AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The team of racers assembled from the Nissan Playstation GT Academy earned themselves a remarkable honor at the Dubai 24 Hour race this weekend, finishing third in their class and 26th overall. All four drivers, Lucas Ordoñez, Jordan Tresson, Bryan Heitkotter and Jann Mardenborough, are GT Academy grads, having started out behind the wheel of virtual race cars to win the opportunity to attend the GT Academy racing program.
The team qualified the #100 car fourth in their class and despite some mechanical issues the four drivers endured all 24 hours of the race without any damage to the Nissan 370Z while earning a podium finish.
This is truly an unprecedented achievement in the world of motorsports. As we all know, it’s tough enough to earn a podium finish as a professional racer with a complete team backing you up. So to take four virtual gamers from Gran Turismo, train them – with Heikotter and Mardenborough having less than a year to go from gamer to racer – and to finish third in the class, the GT Academy should be extremely proud.
Who said video games are a waste of time?
Apparently the regular-sized edition of Gran Turismo 5 wasn’t good enough for public consumption anymore. Polyphony Digital and Sony have decided to super-size the popular racing simulator, releasing a new XL Edition that’s set to hit store shelves on January 17th.
Naturally the XL Edition will include all of the original GT5‘s contents but now includes all of the updates up to and including Spec 2.0 on the game disc. In addition, those that shell out $39.99 for the game will also get a voucher that’s good for $20 of DLC content. That means you can grab yourself Racing Car Pack, Car Pack 2, Course Pack, Racing Gear Pack and/or Paint Pack.
Those that just want to impress visitors to their homes though will also be able to show off a new reversible inside cover sheet that features the Red Bull X2011 supercar.
It’s a great buy for those that haven’t taken the plunge to purchase the original Gran Turismo 5 yet.
Gran Turismo 5 will be getting an update (version 2.02) on December 20th and with it will come the addition of Toyota‘s GT 86 to the game for free. A new downloadable content (DLC) Car Pack 2 will also be available for just $3.99 adding four new cars to your collection.
The second Car Pack DLC will add the 2012 Nissan GT-R Black R35, 2010 Volkswagen Scirocco R, 2010 Volkswagen Gold VI R and the 2011 MINI Cooper S to your garage. In addition, those that purchased the first DLC will receive the Gran Turismo Racing Kart 125 SP in the 2.02 patch.
The update will also come with some interface tweaks and will award virtual racers with 10 oil change and car wash coupons.
After a half a decade of waiting, Gran Turismo 5 failed to really live up to the hype. But at the driving simulator’s launch the game’s creator Kazunori Yamauchi promised that this was just the beginning; and now we have a clear idea of what he meant.
Starting October 11th, a “Spec 2″ updated version of the game will be available for download with plenty of added features. Two of the most significant additions include the ability to save progress during an endurance race, as well as a new interior view for all “standard” cars. Previously only premium class cars were available with a view from behind the wheel.
Additional upgrades include 11 new NASCAR race cars from the 2011 season, adjustable weather conditions during a race, shortened load times, improve car physics, an improved and enhanced user interface, new features added to the Online Lounge and the ability to use the new Logitech G25/G27 steering wheels. But perhaps the best news is that the entire “Spec 2″ package will be available for download for free.
Happening right now out in Cologne, Germany is Gamescom, the world’s largest trade fair and event for video games and entertainment. And with all the passionate automotive enthusiasts in Germany, it’s no surprise that Sony wanted to make a statement in their booth by teaming up with Audi to show off a whole new way to play Gran Turismo 5. Custom built by quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm, the PlayStation Racing Simulator that’s currently setup at the booth is a full-on carbon-black Audi R8 LMS imitation race car.
The cockpit features the same bucket seat that one would find in the GT3 car, while they’ve added an additional one for a passenger to spectate. The roll cage has been simplified to make it easier to get in and out of the simulator, but players get to hold onto an authentic race steering wheel that’s been hooked up to the PlayStation 3 and enjoys full Dolby Surround Sound as they power their way through twists and turns.
What puts it altogether though are the pneumatic cylinders located where the race car’s suspension would be. This allows the virtual racer to really feel the physics of driving while in the cockpit of the simulator. That means they feel every bit of the centrifugal forces while cornering, braking and accelerating. According to reports, it took Audi and Sony six weeks to assemble the entire unit, far longer than it takes to build a real car.
