A Racer’s Perspective: Sports Car Class Review

INTRODUCTION

I’ve owned several cars, more than I can count, and have done various forms of motorsport for pleasure, including drift, drag, gymkhana, autocross and rallycross. I am a religious Forza and Gran Tourismo player, but have always had a soft spot for the GTA series.
One thing I have noticed with our blog is that many of you are passionate about your vehicles, but I have not seen a thorough breakdown of each car. Granted, that is a BIG task, considering there are tons of cars on GTA, but I thought I would at the very least give it a shot and try to give you a rundown of the cars by class that are quick and/or stylish in GTA V.
*Disclaimer: these are my opinions. While I love racing in GTA, the in game physics are simply not what I would call a driving simulator. Having said that, I believe the physics for a game are very good, which means strategy and knowledge are both crucial to winning races. Furthermore, many of the cars have different strengths/weaknesses and the driver is always a determining factor in winning races. These are my opinions, and I am open to discussion and alternative perspectives on these matters.*

A BREAKDOWN OF THE SPORTS CAR CLASS
This is a stacked garage: most tuned versions of these cars will be competitive with each otherwith a few exceptions that I have laid out here. This is exemplified by the video posted below, where I literally used three separate cars in the Sports Car class.  I have been meaning to make music videos of some of my racing shinanigans. I recently got some video editing software and have been more diligent in recording some of my more interesting races.  This is my first attempt, and to be honest, the grounds upon which I found my inspiration was two guys being jerks. The movie filmed below is three races (all one lap races around Criminal Records). The races are very short, but a lot of stuff happens here.

The play-by-play
Race number 1 was my first encounter with these two guys. As you can see, I chose the Dinka Jester Racecar, which I was assuming at the time was going to be the fastest car for the Sports class. As you can see I am being overly nice, allowing room on the narrow roadway for “Oi u dropped it” to pass on the outside. He abruptly pushes me into the inside lawn and into the tower at :27, allowing GUNNUT420 to go by and take the win.
Race number 2 I chose the Grotti Carbonizzare (my garage version is posted below), which I believe is the fastest in terms of top speed in the Sports class. When I race, I like to chose different cars if we are stuck doing the same class over and over, and here it was no different (plus I am convinced that people get angry when they see you can beat them using multiple cars). For this race, “Oi u dropped it” starts directly in front of me. At the very start of the race, you can see this guy actually tries to ram me by starting in reverse (perhaps trying to get his crew mate to win the one lap race). Despite having to take the long way around him, I end up winning the second race when GUNNUT420 could not match my pace.

Race number 3 you can see that I actually chose to race with the Dewbauchee Massacro Racecar, which has a slower top speed than both the Carbonizzare and the Jester Racecar, but has faster acceleration, so I thought it would still be capable of putting up a fight. Why the game stuck me with Obey 9F Carbio is beyond me (WTFAWWWK). Firstly, this is not a horrible car, it is only marginally slower than the previous cars I have mentioned here, but was not the racecar that the other two people were using. I cannot tell if GUNNUT420 tried to pit (precision immobilization technique) maneuver me at the start, but either way, I got around him. Towards the tail end of this race, they have caught up to me, and there was an obvious attempt to pit me crossing the finish line by Oi u dropped it, but I was a little too far ahead for the maneuver to work.  NOW. As the video plays out, you can see that they both leave before the fourth race can start, making the overall win ration 2/3, the one loss being the first race when I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

The Race Cars: Dinka Jester (Racecar) vs Dewbauchee Massacro (Racecar)
From where I am standing the Dinka Jester (pictured below on the left) is perhaps the faster of the two cars (Dewbauchee pictured right). Fully tuned, the Dewbauchee might have faster acceleration, but it is marginal. The Jester is much stiffer in the corners, so be careful. It FEELS like a racecar on the streets, which means you have to be a little more timid with it going over bumps and curbs. It is All-Wheel-Drive, so if you get into trouble, the front wheels can help pull the car in the right direction. That does not mean the Dewbauchee is any slouch. It is a little easier to control, despite having less traction because its suspension and drivetrain are not as aggressive.

