Car of the Week 228: COTY GTS Finale

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  • 3,110 comments
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A current list of all not yet used cars for COTW:


ABARTH (1)
1500 Biposto Bertone B.A.T 1 1952 (N100)

ALFA ROMEO (3)
4C Launch Edition 2014 (N200)
Giulia TZ2 Carrozzata da Zagato CN.AR750106 1965 (Gr.X)
MiTo 1.4 T Sport 2009 (N200)

Alpine (3)
Vision Gran Turismo 2017 (Gr.1)
Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
Vision Gran Turismo Race Mode (Gr.X)

ASTON MARTIN (5)
DB3S CN.1 1953 (Gr.X)
DB11 2016 (N600)
DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
Vantage Gr.4 (Gr.4)
Vulcan 2016 (N800)

AUDI (8)
R8 LMS Audi Team Sport WRT 2015 (Gr.3)
R18 TDI Audi Team Sport Joest 2011 (Gr.1)
R18 TDI Le Mans 2011 (Gr.1)
R18 e-tron 2016 (Gr.1)
Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak 1987 (Gr.B)
TT Cup 2016 (Gr.4)
TTS Coupe 2014 (N300)
Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.1)

BMW (4)
M4 Coupe 2014 (N400)
M4 Safety Car (Gr.X)
M6 GT3 Walkenhorst Motorsport 2016 (Gr.3)
M6 GT3 M Power Livery 2016 (Gr.3)

BUGATTI (3)
Veyron Gr.4 (Gr.4)
Vision Gran Turismo Gr.1 (Gr.1)
Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)

CHEVROLET (1)
Corvette Stingray Race Concept (C2) 1959 (Gr.X)

CITROËN (1)
GT by Citroen Gr.4 (Gr.4)

DODGE (8)
Charger SRT Hellcat Safety Car (N700)
SRT Tomahawk VGT Gr.1 (Gr.1)
SRT Tomahawk VGT Racing (Gr.X)
SRT Tomahawk VGT Street (Gr.X)
SRT Tomahawk VGT Technology (Gr.X)
Viper Gr.4 (Gr.4)
Viper SRT10 Coupe 2006 (N500)
Viper SRT GT3-R 2015 (Gr.3)

FERRARI (5)
250 GT Berlinetta passo corto CN.2521 1961 (N300)
250 GTO CN.3729GT 1962 (Gr.X)
458 Italia 2009 (N600)
458 Italia GT3 2013 (Gr.3)
Dino 246GT 1971 (N200)

FORD (6)
GT 2006 (N600)
GT LM Spec II Test Car (Gr.3)
Mustang Gr.3 Road Car (N500)
Mustang Gr.B Rally Car (Gr.B)
Mustang GT Premium Fastback 2015 (N400)
Mustang Mach 1 1971 (N300)

GRAN TURISMO (5)
Amuse S2000 GT1 Turbo (N600)
Chris Holstrom Concepts 1967 Chevy Nova 2013 (N700)
Red Bull X2014 Standard 2014 (Gr.X)
Red Bull X2014 Junior 2014 (Gr.X)
Red Bull X2019 Competition (Gr.X)

HONDA (4)
NSX Gr.3 (Gr.3)
NSX Gr.4 (Gr.4)
S800 1966 (N100)
Sports Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)

HYUNDAI (4)
Genesis Gr.3 (Gr.3)
Genesis Gr.4 (Gr.4)
N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.1)
N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)

INFINITI (1)
Concept Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)

JAGUAR (6)
D-Type 1954 (Gr.X)
E-Type Coupe 1961 (N300)
F-Type Gr.4 (Gr.4)
XJ13 1966 (Gr.X)
XJR-9 1988 (Gr.1)
Vision Gran Turismo Coupe (Gr.X)

KTM (1)
X-BOW R 2012 (N300)

LAMBORGHINI (6)
Aventador LP700-4 2011 (N700)
Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce 2015 (N800)
Countach LP400 1974 (N400)
Huracan Gr.4 (Gr.4)
Huracan LP610-4 2015 (N600)
Miura P400 Bertone Prototype CN.0706 1967 (N400)

LEXUS (4)
LC500 2017 (N500)
LF-LC GT Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
RC F au Tom's 2016 (Gr.2)
RC F Gr.4 (Gr.4)

MAZDA (8)
Atenza Gr.3 Road Car (N500)
Atenza Gr.4 (Gr.4)
Atenza Sedan XD L Package 2015 (N200)
Demio XD Touring 2015 (N100)
LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Gr.1 (Gr.1)
LM55 Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
Roadster S 2015 (N100)
RX-Vision GT3 Concept 2020 (Gr.3)

MCLAREN (5)
650S GT3 2015 (Gr.3)
MP4-12c 2010 (N600)
P1 GTR 2016 (Gr.X)
Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Gr.1 (Gr.1)
Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)

MERCEDES-BENZ (7)
A45 AMG 4MATIC 2013 (N400)
AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ (Gr.X)
AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ Color Variation (Gr.X)
AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
AMG Vision Gran Turismo LH Edition (Gr.X)
AMG Vision Gran Turismo Racing Series (Gr.X)
Sauber C9 1989 (Gr.1)

MINI (2)
Cooper S 2005 (N200)
Clubman Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)

MITSUBISHI (4)
Lancer Evolution IV GSR 1996 (N300)
Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.3 (Gr.3)
Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Rally Car (Gr.B)
Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Road Car (N500)

NISSAN (10)
Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
Fairlady Z Version S 2007 (N300)
GT-R Gr.B Rally Car (Gr.B)
GT-R Motul Autech 2016 (Gr.2)
GT-R Premium Edition 2017 (N600)
GT-R Safety Car (Gr.X)
GT-R Xanavi Nismo (Gr.2)
R92CP 1992 (Gr.1)
Skyline GT-R V-spec (R33) 1997 (N300)
Skyline GT-R V-spec II Nür (R34) 2002 (N300)

PEUGEOT (8)
208 GTI by Peugeot Sport 2014 (N200)
908 HDI FAP Team Peugeot Total 2010 (Gr.1)
RCZ Gr.3 Road Car (N500)
RCZ Gr.4 (Gr.4)
RCZ Gr.B Rally Car (Gr.B)
L500R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo 2017 (Gr.X)
L750R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo 2017 (Gr.1)
Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)

PORSCHE (2)
911 GT3 (997) 2008 (N400)
962C 1988 (Gr.1)

RENAULT SPORT (4)
Clio RS 220 EDC Trophy 2015 (N200)
Clio RS 220 EDC Trophy 2016 (N200)
Megane RS Trophy 2011 Safety Car (N300)
R.S.01 GT3 2016 (Gr.3)

SHELBY (1)
Cobra Daytona Coupe 1964 (Gr.X)

SUBARU (6)
BRZ S 2015 (N200)
BRZ Falken Tire/Turn 14 Distribution 2017 (Gr.X)
Impreza Coupe WRX Type R STi Version VI 1999 (N300)
WRX Gr.3 (Gr.3)
WRX Gr.B (Gr.B)
WRX STI Type S 2014 (N300)

TESLA (1)
Model S Signature Performance 2012 (Gr.X)

TOYOTA (14)
86 Gr.4 (Gr.4)
86 Gr.B Rally Car (Gr.B)
86 GRMN 2016 (N200)
86 GT 2015 (N200)
86 GT Limited 2016 (N200)
Crown Athlete G Safety Car (N300)
FT-1 (Gr.X)
FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3 (Gr.3)
GR Supra Racing Concept (Gr.3)
GR Supra RZ 2020 (N400)
S-FR 2015 (N100)
TS030 Hybrid 2012 (Gr.1)
Tundra TRD Pro 2019 (N400)

VOLKSWAGEN (6)
1200 1966 (N100)
Scirocco Gr.4 (Gr.4)
Golf VII GTI 2014 (N200)
GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo (Gr.X)
GTI Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3 (Gr.3)
Samba Bus Type 2 (T1) 1962 (N100)
 
Sharing a field with Mustangs, GT-Rs, 86s, and even a freaking NSX of all things, the Ford Focus Gr.B Rally Car might well be the most traditional of shape and drivetrain for the recently resurrected rally bred category, sporting an entirely unique hatchback silhouette among its fictional rally car brethren, reminiscent of fabled rally cars of the past such as the Escort Cosworth and the Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak. In fact, when the series first introduced rallying back in 1999's Gran Turismo 2, the Focus was one of the rally cars that was available in Arcade Mode, as Vic will show you all with an unzipping of the creative side of Rick's brain.

Vic unzips as he approaches my rear end! N-nani wo suru ki?

