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Discussion in 'Gran Turismo Sport' started by Racer283, Sep 4, 2018.
Oh no. Oh dear. Oh no oh dear oh no.
So, in case it isn't obvious enough already, this is going to be a very long, philosophical rant. I don't like writing these, and as such I can't imagine anyone enjoying reading these, either. I just want to get a few things off my chest, barely disguised as a review of the Taycan.
The whole point of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is to make cars cleaner and more sustainable. No one driving a petrol car in a spirited manner thinks to themselves, "man, I sure do wish this drivetrain is electric! That'd solve so many faults I'm finding with this car!" Sure, the instant, "flat" torque curve, lack of gears, and low centre of gravity are all nice bonuses, but when the price to pay for those small perks is to have a car that weighs over a ton more than FD RX-7, I think I'd be much happier wringing out my engine and rowing it through gears on my own, thank you very much.
I personally think that, because EVs are more of an environmental necessity that is hopeless for spirited driving, it always comes across as incredibly pandering and insulting whenever an automaker tries to push "sporty" EVs as viable alternatives to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars for fun driving. And maybe they wouldn't be nearly so offensive, and maybe I could be more level headed about them if EVs and ICE cars can coexist together as alternatives to each other, but clearly, they cannot. No one rides horses on an expressway, nor does anyone use typewriters anymore, and those aren't even powered by non-renewable resources. With the UK threatening to ban all sale of IC vehicles by 2030, the writing is on the wall: this is a war against something I care very, too deeply about, and manufacturers need to scramble to future proof their lineups to stay relevant, either by offering all electric variants of their existing models, or introduce new, pure EV models to compete.
Six paragraphs in and I haven't even begun to introduce the Car of the Week, let alone speak about how it drives. EVs are an environmental and even political thing; their place and purpose on the public roads always, always takes precedence over how fun they are to drive. I don't like politics. I don't want to get into an argument about how green EVs actually are in their production cycle and how long they'd have to be driven on the road to break even with the environmental impact of an IC car, how the batteries will degrade and hold less and less charge like your laptop and phone batteries, how the charging infrastructure can and should improve, how we as a species can't just decide on one plug design and get on with it like we could a fuel inlet, the cost of energy per kilowatt for gasoline and electricity, how much sheer energy you need simply to maneuver a 2.5 ton tank of an EV, and so on. There are way smarter and qualified people out there arguing till their faces turn a melting glacier blue about those very important subjects. I'm just a man child looking to unwind from life and play with cars, because they're my escape. I do enough politicking and arguing as it is in my own adult life in society.
Environmental and social issues aside, there are a multitude of things that grind my gears about EVs. The first of which is always how disgustingly pretentious they are. IC cars have intakes and grilles on the front bumper because their engines need to "breathe" in oxygen to burn fuel, and hence when you see intakes and grilles on an IC car, you can almost anthropomorphise them: the headlights are the eyes, the badges are the nose, the intakes are the mouths, etc.. That's why you often hear motoring journalists describe a car's styling as having an "angry face", a "predator maw", or the like. And it's always such a weird experience to see a pure EV try to replicate these facial features and expressions on a bumper that needn't these openings and intakes, because the end result looks like something that's psychologically engineered to be unsettling. If I didn't know better, I'd say that the "facial features" on EVs are precisely engineered to psychologically unsettle onlookers like a horror film character. You look at a face, you subconsciously look for facial features to get a read, but instead of finding a mouth, you not only do not find what you're preconditioned to, but in its place you instead find creases and lines that suggest they're what you're looking for by being where you expect to find them, but look nothing like what you had expected to find. My brain freaks the hell out at this contradiction every time I see an EV's front end, and as I've said, this almost feels deliberate.
2019 Tesla Model 3, from Wikipedia Commons.
Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger), from Wikipedia Commons.
Granted, the Taycan manages its facial features a lot more naturally, and dare I say, even pleasingly, than its competitors. It is largely congruent to the Porsche Mission E Concept car, and I admire the fact that the production car looks so close to its concept car variant, though losing the suicide doors is a bit of a shame. I really admire the squarish headlights on the Taycan, as not only does it bear more than a passing resemblance to the almighty 919 racecar, it's just refreshing to see something else other than round bug eyes from a manufacturer often criticised for making the same car over and over again. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say I like the looks of a Taycan. It has a smooth, unmistakable presence about it, without being too obnoxious or in-your-face. One look at it, and you know instantly it has to be a Porsche.
Because EVs are a new technology, R&D costs are sky high, which makes the products prohibitively expensive and therefore out of reach of your average Joe. This has resulted in EVs being luxurious, flamboyant items, which in my eyes really goes against the notion that these are supposed to be efficient, save the world, frugal, for the masses, or what have you. EVs being luxurious, flamboyant items also means that they all need to have some pretentious levels of flair. In the case of the Taycan, the "fuel" door is... I don't even know, touch sensitive? Capacitive? You swipe your hand under the stripe thing of the charging plug dock thing door and it recedes and slides open... Will it work if my hands are wet? What if I'm wearing gloves? What's wrong with a manual, mechanical latch in the driver footwell, or a push-to-pop-open fuel door? Why does it have to be so fancy, so complicated for seemingly no reason? The interior is a mess of piano black gloss materials that just harvests fingerprints, and everything, everything, is controlled via touch screens: the radio, the air con vents... I'm surprised you don't drive this thing by drawing a line through a laser scanned representation of the road on the screen, with how needlessly complicated the car is trying so hard to be. And I HATE that.
To put this in a way that I believe most reading this at GTPlanet will understand, you don't look at your DualShock 4 when playing on your PlayStation 4, do you? When a game prompts you to press the X Button, you don't have to take your eyes off the screen to look at your controller to find the X Button, do you? You don't, because you know where it is, and you can feel for it. You press it, and you get instant, tactile feedback from the button itself that you've pressed it. It's not rocket science, but it works so much better than touch screens. Could you type without looking at your phone? Me personally, I couldn't type well on my phone even when I'm looking at it, yet I'm typing this on a mechanical keyboard that's completely out of my line of sight. It's the same principle. You know roughly where each key is in the keyboard, and you can feel for them, you get instant feedback after you push each key, each button, and it doesn't require you to take your eyes off what you're currently doing. And so I ask, why the hell do carmakers all feel the need for touchscreens? Why do I have to take my eyes off the road to do something as simple as adjusting radio volume, or adjusting my air con? Why do I have to look at the screen further to confirm my input has registered? Do you have any idea how much quicker it is to, say, reduce the volume of a radio by ten notches with a physical dial, versus tapping a screen ten times slowly enough for it to register? Yes, I get it, you're an electric car. Not everything has to be done with electricity, you know? You don't see the 911's check engine light being lit by igniting its engine oil, do you?
Capacitive touch switches aren't only worse ergonomically, but from my personal experience, they are horrifically unreliable, as well. To draw again from the PS4 analogy, my PS4 is unfortunately the first generation unit that has the capacitive touch switches to turn it off and on, and to eject the discs. And because these things are just for show, they're naturally unlabeled. I've ran into severe problems with them, such as the game disc randomly ejecting itself in the middle of gameplay, apparently because the capacitive touch thing thought I pulled a Monkey D. Luffy or Nero and stretched my hand over to eject a game disc that I'm currently playing from the sofa. These problems were so widespread that Sony immediately backpedaled and gave us sensible buttons on the "facelift" to the console. I've had to rip apart my PS4, twist around some screws, and now neither the power switch or the disc eject switch work, meaning that to turn on my console or to eject the disc within, I have to use PHYSICAL BUTTONS on my DualShock 4. I just want to give some additional context here by saying that the PHYSICAL BUTTONS on my 10-year old PS3 that turns it on and ejects discs still work perfectly, which is how I've managed to boot up Gran Turismo 6 for old specs and photos sometimes.