Looking at the Dinka Jester, it is obviously modeled after the brand new Honda NSX (making it’s comeback this year), which has a long lineage of nipping at the heels of supercars, while not necessarily carrying the same price tag. A little more on the “I’m not sure” side we find the Massacro, which seems to hold the shape and rear end of an Aston Martin Vanquish, but the front appears to be similar to the new C7 Corvettes. I am also reminded of a Ferrari F430 when looking at this vehicle, so perhaps it took many different visual ques.
For the two race cars, it really comes down to preference, I DO have a fully tuned Dewbauchee, but I find myself using the Dinka racecar over and over (unless I am winning too much and am trying to keep people in the server).
THE HEIST CARS
Karin came out with two vehicles for the heists DLC. They are both available for purchase after you complete the Fleeca Heist job. They are both small, 4-cylinder, all-wheel-drive (AWD) turbo’d cars inspired by the new Mitsubishi Evolution/Subaru STI (Evo in the front and a big Subby spoiler in the back). They are both called “Kuruma“, which is Japanese for “car”. There is one lightweight and one heavyweight.

The lightweight version of the car (above) is a straight street machine. Just under $100,000, I thought perhaps this would be the small, nimble, AWD car that had sharp handling. That is pretty much what you get. This car has very good acceleration, and is AWD. It’s top speed might be edged out by a few other cars in the Sports Car Class. It’s handling ratings are not necessarily representative of what the car can do, in my humble opinion.
Allow me to explain: The Sports Car class is laden with rear wheel drive cars that do very well in high speed cornering. If you look at the performance ratings in the handling department, a fully tuned Kuruma does not seem to rank very high. But that does not mean the car handles poorly, I believe it means that the other cars may have more lateral grip. That is not the ONLY thing you should think about when it comes to a car’s handling, and let me say this about the Kuruma: just get the nose facing the direction you want to go and floor it. The car is very easy to control, and mixed with the massive acceleration this car produces, on a short track, this car quickly becomes one of the heavy hitters. Furthermore, I would go so far as to say that off-road, this is the best handling car of the class, given it’s easy to maneuver on rough, bumpy, dirty terrain. If you have some off-roading to do, but you also need something small and nimble, and has four doors, there really is not another car that does all of these things well at the same time.
This brings me to the heavyweight, the Armored Kuruma. It is basically a Duke O’ Death/Mad Max version of the car. I’ll be honest, if I did live in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max world, I would probably choose this car. If it came down to an all out race, however, I would not choose this car. Yes, it is just like the Kuruma I described above, but there are some drawbacks. The armor is heavy, therefore, the car suffers in the handling department. And for $525,000, it is five times more expensive than the street version of the car. What do you get for that price? Basically a weighed down but safe and still somewhat quick version of the Kuruma.

As you can see above, visibility is pretty limited, also not very promising when it comes to racing, but the fact that it is beefed up with armor means that you are much less likely to have your head blown off. And honestly, I don’t think the lack in visibility is THAT bad if you know where you are going. A car like this is an excellent choice for pulling off a drive-by. Pile three other people into it, and not only will they be protected, but you can make a fairly quick getaway in this vehicle, and it is easier to hide under a bridge or around a corner due to its small size. Would I use this car in a GTA Race? No, probably not. I would rather use my speed to make an escape than rely on the armor of the vehicle to keep me safe while scrubbing overall speed, but that is when I know it is going to be just me in the car. If there is a job where I need to have some backup in the car with me, this is definitely an option. It is strong, safe, and can get around fairly quickly.
The Street Cars
As I stated before, the Grotti Carbonizzare is perhaps my favorite car out of the entire class. Highest top speed, and yields some of the fastest categories across the board. It is also easy to drive if you aren’t opposed to the car sliding sideways (speaking of which, the car is also great for drifting and is an all around joy to push to the limits).