So then, the Focus Gr.B rally car certainly has pedigree, but does it have the punch to deliver the toufu?

Not in my hands, unfortunately. All of these Gr. B Rally Cars are very understeery owing to their stiff default LSD settings helping them break grip into a drift on dirt, which makes grip driving on paved roads nothing short of a strenuous exercise against the steering wheel; you really, really need to wrestle this thing into a corner while committing the most heinous of tyre torture and abuse, the effort required of which is as though there's zero power steering in a parking lot. If you're fortunate enough to have a wheel that lets you adjust the steering ratio, you might want a much quicker ratio when driving these cars, or turning down the max torque settings in the game failing that if you want some strength left over in your arms for your private time after the drive. The Focus Gr.B oddly feels better to drive on a DualShock 4 than with my G29, simply because I can actually turn the car without cramping my left forearm and tearing my right shoulder.


And it's not like drifting is any easier a task on dirt, either, because not only does this particular race prepped Focus make do without its fabled "Drift Mode", but giving these cars a boot full of gas even on dirt just seems to "cure" the car of its lost traction, straightening them out almost immediately unless you've the centre differential set to something suicidal like 10:90 F:R, which just turns the car into more of a doughnut factory than a drift machine.


A lot of what I've said thus far is as descriptive of the Focus as it is of the entire category of Group B racecars, however. It's no secret that the rallying physics of Gran Turismo Sport is notoriously bad, which means that the Focus' only opportunity to shine sadly is restricted to being ran like a fish out of water on tarmac, owing to the super unfortunate lack of a Gr.4 or Gr.B Road Car variant of it.

Roads? With what we're driving, we don't WANT roads!

Equally unfortunate is that, while the Focus does take after the traditional silhouette of successful rally cars of a bygone era, it also takes after the understeer that they are well known for—the Focus is understeery even relative to its understeery compatriots, owing to its disgusting front mass bias. It might also be as difficult a task to tune that understeer out of the car as it is to turn the car as–is, because the spring rate maxes out at 2.5Hz, which is very stiff, granted, but still somewhat soggy for a racecar. For some context, a Mustang Gr.3 of comparable power, mass, and aero starts out default at 3Hz! With the wealth of grip that fresh (and warm!) racing slicks provide, the aforementioned problems of a prohibitive differential and somewhat limp springs are deceptively well masked, but on much more mortal rubber that the crazy folks at Rallycross GT are forced to run, not only does the car refuse to do much of anything, but you'll also be forced to note how the car squiggles around that much more under hard loads. It's not very pleasant to drive, in case it needs spelling out. I'm less of a tuner than I am a rally car driver, which is really saying something, but I couldn't make the car any faster or fun to drive in a meaningful fashion during race day when we were given ~15 mins to tinker with the car, and it really seems to me that the only way this thing feels good to drive is to just slap slicks on. Can you really call yourself a tuner if all you do is to put stickier rubber on?



Okay, so it understeers. Surely the Focus, on the lighter end of the Gr.B spectrum, powered by a diminutive, sanctimonious sounding 2 litre EcoBoost engine would make it much more economical than most other cars of its class, or at the very least, its 5 litre Mustang brother? Hell naw. The Focus drinks as though trying to bed a Rotary Engined Rally Car, and is not at all significantly better or worse in comparison to other cars of its class—all within 1% of each other with 3 laps of BB Raceway at 5x fuel con, which can easily be chalked up to my inconsistent (and very tired!) hands. It's almost as if PD just copied and pasted one value across the board for all the Gr.B racecars, seeing as tyre wear and fuel consumption is disabled entirely on dirt. (yes, I did find a way to squeeze in an RX-7 into a rally car review, deal with it.)

So it understeers like a tank and drinks like one as well. Is there any redeeming qualities to the Focus, then?


Well, it stops well for a start. Like, really well. With the extra drag of its hatchback body, it can brake markedly later than just about any Gr.B machine I've bothered to try. Also, it looks good. Really good. I think it's the only Gr.B car that doesn't look downright ugly, or at least slightly awkward and out of place wearing a rally body kit, and I'm even including the Evo X and WRX VA in that statement. It's also superbly easy to see out of from cockpit view, making it one of the very, very few racing cars I feel comfortable running in cockpit view. I do wish it had a stick controlled sequential gearbox instead of flappy paddles though, as wheel mounted paddles are a disaster to operate when you're drifting lock–to–lock, and even column mounted paddles can be very inconvenient with ill timing. It's just... weird for me to see a Group B car with paddles, and spoils the immersion for me a little.


The biggest boon of the Focus Gr.B however, comes only when you stop trying to drive it "properly" as quickly as possible in a racing scenario, and just drive it the way it wants to be driven instead: Comfort tyres on a tight, technical circuit such as Tsukuba. I know it has bombastic flares and wings, along with a sequential straight cut gearbox, all of which scream "serious business racecar", but the most fun I've found with the Focus is if you just slap some street legal tyres on it and treat it as an 18–year–old's tuned toy. With the gross lack of grip of the road tyres, the car had more free reign to "talk" to me about how it wanted to be driven; it understeered massively and even swung its rear end out simultaneously sometimes, and the gas pedal felt like a primed gate of hell bursting at the edges with demons, and all it was waiting for was a slight nudge of my right foot for all manner of depravity and chaos to unleash onto street tyres that are all too ready to surrender.

It was there and then that everything I had complained about prior suddenly made sense—the front mass bias, the stiff diff, and the soggy suspension—they all came together to create a cohesive package that I finally understand, and would not change a thing about.


I braked early and manhandled the front end of the car into a corner. Just as it would seem as if I was going to miss the apex of the corner, I get off the brakes and give it a boot full of gas, instantly lighting up all four tyres with the stiff diff, rotating the car's nose to meet the apex of a turn in a four wheel drift that can be held, adjusted, and even chained or transitioned from corner to corner. I've always had a difficult time drifting in GTS, but the Focus Gr.B will do it for as long as your bank account and eardrums will last—all without ever touching the handbrake. The front mass bias almost feels like a pivot upon which the car rotates, and the light rear end will break loose in a hurry and a half to initiate said drift if you send enough of the 538HP (401kW) to the rear. The aforementioned soggy suspension let me shift weight over any of the four tyres without ever once permitting excessive body movement, allowing for surgically precise Scandi flicks/ Kansei Doritoufus on whim alone, and the explosively turbocharged engine always has revs and torque to break grip when coupled with the tantalisingly short gearing.


It's just so, so weird that I seemingly had too much grip on dirt tyres on dirt surfaces too wide to have had this experience and felt these sensations!

Of course, even when seemingly set up for smoking sexy stylish sideways shenanigans, the Focus is faster if you grip drive it, but it will protest, lag, and rebel against you every step of the way if you drive it like that, which makes it such a paradoxical thing to race. It may say that it's a racecar on its tin, but in reality I find that it just wants to hoon. It may be a Gr.B rally car, but to me, this thing might as well be Gr.D—Group Formula Drift.


I may not have the skillset for making it go straight or sideways that well, but I'm happy to say at least that I think I got the "author's intent" of the car now, to steal a quote from Waffles. I've had so, so much fun with it after our weekly meetup with it, it's impossible for me to call it a Beater. In fact, I think I've come to like it quite a bit, though I really wish rallying in Gran Turismo was done better so that I can understand it better in turn.
 
It's Ferrari Challenge week. This week we are taking a look at the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. This weeks car is chosen by @Yard_Sale

gerber-cioci-griffin_94122.jpg
 
Doing my best to get home from work this evening for the COTW meet. I'm a fireman for a major city...that at the moment has major-city staffing issues as of late. Been stuck here for 3 days going on 4... I wanna go home!! :banghead:

BTW @XSquareStickIt, my wife is from Singapore (by way of the Philippines). She lived there till she was 14. We went there in late 2019 right before Covid hit. First time she had been back home in over 20 years. Can't wait to do Philippines/Singapore again as soon as travel restrictions in Philippines ease up a bit more. Singapore is one of the coolest city-nations I've ever been to. Can't wait for some Hawker Center Kong Bak Pau!


Mmmmmmmm... I can taste it right now....



Tiger beer..... not so much. I'll take a Red Horse any day over that crap :lol:






....... At any rate, I have a very distinctive love-hate relationship with the 458. I'll be writing a review either way!
 
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Just managed a 06.32.605 in the red Godess on the Nords (stock, RH tyres, no driving aids except ABS). It can go into the 06.20s though. Well what can I say? It started off REALLY bad, as this one is a really challenging drive compared to most GT3s, but at the same time it's quite a bit faster, than most GT3s, especially at the top end.
 
