As long as the video game has existed, developers have been writing software to mimic the act of driving really fast in fancy cars. Racing games are as deeply ingrained into the fabric of the art form as any Italian plumber or blue hedgehog. As such, most folks have played a few driving games over the years and have likely grown fond of a few of the virtual cars in their garage. We asked our staff to rattle off their dream video game vehicles while everyone is hyped up for the release of Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation consoles. This is what they chose.
Question: What is your racing game dream car?
The Roller Toaster from Hot Wheels Unleashed - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Powdered Toast Editor
Listen, I'm as surprised as anybody that Hot Wheels Unleashed not only ended up being a great game but nearly finished as the Shacknews Best Racing Game of 2021. Part of what made it so much fun was the surprising selection of cars and the number of unlockable vehicles that awaited. Having said that, have you ever seen a toaster on wheels? Look at this ridiculous thing!
Would I want a street-legal version of this thing? You butter believe it!
Bumblebee - Donovan Erskine, Doesn’t actually like the Transformer movies
I feel like Bumblebee would be a dope vehicle to have in a racing game. Specifically, the flashy Camaro Bumblebee from the nearly unwatchable Michael Bay movies. Say what you want, but Bumblebee had Sam’s back until the bitter end. Imagine somebody is about to pass me and take first place, and then my car just reaches out and flips them over. It’s the ultimate advantage. Plus, my car can also be my best friend!
PAC-MAN Car from Ridge Racer Type 4 - Blake Morse, Resident Pac-Maniac
I’m not super great at racing games, but there was a brief, shining moment in my gaming history where I played the ever-loving crap out of Ridge Racer Type 4 so I could unlock the PAC-MAN-shaped race car. It was truly a daunting task, as I had to unlock every single car in the game, which meant playing every difficulty and getting 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in every race. I don’t know how I did it, but unlocking that car is one of my greatest gaming achievements ever. Of course, by the time I was done grinding for the PAC-Mobile I was pretty burnt out on RRT4, but I was also full of pride for my accomplishment. People may have their own ideas of what automobile perfection should be, but I know in my heart that it’s the PAC-MAN racer!
Vauxhall Lotus Carlton - Chris Jarrard, Has sophisticated tastes
When I think of my all-time favorite video game cars, it’s hard to think of anything other than those lovely 80s-90s sports saloons. As a lonely boy stuck in swamp America, I really don’t get to see much outside of pickups, crossovers, and muscle cars. It gets really hard to live out my fantasies of doing Ronin-Esque getaway driving when I may only see a 1992 BMW E34 M5 once a decade. Thankfully, video games let us live out fantasies that would otherwise be impossible.
I gravitate towards these saloons in my racing games and a few years back I became smitten with the slightly obscure Vauxhall Lotus Carlton feature in the Forza games. It was mostly a fancy rebadged Opel with more horsepower and a classic British racing green paint job. What a lovely ride. Less cool variants of the Opel Omega on which the Lotus Carlton was built made it around the globe. North American car folks are probably familiar with the Cadillac Catera, which was the same car without the performance add-ons.
Rumpo - Bill Lavoy, Co-EIC
Honestly, I’m all about the Rumpo, which in addition to being my nickname is also a van that has made several appearances in the Grand Theft Auto series. In fact, a Rumpo is a van in many of the games, and it’s actually where I randomly pulled my nickname from years ago.
Now, Rumpo is not fast, but if you’ve had the chance to play a Gran Turismo game, you’ll know that not all vehicles are fast. At least not your typical fast when comparing them to actual race cars. But if you give me the chance to tune a Rumpo van in Gran Turismo and get the most out of it, I’d be happy to take it for a spin and finish last in every race.
Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile - TJ Denzer, Senior News Editor
I’m not a big car guy, but I know how much hotdogging there is in the world of sports automobiles and competitive motorsports. So for me, who has always been more about style over substance, I want the hotdogging-est hotdog automobile that could ever hotdog. There is only one, and it is the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile. I don’t necessarily need the branding, but I most certainly need the overall message. My big driveable weiner is here and you will see me cross the finish line with it. Probably not in first place, or even eighth place, but it will get there with all of the style, pageantry, and weenie-ness that can be afforded in a motorsports contest.
Who ya gonna call? ECTO-1 - Greg Burke, Bustin' make him feel good
A lot of rich people buy Lamborghinis or expensive Porsches. If I hit it big time in the money, I'd pay off my wife’s student loans then with the excess I'd commission a custom-built ECTO-1 (which runs between 80-120k depending on the quality and speed of the build). The ECTO-1 is the car that is my dream car. Yes, I'm a huge nerd.
Mario Kart Pipe Frame - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo show host, Best Mario Karter on staff!
What is my ideal racing game dream car? I think I really only have one answer and that is the Mario Kart pipe frame kart. It’s my go-to make in the games and since I was a kid, have loved driving go-karts. I have to give an honorable mention to the Delorean from Back to the Future as I have always loved the design!
The Fire Stingray from F-Zero - Asif Khan, Shacknews Luminary/Lola’s Assistant/Best in the universe, remember that
Many people know that Shack Chat was originally created to give me opportunities to mention F-Zero, so I returned this week to once again remind everyone that this racing game franchise is awesome and that Samurai Goroh’s Fire Stingray is the best vehicle in the history of all video games. I love this vehicle so much that I plan on naming my Tesla Roadster after it if Elon Musk ever delivers the damn thing.
1999 Mitsubishi 3,000GT VR-4 - Morgan Shaver, Mitsubishi enthusiast who took this prompt a little too literally
Back in the day, I used to own a 1999 3,000GT and it was actually the car I first learned how to drive stick in. It was an intense car to learn the ropes in with that, but I loved it just the same. I ended up selling it because at the time, I couldn’t afford the upkeep and maintenance and I wanted the car to get the kind of love it deserved.
Now I sit here, years later, dreaming of that 3,000GT. My dream racing car would be a better version of it, the 1999 3,000GT VR-4. It had 320 hp and a nice 3.0 L V6 engine and if you’re talking street racing, this baby has it in the bag. I really wish Mitsubishi would bring back some of their sports cars from the 3,000GT to the EVO to the Eclipse, instead of giving us abominations like the Eclipse Cross. Ah well, the legend of Mitsu’s former greatness lives on in racing games at the very least.
There you have it, folks. The Shack Staff has offered their thoughts, for better or for worse. What ride would you choose? Are you a Daytona USA person or would you rather own one of the whips from Need for Speed: Underground? Let us know in the comments below.