hide it’s mass rather well up to a certain point, just don’t leave it too late to catch a slide or underestimate the braking power otherwise you’ll pull up short on the final turn and lose a position. :sly:

Getting back to the M4 rivalry, While it can be quicker than the RCF, it’s certainly a tad more manic to drive at the limit as Square can attest to, the noisy V8 certainly pleases the senses more than the piped in audio from the M4 and braking isn't too much different between the two.

So if I was picking one of these two, I’d take the RCF and that’s coming from someone who ran with BMW in the Manufactures Cup early on in my GTS career. :)

Verdict: Neutral :)

Now for some old school Detroit Iron, the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.

Both the Charger and Challenger have a solid cast of film and game credits to their names, Vanishing Point, Bullitt, Dukes of Hazard, Fast & Furious, Driver San Francisco etc.

Hell, Both a White Challenger and Black Charger went head to head in Death Proof and you can’t get more classic car chase meta than that. :drool:

Packing the Famous 426(7.0) Hemi V8 and chucking out 425hp, the Challenger is the heavy hitter of the classic muscle cars in GTS.

But like in GT6, they all have short gearing as of course, racing between the lights back then was pretty much the standard. :P

But unlike in GT6, at least when you hit the limiter in top gear you don’t lose speed, but’ll you be there quickly and often.

Another thing you’ll often see is the effects of an open diff and burning out the inside wheel which can make handling tricky if you suddenly decide to put weight on said burning wheel. :crazy:

Despite the huge motor, it feels like it’s got no go at low revs for some odd reason and the 1.7 ton kerbweight doesn’t help matters.

But once you’re up to speed you don’t really need to downshift too much, a point I proved at Goodwood by starting in 4th gear and doing the whole race in that gear. :D

As for just hooning it around, you don’t need much doing to it, but racing it requires a lot of TLC and tuning so your mileage may vary from it.

Verdict: Sleeper 👍

Coming up next is a story that every motorsports fan knows well, a story of how spite ended up creating a legend, a story which was given justice recently in Hollywood and shed light on the unsung hero of the GT40 program. :bowdown:

I’m of course talking about Ford V Ferrari with Ferrari represented by the 330 P4 and Ford by the Mk IV GT40.

But for my review i’m sticking with the Ford. ;)

The GT40, When blank check meets weaponised spite. :mischievous:

The MK IV was a revised version of the J car which sadly took the life of Ken Miles, but still retained the 7.0 Ford V8 and 4 speed manual gearbox from before.

Over 500hp in a 1 ton streamlined body means 200 mph potential, but in comparison to the Fezza, it’s lacking some acceleration, but that’s down to the 330 P4 having an extra gear to play with and much less weight to worry about.

Unlike in the movie, I couldn’t rely on @Baron Blitz Red pushing his 330 to the breaking point, I had to wring every last bit out of the GT40 to get past and stay ahead at Le Mans to make sure history wasn’t changed. :P

Of course my big gripe with the GT40 is the same as the Fezza’s and the Jag XJ13’s, the price.

*Rant Incoming*

20 million is a lotta money and the GTS economy just isn’t suited to it as it currently stands, GT6 is slightly better even without the sign in bonus it had as the RB14 Standard championship pays out over a million credits for about half hours work.

GTS’s Gr1 race Monza pays out 990k in 27 mins IF you average less than 9 mins per race and IF all of them are Clean races.

There’s a debate over in the GT7 thread about not having expensive cars in GT7 and GTP’s Purple Admin Famine summed it up best. :)

(Trimmed down to relevant part)
You can buy all the buyable cars - and there's about 850-900 of them - in GT1, GT2, and GT3 combined in less time than it takes for the 315 in GT Sport.

Now should expensive cars stay in GT? Yes they should, but at the same time the economy of game should scaled in relation to the most expensive car and given what you could get for doing the Lewis Hamilton time trials money and money cap wise, they could scales things WAY up and give higher payouts to offset that.

Failing that, a decent economy with a sign in bonus like GT6 could be the simpler option imo. :P

Ok, money rant over.

The GT40 as a whole is a car worthy of being in everyone’s collection, but unless you’re buying the later model road car, only the more committed players are gonna grind it out to get one.