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I've been racing daily C this week almost exclusively with the 458. I say "almost", because there was just so much DR hit I'm willing to take :lol:. I then decided to do the race with other MR's to get a comparison. After that, I went to my 458 test bed (Fuji raceway) and did time trials with the 458 against my warm blanket GR3 cars, and some of the other MR's. AFTER THAT...... I spent a good hour tuning the 458 to see what I could get out of it. Gonna look for an @praiano63 tune to put into it.... unless they want to post one up in this thread for us to try.... heh, heh.

Spoiler alert: My fastest GR.3 time on Fuji has been with the 458.... with standard BOP!

Full report to come soon.


But first!!!!!!!!




A shameless plug :rolleyes:





Here's part 1 of a race I did this past weekend in Mexico :dunce:
 
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Ahh, Ferrari. If they aren't busy lying about the real world mass of their cars by outrageously underreporting values like an insecure, whiny teenage girl, they're busy trying to control the media and getting off to the resultant picture of themselves they paint to the world at large. Of course, in Gran Turismo Sport's Gr.3 class, the former of which isn't possible, and I've yet to see any men in suits with Rosso Scuderia ties at my doorstep yet, so...


...I'm utterly defenceless in admitting how smitten I am by the 458 road car, and especially its GT3 incarnation. It wears fat flares better than most fair ladies do swimsuits, and its smoothly intoxicating 9,500rpm NA V8 shriek would make anyone forget any other engine note they've heard in their lives. I truly think that the 458 road car is the supercar recipe executed to such perfection that everything else, even its successors and their rivals, has to be held to. It's the sort of car that a 3 year old would pick out a toy of in a yard sale and henceforth have their life forever changed.


Yeeeeah, I mean, there's the itty bitty, teensy weensy, ever so slightly non–negligible issue of it having tried to kill me... several times. And it will continue to do so, especially when the weather is bad. But who cares? Its wild handling is already notorious by this point in the game, and that's even before it starts shredding tyres as though they were sticky pictures of its ex. Whack default suspension settings, blahblah, you've heard it all before. To steal a quote from GTPlanet's own @LeGeNd-1 , "No sane racing team will send their drivers out in GTS' 458". It's that bad. Not only do the misaligned tyres make the 458 a feisty mistress to wrestle, but they also make it one that gets exponentially more uncontrollable with time due to how the tyres seemingly have a fetish for autocannibalism. This makes the already tricky to handle 458 one of the most inconsistent GT3 cars I've ever sampled—even on the default Racing Hard tyres and low wear multipliers, you will feel and carry an errant powerslide with you for the rest of the stint, as the fragile rear end of the car palpably degrades into a Ferrari–badged shopping cart with wheels that steer in a full circle, following where the car wills them instead of the other way around. I have the brake bias of my 458 set fully to the front most of the time not because it's faster or feels best, but because it allows the 458 to start mildly fantasising about actually having some hint of balancing its tyre wear front to rear over a stint.


Unlike the Huracán that will unabashedly take the first opportunity to kill you—or simply make its own, the 458 is more methodical and psychotic a murderer. It lures you in with its styling, its soundtrack, its throttle response, and will genuinely impress even the harshest of critics with its agile, responsive, communicative, surgically precise, and yet all so effortless front end, the likes of which is only possible from a thoroughbred MR racing machine. It earns the trust of its driver and makes them yearn for more while waiting to bare its fangs for when they are least prepared and lulled into the rhythm of a long stint, for that is when it seemingly derives the most pleasure from the kill.


Ferraris go fast, as does this one. But I unfortunately am not referring to its gear limited top speed of 315km/h (196mph) in this particular case—I'm talking about how quickly the 458 GT3 will rob control of you by turning itself into a Singaporean spec 458, making the left side of the car you're sitting on the passenger side. There's little to no buildup to a slide, and once you start to get enough slip angle to possibly start looking cool with a drift, that is oh so coincidentally the exact same point where a 458 just decides its had enough of your BS and points you towards the grandstands where it decrees you belong. A 911 would give you more options and outs in a slide than this horse of horror—there is absolutely nothing you as a driver can do to correct the car once it reaches over that binary tipping point and goes. It should go without saying by this point that even fantasising about driving this thing in the wet is audacious enough a thought for your preferred deity to ignite the flammable adhesives you must've been inhaling to have come up with that idea: the car simply cannot put ANY power down out of a corner, not to mention it is prone to snapping and fishtailing like a 450,000 Cr. MR2.


All these shortcomings and death threats may well be forgiven, or even be a worthy trade, if the 458 is quick in Gr.3. After all, in a simplified and safe environment that is sim racing, wherein there are little to no variables with the track and car conditions, we gamer types have somehow managed to weaponise the tail happiness of cars to become time attack leaderboard dominators. I've seen the 458 pop up a few times on leaderboards, but personally, I've seen the 2015 Audi R8 LMS and 2015 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 twins much more often than the 458 when a track favours a NA, RMR layout. The 458 then, from what I can surmise, is a niche alternative car at best for when you want a challenge or to go against the grain, but ultimately, not a very good car in most situations.


And yet I enjoy this car nonetheless. It's almost like walking into a haunted house, wherein you know awful things will befall you, but yet somehow you walk in with anticipation and excitement for said atrocities. It's so good because it's so "bad". It seemingly wears its role as a terroriser like a pretty crimson red dress with pride, and hot damn does it wear it well. That's the whole point and draw of the car, to me. It takes in many people with its allure and spits the vast majority of them out, but for those that don't get spat out, for those who can handle and manage it to the point of appearing as a boring drive, making it hang with everything else as though it were just another normal, viable, competitive car in Gr.3, the 458 takes those very select few people and makes them appear as though the brightest of superstars.


It's a succubus cloaked in red, who could make a sinner of a saint, a sober man of an addict, and a murderer of a nurse, all just with its firm, hypnotic ode of desire. And what it makes of me is a very conflicted man. I know I shouldn't, just on principle alone. Realistically speaking, I know I could never. But it so innocently bewitching me can be nothing other than by the most meticulous and passionate of design. I don't know how else I'm supposed to feel. I don't know what else I can feel.


I know it's morally objectionable because it's a Ferrari. I know it hates me with more vehemence than I do its maker. I know it's bad for me. I know it'd get me in trouble. But I don't care. In fact, I want it all the more because of that. I want its soulful siren to call the world's attention to me as I fly through corners with it. I want to prove to the world that I can handle that which I can never have. I want to make a statement about how unfair the world is. I want to live a life that I never had. I want to feel like I'm worth its abuse, that I am a worthy human being.

What else were you expecting to happen if you loan the keys to the heart of a Ferrari to a poor man?


Look at me. Look at how good I am with the car. I am nothing without my craft, and this soulful being is a work of art. So look at me.

...is this still about the car?
 
Ahh, Ferrari. If they aren't busy lying about the real world mass of their cars by outrageously underreporting values like an insecure, whiny teenage girl, they're busy trying to control the media and getting off to the resultant picture of themselves they paint to the world at large. Of course, in Gran Turismo Sport's Gr.3 class, the former of which isn't possible, and I've yet to see any men in suits with Rosso Scuderia ties at my doorstep yet, so...


...I'm utterly defenceless in admitting how smitten I am by the 458 road car, and especially its GT3 incarnation. It wears fat flares better than most fair ladies do swimsuits, and its smoothly intoxicating 9,500rpm NA V8 shriek would make anyone forget any other engine note they've heard in their lives. I truly think that the 458 road car is the supercar recipe executed to such perfection that everything else, even its successors and their rivals, has to be held to. It's the sort of car that a 3 year old would pick out a toy of in a yard sale and henceforth have their life forever changed.


Yeeeeah, I mean, there's the itty bitty, teensy weensy, ever so slightly non–negligible issue of it having tried to kill me... several times. And it will continue to do so, especially when the weather is bad. But who cares? Its wild handling is already notorious by this point in the game, and that's even before it starts shredding tyres as though they were sticky pictures of its ex. Whack default suspension settings, blahblah, you've heard it all before. To steal a quote from GTPlanet's own @LeGeNd-1 , "No sane racing team will send their drivers out in GTS' 458". It's that bad. Not only do the misaligned tyres make the 458 a feisty mistress to wrestle, but they also make it one that gets exponentially more uncontrollable with time due to how the tyres seemingly have a fetish for autocannibalism. This makes the already tricky to handle 458 one of the most inconsistent GT3 cars I've ever sampled—even on the default Racing Hard tyres and low wear multipliers, you will feel and carry an errant powerslide with you for the rest of the stint, as the fragile rear end of the car palpably degrades into a Ferrari–badged shopping cart with wheels that steer in a full circle, following where the car wills them instead of the other way around. I have the brake bias of my 458 set fully to the front most of the time not because it's faster or feels best, but because it allows the 458 to start mildly fantasising about actually having some hint of balancing its tyre wear front to rear over a stint.


