GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Chevrolet Corvette (C4)

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black_corvettezr1.jpg

----------------------SPEX----------------------

Years Represented: 1990-1996 
Class: Sports Car
Type: 2-door coupe            

Country: USA 
Host: GT1 GT2 GT3  GT4 & GT5

Price: $45,350 (GT1) 
         $36,840 (GT2) 
         $40,010 (GT3 Grand Sport only)
         $22,950 (GT4, used car lot)
         $38,313 (GT5 Grand Sport, used car lot)

GT4 Mileage: 35,909.5
GT5 Mileage: 20,663.1

Construction: fiberglass bodywork, steel frame & chassis

Length: 179.4" // Width: 70.7" // Height: 46.3"
Wheelbase: 96.2"
Overhang: @ 6 feet 11 inches
Track: 57.5" [F] 59.1" [R]
Ground Clearance: 5.5"
Weight: 3,218 (GT1 test weight) 3,298 lbs. (GT2, 3, 4, & 5)
Weight Distribution: 50/50
 
Tires: 275/40ZR-17 [F] 315/35ZR-17 [R]
F. Suspension: double wishbone, coils, shox, anti-roll bar
R. suspension: 5-link, coils, shox, anti-roll bar
Brakes: vented discs w/ vacuum assist front & rear

Engine: 345 cubic inch OHV V8
Aspiration: normal
Fuel System: sequential port fuel-inj.
Valves per Cylinder: 2
Bore x Stroke: 4" x 3.48"
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1

GT2 Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000

GT4 & 5 Idle: 750 // Redline: 6,300 // RPM Limit: 6,500


*please note that the GT3 car's higher power results actually represents a slight modification to stock, since oil was changed. Oil was also changed for the GT4 'Vette, however does not flaw GT4's figures, since the car was bought used.

*GT5 car got an oil change, but no engine rebuild

Horses (GT2): 336 @ 7,000 rpm
Torque:         
343 @ 4,500 rpm

Horses (GT3): 347 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque:          353 @ 4,500 rpm