Needlessly long story short, buttons just work, capacitive touch things don't because they're just for show. I'm not saying the Taycan's UI is unreliable; I can't possibly know that. I'm just saying I don't trust these stupid capacitive touch things to last, or even work correctly, and I wish cars, among other things, would stop trying to be like iPhones. And I'm speaking from my experience with my PlayStation 4, which sits sheltered in my living room. How can I trust the fuel door of the Taycan, exposed to the elements, to not fail sooner than later? I know I'm a dinosaur when it comes to technology, but why must something so simple and proven be thrown out the window for unnecessary complications that don't work? Half of these stupid things need a mechanical override anyway in terms of emergencies, so... why?
*sigh* I'm sorry. I've been harbouring these frustrations for years now with no release, so I'm sorry this had to be where it came spilling out.
The Taycan, with its fingerprint harvesting stupid touchscreens and capacitive thingamajigs, feels like it's just meant to be a shock and awe thing in the showroom, and less for actually living with, because I think this thing will drive me up the wall if I'm forced to live with it, and that's assuming I live in a country that actually has established charging infrastructures. The supposedly thriving first world country that I live in that has about 80% of its population living in apartment buildings, and have to share a huge carpark, some of which are still open air, as exposed to the elements as they are to (urgh) other people. That is probably why our housing carparks currently have zero private-use charging points. EVs simply don't make sense to your average citizen here, and I struggle to imagine it's much different anywhere else currently, seeing as you need to have your own private, enclosed, lockable garage to charge it safely in, all on top of the exuberant 185,000 to 235,000 USD MSRP of the damn thing, depending on options. In Gran Turismo Sport, it's listed at 230,000 Cr, and it doesn't even come optioned with the beautiful panoramic fixed glass roof that I feel is a must-have, though I suppose that just means your head doesn't land on a million glass shards in the event of a rollover, and you get more surface area to play with in the Livery Editor if you're the artistic sort (which I'm not. Have you seen the plain body cars I roll up to meets with?).
The Artistic Sort
The pretentious faces and noises reminiscent of ICE cars, along with the "oh-sho-fanshay" toys and gadgets all just highlight to me that today's EVs are all just transitional things, meant to bridge the gap between a past of purely IC cars and an envisioned future of pure EVs. And as you can expect from something that's meant to transition, I find that they're all so confused, contradictory, things. For its size and mass, why isn't the Taycan an SUV? The view out the back is horrendous with this coupé body style, and I can't imagine it being easy to navigate through tight urban cities. Is the Taycan so hopeless on range it can't afford the aerodynamic penalty of being an SUV? I know car names aren't meant to be literal, but god damn does it really have to be called a "Turbo"? Even calling it the "Taycan Supercharger S" would sound a lot more natural. Or better yet, the "Super Range Edition" or "Better Battery" or something, god. Isn't this car supposed to embody the future? Why is it stuck with misfitting definitions from the past, then? If an EVs are supposed to wholly replace IC cars, why can't it make do without IC monikers and noises? Will people even know what a turbo is 50 years from now? Or is this an elaborate ploy by Porsche so that they can brag about how they've been making cars for so long, they even have a car called a "Turbo"? An EV is supposed to offer a very low centre of gravity and cabin floor because the batteries are all set very low and flat beneath the cabin, and are supposed to be mechanically simpler, so why the heck is the view out the back of a Taycan comparable to a roll cage equipped, rear engined 911 GT3 with a wing tacked on top of it? How awfully big is the 2 speed gearbox of the Taycan to squeeze the rear glass this badly?
Taycan Turbo S:
991 911 GT3 RS:
Lastly, why do most EVs offer the option of piping in bogus, ICE noises into the cabin, including the Taycan? Yes, it's an option I can turn off, but it just grinds my gears regardless simply by it existing. I find it incredibly insulting to play ICE noises in an EV, because who would use that feature, other than someone who wants an IC car, but can't have one? It just reeks of helplessness and illegitimacy. IC cars are already getting a ton of hate for piping in bogus IC noises, so pray tell, what makes manufacturers think EVs can get away with them? Why are EVs pretending to be the very thing they're meant to replace? It's utterly stupid. It's as enraging — and insulting — as a smoker being forced on nicotine packs, or a gambler forced to play a free-to-play mobile game; even though they're fundamentally the same thing, you know it's not the same thing. It's not giving you the same high, and you just wish everyone would leave you the frick alone because you're already being pooped on so hard for having to make a huge life changing choice, fighting your brain at every point, and the best thing anyone can do for you at this point is to just leave you alone and not be a condescending, insulting, holier-than-thou presence. And really, what kind of message is bogus IC noises supposed to send? If manufacturers feel there's enough people that will use this feature to justify the R&D of putting it into their EVs, is it not an open admission that EVs are just not as involving or inspiring to drive as the traditional IC car? Is that meant to say then, that the future generations of young kids won't, or shouldn't, find the same romance, the same inspiration, from authentic EV noises as we do an ICE? Should we not derive the same spark, the same excitement, from driving in general, if EVs are to wholly replace the IC vehicles?
Stupid. Utterly, inconceivably stupid. I hate it. I hate all of it. I am of the firm belief that EVs are for people who hate driving, who see cars merely as tools. And so I hope you can imagine my confusion when Porsche, a company that cut its teeth on motorsports and prides itself with making the most deliciously handling of high end sports cars, and the maker of the only car currently in production that I legitimately lust after (the 6 cylinder 718), is making a pure EV and touting it as a sporting proposition.
*sigh* So how does it drive?
To keep on complaining about stupid features that can be turned off, and therefore really shouldn't be big issues, the regen braking in the Taycan is god awful, though I suppose it's the whole concept of EVs trying to mimic an ICE's engine braking that's awful, rather than Porsche's system for doing so. In the Taycan, you get three regen braking modes: On, Off, and Adaptive. Adaptive, from what I understand reading other articles, works sort of like a cruise control thing, and I've no experience with it, because in the game, regen braking mode is stuck to "On", despite battery life being unlimited, because Kaz just needs to show off his partners' new toys, I guess.
The regen braking in the Taycan is stupidly strong. It'd bring you to a dead halt from parking lot speeds of 10km/h in just over a second if you don't touch either pedal (36 frames in a 29.97fps video, I counted), and it lacks any sort of grace in doing so. Unlike engine braking in an ICE car, which weakens with lowering engine speed, the passive regen braking is a constant anchor the moment you take your feet off both pedals, making smooth stopping in start stop city driving a needlessly difficult task. Not impossible, just difficult. What you're supposed to do I think is to apply juuuust a little bit of either the accelerator or brake pedal, such that the car is losing speed at the rate you want, so that you never relinquish control of the car. Even then, it's super awkward and potentially unsafe, because the moment you take your foot off either pedal, regen braking kicks in full force. Can you imagine the horror of lifting your foot off the brake and the car stops even harder? I don't even think I'd be prepared for it, let alone anyone driving behind me. Oh, and the regen braking doesn't activate your brake lights, either. Let's just hope that's Polyphony Digital misrepresenting the car instead of the real car actually being this dangerously brain dead.