Shame really :indiff:

Verdict: Sleeper 👍

Now for something that’s through and through a Japanese car, The GrB road version of the Subaru WRX STI.

470hp from a Turbo Flat 4, sent to all 4 wheels via a 6 speed manual gearbox.

With an adjustable centre differential allowing us to adjust the torque split from 50/50 to 10/90, you can really tweak how this car handles.

As was shown in the multiple close battles me and Nismo got into throughout the night. :P

It’s got some initial understeer at turn in, but with the torque split being adjustable that can be mostly rectified.

It was a solid car in its own right, but is it good against the other homologated cars?

Well driver skill levels and preferences will certainly dictate that decision, I mean a CORVETTE did beat it at its own dirt game after all. :sly::lol:

So yeah, pick it up even if it isn’t your preferred cup of tea as its still a rare(ish) car. :)

Verdict: Sleeper 👍

Speaking of Nismo, his Sport mode Gr3 workhorse is up next with the Nissan GTR GT3.

With the power from the 3.8 TT V6 turned down to around 550hp in stock Non BOP trim, the front diff removed and a rather huge rear wing planted on the back, The GT-R ticks all the right GT3 boxes.

But does it tick all the right driver boxes?

Mileage may vary for some, but it doesn’t for me.

The front end just felt heavy and not so eager to turn in and through that and other factors I just couldn’t get a clear run with it so I can’t in good faith call my take on it an accurate one.

Square’s review on it was more in depth on it so check that out. :P

So verdict?

Neutral But Get Second Opinion.

So with the modern tech done, I’d decided to just say ’🤬 it, We’re going back to basics.’

Back to when Sythwave was the norm, Boy Bands cropping up outta nowhere and simultaneously creating holes in the ozone layer with all the hairspray usage and turbo charging was really hitting its stride in motorsports. :D

But it was also time that the everyday Jack and Jill could buy a sporty, yet practical hatchback and the car that figured it out best, was German.

The 1983 VW Golf GTI.

Unveiled in 1976 with expectations to only sell 5000 cars to satisfy Group 1 Production Touring Car homologation, it would go on to sell over 460,000 of them before being phased out for the Mk 2 Golf.

What does GTI stand for? It stands for ‘Gran Turismo Iniezione’ if you use the Italian phrase or ‘Grand Tourer Injection‘ if using the English phrase.

And it’s that last part we want to focus on.

With Bosch Fuel injection on the 1.6 litre engine, it made it both more reliable and user friendly but more importantly, more powerful.

108hp with the 1.6 and 110hp with the later 1.8 engine in a car that even in later models rarely went above 900kgs, is a recipe for easy and stress less hooning.

The 1983 version we have is from the final year in most markets, with the 1.8 engine, 890kgs and 5 speed manual which became standard in the latter part of 1979.

Handling was a blast as it was fast enough to get you into trouble, but not fast enough to the point you couldn’t undo the inevitable damage. :D

The lack of a front diff was noticeable, but not to the extent of impending ones progress.

The Golf GTI is the answer to the question of, ‘Can a everyday practical family hatchback be sporty?

Are there city cars today like the Mazda Demio Touring that can offer similar performance while being cheaper, better equipped and safer than the MK1?

Yes, but they aren’t a Mk1 Golf GTI. ;)

That’s the appeal of classics, There are rolling examples of setting up the templates for future machines to improve further on which we love.

Of course just because you have an iconic beginning doesn’t mean that all follow up acts will be too, the MK4 Golf GTI for instance. :crazy:

Let’s have some vintage Top Gear hammer that last point home in a short drag race. ;)

(Skip to 1:55 to get setup for the race.)

In conclusion, Don’t buy the MK 1Golf GTi if you’re buying it with your head, do buy it if you’re buying it with your heart.

Verdict: Iconic 👍

And Lastly, but by no means leastly, The car that was both iconic for what it did, but also for a good number of misconceptions about it. :yuck:

The ear piercingly loud ‘Siren Of Le Mans’ 1991 Mazda 787B. :drool:

1991 was a turning point for endurance racing, the introduction of the 3.5 Formula regulations which may or may not have been a play by a certain Bernie to lure more manufactures to F1.