Horses (GT4): 330 @ 5,800 rpm
Torque           341 @ 4,500 rpm

Horses (GT5): 328 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque:          339 @ 4,500 rpm

````````````````````````GT2````````````GT3``````````GT4``````GT5``
Lbs per HP:      9.80                           9.99      10.05 
HP per LIter: ``58.57                          53.85     57.9
Credit 2 HP: $109.64         115.         $69.54    $116.80

Transmission: 6-speed manual
Layout: front engine / rear drive
Differential: limited-slip

0-60 mph:
GT2: 5.3xx seconds            
GT3: 5.050            
GT4: 6.146
GT5: 6.335 

0-100 mph:
GT2: 11.7xx seconds        
GT3: 11.816             
GT4: 12.700
GT5: 12.992

0-150 mph:
GT4: 31.500 seconds
GT5: 32.082

400 M:
GT2: 13.790 @ 108 mph   
GT3: 13.485 @ 107        
GT4: 14.585 @ 108 
GT5: 14.647 @ 106

1000 M
:
GT2:
24.270 @ 142 mph   
GT3: 24.277 @ 139        
GT4: 25.129 @ 140 mph
GT5: 25.421 @ 138 mph
 
Test Track:
GT2: 1:32.296               
GT3: 2:16.425                
GT4: 2:11.237
GT5: 54.038 (Daytona)

100-zero mph:
GT2: no test          
GT3: 3.016 secs                
GT4: 3.65 secs
GT5:

Top Gear RPM at 60 mph: 1,400

GT2 Top Speed @ Redline
1st: 57 mph @ 7,000 rpm
2nd: 81 mph
3rd: 111 mph
4th: 143 mph
5th: 183 mph @ 6,250 rpm
6th: 184.64 mph @ 4,100 rpm

GT4 Top Speed @ Redline
1st: 51 mph
2nd: 77 mph
3rd: 106 mph
4th: 138 mph
5th: 180.45 mph @ 6,100
6th: 179.xx mph @ 4,100 (lost speed in this gear)

Top Speed at Redline
1st: 48.1 mph
2nd: 73.8
3rd: @101
4th: 133.9
5th: 178.9 mph @ 6,500 rpm
6th: 170 mph @ 4,000 (lost speed in this gear)

grand_sport.jpg
the famous Corvette Grand Sport

1990_zr-1.jpg
1990 Corvette ZR-1

--------------------------EXTERIOR-------------------------

Hello, now it's time to review the 4th generation Corvette: a classic mid-life crisis sports car.

Just joking. Kinda/sorta. An unknowlegeable person might think that since the Corvette is fast and racy-looking, the ideal customer (Chevy's demographic buyer for a typical C4) would have been some younger types. Not always so. Most of the time, it's the retired banker, the well-to-do brain surgeon, the conservative white-collar owner of the local office park who is  behind the wheel. If someone younger's driving one, someone who is let's say in his twenties or thirties, you start to wonder if his profession is a legal one.

Seriously, you pull up to one of these, and sure enough, there's the older gentleman, sometimes with the bad hairpiece, behind the wheel! He's either wearing a tailored suit or a leather jacket (in an attempt to look hip). And sure enough, he's got the hot trophy wife next to him! That's usually a given. Yup, yup.

But STOP! Don't mistake my primordial ramblings as reasons to avoid the Corvette. Corvettes do just as much ass-kicking as many other sports cars found in Gran Turismo. One must remember that for a long long time, the Corvette was the most technologically-advanced mass-produced American sports car. It had its flaws, sure, and I'm not saying it was THE best, I'm merely saying that for years it represented America's best until (arguably) the Viper came along.

The C4 in particular was a vastly-improved car over the Corvette's C3 generation. It didn't have the C3's amazingly catchy looks, true, but in every other way the C4 was improved. Better driving capabilities was a top priority for a change, and that's something for us to look forward to. And I like the C4's looks, too...I'm just not as crazy about them as I am with earlier Corvette eras.


As an Ai vehicle, the C4 sometimes does well, and sometimes not...it all depends on the game, which other cars are on the grid, et cetera...but WE have a choice here! A choice to do much better with this car than the Artificial Idiots do! So let's start with money.

Let's be honest. Corvettes are somewhat costly, in real-life and in the games. They're never going to be a Day 1 sort of car, you see, assuming no credits transferred, and no cheats have been employed. Granted, they're not the most expensive sports car to be found, but the cost of a new C4 (in Gran Turismo 1, 2, or 3) rivals that of a new Lexus. 

The cheapest we'll find a C4 will be in GT4's used car lot #2, where we can finally have a 'Vette for about the price of a C4 Camaro of the '90s...just over $20,000, in other words. In all earlier games, prices will be higher. Now let's learn a couple things.
 
