Car of the Week | Week 47: A Katana to a Gunfight (Suzuki Swift Sport KATANA Edition Gr.4)

It’s good to see that we are ABSOLUTELY NOT running an engine swapped race because IF you were I am 2 collector levels short of the swap.
 
What a hilarious little car. So much so, in fact, that I dedicated a whole thread to its money-making potential.
 
SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 16 - Mazda Demio XD Touring


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I'm still unsure with the Mazda's naming of cars with a Greek influence, but since everyone knows what a Demio is, it works.


The Demio is probably one of the many cars a GT nerd would have behind the back of their heads on how it was the car with the lowest power output in the first game. While it's just an entry level hatchback that's not remarkable in terms of performance or power, for those getting started with driving, the Demio is what they claim the perfect little car to insert your confidence into that hole.. okay SPD, enough innuendo.

With its current pre-facelift 4th generation representing this name for Sport and 7, the past GT games have never been short of Demio. The first generation's been in the first 6 entry, the second from 3 onwards to 6, and the Detailed 3rd generation exclusively in Gran Turismo 6. For this entry's hand held tutorial, you have a choice between a Prius, a Fit and the Demio. For the long run, it comes down to having a hybrid or a diesel. Speaking of which..

The Demio we get however isn't the usual SKYACTIV model, but the XD trim, meaning a diesel. Interesting, right? I know you're nodding with that gun pointed by your side. But don't let me keep you here. Now, past the details about the car's economy, this Demio is stated to be an excellent handling car, but what Mazda isn't?

Sounds to me we might get a Sleeper straight up? This is my rule with the MX-5 cars in Mini Mexico: a Miata is an automatic Sleeper. Will that rule stick with the Demio?

Now.. what do I have cooking in fiction? As I was going to mention the cruelty of children, like I said: every week's entry is done on the fly without weeks of planning. I'm actually struggling with the Abarth's entry for next week. I'm thinking a Lupin III tribute..


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Episode 16: Following Shadows



A lovely morning in Tokyo's populous Ginza, Candy takes this time to broaden her sense and head out for a jog.

Listening to her usual Def Leppard playlist, she then gets a ringtone from her sports earphones, irritating her as she moves through the varying crowds at a constant speed.

After the third loop, her eyes squint in grump as the obligation to answer then comes..


Candy: "Phew.. who can this be?"


Holding her phone that hid in her side pocket, she takes it and sees a local mobile number, which she answers and says with a somber mood..



Candy: "You have 10 seconds to explain how you got this number.."

Gary D: "Threatening? You for real, girl? Umm.. shoot, double R, you gotta help, yo. Dang, she out.."


Now with a more open set of eyes, Candy's tone also lightened..



Candy: "There's only one person with that tone.. Gary, was it?"

Gary D: "Yeah, girl.. been a couple weeks since that tango in Deep Forest. How you doing?"

Candy: "Fine. Don't mind.. if I get out of breath. Having a jog.."

Gary D: "Yeah? We on a ride around Tokyo. Double R and I wanted a quick look around, what's changed and not, before our little shindig later."

Candy: "Double R.. oh, that's what you call Cierra, right?"


Laying comfortably on the minivan's chair, Gary replies amused.



Gary D: "You bet'cha! You still remember!"

Candy: "What I didn't remember is giving you my number."

Gary D: "That you can thank double R. Where you heading?"

Candy: "Home.. nice and casual pace, just keep the blood flowing quick.. for our little meet later."

Gary D: "Right. Double R's pouring out Z's now, so I don't think you'll be hearing from her till later, girl. Smell ya later, Candy."


And with the call completed, Candy puts aside her phone and goes back to the music as she steps in beat to the high tempo song, but not before she notes..



Candy: "And he's gone. Thank goodness it's nothing suspicious."


Candy's house
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Morning



While Candy surrounds herself with the soothing ballads of Joe Elliott, she didn't forget her way back home.

Although, when she was back, she stood with horror on her face as her residence wasn't desolate as she wanted.



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She of course didn't take the news of police surrounding her home well, moving through people intending to stop her.


Candy: "NOW WHAT'S GOING ON?!"


And as she gets surrounded, she remarks still in rage..


Candy: "Excuse me! I'm the owner of this property, and I want an explanation!!"


The policemen unsure on what to do after asking her repeatedly for identity, a voice from a megaphone stands out and pulls the attention.


???: "Make way, people.. Let me talk to her."


The source of the voice was this taller lady, but Candy took note of this Interpol agent of her traditional Chinese attire.


Candy: "Ohh? (A cheongsam in Japan? She must be Chinese..)"


And as she approaches the tired Candy, Izumi Yamazaki puts aside the megaphone by a police cruiser, and reaches Candy, towering her as she receives..


Candy: "Ni hao! Umm, I know not to mess with the authorities, but a little communication can go a long way."


She speaks much more calmly, but with a hint of dismay.

However, what she got wasn't a professional response, but rather what looks to be the start of a small laugh track.


Izumi: "Eh? Pfft... heeheehee.. HOOHOOHAAHAAAHH!!"


Watching her clench her belly, Candy remained still and watches along with the hordes of officers around.


Candy: "I.. don't think this is any laughing matter, lady!"


And as soon as she gets out of this laughing phase, she spoke..


Izumi: "Oh boy! I apologize, but Rin-san was correct! YOU ARE SUCH AN ADORABLE LITTLE ONE, GAAHAAHAAHAAHH!"


Following with another set..


Candy: "Comical.. another one of these characters, is it?"

Izumi: "Think of it as force of habit. Now, where was I? Oh.. Yamazaki Izumi. You want any info on this situation, you.. t-talk to m... me. Whew.. we're both exerting something this morning, hoo.."


She's still flustered by this personality, but moved on with the conversation, noting..



Candy: "Well.. Izumi? Zumi-san.. could this Chinese ancestry be a guise? You're a natural with that cheongsam.."

Izumi: "HEHE, you noticed? I mean, you should. I'm partially Chinese. BUT since you asked.. should that opportunity rises, I'm born Jing Mei Chunhua. My mother's Japanese, and I follow her footsteps with a little more.. teehee.. interest. Oh.. you definitely are ready to ask.."


She set that stage, and on the ethereal microphone, Candy started the show..


Candy: "Umm.. I'd like to start with my home. Did a crime just really happen here the one hour I decide to have a jog?!"

Izumi: "Funny, isn't it? Hehehe.. approximately 40 minutes ago, your silent alarm was triggered. The police came as quick as they could.. their work is to be commended."

Candy: "I've no doubt of their ability, Zumi-san.."

Izumi: "But from what we see.. well.. it's a group of 10, but as of minutes ago, you have a single intruder, with a firearm. We're going to have armed forces in 10 minutes. Looks to me his friends ditched him.. that intruder is so toast, wouldn't you... SAY?!"


Considering the odds, Candy's tension phased out, but she can't help note..



Candy: "Irritating. I don't know how people can handle this kind of behaviour.."

Izumi: "IT CAN'T BE HELPED!! Er-hemm.."


Izumi's reactions of holding her laughter back now finds itself something for Candy to consider now knowing her a little more, but she shifts concern..



Candy: "So, what's this intruder going to do to my home? Blow it up?"

Izumi: "I'll just say there's no hint of any bomb, but.. Leave that threat management to us!"


Says Izumi with a confident point to self posture.

As if it was intended, Candy then spoke..


Candy: "Okay.. what about me being adorable? And Interpol, was it? You perhaps know of.."

Izumi: "Huh? We'll talk later. Looks like he's coming out.."


And slowly stepping out of Candy's bespoke front door is a well suited man with a fedora.

All guns may point to him, but to recap last week: we know this is Emile Orson, and now Candy gets a good look at this shady suit..


Candy: "What a figure.."

Izumi: "I know this creep.. it's one of those Assassin's Guild personnel.. and not just any small fry.."


Using her knowledge on these Guild personnel, Izumi scurries around the area as the police officers point their guns towards the man, still and focused, as if time slows in his head..



Izumi: "This is bad news.. where is that megaphone?!"


And before he strikes, Izumi leaps ahead of this confrontation and spoke with that megaphone she's recently grabbed..


Izumi: "Officers, stand down!"


The officers surrounding Emile couldn't bring their guns down, while their leader queries, and not even seconds after, Izumi replied..


Izumi: "Do as I say!"


As the situation defused, Candy went forwards and crept towards Izumi catching her breath..



Candy: "Assassin's Guild, was it? So far I hear of bad news from their kind."

Izumi: "Be wise, shut your trap and keep on your guard."


And the two women stepped up towards the doorway, where one Emile stands still, stretching his limbs..

They stood in silence, until just after: Izumi spoke..



Izumi: "Fancy seeing you here, Emile. Fufufu.. You're not the kind to just appear outside of America for no reason. Looks to me you've got something for the owner of this property, sir. I suggest you.. pfft.. tell her.. hehehe.."

Emile: "It appears that I do. These men are very very lucky you got in between, or their heads might have.. perforation."


He moves his attention towards the short owner of the home he intrudes..



Emile: "Candy, was it? Hmm.. before I compensate the dealings I had in your merry home, you may call me Emile."

Candy: "Emile? You have some nerve coming over to mess up my things."


She wasn't intending to start anything, but Izumi had to intervene hearing that tone.


Izumi: "Careful.. you're talking to a man who can kill you from this distance in more than 25 different ways."


With that grumpy look, Emile thought to calm her head..



Emile: "Perhaps I'll play another card.. humm.. I'm under employ from a certain.. someone: my friend who you call Jacob Ross."

Candy: "The dark one? I probably need to inform him not to send too many guardian angels."

Emile: "Interesting. Perhaps you'd like to be kind to this guardian angel.. come on in and see for yourself what he's done to your home."


As Emile turns back into the small home, Candy follows, but realizes Izumi not following in, as she turns around..



Izumi: "I'll join you two later. I'll need to adhere with protocol when clashing with the Guild.."


Back towards Emile, she then asks..



Candy: "Oh.. what's new? A makeover?"

Emile: "You can say that."



She knows her home very well, but the aura and stench differs with a more violent hint.

As Candy sees by her messed up kitchen area, she sees a small pile of bodies..


Candy: "God.. are these corpses?"

Emile: "And very much dead.."

Candy: "Eugh.. I hope nobody's gone in my bedroom.."

Emile: "The action resides all down here.. these 6 received a marksman's touch, that one I opened up a few new holes via your cutlery, the remaining has a taste of blunt force.."


While they're arranged cleanly, Candy notes one of them, seeing his face one time..

That time was with the Yamagami in the dark forests..



Candy: "I've seen this one before.. Emile? Why would you.."

Emile: "Kill or be killed. These men wanted to make sure you didn't have a choice, but they too didn't have a choice."


She hesitated at first, but behind all that reasoning, she felt a certain grade of gratitude to the one man army, announcing calmly..


Candy: "I'd thank you, Emile, but.. why even help me? Did I find myself into some conspiracy that painted a target on my back?"

Emile: "Consider that what exactly do I even have to gain protecting you anyways?"


Taking off his teardrop sunglasses, Candy then sees the real face behind the man, noting his diminished eyes in her head.


Emile: "What I do doesn't matter. How I operate is that.. well, only the wicked end up on my bad side.. that much you see plenty of."

Candy: "So what about my poor home that didn't do anything but stage this horrifying killing spree?"

Emile: "The Guild will handle that."

Candy: "Guild? So, like.. they'll come over and help me renovate?"

Emile: "You guess right. Once the Interpol lady clears out the police, my men will come in and.. let's say evidence left behind will be.. unheard of."


With a group of workers fixing the house in the background, Izumi and Emile sit idly by within the one room untouched: the lounging room.

Candy then enters, still in her exercise attire, and this time balancing a coffee tray to the table, then pouring.


Izumi: "Why thank you very much. Coffee makes a girl like me go wild.. I HOPE YOU'RE GHGHGH.. READY!"

Emile: "Ignore her explosive tendencies, Miss Candy. I can sense.. good flavour.."


With coffee served, Candy joins her guests on the comfortable chairs she's set up for the occassion.



Candy: "Horrific violence or not, you're in my house. Unless there's a current emergency, I-I don't mean to be rude."

Emile: "I.. thank you for the hospitality. With or without sweetening agents, the flavour of this hot coffee is.. to kill for."

Izumi: "Japanese coffee is one of the best tastes any java freak should go for once in their life! This flavor you cannot get even in Japanese crowded Los Angeles.."


Investigating her tone, Emile replied with a brow raised..


Emile: "Presumably, I should travel more.. is what you're saying?"

Candy: "What, you don't travel often, Emile? Don't travel and world class assassin go together perfectly well?"

Emile: "You're not wrong. But I find plenty of work around the City of Angels."


Emile then turns to Candy, sitting content.



Emile: "And you. Might you've noticed my pupils' diminished size, but I can see you're enjoying this, Candy."