@Drex124 covered the whole part about the ‘91 regulations and how they played a part in the events of the 24hr race that year, but here is the big question to be answered.

Was the 787B so quick it got Rotaries banned?

Hell to the no. Firstly, the rules that outlawed the powerful turbos were gonna outlaw Rotaries too regardless of who won that year, it just happened to be a Rotary that won.

Secondly, it was many seconds off the front runners pace and it won by being reliable enough to go at full tilt for the whole race while Peugeot, Jaguar and Mercedes ran in to issues.

While Mazda made history, one of its winning drivers ended up playing a big role in the rise of another icon.

The driver in question was Bertrand Gachot, who at the bookend of 1990 was involved in a road rage incident in London with a taxi driver.

In self defence, he sprayed the cabbie with CS Gas which was/still is(?) illegal, got arrested and had his trial/sentencing a few months after Le Mans, but just before that years F1 Belgian GP.

He was sentenced to 18 months, but only served 2 months, but it took him out of his seat at Jordan.

Enter Mercedes Benz.

They offered the team £150,000 to allow a young German debut in F1.

This German was a certain Michael Schumacher who qualified 7th and then retired on lap 1 with a burnt out clutch. :dunce:

Then one trip through a legal minefield later, he was at Benetton, where he would win his first 2 world titles. :bowdown:

So in a sense, two legends were born that year and in both, Gachot played a big role in them.

One because he kept his cool in an endurance race, the other because he lost it in London. :lol:

Anyways, small digression aside, back to the 787B.

Felt a tad understeery on initial turn in, but was relatively stable to drive.

The 2.6 Quad Rotor was the defining takeaway from the 787B, but it also took away your hearing too, it’s a loud boi. :eek:

Kinda not surprised that Square didn’t mention the ending of the Spa race, but he can take solace in the fact that he’s not the first one I’ve done that too. :P:lol:

So in summary, the 787B made history by being a reliable Rotary, not ultra quick, but just quick enough to be there when the front runners hit issues.

And once more for old times sake.


Verdict: Neutral Icon :)

So this took longer than most, mostly just trying to get over that need to put it off for another day. :P
...or underestimate the braking power (of the RC F) otherwise you’ll pull up short on the final turn and lose a position. :sly:

Is this your idea of revenge for me bugging you for reviews?

You really aren't going to let that go, are you?

Kinda not surprised that Square didn’t mention the ending of the Spa race

The ending of the Spa race wasn't relevant at all in detailing my opinion on the 787B :yuck: Get that? COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT! Except for maybe the part where I over slowed for Blanchimont because of the arbitrary high speed performance of the 787B and I wussed out which gave you then run up into Bus Stop and I tried to defend it but I overshot because of the poor stopping performance of the 787B and I had to give you room on the left hander of Bus Stop and regardless of being NA and having long gearing a 790HP car will still struggle to put power down on such a tight corner and I made the stupid mistake of dropping into first while you stayed in second out accelerating me when I had to shift proving that this Rotary Engine does have low end torque BUT OTHER THAN THAT, COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

I think I'm going to start calling you Vic "Last Corner" Reign, VLC Type R for short. And every time I run over cones on the track, I'll be thinking of you :banghead:
The original plan this week was to test a Gr4 Ford but that had to be scrapped but that will take place next week. We took a look at 2017 edition of this car back in week 2 of COTW. So on short notice I went scavenging for what car to use and thought of the Alpine A110 1600s. I remember testing this car back in GT6 COTW days and really enjoy throwing this lightweight car around London and other tracks. Let go have some fun with this car this week.

The original plan this week was to test a Gr4 Ford but that had to be scrapped but that will take place next week. We took a look at 2017 edition of this car back in week 2 of COTW. So on short notice I went scavenging for what car to use and thought of the Alpine A110 1600s. I remember testing this car back in GT6 COTW days and really enjoy throwing this lightweight car around London and other tracks. Let go have some fun with this car this week.