The Corvette has a longer history and heritage than any other American in Gran Turismo. In fact, it was really the first true mass-production sports car in America, which began selling way back in 1953. I've already discussed all this when I recently reviewed Corvette's C1 generation for GT4, so there's no reason to go into all that here. But Corvette's C4 has a long run of history in our games, since it has been with us since the beginning of Gran Turismo. It is unfortunate that in GT1, only this particular year (1996) is represented. There have been so many variations of this car over the past 50 years that it's a shame some earlier versions aren't seen in the 1st game.

Oops. There is a '63 Stingray that appears in one of GT1's Spot Races, but to actually drive this car, you'll have to win it in Arcade mode or Gameshark it, which makes this treat unreachable to all but the most die-hard of Gran Turismo fans. GT2 & GT4 do have a few more of the classic and non-classic Corvettes, fortunately.
               
So let's discuss specs. That's short for specifications. :) 

This is a rather heavy car. If it weren't for its fiberglass body, the C4 Corvette would weigh a bit more than it does. At 3200+ lbs, it's still pretty hefty.

But notice nowadays in this new millenium, even some Japanese and European sports cars (Skyline GT-Rs, BMW 3-series, etc) equal or top the 4th generation Corvette with their poundage. In any game after GT1, weight is not quite as much an issue when compared to these others.

Fortunately, pounds do come off pretty easily in GT1: just over 300 of them can be shaved after spending a mere $1,500. The 2nd weight reduction of $6,000 only takes another 150, but by now the car has an unmodified pound to HP ratio of 8.34, which is average for many modern sports automobiles. Then you start modifying the engine...

As is typical in GT2, we can lower weight nowhere near what we could in the first game. At the least, a race-kitted version carries 2,851 pounds. And this means you'll need to rely on other measures (like skillful driving) if you're to take the Corvette to the highest-paced events. But it can win these events in this game, don't get me wrong. It just takes more skill than usual.

In GT3, there is no race-kit to buy, of course, but a wing can be affixed in the 4th game. Weight falls to just above 2,800 pounds, which is pretty decent, in either of these editions. Either way, it is (again) all up to your driving once the power REALLY gets raised, since Corvettes accept more power (a lot more) than in earlier games.

The fiberglass body is wide and low with dimensions comparable to a Viper from the mid-'90s. There is a bulky amount of overhang front and rear, but it's not as drastic as the C4-generation Camaro. Compare the Corvette's length of 179 inches and wheelbase of 96" to the Camaro's 193" and 100", and you'll see that the Corvette is more suited to handling corners, in theory and in practice. But really when we get right down to it, both cars are difficult to race at times!

Available in GT2 is the '95 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, which is similar to the '96 C4 Coupe or Grand Sport and therefore won't get its own review. The ZR-1 also returns in GT4, but it's an earlier 1990 model. 

Basically the ZR-1 starts off with a lot more initial horsepower in than a base C4 (410-ish versus 330-ish), but also weighs more. The GT2 ZR-1's power can't be tweaked as highly as a base 'vette, and the ZR-1's power to weight ratio will be slightly higher once all modifications have been applied (4.66 for the ZR-1 as opposed to 4.22 for the '96 coupe).

Dimensions are similar too. -- The main diff between the ZR-1 and its baser cousins is the ZR-1 has double overhead cams instead of pushrods as normally found in Chevy V8s, and its weight distribution is 52/48 instead of 50/50. This would normally translate to slightly more understeer on-entry, but in the games there's no real difference to mention here. The ZR1's DOHC system shifts everything 500 rpm higher: the redline is 7,000 rpm instead of 6,500, peak torque is at 5,000 rpm in a ZR-1 instead of 4,500. And when racing a ZR-1, the whispery sound of those cams spinning over those 32 valves is noticeable, even in GT2. 

For GT3, all we have from the C4 era is the Corvette Grand Sport. I don't know how you feel, but it would get boring driving just a blue car all the time--like going to a party and seeing some loser wearing the exact same shirt as you..,it's just awkward entering some races, only to find another fellow has the exact same blue car! Thank god for the C5-era Z06 in this game. This gives us more Corvettes to play with. :tup: 

Our selection of colors in GT1, 2, and 4 is decent, since the Grand Sport, ZR-1, and/or an ordinary C4 coupe can be had. GT1 and GT2 also feature the incredibly tacky 'Evel Kenevel' style racing body. Yikes!