Candy: "Beginning to understand why some people enjoy the company of others, I guess. Well, emm.. I'd like to use this time to know more about you two.. if you don't mind the smell of sweat."

Emile: "If that question is for me or the Guild, I suppose I will acquiesce."

Izumi: "You're very welcome to ask.. don't expect a straight.. ANSWER, HEEHEEHAAHAA!"


Looking at Izumi, Candy then remembered what's mentioned earlier that nagged in the back of her head..


Candy: "Zumi-san, you mentioned Rin-san.. cheeky lady with a soft, golden heart. I know who you mean."

Emile: "As do I. Jacob's beloved."

Izumi: "You heard right. She's my partner."

Candy: "Partner? Like a buddy cop?"


A quick sip later, Izumi recalls briefly on how that came to be, slowly bringing happy hints on her face.


Izumi: "Initially no.. We had an episode with a movie studio as I was showing her the ropes on how I work. With the arrest of one of the region's trafficker of drugs and children, I told everyone she passed with flying colors, I gained a good chunk of my freedom back, and the higher ups support her investigation into the FIA as a GT racer. Complicated, but it worked out in the end. So that's the long answer.. heehee.."

Candy: "Partner, yet she's not here. Mutually exclusive schedule, was it?"

Izumi: "She must've told you! It's lax, but when you're called to duty, you better take that call."


He was watching on, but couldn't resist to say..



Emile: "I can relate."

Izumi: "Don't you work on a client to client basis?"

Emile: "That I do, but I choose these clients."


He's not talkative, but Candy strikes that match, asking..


Candy: "Oh? Is that how the Guild works?"

Emile: "Not quite. But for someone as experienced in this dangerous work environment.. yes. There's a lot I can't tell you, still."

Izumi: "You can tell me, slick. Heeheehee.."

Emile: "Our common link via Jacob isn't sufficient. Lucky for you, you're Izumi Yamazaki. The two faced snake.."

Candy: "I guess the more I delve deep, the more I will hear that man's name. What's it for you two?"

Emile: "We served in the Marines together. To someone like Yamazaki, however.."


Emile didn't change much in emotion; much to Izumi who began to feel glum looking back this time..


Izumi: "He.. umm.. saved me from a grim fate."

Candy: "Oh.. I've never seen it.. but it seems there was a heroic past era in him."

Emile: "I can vouch. Our first bonding session including a high risk rescue mission involving.. your new friend Mack. I was against it, but he persisted. His reckless nature earned him new people to back his crazy schemes.. his squad."

Candy: "Mack? Maverick? The soldier is a spy, who.. played me. He's going to pay soon. Zumi-san?"

Izumi: "Well, I was once part of a scandal involving the Guild and my brother."

Emile: "Koji and Ginnie, I take it? Right. You ARE the sister of the once great Vulture."

Izumi: "That's my past.. now, though, I intend to bury it."


Emile had an idea how to carry this conversation to a different topic, pursuing it as he begins to cordially relate.


Emile: "Hmm.. so how was Ginnie?"

Izumi: "Fine. She's still laying low as a killer maid, heeheehee.. pffft.. er-hem. Ohh.. whew.. guess how I found her? She was shopping one day.. it was like.. 'Izzy, oh baguette', and ZOOM there we had this quick little chase from aisle to aisle."

Emile: "That's a tall tale.. but that reaction? Tell you what: I will take your word for it."

Izumi: "Thank you. That's really how it went. Next you meet, go and mention the frozen aisles.."


The whole time they talked about this person, Candy was sitting silently, then broke it, speaking inquisitively..


Candy: "This isn't the first I heard of a Ginnie. That was from Moto-san.."

Emile: "It's taboo for you, but between us.. she's like a sister to me."

Candy: "Sister?"

Izumi: "HAHAHA! Oh yes. Taboo indeed. Should we tell her?"

Candy: "Tell me what?"

Emile: "Excuse me. That if you're in the need for a top class assassin, you'd look me up. And the fact Ginoa's one of the Trinitia: the best of the best."


The names then add up, and with Gary recently on thought, she looked back to Alsace, and a fact arose..


Candy: "Ginoa? Ginnie? Can't help but.. I heard that name.. OF COURSE! Gary!"

Izumi: "My brother's favorite meathead. Heehee.. he's the boyfriend. Surprised?"

Emile: "Hardly."

Izumi: "EHAAHAAH! Oh, that tone of yours.. er-hem."

Candy: "It explains why he's hesitant that night.. he cares for her."

Emile: "She's on a worldwide most wanted list. And a bounty that counts up to.. was it 2?"

Izumi: "I heard it's now 2.5. Proof of death via a special chip from her beating heart.. that's thorough, I give them that."


As she wants to continue, the sight of the room's clock changed her thoughts..


Candy: "Ughh.. Speaking of Gary.. I'm to meet him in a couple hours. Sorry, but if you two would excuse me.. a girl can't meet without ample preparation."

Emile: "We'll be down here. Don't hurry back."


As she leaves and weaves through people working on her home's damages, Izumi and Emile remain, with the former slowly scooching closer..



Izumi: "Eeeeheehee.. don't hurry back? We're not having the.. you know.."

Emile: "I'm.. quite asexual, thank you."

Izumi: "Have it your way, handsome. There's some hot coffee for us to.. to.. TH-THINK ABOUT IT!!"


He can't help but raise his hand then move it to his face..



Emile: "Goodness.."

Izumi: "As much as I've heard about you from Jake and Rin.. "

Emile: "I only talk for business. Candy Lam is business. If you weren't the two faced snake, you'd already be dead anyways."

Izumi: "How so?"

Emile: "Something I'm sure you know of.. the MINI."


As they see it momentarily sitting out in the sun, Izumi stood up and asked in a more serious tone.



Izumi: "You're on to me and Interpol, for sure, Emile. Why's the Guild on to it as well?"

Emile: "It's made her a target, and personally we want it taken care of. Why am I even telling you this, Yamazaki?"

Izumi: "I too am obligated to protect her from harm..."

Both: "Should it even come from the shadows.."


Speaking together in the same time, they both looked away from each other, not noticing the other also blushing.



Izumi: "Umm.."


Emile then stood up and gazed towards Izumi, on which she turned back to see him.


Emile: "Well, well, well.. I'm afraid having guts to move against the Assassin's Guild is a dangerous game. Why even play?"

Izumi: "Why? Interpol too is on the scene of this investigation. Candy is the only lead we have on this so far."

Emile: "That much we also know."


Energetic, she then has an idea.


Izumi: "A collaboration needs to be done! Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Emile: "I'm not the right person for that."

Izumi: "You must continue this line of thought, Emile."


And angrily, he responds..


Emile: "I refuse."

Izumi: "HEHEHEEHH, you must be joking! Okay, let's try again."

Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."


They then lean forwards towards each other, rebuking one another..



Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."

Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."

Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."

Emile: "This is getting us nowhere."

Izumi: "Prove to me you're a persistent threat then. Show me your desire to your cause! Yes!"

Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."


There are limits to his patience, and just as it's about to be hit, he then tries to be cheeky about the moment.



Emile: "No infinity."

Izumi: "WHA! Hey! That's uncalled for. You admit now that's a dirty move."

Emile: "No it isn't."

Izumi: "Yes it is."

Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."


And when he realizes she's put him back into the frying pan he's hopped out of, he glanced backwards and muttered quietly..



Emile: "N-curses, she's good.."


a few moments later.jpg



Now out of the house, Candy makes her way to an arranged meeting location within the city.


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But even now, she feels a sense of unease..


Candy: "How dare you.. I mean they.."


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And to explain this, one only has to look behind as a pair of completely different cars follow the blue MINI, distracting Candy with a mix tape of a Camaro's V8 and a Lancer's turbocharged inline 4.



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Now on the expressways, Candy dodges traffic and her pursuees, still not feeling easy about it at all.


Candy: "Those two.. they DON'T have to be THIS close.."


Tokyo Expressway
Inner Tokyo, Japan
Noon



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Passing by a closed portion of the expressway, Candy is approached by a race official, and she rolled down her windows to speak..


Candy: "Let us through. I'm to race later. Here's my license."


Upon entering a parking garage, Candy exits her car and walks on, seeing the expressway deserted.



Candy: "Today's the first time I heard Sunday Cup's going around the expressway. Whoever has the gall to sort that out.. that's.. impressive."


Not estranged to the expressway's emptiness, however something else came up..


Candy: "What's even more impressive is that YOU TWO ARE STILL AT THIS!"


Now not leaning towards each other, they instead keep going as they remain behind Candy's back.


Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."

Emile: "No."

Izumi: "Yes."


Candy made a quick turn backwards and aggressively retorts to this whole situation.


Candy: "Okay, enough is enough! How you two are still here sort of baffles my mind!"

Emile: "I am the most dangerous man in this building.. surely you have to think twice before you can tick me off."

Izumi: "Says who? Interpol's been my life for a LOT of my adult. To say I'm a honed as he is would be a.. a.. wait for it.. J-J-JOKE!! HEEHAAHAAA!"


She's beared this side of Izumi's disorder for this long, but can't help speak..



Candy: "Goodness, she's THIS close before I snap."

Emile: "At any case.. perhaps you'd be customers to my other job.. please wait.."


Not realizing he's carrying a medium thick case by his side, he opens it to reveal a well shone saxophone, then holds it..


Emile: "And.. what say you, Izumi?"

Izumi: "The Black Flash going to have a concerto in any given moment.. you're quite the someone, Emile."

Emile: "I'm missing percussion and string, but by my lonesome.. I can play some soothing tunes."


Impressed, Izumi took a moment to slowly clap, eventually speeding up after he's done a warmup with the instrument.


Izumi: "Wow! You do requests?"

Emile: "On this, why of course. If you know what song to play, you'd ask already."

Izumi: "Why, let me.. umm.. there's a tune??"


Candy being the bystander gets in between them, teasing..


Candy: "Wow, you both seem quite interested in each other with this chemistry I'm seeing in the mix."

Emile: "Not quite, from my end at least.."

Izumi: "Pfft, what are you talking about. Like him? Didn't you tell me you were sexual??"

Emile: "A-sexual."

Izumi: "Right. You're a sexy beast, HEEHEE!"


Considering Emile's preparing phase to play music, Candy announces..



Candy: "Well. I'm going this way."

Emile: "Likewise."


Her plan failed, she then spoke back to her followers..


Candy: "If you're going to stick close.. then can you at least keep it down!"

Izumi: "Kh..khkh.. I can't PROMISE THAT! AHAHAHA!"


And just as Candy was to head for the race control, another pair gets in her way..


Gary D: "Now that's what I call an alarming entry, don't you think so?"

Cierra: "Haha, y-yes. Hiya, Candy."

Candy: "Hii.. You both look great. How's your trip?"


Expecting a quick hug from her good friend, she opens her eyes to see them disappear.


Candy: "Where did they.."


But all along they were behind, and had more than just a stranger to stranger meeting..



Gary D: "Izzy! That's my girl! Been a while!"

Izumi: "And how's my favorite gangster in exile from California?"

Gary D: "Not bad, s[BLEEP], not bad at all. Aside the whole exile thing, I mean. Was thinking.. we visit old V tonight. Sound good?"

Izumi: "He's actually pretty happy in prison, but I'm sure Koji-san won't mind a blast from the past, hehehe."


And the incredibly introvert reveals her connection with the assassin..



Cierra: "W-well, if it isn't Mr. Black Flash himself.. your stories of h-horror are shaping up just nicely with the car I tuned for you.. hehe.. how's it going?"

Emile: "Running fine."

Cierra: "Fine? My work is premium, Emile.. But I can do you one inspection. F-for free.."

Emile: "...maybe."


Rubbing her eyes in disbelief, Candy comments..



Candy: "The cast of characters knowing each other keep surprising me.."


From Gary's perspective, he decided to take advantage of the situation and told her..


Gary D: "By the way, Candy. CK sent you a surprise. Actually not really, but check it: it's a surprise still."

Cierra: "Ohh.. what? Oohh OHH!!"


Confused, Candy replied..



Candy: "Surprise? I'm flattered, but wha-"


She stepped back to feel a man in a suit, but with an essence that she appealed towards enough, prompting her to turn seeing..


Boniface: "Surprise indeed, ma cherie. I hope you're not in any way strained this lovely afternoon."

Candy: "Bon.. uhh.. hi. Umm.. alright, this is a surprise."


Losing her composure, she then asks..



Candy: "Is my face.. turning candy apple red again?"

Boniface: "Quoi? She can't hide the attraction. I do too feel this.. feeling."

Candy: "Ohh.. ehehe.."

Boniface: "I suppose if you do want to.. know me more.. I'm here in Japan for a few weeks. Out and away from the barbarians.."


Not far away, Izumi comments on the scene..