Sorry and thank you guys for giving me a week
When is the lobby scheduled?
Ah, thanks for reminding me. We've just had daylight savings over here, so my time zone compensation is... fudged. :dunce:

Just let me know when it's the usual lobby time and I'll get one up! Unless someone American or Canadian wants to host.
Ah, thanks for reminding me. We've just had daylight savings over here, so my time zone compensation is... fudged. :dunce:

Just let me know when it's the usual lobby time and I'll get one up! Unless someone American or Canadian wants to host.
I literally don't remember the time that these happen at. It's been a very long time since I took part in COTW...
I literally don't remember the time that these happen at. It's been a very long time since I took part in COTW...
Originally they were 10pm CST, though I believe in recent months they've sort of become 10:30, 11ish...? Someone from that side of the world will have to confirm cos again, I'm sort of the time zone outlier in this group.
I'm going to keep this short and salty: the 1972 Alpine A110 is a load of crap. It is exactly what you can expect of a 48 year old, RR car on bias ply tyres allowed to run loose without a diff: soft, twitchy, and with so little grip that you can't even use all of the floaty front end's grip on corner entry because the rear end will break out without question if you do. It leans and rolls in corners more than my ex crush leans away from me in a movie theatre when I attempted a kiss*. It's the sort of car you fight more than your opponents in a race. For crying out loud, even the windshield wipers in this car wants to kill you: they're chrome, and the glare they will produce in strong sunlight will blind you if you race in cockpit view, putting to waste the excellent visibility typical of a small car of its era.

*not a true story. For some reason my previous previous crush just immediately came to mind with how much you need to baby this moody, spoiled brat of a car, while it offers absolutely nothing but looks in return. Also yes, driving excessively horrendous cars makes me open up more than I perhaps should about my personal life, and it might be an exploitable trope.

Yet, for all my grievances against it, I couldn't find anything within reason that could even hold a candle to it on the track, just to rub wounded pride on salt. It weighs 1,576...... pounds. That's 715kg in metric, which makes its 140PS go a long, long way, especially when mated to a snappy, low ratio five speed stick, an emerging novelty in its era. Yes, low power compensated for by low gearing does mean low top speed: the A110 will do 196km/h (122mph) without slipstream, drag limited. A comparable Renault R8 Gordini gets eaten alive on long enough straights, and a modern Mazda Roadster gets utterly destrolished both on the acceleration and corners. A Stratos that cost six times the A110 with 46PS more might rival it, but for some stupid reason, it didn't cross my mind to race the Stratos this week. It most likely even runs circles around a 911 of its era, literally if not figuratively, because this thing will NOT hold a straight line. Oh, and it looks five times better than a 911 as well, in my opinion.

It's ridiculously capable. It's even a great looker. It's just... why the hell were people in the seventies so obsessed with mounting their car engines in the rear? It's very challenging to drive at best, and utterly frustrating at worst. It left a very bitter taste in my mouth after just a warm up session with it. Truly, the A110 is proof that it takes more than a flawless résumé to win people over: the personality needs a lot of working on. This car will never cooperate with you, and even getting it right feels more like narrowly escaping death than actually rewarding. It's a car for sadists, gluttons for punishment. The kind of people whose dream partner is an abusive, manipulative, capable person who knows their worth and holds you at arm's length using your own hope, dangling a seemingly attainable carrot of greatness right in front of you, but has never planned to reciprocate from the start. It'd at least make for a great learner car like the Golf, if there was any practical application today for learning how to go fast in a RR car. And for a hundred grand... fwoh, the A110 is as expensive as my previous crush as well.

It's such a Beater, it damn near beat me into a sand dune in Horse Thief Mile and used itself as a pretty gravestone to flaunt its own achievement. I'm actually surprised I even gave this thing five paragraphs.
If that's short and salty, I'm blunt and enraged.

I completely agree with @XSquareStickIt's assessment of this machine. Extremely fickle, extremely tempermental and prone to abusing you for no reason. Just like my ex-girlfriend.

I can't deny how goddang fast it is, but it is a car that absolutely warrants a full re-tune to be viable to anyone that isn't @Vic Reign93.

Neutral, for its raw potential.
Could someone with a good view on the situation please make a list of all the cars, that haven't yet been featured as the COTW? Should not be many left...