Despite being released back in 2013, Rockstar Games is still busily producing new content for the venerable Grand Theft Auto V.
The main source of Rockstar’s GTA-related income is GTA Online, where many players spend real-world currency to unlock new weapons, vehicles, and in-game resources.
The most recent expansion for the game, dubbed Los Santos Tuners, brings a range of cars to the fictional city, inspired by real-world performance vehicles. Rather than focusing on combat like most GTA expansions, it’s all about peaceful online car meets and racing.
It’s a well-timed addition to the game, too; with plenty of Aussies housebound thanks to Coronavirus restrictions, buying, modifying and enjoying cars in a virtual environment is as close as some of us might get for the next little while.
The new cars are heavily customisable with a wide range of aftermarket performance parts, many of which emulate real-life brands – Momo becomes ‘Mono’ and HKS becomes ‘HFS’. Some cars can also be branded with other parody logos, such as the Samsung-based ‘Wiwang’.
As per the usual GTA method, the new cars aren’t exact replicas of their real-world counterparts, with just enough elements – names included – changed to avoid IP infringements.
While most of the Annis brand is derived from Nissan, the ZR350 is modelled closely on Maxda’s FD RX-7, right down to a facsimile of the 90s-era badge.
There’s an accurate 13B rotary under the bonnet, with options for various intakes and intercooler setups. Race and drift-inspired liveries are available, as well as a Fast and Furious design parodying Dom’s red RX-7.
The Annis Euros is based on both the Nissan 350Z and 370Z. The brand is clearly Nissan-inspired, also boasting cars inspired by the Skyline range and a 4×4 similar to a short-wheelbase GQ Patrol. It will set you back $1,800,000 in-game dollars.
Based on the Honda S2000, the Dinka RT3000 features a wide range of available mods. Individual throttle bodies, carbon fibre accessories and drift-ready panel deletes are all on the cards – not to mention hardtops and dozens of wheel choices. Other GTA V Dinkas include the Sugoi (FK8 Civic Type R) and Chavos (Accord).
The Vulcar Warrener HKR is modelled on the Datsun 1200 ute, though it wears a Skyline GT-R front to become a ‘Hakotora’.
It’s the in-universe counterpart to the four-door Warrener, an amalgamation of the C10 Skyline, Datsun Bluebird, and KE70 Corolla.
The Karin Calico GT-F is the newest addition to the Toyota-inspired brand. It draws most of its inspiration from the sixth-generation Celica, namely the top-spec GT-Four.
Unfortunately, the engine is a straight six rather than the correct two-litre four, but the availability of bolt-on flares flares more than makes up for the inaccuracy. There’s even a Castrol-inspired livery paying tribute to the iconic 90s WRC car.
Described as “JDM nobility” by the in-game store, the Annis Remus imitates an S13 Silvia. Mods include comical ‘shakotan’ exhausts, sticker-bombed quarters, and racing liveries.
Like the rest of the new cars, it can be lowered and given considerable negative camber.
The Dinka Jester RR is the counterpart to the current Toyota Supra, making it the most modern car in the pack. An Initial D-inspired paint job appears here, as does one riffing on Brian’s famed orange Supra from The Fast and the Furious.
Obey parodies Audi, right down using a cut-in-half version of the brand’s four-ring badge.
Based on the RS5, the Tailgater S model strangely uses a V8 in place of the correct turbo five. A tongue-in-cheek ‘ProLaps Racing’ ensemble can be chosen for this car.
No tuner expansion would be complete without a Toyota AE86 Corolla. Here it’s badged as the Karin Futo GTX, a hatchback version of the prior Futo coupe.
As standard, it wears Watanabe-esque wheels, with an option for the faithful tofu shop livery from Initial D.
Finally, the ‘69 Mustang-based Vapid Dominator GTT injects some American flavour to an otherwise JDM-dominated roster. Having “pioneered the great American business model of low-quality mass production,” Vapid is an undeniable parody of Ford.
The Dominator avoids copyright issues by adding an extra set of brake lights to the rear end. Under-bonnet options include velocity stacks and a supercharger.
Of course, there are dozens upon dozens of other real-world cars replicated in Grand Theft Auto V, ranging from American pick-ups to Smart cars. The game is available on PC, Xbox and Playstation platforms.