Overall, the C4 is a bargain for those with decent driving skills. It's about half the price of a Viper or an NSX, which makes it a good choice to explore for those struggling with earning money in Gran Turismo 1. In the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th games, of course, there's many more sports cars to choose from the 'Vette's price range, but C4s still remain a good blast for your bargain! I mean bargain for your blast. Never mind...

yellow_covette-c4.jpeg


--------------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-----------------
         
Frustrated because your NSX can't get much past 500 horses? Losing sleep because you're always having to tweak and dial up some power for your usual ride, sometimes spending more on the engine than the actual car is worth? Well there's not a lot to worry about here.

Matter of fact, there's some V8 fun to play with right off the bat!  But despite the fact that the Corvette's 345 c.i.d. small-block starts with a bit more power than alot of other guys, it's not over-killish power all the time, as we find with Dodge's Vipers. It's noted again and again in print from the '80s and '90s how proud the Corvette made us Americans, as it could often keep up with a slew of others from its era (Supras and RX-7s, as well as some Ferraris and Porsches) in the acceleration department.

Like the Viper's V10, there's not usually an immediate need to soup up the Corvette's V8. Some of us can usually wait until it's actually hitting those higher-paced GT Cup races in the first game, or the GT Regionals of the 2nd.

In GT3: A-Spec, it's safe to say these motors won't need any engine mods until the Amateur League, and even then, light tuning is most appropriate. Same goes with GT4's Professional & American League. Seriously, you can race this car competitively (unlike Mr. Overkill, the Viper), but it shouldn't take many upgrades to complete such races in GT3 or 4. I'm talking a computer chip here or a Stage 1 tune there. Only for the fastest (Grand Valley 300 KM Endurance, Dream Car Championship,  GT All Stars, etc.) will more serious credits need to be spent.

The Grand Sports and '96 Coupes are from the last year of the C4's life. By this year, these models were equipped with the ZR4 engine, which comes standard with 330 dealer-quoted hp and the usual sausage-like mid-range torque. GT3, GT4, and 5 feature C4s that typically gain 15 horses or more than quoted by the dealer after oil change. Since the cars in GT4 and 5 are used, they'll merely gain back to around 330 hp after this is done. 

The engine and exhaust note are a low, throaty grumble, similar to the 350 cubic-inch Camaro, but the 'Vette sounds even bassier sometimes. Both cars in real-life have these huge dual-exhaust pipes & mufflers, and I've noticed that in the game there isn't much gain from installing after-market parts here, because they're already as free-flowing as possible stock from the dealer. GT2's Corvette has the wimpiest soundbyte, which barely sounds like a V8 until the exhaust is modified. I think this really sucks! I don't care what some folks say, part of driving a Corvette (a great part) is felt on an emotional level...beyond lap times and numbers, and when I drive a Corvette, I want it to sound like a Corvette! This is what gets parts of my brain into those zones shrinks love to jaw about. Fortunately, the 'Vettes in GT3 & 4 sound more accurate.

Let's talk about the gearbox, which is really tall. This means if you drive a manual, you won't have to shift as often. But it also means.....

1> .....you'll have to keep revs high to get an exciting launch, even in first gear. In some cases (especially GT4) the Corvette actually bogs a bit in 1st gear if you're pushing off the line at idle. Notice during my testing above, the GT4 car was much slower during acceleration runs.

2> ...We can't always take full advantage of the beautifully high torque that occurs at around 4,500 rpms without sacrificing speed at tracks that have a lot of twists and turns, although this all depends which game, situation, and which transmission is affixed. Since PD didn't get the LT4's power-curve right in the first two games, for instance, maximum torque is usually outside our reach on a regular basis; yet it often comes into play for GT3 and GT4's Corvettes. I'll get to GT1/2's  faulty power-curve discussion in a minute. 

No matter which game, the good news is we CAN take full advantage of power down those longer straights. The 345 cubic-inch V8 loves them straights! Only when placing a near-stock engine up to 6th gear will it finally start to slow. But in most cases, acceleration is acceptably fast. Zero to 60 mph is less than 5.3 seconds in GT2 or GT3 (just like in real-life). The car's tall gearing doesn't make this transformation of speed feel as exciting as it should, but at least the numbers are there, eh?

