Frank Stephenson Designed A Car For GTA And It's Ridiculous In All The Right Ways

What happens when you unite the F430, MC12, McLaren P1 and Escort Cosworth into one unholy sum?

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Image for article titled Frank Stephenson Designed A Car For GTA And It's Ridiculous In All The Right Ways
Screenshot: Frank Stephenson via YouTube

The render above is not a new car coming to Grand Theft Auto Online in a future update, though I could very much see how you’d think that, given that it combines elements of at least five different machines into one. GTA cars tend to be absurd mashups of very recognizable models, and designer Frank Stephenson’s latest creation — the Frankenstein — totally fits the bill.

Let’s back up. Stephenson has made a habit of critiquing some of GTA’s cars on his YouTube channel, along with fictional vehicles from other games. (I keep waiting for the guy to do one on Ridge Racer, but it hasn’t happened yet.) At the conclusion of the previous episode of that series, he made a pledge to design a GTA vehicle of his own — not necessarily a car that’s going to officially appear in the game, but one that would look appropriate within the world. A “lore friendly” design, as my GTA-modding friends would say.

I’ve been curious how Stephenson planned to approach this challenge. I assumed he’d create something totally new but extremely silly and a little slapdash, in the GTA tradition. But originality isn’t actually the GTA way; most of the game’s cars pull cues from across the automotive landscape, incorporating them messily and incongruously. With the Frankenstein, Stephenson’s done exactly that — however, he’s limited his inspiration to his own body of work.

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That’s why the Frankenstein has the hood, headlights and two-tone scheme of the Maserati MC12, finished off with the beak of a Ferrari F430. The greenhouse and side air intakes are clearly lifted from the McLaren P1. The rear wing and, indeed, entire back end are FXX grafts, while the extra wings over the engine cover are repurposed from the Ford Escort Cosworth.

Image for article titled Frank Stephenson Designed A Car For GTA And It's Ridiculous In All The Right Ways
Screenshot: Frank Stephenson via YouTube
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The result is disjointed and inelegant in full service to its name. It looks haphazard and distinctly off, just like a royalty-free Blender model. In all of those ways it is the archetypal GTA car.

Personally I’d love to see the Frankenstein appear in GTA, though I imagine Ferrari, Stellantis, Ford, and McLaren might take issue with that. (Or not — I haven’t heard of them suing Rockstar Games over its ripoffs yet, so who knows.) But Stephenson’s ensured the next best thing for this design, by making it available freely for download through a Google Drive link, so interested modders can port the car into the game themselves.