Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Lightweights?

John Marine | 10:21 PM | | | |
Many know Lotus as the king of lightweight sports cars. Even TVR has a handful of lightweight cars. You may have used a Caterham in GT4 (though a "Special Car" in GT4) or even in GT5. While those are nice, more lightweights would be better- especially a few that NEVER been in a GT. A few more companies would be great to include to enhance the lineup for a future GT. This is a commentary piece regarding lightweights, especially ones I wouldn't mind seeing in the future in the Gran Turismo series.

I had initially intended this post be about British lightweight cars, but some non-British cars forced me to change things up.







--- More Lightweights? ---

What am I discussing here? You'll see what I mean as you read this blog post further.

To learn more about each featured company, click on the links in the headings to visit their official websites (if offered). I will be using YouTube videos to demonstrate certain makes. If you are unable to view embedded videos (granted all are embedded), you may click on the video link below each video to view on YouTube.


Lightweights Focus: Caterham.

Caterhams are mostly based on the classic Lotus Super 7. These front-engine/RWD roadsters have impeccable handling prowess and are usually considered track toys. These machines are usually considered weekend racers with amazing handling ability. Caterham debuted in Gran Turismo 4 with the Caterham 7 Fireblade, a car powered by the Honda CBR900RRW motorcycle engine.

More Caterhams would be great to enhance the lineup and portfolio of Caterham in Gran Turismo. Now for some people, there isn't too much difference in Caterham models because they all mostly look the same. However, there are more powerful offerings from Caterham. They are still capable machines. Their offerings come in many different versions: Classic, Superlight, and CSR among others. In collaboration with Lola, Caterham has created a car called the SP/300.R- an open-top prototype racing car that is like a Radical. Unfortunately, this is not a street legal car. Here is a video on the SP300R:


^ "Introducing the Caterham Lola SP/300.R"

I would want to see some more Caterhams featured. These cars can be an absolute blast to drive and tune. Who wouldn't want the opportunity to stun bigger and more expensive sports cars by simply racing a Caterham? A One-Make Series with these Caterhams would be great.

Speaking of which...


Lightweights Focus: Radical.

You may never race the 24 Hours of Le Mans, let alone even qualify. Your next best bet to feel like a Le Mans racer would be to race a quality prototype from a great company. That company is Radical. Radical has never been featured in Gran Turismo. Radical Sportscars basically provides people the experience of racing a Le Mans prototype with Radical's amazing open-top prototype cars. Even more surreal is that Radicals are street-legal machines. So if you were to enter an event requiring Normal (or Production) Cars, a Radical would qualify for such an event. Radicals are offered in various models ranging from road-going models to various racing-spec models. Here are models offered from Radical (source: Radical's home page): SR1, PR6, SR3 series (SR3 RS and SR3 SL (SL stands for street legal)), SR8 RX, and the RXC- the only closed-top Radical. Radical has even been credited as laying down some of the fastest lap times for production cars around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In fact, the Radical SR8 LM lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife at about 6 minutes, 48 seconds.

Radical would be such an incredible addition to the Gran Turismo car lineup. You would be able to enjoy prototype racing without having to get any of the high-dollar prototypes in a GT game. These Radical prototypes are an absolute blast. I would love to race Radicals in a One-Make series or even a One-Make championship. If there were Seasonals devoted to the Radical lineup, I'd even race those. This video showcases some of the latest (at its time) Radical models:


^ "Radical Sportscars at the Autosport Show 2011"

Besides the Radicals offered to its customers, there would be one other Radical that would be interesting to see in a GT- the Radical SR9 LMP. This LMP2-class machine has been offered as a great contender in the LMP2 ranks. Radical is simply a company that knows and delivers on LMP-type racing machines.





Here is a Jump Break that I added for performance reasons. I want to make sure this blog isn't a burden on your connection if you are not reading the full post. Too many YouTube videos could slow down your performance substantially. And in trying to keep this post as friendly and useful as possible, I'm breaking off part of my post.

Want to see more lightweights that would be great to feature in Gran Turismo- including two lightweight machines from two non-British makes? Make sure you're reading the full post. If you aren't, and if you enjoyed what you read so far, please click on "Read More." Or of course, disregard this break if you are reading the full post.






Lightweights Focus: Ariel.