Izumi: "HEHE! Just look at that reaction.. I see someone has a crush.."

Gary D: "This my first time too, Izzy. Bon's brought his family over, yo. We're just the extra luggage."


At a loss for words, the one thing she wanted to say was interrupted by the sudden clumsiness she's come out with..


Candy: "Ulp.. I think I bit my tongue.."


Face tilted and arms crossed, Boniface indifferently replies..


Boniface: "Doesn't look like you're hurt in any shape or form.."


A good distance away, Cierra speaks unnaturally loudly towards the French aristocrat..


Cierra: "Umm.. Bon.. can you tell them.."

Boniface: "I suppose those who aren't racing can move aside, was that what you wanted?"

Cierra: "Y-yes. Please?"


They hear her perfectly, and Emile has the words to make the departure more amicable..


Emile: "I suppose this is a good time to show off my.. merchandise."

Izumi: "You're talking guns, right?! Gary?"

Gary D: "For sure, I'm down."


With them away, Cierra now stops hiding behind something and meets with her cohort and friend.


Cierra: "That leaves us.. oh yes."

Candy: "I suppose it's time I get to know why you're here, Bon."

Boniface: "Well, my family's company is funding today's race. It's actually well documented that this expressway's commonly closed for racing, just not for Sunday Cup."

Candy: "And so you're here to just.. race?"

Boniface: "And while we're at it, spend a few thousand credits to prove them wrong, of course. Those barbarians know not of my secret techniques, oui oui."

Cierra: "Ohh.. this is my first time around. Umm, anything to expect?"

Candy: "Sunday Cup is extremely beginner friendly. Anyone can join, and you just need the basic B License to take part in."

Boniface: "Not to mention just bring whatever car. Possibly, you can enter with your Hellcat, but for today, it's not only closed invite, but closed car choice. Come with me.."


Following Boniface deeper into the parking garage reveals a skeleton crew of race officials surrounding a set of 8 different cars.


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Cierra: "Whoa.. these are some well tuned mixture of low performance classics and domestic machinery."

Candy: "So, are we given a choice, or is it picked already?"

Boniface: "Umm, you're only not allowed in the Gordini. That's for me. Personally, as the only women in the race, you're welcome to choose first.. and of course go and survey."


As Candy and Cierra stroll slowly ahead of the parked cars, she notes..


Candy: "There's a FIAT and a MiTo.. and that classic Giulia's also so attractive. Cierra, what are you.."


Where a silhouette of her is supposed to be has nothing, as Candy sees her friend already on the roof of a Toyota..



Cierra: "AQUA!"

Candy: "I should've known."


Boniface takes this time to accompany Candy, softly speaking..


Boniface: "She's mentioned your history with Toyota starting off with a Prius. I suppose it just resonated with her, oui?"

Candy: "No arguments so far.."

Boniface: "Well, have you made a choice?"


Still unsure of to answer this, Candy's thoughts then come to a conclusion..


Candy: "It was between the Giulia and the Fit, but.. this Mazda's a manual? This is a diesel Demio!"

Boniface: "Your point being?"

Candy: "Diesels winning races are a thing of the past. With the likes of Le Mans, and certain Dakar rally machinery.. I want to give this thing a shot. It's here confidently, I'm sure it can race."

Boniface: "Such an apt description. I definitely overlooked that."

Candy: "Ehh.. thanks.. heh.."

Boniface: "You're candy apple red again, ma cherie. We race by the next hour. Alle, let's head for practice."


Determined by a random selection, the cars then line up and find themselves ready to rumble under the blazing sun.


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Candy: "I can sense that diesel inside.. let's give it a whirl!"


Freedom Of Choice
Devo
Freedom Of Choice


Singular analysis segment? Oh that's such a thing for the very untunable, isn't it? Supposedly, but I guess adding cars that don't get a significant power change also does that. The quirks do come from the brave and the bold after all.

Perhaps the most obviously out of place of the 3 starter cars being a diesel and a manual, the KODO designed Demio might be the choice for you if you want to start off your Gran Turismo 7 adventures with something more traditional, and less niche in a car. The other selections offer a hybrid system to play with, but also a good chunk of PP ahead. So, perhaps if you look at it from the outside, the Demio is the strangest of the lot. But that's not quite the case.


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Praised for its amazing handling, I too can see that the Demio has that tickbox checked with a thick juicy green marker.. okay, SPD morphed innuendos keep coming and it appears I can't do anything about it. Though, for a low powered car, you're not going to find trouble in handling at all unless you brake late. Speaking of braking.. the car's weight will shift forwards, meaning you're going to counter any sense of understeer it has, so this is a car that rewards proper braking.

You know what else it rewards? Use of a manual transmission. If you have a peek at the powerband, you're going to see a drastic downhill in torque and power as the RPMs get higher. For a car with barely above 103 horsepower, it has 162 foot pounds of torque, and that's where its potency lies. So, short shift? Yup, but this so far is the most extreme case of a short shift period so far. It's so low, the best time to shift is not even near the redline. My marker is either using its sound, driving inside that you shift by the 4000 RPM area, or use the shifter lights, shifting JUST as you see the tiniest amount of red.

It's coming, for sure, but for me.. this is the correct car to pick to start off the game. The thing is this choice isn't important because you'll get the other 2 cars for free just a few short races after. What I really meant to say is that this is the correct car, because it's easily the one with the greatest potential of the 3. It's got an upgradeable turbo, and that'll set you quite well in the early to mid stages of the game.


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So, with these notes.. well.. aside the need of short shifting, this is an extremely straightforward car. Drive car, brake to slow, take corner fine, cross finish line, and results screen. Or Yello - Oh Yeah. The bit about adding power I will consider in the upcoming tuning analysis.

...which is now! Apparently, such a simple car means I'm forced to make this most vital part of the writeup quite dense. And to be honest.. I can't seem to figure out how to make it so.

First of all.. don't do that super tight gearbox exploit, glitch or whatever with the car, because you want to keep it on the low rev zone, even when it has the stock 100 horses or somehow a thousand. You're not going to change the fact that, no matter which turbo you use, you're going to short shift this car. It's apparently destined for it. Though, of course with different turbos, this period varies slightly.

Of course bringing it up higher and higher means you're going to get understeer into the equation. It's a given, and there's no cure for it if you max it out. What you can do however is keep that spring height and stiffness as if it's stock, but just with a small hint of sporty. If you're not satisfied with your result, really just go out there and find out what's wrong, you can go ahead and learn tweak a few numbers. Anti-roll must go up, of course, and I find it better when it's harder by the rear.

Are you a stylist like I am? I keep my cars with a usually mild but expressive form of making their looks more.. gained. You're of course welcome to make your Demio filled to the brim with aerodynamics for that diesel powered tuner flair. It's not going past 600 PP with a lot of horsepower but instead with handling as its ace in its sleeve. Although, while aero is good, a rule I go with FF cars is that you'd want that more towards the front end.


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Sad enough, the Demio doesn't get an engine swap that the Mazda 3 did with a Le Mans winning rotary. I'd say.. we might expect an FD's rotary swap into it soon. This is a format with excellent handling; it'd be a shame if we put that to waste.

LAP 1/3


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Cierra: "The hybrid drive's not the same.. it's t-telling me to PUSH it."


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Boniface: "Fhwoahh, this car.. is super!"


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Cierra: "I have enough hybrid power to PUSH, CANDY!!"

Candy: "Nobody will believe me I'm being pressured by a Prius."


LAP 2/3


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Candy: "For crying out loud!!"

Cierra: "INSIDE! Score one for your favorite Chosen, Mr. Messiah Clark sir, ehehe."


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Candy: "Cierra.. outpaced me?? Uhh! Can't let that slow me.. Time to step up."


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Boniface: "Aww, I'm sorry you couldn't find that line."

Cierra: "That Beat's slipped off?"


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Candy: "If I knew Cierra.. she must have her tongue out in eagerness of this moment."


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Cierra: "Yes yes YES! 2 for one package."

Candy: "Alright, alright! Maybe I can get somewhere in this slipstream range."


LAP 3/3


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Boniface: "It's a classic rally showdown up here.. I wonder what those ladies are up to behind?"


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Candy: "That careless driving.. it means that MiTo is out of here."


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Boniface: "If I were to ask those women something, it's on where that Fiat is.. it's not pacing as well as we hoped.."


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Candy: "They're giving it their all on the final stretches? It's a bit too late for any major changes with me in charge!"


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Boniface: "Goodness. That's our Cierra in the Prius.."

Cierra: "Hehe.. heheheheh! Our little Boni's going to find himself eating my DUST!"


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Boniface: "That was a pleasant race.."

Cierra: "Meh, should've been longer."


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Candy: "Oh, Demio.. you didn't win, but I had a blast! Positive thoughts.. humm.. oh! I hope to see you soon in the future."


Finished with the post race celebrations and procedures, the three racers meet back in the parking lot, but Cierra has something else to show in form of a consolation medal..


Cierra: "Look here! Most positions gained in 3 laps! At my first Sunday Cup! I'm ecstatic, hee.."

Candy: "Easy there, Cierra. Any longer a race, and that Aqua might've won it."

Boniface: "I know you're being nice, but I agree, mademoiselle. Clark placed a lot of trust in her ability.."

Candy: "Don't forget the car."

Boniface: "Oh yes. That too. Cierra has an innate taste for pushing ahead the unusual.."

Candy: "Why's that?"

Cierra: "I-I.. umm.. like to win with my favorites. Big, heavy, powerful types.."

Candy: "And CVT hybrids?"

Cierra: "Sometimes I don't even know my own talent, Candy.. ehehe."

Candy: "It explains Lulu's jealousy, really."

Boniface: "That so? She's what Nash thinks is the perfect La Mythique candidate."

Cierra: "And not me?"

Boniface: "Honestly, I've no clue what goes on in that brutish head of his."

Cierra: "Let's prove to him we can be just as good as our Lulu!"

Candy: "You read my mind, Cierra."


As they head back towards where Candy's MINI was, they then see a scene where it's like an illegal firearms shop in the movies..


Candy: "Is this the gun show?"


In focus, Emile holds on a custom made pistol, and moves it through various use cases to test his agility with it.

Having a good feel for Gary's sidearm of choice, he then asks..



Emile: "CZ Shadow.. why even have a pistol for competition?"

Gary D: "Same logic with gaming performance parts, dog. Cool and it works. What's it like?"

Emile: "To me.. it's weighted. I prefer it without the pointless cospetics.. lightweight. I like my recoil to come in full force."

Gary D: "A heavy gun takes recoil, especially if you got the know how to hold it fine. I had that baby for years, dog. Izzy, don't you got custom sidearms like these ballers?"

Izumi: "I'm sticking with standard issue SIGs. Easy to replace, easy to handle, and easy to familiarize."

Gary D: "You be you, girl."

Emile: "I suppose we talk effectiveness, then. Do you have a record kill count."

Izumi: "HAHA! I mean.. I'm afraid I don't keep track of them!"

Gary D: "I'm not bothered to keep track, yo. I just say a helluva lot."


While they do notice Candy and Boniface, Cierra however, stood even shorter than her friend of low height, hiding behind upon mention of..


Cierra: "K-kill?!"

Boniface: "Cierra, don't you panic! This is my sister Ama's good friend Emile.."


Taking off his fedora, Emile scrubs away any dust and replies calmly..


Emile: "Ama.. you mean.. Amadine? You.. don't look anything like her."

Boniface: "She inherits a lot from papa. And I mean a lot."

Emile: "I see.."


The Interpol agent then spoke up towards the new guests in the scene..


Izumi: "Keh.. From what I saw, that short race was quite exciting. I should've taken part, actually.."

Candy: "Zumi-san? You don't strike to me as a racer."

Izumi: "Ghkk.. umm, Rin-san has that to thank for, heheh."


She said, and that name however is a prominent trigger word for her good friend the out of place Los Angeles gangster..


Gary D: "Rin? You mean.. THAT Rin?"


Boniface didn't take his time to snap Gary out of his lustful trance for a married woman with quick slap to the back of his head.


Gary D: "HURT!"

Boniface: "DON'T GET ANY IDEAS, LITTLE MAN."


Now deciding to head out from behind Candy, Cierra asks..


Cierra: "I'd say we're free for the rest of the day. Candy?"

Candy: "Hey, why are you asking me?!"

Cierra: "Show us around! Geehee.."

Candy: "You know your way around Tokyo too, Cierra!"

Boniface: "I suggest a nice drive."

Emile: "On that.. I agree."


She didn't want to, but had a thought to mention..


Candy: "Well.. Tsukuba? It's past peak race time should we get there in a couple hours.."


The racers nearby reacted positively.


Cierra: "L-LOVELY!"

Boniface: "Oh? I should've brought the KTM.."

Emile: "Perhaps you can check out my Camaro then, miss Cierra?"