I do not want to overlook the Annis Elegy RH8 pictured above. You can also see Pretty_Girl_Swag’s Sultan pictured below after what appears to be a tough race!  It is perhaps the best handling car of the class, and does not have the stiff “omg I am going to crash” feel of the race cars. On a windy road, this car will beat out most of it’s competition, especially if it is fully tuned. Off to the right of the picture is the Karin Sultan, which is another popular choice amongst tuners. It’s styling is based heavily upon the Lexus IS300/Toyota Altezza (share the same chassis). It has plenty of visual and tuning options to make her pretty. While I do have one, I would have to say that my opinions in terms of speed is, it is NOT slow, but not on any major level like the race cars or the two afformentioned RH8 and Carbonizzare. This is a sentiment that I share with many of the cars on the Sports car class.

Alta

Cars I Don’t Own

no gas
Freezingkellykel has got to be one of the most stylish Rioters out there, and you can check her out putting gas in her Obey 9F, one of the vehicles used in the video at the beginning. While I do not own one, it is more because I have many sports cars already. This car is definitely quick, crazy acceleration and crazy top speed. The handling is great, although the car seems to lean a lot in the corners and under braking, it doesn’t seem to have bad handling, on the contrary, it handles very well. And comes with a convertible top that can really show you off (if you are feeling sexy). The car is an obvious Audi R8 twin (hence the plates), so this thing had better be fast. If you are not familiar with Audi and their racing history, you might have to have a look at the film Truth in 24, which is a documentary of the lead up to the 24 Hours of LeMans, perhaps the most notorious race on the planet. There are two parts to the series, both are narrated by Jason Statham. The cinematography is outstanding, the soundtrack makes you want to jump in your car and blast the hell off, and the names and interviews are amazing and full of great, useful information. It is also free on itunes.

Another car that is not in my garage, and will likely never be in my garage, is the Albany Alpha. This thing is some kind of conglomeration of Cadillacs, including their concept Elmiraj. It looks the part, is large and cannot brake. It has what appears to be a big engine, but simply doesn’t cut it in terms of speed (at least when compared to other sports cars). Similarly, I don’t see myself having a Schyster Fusilade either (despite me saying “Veilside”, an aftermarket parts supplier, every time I read the name). Based on the Chrysler Crossfire, the car isn’t slow, but I wouldn’t really put it at the top of the class either. It is also fairly fragile when confronted with a collision. Also disappointing is the Maibatsu Penumbra, the performance of which is just as disappointing as the Mitsubishi Eclipse it is based upon, the last one made that failed in comparison to the bullet proof DSM powered Eclipses of old.

Grand Senora Desert
A car that is not slow, but does not find it’s way into my garage, would be the Benefactor Surano. Based upon the Mercedes SLS AMG roadster and with some body panels from an F-Type Jaguar (and maybe the handling to boot), this vehicle is pretty quick. The only reason I don’t have it is because I would argue it shares all of the attributes of the 9F except that the 9F is smaller and handles, in my opinion, better. But this is a fast car, and it has a lot of style, coming in both coupe and convertible options.
I did have the Dewbauchee Rapid GT for a time, and it is a quick car! Check out gtalsc’s Rapit pictured above.  Modeled after an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, with maybe some Ferrari California (it looks like a California from the front when the top is down to me). Acceleration is very fast in this vehicle, and handling is very, very good. This is basically a two door version of the Exemplar in the Coupe class, which is why I no longer have one.  Similarly, the Benefactor Schwartzer is the 2-door version of the Schafter, which means I also do not plan to purchase this vehicle. While it’s performance is not horrible, I find some of the other sports cars edge it out in terms of speed, but it is definitely a looker.
Blasts From the Past
The Bravado Banshee has a long lineage in the GTA series, and hearkens back to GTA III. The Banshee has always resembled a Dodge Viper, although it has gone through several iterations and now looks more refined and detailed than ever. In GTA III and IV, this car was damn fast, making it an easy option for racing. In GTAV, I don’t quite feel the same amount of straight-line speed, but the cornering makes this car fun! It handles very well, but is also is a car that is ready to slide. This is actually useful if you are like me and enjoy a small slide at the corner exit. I have also heard rumors that if you accelerate in this vehicle, hear the car shift into second gear, hit the e-brake and then the accelerator again very quickly, the car actually takes off very fast. I believe GTA players who do this refer to it as “double clutching”, which is redic because that is not what that is (double-clutching is what people do when they downshift, not upshift).  I have not been able to do this, nor have I seen anyone really get away from me at the start of a race so long as you hit the accelerator at the right time anyway. I will let you all decide that. West Coast Customs actually made this car out of a Dodge Viper, pics are posted below.