Yes, I get it, the concept of engine braking, wherein the engine works against itself is a stupid notion as well. But engine braking doesn't just suddenly decide to bite harder the moment you signal to the car, "I want less deceleration now please", and in city driving, it's unlikely your revs will be that high to produce such strong deceleration in the first place. You have agency over it because the engine is always communicating with you, you hear the engine speed drop, and with a manual gearbox, you can choose how much engine braking you want, either by holding a gear, downshifting, or even half clutching. It doesn't become jerky or uncomfortable when coming to a stop because you have to disconnect the drivetrain nearing a stop, causing the car to coast slowly to a smooth stop, or just simply to give stopping control fully to the friction brakes. Yes, both systems are convoluted, and both will require learning and getting used to. It's just that one system allows you to choose what you want with three pedals and a stick, and the other, with a button on the steering wheel. You can turn both off if you want. My problem with the regen braking in the Taycan is that I wish it was just better programmed. I wish it weakens the regen braking the lower your vehicle speed, turning completely off at 15 or thereabouts km/h. I don't really know if passive braking is a thing EVs can, or even should do, because they don't ever passively "talk" to you the way an ICE does with its noises proportional to its braking, and so I think it's something that will always feel a little unnatural and unintuitive to replicate in an EV. I just think that regen is better off taking up the first few centimetres of brake pedal travel, with the friction brakes coming into play past that, instead of being a passive thing.
Anyway, tangential rant aside, the Taycan is freaking weird to drive, even under hard driving on a track.
To just get this out of the way first, because this is an electric performance car and every car reviewer is therefore obligated to say something along the effect of the following, here I go: "OH MY GOD THAT ACCELERATION IS UNREAL I CAN'T BELIEVE IT WHOOO HA HA HA HA THAT IS INSAAANE!"
Yes, we get it. EVs are fast. I don't think that was ever in question. Next.
Anyone remembers how some motoring journalists used to mock American cars when they started trying to make their cars corner? "lol there's no sophistication in the suspension system it's all just blind, dumb grip", or something to that effect? The Taycan is only just barely better than that description, because in Sport Plus mode, the most aggressive mode, the air suspension of the Taycan feel like solid bricks. There is near-zero perceptible pitch under the hard braking afforded by humoungous, larger-than-some-wheels 16.5 Inch brakes, which are ceramic composites standard on the Turbo S, and the car stays shockingly flat through corners as well, thanks to its electronically controlled dampers. Beyond that however, I really haven't anything nice to say about how the Taycan feels to drive.
In other words, aside from blind grip and a stiff suspension setup, the Taycan is an absolutely abhorrent drive. There is zero steering feel in the Taycan. Zero. From the company that is selling us the delectable Cayman GT4 comes an all-new, futuristic car that can easily cost more than twice that while offering a driving experience as informative and involving as a 1990s arcade racing game. You just point it in the direction and it goes. What are the tyres doing? Which have grip and which don't? When might it bite into the apex? When does the rear wheel steering system decide to give you stability, and when does it decide to give you cornering ability? Can you goad it into giving you what you want, when you want? Why do the front tyres bite into apexes sometimes and not other times? What's the road surface like? Who knows? Where is the mass concentrated in the car? You'll only find out when you push wide with understeer on a downhill braking zone, or swing the rear end out when you're too rough with the steering at a high speed chicane. How much torque is going to the front and rear, or even left and right? You might need to take a Masters program to understand the basics of how it works, because I sure as hell can't tell you how, why, where, or when the Taycan distributes torque "just" from my experience behind the wheel. All that is expected of you as a driver is to just point it in a direction, give it some gas- I mean... electricity, and hope it goes as you had hoped. You can't really push it, you can't really play with it. It will never talk to you. You won't ever get to know it. Does that sound fun to anyone? Is this what first comes to mind when people mention the name, "Porsche"? Because as someone absolutely smitten by the 981 GT4, this sure as hell isn't what first comes to my mind at the mention of the brand.
In fact, I find this performance car an even more boring drive than an entry level hatch. Even in the most utilitarian and uninspired of FF economy cars, you're always aware of the mass over the front tyres. The tyres give consistent feedback under even semi-hard driving, and you can easily feel for the car's limits. It behaves consistently and you can therefore set your car up for a corner accordingly, fun factor notwithstanding. In the Taycan, you don't ever get to know the car, and therefore, driving it at its limits is just a crapshoot. The rear wheel steer system, wizardry torque vectoring, stiff suspension, and gigantic brakes and tyres hide the car's real tendencies so well that you don't even get an inkling of the car's limits until after you push it too hard, when the car can mask its problems no more and every bad habit comes spilling out like repressed feelings, meaning you don't get any warning or even reason to believe it'd understeer before it happens, and it's always as sudden, shocking and rude as bottled up feelings erupting. Because the car never "talks" to you before then, you don't get to pre-emptively know the car to prevent yourself from upsetting it, or even to mentally prepare for it when poop goes sideways. Out of an apex of a corner, you give it some gas. It turns. The car isn't washing wide. You give it some more gas. It goes faster. Still no drama. The front tyres are still silent. You steal a peek at your big, clear, easy to read digital speedometer and you're doing insane cornering speeds! How is this car doing this? Then you give it some more gas and WOAH, the car suddenly understeers! But the front tyres sound fine! There aren't screaming! Instead, it's... the rear inside tyre that's screaming and smoking? In an understeer situation? What?
No, this isn't an isolated incident with my driving habits: even COTW's resident Stig, Vic, prominently had the same issue coming out of the U-turn at Toukyo South. It's just a thing this car does. The rear wheel steering system tries very effectively to mask understeer, but this means that the limiting factor to how fast you can turn and exit out of a corner suddenly switches from the front outside tyre to the rear inside tyre, where you have zero feel over. Usually, if the rear tyres are the limiting factor in how fast you can turn, like, say, in a 911, the rear tyres letting go results in gradual over-rotation of the car, and you can back off well before poop goes sideways. You can hear the tyres letting go, you hear the engine revs rise a little more quickly than it should, you get the steering wheel lightening up a little as signs that you're overdoing it. In comparison, the rear tyres letting go in the Taycan gives you understeer, no feeling, no sound, nothing at all. There is no involvement, there is no engagement; you just back off the accelerator, thinking "what the actual f-" Yes, it's a problem at any tyre grade, from the Comfort Soft I ran in my own Time Attack to the Sport Soft we ran in our weekly meetup. The only way to minimise this issue is to leave traction control on, which I'm sure sounds fun in an AWD performance car.
If you'll pardon the expression, the driving experience of a Taycan is exactly like watching porn. You don't really get to decide how things go; the car just does its own impressive thing and you just go along with it with very minimalistic involvement, hopefully with an amazed smile on your face. But the moment you try to reach in deeper, the moment you try to get to know it more, you get this very distinct feeling that it's all just an act. The seams start to show and you become aware of a logistical, orchestrated process behind it. You start to feel the car almost recoil away from you, and in that involuntary moment that you don't follow the script, the "show" breaks for that moment you go in too hot expecting the car will turn and it doesn't, the tyres suddenly scream, and that's when the illusion breaks for a bit, and you're suddenly aware of what you're asking of this 2,295kg (5,060lbs) car.
Yes, the 0-100 times are astounding, as are the gs it can pull in corners. But what's criminally and frustratingly underreported I find is the cost of all this performance in these obscenely heavy, tech reliant cars: tyre life. It almost feels like a deliberate compromise because there's no metric for it, and therefore no one has to print tyre life on a spec sheet. I kid you not when I say that even on "upgraded" Comfort Soft tyres, I prominently felt the tyres wearing out after just three laps of Bathurst, thereby forcing me to alter my braking points and lines and losing mountains of time in the process. As a result of all this ambiguity in the tyres, along with the drivetrain, and steering, I've never once felt comfortable driving this thing at its limits. It doesn't give you that sense of cohesion, trust, communication and engagement as you would get dancing on the knife edge of adhesion like you would get in a Cayman. If you ever feel the Taycan "talk" to you, then it's the surest sign that something has gone terribly wrong somewhere. And driving a car as numb and vague as this is just boring in isolation and infuriating in a high pressure situation.
