2014 was a roller coaster of a year for Gran Turismo fans. Although GT6 didn’t evolve as quickly as many people expected after its December 2013 release, it has undergone a considerable transformation over the past twelve months and introduced some major “firsts” for the series.
As we have in year’s past, let’s take a look back at some of this year’s highlights, and – if you’re feeling nostalgic – check out some previous years’ reviews to see how far we’ve come!
- GT Academy kicked off the year on a high note, as the program’s new champions brought home a dominating class victory in their first international race at the 24 Hours of Dubai.
- Toyota made waves waves in the automotive and gaming industry, launching their radical new Toyota FT-1 Concept at the North American International Auto Show and simultaneously in GT6. It would go on to become one of the company’s most popular concepts revealed in 2014.
- Jann Mardenborough, one of GT Academy’s brightest rising stars, took his first single-seater race victory in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.
- KAZ: Pushing the Virtual Divide, a documentary film by Tamir Moscovici about Kazunori Yamauchi and the history of the Gran Turismo franchise, was first released in the U.S.
- GTPlanet released the largest update yet for our book, GTPEDIA, bringing it up to date with a new Gran Turismo 6 chapter with over 100 pages of new content.
- An unexpected Vision Gran Turismo speedboat was revealed by the Cigarette Racing Team in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. There’s still no word on when we’ll see it in the lake at Trial Mountain…
- More good news for GT Academy champions, as Lucas Ordonez is announced as a Super GT driver and Jann Mardenborough joined the Red Bull GP3 driver development program.
- GTPlanet’s Weekly Race Series celebrated 11 years of racing with a special online event.
- GT Academy was announced for Australia, allowing gamers from down under to compete in the year’s international competition.
- Sony revealed their “Project Morpheus” VR headset for the PS4, and didn’t hesitate to fuel rumors as to its possible integration with racing games in the future.
- For the first time in the program’s history, GT Academy is confirmed for Thailand.
- Polyphony Digital took its first action of the year against “modders”, who had been hacking GT6’s game code to tweak car parameters and expose hidden content.
- GT6 update 1.06 – one of the largest to date for the game – introduced the GPS Data Visualizer and compatibility with 3D televisions.
- Toyota launches one of the first “official” Photomode competitions, asking players to capture their best shots of the FT-1 Concept in Gran Turismo 6.
- After years of lobbying from players in the region, Canada officially joins GT Academy North America.
- Gran Turismo documentary KAZ: Pushing the Virtual Divide wins big at the GMA 2014 Awards.
- GTPlanet launches an all-new dedicated tuning database, fully integrated with our forums.
- GT Academy 2014 officially kicked off around the world.
- To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the passing of Ayrton Senna, Polyphony Digital announced a major partnership with his family’s institute, which saw the release of a new documentary, new cars, and ’80s versions of Brands Hatch and Monza.
- GT6 update 1.07 introduces BMW’s Vision GT car.
- Volkswagen officially revealed their Vision GTI concept car for Gran Turismo 6.
- GT5’s online services were closed with the release of game update 2.16.
- The KAZ: Pushing the Virtual Divide soundtrack consisted of entirely original music, and, due to popular demand, was released on iTunes by the producers.
- The final qualification round of GT Academy 2014 kicked off, and brought with it a new car to Gran Turismo 6: RJN’s YouTube-liveried GT-R NISMO GT3.
- In an unexpected surprise, the Red Bull Ring circuit was introduced in Gran Turismo 6 as part of a free update.
- Kazunori Yamauchi addressed one of the most frequently asked questions in GTPlanet’s community, and began discussing Gran Turismo engine sounds at length on Polyphony Digital’s new PitStop blog.
- Gran Turismo announces a major partnership with the FIA, the world’s governing body of motorsport, who certified the authenticity of several real-world circuits in GT6. The FIA also announced the first officially-sanctioned online racing championship, to be held in Gran Turismo during the Spring of 2015.
- After weeks of teasing, Nissan revealed their 2020 Vision Gran Turismo concept and Aston Martin revealed their Vision GT project car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
- Kazunori Yamauchi confirms the next “major update” for engine sounds will be coming in Gran Turismo 7.
- The 2014 GT Academy North American national finals are live-streamed from Times Square in New York City – you can watch the full re-broadcast here.
- Local news reports reveal that the Isle of Man TT course is being scanned for GT7, leading many to speculate that motorcycles may be included in the next game.
