Gran Turismo 7 finally has a release date. It’s coming March 4, 2022 for both PS4 and PS5 — barring further delays, of course. After 14 months of radio silence since the game’s reveal last June, Thursday’s PlayStation showcase trailer spilled damn near everything. The new footage packed a lot of information along with a helping of fan service for good measure.
If you happened to watch the trailer live and heard faint screaming during the pan over the Trial Mountain grandstands, that was me. I’ll try harder to control myself next time, but I can’t make any promises.
There’s a ton to cover here spread over a bunch of quick cuts, revealing things you’d only catch in repeated watches. So let’s get to it. Here’s what we learned.
Back during the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche revealed the 917 Living Legend design study while also announcing a collaboration with Gran Turismo. The concept was planned for addition to GT Sport within the first half of 2020, but that didn’t come to pass. It seems the Living Legend will make it in time for GT7's launch. As for the previously announced Porsche Vision GT candidate, it could be hiding in plain sight on the game’s box art.
The first minute of the trailer pulled on nearly 25 years of memories indelibly etched into the minds of anyone who grew up with these games. The very presence of the iconic Castrol TOM’s Supra undoubtedly warmed the hearts of longtime fans, but the way in which it was revealed — lowered out of a truck as the ramp unfolds — recreates the Nissan R33 GT-R LM’s introduction in the first game’s opening cinematic. Likewise, the shot of the edge of the track, the grandstand scene and the one of the bird perched atop the lights are all GT1 callbacks. The clip of the cylinders firing is a GT3 reference, and the changing of seasons as the camera circles the 917 Living Legend calls back to GT4. Please excuse me for getting a little choked up.
The 1998 #2 Mercedes-Benz CLK-LM joined the series in GT4 and appeared in GT5 and GT6 as a “standard” car with a lower-fidelity exterior and no interior view. It returns in GT7 looking better than ever, though it could really use a longtail McLaren F1 GTR to battle against. Let’s hope that makes the cut, too.
This Sims-looking map is the hub of GT7's new Campaign Mode. Straight away, it’s easy to see this environment is markedly different from the minimalist, neon-clad city map that appeared in the game’s announcement trailer.
We can glean a few things about the way the Campaign is structured from the icons. GT7 will feature 420 cars at launch, and they’ve been split into Brand Central showrooms for new cars, a used lot for most everything else and an antiques dealer for high-dollar vintage machines. More on those later. License tests are also still a part of the experience, love them or hate them. The airport at the center of the map figures to be the player’s portal to the world’s circuits, while the Coliseum-esque structure to the back right is adorned with an icon of the Gran Turismo FIA Championship trophy, indicating that’s where you’ll go to compete online in Sport Mode races.
This one isn’t entirely clear yet, because it’s a single screen of a sequence of menus. Still, it presents something curious. The player here is highlighting the Sardegna track on the map, and under it we see two available races at that location. This deviates from the way events in GT have historically been organized, where the player selects a particular cup and then chooses one of the races it contains. Structuring the career this way has the benefit of offering players more freedom to race at the circuits they wish at any given time. On the other hand, it suggests a lack of multi-race championships with points — something classic GT games had, but GT Sport notably lacked.
The price tags attached to the classics of Brighton Antiques are a little concerning. The most expensive cars in GT Sport cost 20 million credits, and they required ages of grinding to attain. Here we see cars valued at 90 million credits or more, though regional differences could explain this. Japanese Gran Turismo releases tend to ascribe exponentially higher credit amounts to everything compared to versions localized for the rest of the world.
New for GT7 in this shot is the aforementioned Castrol TOM’s Supra and the De Tomaso Mangusta (with a typo). Elsewhere in this part of the trailer we find an Aston Martin DB5, Willys Jeep, KPGC10 Skyline GT-R, W194 300 SL, Porsche 550 Spyder and the 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta that won Best Of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2018.
One of the best parts of GT4 was its used car dealership — a grab bag of obscurities, mostly from ’70s and ’80s Japan, offered for very reasonable prices. The used lot returns for GT7 and has updated its pricing to take into account whatever drugs private sellers are on in 2021. Maybe it’s not too bad — 40,000 credits for a Mk IV Supra with just under 70,000 miles seems fair when those cars are selling for near double that on online auctions.