Porsche is a brand which has such a rich history in motorsports, and deal exclusively in performance models and brilliant sports cars. They're renowned for taking stupid ideas that shouldn't work in theory and making them outperform conventional engineering. They also happen to have extensive background knowledge in rear wheel steer systems, and even they can't make an EV sports car work. I therefore very highly doubt anyone else can within the near and foreseeable future. Honestly, the Taycan probably isn't even a bad car. It's insanely capable, and handles better than it has any right to even fantasise about, let alone actually do. It just doesn't offer what I'm looking for in a sports car, in a Porsche. It just feels... fake. I don't feel that connection I'm looking for when I drive a sports car. I don't understand one bit of how it works, and in turn, where its limits are, how to work with the car, and drive around its weaknesses. Just like porn, this experience works better in tandem with the "real thing" to give some exaggerated flavour and contrast, but is in no way a substitution for, or worse still, a replacement of that "real thing". And yes, I understand that it's stupidly unfair to compare a 4 door sedan with established 2 door sports cars like the 911 and Cayman. But here's the thing: it costs around the same as a 991 GT3 RS, and will soundly blow the doors off it around most tracks.
991 GT3 RS:
21.106 / 0:21.106
50.478 / 1:11.584
35.908 / 1:47.492
32.514 / 2:20.006
Fuel Consumed for 5 Flat Out Laps: 26ℓ
Top Speed: 287km/h (178mph)
Taycan Turbo S:
S1: 20.383 / 0:20.383
S2: 51.283 / 1:11.666
S3: 35.938 / 1:47.604
S4: 33.103 / 2:20.707
Fuel Consumed: -
Top Speed: 266km/h (165mph)
2:20.006 - Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991) '16
2:20.707 - Porsche Taycan Turbo S '19
2:22.739 - Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren '09
2:26.928 - BMW M4 Coupé (F82) '14
2:27.999 - Lexus RC F '14
2:32.381 - Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A (FD) '02
2:32.479 - Nissan Skyline GT-R V・spec II Nür (R34) '02
2:32.512 - Toyota GR Yaris 1st Edition RZ "High performance" '20
2:34.127 - BMW M3 Coupé (E46) '03
Yes, I know I still set a faster time in the 911. But here's where I have to come clean and admit that there was probably a lot more time in the Taycan that I daren't extract because the car is so numb and unpredictable. And consider this: the Taycan spent about seven seconds stuck at its "rev limit" on Conrod Straight, whereas the 911 was constantly pulling throughout Conrod Straight, resulting in the 911 pulling just a 0.7 second advantage over the Taycan. In other words, even though the 911 corners way faster, it will need a track that has stupidly long straights, or just a tight and technical track devoid of long straights to outrun the Taycan, which is a very exacting scenario. I believe that on most tracks, the Taycan Turbo S would whoop a 911 GT3 RS, and who knows if they'll eventually come out with a Taycan GT3 RS, or if they'll "protect" the 911 from the Taycan *COUGH like they protected it from the Cayman COUGH*.
Still think it's unfair to compare the 911 and Cayman to the Taycan? For new technology to successfully replace the old, it not only has to be on-par with the old, but it has to be better. On paper, the Taycan is among the fastest, and therefore quantifiably, the one of the best sports car Porsche has ever mass produced.
...but it just hasn't a speck of soul in it. It's a car for people who love numbers more than cars and driving. It's a car for people who have to have the newest and shiniest. And if you think a sports car is only about numbers and model years, then I'm sorry, but I don't believe we can be friends. I'd much rather drive a diesel Demio over a Taycan. You could connect the ends of its 560kW (751HP, 761PS) batteries to my nipples and it wouldn't stimulate me one bit. Watching manufacturer after manufacturer pump out all these stupidly heavy, awkward looking, pretentious EVs makes me wish it was Hydrogen instead that became the alternate energy source for the future instead of electricity. It just seems like a much less painful transition.
Thank goodness I'm not the only one who realizes this. The Taycan is a museum on four wheels but it wants to be a ballerina and lands safely on its feet... mostly.
It will make you think that "Ah yes! I can attack the corner!" but then again, it's not a GT3 RS.
However, I don't think PD added the rear wheel steer on the Taycan Turbo S, which should have been standard. Try tilting the wheels of the car in photo mode and the rear wheels do nothing, unlike in the 911. Porsche's RWS is active even on standstill because it's also meant to help on parking maneuvers.
Or maybe it's just me.
I believe the Taycan's rear wheel steer is dynamically replicated in the game. The 911's RWS system being visibly represented was only introduced in the latest patch, Ver. 1.62, as noted in the patch notes. To quote the patch notes, "We repaired the issue where the rear wheels of the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo and Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991) '16 did not appear to turn when steering." I find the wording indicative that the RWS is dynamically represented, but not visually represented until 1.62. Of course, I can't say for sure, since I don't obsessively drive the 991 to really notice if PD has changed how it handles in Ver. 1.62, or if they only tweaked it visually.
Personally, I think RWS is represented dynamically in the Taycan, because sometimes I understeer, and sometimes I oversteer, for no discernible reason. I don't even think it's because I'm too awful a driver, because it just feels foreign and inconsistent to me. It's perfectly plausible to me that they failed to visually reproduce the RWS in the Taycan, like they did with the 991 and Chaparral, though it is odd why it wasn't fixed in 1.62 along with the Chaparral and the 911 if that were the case.
Let's go back to the beginning of where most drivers start their driving career. This week we are taking a look at the Gran Turismo Racing Kart 125 Shifter. This weeks car is chosen by @Nismonath5
Also want to shout out @Nismonath5 for making it in the 20 Years Anniversary of GTPlanet article.
My eyes rolled so far back into my head when I saw that the Evo X was chosen for the Car of the Week. After a sigh, I cracked my knuckles, stretched my back, flexed my neck and gleefully began my torrent of derogatory remarks on the Evo before having driven it. Something along the lines of,
The Lancer Evolution X takes an iconic, revered name permanently carved into the gravel of rallying and turns it into an oxymoronic joke. Backwards and outdated even when it was first introduced, it was then left to fester and linger without any substantial updates for eight whole years before mercifully having its life support system unplugged. Weighing a whole hundred kilos more than its direct predecessor of the same grade and packing barely any more power, it gets destroyed by the Evo IX and the contemporary Impreza in every measurable aspect, such as in the 0-400m dash, a slalom, sudden lane change, and braking test, and even gets used as a doormat by the older GD Impreza around Tsukuba as well, in addition to being (quite predictably at this point) being utterly humiliated by the IX. Despite no longer being a homologation model for rallying, the Evo X still stubbornly sticks to a 2 litre, Inline 4 powerplant for some indiscernible reason despite using an all-new engine, consequently requiring a big, peaky turbo to bring its power figures up. A 5 speed manual gearbox in a performance car is just laughably outdated even back in 2007 when the car was first introduced, but by 2015? In a 38,000 USD car? It's just an agonising eyesore. And I'm supposed to believe this thing is an Evolution? Of what? If anything, this is a devolution of the Evolution, a trend which looked to continue until the Evo became an SUV had Mitsubishi not stumbled upon very hard times for cheating in their own emissions tests. As Mitsubishi's flagship model and the only car in its lineup that's even remotely exciting, different, or otherwise noteworthy, the Evo X and Mitsubishi are just a sad sight to behold. It almost physically hurts me with pity to see one of these things on the road, and I would be nothing short of embarrassed to be seen driving one of these things.
