You can now drive the achingly gorgeous Honda RA272 F1 car in Gran Turismo
GT’s latest free car pack adds a DS, an RS and pure open-wheeled bliss. And there’s more
Craig JamiesonPublished: 22 Feb 2023 External link to Top Gear Magazine Subscription – 5 issues for £5Skip 6 photos in the image carousel and continue reading1 / 6
It’s safe to say that F1 has produced some deliriously pretty machinery. The Ferrari 641, McLaren MP4/4, Brabham BT52, Lotus 49… all worthy of wall art. But, after a pretty thorough look at all of those ‘best-looking F1 cars of all time’ lists, we noticed something: a distinct lack of 1960s Honda.
Happily, however, the car nuts behind Gran Turismo have stepped in to champion their country’s staggeringly gorgeous, race-winning and only slightly Lotus 49-ish Formula One racer in the latest free update for the juggernaut that is GT.
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Yes, it’s the Honda RA272, a broadly nondescript alphanumeric sequence for all but the most ‘well, actually’ of anoraks, but also a seriously important piece of racing history.
Honda built its first road car in 1963; in 1964 it joined Formula One, and in 1965 it won its first race. This is an astonishing timeframe in itself, before you note that Honda driver Richie Ginther took that win from the likes of Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham and Dan Gurney.
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After a third fastest in qualifying at the 1965 Mexican GP – three tenths off Jim Clark and seven hundredths behind Dan Gurney – Ginther took the lead and held it until the end, claiming his first and only F1 win. In the process, he also set a new course record for average speed, beating the record set by Dan Gurney – a man not known for being particularly tardy behind the wheel. And, of course, claimed Honda (and Japan’s) first-ever F1 win.
So it’s gorgeous – right up there with the best, in our eyes – and yet, unlike something like the Ferrari F92A, it could also win. And if its inclusion in GT7 marks the start of a run of Sixties F1 cars… well, we’d be deliriously happy about that idea. Who else wants a modern do-over of Grand Prix Legends?
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But, of course, Gran Turismo has always been about the road cars. Well, y’know, mostly. We’d argue that a decent proportion of the fun has been taking the least likely cars in the world (were you a Demio or Fit person?) and flinging them about with reckless abandon. So yes, while the update also includes the famed 1973 Porsche 911 RS, we’re thinking more about lift-off oversteer in gigantic French limousines.
GT gets a 1970, post-facelift DS 21, with the swivelling headlights and redesigned nose – by none other than Robert Opron. It’s in fully luxe Pallas spec, too, so you can live out your Day of the Jackal fantasies… if that’s your thing, of course.
But, speaking of throwbacks to things kids won’t understand*, Grand Valley Speedway is finally part of the latest Gran Turismo… but it’s had something of a location change. Happily enough, that location is now an idealistic rendition of California’s Pacific Coast Highway – which is the exact spot we’d reach for one of these deliriously pretty cars…
*OK, fine, it was in all of the GT games. But we’re talking about the people who did the 300km endurance race in Gran Turismo One…
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