Unlike the Huracán that will unabashedly take the first opportunity to kill you—or simply make its own, the 458 is more methodical and psychotic a murderer. It lures you in with its styling, its soundtrack, its throttle response, and will genuinely impress even the harshest of critics with its agile, responsive, communicative, surgically precise, and yet all so effortless front end, the likes of which is only possible from a thoroughbred MR racing machine. It earns the trust of its driver and makes them yearn for more while waiting to bare its fangs for when they are least prepared and lulled into the rhythm of a long stint, for that is when it seemingly derives the most pleasure from the kill.


Ferraris go fast, as does this one. But I unfortunately am not referring to its gear limited top speed of 315km/h (196mph) in this particular case—I'm talking about how quickly the 458 GT3 will rob control of you by turning itself into a Singaporean spec 458, making the left side of the car you're sitting on the passenger side. There's little to no buildup to a slide, and once you start to get enough slip angle to possibly start looking cool with a drift, that is oh so coincidentally the exact same point where a 458 just decides its had enough of your BS and points you towards the grandstands where it decrees you belong. A 911 would give you more options and outs in a slide than this horse of horror—there is absolutely nothing you as a driver can do to correct the car once it reaches over that binary tipping point and goes. It should go without saying by this point that even fantasising about driving this thing in the wet is audacious enough a thought for your preferred deity to ignite the flammable adhesives you must've been inhaling to have come up with that idea: the car simply cannot put ANY power down out of a corner, not to mention it is prone to snapping and fishtailing like a 450,000 Cr. MR2.


All these shortcomings and death threats may well be forgiven, or even be a worthy trade, if the 458 is quick in Gr.3. After all, in a simplified and safe environment that is sim racing, wherein there are little to no variables with the track and car conditions, we gamer types have somehow managed to weaponise the tail happiness of cars to become time attack leaderboard dominators. I've seen the 458 pop up a few times on leaderboards, but personally, I've seen the 2015 Audi R8 LMS and 2015 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 twins much more often than the 458 when a track favours a NA, RMR layout. The 458 then, from what I can surmise, is a niche alternative car at best for when you want a challenge or to go against the grain, but ultimately, not a very good car in most situations.


And yet I enjoy this car nonetheless. It's almost like walking into a haunted house, wherein you know awful things will befall you, but yet somehow you walk in with anticipation and excitement for said atrocities. It's so good because it's so "bad". It seemingly wears its role as a terroriser like a pretty crimson red dress with pride, and hot damn does it wear it well. That's the whole point and draw of the car, to me. It takes in many people with its allure and spits the vast majority of them out, but for those that don't get spat out, for those who can handle and manage it to the point of appearing as a boring drive, making it hang with everything else as though it were just another normal, viable, competitive car in Gr.3, the 458 takes those very select few people and makes them appear as though the brightest of superstars.


It's a succubus cloaked in red, who could make a sinner of a saint, a sober man of an addict, and a murderer of a nurse, all just with its firm, hypnotic ode of desire. And what it makes of me is a very conflicted man. I know I shouldn't, just on principle alone. Realistically speaking, I know I could never. But it so innocently bewitching me can be nothing other than by the most meticulous and passionate of design. I don't know how else I'm supposed to feel. I don't know what else I can feel.


I know it's morally objectionable because it's a Ferrari. I know it hates me with more vehemence than I do its maker. I know it's bad for me. I know it'd get me in trouble. But I don't care. In fact, I want it all the more because of that. I want its soulful siren to call the world's attention to me as I fly through corners with it. I want to prove to the world that I can handle that which I can never have. I want to make a statement about how unfair the world is. I want to live a life that I never had. I want to feel like I'm worth its abuse, that I am a worthy human being.

What else were you expecting to happen if you loan the keys to the heart of a Ferrari to a poor man?


Look at me. Look at how good I am with the car. I am nothing without my craft, and this soulful being is a work of art. So look at me.

...is this still about the car?
Awesome review as always, lovely pictures of the red Godess!
 

GTS Nordschleife hot lap STOCK Mazda Demio XD Touring 2015 (N100): 09.24.445​

Honestly, it's a boring but very functional and well behaved family car. Then again, it's just as quick, as a Golf I GTI, around Tsukuba at least.

Driven stock on hard sport tyres without any driving aids, except ABS. First lap in third person view, second one in cockpit view and third one in cinematic replay view. All driven laps are the same lap.

Comparison with Tsukuba rivals:



Verdict: Gotta be neutral I guess.
 
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Sorry guys, been dealing with health problems and haven't done my due duty for the end of year prizes. By all means, please post your nominations in and I will get something done up. Its a bit tricky as vertigo is one of my symptoms and makes the racing/screen time a bit tricky, you all know the catagories, so vote away!!
 
I used the Demio/Mazda2 a bit back when I was still active on GT Sport, and what I remember of that car was that it was very run of the mill. Nothing really too spectacular on any front, but it was a fun drive. Helps that at the time, I had a same-generation Mazda3 IRL that I absolutely adored. Demio's Neutral for me, based on past memories. IDK how relevant my input would be, though...
 
When the 2015 Mazda Demio XD Touring was added to Gran Turismo Sport as part of update 1.47 in late October of 2019, I was most definitely the happiest person in the entire player base of Gran Turismo at the time, and probably by a long, long shot too.


You see, the Mazda Demio, known as the Mazda2 in export markets (and also now in Japan... go figure), holds a very, very special place in my heart, as it's the very first car I've ever driven on Japanese roads when I rented one to navigate Japan back in 2017, and is also the first Mazda this fanboy of the brand has ever driven anywhere. I had to rent a car as Daikoku Futou, my destination on an industrial reclaimed island, is not served by public transportation, and taxis never venture in there on their own. If the name "Daikoku Parking Area" sounds familiar to you, it may well be because it's the venue of a well–known RX-7 meet every 7th of July (7/7)... or it could just be that it's a Scapes location in this game, released at the end of that year!


I mean, yes, the Demio I rented from Times Car Rental was a 3rd gen model with a petrol engine, automatic gearbox, and (for some very puzzling reason,) AWD, which means that the Demio that's featured in the game, a 4th Gen diesel manual FF, literally cannot be any more different than the car I had driven while still sharing the same name. But pah, details. Who's ever given a rat's behind about those?


Even without my personal experiences and bias though, the Demio has always been an integral part of the Gran Turismo series. The first gen Demio in Chaste White is quite possibly the first car many players have driven in Gran Turismo 1's very first licence test, and has been with the series since through both their incarnations. In fact, in Gran Turismo 6, a 3rd gen Demio Sport had a CVT gearbox, which is an excruciating rarity in the series. Yes, sure, the CVT may have put many a player to sleep, but what better reason to put a tuba of an exhaust on to ensure that you and everyone else driving within striking distance of you stays awake?


Continuing that lineage of slightly off kilter quirks, the 4th gen Demio in Gran Turismo Sport is powered by a 1,496cc SKYACTIV-D engine, making it one of the only two diesel propelled road cars in the game alongside its stable mate Atenza. Anything faster than these, you'll have to go all the way to Peugeot and Audi's LMP1 offerings to find. According to Mazda, this engine, fitted on both the Demio and Atenza, has the world's lowest compression ratio of (road going?) diesel engines, at 14.0:1, fed by a trick two-stage turbocharger reminiscent of the system found in the FD RX-7 of lore. As the cherry on top of the block, said engine is mated to a proper 6 speed stick shift manual gearbox to further set itself apart from even its stable mate, making it quite the curious gem of a car to examine under the microscope this week.

...wait, isn't a high compression ratio better for any internal combustion engine? Why is Mazda boasting about having the lowest compression ratio diesel? Gah, I don't know. My pea brain is already melting from writing this week's review and staring at all the numbers and Japanese on the spec sheets.