But, because I needed to take about 2 or 3 photos for a really short review so people might actually get through the whole thing, I had to actually drive the Evo X, if only for a short while. Oh and of course, me actually driving it means that the tirade I diarrhea out will at least be somewhat based on my own experiences and opinion instead of just me throwing unsubbed Best Motoring links at you. I drove it mostly just for the photos, of course. Mostly.
Annoyingly for my narrative, the Evo X really impressed me when I drove it. Despite its unfortunate circumstances and confused nature, the Evo X is still a lot of fun to drive. The car is compliant over bad road surfaces, grips for days, and goes like stink with its horrifically short first four gears, and feels nimbler than its 1,530kg kerb mass (3,373lbs) might suggest. Yes, a five speed performance car in 2015 is laughable, but a manual performance car in 2015? Sounds a bit like a treat, especially because I hear that the 5 speed box is the gearbox of choice for the enthusiasts, being a stronger and lighter box than the DCT 6 speed. Yes, engaging fifth gear makes it feel like the turbo has sprang a leak, but for being an overdrive gear, it at least doesn't dip below 5,000rpm where the 4B11T engine needs to be kept above if you upshift near redline in 4th.
The defining takeaway from my driving experience of the Evo X is, of course, Mitsubishi's trick Active Yaw Control system (AYC), pioneered on the Evo IV and subsequently fitted on all JDM Evos since. It's truly criminal how some USDM cars never came with it; it's what makes an Evo and Evo. Even at its default, minimum setting of 30/130, it's mind boggling, cheeky fun. Chuck it into a corner, and you get none of the understeer you'd expect to experience in a front engined, AWD car. It makes rotating the car into an apex intuitively easy, as the gas pedal is as integral and helpful in rotating the car as the steering wheel. It's stupidly fun to chuck this thing into a corner at what should really be reckless speed, and when the tyres start to let go and the car begins to slide, you can "cure" the car with a small dose of gas to use the engine's torque to somehow convert a the momentum of the slide into useful rotation thanks to the AYC. It's a massively clever system, and unlike most of today's cars with insane technology that even a racing driver would be hard pressed to explain or exploit, the AYC, ACD, and EBD of MMC (IKR? How many acronyms can one fit into a sentence?) are not only immensely clever, but they all have very pronounced — and useable — effects on the driving experience, which is shockingly intuitive in spite of the complications, making for an extremely involving drive. It never once felt like I as the driver was disconnected or unneeded from behind the wheel, nor was I ever left to guess what the car was doing.
Despite the swathe of electronic systems in the car, the Evo X nonetheless feels very raw, natural, and tactile to drive at its limits, which is a rare balance between the digital and mechanical not found in cars other than the WRX and Skyline GT-Rs. I would even go as far as to say that other manufacturers should learn from the Evo in making electronic aids that feel natural and intuitive to use. These systems make for not only a fun driving experience, but also an astoundingly easy one as well. It didn't take long at all before immense confidence filled me behind the wheel, and I began to seriously attack the winding mountain passes of Bathurst within just a lap. It is perfect for narrow, winding, far from perfect mountain roads, where it will happily and readily shame many sports cars and even supercars. Forget the rental car interior. Forget even the abysmal 55 litre fuel tank. I could almost even forgive the lack of a 6th forward cog, because THIS is where most of the money goes when you buy an Evo X, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Plus, for this kind of performance, the fact that you can seat four adults in its no-nonsense, no gimmick, actually useable rear seats with actual rear doors? Absolute insanity!
And so I thought that I could save my condescending angle for this review by comparing it to the Evo IX and the WRX. You see, the Evo X is an amazing car if judged on its own merits. The problem, however, is that the Evo X simply cannot be judged on its own. Just like how you can't assess or critique an Apple product without comparing it to a contemporary Windows or Android product, how you can't proclaim your favourite soft drink is Pepsi without explaining why you don't like Coke as much, or how you can't understand Dante without Vergil and vice versa, no discussion about any Evo is complete without comparing and contrasting it to the WRX STI, its direct rival. Furthermore, as a numbered successor to a long lineage of Evos, the fact that it gets walked by its younger siblings is as atrocious a notion as an iPhone 6 outperforming an iPhone 10. I know I always harp on how the point and merit of sports cars aren't in the numbers they generate, but no one can — nor should — overlook being slaughtered so horrendously by its younger siblings. While I recognise that the Evo X is brilliant on its own, why would anyone not opt for an Evo IX, or any of the two generations of WRX STIs that has seen production in the all-too-long lifespan of the Evo X over it? For anything with a direct rival or a predecessor, simply being good on its own just isn't good enough, because it can never stand alone and be assessed solely by its own merits; it needs to be at the very least, on par with the first two immediate, obvious comparisons people will make, or to offer some tangible trade-offs in the comparisons. I personally don't even know where I'd start making a case for the Evo X.
Just to really drive that point home with hard evidence, I decided to do a time attack run of the JDM Spec 2014 WRX STI Type S around Bathurst alongside the Evo Final Edition. While also utilising a 2 litre 4 cylinder turbocharged engine and offering four proper doors, the WRX does everything an Evo X does and does them better. The STI is of a newer platform and design, accelerates faster, has more gears, revs a whole thousand rpm higher, stops better... it's just more of everything. While lacking in AYC, the WRX more than makes up for it with an adjustable centre differential, which you can adjust on the fly. Of course, in the interest of fairness (and not wanting to waste twenty years of my life figuring out the optimal settings for each car), I left the centre differential of the STI at its default of 40:60 F:R, just as I had left the adjustable AYC on its default of 30/130 on the Evo X.
24.193 / 0:24.193
54.974 / 1:19.167
39.572 / 1:58.739
36.078 / 2:34.817
Fuel Consumed for 5 Flat Out Laps: 20ℓ
Top Speed: 239km/h (148.5mph)
24.463 / 0:24.463
54.665 / 1:19.128
39.465 / 1:58.593
36.001 / 2:34.594
Fuel Consumed for 5 Flat Out Laps: 17ℓ
Top Speed: 239km/h (148.5mph)
It was only after I did timed runs of both cars did I finally think, "oh, um... wow, I was totally wrong about the Evo and I really can't salvage the condescending angle of my review". Yes, the Evo was slower, but only by such a ridiculously small margin, that in my rather inconsistent hands, either car could've come up on top if I had just one run and couldn't cherry pick the fastest time I did over a few runs. To my unbridled aghast, the Evo X was wholly competitive despite all its quantifiable demerits I had pointed out earlier, and the results were so close that I've even had to overlay one video atop the other to really see how this result came to be.
From the video and time deltas, the Evo had a HUGE advantage of almost 0.3 seconds in Sector 1, which consists of just Turn 1 and a lengthy run down the Mountain Straight. While the WRX stops better and can brake later, the Evo carried more speed throughout of the corner thanks to AYC, and acceleration between the two is DEAD matched, despite my previous misconception that the STI accelerated faster, simply based on how it felt. The Evo then hands this advantage back to the WRX at the uphill Sector 2, where I was forced to hold 4th gear near redline through Turns 8, 9 and 10, Reid Park, Sulman Park, and McPhillamy Park, where the engine was way past its peak, and shifting into 5th would bog the car and rob it of engine braking control when I lift for the high speed sweepers. From the peak of the Mountain, the WRX had the edge over the Evo in the treacherous downhill braking sections, while allowing me to hold a lower gear when approaching braking zones such as Brock's Skyline and the right hand kink leading into Forrest's Elbow. Again, on the Conrod Straight, the instantaneous speeds of these two cars are IDENTICAL, almost frame for frame, and both cars even hit the EXACT same top speed of 239km/h before having to brake for The Chase, though the Evo was visibly running out of breath by then, and the STI was still somewhat pulling in 6th. On the big braking zone into The Chase, the stopping advantage the WRX has is exacerbated even more due to the tall 5th gear of the Evo, meaning I had to wait a lot longer at lower revs before I can downshift into 4th to make the most of engine braking, whereas I could hang high in the higher 8,500rpm rev range of the WRX all of the time in the humongous 239 to mid 90s braking zone. By the time the Armor All banner comes into view for both cars, the difference is stark.