In GT1 and 2, Polyphony Digital screwed up the power-band for these cars (as well as 4th-gen Camaros) so that peak power can be had at 7,000 rpms. This is unrealistic....the 345 cid V8 with an overhead valvetrain should create its power in the mid to high 5,000 rpm range. PD got this right in GT3 and 4, thankfully.

So we have 6 speeds, but rarely will 5th or 6th be needed during races while the box and/or power is stock, especially in GT1 and 2. One can buy full-custom gears to make their car scream off the starting mark, as well as make for a more fully-rounded gearing experience since 5th and 6th can now come into play. Use of the stock, close, and semi-close boxes will require that the driver use 1st gear and 2nd gear a LOT around those tighter corner, and sometimes during longer curves, as well.  

More things to watch for. In GT2, the limited-slip differential is a must, but isn't as necessary in GT3 or 4 until the engine has lots more go. Great traction from the rear, basically. In a nutshell, the drivetrain and engine will need to be modified secondarily to other parts of the car, which we will now discuss...

---------------------CHASSIS HANDLING---------

I'm gonna repeat myself here and say again that if it weren't for the massively wide low-profile tires on this car, stability out of corners would really blow. But thankfully, these Corvettes do have some merit at the tracks (other than their Goodyear Eagle tires), unlike many Corvettes from the past.

GT1

Corvettes in GT1 will oversteer like one would expect from a rear-drive in this game, but (again) those sticky tires usually help keep things controlable, even when they're completely stock. If it weren't for them, the 'Vette would be too much to handle.

This car will lumber around tracks like Trail Mountain or Deep Forest in this game, and has a bit of a slippery, awkward feel at times. It is almost always on the verge of losing it all in GT1 for instance, and occasionally will get challenged by a more nimble 4WD or FWD car whether mistakes are made or not, assuming the driver isn't very experienced.

But if the driver is more experienced, it actually takes alot of power, or simple bad driving, before this car loses its track prowess. The 'Vette is useful to race while stock in GT1 though, even with stock power, stock suspension, stock tires, etc... much more so than its cousin the Camaro Z28.

In GT1, it's possible to (if you're good) take a Vette to the all-stock Normal Car series and win. Outside this series, the Corvette C4 in this game (Grand Sport or non-Grand Sport) will need a lot of stabilizing action, but the suspension itself can be taken to only a semi-racing level for those who wish to be frugal with their money. Racing suspensions only become necessary if the car is needing to attack greater pastures. 

In other words, the C4 handles pretty well in GT1 (once its suspension is fully-tweaked), but be prepared to possibly face alot of body roll, occasional understeer, and plenty of throttle-induced oversteer if you haven't managed to dial out all the negatives.


GT2 & GT3

Things are a little different here. Now, most of that wishy-washy feeling C4s had in GT1 is gone, giving these cars a stability that is simply divine, especially mid-corner once braking is done. But the Corvette is still just as fun as it was in the first GT.

.....Pushing the car at full-force, sliding a bit into that corner (mildly or grandly!), yet still having the grip to hang on to that tarmac is what really makes the C4 such a fun machine, especially in GT2. Driving the C4 in this game never gets old. The driver gets to push himself you see. Or herself; exploring those limits with a racing heart!

GT3's C4 Corvette is a bit sedated in comparison ...not as...what's the word? Not as exciting, but still just as fun to push around once the driver gets the hang of it. There is a tad more understeer now, but nothing too drastic.

Sport tires in GT2 & 3 are very effective on these cars, which means you won't need racing slicks till you're actually at the GT or full-racing levels of competition. Brakes are up-to-par as well, but will eventually need to be tweaked. Even while stock, those ventilated discs are strong, but don't seem effective enough at slowing the heavy car down at times. But if you have to make a choice, get the weight reduced before you start messing with brakes. 

The Corvette isn't the fastest in these games; it will lag behind at mega-speed type events, tuned races, and those races featuring GT1s and Group Cs like the Toyota TSO20 or Mazda 787B. Some of GT2's and GT3's endurances also can't be conquered in a C4. But C4s can and will dominate everywhere else. 

