We have one of the original LMs in the house here…one of the original men of the famed name.
It is the RX-7 LM. And, along with the Mitsubishi FTO Super Touring Car, it is one of the only LM cars that has survived all 5 versions of Gran Turismo. Except unlike the FTO STC, which has undergone a name change since 4, this has remained an LM since Day 1 of GT’s existance. Not that it hasn’t gone without changes…
In 1998, this was what an RX-7 LM was:
Compare that to the picture above and you can’t really say they’re the same thing, can you?
Indeed, the original RX-7 LM has 588hp and weighed just 960kg. There was also a second LM version based off of the A-Spec car (nothing to do with this game’s main game mode, nor GT3’s subtitle or anything ) which was less powerful, heavier, a prize car, and therefore a bit pointless. But it did look prettier…
Much like the FTO LM, the RX-7 underwent a body change for GT3 but largely kept its stats from the previous game, and then like the FTO LM, was downgraded for GT4. Damn.
Still, it was fast…and it still is here.
The car has been given an extra 120kg since its original form came to light, and it’s had 60hp taken away from it as well. But no matter…it is still ridiculously fast. It speeds around like nothing I’ve ever seen like it. As a car, it doesn’t necessarily look fast, but in reality, it really is.
Another thing I love about it is the sheer variation of liveries and colours you can get it in. This one here is orange, but there’s green/orange, blue, silver, yellow…and more. Two notable liveries are the white/blue #202 livery, which is actually based off of a livery the original Mazda 787 used, much like the RX-8 Concept LM has a livery based off of the winning 787B from 1992. The other is the white roof, black body #00, which looks nothing like any of the other liveries and looks infinitely cool.
Perhaps the only drawback of this car is the terrible hood view it has. The bumper view is brilliant for the car, seeing as it shows how fast the damn thing really is. The standard cockpit is one of the better ones in the game. The chase cam looks normal too, but the hood view is hilariously awful. It has a stupid angle against the car that shows some weird part of the livery that just is stupidly distracting. I wanna say people with the #00 car don’t suffer from this, but I haven’t driven a #00 RX-7 LM so I wouldn’t know.
However, for the Mazda RX-7 LM, there is a moderate problem on the horizon. This comes in the form of the DLC Mazda RX-7 TC, and it is not a happy sight to see for the old RX-7 LM.
This is because the RX-7 TC in some ways obsoletes the RX-7 LM. Their power figures are very close to each other, at least before break in, but the RX-7 TC is lighter – a lot lighter – and is therefore supposedly faster. It is trying to return to the days of the original LM, but it is not the LM we know and love. It is merely an imposter of the RX-7 LM, trying to impersonate a name like the FTO STC does, except that is truly the LM we know and love under the skin. The TC and the LM are both separate things here, and that creates a dilemma.
But you know what? That RX-7 TC can just go and die in a fire. This RX-7 LM, to me, feels so much faster, steers so much better, and while the RX-7 TC may be Premium, it really doesn’t matter. The RX-7 LM will always be the true LM, and no other car will be trying to take its title for sure.
And one last thing to say about the RX-7 LM. The sound. Obviously, as a rotary engine, it will sound good with the racing exhaust, but how good is it? Especially next to the rival it now has, the RX-7 TC. Well, I can tell you, all is well there. Despite the figures nearly being identical for the two of them, they have different sounds, and while the RX-7 TC is a huge scream that leaves you deafened (I concede the start sound is a lot better), the RX-7 LM is a lower, much calmer but still buzzy sound. I like it more, it is much more peaceful. And in a way, is peaceful enough to send you off to sleep. Zzzzz…
So then, the RX-7 LM. Glued to the road by its superb handling, built in with super speedy acceleration and with a much calmer sound than the rotary engine would have you believe, this, as an original LM, has done a brilliant job to survive nearly 15 years since its first appearance. And while the TC might be doing a good job of trying to consign this to the bin, this is still winning. And by a long way. No TCs here, I’m afraid. This is the LM I’m talking about.