For some context, this is the biggest difference between the two cars.
I guess the moral of the story here is that one shouldn't write too much about an experience before, you know, having actually experienced it. I mean, in my defence, I'm quite behind on my reviews, and how was I supposed to know the Evo X would be so competitive? Heck, even after the analysis, I still don't think I fully understand why the two cars are so close in performance, nor have I even any theories of why there's such a rift between real world test results and my own, virtual testing. Maybe Mitsubishi has quietly kept the Evo X up to date, despite me not being able to find a list of updates for it. Maybe the Evo suits my driving style more. Maybe Subaru similarly went soft after their cars no longer needing to meet homologation requirements. Maybe I'm not good enough of a driver to ascertain such minute differences in two cars. Maybe the Evo is has unrealistically good performance in this game. I don't know. I guess you could say that evolution is a mystery, full of change that no one sees.
I would have taken such perverse pleasure in pooping all over the Evo, but now I am forced to face my own ineptitude and put back all the poop previously reserved for the Evo back into my body, the most painless means of which being via my mouth. And that is my newfound, and only reason for hating it: for making me eat my words. Oh, and the rear wing is horrifically modeled in the game, letting light pass through when viewed from the underside. Eww.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition is a fantastic sports car. No ifs, no buts.
So because I'm incredibly behind on everything here, here's that race we had at Bathurst in the GR Yaris that was so incredible that it had to be made into a video!
Since we haven't done a Vision Gran Turismo in a while, I figure lets take one out for this week. This week we are taking a look at the Daihatsu Copen RJ Vision Gran Turismo. This weeks car is chosen by Racer.
Wow, that thing looks gross...
I may not make it. I’ve been shoveling snow all day and I may hit the sheets early.
It looks... classless and angry somehow. Given what the normal Copen looks like, it seems... oddly contrasting to have such a look - that said it is a race car so...
Also, obligatory 'coffee break' mention, before anyone else gets to it. I can't think of anything semi-witty to write here.
You're trying to kill this thread with those last two cars.
The whole point of the group has always been getting people into cars they'd never drive otherwise.
Well said sir. I didn't mean to sound too harsh with the word "gross" yes, in my opinion it looks gross, but having said that, I don't think there is a much better balanced front wheel drive car in the game. Low ish power made for great door handle to door handle racing and I enjoyed every minute spent out of the first 2 gears(which I believe are completely useless). I launched in 3rd from standing start and lost nothing.
Super ugly car, surprised as I believe they are given a blank sheet of paper and told to make whatever they want.
But criticism aside, the car was really neutral for a front wheel drive car, and while being uninspiring to drive alone, it was a blast in a pack. I wanted to hate it, but it was a fun car to race.
Also, as far as the go kart goes, I also really enjoyed that, it drives on a knife edge and any little mistake is amplified. Made for much bigger performance gaps than usual.
Its amazing the lap times you can get out of it on the smaller twisty tracks. Without a wheel I could see it being a nightmare, but as someone who races karts still (I know I'm too old for it), the feel is pretty close. I felt fear and disappointment when I saw the last two cars, but sfter driving them I can for sure understand why the odd and obscure cars are chosen from time to time. This thread will only die if the super creative and talented people who write here stop. I am not one of them, but thought it was about time I wrote something instead of just driving.
In real life...? Can't tell what you mean here, but aren't they a decent 'hobby' thing regardless of age/ability in real life kinda like how real-life racing drivers start out doing smaller events in low-powered vehicles such as older road cars or karts (gives me GT4 single-model series event vibes)?
As you say here:
Yeah, picking the more obscure cars gives us second thoughts, like "hang on, maybe we should try this" and then we may get a pleasant surprise like what's just been highlighted, and share our experiences, thus actually boosting the positivity on the place <3 :3
Sorry to deviate somewhat from the topic in hand, but hey, whatever works lol.
Lol, I did my racing career in reverse. I stopped racing for two decades and then decided to work with karts. I'll be 47 in a couple months and the body doesn't hold together like it used to...
Are you O-Kei?
Hey all, it's MisterWaffles again and I have to be honest with you all, I'm not doing so well. For some reason over the past few days in particular, I've really been reminded of just how alone I really feel. Sure, I have friends and play online with them, and I have family relatively close to me, but I really just don't feel alive at the moment. Now that's obviously down to the lack of personal interaction and leisure activities that I used to take part in, but it really makes you take into account just how restricted everything has become. Every day basically boils down to forcing myself out of bed, forcing myself to do monotonous college course work, and generally avoiding people at all costs. Sunrise, sunset, it all feels like the same soul-crushing slog. At times I'm surprised the world goes beyond my desk and bed.
But, I think we can all relate to that feeling nowadays in this global pandemic. Some of us have lost time to socialize, some of us have lost jobs, some of us have even lost family members or friends. I sure hope it didn't come to that for anyone here, but things have been really tough for all of us around the world just waiting for this lockdown to be over. It's times like this that can really test how we choose to look at the world and our personal situations.
Now I know what you're probably asking yourself. What in God's name does this have anything to do with the car we're taking a look at this week? Honestly I had to stretch a bit for this premise, but I believe that the community is a little confused around what the Daihatsu Copen VGT really represents. Just as the process of quarantine asks us how we choose to look at our situation, the little Copen here asks the Gran Turismo community the question of "how do you choose to look at me?" I've seen differing opinions on this car all over the place, ranging from "it's the worst car in the game" to "it's the most useless car in the game". OK, so maybe the reception of the community towards this car hasn't been the greatest, but I think my point still stands. You're presented with a potentially incredibly boring situation/car. How do you choose to look at it?
Well, before we begin dissecting this week's little boy, let's first take a look into the story of this car.
We all know the origins of the VGT program, it's a marketing campaign/design study which featured a bunch of radical designs straight from the arthouses of a bunch of different automakers. Daihatsu was announced to be part of the proceedings straight from the beginning, and I think we were all a little excited to see what they'd come up with. After all, there's been a few exciting Kei cars over the years like the Mazda Autozam, Suzuki Cappuccino, and more recently the Honda S660. The segment isn't exactly the hottest on the planet but there have been some neat cars to come out of it. So, the prospect of a VGT Kei car hotrod must have been pretty exciting at the time.
All was not well when Gran Turismo Sport rolled around however, Daihatsu included their VGT design in the base game of GT Sport back in 2017 and it wasn't very exciting to many people to say the least. Basically what was revealed with the launch of Sport was the Racing Jacket, a Copen with a wing on it. The VGT program has been accused of being a cynical marketing exercise from some brands putting forth safe and predictable concepts, and this Copen was easily the king of the uninspired lot. It was literally a slightly tuned version of an incredibly slow road car that's been around since 2002.
