I rather like Pikes Peak.
For a start, it’s based in the Rockies, in Colorado. Since I chose to support the Denver Broncos in the NFL, I now feel contractually obliged to support anything from Colorado. Oh, and I did choose to support the Broncos before Tebow or Peyton ever joined, thank you very much. In fact, I started with them when Gay Cutler was their QB.
But Pikes Peak itself hosts some properly awesome stuff. Or had, anyway.
Today, Pikes Peak is paved over completely with tarmac due to a government enforcement. I now plan to make a campaign to become government leader of Colorado, despite 1) being British and b) knowing fuck all about politics, to pave it back entirely with gravel. Or get someone I know who does know something about politics to do it on my behalf, at any rate.
The tarmacing of the track means that the famed time of 10 minutes that was constantly aspired for is now nothing. Indeed, this year, Sebastian Loeb, a selfish and dominant French twat, went and set a time of 8:13.878 in his overpowered and unfair Peugeot 208 Pikes Peak. Maybe next year, given the 908 wing, it’ll break down next time. Given the famous inconsistency of the French, I wouldn’t be too surprised.
The real men there were the ones who took the course on back when there was gravel of some actual sort on the track.
The most notable of these, without question, was Nobuhiro Tajima, who held the record for a long while before finally breaking the 10-minute barrier in the Monster Sport Suzuki SX4 – which features in this game. He has broken the 10-minute barrier since of course – in the E-Runner that also features in this game.
He was the man who drove surely the most infamously fast car in the Gran Turismo series – the Suzuki Escudo.
Among others, there is Rod Millen, 5 time winner at the course in a selection of wild Toyota Celicas and Tacomas. His son, Rhys Millen, races there often now, in an unusual selection of Hyundais. If there was one brand of car I’d choose to race, it wouldn’t be Hyundai…also, I think he’s a bit of a twat in my mind as well.
Then there was Ari Vatanen in the Peugeot 405 – his winning drive providing the material for the short film ‘Climb Dance’. Look it up now on Google. Obviously, this inspired Peugeot to come back after 25 years and won it by being too powerful with an unkind French person who never lets others win ever.
Vatanen’s drive was followed by a winning drive from Robby Unser the next year – whose father Bobby had won 3 years in the car you see pictured here, the Audi Sport Quattro.
The Audi quattro won Pikes Peak in various guises 6 times on the trot – firstly in its original form twice with John Buffum, then in its Sport form twice in a row with French girl Michele Mouton – the most successful woman in motor racing. Then after Unser’s win, this 1987 spec quattro was driven once again to the win by a very esteemed rally driver – Walter Rohrl.
In fact, the double world rally champion was even scheduled to take the very car up the mountain again, over 25 years on from its first trip…but the car was pulled out. A great shame.
The great new representation of Pikes Peak cars, with this original classic along with the modern SX4 and E-Runner, signal the first additions since the original two Pikes Peak cars introduced in GT2 – the Escudo, which has stayed ever since, and the Cultus which preceded it in real life, but hasn’t stayed with it in game.
Gran Turismo 2 even had a ‘Pikes Peak’ course to drive on, although it was not actually Pikes Peak as such – merely a much shorter likeness of the course. You could even drive it downhill.
In fact, even the Group B quattro from 1986 has been introduced into Gran Turismo 6. I tested the Anniversary Edition of that prior to driving this, and on the dirt it was a very fun and fast drive.
However, the Pikes Peak quattro (not to be confused with the actually titled Pikes Peak quattro concept that spawned the Q7 SUV) bears almost too much of a likeness to it for my liking. But its stats aren’t actually anything close to the Group B. Not surprisingly, it’s much more powerful and lighter. And contrary to my previous views, much more differently liveried. But can it hook it on the closest possible equivalent to the classic Pikes Peak on this game – Eiger Nordwand K Trail?
The answer is: yes. Undoubtedly. Though the unusual placebo effect of similarity between the two quattro’s was a bit offputting in my mind as I tested it, the fact is, it’s still a fast motherfucker on dirt.
590bhp pulling on just 1000kg of car makes for a fast combination, especially when combined with the ever dirt-friendly 4WD drivetrain. The result is just scintillating to drive.
Not even much difficulty is necessary in driving it. Though my dirt skills leave much to be desired, mainly in terms of cornering speed, the quattro never disappointed through the turns. It plowed through them perfectly.
At under 1.5 million Cr. the Quattro is expensive in terms of the game’s cars but again, with new monetary measures being taken, that value will soon be next to nothing.
The problem I’ve got though, is that odd placebo effect that keeps making me think that actually, the Group B quattro is not too far from this model. Because that’s no slouch either, and with the actually slower speed feels friendlier to drive and easier to push.
I think it’s the fact they have the same sound. And the way they accelerate, their style of doing so, is so similar that it fucks with my mind as a result.
But really, the Pikes Peak quattro is nothing like its Group B counterpart. It’s far faster in truth, as little as I can actually feel it. Really though, both new quattros are quality cars. The road version that has been standard since its introduction in GT4 is definitely not bad either. Even given my birthday settings that meant I received one every year, because it was the only 1982 car.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and live the Pikes Peak dream again. Not just with this, but with its three fellow Pikes Peak cars.