I know it's a bit of a stretch, but I think the Demio is one of the quiet pillars of the series, an integral part of its soul, if you will. If you'll Ittai your Jin with your ba for a moment and take a slow gait with me down memory lane, the Gran Turismo games of old always had players starting out in a cheap box that barely moves, with which you're somehow supposed to win races, thereby scraping together some credits to either upgrade said box or buy something less boxy and more feisty. It's that struggle and progressive training of a player in these attainable, everyday boxes on wheels that set apart the Gran Turismo series from its rivals since its inception, and has come to define the genre it created, named "caRPG". If you're skilled (and mad!) enough, these boxes could even share a racetrack with sports, super, or even racecars! The fact that this e–sports focused title that takes itself way too seriously, Gran Turismo Sport, has included a Demio in it gives me hope that Gran Turismo 7 can rekindle some of that lost magic of past titles, and let me feel that sense of childlike wonder with attainable, oddball cars I never knew existed, and imbue me with encyclopedic knowledge about them.


Now that I (think I) am an adult, it's relatable and attainable cars like the Fit and Demio that excite me more than supercars and racecars, believe it or not. Yeah, the McLaren F1 is brilliant, and it'd be nice to sample a Koenigsegg to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm never going to even be able to close to one of those cars. In contrast, I've been able to rent a Fit Hybrid for my work and even write a long, drawn out review for it, which truly has been one of the greatest highlights of my life thus far. I would dearly love to be able to find a diesel Demio to rent for my work in the same fashion, but surprise surprise, the only Mazda2 that's unfortunate enough to get sucked into this hellhole that is Singapore is the petrol model and only with a slushbox, despite its in–game description stating that over 60% of initial orders for the car were specced with the turbodiesel engine. If there's anything the all inclusive country of mine hates, it's cars and people with a passion... and people with taste. And poor people. And biological males. And hom-

cough


Anyway, I'm still hoping that one day, I'll be able to bring you that real life review of a Demio diesel. In fact, I scare even myself with how disproportionately much I want to do it. I'm almost tempted to put myself in a financial vice of importing one myself to do that, the cost of which to do so in Singapore is enough get oneself a robustly optioned 718 Boxster anywhere else in the world. Why doesn't someone just shotgun me in the back of the head already?


Even when comparing the Fit Hybrid and Demio Diesel on paper for my boring real life applications, I really struggled immensely to see just what the latter offers that the former doesn't. A base Fit Hybrid offers more boot space, a better overall Euro NCAP safety rating, and much better fuel economy than even the 6MT, i-ELOOP equipped Demios, such as the one featured in this game. You'll need to order specific grades of the Demio to get a it with a stick with seven forks, pushing the prices up to Fit Hybrid or RS territory (and no, the 15MB doesn't count, cool as it may be). Now, there are almost endless ways you can spec the two cars, but as they are in the game, the Demio costs a whopping 2,700 Credits more than the Fit Hybrid at 19,500 Cr., and this gap in price is something I find largely holds true in the real world as well.


Of course, the Fit Hybrid has problems in the real world that aren't replicated in the game, as I'm sure does the Demio. I regrettably can't compare these two in the real world without bankrupting myself and seventeen generations down my family tree, but what I can tell you even without having an actual physical Demio is that it comes with ACTUAL, PHYSICAL KNOBS FOR CLIMATE CONTROL, along with a touchscreen that you're not "supposed" to actually touch—which on their own are more than enough to justify any price hike over the Fit, and together makes me want to marry the head engineer of Mazda sight unseen. Not only that, the Demio comes optional with Mazda's Active Driving Display—a pop up screen on top of the dash onto which the most vital tidbits of information when driving, namely nav instructions, the current road's speed limit, and the car's instantaneous speed, is projected, so that the driver's line of sight never needs to veer off the road ahead. The pop up display is such a godsend—one that I kept wishing I had in real life with my Fit when ducking under speed cameras (not that I ever go above the speed limit, of course).


I mean, think about it, what's the next cheapest non–Mazda car that has a HUD speedo? Baby, don't even look at me unless your car can give me that sexy pop–up action! Does your Bugatti and Ferrari have HUDs? No? Peasants, the lot of you! Don't even come close to me or you'll infect me with the stench of POOR!

With the Demio falling behind the Fit on paper, I was really hoping that it would make sense once the Ko really starts to Do... oh fine, once the soul really begins to move, for those of you unfortunate enough to be illiterate with the culturally rich language of Nihongo. Unfortunately, the Demio also falls short of the Fit Hybrid in the driving dynamics department, which is such a shocker for me personally. The Demio is so softly sprung that, even on the downgraded, cold Comfort Soft tyres we were running on race day (default are Sports Hard), you'll be shaving off body panels with your tyres under hard cornering loads on a perfectly smooth and level racetrack such as Maggiore.


The driving impressions I'm about to dump on you are therefore done on Comfort Medium tyres, which just feel like spiteful, economy, poor man rubbish mashed and melded into the shape of a tyre. Might well be appropriate, given that cars of the Demio's ilk often come with CM tyres by default in previous games, where they actually gave a damn about road cars. sigh


In contrast to the Fit, the softer Demio moves around and squirms a lot under stress. It definitely seems to me that the Demio has been set up to be more comfortable than racy. Despite being lower in height and weighing the exact same as the Fit Hybrid even when measured in pounds (2,381lbs, 1,080kg), the Demio just oddly feels like it has its centre of gravity set at SkyActiv heights up front, perhaps because the diesel engined Demios do suffer quite the mass penalty in comparison to its petrol counterparts. In any case, the Demio diesel feels heavier than it actually is, requiring drivers to brake markedly earlier to ease the unwilling car into a corner in comparison to the Fit, which feels more like a go–kart that allows you to brake stupidly late and flick it into a corner without much thought. The Demio on the other hand, feels much more mortal, mechanical, and old–school a drive, reminiscent of the cheap but cheerful Japanese crapboxes that people tend to romanticise. You have to have your finger on the pulse of the car and treat it right before it will reciprocate, and is such an involving and engaging drive because of it.


It may be soft, but it's still a Mazda, the company that continues to sell us the ND Roadster, a sports car noted by many to be soft as well. Similarly in the Demio, that softness does not necessarily mean sloppiness—there's thought and design that went into the suspension setup of the Demio, which becomes evident the moment you find out how to make it Zoom–Zoom. You'll need to trail brake into corners, be cognizant of where weight is at all times, and keep an eye on the tach. And speaking of, the tachometer is large and dead centre in the dash, with 4k rpm where the diesel engine makes its peak power top dead centre, lending this unassuming car such a spunky feel. There is definitely a "click", an eureka moment, if you get things right in the car, and nailing that perfect lap with it feels more laborious and more rewarding as a result. Whether that fits your definition of "good handling" or "fun to drive" is, of course, entirely up to you, but speaking for myself personally, I feel more awake driving the Demio than I do the Fit, simply because the latter simply gives me what I want instantly with no drama... and it really isn't any faster than the Demio after about 4 minutes of flat out racing when it runs out of battery juice.



If you're planning for your career in GT7 and are wondering if the Fit Hybrid and Demio diesel are any good, I'd say that the Fit is the much, much better choice in a racing game that doesn't simulate its horrid throttle response while magically giving you manual control over its cogs. It's tauter, much more immediate in the twisties, and will happily even wear Sports tyres. A 4 minute advantage over the Demio is still an advantage, after which they are more or less equal in pace. Unfortunately, the Demio diesel isn't good for much of anything aside from novelty when translated into the digital realm, and while I personally like both a lot, I can only recommend one.


Cars like the Demio are doomed to never really leave that much of an impression in a game that laser focuses on sanctioned, formal racing using built to spec racecars. It's no FD RX-7, it's no Taycan Turbo, nor is it a Viper GT3-R. It's never going to set anyone's pants on fire or melt their hearts—it's not even going to get any use in the game's utter sham of a campaign mode. You most likely won't be too moved by this car in its digital form, physically or emotionally.


But the thing is, I have been moved physically and emotionally by the car in an area where it excels—in real life, and therefore I'm very, very biased towards it. Half this "review" is me just going on a diatribe about my real life joys and sorrows. I love throwing cheap, light, little cars around, especially if they've a Mazda badge on them. The Demio may have a badge that says "2" on it in most markets, but it is the car of many firsts for many people. It was the first car I've ever driven in Japan, the first Mazda I've ever driven, and the first car that really made me know the joys of vehicle ownership. I remember checking into a hotel in the dead of night bringing only my PJs and a bag of toiletries with me to my room instead of my entire luggage, instead leaving that in the back seat of the Demio. I remember that time I brazenly left the Demio unlocked and running outside a convenience store, a conbini as they call it in Japan, because Japan was such a safe and courteous country. I walked in asking for directions to RE Amemiya, and in hindsight I really should've bought something as thanks. Looking at a Demio brings back to me the heavenly taste of Starbucks' Caffe Latte on a groggy, one handed morning drive. A coffee that I'm horribly lactose intolerant to, yet I need so, so much. A coffee that costs only a mere ¥216 per bottle at any conbini—a price that I've yet to be able to find even closely replicated back here in Singapore, IF they even import it. Seeing a Demio brings all those sweet, sweet memories flooding back to me, and I can't possibly critique or review it in a fair manner. I'm biased towards Mazdas normally, but this one especially so.