And while Emile is inclined to join them, the other two..


Izumi: "You people go ahead.. me and Gary have.. something else."

Gary D: "Yeah, girl. Thanks for your time, yo."

Cierra: "That so? Well.. see you at th-the hotel, G man!"

Gary D: "Stay safe, alright?"


After a quick wave goodbye, Cierra, still full of pep, rushes towards Candy who's just out of her own personal thoughts.


Candy: "EGAD! Personal space, Cierra!"

Cierra: "So, maybe we can have an early dinner.. th-then.. Tsukuba?"

Candy: "Sure, I'm game. But for how long?"


Later in the Void.jpg



While Candy was prepared for hours around Tsukuba, she wasn't prepared for the endurance of her guests..



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At first there were many, but as darkness came, the numbers vanished, leaving behind the jetlagged and the domestically American assassin to roam the track.



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Obviously, Candy felt remorse going around again and again for hours, but insisted to stay..


Candy: "Me and my big mouth.. these people are some real night owls.."


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And looking at Emile's Camaro in front, she then thought..


Candy: "Why were there hitmen in MY house??"



Just outside of Tokyo, the parking garage of a high security prison accepted a pair of the most unlikely duo that's once worked for one of the inmates here..



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After hopping out his sports car, Gary smells the air and comes back to a past he had a thought to come back to..



Gary D: "This place.. good times! Good times.. It was me on the inside that time.."


He turns to Izumi, who shows distress all over..


Izumi: "Gary? Do you mind? I-umm need a minute."

Gary D: "What up? We had a beautiful reunion moment earlier, baby. Is something up?"

Izumi: "Yeah. With Koji-san. I.. haven't seen him in years."


They might be siblings, but Izumi hesitantly brings out the depth to the closest person between these two..



Izumi: "We're born, raised different, me and him. Put aside our blood, we're strangers at best."


Moral support might not be a forte, but Gary hopes to learn this from Boniface, and he lays it out, stating..



Gary D: "Naw, that bu[BLEEP]t? We was a team. He got the money, me and Gin were his muscle, then you messed any internal affairs. Dysfunctional? I dunno, but I say it's one hell of a team, yo."

Izumi: "That's all in the past. Really. I have to move on. Even if it has my soul say to go on from him.."

Gary D: "Why, Izzy? Why you forget the past? Don't make me quote mister V's millions of chinese proverbs. Swear he's got one for any moment."


With that reminder, Izumi started to laugh, but not unintentionally this time.


Izumi: "HAHA! I completely forgot about that. I guess I'm just afraid."

Gary D: "Last time I heard, it was when you appealed for your acquittal. Then my man JR stepped in!"

Izumi: "Oh.. curious now: how did someone like you first meet Jake?"

Gary D: "Met him on a beach with his lovely. My man volunteered to take me to the nearest ER, 'cause gang wars and such. Told this G Dog to value his life.. then on, I became more like a leader than just some goon. Befriended the dude's little bro, and the rest is history!"

Izumi: "Hearing that.. makes me feel good, strangely."

Gary D: "Tell you what: anything happens later, I vouch for your lovely ass, alright?"

Izumi: "Well, thank you. You're more than just some goon, definitely."


He walked forward, eventually noting quietly..



Gary D: "Welcome.. though, all this talk reminds me to give Gin a call.."


It however wasn't quiet enough for Izumi to have a listen..


Izumi: "I KNEW IT! NASTY CHEAT! HAHAHAHA!"


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The simplest, but easily the most rooted of all the starter cars, I give the Demio a very easy Sleeper, despite the lack of a long term purpose. Easy to drive, easy to master, not to mention it comes with a few quirks that forces one to learn how to drive manual. That is the kind of growth I aspire to see.

After this week, I can safely say it's the best of the bunch to start off with too. Now I don't judge anyone who picked a different little hatchback to start off the game with, because lo and behold the game gets you all of them just minutes after.


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So what is the most pivotal choice in Gran Turismo 7? Believe it or not, it'd be the polar opposite of this first choice: the final choice of the game's progression. Which is after the final tourney, you DON'T choose the rewards including an Aventador SV and 2 invite locked machinery in the Huayra or the Carrera GT.. and I gladly got the Carrera GT: a car I plan to nominate on the Horizon 5 COTW.

Here? Umm.. wait till they abolish manufacturer invites.



Looks to me introducing new characters is just going to prepare everyone for the great SPD story writing revival or something. That's true, but said revival's nowhere to be seen soon enough. Consider these oxymorons just one of the things I fail to mention to myself, heh.

Izumi is perhaps one of the more memorable of my original characters for a few things. Along with her brother representing China proper (my international roster is yet to hit Australia and South Africa right now), and driving a Lancer, the other stand out trait is her serious face easily put aside by her annoying, habitual jester's laugh. A character defined by action.

Emile however stems from a lot of influences.. a John Wick and Agent 47 kind of dude. Internally coded as Hitman, his more appealing morals separate him from being your usual cold hearted killer.

For Boniface Richelieu (6)
see Episode 7

For Gary D-To (5)
see Episode 8

For Cierra Mercer (Sport)
see Episode 9

A.K.A. Jing Mei Chunhua. An Interpol agent who's once a disgraced worker, now looking to regain what honor she has lost. A sassy, habitually laughing clown who keeps together a thin line on keeping apart the worldwide authorities and the underworld she once made her name with.

Theme Song: Nero - My Eyes
Racing Duel Music: Pendulum - Plastic Eyes (feat. Fats and TC)
Gender: Female
Nationality: Half Japanese, half Chinese
Age: 30
Current occupation: Interpol agent
Distinct features: Yellowish pale skin. Black, medium well kept hairdo with hair buns. Thin triangular face, with angled, unnerving asian brown eyes, small nose, and a large, curved mouth that can expand greater than it looks. Small beauty mark on her chin. Slightly taller height, with a slim, thin build.
Choice of clothing: Always with a cheongsam, but what color it is depends on her mood, with matching hair bun ribbons, chinese makeup, embroidered slippers/sandals and dark leg high stockings.
Cars: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Final Edition Gr. B Road Car

Izumi's started off being born as Jing Mei Chunhua within the many wards of Yokohama. She might've grown up with a brother, but their differences set them apart, most notably in terms of their ancestry. Naturally Izumi would be more towards her mother's side, who's a Japanese industry worker in the growing electronics market. While despite their differences in skin, the family's managed to keep together well.

Up until their parents moved on to retire, Izumi would end up studying to become a politician. However, upon realizing the desk work wasn't for her, like her brother, she would instead go for policework. However, after years of work and sacrifice paying off, Izumi became one of the best undercover policewomen within the Tokyo region. As she moves ahead that step and goes international, she then found of her brother's growings as the Vulture of infamy, who built a gigantic financing corporation that usually plays a dangerous game with the large Yakuza families within Tokyo.

She's never thought of him as someone to love, but while she thought to protect her brother, she would often find herself in that stressful divide of being an upstanding officer, and a loving family member of her small family. As it goes on, she would develop pseudobulbar affect with the many risks and pulls she has to manage, causing her to laugh in random and violent tendencies. This would continue until one day her greatest fears would come true: her arrest is due, and also reveals that she's been in contact with larger criminal players around the world as an accomplice within Interpol: particularly the Assassin's Guild before their hostile takeover.

While her brother serves in prison, Izumi was granted a special kind of parole in which she would continue her work, but would face life in prison should that she's found to return to her roots. Thanks to a man she's met dealing with a Yakuza family before, she would move on and mentor a small Interpol team, of which includes her savior's wife. That was 2 years ago, and while not much has changed in terms of her personality, she believes going the straight and narrow is the way to reforge the binds of family with her brother.

A former marine, with the deadly combination of being a silent, two-faced sneak and an all American underworld justicar, laying down verdicts he so chooses with either the soothing tunes of jazz, or a high powered sniper rifle.

Theme Song: Soundgarden - Hands All Over
Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Age: 37
Current occupation: Hitman for hire
Distinct features: Unkempt, scruffy medium black hair. Face is mostly shrunk like, with notably small brown eyes, tiny nose, and unpronounced mouth. Thin mustache and chin strap beard. Often mistaken as Asian, but actually Caucasian. Slightly tall, thin muscular build with semi-long proportions on his limbs.
Choice of clothing: Hides his eyes behind well spent large teardrop sunglasses. A black fedora to match his overall dark suits and their grey hints. Strong penchant for classy, black tie clothing, and it's always seen dark.
Cars: Chevrolet Camaro SS

A man with arms bonded for handling the heft of 50 calibre rifles, and moreso for nicer suits. Before going as Emile in the underworld, he would be known as The Black Flash, named as a play of his Boston Massachusetts origin, and also of his origins as a major player in the killing fields. But it never truly started there. Emile wasn't smart, or notably talented. But he was fit. So he went to the military the first chance he got in his late teens, helped by his semi wealthy, but all around patriotic family and upbringing.

Becoming a peerless man with a sniper rifle, Emile's focus was true and his shots probably truer. He would earn his military honors along with his squadron that included a traumatic youth, a defender of the American way, and a soon to be senator. But one year, after a tour in the Middle East, he came home with his family brutally slaughtered and his home savaged. With all the resources at his grasp, his well honed focus was turned to an even finer slice of vengeance. His unrelenting force would bring those responsible to their graves, and he would leave no stone unturned, bringing a small hint of his intents to anyone else involved: through death.

It was by the end of that rampage that Emile grew to be permanently somber. His pride for the all red white and blue was turned to a shadow, and he would believe that if nobody was to help others to becoming him, he would be the one to do it. With a reputation in the criminal world, the now renowned Black Flash has a creed: a self regarded 'good guy', only accepting contracts against notably terrible figures. Some would say he would rival the Trinitia, of which one he learned of her ways personally as fellow mates: a cybernetically enhanced femme fatale known as the Killer of Killers.

Always based in California, should he have to leave the States, it must mean serious business.

Keith Ross: Jacob's much younger brother, slated to succeed his family despite his focus on fun.(5)
3 women, part of the unbeatable Trinitia L'Assassina: a mythical group of assassins now remaining hidden to the masses. (5, Ginoa Fantoccia) (???, 7) (Sport, Miranda Summers)
Ginoa A.K.A. 'Ginnie': Gary's current long distance girlfriend who he's strangely trying to keep discreet (5)
Graham: British born roadie slash game psychology. An individual with close ties to Miranda and Carlyle (Sport)
Will: first of the new age List member, also Lucia's older brother, a Ring racing specialist and lover of German exotics.(5)
'Izzy': nickname of Rin's closest friend within Interpol (5)
The Scott Brothers: Texan oil magnates who's also Sonny's main sponsors. (???, Sport) (Sport, Theodore 'Teddy Fabulous' Scott)
Emile Orson: Small Boston based Jazz artist who's also the greatest assassin in the US West Coast (Sport)
Amadine Richelieu: Boniface's older sister, part BDSM worker, part bounty hunter on the rise (6)
Mister V/Vulture: Izumi's more Chinese leaned brother. Once a Japanese CEO of a multi million financing organization. (5)

Members of The List Foundations yet to be introduced proper:
'Clean Gator': A hearty, overweight truck racer (5)
 
Very quick thoughts on the Abarth SS:

This car is a great example of why you don't write anything off on first impressions. It's a challenging car to drive, and really drives home the lessons you need to learn when it comes to MR/RR cars. And... not sure if Square noticed this too, but you can actively feel the weight transfer through the wheel in that car.

Neutral.

As for its engine swapped counterpart...

Don't.

Beater.
Also felt the need to make and post this.
donotcar.png
 
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SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 17 - Abarth 595 Esseesse


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I've already done a review on the biggest in Mini Mexico, but now we head to opposite day (whenever that is), and take on the smallest in GT World.


So, another tuner's toy? Not quite what you'd expect, but that's what the 595 is: a souped up Fiat Nuova 500. Before that, Carlo Abarth's garage with his namesake was a thriving race car development house that made its connection with Fiat thanks to the Bertone designed Abarth 1500 Biposto.. a unique car we also have here in Gran Turismo since 6.

With that out of the way, their next venture in 1957 is to put extra power into the 500, which led to the 595. Along with its 595 cc engine (see what they did there?) pumping out 27 horses from 13, what made notable of this variant of the car was the rear hood lifted upwards, meant to help with engine cooling and aerodynamics. Clever or careless, well, you decide.

So, the car was a smash hit, and thus they decided to level the 595 even further by introducing the Esseesse, meaning Sprint Speciale. That car has a larger carburetor and boosted compression to give its 32 horsepower output. While it did enjoy a niche of 600 cc racing in its past, today, they're known as tiny little relics of what it means to be fast and small in that era.

Speaking of fast and small, it's the perfect little statement for what I plan to write this week. I was going to say Candy is fast and small, but that not only sounded weird in my head, but I also hear echoes of a past week. I'm really struggling for creativity on this one.