While we’re here, I have to commend the genius of using Scapes as backdrops for the listing photos, to lend a little authenticity to the used car shopping experience. It’s charming, and it’s classic Polyphony Digital.
The traditional GT single player loop typically involves buying or winning cars, competing in races, then upgrading those cars with prize money, over and over again. GT7 could switch up this formula with a new aspect of the Campaign, called Gran Turismo Café. From the screenshot, it seems as though players will be asked to collect groups of cars, then go compete in playlists of events with them for rewards — like little side quests from standard car-PG fare.
High Speed Ring joins Trial Mountain as another returning fictional circuit we haven’t seen since GT6. It looks largely similar to its appearance in the PS3 iterations of the franchise, except Turn 2 appears to be considerably sharper, and there’s now a dam jutting up against the lake in the middle of the track.
The customization suite appears to have received serious attention for GT7, which was expected based on last year’s reveal. That initial trailer showed a range of upgradable performance parts, but in this new look, we’re able to see what can be done to car exteriors. The NSX in this screenshot is sporting a splitter, side skirts and diffuser, plus a custom wing. The “Wide Body” option in the bottom right corner of the screen has piqued my interest, too; I’m wondering if this option will transform cars much like Racing Modification did in GT5. To the left of that are status indicators for oil life, engine condition and body rigidity. As in GT4, it seems these all will diminish with time and require tending to over the life of a car.
Do you see it? Nope, it’s not on track — it’s up there in the status bar. Of all of GT7's new cars, the most recent Ford GT race car has certainly been one of the more requested. It was missing from GT Sport, which was especially strange given that Sport was focused on race cars. Ford’s GTE competitor will make it to GT7, though, and offer a much-needed addition to the Gr. 3 class.
This might be my favorite shot of the entire trailer. Two beloved race cars — the 1999 Pennzoil Nissan Skyline GT-R GT500 and Alfa Romeo 155 2.5 V6 TI DTM — racing against each other even though they have absolutely no business doing so, in typical Gran Turismo fashion. At Trial Mountain, no less! Personally I’m more of a Calsonic blue man myself, but that yellow Skyline is synonymous with GT3, and the 155 was a standout member of GT4's roster.
Teased in last year’s announcement trailer with a time lapse of Trial Mountain, we now have a little more detail on the dynamic time and weather system in GT7. It’s unclear if it applies to every track — previous GT titles didn’t grant all the environments with real-time changeable conditions — but on the game’s website, we can see images of the Nürburgring and Circuit de la Sarthe set at different times of day with different accumulations of rain on the asphalt. Tsukuba is shown in wet conditions as well. Because Polyphony never does these things halfway, the studio rummaged through freakin’ NASA databases for weather information to guide this deeper atmospheric simulation:
In GT7, a more natural and realistic variable time system and weather effect system have been recreated. Referencing a massive amount of meteorological observation data, including those from the academic databases of NASA, GT7 recreates spatial/time of day conditions for particle size distribution and concentration distribution of aerosol particles in the atmosphere on a global environmental scale. As a result, this feature unique to the Gran Turismo series can express real and complex sky patterns and changes in light for different times of day and weather conditions.
Scapes, the feature introduced in GT Sport that lets players place and shoot cars in images with 3D spatial data, is back for GT7 in a big way. There are 2,671 scenes for automotive photographers to play around in, and if GT7's post-release plan is anything like the previous game’s, you can expect that number to grow over the months following release. Also, how about that Boss 429? It, too, is new for this game.
Gran Turismo specializes in historically relevant cars you’d never want to drive in a racing game. After all, GT5 gave us the Volkswagen Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen — inclusions that were inexplicable at the time and, now that I’m thinking about it, have aged pretty badly. Anyway, GT7 will provide some Allied metal in the form of the Willys MB. Polyphony says its objective for this installment is to provide “an in-depth retrospect of the past 150 years of automotive history” and including America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare indeed goes some way toward achieving that goal.