The Demio isn't a "2" in my eyes; it's number one.
 
When the 2015 Mazda Demio XD Touring was added to Gran Turismo Sport as part of update 1.47 in late October of 2019, I was most definitely the happiest person in the entire player base of Gran Turismo at the time, and probably by a long, long shot too.


You see, the Mazda Demio, known as the Mazda2 in export markets (and also now in Japan... go figure), holds a very, very special place in my heart, as it's the very first car I've ever driven on Japanese roads when I rented one to navigate Japan back in 2017, and is also the first Mazda this fanboy of the brand has ever driven anywhere. I had to rent a car as Daikoku Futou, my destination on an industrial reclaimed island, is not served by public transportation, and taxis never venture in there on their own. If the name "Daikoku Parking Area" sounds familiar to you, it may well be because it's the venue of a well–known RX-7 meet every 7th of July (7/7)... or it could just be that it's a Scapes location in this game, released at the end of that year!


I mean, yes, the Demio I rented from Times Car Rental was a 3rd gen model with a petrol engine, automatic gearbox, and (for some very puzzling reason,) AWD, which means that the Demio that's featured in the game, a 4th Gen diesel manual FF, literally cannot be any more different than the car I had driven while still sharing the same name. But pah, details. Who's ever given a rat's behind about those?


Even without my personal experiences and bias though, the Demio has always been an integral part of the Gran Turismo series. The first gen Demio in Chaste White is quite possibly the first car many players have driven in Gran Turismo 1's very first licence test, and has been with the series since through both their incarnations. In fact, in Gran Turismo 6, a 3rd gen Demio Sport had a CVT gearbox, which is an excruciating rarity in the series. Yes, sure, the CVT may have put many a player to sleep, but what better reason to put a tuba of an exhaust on to ensure that you and everyone else driving within striking distance of you stays awake?


Continuing that lineage of slightly off kilter quirks, the 4th gen Demio in Gran Turismo Sport is powered by a 1,496cc SKYACTIV-D engine, making it one of the only two diesel propelled road cars in the game alongside its stable mate Atenza. Anything faster than these, you'll have to go all the way to Peugeot and Audi's LMP1 offerings to find. According to Mazda, this engine, fitted on both the Demio and Atenza, has the world's lowest compression ratio of (road going?) diesel engines, at 14.0:1, fed by a trick two-stage turbocharger reminiscent of the system found in the FD RX-7 of lore. As the cherry on top of the block, said engine is mated to a proper 6 speed stick shift manual gearbox to further set itself apart from even its stable mate, making it quite the curious gem of a car to examine under the microscope this week.

...wait, isn't a high compression ratio better for any internal combustion engine? Why is Mazda boasting about having the lowest compression ratio diesel? Gah, I don't know. My pea brain is already melting from writing this week's review and staring at all the numbers and Japanese on the spec sheets.


I know it's a bit of a stretch, but I think the Demio is one of the quiet pillars of the series, an integral part of its soul, if you will. If you'll Ittai your Jin with your ba for a moment and take a slow gait with me down memory lane, the Gran Turismo games of old always had players starting out in a cheap box that barely moves, with which you're somehow supposed to win races, thereby scraping together some credits to either upgrade said box or buy something less boxy and more feisty. It's that struggle and progressive training of a player in these attainable, everyday boxes on wheels that set apart the Gran Turismo series from its rivals since its inception, and has come to define the genre it created, named "caRPG". If you're skilled (and mad!) enough, these boxes could even share a racetrack with sports, super, or even racecars! The fact that this e–sports focused title that takes itself way too seriously, Gran Turismo Sport, has included a Demio in it gives me hope that Gran Turismo 7 can rekindle some of that lost magic of past titles, and let me feel that sense of childlike wonder with attainable, oddball cars I never knew existed, and imbue me with encyclopedic knowledge about them.


Now that I (think I) am an adult, it's relatable and attainable cars like the Fit and Demio that excite me more than supercars and racecars, believe it or not. Yeah, the McLaren F1 is brilliant, and it'd be nice to sample a Koenigsegg to see what all the fuss is about, but I'm never going to even be able to close to one of those cars. In contrast, I've been able to rent a Fit Hybrid for my work and even write a long, drawn out review for it, which truly has been one of the greatest highlights of my life thus far. I would dearly love to be able to find a diesel Demio to rent for my work in the same fashion, but surprise surprise, the only Mazda2 that's unfortunate enough to get sucked into this hellhole that is Singapore is the petrol model and only with a slushbox, despite its in–game description stating that over 60% of initial orders for the car were specced with the turbodiesel engine. If there's anything the all inclusive country of mine hates, it's cars and people with a passion... and people with taste. And poor people. And biological males. And hom-

cough


Anyway, I'm still hoping that one day, I'll be able to bring you that real life review of a Demio diesel. In fact, I scare even myself with how disproportionately much I want to do it. I'm almost tempted to put myself in a financial vice of importing one myself to do that, the cost of which to do so in Singapore is enough get oneself a robustly optioned 718 Boxster anywhere else in the world. Why doesn't someone just shotgun me in the back of the head already?


Even when comparing the Fit Hybrid and Demio Diesel on paper for my boring real life applications, I really struggled immensely to see just what the latter offers that the former doesn't. A base Fit Hybrid offers more boot space, a better overall Euro NCAP safety rating, and much better fuel economy than even the 6MT, i-ELOOP equipped Demios, such as the one featured in this game. You'll need to order specific grades of the Demio to get a it with a stick with seven forks, pushing the prices up to Fit Hybrid or RS territory (and no, the 15MB doesn't count, cool as it may be). Now, there are almost endless ways you can spec the two cars, but as they are in the game, the Demio costs a whopping 2,700 Credits more than the Fit Hybrid at 19,500 Cr., and this gap in price is something I find largely holds true in the real world as well.


Of course, the Fit Hybrid has problems in the real world that aren't replicated in the game, as I'm sure does the Demio. I regrettably can't compare these two in the real world without bankrupting myself and seventeen generations down my family tree, but what I can tell you even without having an actual physical Demio is that it comes with ACTUAL, PHYSICAL KNOBS FOR CLIMATE CONTROL, along with a touchscreen that you're not "supposed" to actually touch—which on their own are more than enough to justify any price hike over the Fit, and together makes me want to marry the head engineer of Mazda sight unseen. Not only that, the Demio comes optional with Mazda's Active Driving Display—a pop up screen on top of the dash onto which the most vital tidbits of information when driving, namely nav instructions, the current road's speed limit, and the car's instantaneous speed, is projected, so that the driver's line of sight never needs to veer off the road ahead. The pop up display is such a godsend—one that I kept wishing I had in real life with my Fit when ducking under speed cameras (not that I ever go above the speed limit, of course).


I mean, think about it, what's the next cheapest non–Mazda car that has a HUD speedo? Baby, don't even look at me unless your car can give me that sexy pop–up action! Does your Bugatti and Ferrari have HUDs? No? Peasants, the lot of you! Don't even come close to me or you'll infect me with the stench of POOR!

With the Demio falling behind the Fit on paper, I was really hoping that it would make sense once the Ko really starts to Do... oh fine, once the soul really begins to move, for those of you unfortunate enough to be illiterate with the culturally rich language of Nihongo. Unfortunately, the Demio also falls short of the Fit Hybrid in the driving dynamics department, which is such a shocker for me personally. The Demio is so softly sprung that, even on the downgraded, cold Comfort Soft tyres we were running on race day (default are Sports Hard), you'll be shaving off body panels with your tyres under hard cornering loads on a perfectly smooth and level racetrack such as Maggiore.


The driving impressions I'm about to dump on you are therefore done on Comfort Medium tyres, which just feel like spiteful, economy, poor man rubbish mashed and melded into the shape of a tyre. Might well be appropriate, given that cars of the Demio's ilk often come with CM tyres by default in previous games, where they actually gave a damn about road cars. sigh


In contrast to the Fit, the softer Demio moves around and squirms a lot under stress. It definitely seems to me that the Demio has been set up to be more comfortable than racy. Despite being lower in height and weighing the exact same as the Fit Hybrid even when measured in pounds (2,381lbs, 1,080kg), the Demio just oddly feels like it has its centre of gravity set at SkyActiv heights up front, perhaps because the diesel engined Demios do suffer quite the mass penalty in comparison to its petrol counterparts. In any case, the Demio diesel feels heavier than it actually is, requiring drivers to brake markedly earlier to ease the unwilling car into a corner in comparison to the Fit, which feels more like a go–kart that allows you to brake stupidly late and flick it into a corner without much thought. The Demio on the other hand, feels much more mortal, mechanical, and old–school a drive, reminiscent of the cheap but cheerful Japanese crapboxes that people tend to romanticise. You have to have your finger on the pulse of the car and treat it right before it will reciprocate, and is such an involving and engaging drive because of it.