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Episode 17: Heist of The Three


A luxury indoor onsen
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Night



Alone in the warm waters and dimmed lighting, Candy feels her bare body drown in the heat..


Candy: "Fuuuuhhh~"


Usually with hordes of undressed women, Candy counts her blessings on being alone, acknowledging the importance of getting to her peaceful spot.



Candy: "Race weekend soon.. first in a long time! I must relax.."


But moments later, another person arrives, of which Candy's small reaction nearly puts her towel in the water.



Candy: "Oh.. whoa.. a tourist.."


This person, with her straight red hair, approaches slowly and walks in the hot water, initially hesitating.

After a slow entry, she then places her towel on her head, noting the other person in the room.

There was to be an introduction, but this isn't the first time we've seen this form of this certain sweet soul sister.


Miranda: "Ohh? You! Uumm.. (Candy Lam! Aww, she's adorable in the pool! I guess being the Crimson End does do wonders for my identity..)"

Candy: "Don't mind me.. just.. noting your.. dashing red locks.."


Nervously says Candy as she sees the hair wave and flow all over the water.



Miranda: "And not where it matters? Oh never mind that. Thank you for that, Ca-umm.. cohort. About time I experience the authentic Japanese bath experience, eh?"


Unaware of this person's identity, Candy questions..



Candy: "Where are you from?"

Miranda: "Ohh.. Alberta. I'm what they call a Canuck. Canadian."

Candy: "Canadian? You know.. under that red head of yours, you seem.. quite familiar. The only other Canadian I know's a lot like you.."


The game might not be up, but Miranda obviously can't hide her playful chuckle as she replies..


Miranda: "Must be your imagination, hehe."


She continues to laugh internally, but Candy didn't raise anything.


Candy: "I guess.."

Miranda: "Well, I guess we should get to it. Enjoy your slice of zen, miss."

Candy: "Umm.. thanks. You too."



Later on, Candy exits the dressing area to her casual knee high shirt, and readies to leave.


Candy: "That was great! I suppose it's time to get back home and pack.."


And just as she's ready to step out, she then notices the woman covered in towels.


Candy: "It's that Canadian lady.."

Miranda: "Yoohoo! Might I ask for your help, sunshine?"


She didn't hesitate to step closer and ask back..



Candy: "Need anything? Directions? Food guide?"

Miranda: "Nah, that I can get on my phone. Umm.. I need an extra pair of hands, bud."

Candy: "For?"


Miranda takes out a small squeezable bottle, with Candy taking the hint quick.


Candy: "Dyeing your hair?"

Miranda: "I can't be seen without 'em, dearie. Usually I'd do it myself, but.. gosh, am in a hurry. I'll pay if it'll help."

Candy: "No, t-that won't be necessary."


Both on the benches, Candy claws her fingers through this redhead's hairdo.



Candy: "This has to be the brightest hint of blonde I've ever seen. Why dye though?"

Miranda: "I may be a red head, but to me.. being a bright sunshine helps define my sweet soul sister, y'know? You're a right keener, though.."

Candy: "Umm, I guess that's a compliment."


She then notices Miranda's quiet laughter as she grooms her hair with her special comb.



Candy: "Curious? What's so funny?"

Miranda: "Oh no! Nothing! No relation to you at all. Just had a funny thought, hmhmm.. We can talk after you git'r done."

Candy: "Hmm.."


Later 3.jpg



And a quick look to the mirror, Miranda gleams as her public identity comes out.


Miranda: "Well, it's flawless! You're a natural for this kind of work, y'know."

Candy: "Hehe.. thanks."

Miranda: "Don't mention it! Teehee. I'll see you soon, Candy! Byeee.. teeheehee.."


And as Miranda escapes the scene, Candy thought to herself..


Candy: "She knows me? I guess.. I am famous??"


But unusually, as the combination of a cruel, distant laughter and the yellow enveloped Miranda Summers that escaped her sight came to fruition, Candy went into a frenzy, shouting to herself..



Candy: "Wait.. wait wait WAIT! That Canuck is no other than.."



Blinded by fury, Candy exits the onsen's front doors, with one person in thought..


Candy: "Miranda!"


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But there's no Miranda, or anyone enveloped in yellow to be seen in the dark alleyway.



Candy: "Now that's just plain cruel.. Where's that yellow soaked sunflower?!"


And as she slowly comes to calm..



Candy: "Alright, I must calm myself.. after I put her in the E.R! MIRANDA!"


[sigh] Never mind.

She looked far and wide in this uncrowded street, but before she can realize, Miranda exited the shop, with her target's back in sight..



Miranda: "Vulcan pinch!"


Shouted Miranda, as she goes to perform a classic Star Trek technique for incapacitation..

The result however was more like..



Candy: "Wha-OWW!"


With a frown and winced eyes, Miranda comments..


Miranda: "Of course it don't work. Nerds.."


Just as Candy gets back into position, Miranda takes a few steps back..


Miranda: "Well, sorry for this, sweetie.. WHACHAAA!!"


Candy then saw what looks to be an imitation of Bruce Lee's flying kick, but the momentum seemed off enough for her to dodge under.


Candy: "I'm sorry you missed!"


And just as she was to face her adversary, Miranda's ruse worked, now holding the rear of Candy's shirt collar..


Candy: "GAGH!! No! Anywhere but there!"

Miranda: "Aww, now you're sorry? I mean I apologize for this dragging of the collar, but we need to talk lady to lady. Guess I'll have to make use of the car now, sweetie."


Still struggling, Candy gets quickly tossed in the back of the lone Abarth in the scene through the passenger seat..


Candy: "Ughh (this strength!). How does she even know?? Rin-san taught you that, did she?"


As she comes to, she then sees Miranda entering the Abarth and starting her up..



Miranda: "Oh, she mentioned you two had a bond. The very Rin, ahah!"

Candy: "Ughh.."


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Without proper seatbelts, Candy flies around the rear as Miranda's dangerous driving comes out.


Candy: "Arrgh! Where are we headed? Why even do that, Miranda?!"

Miranda: "Ohh, well, you see.. don't you believe it's normal for blondes to have more fun?"

Candy: "You're not even blonde!!"

Miranda: "Heehee, that's a secret spoiled now for you, dearie."

Candy: "How'd you even know where I'd be anyways?"

Miranda: "Instinct."

Candy: "Goody. I don't believe that!"

Miranda: "You better. Well.. I'm a certified stalker if you know what I do aside my action movies, dearie. I can track a guy from out of cities.."


Receiving that hint, Candy sensed fear from this yellow sunflower..


Candy: "That convincing tone.. F-fine.. just who are you?"

Miranda: "That's not the important question now. Let's go meet Graham. We have something that needs your skill set."

Candy: "Well.. I'll bite, but only if you have something for me in return? Promise?"

Miranda: "Well, alright. Promise. Let's hang out later. Graham might have an idea. In fact.. he knows of your racer's schedule. You're headed to California next week, was it?"

Candy: "So, who's this Graham that you say knows my schedule?? The rookie Graham Wilde?"

Miranda: "The very one! It's going to be his first GT race! With you."

Candy: "That I know. It still doesn't explain why you're in Tokyo."

Miranda: "Like I said: we go meet Graham for that. he's the brains of my little trio."


After all that, Candy laid back and decides to lie down across the small chairs of the car..



Candy: "This Abarth.. must be from the lion's den.."

Miranda: "Right. Also the only available free car here. I expected something with more class from that man. Then again, Japanese domestic are hot peppers, and we needed something with a low profile. Like you!"

Candy: "I don't like that definition of me.."

Miranda: "I can see you're low profile in more ways than you think.."

Candy: "Stop. STOP!"

Miranda: "She's being violated by her lack of.. build. Ahah!"


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You know, I've been double thinking about making an analysis segment in a car this small, and well, it was a singular analysis for this week. Maybe I can use the Tuner's Analysis to vent out the frustrations this small scale tuner can experience in GT World. So let's see what substance can we find in this small scale piece of kit.

Of course with this 32 horsepower powerplant, you're never going to need any form of traction control unless it's raining. I never go above 60 in any form of wet road, and that's quite bearable. This little Fiat based car however isn't your usual car. It's small size and really thin tires with the worst compound around can get you quite some nasty results when trying a few manuevers..

For starters, it hates it when you shift down erraticly. You're going to lose control of the car by the time you reach the apex by doing so. It's sort of necessary when you have no power, so yes the best way to take a turn is to just do it without anything else you have planned under that sleeve of yours. Just shift down once.. and you have to believe me the quirks don't end there.

Suppose with a small car, the springs don't have much room to move in, meaning while it's set soft, it's got no way to accustom the car around a tight bend. You're going to lose grip and pace as a result from putting that steering all the way to the end. And with no space, you can say bringing this car through a thick curb is going to lend interesting results. The clue is you're not going to have rubber facing down where it should be..

But this combination of having no power and no weight means you're not getting something that exists to spite your ability. That's what the Patent Motor Wagen did in 4. What this car can do is accelerate quite nicely for its power. A long straight will get you to the car's hypothetical top speed of 82 quite well. Not to mention it has a powerband that's not only simple, but requires no such form of sorcery to make the best out of.

Of course we must mention the bug in its system. The car's received an innate rivalry in the form of the Volkswagen 1200. The Hitler mobile. But as the only one who drove that, I can compare. The Beetle's actually much more unstable, and has a harder time reaching a good top end, eespecially going up the hill. Not to mention it's even larger size and a 300 kilogram disadvantage for having very equal PP. So if you had to choose, you better go Abarth if you're keening to win it.

A car this small and weak however isn't made for beginners. Remember that racers in the 60's are complete madmen compared to racers today. So, while the Abarth has 32 horsepower, it drives sort of like a go-kart with extra springs. You're not going to have issues in traction for a rear engined RWD machine, like the DeLorean, but it's got other places you do want to watch out so you can survive the drive. Brakes are terrible, but of course they are. Even with the rear bonnet extrusion, you're not getting any downforce value, and trust me: I feel you do want this.

I uhh, don't know what else to say. Was performance in the 60's truly a different beast to today? In terms of enjoyment, I mean. Because I'm not quite seeing it.



Now arriving by a high security museum, Miranda stops the car abrputly enough, with Candy flying forwards, legs up on the passenger seat..



Miranda: "And we're here, dearie."


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Miranda exits through her door, going around then opening the passenger seat, carrying Candy out.



Miranda: "So, where are your handles? I hope you don't mind if I lift here!"

Candy: "NO! Enough. How DARE you talk about my proportions like that!"


Just by the side, a man notes of Miranda's playful attitude, questioning this side of her personality.


???: "Umm.. ma'am?"


And hearing that, Miranda lets out a smile and widens her arms, dropping her cargo.


Miranda: "Graham, sweetie. Sorry to keep you waiting. I told you I'd find her, right?"


Wiping herself clean, Candy then looks on to this man with a denim jacket and tattered jeans: Graham Wilde.


Candy: "She's found me alright. I guess she's not wrong. That outfit and that completely messy face. You ARE that rookie I'm going to be racing next week."

Graham: "That I am. Proper introductions: Graham Wilde, that's 'wild' with an e in the end. And I suppose when I do hear a joke of your small stature, they weren't joking, pardon the language."


Getting in between, Miranda warns..


Miranda: "She's a bit of a short fuse, but not exactly one that blows up."

Candy: "That role's taken by someone else.. but enough of me. Might I ask why you wanted to see me?"

Graham: "Of course. We're, umm.. let's put it this way: we're robbing an artifact."


Those combination of words has Candy look around in disarray, then upon recollection, replies brutally..



Candy: "This is.. Oh no! From one of Tokyo's newest and most secure historical museums? No thanks! I choose life."


Graham, expecting this, retorts..


Graham: "Easy, sunshine. I haven't explained in full detail and you've already said no? Quite a quick leap to the conclusion, don't you think?"


Seeing this rookie's confidence, Candy takes a pause, then speaks with curiosity..


Candy: "You seem intelligible.. I'll let you have a few minutes to explain to me what you're up to, and it better not be daylight robbery."

Graham: "Trust me, it's not."

Miranda: "Well, we're just accomplices for this job. And it's incredibly low risk."


Still hesitant, Candy asks to..


Candy: "Explain."

Graham: "While the robbery's going to happen, we're the distraction. Make a quick escape with this Abarth and if all goes well, we get paid."

Candy: "This is not going to behave well on the expressways.."

Graham: "Exactly why we want you. Your genius is showing."


Miranda leaps quick with that word..


Miranda: "Where?!"


And gets Candy to jump startled for no reason.


Candy: "Eeek!"


Graham, remained calm, shakes his head..


Graham: "Ma'am, no more snark!"

Miranda: "Ha ha ha!"


To put the trains back on the rail, Graham mentions perhaps what might be the real reason for their guest's involvment..



