In Gran Turismo 5, version 1.00, the Lexus IS F Racing Concept was a beast. But most players just didn’t know it – because it was only in one certain context.
The German Touring Car Championship Extreme Event caused much furore, as many players were querying for Standard race cars that would be able to beat this DTM-based event. Something like an Audi A4, TT-R, Opel Astra, an R8 LMS or Alfa Romeo even! Or a 190 E if they didn’t quite know what they were doing.
Except none of them knew what they were doing. Because, all the time, they didn’t notice the black Lexus sitting in the Premium dealership at a level they were already at, for a price that would not only be cheaper than anything else for the event, but which would prove valuable to it at a later time in the game’s life.
The IS F RC itself was conceived as an idea as to what a Lexus DTM racer might look like in 2008. Sadly, it didn’t make it to the circuits of Deutschland and Lexus continued on instead in Super GT with the (terrible in road form) SC430. Which carried on long after it had actually gone out of production, yet even won last year’s championship.
Of course, the irony is that now the DTM and Super GT regulations have actually merged. But then DTM’s regs had changed prior, so instead Lexus based their new racer off the Lexus LF-CC concept. Which goes even further than the SC430 silliness by not even going into production in the first place.
Anyway. Back to GT5. The IS F RC, despite not actually being German in any way, could still breeze through the championship with ease. It would be given a tough time at Nurburgring GP/D, but at Cape Ring it was a superb racer. But the real shock came at the Nordschleife, where it would manage to crush its opponents and leave them for dead. In 1 lap.
So the IS F RC was a massive favourite in the house of C-ZETA and my GT5 copy. You could even paint it from its default black colour for personalisation – which has now led to the Base Models of other racers in this game.
The IS F RC was my Touring Car of the year in my inaugural awards. But sadly, the love was not to last long, as PD cut into the IS F RC’s worth.
Firstly, the OCD. DTM cars were a super common sight in the OCD for many weeks even despite the presence of the IS F RC itself. They were now available as often as the IS F RC. But never mind, the IS F RC was still the cheapest of the kind. And the best looking in terms of a model.
The trade limit that was imposed cut off trading all of the other DTMs, leaving just the IS F RC tradeable for the event. But this was a moot point, as not only was it readily available as a Premium, but Seasonal payouts were considerable at this point. DTM cars outside of the IS F RC were becoming ever more in reach.
Then, in a particularly memorable Remote Race, PD shoved a middle finger in the IS F RC’s race by showing that, actually, it wasn’t even that fast. The R8 LMS was the dominant car by far, though 1) it ideally shouldn’t have been there at all and b) it was 5 million Cr. But the IS F RC turned out to be unable to keep up with the modern DTMs, only barely bridging the gap between the inferior classics. With that, the other DTMs were now appealing much more.
And to finish, a shocking sound update which brought, among others, the FTO STC, CLK-LM, Corvette C5R and more to its knees, took the IS F RC with it. The recognisable V8 snort was replaced by a…boxer engine sound? What the fuck were they thinking of? I’m sorry, but how ill advised can you get with an update? The fact is, I never drove the IS F RC too much after that sound update. Even though that wasn’t the worst victim…oh, the poor FTO STC.
So after ruining the IS F RC, shooting to pieces and making it suck right off, the question to ask is; why the hell is the IS F RC the only non-new car to receive a 15th Anniversary Edition livery? They abused it, publically bullied it out of credibility and now they seem to think it’s the one non-new model that deserves the most publicity. Fucking weird.
And they haven’t even gone and changed it up from that bloody awful sound update. The faux-boxer sound remains – on a bloody V8! God, PD had some bet to change that up that badly, didn’t they?
Indeed, the IS F RC doesn’t even seem that good to drive anymore – and why would it now? It just doesn’t seem bothered to be any good anymore, such has the life been sucked out of it.
It doesn’t feel fast anymore now that PD have proven it clearly isn’t. It feels confused trying to navigate around this London circuit, and it can’t be pushed hard around it with any success at all.
And the boxer sound kills the feel completely. It no longer feels correct, whereas at the start of GT5’s life, it felt like a shining gold star. Even though it was black, until you painted it.
At least it’s still rather a looker in my eyes. But only if it isn’t black mainly, actually. The black paint masks some incredibly cool aerodynamics which, if you painted it, say, white, would be all clear and would make it look superb. But even in black, it still has a sense of swagger…which it lost after PD vandalised it.
At least PD have had some respite with its price – not that it needed any. It’s actually been cut down to 325,000 Cr. But even this is a moot point, because guess what? The R8 LMS, the fastest of the breed, has been fixed in terms of price, and is now only 365,000 Cr. And because of it, the IS F RC has been rendered further pointless still.
And just to finish it off, the R8 LMS has been given THREE shiny new Premium models, as well as a 15th Anniversary Edition. You have to wonder if PD have been paid by Audi for such a thing…or something else entirely. At least the other touring cars are still on the wrong side of 1 million…
I do really, really feel for the IS F RC. There was a time when it was easily among the top in the pile, a touring car above all in the admittedly rather rough times of the original GT5. But then as GT5 was fixed up, the IS F RC began to reduce in usefulness. Then it was feathered and tarred by PD, and still is in this edition, and now sits as a wreck in the GT6 world. I’m sorry for it. I really am.