The Ariel Motor Company makes some very capable lightweight cars. It wouldn't be the best of ideas to race these in rainy conditions (unless you want to get wet or unless you aren't wearing a racing suit), but Ariel cars are completely capable despite essentially being so bare-boned. This British company made plenty of noise when they came out with the Ariel Atom. Ariel in a Gran Turismo game would be its debut to GT. My gaming experience with Ariel includes "ToCA Race Driver 3" and "Test Drive Unlimited 2." The Ariel Atom is a great little machine. If you want something better, though, the Ariel Atom 500 V8 has you covered. The Atom 500 V8 is basically an Ariel Atom with more power and wings at the front and rear. And in case you're wondering, the "500" stands for its 500 horsepower. I love the Atom 500 V8 car in TDU2 because it's a joy to drive and because I painted one in blue to go with the gold colors. Blue and gold are my colors! So... epic win! :D

This would be very cool to see in Gran Turismo if they were to debut in the Gran Turismo series. This video features the Ariel Atom 500 V8. Take a look at this video:


^ "Ariel Atom V8 video review"

Imagine taking this car around your favorite Gran Turismo tracks! That is... if the Atom 500 V8 is just too much for you.

If you want to see a much longer video on Ariel, take a look at this:


^ "Top Gear - Ariel Atom - BBC"

Ariel awesomeness.


Lightweights Focus: BAC.

The Mono from BAC (Briggs Automotive Company) is one of the latest lightweight beast machines. This British company created a beautiful street-legal . The PC gaming community may have seen the BAC Mono as part of the car list for Project C.A.R.S. However, imagine seeing and racing this machine in the Gran Turismo realm. This car is very beautiful up front. You can think of this car as a street-legal single-seater. Too bad you can't put in a passenger for this car. So I don't think you guys will be picking up hot girls and taking them for a ride with this car. Here is a video featuring this beautiful British car:


^ BAC Mono video review

This would be very fun to race in Gran Turismo.


Lightweights Focus: Palmer Jaguar JP1.

The JP1 is not street-legal, but the John Palmer Jaguar JP1 is a plenty capable British open-top prototype. Many of you who have played "ToCA Race Driver 3" may be familiar with this car. It was also featured in Project Gotham Racing 4. The Palmer Jaguar JP1 was designed specifically for the Bedford Autodrome as part of the PalmerSport Experience. Here is a brief video showcasing this car:


^ "Palmer Jaguar JP1"


Lightweights Focus: KTM.

The only non-British machine featured in this post is the KTM Crossbow (or X-Bow). KTM is an Austrian motorcycle builder that at one point made the four-wheel X-Bow. Anyone who enjoys KTM motorcycles may find something to love with the KTM X-Bow. Here is a video featuring this machine as well as specifications on it:


^ "KTM X-Bow at Virginia International Raceway - CAR and DRIVER"

According to one review from either Top Gear or Fifth Gear (I think it was 5th Gear), one review noted that (indirect quote) the most exciting KTM has two wheels; not four- obviously meaning this X-Bow isn't as mind-blowing according to one review.


Lightweights Focus: Donkervoort.

If featured in a Gran Turismo, Donkervoort would be only the second-ever Dutch make featured in a Gran Turismo title (Spyker is the other). Donkervoort has been around since 1978. Like Caterham, Doonkervoort mostly utilizes the Lotus Super Seven as the basis of its automobiles. Their modern offerings are the Donkervoort D8 series. Here is about the best video I could find featuring a couple of Donkervoort D8s:


^ "Donkervoort D8 GTO & D8 GT on Track!"


Last, but not least... this would be the ultimate:


Lightweights Focus: Caparo.

"F1 for the road" was the scouting report for when Caparo Vehicle Technologies built the T1. Think of this British car as being the only thing commercially-available, street legal, and fairly close to the Red Bull cars in GT5. This car is street-legal. So if there was an event for Normal Cars in a Gran Turismo, you could use this as your Normal car. This Caparo T1 is anything BUT normal. It is an absolute beast machine. Want a demonstration of this beast? Check this out:


^ "Caparo T1 driven by Mika Hakkinen"

More on the Caparo T1: www.caparo-t1.com





Will we ever see these vehicles featured in future updates and/or add-ons to Gran Turismo? That remains to be seen. You already know I'll be very pleased if we do see these machines picked up and added to the car list. But what do you think? Reply away and thank you for reading!

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