The famed creator of Gran Turismo, Kazunori Yamauchi, has returned to racing on the track with a Nissan GT-R that has clearly been inspired by the GT500 “Stealth” GT from Gran Turismo 5. His team recently participated in the four-hour Nurburgring VLN race and looks poised to compete in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.
Yamauchi competed in several VLN races last year in a Lexus IS-F and even took a class victory in the four-hour event. His team also took 4th place in their respective class at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.
This year Yamauchi will be with teammates Tobias, Michael Shulze and Yasuyoshi Yamamoto in the #71 GT-R. Hopefully Yamauchi will draw some inspiration for a much better Gran Turismo 6.
It can be pretty boring picking out furniture for your house. But how about it was much more than just furniture… what if it pulled double duty as something really cool and fun? How does a coffee table that turns into a virtual car that hooks up to your favorite racing game sound? It sounds pretty sweet, and now, it’s a reality.
Thanks to Austrian company Race-Star, the two come together without looking like an eye-sore in the ConverTTable.
In its basic box table design, you’ll find a special gaming secret. Just unfold the ConverTTable to reveal a driving wheel, adjustable pedals and a track mounted racing bucket. When it’s time to play Gran Turismo 5, just move the flower arrangement and coffee-table books to a safe spot and tear up the asphalt. When company comes over, just fold the table back up for a respectable looking living room.
You can buy the Race-Star ConverTTable setup for €4,999 (that’s about $6,605 US). If the price doesn’t deter you, the long argument with your wife to convince her you really need it could. Watch the video after the jump to see it in action.
AutoGuide.com is giving you the chance to own THE driving simulation game. That’s right, with GT5 having just launched, AutoGuide has obtained two copies and we’ve giving them away to our fans on Facebook.
To enter to win, all you have to do is visit AutoGuide’s Facebook page here and click the ‘Like’ button. It’s that easy.
Winners will be drawn from our list of Facebook fans with one draw on December 15th and another on January 4th. (Anyone who already ‘likes’ AutoGuide on Facebook has been automatically entered – aren’t we nice!)
Already own GT5? We’re sure you could use an extra copy to give as a present over the holidays; using the world’s greatest racing simulator to buy the love of a friend, relative or even a stranger.
And why not? That’s what we’re doing.
After having been delayed more times than the second coming, Sony recently announced the official launch date for Gran Turismo 5 as November 24th. But with that many delays there are still skeptics and so Sony has now rolled out its adds in an effort to drum up interest in what will no doubt be the most popular gift this holiday season.
The spot features PlayStation 3 front-man and “VP of Add More Awesome” Kevin Butler, who has made us laugh in pretty much all of PS3′s earlier commercials and this one is no different.
See the commercial, plus an extra Japanese-market ad after the jump:
The time has come for automotive enthusiasts and gamers alike. Gran Turismo 5 has been given an official release date for the umpteenth time this year, with November 24th as the official date.
The date conincides with the start of the Thanksgiving holiday, giving you a convenient excuse to ignore family, eat lots of turkey, and sit in front of the television.
We’re anxiously awaiting the chance to experience the game, as well as Fanatec’s wheel and pedal package . Plus, you have another reason to avoid Black Friday shopping – you’ve already got what you need to keep you satisfied for the rest of the year.
[Source: Playstation Blog]
Red Bull’s much hyped X1 prototype, designed to be the ultimate expression of a race car, no longer exists within the digital confines of Gran Turismo 5.
We’re not entirely sure where the “F1-derived direct-injection 3-litre twin-turbo V6″ comes from, but the power output figures of 1,438 horsepower at 15,000 rpm and 526 lb-ft of torque at 12,000 rpm makes gives us goosebumps.
Whether the car runs or not hasn’t been revealed, but the physical manifestation of the X1 will debut at the GT5 launch party in Madrid towards the end of November.
While we’ve seen many e-retailers do this before, both Target and Amazon have updated the release date of Gran Turismo 5 to show January 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2010 respectively. It sounds as if they plan on releasing the game at midnight on New Years Day, or this could just be Target and Amazon’s way of playing it safe since Sony did somewhat promise us that GT5 will be released around the holiday season and before year’s end.
Whether or not this will play out to be true, we’re going to guess many of you out there are still clinging onto your pre-orders and hoping that the game will come out during the holiday season so you don’t have to take any more sick days off to collect your licenses and build your garages with over 1,000 cars in the game. Will GT5 really live up to its hype? We only have a couple more months to wait… we hope.
Worth noting is that the above image seems to be an official game disc along with the box art out in Europe. Rumor has it that some European gamers are already playing through the game.