Ok, so we have a tuned version of the Copen? Surely Daihatsu have done something to spruce it up a little and make it a track monster? Not under the hood, that's for sure. The car pushes around 146 horsepower from a 660cc inline-three engine. So much for being a pocket rocket then. So, the Daihatsu here hasn't exactly left the greatest first impression to players. It's a derivative of an already questionably exciting car and it's hardly any faster to boot while being part of the same design program that features laser-powered glider cars and pneumatically-operated V10s that can push onwards to ludicrous speed. That's part of the reason this car gets so much hate in discussions about the worst cars in the game, it's basically got all the ingredients a car needs to not be exciting. So, many chose to look at these facts and decided this car wasn't worth any of their time, looking at it with disdain for being such a boring car.
But is that how I'm going to choose to look at the Copen? Well, I can say from experience that racing Kei cars in the campaigns of previous Gran Turismos can be about as enjoyable as watching paint dry. They're a class of car that I think is honestly too slow to have interesting racing with. When an NA MX-5 can blow most cars in that class out of the water, I honestly don't find it too interesting to watch. But judging from initial appearances seems incredibly unfair, so I'm going to need to hop into the car and take it for a spin around Tsukuba Circuit to really decide once and for all how I feel about the Copen RJ, a car I've only driven once before today.
This is where driving the Copen RJ VGT really clicked for me. Sure, the 146 horsepower engine might not be a HUGE step up from the Kei class like most people were expecting from before this car was revealed, but I honestly think it's enough. On a tight track like Tsukuba, the car hardly needs to have a huge engine at all as long as it's incredibly light to make up for the low power. Fortunately the little Copen here lacks weight in spades, making it a car that isn't so bad in terms of power to weight on paper. 4.11 kg/hp in fact, which is honestly not bad at all for a little sports car. I was pulling 1:07s on Tsukuba so it's easily a contender with several respectable hot hatchbacks.
In pursuit of ever-lower lap times, the car felt absolutely wonderful for a front-wheel drive car with no traction control on sports tires. Wrestling with the car into the sharp apexes of Tsukuba and slamming on the power while shifting up out of corners to eliminate wheelspin was a gratifying experience. Being a tuned version of an already lightweight car, this little Copen really benefits from excellent brakes and suspension. It might not be a surprise to some given the kind of car it is, but the Copen really holds speed well through the corners compared to larger and heavier cars, which gives it an exciting go-kart like quality.
I think that's where most people go wrong about the Copen and miss the point. Yes, it is technically a VGT car and yes, it is by far the slowest one. But overlooking this car for a lack of straight line speed would be overlooking the sheer joy of cornering that this car can offer potential drivers. While I may be isolated from everyone right now and feeling down, the idea that a team of people out there came together and designed this corner-carving machine for the sheer joy of getting behind the wheel and throwing it around brings me a little warm fuzzy feeling inside. That's how I learned to love the Copen VGT. I finally get the "author's intent" behind this car. It wasn't designed to be a face-melting hotrod like the rest of the VGT cast. Someone out there simply wanted you to get behind the wheel of this car and just enjoy the drive.
That's about the big and short of it with the Daihatsu VGT. Some people choose to look at it as the most boring car in GT Sport, I instead choose to look at it as a pure expression of driving pleasure. While it may have been relegated to Group X as a useless car in the campaign and a daily wheel joke, I really think that once GT7 rolls around and PP takes over again, we'll finally be seeing what this little guy can do. The Copen didn't get its day in GT Sport due to the classification system and was forgotten. But soon in the next game it'll finally have a chance to shine among similarly-performing cars, where I think its handling characteristics will make it a popular choice in its range.
I think that's a great lesson we can all take away from the Copen VGT. Today might not be your day, but keep your chin up and looking towards the future. We'll all be out of this quarantine situation together pretty soon and like the Copen, we'll finally be able to walk alongside each other again. That's how I choose to look at things, anyways.
For the awesome little drive this car gave me today, I rate it a Sleeper.
That livery is absolutely gorgeous, I'm in love... didn't realise there would be someone else who liked Puyo Puyo here ^w^
I'm another one who also likes the Daihatsu RJ VGT. Handling feels good considering it's weight and drivetrain. And another thing, the exhaust note got me thinking that the RJ is powered by a Diesel engine. Honestly, I wish it wasn't in Group X...
Thanks! I’m surprised anyone even commented on it. Been playing the series since the GameCube and I’ve used a few of these liveries over the course of the game. They’ve even made it into several of my other reviews on this thread. Draco’s my favourite character in the series and the one I always play as, and I’ve been using her as a mascot on my cars for a while now ever since I found the decal on Sport.
Most recent was the one I made for the GR Yaris review. That’s one of my favourite road car liveries I’ve made.
Then there’s the one I made for the F1 GTR. That was actually requested by someone after I made my Huracan livery.
Then of course there was the Huracan. I’ve had this one for years and raced online a bit with it. Probably my favourite livery I’ve made so far out of any car.
Funnily enough, that same Huracan livery is something you can download and use in Assetto Corsa on the PC if you have it. I’m looking at you everyone in this thread, go check it out.
But like holy cow, I’m just surprised someone even noticed where my livery was from at all. It’s flown completely under the radar for years and it’s cool that there’s someone in the neighbourhood who knows the series too.
Oh and almost forgot, if you want to use any of these for yourself in GT Sport, my gallery is right here:
But yeah again, that’s really neat. Never thought that would happen in a million years.
I'm surprised someone didn't pick up on it sooner! It's a pretty popular series, though I guess PP fans don't really cross over so much with GT fans lol
My PC meets the minimum specs for Assetto Corsa thankfully (I main an i3-2120, 4GB DDR3 RAM, GeForce GT740 2GB) so maybe I should give it a go once the last on that list actually arrives
The defining trait of the world of Vision Gran Turismo cars (VGT) is that they simply cannot be defined by existing parameters; they fit no need, no category, and no rules — and yes, sometimes that includes even those of physics. From 700km/h monstrosities you need a G-suit to "drive", to sci-fi projects propelled by lasers or something, or just surprisingly down to earth stuff, like a Golf with its roof chopped off that would never pass a rollover test, yet is still eligible for FIA GT3 competition. Everything is fair game: a wide open canvas free from the constraints of profit margins, practicality, or even reality itself, for designers to freely express themselves, and most likely to also indulge in some customary peacocking in the process. This unsubstantiated cock fest is something I find completely childish and meaningless, hence my general disdain for them and the roll of my eyes whenever I have to drive one.
Even in such an insane and unthinkable world that can only be defined by its total refusal of definition however, the Daihatsu Copen RJ Vision Gran Turismo is heads and shoulders above its peers in its sheer oddity. About the only thing it shares in common with its fellow VGT cars is that it sits on four wheels and costs a million credits. Everything else is simply... weird, which is quite the statement in a world characterised by its lunacy. Where other manufacturers use the in-game description of their break room creation to explain why their car is the bestest and why their company is the most amazingest, and then try to make some sorry attempt to claim some relevance, the description of the Copen VGT is... simply empty — the only car in the game with such an omission. It has no flashy PR Package nor explosive reveal, and no designers or engineers to proudly explain what they've created, nor is anyone given any reason to really care that much about it as a result. It just sits there quietly by its lonesome, condemned into the dumping grounds that is Group X, never utilised or even mentioned by this E-Sports focused title, for which it is an exclusive, yet feels so out of place being in. It's just... weird.
So, what do you get for a million of your hard earned credits a wiser man would've spent on something else? Well, an engine displacing exactly 660cc that somehow squeezes out 146HP (108kW) at 6,700rpm and 202.5Nm (149.4lb-ft) at 5,000rpm with the aid of a turbocharger that's probably bigger than the engine itself, sending power exclusively to the front wheels. If you know of a sentence with less sex appeal than that, please, keep it to yourself; even the world of VGTs is not ready for such savagery. The Otaku among you may already have your oversized anime eyes light up at the mention of the magical "660cc", which is the limit of displacement for the unique Japanese segment of micro cars, known natively as the "Kei Car", though with missing dimensions data, it's hard to tell if the elongated splitters and overhung rear wing would've pushed it out of the Kei class, and it's hard to tell what exact engine layout would give a total of 660cc exactly.