It may be soft, but it's still a Mazda, the company that continues to sell us the ND Roadster, a sports car noted by many to be soft as well. Similarly in the Demio, that softness does not necessarily mean sloppiness—there's thought and design that went into the suspension setup of the Demio, which becomes evident the moment you find out how to make it Zoom–Zoom. You'll need to trail brake into corners, be cognizant of where weight is at all times, and keep an eye on the tach. And speaking of, the tachometer is large and dead centre in the dash, with 4k rpm where the diesel engine makes its peak power top dead centre, lending this unassuming car such a spunky feel. There is definitely a "click", an eureka moment, if you get things right in the car, and nailing that perfect lap with it feels more laborious and more rewarding as a result. Whether that fits your definition of "good handling" or "fun to drive" is, of course, entirely up to you, but speaking for myself personally, I feel more awake driving the Demio than I do the Fit, simply because the latter simply gives me what I want instantly with no drama... and it really isn't any faster than the Demio after about 4 minutes of flat out racing when it runs out of battery juice.



If you're planning for your career in GT7 and are wondering if the Fit Hybrid and Demio diesel are any good, I'd say that the Fit is the much, much better choice in a racing game that doesn't simulate its horrid throttle response while magically giving you manual control over its cogs. It's tauter, much more immediate in the twisties, and will happily even wear Sports tyres. A 4 minute advantage over the Demio is still an advantage, after which they are more or less equal in pace. Unfortunately, the Demio diesel isn't good for much of anything aside from novelty when translated into the digital realm, and while I personally like both a lot, I can only recommend one.


Cars like the Demio are doomed to never really leave that much of an impression in a game that laser focuses on sanctioned, formal racing using built to spec racecars. It's no FD RX-7, it's no Taycan Turbo, nor is it a Viper GT3-R. It's never going to set anyone's pants on fire or melt their hearts—it's not even going to get any use in the game's utter sham of a campaign mode. You most likely won't be too moved by this car in its digital form, physically or emotionally.


But the thing is, I have been moved physically and emotionally by the car in an area where it excels—in real life, and therefore I'm very, very biased towards it. Half this "review" is me just going on a diatribe about my real life joys and sorrows. I love throwing cheap, light, little cars around, especially if they've a Mazda badge on them. The Demio may have a badge that says "2" on it in most markets, but it is the car of many firsts for many people. It was the first car I've ever driven in Japan, the first Mazda I've ever driven, and the first car that really made me know the joys of vehicle ownership. I remember checking into a hotel in the dead of night bringing only my PJs and a bag of toiletries with me to my room instead of my entire luggage, instead leaving that in the back seat of the Demio. I remember that time I brazenly left the Demio unlocked and running outside a convenience store, a conbini as they call it in Japan, because Japan was such a safe and courteous country. I walked in asking for directions to RE Amemiya, and in hindsight I really should've bought something as thanks. Looking at a Demio brings back to me the heavenly taste of Starbucks' Caffe Latte on a groggy, one handed morning drive. A coffee that I'm horribly lactose intolerant to, yet I need so, so much. A coffee that costs only a mere ¥216 per bottle at any conbini—a price that I've yet to be able to find even closely replicated back here in Singapore, IF they even import it. Seeing a Demio brings all those sweet, sweet memories flooding back to me, and I can't possibly critique or review it in a fair manner. I'm biased towards Mazdas normally, but this one especially so.


The Demio isn't a "2" in my eyes; it's number one.

Very humorously written, as always :)

This is how I always picture you typing all those books brah:

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I’m definitely biased and have to agree about the 2 in everyday life. I’ve got an ‘08 Mazda2 Genki manual(equivalent to the Demio Sport). Light, agile, sporty(standard tyres are 195/45-16, I’ve got 205/50s). Looks good with the added aero bits. Plus, I love the NOPRO XD S-Tai racers.
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Their latest XD is Biodiesel.
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Did some FIA Free Practices, when the N300 races were at Tsukuba and Nordschliefe. So much torque, good thing it has an LSD. Anyway, it’s an awesome little car to include. Don’t sleep on it.

As a side, the other Mazda diesel, Atenza XD, is no joke, when tuned to N300 as well. Nearly more torque than a Gr.4 Veyron.
 
Alright, wtf???

The nova isn’t in brands central?? How do I get it?

Oh, and if someone could tell me how to get race/scapes photos from my library to ultimately here on the interwebz, that would be greatly appreciated!

Here I am, the FNG and I’m already 2 reports behind!! It’s like I’m back in school again!
 
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Alright, wtf???

The nova isn’t in brands central?? How do I get it?

Oh, and if someone could tell me how to get race/scapes photos from my library to ultimately here on the interwebz, that would be greatly appreciated!

Here I am, the FNG and I’m already 2 reports behind!! It’s like I’m back in school again!
It’s in Brand Central->Asia-Pacific->Gran Turismo->Showroom->third car

If you have a social media page(Twitter, FB, never tried Instagram),press the Share button on your controller and link it to one of those social media pages. Copy/add photo to the device you use for gtplanet. Copy/paste or use the picture icon in the post. Done.
 
Copy, thanks for the info in getting the car.

As for the photos….

What if you don’t have any social media? 🙄
 
You can connect a portable hard disk/ thumb drive/ any storage device into the USB port of the PS4. Once it's hooked up, go into Gran Turismo Sport > My Library. Mouseover the photo you want to export, press Triangle > Export to USB Device. You can then connect the USB device to your PC, where it will be in a folder named "picture".

To export screenshots and video clips, press the Home button on your controller, then go to "Captures". Press Options on your controller > Export to USB device. The captures will be in PS4 > SHARE > Screenshots > Gran Turismo Sport.
 
Not long after I made the blanket statement that all vintage muscle cars are indistinguishable from one another because they all have bias ply tyres, no ABS, leaf springs, open diffs, powerful NA V8s, gearing that only pulls for a quarter mile, and heavy bodies, Vic pulls this thing out his behind and forces us all get intimately acquainted with the steaming extract.


Okay, fine, it's still got a big, powerful V8 up front. Powered by a 6.2L V8, Chris Holstrom Concept's take on a fourth generation Chevrolet Nova uses many modern mechanicals underneath its totally nondescript, period correct body. So thick is the sheep's clothing on this "1967" Nova in fact, that the only hints that this has a nuclear powered wolf underneath are the 4 wheel ventilated disc brakes peeking through modern Forgeline RB3C wheels, wearing impossibly low profile Continental ContiSportContact 5P tyres, with a width of 275mm up front and 305 in the rear, and a modern number plate if your base Nova is registered recently before being driven into CHC's shop in Puyallup Washington. Apparently there's also a small, hand–made cowl vent and air dam below the bumper that could tip off onlookers, but even after spending the week with the car, I still see nothing that really sticks out. It's that incognito.


Powered by a LS9 engine that usually propels a sleek C6 Corvette ZR1 however, any pretence that this is a modestly quick grandpa's car that might have existed in anyone's mind will be eviscerated quicker than the fuel in its tank the moment the engine is started. "But why would I want to spend 300 grand on a brick with a ZR1 engine if I can just buy a ZR1 at a third of the cost?", I hear you echo my past self. How about the fact that the LS9 in the Nova has been mutated to produce another 94HP? No? The fact that it has a five speed manual? A locking diff? Or the fact that this package weighs just 1,366kg (3,011lbs), a whole 142 kilos (311lbs) lighter than said C6 ZR1?

(Golly I sure hope this thing has ABS...)

Okay, so it's super impressive on paper. That much should be a given for a car that has won a GT Award at SEMA, right? But how is it to drive?


That's me in the RX-7, narrowly avoiding getting speared in my rear by a Nova doing 165km/h... in reverse... airbourne.

It's TERRI–FLIPPING–FYING to drive. As if you needed to ask!

(I'm sorry, I usually don't highlight people wiping out, but this is just way too damn funny to me! No hard feelings?)