Game developers never get much time off, and it looks like the development team for Gran Turismo is already hard at work on the successor to Gran Turismo 5, a game we still have yet to even touch. But now that GT5 has probably gone gold and game discs are being produced, Kazunori Yamauchi, the creative force behind the video game franchise, recently commented in an interview with Autoweek that GT6 is already in the early development stages.
In the rather lengthy interview, Yamauchi reveals Polyphony’s relationship with SEMA and discusses the process of perfecting Gran Turismo 5 and the reasons behind its constant delays. He did reveal that a new release date will be announced soon and that we could possibly be playing it by Christmas time, but we’re not overly optimistic.
But the biggest reveal came from a one-word answer to the question, “I know you’re trying to push GT5 out the door. Is development underway on GT6?” With the answer of “Yeah,” it’s no surprise that there are plans for a 6th rendition of Gran Turismo, but we are shocked that the development process is already underway.
And what we can possibly expect? Well, considering Yamauchi claims it took around 2,000 days to get GT5 the way he wanted it to be, he says it’s way too early to even speak about GT6. So let’s start the five years of speculating.
Back in September, we were teased with Gran Turismo 5′s ultimate car – Red Bull’s X1 Prototype. Then we found out that Sony was just teasing us on Gran Turismo 5′s release date. In a bid to keep up interest and try and make us believe GT5 will ever arrive, they’ve released the official photos – and a whole lot of them – of Red Bull’s X1 Prototype. If we weren’t already anxious to play the game, we most certainly are now.
The X1 Prototype features a 3.0L V6 powerplant that gets a pair of turbochargers. The result is a mind-boggling 1,483-hp with 526 ft-lbs of torque. All this will be in a 1,355 lb chassis (gross weight) with a top speed of 249 mph.
From the screenshots it also seems like Red Bull will have a bigger role in the game besides just the awesome car. It looks like a Red Bull museum will also be recreated in the virtual GT5 universe, including their famous airplane.
Needless to say, we still can’t forgive all the delays that they keep pushing out on Gran Turismo 5, but we’re glad they’re at least adding some content that will hopefully be worth the wait.
GALLERY: Red Bull X1 Prototype
Let’s go ahead and add Gran Turismo 5 delays alongside death and taxes as life’s certainties. Taku Imasaki, Producer over at SCEA has posted the following information up on Sony’s official Playstation blog:
“We can confirm that Gran Turismo 5 will not be available this November 2nd, but the game’s release will be coming this holiday season.”
“We sincerely apologize to GT fans for the delay, however, creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make certain they are creating the perfect racing experience, and we are confident that this ambitious game will exceed expectations when it launches.”
“We’ll have more information for you in the near future.”
Let’s hope by holiday season they mean Christmas this year, and not Easter or some other estranged holiday season in Japan that is unknown to us. With Google already inventing self-driving cars, we’re thinking by the time Gran Turismo 5 officially releases, we won’t even care about driving anymore.
[Source: Playstation Blog]
The most high performance vehicle you can obtain in Gran Turismo 5 isn’t a Ferrari, or an Audi Le Mans prototype race car. In fact, it’s not something that actually exists, nor is it a tied to any manufacturer.
No, it’s the Red Bull X1 Prototype, a virtual race car designed to be as realistic as possible while pushing the threshold of what is possible in a high performance machine.
To create the car, Digital Polyphony approached Adrian Newey from Red Bull Racing and asked him what he would envision as a top-tier racecar that had no technical limitations. The result is the X1 Prototype that we’ll inevitably get to experience when Gran Turismo 5 reaches shelves sometime this century…decade…year, maybe. For now, we’re stuck with a video trailer of what the prototype looks like and how it’ll change how we’ll forever think about the future of race cars. Chances that Red Bull makes this thing a reality? Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they find a partner to do it.
Check out the trailer on the X1 Prototype after the break.
[Source: GT Planet]
There is a whole lot going on right now at Tokyo Game Show 2010, including the release of a new trailer for Gran Turismo 5. Yes, the game that everyone has been highly anticipating for what seems like the past decade, is very close to release… we hope.
The trailer shows off just how grand the scope of Gran Turismo 5′s development is. We don’t even have to address just how detailed the courses and vehicles look, or just how accurate everything is expected to be from driving simulator to engine modification. But what’s just going to blow us away (when we finally get our dirty hands on it) is the variety of game play we’ll get to experience.
