Rockstar Games has a decorated history of parodying real-life cars in its fictional Grand Theft Auto series of games. Classics like the Banshee, based on the Dodge Viper, took on lives of their own, with someone making a drivable replica of the GTA IV and GTA V version of the car. These cars take serious time, effort, and design to produce for the game, and those who understand the craft can appreciate their value. Naturally, this caught the eye of prolific car designer Frank Stephenson.
After initially releasing a video on the subject in December of 2020, he shot a second YouTube analysis and even discusses some of the cars that were f inspired by his own designs in real life. He dives into a few here: The first-generation BMW Mini Cooper and McLaren P1 as the Weeny Issi and Progen T20, respectively. He then launches into the brand-new cars from the Los Santos Tuners update.
We tested and covered said update previously, click here if you want to get up to speed.
GTA cars have become cultural items of their own. My young cousins often identify cars on the street by their GTA names. No joke, one of them called a current Acura NSX on the street a Dinka Jester. Sometimes, Rockstar can make a car that’s better than the real thing, too. Stephenson seems to believe this with the in-game equivalent of the A90 Toyota Supra.
Designers at the game studio kept some of the fundamental design elements of the strange-looking new Supra and gave it an entirely new face, refined surfacing, and some slightly different proportions. Stephenson reckons that this car looks more cohesive than the real car and looks a lot better. I’m not sure I agree with the grille, but the new face and simpler, less bulbous surfacing of the in-game car look a lot better to me.
This opinion from Stephenson caused a mildly large wave of admiration to sweep through social media, with folks expressing support of his opinion but mostly arguing the point that the actual GR Supra is an ugly car.
I’m not sure that any other celebrated car designer has actually taken the time to create this sort of content, and whoever thought this was a good idea is incredibly savvy. He seems to do video games regularly, with a video on Cyberpunk 2077’s cars and another one on Burnout: Paradise. His channel is mostly design analysis of new cars, though, especially successors to cars he designed.
Car design is one of those things that is like jazz. You just need to know and feel it. Enjoy a designer who has that feel with this remarkable channel.
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