Another car with a long lineage in GTA is the Dinka Blista Compact, which I think resembles mostly a Honda CRX. It is a light weight front-wheel-drive hatchback with excellent handling. Great car in GTA IV. In GTA V, this car is still quite good, although I do not use it for racing very often. While it does have good handling, it also has stiff suspension. I have found myself in multiple situations where I would round a corner, cut across the curb, and actually get high up on two wheels. I am not sure that it is worth the drama when it comes to cornering around intersections. Furthermore, it is a car with a small engine, and some of the other cars in the class simply overpower it. It can also get knocked around by some of the other, larger cars in the class.
Keeping with the lineage, the Bravado Buffalo is reminiscent of the GTA IV FIB Buffalo, which was the go-to car of the FIB. In GTA V, the performance is pretty good for a large four-door sedan (and this IS a sedan, despite being found in the sports car class). Inspired by the new Dodge Charger, this car looks and sounds the part of a classic muscle car brought back into production. This car is above average, I suppose, in most categories, but does not stand out in any large way in terms of speed.
The Pfister Comet is a popular vehicle, and it should be for numerous reasons. I believe even non-car oriented people can appreciate the look of this vehicle, taking obvious cues from Porsche. Also a favorite from previous GTAs, the earlier GTA games (San Andreas/Vice City) had what appeared to be a targa top 911 from the 1970s. In GTA V, however, the car seems to look more like the newer Porsche 996s. While it may get beat out in a drag race, this car’s traction is quite good. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the overall handling is superior, but if you can keep the rear wheels in check, the car actually has the capacity to carry a great deal of speed through corners. When driving this vehicle, you have to remember, the engine sits right over the wheels powering the car, which makes the feel of the car very unique. I have heard people complain, but in my experiences, you can go very fast in this vehicle, and winning races with it makes you feel like a grand hero, trust me.  The video posted below is from the 1980s where this crazy dude laps the famed Nurburgring in a 911 Yellowbird.  He fights the car the whole way, sliding and passing numerous vehicles.  This video caused quite a stir back in the day…


The Coquette has a special place in my heart. This was my go-to vehicle for racing in GTA IV, probably the fastest car, had great handling, and had an FR layout that made me fall in love. Based upon the C5 Corvette, it also looked mean (even if they dropped the pop-up headlight design). For GTA V, the design took an aggressive turn as did the design of the true Corvette, and it now looks the part of the new C7 design (do I even need to point out the similarity between the name Coquette and it’s Chevrolet inspiration? I thought not…). I don’t have one in my garages for GTA V. I was honestly a little disappointed in the car’s acceleration. It isn’t bad, and with upgrades, it gets much better, but overall, I found the car to be a little behind in terms of overall straight line speed. Handling is still very good albeit a little touchy (this is true of Corvettes as well, VERY fast in the corners, but they will bite you if you push too hard).