Forget just fighting your way to obtain licenses and pack up your garage with as many cars as you want. Gran Turismo 5 is going to usher in a new era of driving simulation with so many different racing modes that you’ll be able to experience what it’s like to be a race car driver in all different styles; from NASCAR, to rally racing to vintage street cars.
Will the game be worth the wait? Or will the anticipation and promises kill it before it’s even released? We’re always a little skeptical when something tries to be a jack of all trades and ends up being an ace of none. Let’s hope this isn’t the case with Gran Turismo 5!
Some of us real passionate gamers don’t think Gran Turismo 5 will make it to our grubby little hands anytime soon. But there’s always reason to hope that the company’s continuous delay in releasing the game is well worth the wait. This is probably not one of those highlights that makes us thankful that they delayed the release of the game, but it shows just how thorough GT5 will be.
The second generation Prius was available in Gran Turismo 4, so this isn’t exactly huge on the ‘wow’ factor, but it’s nice to know that they’re shoving in every new vehicle they possibly can to keep the game up-to-date when it’s finally released. And given just how successful the third-gen Toyota Prius is in Japan, it’s no surprise that Gran Turismo 5 will be featuring it.
It probably won’t be one of those awesomely popular cars to race, but for 3rd generation Prius owners, it’s pretty cool. We do find it thoroughly entertaining that it looks like a Nissan Versa is dusting it on the very scenic track.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius Gran Turismo 5
Has anyone ever told you that playing video games would get you nowhere? What do they known. Gran Turismo 5 is by far the most heavily anticipated driving simulator in the history of video games. So anticipated in fact that many passionate enthusiasts have lost interest with the constant changing of release dates. But nonetheless, the release is on the horizon and after $60 million or so dollars spent on R&D, we all hope it lives up to its expectations.
Mercedes-Benz UK clearly believes in Gran Turismo 5′s potential and are using it as part of their SLS AMG Rare Experiences campaign. They are setting up a Gran Turismo 5 Racing Experience at Mercedes-Benz World in the UK, where 100 lucky virtual racers will win their way into real life seat time in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. How are those 100 lucky virtual racers chosen? By their skill in Gran Turismo 5. The top 100 fastest lap times will get a spot behind the real steering wheel to drive, drift and slide around the Mercedes-Benz World track in the SLS AMG. Professional training with a driver is included.
If only Mercedes would bring this contest to North America.
Make sure to check out the promo video after the break:
It’s been delayed more times than a mid-east peace agreement, and until now it was looking just as unlikely. That’s right, we’re talking about Sony’s Gran Turismo 5 video game. At a press conference held yesterday at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Sony confirmed that GT5 will hit shelves on November 2.
The game will feature 950 vehicles, NASCAR racers, exotics like the new Mercedes SLS AMG and its even touted to have 3D graphics.
[Source: USA Today]
See the GT5 trailer after the jump:
Even though we don’t have high hopes of Gran Turismo 5 hitting the shelves anytime soon, we’re a tad bit thrilled to see that Fanatec has upgraded their Porsche 911 GT3 RS steering wheel to accompany Gran Turismo 5 and other future-gen games.
We actually have our own Porsche 911 GT3 RS unit sitting here at the office that keeps us entertained from time to time. It’s probably the highest quality steering wheel/shifter/pedal combination out in the market. For those not in the know, Fanatec’s products are also cross-platform allowing you to use it on the Sony Playstation3 and PC. Oddly enough, the original GT3 RS we have works on the Xbox360 as well, but this release is confined to the PS3 and PC. We might have to do some digging to see if the V2 works for Microsoft’s console as well.
But regardless of compatibility, Fanatec’s products boast legitimate Porsche licensing with even a Porsche-styled USB key in the package. The aluminum ClubSport pedals feature a pressure-sensitive brake sensor and ABS-simulated vibration under braking. And since we’ve had a chance to experience it first hand, we’ll be more than glad to tell you all how realistic the experience is.
So if you’re looking for the best substitute to racing out on the track, Fanatec offers the wheel alone for $179.95, while the package including the aluminum ClubSport pedals is $319.95. We highly recommend upgrading to the aluminum pedal option, it’s definitely worth every penny. And for those with the V1 of the 911 GT3 RS wheel, like us, Fanatec is offering an upgrade kit for $40. But there’s a lot of DIY involved with the $40 kit, and since we just want to play, we’ll pay the extra $30 to have it done by Fanatec themselves. Grand total of $70 and we’re set for GT5 and the future!
The official press release is available after the break.
GALLERY: Fanatec Porsche 911 GT3 RS V2