Modern mechanicals this car may boast, but a racing car this thing is by far not. The suspension is set up way too soft for the power it has and the mass that it doesn't—racing drivers become part time astronomers with how much the nose of this thing lifts on power during corner exits, causing orbital amounts of understeer which, now that I think about it, might be a deliberate design choice so that you might actually see the wall you hit instead of the anal alternative. As a result of the soft suspension, the car sorely lacks the precision one would depend their life on in a car with a better power–to–mass ratio than a Veyron. It will squirm, it will flex, it will protest, and it won't at all hesitate to snap and spit you off the track if you think you've any bargaining power in a relationship that involves your partner having 732HP (546kW). It's a car in which I don't much endeavour to use every millimetre of the road and nail every apex, because I'm more than happy enough to simply make it through a corner alive.


While the CHC Nova shares the same engine as a C6 Corvette, its aerodynamic properties are more akin to a block of C4—never before in my four years of playing this game have I ever caught air at the back straight of Maggiore GP, but lo and behold, that's exactly what happened at a GT3–esque 255km/h (158mph) on said back straight.


All these atrocities is even before this car reaches its peak power output at 6,500rpm. Redlining at 7k, you'll need to wring this Corvette engine as though a Wankel to get the most of it, but the thing is, this engine propels the car so quickly, and the car has so little finesse in comparison that you'll never really have 732HP most of the time, let alone be able to use it. The engine is so peaky it almost feels like a turbocharged unit with how severe a spike in power this thing gets near redline. That's right; all the horrors I described above? Those are all before we even get to the meat skewer of its powerband. It feels fine with however much it produces in the mid–range, and like any good muscle car, it's receptive to being lugged in a lower gear despite its power and torque curves suggesting otherwise. Trust me, it's enough. In fact, many a times I've to make very short lived upshifts when approaching a corner, and I often over rev the engine because the last 500 or so rpm goes by so disproportionately quickly.


To be entirely fair, once if you get over the shock and horror of the power that dominates the experience of driving a CHC Nova, the car itself doesn't handle too horrifically. Yes, the suspension is soft, but that also means that kerbs are a total non issue for the car. The car itself is also surprisingly balanced! I'd really love to know the exact mass distribution of the car, because it feels to me something like a FC RX-7–esque 54/46 F/R, which would be quite the feat considering it's got a 6,162cc engine up front that requires custom headers just to fit under the anvil bonnet. It stops superbly well for a road car with zero aerodynamic devices on it—far better than many of the modern super and hypercars that pack comparable power to it, even with their heavy active aero crap. The fact that this car is one of the very select few to be equipped with non Sports Hard tyres by default from Brand Central—Sport Medium tyres in this case—probably has a lot to do with that stopping performance. It's not a car that's unreasonable or unpredictable—you "just" need to get used to having 732HP and the resultant speeds, learn to brake early, and be gentler on the gas pedal than you would a newborn kitten on corner exits. And uh... watch the body roll. And the power understeer. And the power oversteer. And the torque spike. And the aerodynamic lift at high speeds. Hey, I never said it was easy! I'm just saying it could be worse! Way worse!


So what have we learnt so far? That the CHC Nova is expensive, powerful, difficult to drive, and terrifying. Are there any alternatives to it that can give similar performance though, and preferably at a cheaper (laundromat) cost? Well, as Baron has proven on race day, the Mustang Mach Forty is just as fast, if not more so, than the CHC Nova even when kneecapped to the Nova's original power and mass as per our lobby's regulations, while costing the exact same 300,000 Credits. Not sure how much I want to deal with a rear mid engine layout though, if the Nova is already so bloody terrifying at these power levels. Despite having less power and more mass on paper, the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE is much better set up for track use, and will happily hang with its resurrected ancestor with a transplanted heart while costing less than a third its asking price. If you can wring any enjoyment from driving that soulless lump of marketing metal, or if you can actually get a read on the damn thing, the Taycan will utterly destroy the Nova, saving you 70 grand in the process in exchange for proving to the world beyond any doubt that you're more a benevolent, unfeeling machine whose sole reason for existence is to destroy other racers than an actual human being capable of emotions.



But all that is completely irrelevant, isn't it? A person shopping for something as niche and focused as a CHC Nova will know exactly what they're looking for, where to find it, the price they'll have to pay for it, both financial and practical, and won't settle for anything else—because in spite of having modern mechanicals, the CHC Nova is, in my culturally ignorant opinion, the purest muscle car one can buy (sort of...) in the 21st century.

Sure, Chevy, Dodge, and Ford still make muscle cars, and I thoroughly enjoy the Camaro ZL1 1LE and Charger Hellcat that are both in this game. But they don't... have that raw, bleeding edge to it. They feel compromised from having to adhere to modern day safety and emissions regulations, customer demands, and so on. Maybe this is just the opinion of someone who was never a fan of muscle cars and doesn't know a whole lot about them as a result, but to me, what makes the persona of a muscle car is obviously its straight line speed, but also how everything else has to utterly, shamelessly, proudly, unabashedly SUCK. Cornering, safety, fuel economy, build quality, comfort. I feel like that shameless sucking is part of the charm of a muscle car. It speaks a lot of the person who would knowingly own such a thing, about their priorities, their sense of security, their inner child, and their ability to be responsible enough to restrain themselves when driving the sort of deathtrap on public roads and still be alive to this day. Modern muscle cars just don't have that cool, shameless aura of, "Yeah, I know this this and this about my car is awful, what of it? It's cool, I like it, and that's all that matters" that seemingly makes the driver larger than life.

The problem is that modern cars simply cannot suck nowadays. Everything has to be accountable, responsible, sensible, and perhaps most importantly I suspect, legally unassailable. Don't get me wrong—that's wonderful for us consumers, but I feel that it does hinder the character of some cars, such as Lamborghinis for example, and muscle cars. If a muscle car handles well, has a nice interior, and salvageable fuel economy, then it's just a sports or GT car with a high drag body, isn't it? I've even said before in my 2016 Camaro SS review that "I can very easily see (it) being the FD RX-7 or 993 911 for somebody else who grew up in a different time or place". I meant it as high praise, but I'm not entirely sure if it's a good thing.


The CHC Nova on the other hand, is like a fusion of eras that permeates beyond its retro body; it drives like a vintage muscle car in spite of its modern equipment. It has sloppy, lopsided handling that no person in a suit and tie would greenlight in a big company. It would still sooner deactivate your heart than any of its cylinders, and it will properly horrify anyone who drives it. What those modern mechanicals do is, instead of taking away the horrors of driving a muscle car, they instead take away any excuse a driver might have for a sloppy display at a track. It invalidates the excuse of, "it's not me, it's the car". And what that results in is, quite frankly, a glimpse into an alternate reality we never had. A reality where cars can have and embrace faults and character. A muscle car that can be a muscle car thorough and through in 2021. A car that can scare its drivers and intimidate onlookers. It is a car that can only be driven by someone who thinks that they know what they're doing, and may God bless them like He did America if they think they do. Me personally, I wouldn't go anywhere near striking radius of that thing, which, given the speeds it's capable of, I'd say... maybe 500 miles? THAT, to me, is a muscle car.


The CHC Nova feels very personal. Intimate, even. If I have to provide an analogy, the ZL1 and Hellcat is like reading the biography of someone, and the CHC Nova feels like reading that person's diary—one is a product, and the other is a passion. A product can be good or bad. People can enjoy it or dislike it. But it needs to justify itself to others in order to continue its existence. A diary on the other hand, is entirely independent of the needs or enjoyment of others, because it's a personal thing with unmasked feelings and unique perspectives, whose worth stems from being different from others, and therefore deserves to exist by definition. There is no benchmark, no measure for how good or bad a diary entry is, and any such judgment therefore becomes completely subjective, if not irrelevant. I may not like the person, but every time I've managed to read the thoughts that someone else has penned down, I've enjoyed the experience and gained new perspectives, making me more empathetic a person. It's why documentaries and autobiographies of murderers and other such criminals exist, isn't it? The contents may be raw, it may be rough, it may even be repulsive, but there is a lot to be said about the purity and honesty in a diary that money cannot buy, and there often is a priceless sweetness buried in the ugly emotions. The 300,000 Credit CHC Nova then, feels almost like a diary or a love letter with a price tag slapped onto it. It has that nonchalant, self–assured charisma to it that makes a muscle car a muscle car, that modern muscle cars have lost a little bit of. I hugely respect CHC for putting this out there to the world, and I'm very glad I got to experience it even if only through a digital divide. Because gosh knows I'll never have the balls to in real life.


I mean, hell, even writing these long, unprofessional, somewhat personal reviews to a small audience is pretty much at the limit of what I dare do.
 

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