The day of days is here. You can finally buy Gran Turismo 5 and review it for yourself. It’s been an age, no, an eon in the making and petrol heads the world over will be champing at the bit to get home tonight, break open that PS3 cover and not open the curtains again until the gaming’s done. That’s assuming you haven’t already pulled a sickie, of course.
But hold your horsepower for just 1 second before you rush in and do the lot. Remember that Gran Turismo 5 is a beautiful thing. So, to help you savour your feast of entertainment before you wolf the lot down, here’s a little idea to make sure you get the most out of the game - five cars you simply must try and the tracks you need to drive them on.
Jaguar XJ13 in London
This is the first appearance almost anywhere for the Jaguar XJ13 both in pixel form and real life as well. It was designed by the company to race at Le Mans in the mid-60s, but the car was never a priority to develop and, by the time it was actually completed, it was considered obsolete. Fortunately, Gran Turismo 5 gives you the chance to experience the near impossible and although the sensible bet might be to do what was always meant and take on the Cirque de la Sarthe, there's just something attractively, well, British about going for a spin around the London city course - another flight of fancy. To be fair, it is technically possible to drive the one and only Jaguar XJ13 but, seeing as the owners turned down a £7m offer, it’s fairly unlikely. Fill your boots.
Reasonably priced car at Dunsfold Aerodrome
Gran Turismo 5 brings Top Gear fans the world over the sheer delight of being able to race at the Top Gear Test Track, otherwise known as Dunsfold Aerodrome. Naturally, the only true way to take a spin around the Hammerhead, Gambon and all the familiar friends is going to be in a reasonably priced car, so that you can finally get your name on that scoreboard. The trouble is that neither the Suzuki Liana, the Chevrolet Lacetta nor the Kia Cee’d are available to drive in the game, which is a pity. So, what you’ll have to do instead is pick your own reasonably priced car. There’s a world of Toyotas, Suzukis, Fords, Peugeots and Volvos to choose from. Just remember to pick something around the £10,000 mark.
Gran Turismo Red Bull X1 on the Course Maker
The X1 is a prototype car created just for Gran Turismo 5. You will never see it in the flesh and there is zero chance of ever actually stepping into one, so take your chance where you can. The X1 was made in conjunction with the Red Bull racing team and their top designers, and was based around this idea:
"If you built the fastest racing car on land, one that throws aside all rules and regulations, what would that car look like, how would it perform, and how would it feel to drive?"
The X1 is the answer, and seeing as the car doesn’t exist the best track to drive it on would be one that doesn’t exist either. So, head over to the brand new Course Maker area where you can build one of your own choosing. You pick a base landscape, how many sections you want the course to have and then you can design each of those sections setting complexity, weather, road width, corner sharpness and time of day. Just in case you you weren’t going to, we recommend at least one long, wide straight.
Your car at the Nurburgring
If you’re reading this piece, we can probably safely assume that you know what the Nurburgring is all about but, just in case you don’t, here’s the very brief version of what you need to know. It’s a Grand Prix racetrack that the public drive on. However, your insurance will not be valid on it, there are several crashes each day and the estimation is that there are 3-12 fatalities on it each year. So, bearing that in mind, if you don’t fancy taking your car over to Germany or have the balls to take a spin around it, then Gran Turismo 5 offers you the safe version. Naturally, you’ll still want to take your own car around it and there’s an excellent chance you’ll find it on the full GT5 list. Yes, the Ford Focus does feature.
Chevrolet Impala ‘10 at Daytona International Speedway
There are a lot of movie experiences you can very nearly create with Gran Turismo 5, but the majority of them fall just short. You can nearly do Goldeneye, but there’s no DB5 for the Monaco track. You can get close to the Italian Job with the Mini Coopers, but Rome is going to have to be the setting rather than Turin. You can even have the wild ride of Popeye’s Pontiac Tempest Le Mans GTO from the French Connection, but without the Brooklyn Steets and L-train it’s just not the same. When it comes down to it, the best match you’re going to get is Days of Thunder when Cole Trickle wins the Daytona 500 in Rowdy’s Chevrolet. Apologies for the spoiler. It’s not perfect as none of the Chevy race cars are Exxon branded with the number 51, but you should get the picture. Just make sure not to go high on bend four.
So, which GT5 cars are you busting to take for a spin and where do you want to drive them? Let us know your classic combos in the comments below.