Since Gran Turismo 7 released in March, we’ve been supplied a drip-feed of free new content on a monthly basis; three new cars in both April and May, and a handful of additional events, not counting the sweeping changes to race payouts sparked by players’ dissatisfaction with the game’s grindy nature and emphasis on microtransactions. That’s holding true for June as well, as developer Polyphony Digital has just revealed what is due to come to the game tomorrow. This one’s kind of a biggie, though — not in terms of quantity, but quality.
First, yes, we’re getting another three cars. There’s a Gr.3 racing version of the Suzuki Vision Gran Turismo that arrived in the game last month, as well as a 1932 Ford Roadster that is surely destined for the Hagerty legendary car dealership. But the third new arrival is something that’s sure to please scores of longtime GT fans: the 1998 Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Special.
First featured in Gran Turismo 2 before it became a little more noticed in GT3, the Escudo was the nuclear option for many players in the franchise’s earlier days. If you ever arrived at an event where nothing else seemed to do the trick, “Monster” Tajima’s mid-engined, turbocharged V6 typhoon and all its nearly 1,000 horsepower tended to get the job done. GT7 has modern open-wheel cars and fantasy machines that would embarrass today’s Formula 1 equipment, so the Escudo probably won’t enjoy the same preferential treatment this go around. Nevertheless, it’s great to see it make a return.
Joining those three is a new track, the first entirely new environment to come to GT7 — Watkins Glen International. As someone from the Northeast, it’s very exciting to see a circuit practically in your backyard be immortalized in a racing game, and Watkins Glen is a worthy addition to the roster. It’s already present in other titles, like iRacing and Forza Motorsport 7, but today’s news marks the Gran Turismo debut of the fast, flowing old-school venue. Both configurations — the full one with “The Boot” and the shorter variant NASCAR races on without — will feature in the game.
Update 1.17 will also bring three new Café Menu Books to complete, starring the Toyota 86 series, Honda Type-R vehicles and rotary-powered machines.
Beyond all that we don’t know if any other changes are on the docket, but we’ll surely find out once Polyphony publishes more extensive patch notes. As it stands this is certainly a welcome update, though it doesn’t address the more pressing matters at hand, like the poor state of GT7's multiplayer lobbies and that promised addition of the ability to sell cars.