Graham: "In any case.. Lyle mentions your talents with one Bulldog going in the alleys. A folk legend.."

Candy: "That'd be Nishimura-Sensei's City Turbo.."


Hearing that the name has weight, Candy put all doubts aside and dedicated her whole mind to this small escape plan.

With confidence brimming, she then said..


Candy: "Alright, wild with an e on the end. I guess I can bring that side of me back for one night.."


While the ladies await in the car, Graham then enters, next to Candy in the driver's side.


Candy: "Okay, explain to me how this all goes again."


Asks Candy, but while they've reiterated the same plan for a while now, Miranda replies with her usual wink and smile.


Miranda: "We get the signal, they tell us to drive, expecting the coppers to come around and immediately assume we're the robbers."

Candy: "Right. But we didn't steal anything.."

Graham: "Exactly why this is all low risk. Get caught, and it's a conspiracy charge at worst."

Candy: "Okay. I get all that, but I don't get why you two are here!"


Graham, peeking back towards Miranda, receives a raise of the shoulders and a confused face, then..


Miranda: "She's got a point."

Graham: "Honest, I'm making up a reason here, ma'am."

Candy: "Far as I know, an extra 150 kilos in an Abarth this small is going to mess the drive."


With the idea of shooing away the tourists, a commotion happened by the building behind them..


Candy: "Was that?!"

Miranda: "Wowwee! An explosion. That's not rigged, am I right?"

Graham: "Ready to go, ladies? Cause the scanner's going nuts!"


Hearing the bounce of beeps and sirens on loud, Candy revs the small Abarth high, saying in confidence..


Candy: "Let's do this thing!"



Media Overkill
Scorpions
Savage Amusement



And to the tuner's. Umm.. my script here is quite bare.


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Really though, I gotta find some way to fill this segment in. Because even with the best tyres and all the GT Auto magic, you're just going to find yourself getting the car to perhaps compete with your much more bang for your buck 276 PS agreement sports car. Emphasis on perhaps, since I can't get a base 595 with no wide kit and SH tyres past 450 PP, and some of them knock towards 500 PP.

Though, there are some merits on tuning the tuned up 595. The sound for once is just amazing, especially with a turbo and a manual transmission. Yikes, I better move on before someone comes knocking at my home with a killer rabbit or something.

First of all, the car's umm.. blessed? Or was it cursed? I'm meant to say that it's gotten an available engine swap from the new FK8 Civic Type R. So you can put the rather powerful for its size K20C1 VTEC. Sounds tame, right? WRONG! Anyone who's even whiffed a hint of engine swapping would find a completely unhinged little machine when making this decision. This is because mainly of how the car's built being so small. You're not going to find any way to control this grip. It's the kind of drive that makes a masochist like me seem like bright rainbows and tea parties. And I shouldn't be questioning the sim factor of this game's aim for realism, but this is REALISTIC?! I have many questions.. like has anyone ever done this in real life?


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Google says.. Hayabusa and Lamborghini V12. Hey, I heard of those for the base Fiat 500 though. Guess my scope at time of writeup means the car specifically with a VTEC, I guess. I'm not Googling technical specifications for the sizes of a K20C1 VTEC and the Abarth, let's get back to how to tune your Abarth.

Of course this is the kind of niche that you can tell nobody has tuned at all. Though, with a car like this that slips quite a bit on turn, a fully custom LSD with a middling value on the deceleration might help with the nasty case of getting that rear veering away during downshift. On the suspension, what you might want is the already balanced setup these come with from the shops, but definitely add height, and stiffen roll bars.


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You're also welcome to add the wide kit and aero parts, but I say what's done with the suspension is more than enough. Downforce values on a car this slow isn't going to make it any faster, really. No, of course this is needed to survive with a K20C1 swapped variant..

And I'm done. Seriously, this car isn't built to be the perfect racer. How can I tune this thing anyways for anything feasible? I told you this week's short and simple, no?


much much much later.jpg



Candy's house
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Late Night



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Now outside of Candy's home, the Abarth, carrying with minor body damage, has its passengers step out calmly.

To break the silence, Candy asked..



Candy: "So what about the Abarth?"

Miranda: "Hmm.. judging by your driving through the various things we see on the alleys of Tokyo.. it might need more than a repaint."

Graham: "Shame. I quite liked that hue of red. First thing tomorrow, we can send it to a GT Auto.."

Candy: "Do what you like. We got the job done, I don't see any issues."


Realizing, Graham then stroked his bushy moustache and showed a satisfied smile of a job well done.


Graham: "Very true. You did well, guv.. Anyways, I'll get you your share in a jiffy. Perhaps you'd like our help for anything?"

Candy: "Gladly! That I do. Maybe you can help me pack for the trip back to the States. But now sounds like a good time to get another bath. This trickle of sweat at night is just not sweet.."

Miranda: "Not in an onsen? Hmmm?"


Remembering the prank earlier, Candy instantly shouted..


Candy: "Don't. You. Even. Dare."


She then turns to Graham, who's glanced slightly by the small figure's big shout.


Candy: "By the way.. since you are the Graham with a e in the end of wild.. I'm sure you hear you're the most promising rookie for this race of ours next week. What's your current racing portfolio?"


And to respond, he scratched his hefty chunk of hair..


Graham: "Umm.. to be fair, love.. all I've done is struggle through Group 4 in a Suzuki."

Candy: "Suzuki? Oh, they're a new manufacturer, I hear. Not much representation.."

Miranda: "Graham here just broke the speed barrier with his flood of podium results and net gain in positions for each race he's finished."

Graham: "Now now.. ma'am.. let's say I know how to race is all. Nothing impressive."

Candy: "You're still standing out. So they.. umm.. have you get into Group 3 because you're potent?"

Graham: "Gist of it, I take."


Eyes bright and open, Candy replies in a jolly form of excitement.



Candy: "Cool! I've heard you're going to be in the new Vision Gran Turismo roadster. Rumor mill's been all about how twitchy that car is."


Graham turns to Miranda, indifferent of their new friend's intelligence.


Graham: "She's figured out why we're here, ma'am."

Miranda: "Bud, now that's some sleuthing."

Candy: "I thought about that. And also about the lion Carlyle. When I saw that reunion scene that time.. I guess you two were inseperable.."

Miranda: "Lyle-bear? He's shooting in England. I mean, a movie. So it's like what happens when you mix a post apocalypse and an unbeatable one man army."

Candy: "I.. suppose. For a guy with an interest in American biker style.. you seem a lot more intelligent than what I see in those people."

Graham: "I thank my late brother for that."

Candy: "Hmm.. We're all about channeling souls of the past this day."

Miranda: "Whew. Even though all I did was moral support, I'm beat, dearies."


And as Miranda was to escape, Candy stepped in and set a tone.


Candy: "Not so fast. The red hair. That cheeky prank.. it's as if you're someone else just now! Are you hiding under some facade?"


With winked eyes and a volley of sweats, Miranda couldn't respond properly..



Miranda: "Umm.. well.."

Candy: "Obviously you're not comfortable about it. I'll let it go, but don't think I'll let go of that.. eerily condescending natural look."


Still a little miffed about earlier, Candy charged back into the house.

Those who were left in the cold Japan night had something to say about it..



Graham: "Blimey. You kicked the hornet's nest, there, did you?"

Miranda: "Suppose I did. Even went with the blondes have more fun argument, but you know.. context's all wrong."

Graham: "But about that facade? Is there something you want to say?"

Miranda: "Mmmm.. perhaps another time."


While to Graham, he sees his master's calm walk into the shadows, even noting the fact she's shedding a few tears with the sniffles.


Graham: "Trying to make friends, yet.. she done goofed it. The years I know you, mum Miranda, yet this mystery of yours? What are you playing?"


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I suppose when you're purely a novelty, the Abarth I feel is an easy Beater. I was going to say saved by the tune, but that means I have to include the irredeemable K20C1 swap. Let's say I lived to tell the tale about that engine swap, because for me to even have fun with it, I had to reduce all that power. I did have fun, but that's something I can't say for everyone.


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There's still a bunch more of these pocket rockets in the roster, and most of them have engine swaps. This does not bode well for our sanity, but hey: at least for this week I wrote something.


So I broke a record, for shortest story writeup. It's a good 7 kb shorter than that of Episode 10's Super Formula shindig.

Prepare for more shorts like these over time. Except next week's car. That one's a straight up Group 3 race with a good slew of introductions and reveals. wink wink Episode 13 wink wink

Graham.. where do we start with Graham? He's essentially what happens if I combine a select few of my roster. His biker culture comes from Sonny Meng. His British face comes from Paul Henderson. And he's slated to be a main character, coming from the big boss himself Jacob Ross. That bit with him being smarter than your run of the mill biker definitely is the last second addition for him to not be normal. He's even the leader of an unlikely trio, and guess what: another tribute character to a dead artist, this being Lemmy Kilmister.

For Miranda Summers (Sport)
see Episode 12

An anomalous UK born American roadie turned fledgling racer supreme. While nothing stands out from the outside, Graham is a healthy gambler, fueled by his keeness of psychology in game theory: a studious and frequent user of this art, which always gives him an edge on his day to day troubles.

Theme Song: Motörhead - I Got Mine
Racing Duel Music: The Cult - Wild Flower
Gender: Male
Nationality: Half British, half American
Age: 29
Current occupation: Up and coming racer
Distinct features: Copper middle parted fringe. Square face, with round green eyes, thick nose and average sized mouth. Covered with mutton chops and a moustache. Pale skin covering an average heighted man with average weight.
Choice of clothing: Usually with a baggy t-shirt with a sleeveless biker denim jacket, dark jeans, fingerless gloves and brown heavy duty boots.
Cars: Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk7

Born out in the deserts of Nevada USA, Graham was actually the result of a rich American with a British mistress. However, with them having no willingness to take care of him, they sent him to the nearest orphanage. He never quite learned of this fact until he was an adult, but he let that part of his past go; his life as an orphan hazed all over this, as it's in no way bad, just challenging.

Usually out and about in the deserts, Graham's main exposure to the outside world was due to 3 determining factors: bikes, his closest brother Jonathan, and his competitive nature to win. This latter fact has Graham eventually learn the inner depths of game psychology: a skill he utilizes when it's needed. His teenage life was all about riding their old Harley Davidson revived from a dump, then heading to every town, noting every chess competition and making a quick buck in getting good results. Graham was no grandmaster, but at that age: it's hard to find anyone who can beat him. Not to mention he's been pocketing money over time for the inevitable departure.

Adulthood however took a turn for the worst, as a tragic accident killed off his brother in an incident that clashed with a former racer and his girlfriend. Graham couldn't take the grief, and wandered on towards the West, into California. What he strived to live for was reduced to ashes. Unsure what to do, he made a gamble that worked out: include himself in the day to day activities of a small movie studio.

Initially working for free, his overall patience would pay off as the studio's biggest stars took their eyes on him, and decided he needs another shot at life. Noting these stars as stunt actors with a penchant of doing their stunts without any ropes or assistance, Graham would work under one of them as her steward, growing eventually to be her good friend.

Finding out of the ravishing Dutchman's illicit activities, Graham took part anonymously, finding out his talent for driving is something he yearns to exploit. Taking up offers for Suzuki's newest branch of FIA racing, Graham knows this next gamble would pay off.

Keith Ross: Jacob's much younger brother, slated to succeed his family despite his focus on fun.(5)
3 women, part of the unbeatable Trinitia L'Assassina: a mythical group of assassins now remaining hidden to the masses. (5, Ginoa Fantoccia) (7, ???) (Sport, Miranda Summers)
Graham: British born roadie slash game psychologist. An individual with close ties to Miranda and Carlyle (Sport)
Will: first of the new age List member, also Lucia's older brother, a Ring racing specialist and lover of German exotics.(5)
The Scott Brothers: Texan oil magnates who's also Sonny's main sponsors. (Sport, ???) (Sport, Theodore 'Teddy Fabulous' Scott)
Amadine: Boniface's older sister, part BDSM worker, part bounty hunter on the rise (6)
Mister V/Vulture: Izumi's more Chinese leaned brother. Once a Japanese CEO of a multi million financing organization. (5)

Members of The List Foundations yet to be introduced proper:
'Clean Gator': A hearty, overweight truck racer (5)
 
After two weeks of the woefully slow, don't you think it's time to pick up the pace for Week 18 of Car of the Week? @SomePlayaDude sure seems to think so, which is probably why he nominated the Toyota FT-1 VGT Gr.3 as this week's COTW!

e29004d80f3092d775ee62b1494013c4_photo.webp


Panty & Stocking FT-1 Gr.3 by XSquareStickIt livery links (GTS | GT7)
#pantyandstocking #psg# #itasha

Also, yes, that livery is what I've spent the last few days of my life obsessing over instead of writing a full length review for the Abarth. A much better use of my time, IMO, but the less I mention of the Slow and Stupid, the better...
For this week, after that nasty taste of a Civic powered Abarth, I was thinking of an American with big beef and big engine!