They've got the power, but they're just too heavy and not nimble enough to be top dog in every situation. Understeer is also an occasional problem.  


GT4
One might wonder how the C4 would do in this game. If we were to compare Gran Turismo to the Bible's New Testaments, Gran Turismo 1, 2, and 3 could be likened to Mark, Matthew, and Luke, while Gran Turismo 4 could be likened to the Gospel of John.

To those who aren't familiar, John is the one Gospel which was clearly written with little (if any) influence from the other three Gospels. In many ways, John is therefore quite a different tale from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Scholars have proven Matthew and Luke were influenced by Mark, you see. Matthew and Luke were also influenced by a missing document known as "Q" some theorize, which John was apparently not a part of. In this manner, GT1 could be likened to Mark, while GT2 and GT3 can be likened to either Matthew or Luke, but John = GT4.

I'm not saying GT4 hasn't been influenced by GT1, 2, and 3, I'm merely saying GT4 is so much different from those earlier games, so far as car-handling goes. Damn, now everyone's gonna think I'm a preacher. :-/

Let's just read a bit of text I've lifted from www.nctd.com ...nctd stands for 'New Car Test Drive'. This is a real-life car-reviews site I get alot of info from. What I'm aiming for? How does a real-life C4 Corvette handle?

The Corvette's levels of acceleration, cornering, braking and top speed are simply beyond the realm of most drivers' experiences. And it takes a highly skilled driver, in a test track environment, to search the limits of its capabilities. For most of us, an occasional (if brief) romp on the gas pedal, or an enthusiastic fling around a freeway cloverleaf, will be about the most that can be experienced on a public road. With a car like the Corvette, stand on the gas for just a few seconds and you're going very, very fast. 

On the test track, the Corvette holds its own with the world's best. Even for those long familiar with this car's capabilities, its ability to accelerate, go around corners and stop is awe-inspiring. 

This kind of all-out capability has little relevance for daily driving, but it does promise a huge reserve that the skillful and aware driver can use to help avoid many emergencies. Even at normal, legal speeds, superior cornering gives a car the ability to steer around potential danger, and better braking might make the difference in a potentially dangerous situation. 

Okay, everybody got that? I especially am noting the part where it says the Corvette "holds its own with the world's best" at nctd's test track. Also, it's telling us it takes a "highly skilled driver" pushing the car to its limits on a "test track environment" to "search for the limits of this car's capabilities".

Everybody got that?

Now, does anybody see any text about long braking-distances, MASSIVE understeer which slows driver-decisions to a crawl mid-corner, or anything about poor-handling traits which force the driver to NOT push towards any sort of limits...instead, it's the CAR which pushes back, making sure we always stay in this lame 'safety-zone' of driving? 

In Gran Turismo 4, this is just what we find if our C4 is rolling around on N3 tires, which are supposed to be the top rubber a real-life car would have dealer-stock. *Sigh*.

There is some good stuff, too, but it's usually the sort of stuff us drivers try to reserve for damage control. The Corvette's rear does help a bit with throttle-oversteer during exits. First gear does give an incredible whallop if the driver desires it, yet one can also choose to simply grip out of slower corners in 1st, as well.

But overall, it's a massive disappointment, especially when we consider such 2-seater sports cars as the Honda S2000, NSX, any TVR, etc., manage to do so much better, even with N-quality tires attached, even in GT4.

If one slows WAY DOWN, one can avoid the C4's worst malaises, but this, of course, defeats the purpose of buying and driving and racing a sports car, does it not? So let's equip some sport tires before we hang our heads low in shame.

As usual, everything gets better with sports in this game. Brake distances get shorter, the car becomes more tossable overall, and it starts to behave. Best of all, understeer gets diminished from all-encompassing to something which usually rates somewhere between a whimper and an annoyance. In other words, understeer never truely goes away, yet one can now work with the C4 to avoid it most of the time. Phew.