San Andreas
Also making a return is the Benefactor Feltzer. All versions of this car had some sort of Mercedes Benz design involved. The GTA V version of the car, has got to be the meanest looking vehicle in the class, basing its looks on Mercedes again, check it out in SaraNekoTron’s photo above. I have trouble placing this car, as it seems to take cues from many different Mercedes AMGs, CLK DTMs, SLs, take your pic. The wide-body kit and ridiculous GT wing makes this thing an aggressive looking vehicle, and that aggression continues in the corners. Fully upgraded, this car reminds me more of a DTM racing car than a street car. Perhaps the emphasis on wings and body kits hinder it’s top speed performance, but the car does great in the corners, definitely a car worth mentioning. It is also an excellent choice for drifting, as the heavy feel of the car does not upset the overall balance, making it very predictable in a slide.
Looking for some GTA OG status? The Lampadati Furore GT (Furore not only sounds like “Ferrari”, but is Italian for “violence”, which I find fascinating) was actually brought back from GTA II (for those of you as old as me, this was back when GTA was basically you looking DOWN upon the GTA universe always from above). In GTA V, it is also a looker, I think taking most of its cues from the Maserati Alfieri concept car. There are no modifications that amplify the looks of this thing, so what you see is what you are sort of stuck with, but you are stuck with something that looks very stylish. This car is actually very quick AFTER you upgrade it. It has very poor acceleration in stock form, so get that turbo and upgrade that engine quickly.


The Futo
This may be the slowest car in the class, which sucks because it is also perhaps my favorite and one that I, frankly, was looking forward to even before GTA V came out. The car is obviously based off of the AE86 chassis, that has a strong following. I have owned two of these cars myself, which in the states, came out as the 1985-1987 Toyota Corolla.

This car has a STRONG following, and the car itself is not unlike the car in the game. It is rather slow, but a LOT of fun to drive (sort of like a wannabe racecar). Beyond having a strong drift following, the car itself is an FR layout and has a lot of handling potential.


^Couple of old school drift videos featuring the AE86
If that isn’t enough to impress you, may I remind you of a little cartoon.

If you are not familiar with Initial D, check it out. It is an old Anime that stars the AE86 chassis and actually has some fairly good racing information on it. It is one of those typical Japanese shows where you watch the first episode like “meh…” then you get to the end and you end up watching the entire series in one sitting. A hatchback version of the car, it still ranks high on the list of car people shows.
What does this have to do with GTA V? The star of the Anime series is a tofu delivery boy. Get it? Tofu? Futo?

Know your GTA, ladies.

Okay, Reckless, that is all well and good, but what do you have in your garage???

Being limited to only three garages is hard for someone like me, and no other class are there so many cars that I want and don’t feel like I can have.  For me, this boils down to four vehicles: Dinka Jester (Racecar), Dewbauchee Massacro (Racecar), Grotti Carbonizzare, and the Annis Elegy RH8.  Why these cars?  I feel that the Jester and Carbonizzare yield some of the highest tops speeds when fully tuned (really I use these two cars interchangeably), and I find myself using these two cars the most.  Next up is the Elegy RH8, I use this car for handling purposes, although the 9F, Feltzer, and several other cars are right up there (I would love to have a 9F in my garage).  Lastly, I keep the Dewbauchee for its acceleration.

But really, there are a lot of cars in this class that I fear and feel are competitive, so it is really up to your style.  Again, I think this is perhaps the most competitive class in GTA (plus the sheer mass of cars in the class is rather baffling).  If you have any questions or concerns let me know!  Stay tuned, there will be more to come, or you can check out some of the other reviews of classes that I have done on this blog.

Macdonald St
All opinions stated in this blog are strictly opinions and are open to investigation/interpretation.
Live Fast. Die Young.

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5 thoughts on “A Racer’s Perspective: Sports Car Class Review

  1. Thanks! I hope this is helpful, the other classes have serious differences between cars that I plan on reviewing. More to come!

  2. Some great background and detail and plenty of food for thought. I’ve been running the Zentorno exclusively in supercar races and find the lack of ultimate top speed the only drawback. On sports cars, do you think the racing versions of the jester and massacro are significantly better than fully tuned street versions. I tend to use these and I’m not all that keen on going to the expense of switching. Looking forward to your views on the coupe class.

  3. Honestly, no, I don’t think there is a significant difference in overall speed, I use the Grotti Carbonizzare and the Annis Elegy RH8 quite a bit still. This is a very competitive class, and the non-racecars are very quick compared to the “race cars”. The only significant difference imo is the liveries (which are kind of sexy). As far as speed is concerned, JUST choosing a race car is not going to guarantee a win.

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