So I spun the lucky wheel, and it landed on the spot that showed me the Toyota FT-1 VGT (Gr. 3). Umm, but, muh American?

Well, this car's base model and Vision GT trim is one of the few CALTY designed Toyotas along with the Tundra and the Lexus LC 500. Designed for the gamer and racer in mind, the car's adverts mention it being designed for maximum pleasure in design and drivability.

One of the OG handling kings in GT Sport, the car ended up underutilised in the grand scheme of GT racing compared to the Porsche, Renault and Peugeot entries of this group, not to mention the overall dominating presence of one GR Supra Racing Concept. I think more testers are required so we can find out what's caused this downfall.

And umm.. yes, I suppose anyone can see the ulterior motive on this nomination. I don't see a reason to say it.
Now, of course, it's common knowledge by now that the de facto Gr.3 car of Toyota is the A90 Supra, currently dominating most leaderboards in Sport Mode at the moment. But, lest we forget, the base FT-1 seriously impressed Nismo back in GT6's COTW, and the Gr.3 version was a serious handling treat back in GT Sport. It might not have the pace of a Supra, but it could still be a winner by placing a big grin on your face!

To find out how bad (or just plain fun to drive!) the FT-1 Gr.3 is, feel free to join us at our weekly meets at Tuesday, 1st August, 10 P.M. CST or Saturday, 5th August, 5 P.M. Singapore time, where we will race the FT-1 under prevailing BoP conditions with settings locked on Racing Hard tyres. Or, you know, you could just bring the Supra try to smash everyone present. We won't stop you from bringing any Gr.3 cars, we'll just try to stop you at the smashing part :lol:

If you can't make it for our weekly meets, feel free to share your personal opinions, experiences, or stories with the car here in this thread!
 
So, two GT3's were in a bar...

The versus files... COTW #013 vs. COTW #018


U6vGqP2.jpg


The Genesis... Oh, where to start.

711.05 PP
546 HP
513.7 Ft-Lb
2822 Lbs
52\48 F-R Weight Distribution

I want to say it has potential, I do. But man, I really don't like it. Braking distance... increase it in your mind, and then add some more. You're going to need it. Try to punch it out of a corner, expect an American made Porsche type of reaction. It wants to shake that ass, but it's too big to really do it. A really quick, violent Kim K type of twerk, and then take a minute to figure out if that really just happened.

On paper, especially with the torque figures, this should leave the FT-1 gone... But with the eccentricities of the way you have to drive it, the potential it has, disappears. There were some times I thought I was getting it, but then, NOPE! A Beater with Potential. Potential to be better in someone else's hands.

Beater and Forget 'er



The not so Super Supra...

CruWX9b.jpg


I could swear I had better memories of this car.

706.72 PP
544 HP
346.8 FT-LB
2822 LBS
51\49 F-R Weight Distribution

It just doesn't drive as well as I remember it driving before... Did they nerf the bleep out of it? Or was destined to failure for the sake of the Supra. Either way, I had a lunch bag letdown type of reaction, and sadly, when I read that it was our next victim, I was looking forward to it. They sucked the soul out of the car, I just can't define it any further.

Neutral status... :(



Even though the times between the two cars are pretty even in my hands, I prefer the Toyota... I just found it to be more settled in both entry and exiting corners, and laying down the power is more predictable than the Genesis. Braking distance also nods in the FT1's favour, and by a fair bit.

ynYRvLY.jpg


Cheers
 
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My FT-1 review very late, but confirm plus chop coming! But walao, the weather very hot, my brain tak boleh tahan. Damn shag, cannot even sit down and write.

To celebrate this oven of a country, @RX8 Racer has chosen the... insert very funny simile here for a common tool of battle here... oh so hot... of the 2023 Olympic Esports Week, the Toyota GR010 HYBRID '21, as Week 19's Car of the Week!

Deep Forest Raceway_.jpeg


Style by AeS_Tic-Tac: OES_2023_SGP_#0
#oes #olympic #singapore​

But eh siala why the Singapore car green colour one ah? Machiam our flag red and white only?

"Celebrate this country?", you might be asking yourselves. That's because our weekly Wednesday lobby falls on the 9th of August (Tuesday, August 8th, 10 P.M. CST for our American friends), which is Singapore's National Day! With 3 Singaporeans attending the meet, maybe one of us can actually deny a Brit who can't read the room if we don't melt first... My T300RS was going limp after just an hour of use last week, to give you an idea of how bloody inhumane the climate here is.

If you CMI on the day itself, then our Saturday, 5 P.M. Singapore time lobby remains open as well. Come join us talk cock sing song lah!

Racing not your thing ah? Then weigh in on your thoughts, opinions, or personal experiences with the GR010 here lor. Confirm everyone got drive before this thing for a quick 2 million Credits around that Deep Forest limited time event right?
 
My thoughts on the Toyota GR010?

I like how it looks.

Driving it is another story it feels slow and sluggish when I compare it to the amazing Hybrid LMP P1 cars from 2016 the R18, 919, TS050 (Long live those amazing P1 cars)

I guess it would be better if it had another play mate like the 499 or 963.
 
The one thing I like about the GR010, is how well it’s depicted in GT7. Sure, the cockpit is cramped. Sure, the front fenders are so high that Helen Keller has just as good a chance of hitting an apex as I do. But that’s the point! This is one of the most purpose-built race cars ever - designed for only a handful of individuals that are capable of actually driving it. Watching IRL live footage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was impressive enough. But getting to drive it for myself, virtually…in a headset….is much better!


….Mainly because I’m a no-talent pussy who couldn’t possibly handle those kind of G-forces.
 
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Managed a 05.31.799 around the Nords with it. Stock on its stock RM tyres. YT review: "WHAT a machine! INSANE acceleration and quite insane turn speeds as well! Awesome modern Gr. 1 offering. I loved it. But I gotta say, it's far less stable, than even a 90s Gr. 1 offering, like the 787B, which surprised me a bit."



This beast against Senna's MP4/4 on the Nords:



Around Tsukuba, it did a 48.023sec, while the MP4/4 managed a 47.952sec, so it's very close between these two.

Against the three '16 hypercars from Audi, Porsche and well...Toyota as well, it did not stand a chance, like AT ALL. The '16 Toyota for example did a 44.921sec...!

Verdict: slight beater, as it is slightly disappointing in the handling departement?
 
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My FT-1 review very late, but confirm plus chop coming! But walao, the weather very hot, my brain tak boleh tahan. Damn shag, cannot even sit down and write.

To celebrate this oven of a country, @RX8 Racer has chosen the... insert very funny simile here for a common tool of battle here... oh so hot... of the 2023 Olympic Esports Week, the Toyota GR010 HYBRID '21, as Week 19's Car of the Week!

View attachment 1278251

Style by AeS_Tic-Tac: OES_2023_SGP_#0
#oes #olympic #singapore​

But eh siala why the Singapore car green colour one ah? Machiam our flag red and white only?

"Celebrate this country?", you might be asking yourselves. That's because our weekly Wednesday lobby falls on the 9th of August (Tuesday, August 8th, 10 P.M. CST for our American friends), which is Singapore's National Day! With 3 Singaporeans attending the meet, maybe one of us can actually deny a Brit who can't read the room if we don't melt first... My T300RS was going limp after just an hour of use last week, to give you an idea of how bloody inhumane the climate here is.

If you CMI on the day itself, then our Saturday, 5 P.M. Singapore time lobby remains open as well. Come join us talk cock sing song lah!

Racing not your thing ah? Then weigh in on your thoughts, opinions, or personal experiences with the GR010 here lor. Confirm everyone got drive before this thing for a quick 2 million Credits around that Deep Forest limited time event right?
Unfortunately, I’ll have to bow out of this one, because the company I’m interning for decided to run production on National Day. Nabei.

But I’m sure Square and SPD can pick up the slack and get one over Vic. Right?

Right?
 
I haven't participated in this thread, but just wanted to drop in to say the GR010 is my favorite Gr.1 car, I love driving it when I get the chance. Unfortunately the BoP makes it not really competitive any time they run sports mode races with it, but it really is a blast to drive. I love it in VR, yes it's cramped, but it's just such a cool machine. Really like the placement of the MFD also in VR, very conveniently positioned.

One of my favorite sports mode races was the Le Mans race for the GT Cup a couple months back. Honestly before this race I really did not like this circuit, but after getting a bunch of practice laps, it became one of my favorites.

 
I haven't participated in this thread, but just wanted to drop in to say the GR010 is my favorite Gr.1 car, I love driving it when I get the chance. Unfortunately the BoP makes it not really competitive any time they run sports mode races with it, but it really is a blast to drive. I love it in VR, yes it's cramped, but it's just such a cool machine. Really like the placement of the MFD also in VR, very conveniently positioned.

One of my favorite sports mode races was the Le Mans race for the GT Cup a couple months back. Honestly before this race I really did not like this circuit, but after getting a bunch of practice laps, it became one of my favorites.


What do you think of the three '16 models?
 
So 3 cars on my to-do list, the Abarth 595 SS, the Mazda Demio XD Touring and the Toyota FT-1 Gr3, let’s go. ;)

We’ll start with the Abarth 595 SS, a tuned up version of the Fiat 500.

Karl Abarth(Later known as Carlo Abarth) took a standard Fiat 500 and punched out its original 495cc I2 engine up to 595cc’s.

Now that by itself doesn’t sound like much, but with a new exhaust system, air intake, higher compression ratio and a bigger carburettor, it took it from 17-18hp up to 30hp. :cool:

Again that doesn’t sound like much, but combined with a 4 speed manual and weighing only 470kgs, it made it a genuine threat in the under 600cc class of racing.

But this bigger engine had one little problem, it no longer fit where the 495cc used to be. :ouch:

But rather than designing a completely new rear hatch for it, Carlo decided on adding two braces to hold the engine cover slight out from the car. :P

Now while it meant the engine was partly on permanent display, it solved the issue of engine fitment, but it also killed two other birds with one shot, it improved the cooling and also reportedly improved its aerodynamics too. :sly:

It’s bigger brother, the 695 SS went even further with it chucking out 38hp.

Now while it’s not quick by todays standards, it’s very quick for its class and it’s time, even giving the VW Beetle a run for its money during its weekly meet.

Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that the 595 SS can accept the 2.0 litre turbo 4 cylinder from the FK8 Honda Civic. :odd:

1x the turbo, 2x the cylinders and over 3x the displacement, it’s a wonder that we can’t raise that engine cover even further to fit it. :lol:

In stock form, the K20C makes pretty much triple what a fully tuned stock 595 SS can make at 315, with a max ceiling of 556hp. :eek:

A couple things you’ll discover real quick are it’s brakes(even upgraded) can not slow it down, it’s short wheelbase and RR configuration makes it very unstable and if you don’t add ballast up front, it’ll pop wheelies on command. :scared:

In stock form, it’s a nice upgrade from the Fiat 500 (Which I predicted back when we tested the 500 on GTS) and while still pretty slow, it’s not painfully slow and it’s still engaging.

The swapped version is Pandora’s Box in terms of a verdict, it heavily relies on tuning to make it barely controllable, not something to take if you plan on driving seriously, but it’s a riot if fun is your name and wheelies are your game. ;)

Stock Verdict: Sleeper 😁👍
Swapped Verdict: Er..Yes :lol:

Up next we have the Mazda Demio, Once again, I ended up somewhat predicting that the Demio would be one of the starter cars back on the GTS review of the Demio and a lot of what I said about it then still applies now.

Only now we can change the exhaust, add Anti lag, add aero and a wide body kit. :D

Even if you didn’t pick it as your starter car (Raises hand), it’s still a rarity in GT7 as one of the few Diesel’s and one of only 2 Diesel road cars in currently.

Verdict: Sleeper 😁👍

And lastly, the Toyota FT-1 VGT Gr3, one of 4 VGT’s that were homologated for Gr3 (Technically 5 if you consider the GT By Citroen as a VGT.). :sly:

Compared to its non Gr3 counterpart, it’s had its KERS boost removed which could account for its power drop to 544hp from 614hp, it’s also had 280kgs added to it for a 1,280kgs stock weight.

‘Hang on second Vic.’ you may ask, ‘The FT-1 VGT’s stats aren’t shown, how do you know that the Gr3 version has lost that much power and gained that much weight?’ :confused:

To which I reply, Thank the GT Fandom for deducing the FT-1 VGT’s stats. :cheers:

‘But do you know what engine is in it and how big it is?’

Yep, a 2.0 turbo Inline 4.

‘Your proof?’

