Mitsubishi FTO LM
In the wild, wacky, wonderful world of Gran Turismo 1, this is almost certainly the best car to actually drive. The racing cars are a cut above the rest of them, but a lot of them are too bouncy, too wild, too heavy or not as fast as this. This has it all in the bag.
Mostly what makes it the best is how easy it is to drive. Unlike rear-wheel-drive cars which can really kill you in this game if you don’t know what you’re doing, the four-wheel-drive in this means you basically press the throttle and turn the wheel and good things happen. Always.
The result of its brilliance is that the car has lasted up until the modern day. While the FTO Super Touring Car is a world different from this FTO LM, it is to driving in GT6 what this is to driving in GT1; that is, to say, both are just about the absolute best the game has to offer.
The modern equivalent: The FTO ‘STC’
Honda CR-X del sol LM
I don’t care what any of you say about any car in any other GT game. If you want to prove you’re a real driver, this is what you need to get hold of.
The Honda CR-X del sol LM, a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive, 600hp conversion of a front-engine, front-wheel-drive convertible which didn’t come close to 200hp to start, is a genuine challenge of a car to drive. It bounces so often it spends more time on two wheels than four, the car slides every time you brake and turn the wheel, and every time you spin it around you have to rev it up else the turbo bogs you down before it comes to its senses.
And yet. When it all goes right, this is as much fun as a Gran Turismo game gets. The absolute perfection of nailing a long drift in this thing is utterly, utterly rewarding. This thing teaches you exactly what GT1 is all about in terms of its physics. If you can get this thing down, you can get anything down. And I love it for it.
The modern equivalent: Nothing
Dodge Concept Car
American readers probably know this as ‘the fastest car in the game’. This is, if you know how to use it, entirely correct.
What PD did was jack up the Dodge Copperhead car and turn it, quietly, into a race car. But they made an error in typing it at first and made it weigh little more than 1200lbs, which the Americans use for some reason. They actually made this error in the Japanese version as well, but somehow didn’t notice it until it was time to bring it to Europe.
The Concept Car was not invincible, though. There were flaws, some which could be fixed, and one which couldn’t. Initially, the car was largely hopeless with its default settings, so you had to get it hooked up properly before it became a true monster. And even then, a physics quirk held it back; the extreme stats of the car meant the engine ‘shuddered’ up and down hills, compromising acceleration there or even slowing down your car on them at high enough speed.
But once it was all ready, then the Concept Car could reign supreme. Where it manifests its speed most of all is out of corners. Once you get round a turn, hit the throttle and it’s like hitting a hyperspace button. It just zooms out of the corner instantly, and with great agility as well. So, the fastest car in Gran Turismo 1, yes? …No, actually.
The modern equivalent: An F1 car
TVR Cerbera LM
Before PD made a horlicks of the Concept Car, they had made the same error with this, the Cerbera LM. The difference is, they did fix this outside of the Japanese version.
The initial result was a car with 599ps (what the Japanese use for hp) and 602kg of weight. That is ludicrous. And so it proved in the game.
The thing is, the Cerbera proved the polar opposite to the Concept Car in the way it expressed its speed. Whereas the Concept Car was fastest out of corners, the Cerbera was fastest in them. Because it didn’t need any tuning up to be brilliant, the car drove like it was on rails right from the start. Which meant that if all went well, no one had a hope in catching you. But of course, a power-to-weight ratio of near 1:1 brought its issues in the crazy world of GT1.
Firstly, the hill issue of the Concept Car was present with the Cerbera LM too. Secondly, braking and turning in the wrong place could result in the most extreme example of the ‘bouncing’ phenomenon in this game. Whereas most cars need some big assistance (ie hitting kerbs) to start bouncing, the Cerbera LM could do so of its own accord. On a surface with, say, camber, it just lifted two wheels off the ground. Where it happens often decides how much harm it causes.
But no matter what, the Cerbera LM was simply the fastest thing to be put into GT1’s mad physics engine. And yet in theory, you could get something to go even faster…
The modern equivalent: An X car
This physics glitch
I talked earlier about that glitch on the hills. This is present in all three versions of the game. Whilst you can’t get it to happen on anything in the PAL version, some AI cars suffer from it in certain races. Try and find an NSX Type S RM in the Japan vs UK/US championships and see what it does on Trial Mountain.
But in the Japanese version, there was another glitch. And, very occasionally, it can be an incredible sight to behold.
You would be well advised to watch this video here before reading on. Because the results here really have to be seen to be believed.
What happened there was the FTO LM quite literally rode up the wall. Which was promptly treated as a piece of tarmac by the driven front wheels…whilst the rear wheels were still on the actual road. After that, it managed to stick to said wall, and all hell broke loose.
This can happen with any car, but the characteristics of the FTO LM make it among the easiest to use for it. It doesn’t always end up like this. A lot of the time, it’ll just fling straight off the wall. Sometimes it hooks on for a little while but flings off at only a decent rate of knots. But sometimes, you end up with what happens in the video.
You might notice it sometimes in normal play, as when your car crashes into a wall it can try to ride up it as well. Sometimes it can even cling onto the walls there, but no other walls are long enough to facilitate what can be managed here. But in some places, you can very much get flung away at very tremendous speed as it tries and fails to get off the wall. By its very nature, SSR11 is probably the easiest place for it to happen.
So there you have it. That’s how you get a car to the fastest possible speed in GT1.
The modern equivalent: A rocket sled