- GT Academy champion Jann Mardenborough scored his first GP3 victory.
- In a rare turn of events for the company, Polyphony Digital makes a public announcement regarding its interest in hiring new sound engineers for Gran Turismo.
- “Beyond the Apex”, Polyphony Digital’s first mobile app, is released for iOS.
- Gaeton Paletou was crowned as Europe’s GT Academy 2014 regional champion.
- The Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo car was revealed as a race-spec version of the company’s popular concept car, revealed earlier in the year.
- Ricardo Sanchez is announced as the winner of GT Academy 2014’s international region.
- Kazunori Yamauchi awards a Maserati A6GCS Spyder the “Gran Turismo Trophy” at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance; the car will be playable in the GT series in the future.
- As the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” sweeps the Internet, Kazunori Yamauchi dumped a bucket of ice water on his head after being challenged by Forza Motorsport director, Dan Greenawalt. Kazunor would later dump water over the head of the “father of PlayStation”, Ken Kutaragi.
- The long awaited Circuit de la Sierra track is teased in full form during a live stream event in Japan, with a complete lap of the track revealed soon after.
- Polyphony Digital’s plans to expand are met with a “large number” of applications for the sound engineering positions.
- As part of an ambitious online endurance racing event, GTP live streams a 12 hour Brands Hatch endurance race.
- Update 1.12 hits for GT6, bringing with it the new Circuit de la Sierra track after many months of barely-contained excitement. The update also adds new online features in the shape of Quick Match.
- GTPEDIA’s fourth update, reflecting new additions to GT6, is released.
- Lucas Ordonez takes the first class win for a GT Academy winner in a Super GT event – in Thailand!
- GTPlanet’s online endurance racing experiment continues with a live stream of a Spa 24 hour race.
- For the first time, GTPlanet logo stickers for your house, car, laptop or driving rig become available.
- GT6 is demonstrated hooked up to a full motion (well, unless you roll the car) simulator in Japan.
- NISMO reveals to GTPlanet the extent of the integration between its Connect hardware and GT6.
- A large expansion of GT Academy is revealed for 2015 & 2016.
- There’s more recruitment at Polyphony Digital, with production, engineering and artistic staff positions becoming available.
- A new safety car based on the BMW M4 is revealed to be on its way to GT6.
- Gran Turismo is revealed to be the major sponsor for the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, fuelling speculation that the track will return – as first teased by Red Bull in 2010.
- Roadster Shop’s 1970 Camaro is crowned Gran Turismo Award winner at SEMA and will be heading to the series in the future.
- 2015’s FIA rankings for GT and LM class drivers are announced, with Lucas Ordonez and Jann Mardenborough hitting gold and platinum rankings respectively.
- The General Motors Vision GT car is revealed to be sporting the Chaparral name after a prolonged hiatus for the brand. It’s later revealed to be powered by a laser pulse…
- A very large update brings the M4 Safety Car, an updated Suzuka circuit and the much heralded Community Features – for which GTPlanet nabs the very first available Club ID!
- Console bans are visited upon players found to have ‘illicitly modified’ game saves.
- All this additional content prompts another update to GTPEDIA – with a short Cyber Monday sale into the bargain.
- GT6 is now compatible with the free to download MoTeC i2 telemetry analysis software.
- Gran Turismo 6 celebrates its first birthday!
- GTPlanet hits a milestone of its own – 10 million posts made on the site!
- A full 12-race online endurance series hosted by GTPlanet is announced for 2015.
- In celebration of its anniversary and New Year, GT6 gets a batch of special holiday Seasonal Events.
- Nicolas Hammann is revealed as 2014’s GT Academy USA winner after the incognito affair that is the accompanying reality TV show.
- Another update comes to GT6, with the laser-powered Chaparral and an Infiniti Vision GT car added to the fleet. These are quickly followed by the Mazda LM55 Vision GT, added by a hotfix of all things, on Christmas Day.
As we look ahead to 2015, the year promises to be one of the biggest yet for Gran Turismo: there’s much more to come for GT6, the FIA Online Championship is set to launch in the Spring, GT Academy will be larger than ever as it expands into South America, and fans will be eager to watch as GT begins its transition to the new PlayStation 4 console…
It’s going to be a big year for GTPlanet, too, with a new look, a new book (!), and the launches of several major new site features currently in development. As always, thanks for being a part of our community and your continued support of the site. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year for all!
GT6 Photomode image by ForceMotion.