Ok, so the FT-1 VGT showed up in GT6 in 2014, Super GT500 for the 2014 season had shifted over to 2.0 turbo 4 cylinder engines which were good for over 600hp and revving out to 9000rpm.

Now while the FT-1’s engine revs to 10,000rpm, it’s power is on par with the Super GT500’s.

‘What about the KERS system?’

That was actually allowed in Super GT500 up until 2017, but only Honda used it and stopped using it in 2016.

So considering the facts and factoring in a little creative freedom that VGT’s get, I’m happy to say that the engine that powers the FT-1 VGT/GR3 is a 2.0 Turbo Hybrid 4 Cylinder. :)

‘So why is it not in Gr2 then if that’s the case?’

Good question, the FT-1 was the only suitable car that Toyota had when it came to GT Sport for PD to homologate for Gr3, because the Supra wasn’t around back then like it is now.

So how is it to drive?

Solid, hint of understeer and you do have to keep it higher up in the revs to stay at peak power, but otherwise decent.

Hopefully the BOP changes from todays update takes the edge off the Supra’s well known straight line pace and gives Toyota drivers a moment to consider possibly going with the FT-1 instead. 🤔

Verdict: Neutral
 
The Toyota FT-1 VGT Gr.3 may explicitly have "Gr.3" in its name, but it feels to me like what you'd get if you took a GT500 car and hacked off a good chunk of its power and downforce. Predictably, it drives like a confused, bloody disaster as a result.

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Panty & Stocking FT-1 Gr.3 by XSquareStickIt livery links (GTS | GT7)
#pantyandstocking #psg# #itasha

But to understand why I assert that the FT-1 VGT is a GT500 car, we need to first take a quick skim through the FT-1's brief history, and make a few quick assumptions as to what Toyota were aiming to do with it.

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Unveiled at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the original FT-1 concept car served as the spark that facilitated the arson of excitement on the camp of people that had been sorely missing and eagerly awaiting the revival of the "Supra" namesake by Toyota. Despite flaunting a clear engine cover cutout on the car's risqué bonnet, what Toyota was envisioning bolting under that see–through space was a total mystery—both in real life where engine covers have oddly become the norm, and in Gran Turismo games where any hard numbers were simply not given to the players. Fortunately, the games did at least have to give the FT-1 a voice, and the voice that was bestowed upon the silhouette of the hopeful Future Toyota was that of a Inline 6, setting up the FT-1 to fall in line together with some of Toyota's most revered creations in the past like the 2000GT and the A80 Supra.

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From this, the FT-1 was adopted into the contentious Vision Gran Turismo program, spawning a race–ready version of the FT-1 by first adding the "VGT" suffix to the name, then widening its body, slamming its ride height, bolting on full racing slicks and a towering rear wing, heavily gouging its body panels, and putting it all through an unhealthy diet, all to bring the specs of the car to what the Gran Turismo community derived to be 614HP and 1,000kg in mass (458kW, 2,200lbs). The Otaku among the car enthusiasts may already feel a tinge of nagging familiarity seeing those numbers, but the most telling number of them may just be the number "4"—the racing version of the FT-1, the FT-1 VGT, makes Inline 4 noises instead of those of an Inline 6, and it came with a KERS. 2014 was also the first year that GT500 technical regulations unified with DTM's, which stipulated that all cars are to be FR with 2 litre single turbo Inline 4 engines with KERS... weighing a tonne and outputting a little over 600HP.

If the original FT-1 was meant to preview the production Supra, then I think it's pretty clear that the FT-1 VGT was meant to preview Toyota's plans to represent themselves with a Supra in Super GT's GT500 category.

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But, a production ready Supra wouldn't become reality until 2019, some two years after the launch of Gran Turismo Sport—a video game that laser focuses on sanctioned racing with "Gr.3" and "Gr.4" cars, loosely based on real life GT3 and GT4 categories respectively. A Gr.3 86 more than makes sense in my opinion, seeing as some privateer teams have already fielded 86s and BRZs in GT300, but I suppose it's much easier to simply take an existing model and lop some speed off than to make an entirely new car from the ground up, which is probably why the FT-1 VGT was kneecapped to squeeze into Gr.3 as Toyota's representation in the e–sports centric title—at least, until the "proper" Supra arrived. Power was slashed to 544HP (406kW), and the car would have to put back on some the mass that was so thoroughly shed to become a racecar—280 kilos of it, in fact, to fit into Gr.3 at a middling 1,280kg (2,822lbs). Other unseen changes include unplugging the KERS, while shortening and bringing closer together the largely useless ratios of the FT-1 VGT to make up for it.

It's almost like Polyphony Digital simply could not change a single node of how the car looked, out of respect or some licensing agreement—I can't say. Unfortunately, that also meant that they couldn't change the ride height of the FT-1 VGT, which snowballs into a few glaring issues with the car here in GT7.

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For some context, most FR cars built from the ground up for Gr.3 come with a ride height of 60mm front and 70mm rear in GT7 (2.36in, 2.76in). The FT-1 VGT Gr.3 however, smothers its own shadow at a mere 50mm front and 60mm rear (1.97in, 2.36in). "But that's a good thing, right? Low cars go faster in corners, don't they?", you might be asking. As with most things, a low ride height is only good in moderation, and the FT-1 Gr.3 comes in way too low, even for a racing car.

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With the car being set low enough to spark on some of the less obsessively smoothed over racetracks outside of Japan, the FT-1 Gr.3 is extremely sensitive to road imperfections, elevation changes, and just a nervous wreck to drive in any situation. Seemingly flat and innocuous rumble strips, such as the one on the inside of Suzuka's Turn 2, for instance, will quite literally and figuratively tilt the car, liable to result in a perpendicular meeting with the inside barrier if not caught immediately. That rumble strip, for all intents and purposes other than supporting an FT-1 VGT, is completely flat, even in bona fide GT500 machines and Super Formulae. With a car set so low, the suspension also has to be set that much more stiffer than most Gr.3 cars to prevent the car from completely bottoming out or shaving off its own body panels with its tyres, and what translates to in handlingese is that the car can't seem to put weight on any tyre at all; it takes a touch longer to slow for a corner than most Gr.3 cars, with or without BoP, nor does it much want to bite an apex with trail braking, even with a fully rearward brake bias setting. When getting on the power, I can't "load up" the rear tyres at all, no matter how gradually I ease into the throttle pedal; past three quarters throttle, the rear end just instantly snaps off if there's any steering lock applied. The car simply feels set up to have much more grip than any Gr.3 car can be allowed to have, mechanical and aerodynamic.

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Now in the much more liberal Gr.3 category, the FT-1 VGT Gr.3 could have had either the Inline 6 of the original FT-1, or the Inline 4 of the FT-1 VGT. Thankfully, the Gr.3 car went with the latter, because I think it's one of the most flexible and pleasant engines I've ever sampled in both GT Sport and here in GT7! Power output may have been slashed, but the hyphen engine still revs to a Rotary–shaming, Hayabusa–harassing 10,500rpm! It might be a reasonable assumption to make that an engine that revs to such common sense defying speeds would be a small displacement engine, utterly gutless in the low and mid range. That may well be the case, but we will never know for certain because that's where the turbocharger comes in to save the day—it delivers its peak boost of almost 1 bar at around 5,2, past which the boost pressure completely deflates to let the engine's natural peakiness take over. What this combo results in is an engine that I never would have guessed is turbocharged if not for the spec sheets and in–game HUD; it's peppy, responsive, makes no turbo noises, still asks of its driver to rev it out to about 9,6, but has a healthy punch from around 7,5 to overwhelm the maladjusted suspension setup. For some context, most upshifts at 9,6 drop the engine to about 8,2, giving drivers a lot of leeway in where and when to shift. Sometimes I find myself flicking through the paddles just for the hell of it. 9,6, by the way, is also when the car will upshift if driven in AT mode, making this car an extremely inclusive and welcoming pick for players who can't, or don't want to shift for themselves. Drivers can even save an upshift when fast approaching a corner with a healthy 900rpm headroom between the optimum shift point of 9,6 to the engine's fuel cut at 10,5 if this engine ever becomes available to swap into a manual gearbox car, and it's a thought that I'm properly salivating over. I genuinely think this would be the perfect racing engine if it wasn't thirstier than the livery I put on the car!


To illustrate, I decided to compare the FT-1 VGT Gr.3 to the GT3 version of the car Toyota were looking to replace with the FT-Supra in GT500: the Lexus RC F GT3 '17. Straight from the Brand Central, the Lexus weighs more, has less power, is less balanced with 54% of its weight up front as opposed to the FT-1's 51%, and it doesn't have a purpose sculpted low and svelte sports car body to effortlessly slice through the air, instead having to wear the silhouette of a luxobarge. A car like that, no one would think has a chance in hell against the FT-1, but—get this—the hulking 5 Litre NA V8 of the RC F returned me much better fuel economy, all in spite of heaving around more mass, which let me clear the lucrative Sardegna WTC800 event faster. That, plus the Lexus was just a much more predictable drive. How can the FT-1 have all those numbers and still be this slow?!



Under BoP conditions in our lobby, the two cars are much more closely matched. The FT-1 seemingly still has some pace to match the midfielders, but it got utterly destroyed when matched up against a currently strong pick for Gr.3 in the Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept '20, with its only saving grace being Vic behind the wheel of the Toyota.

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The RX-Vision GT3 is similarly a high revving, racing version of a long hood, short deck FR concept sports car from around 2014. While the shrieking RX-Vision similarly doesn't have the hot lap pace to compete against the current meta that is the Gr.3 Supra, it still has a strong presence in Gr.3 races nowadays, owing to its scrumptious looks and equally bewitching handling—traits the FT-1 Gr.3 used to boast back in GTS before the Supra replaced it. But, handling impeccably is just the RX-V's side hustle; it's main draw is that it's incredibly light on tyre wear and fuel use, making it a very quick car in races where pitting is involved. With its biggest strength being nullified in a short 4 lap sprint though, how does my RX-V fare against Vic's FT-1 around Big Willow?



...insultingly well, actually. Races against Vic usually come with a rapidly impending sense of doom; "oh boy, Vic's in 2nd now, I hope I can hold onto this 3 second gap with 2 laps to g— HOW DID HE JUST TAKE HALF A SECOND OFF ME IN ONE CORNER OHMYGOD". In that race, though? Even with cautious driving within known limits as a result of fading FFB, I was gapping Vic's FT-1 consistently come the straights. Understand, the RX-V is not a straight line missile; it has longer ratios than the FT-1, and under v1.35 BoP when we ran this race, it also has a worse power to mass ratio! Yet, it gapped the FT-1 in the straights, simply because it can actually put down power out of corners. For the first time in perhaps ever, I felt a sense of reassurance and calm when being chased by Vic, simply because I knew I had a much, much better car.

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The FT-1 VGT Gr.3 has gone to great lengths to fix the flaws of the original FT-1 VGT: it doesn't hide its specs or power curves, fixes its useless gearing, while offering upgrade potential via turbo kits and adjustability to its suspension setup, both of which completely unavailable in the original, all while coming in at less than half the price. And, sweet baby Buddha, have I mentioned how astounding this thing looks yet?! Its outlandish, free, and expressive design makes a A90 Supra look like a pale, castrated imitation of what ought to have been. Just like how a pretty girl can make even pajamas look pretty, the FT-1 makes just about any livery on it standout masterpieces. There wasn't a single "eh, that's pretty good" livery from my peers during race day; they were all bangers I'd love to rock, from Baron's badass skull design, Vic's adapted Woodone livery that looks like it had been designed for the FT-1 and borrowed to the A80 Supra instead of the other way around, to Candy Lam's patriotic Hong Kongese car. Had the production A90 Supra looked like this, revved like this, and drove well, I might finally feel again that indescribable magic feeling that the bubble era of Japanese sports cars made me feel.


While politics will understandably work against the FT-1 now that a fully fledged Supra race car is available in Gr.3, the only way an FT-1 can win hearts and eke out a niche for itself is via subjective fronts. Me personally, I really, really wanted to like this car, especially after I spent about four days obsessively making a livery for the car. I don't even care of it's slow; I just wish it drove better. I would happily take this car and punch up against the meta if it had the prowess and consistency to do so. Ask my peers how many times I brought my Cayman GT4CS to race in Car of the Week over the 3 or so years I've been doing this, knowing full well its ***** and uncompetitive. If I can trust the car and know it well, I can push it much closer to its limits, making me faster than if I were in an unfamiliar meta car. What makes or breaks the appeal of of a handling car for me is that it should earn the driver's trust, and perhaps entice them to play just a little bit, even in the context of a racecar. None of the FT-1s made me feel that. And unlike the Genesis X GR3 of Week 13, there unfortunately is no quick, easy fix to the FT-1 Gr.3's problems, and so I find it very, very hard to like the car, and it breaks my goddamn heart that I can't fall for it.
 
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