Best of all, the C4 does have a great habit of locking into a groove mid-corner with medium or soft sports. It locks-in and does not let go. Yes! Exit is (of course) completely predictable, as well. Those rear tires rarely allow any misbehavior, and if they do, it's quite easy to control what's going on back there. The real-life C4 was equipped with traction controls towards the end of its reign, but who'd really need them? Especially in the game.

And of course, everything gets better with tuning. There's a LOT of tuning capability folks. Avoiding understeer is usually top of most people's lists, of course, but the C4 as programmed by PD (whether we're talking about the base coupe, Grand Sport, or ZR-1) does give us lots of options here. On racing tires, the front-end becomes too grippy, matter of fact, so that most tuners who were previously trying to avoid understeer may now be trying to induce it!

GT5
I took a '96 Grand Sport to (guess) the Supercar Festival to get some driving impressions, and there are two main tracks here to consider for handling: High Speed Ring in its reversed direction, and the infamous Nürburgring GP/F. One track grants us the ability to see how a car will handle at higher speeds, with wide paths and grand banks to clamber onto, while the other track is tighter, more 'technical', and much more demanding on those brakes, those tires, and handling overall. And I decided to do initial track testing on comfort soft tires, just as the GT4 car was on the best N-quality tires.

An unmodified Grand Sport was driven on comfort radials at High Speed Ring. Its power had not been changed from the 312 @ 5,500 (327 foot-pounds @ 4,500) it was rated without any maintenance. And even with these tires in place, I managed to run a respectable 1:21.771 after three hot laps. Understeer was present at times, but I had to make it show up by braking late. Which is VERY unlike GT4.  

And of course the bigger differences happen at the rear, as this car's butt likes to wiggle a bit, especially out of Turn 4--the latter end of this track's flat S-curve.

So check that out: less understeer, but more oversteer. I like that, and I imagine we all do!  Keep in mind though that to make this car do all this stuff at High Speed Ring, on these tires, it does help to tiptoe through those turns. Some discretion is definitely advised. But once we've got sports equipped, the Grand Sport's net of capabilities broadens, and the tiptoeing becomes more like stomping. 

Nürburgring GP/F, that other Supercar Festival track, will be the true test of course. This will be the "test track environment" NCTD was talking about in their real-life review.

Again, with the lesser soft comfort tires equipped, and traction control still on, I managed 2:35.530 afer a couple laps.

Oddly, the C4 feels a lot more confident rolling around at the higher speeds of High Speed Ring than it does at the Nürburgring GP/F. If some understeer at High Speed Ring showed up, it would go away almost immediately once the throttle or brakes were off. The front-end would then begin to grab lightly, after a moment of settling passed.   

Well at GP/F, everything feels a bit closer to GT4, though it's not nearly as bad. Things only get bad if we screw up. Miss a braking point even by a smidge, even from lower speeds, and the front-end will punish with slow response. This is mostly because of those cheaper tires though. They aren't as good with trail-braking at this narrower track. ..Oh no, not the sand trap! .. Still though, the C4 DOES trail-brake to some degree, as long as we start early.

And when this one understeers in this game, it's nowhere NEAR the understeer I experienced in the previous game on these cheaper tires!  Any front-end pushing in GT5 will be momentary, and temporary. As long as the driver respects braking zones, we can carry a decent amount of speed mid-turn, but missing these zones isn't as drastic as missing them in GT4.  

The car's rear still feels much different from GT4 though, in fact it feels somewhat sloppy at this track. Always getting loose. More like a C3 from that previous game than a C4. Which is fine with me. We have the option of installing a limited-slip if we want to make this go away. Or we can just enjoy the slop if we want.

GT5 is overall much more rewarding, in my opinion. Get it all right, get those braking zones down pat especially, and now the car's front end begins to feel grabbier as we turn in. Mid-corner though, can be tricky. Mid-corner in this car (on these tires) always feels like it's "let's wait and see what happens next" time. Because though the car feels grabby and grippy during Yokohama Curve, the hairpins, the dreaded Schumacher S, and final chicane, there's still some moments when we just don't know where that front-end will wind up. Because getting the front pointed correctly is what it's all about in this car. If the front is off by a degree or two, this means it'll be harder to plant down some gas to the rear, and expect a clean launch.