As though actually fitting into an existing category of road cars isn't weird enough for a VGT, the Copen RJ furthers its weird credentials by actually having mass! Imagine that! 600kg (1,323lbs) to be exact, which is stupidly light even for a Kei car. Using a second generation Copen as a base, this VGT even sports a fully rendered interior — a rarity in the land of smoke and mushrooms that is VGT land — complete with working gauges straight out of the road car that's sadly not even in this game. The livery of the car has a logo of Seico Industrial Design Works, who have experience modifying said second generation Copens. What we essentially have here then, is something that started out life with only about two thirds the size and mass of a racing car, then given racing car treatment with canards, splitters, wings, bucket seats, five point harnesses, and roll cages by an aftermarket tuner — or so we're left to infer. And if I'm to be honest, it's a rather intriguing recipe on paper.
In practice however, it really didn't do much for me. The styling of the car doesn't really jive with me, because I really dislike how the second generation Copen moved so drastically away from what made the first gen Copen, and arguably Kei cars as a whole, so lovable to begin with: their cute looks. It's almost like an angsty teenager who's ashamed of being called cute, and thus tries very hard to overcompensate for its past cuteness by being overly edgey and aggressive without any real substance backing it up. I mean, it's a Kei car. It's meant to be cheap and cheerful. Who are you trying to impress or intimidate with a Copen?
It certainly isn't very intimidating to drive, either. It's a small, front wheel drive car that handles like a racing car: composed, neutral, darty, and immediate. Because it's an FF, there is no drama at all to be had from behind the wheel. With only 146HP going through the ample Sport Medium tyres by default, kept in check by a well tuned diff and stiff suspension, understeer into of corners is virtually nonexistent, no doubt helped by the minuscule wheelbase. Sure, it handles well, but it's not fun or exciting, either. And besides, no amount of tuning is going to make corner exits in a "powerful" FF car okay, nor will it alleviate the boredom of having to manage said understeer and the agony of knowing you could've been in a rear drive car this whole time. The microscopic engine in the Copen RJ has enough fuel efficiency to bankrupt several petroleum companies and put the entire oil industry into a recession, because the game estimates I had enough for 168 laps of Tsukuba flat out with a full tank during race day, if that's your sort of thing. But just like the handling of the car, the engine hasn't much of a personality either, sounding extremely dull and generic. Whatever weird gearbox this seven speed unit is doesn't even blip the gas on downshifts, making downshifts a rather weird and jarring undertaking, as you almost need to manually count the gears you drop in braking zones, and the first two gears are completely useless even on a tight and technical circuit like Tsukuba.
With wheelbases too dangerously short for a RWD layout, an FF layout makes a lot of sense both from a safety and practical standpoint in a space constrained Kei car. It's just that I'm not one to like driving FFs at all, which would probably explain why I got so bored with it after just 30km of driving it — not even enough to hit the Daily Workout quota — before hopping into something else.
If you're looking for strange, fictional concept cars you can't experience anywhere but Gran Turismo Sport, you can have the Mazda Roadster Touring Car for a tenth of the cost of the Copen. Just like the road-going Copen, the Roadster TC is a convertible, but it's rear wheel drive, packs more power, will out launch, out accelerate, and out corner the Copen despite having two less forward gears, while being a whole lot more fun to drive. It also has proper cutesey looks with tacked on carbon racing bits, roll cages, and a fully rendered interior modified from the road car. Not to mention, the Roadster is a hell of a lot more relevant in this E-Sports focused title, being featured in several One-Make races both in Daily and FIA races, and is eligible for N100-N300 races as well, instead of being condemned to Group X. All this attention also means that you'll have a lot more user created liveries to choose from in comparison to the barren wasteland that is the Copen RJ's Discover section. And if you don't mind the complete lack of an interior, you can pay even less for the Toyota S-FR Racing Concept, the cancer meta car of N200-N300.
I know the original spirit of Car of the Week is that we get to try out odd or overlooked cars we would never have bat an eye at otherwise. While I do very much appreciate having my eyes opened to this oddity, I still don't understand what's the point of this thing after a whole week with it, especially at one million credits. I think I'd have liked it a hell of a lot more if it were something more "reasonable" at, say, 50,000 credits, which is still insane for a Kei car, granted, but it would've made the Copen RJ an amazing racecar for some entry level FF One-Make races. I feel like this VGT would make a lot more sense with the complement and contrast of a real, base version of the car, and a lot more manufacturer involvement with the game in the vein of what Mazda and Toyota have done with the RX-Vision GT3 and GR Yaris respectively. With Toyota unveiling the highly anticipated Copen GR Sport over a year ago, this thing feels all the more like a huge missed opportunity for advertising and relevance, while highlighting the absence of highly anticipated cars in the game, which is a little hard for me to not begrudge. And while I do have an unhealthy appreciation for the weird, it's not nearly as weird or charming as the midship single seater rear wheel drive car with a proper manual and the same weight distribution as an FC RX-7 that Daihatsu produced 25 years ago. I'd much rather have a Midget II over the Copen RJ.
Are there any kei racers like this in real life, as a matter of fact? Quite honestly feels like a sweet concept in a way, and a realistic one at that.
That's the Escudo Pikes Peak from GT2
This week we are taking a look at another well known 90s JDM car. We are taking a look at the Toyota MR2 GT-S '97. This weeks car is chosen by @inkiphox
I was lucky enough to have a play in one at Hampton Downs a while ago. Even got to share the track with up and coming global superstar (and Fraga's main rival when he was here doing the TRS), Liam Lawson!
...couldn't quite beat his time in GT Sport though. Got close!
Great pick, I love that car!
GTS Nordschleife hot lap STOCK Toyota MR2 GT S '97 08.10.169
Great Japanese sports car. Surprisingly fast considering its HP and age. Is greatly fun to drive.
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.
With its driven time, it is the 90th fastest car of all road legal cars. Its closest rivals are the Chevrolet Corvette C3 '69 with an 08.11.892 on the 91st place and the Renault Megane R.S. Trophy '11 with an 08.10.063 on the 89th place. It can reach a top speed of 264 km/h=164mp/h in the game (real life top speed being 241 km/h=150mp/h), and is thus sharing the 85th-82nd place top speed wise of all road legal cars with the Ford Focus ST '15, the the Nissan 180SX Type X '96 and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S '19, while its closest top speed rivals are the Alfa Romeo Launch Edition '14, BMW3 Sport Evolution '89 and the Mazda RX-7 GT-X (FC) '90 all three with 260km/h=162mp/h on the 88th-86th place respectively and the DE TOMASO Pantera '71 with 265km/h=165mp/h on the 81st place.
Tsukuba comparison with closest rival:
Bonus: A lap very close to perfection on Monza (with sports soft tyres though):
Verdict: Impressive stats, lap times and loads of fun=somewhat a sleeper I guess.
Thank you! My father used to have a white MR2 years ago~ I remember it well, it was nice being in the passenger seat, here's a pic of it that he dug up fairly recently! (face censored, it's from when he drove up to Ireland with my cousin, I believe)
He also once had a G-Limited JDM model one that was also white and one of the SMT MR-S models in silver. Years long now, but glad to see it's a fun drive in GT Sport as I presume it would be in real life, I sorta picked it wondering how close it replicated the actual car, as I expected at least a few people here to have drove and/or owned an SW20 IRL :3
That's pretty cool!