But the best thing of all is that (like the '97 Camaro Z28), the C4 Corvette feels fun in this game. Fun, twitchy, taciturn, crafty... all sorts of adjectives can be used to describe this car in GT5, in ways we haven't seen since GT2's day. With hard sport tires and no traction control, I now erased a whopping 5.5 seconds from my lap time. And the best part was that the overall flavor of the car (its slight front-end push, its ability to grip & grab, its ability to get slightly sideways or gently throttlesteer on exit) all of this was still there; but with more safety-zone attached.


Summary:
From game to game, quite a mixed bag, and we should at least admire Polyphony Digital's portrayal of the C4's driving capabilities, despite the flaws, misrepresentations, and so forth.    

c4_hsr.jpg

-----------------------PROS-----------------------

1).     Strong engine with gutsy torque and power ready to gobble some Gran Turismo pavement. Around 330 standard horsepower (oil will need to be changed in GT4 or 5, first). Drivers can delay engine modifications until higher-level races if they're skilled & brave.

2).     Great acceleration and speed. All kinds of natrually-aspirated engine mods available in any game except the first GT. GT4 & 5 also add superchargers. Each game gets wilder with power it seems.

3).     6-speed gearbox is not an option. It's standard.

4).     Fat tires often prevent unwanted spin-outs, efficiently deliver power to the road. Slicks not needed early on, even in GT1 or 2.

5). This is a great rear-drive car to learn all the things you'll need to learn as an intermediate race driver.

6).     Wide body and track + low bodywork keep things stable. No Camaro-like huge overhangs to mess up weight distribution when cornering.

7). Race kit available on all C4s of GT1 & 2.

8). Most of the exhaust samples sound  sweet, especially in later games (GT3, 4, and 5).

9). Several versions available from game to game including ZR-1s and Grand Sports, as well as base C4s.

10). That famous Corvette profile. The look that has inspired legends, bla bla bla...

11). GT4's used car lot has brought the C4's price way way down. Lots of bang for the buck, basically. I'm noticing in GT5, C4s can sometimes cost up near 40 grand, but this is still inexpensive in comparison to the exotics.

12). GT5: painting a Grand Sport won't get rid of its stripes!

 



-------------------------CONS-------------------------

1).     V8 engine delivers great acceleration but feels uninspiring at times, due to some tall gears. 5th and 6th gear mostly unreachable without full-customization (depends on game & situation, of course).

2). PD lies in GT1 and 2 when they tell us these cars create peak horsepower at 7,000 rpms. This is half the reason gearing feels taller in these games than it does in later ones.

3).     Heavy. This doesn't apply so much to the GT1 version; but in GT2, even the race-kit remains on the heavy side. In GT3 (where no race-kit or wing can be had) the Grand Sport becomes difficult and not much fun once we've got peak horsepower happening.

4).     GT1 only has two C4 models: the Coupe and the Grand Sport. GT3 only has the Grand Sport. Hope you like blue with white stripes.

5). Bulkish maneuverability, understeer and sometimes oversteer make this one a devil in some turns. GT4 is definitely the guiltiest, here. Not a car for newbie-drivers.

6).  Careful throttle manipulation is needed constantly, especially as power gets upped. The car in GT1 is the most difficult, oddly, while those in GT2 and GT5 only require the usual rear-drive knowledge and dexterity.

7). GT4 & 5 C4s suffer from a lack of low-end torque, damaging their acceleration runs when compared to earlier games. This is only a problem if one is launching from idle, though. At higher revs one can get better times, but (again) wheelspin can result if the throttle isn't tamed.

8). The C4's looks were dated, even by the time it first appeared in GT1 (1997). So far as looks go, anarchists and commies may also get offended the patriotic-themed racing body! (GT1 & GT2).

9). GT2 engine / exhaust soundbyte sounds wimpy till the car's got semi-racing or full-racing parts + Stage 2 or 3 power.

10). GT4 & 5: somewhat hard-to-find from the used-car lot. Not a total rarity, but difficult to locate a C4 just when you need one.

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Originally published: August 2nd, 2004
Edited: several times, latest edit being November 9, 2010
GT5 content finalized: December 25, 2016 

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