Gran Turismo Lied To Us

Modifying a car always makes it better. Stock cars are as bad as cars can be. These are lies, lies told to us by Gran Turismo.

It’s something that’s immediately clear once you drive some kid’s first car, first modified car. Too stiff, too rattly, too boosty. The sensations of wow this is exciting isn’t this exciting this is exciting right are all there, despite the car clearly being measurably worse than it was when it left the factory.


That’s exactly what Regular Car Reviews picked up on when driving a blobeye Subaru WRX STi, one that’s being converted back to stock from being modified by its 19-year-old previous owner.

The stock STi is faster, smoother, better in the real world, though it masks its sensation of speed with road-crushing performance. That’s why you so often find these things modified, RCR notes.

But also to blame is Gran Turismo, the way in which so many of today’s car enthusiasts first encountered modified car culture. The stock car was the slowest car, the worst-handling car. Every mod made the car better.

But what works in the game world doesn’t always translate into real life. Like RCR, drive any young kid’s modified car and you’ll know it’s true, too.

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Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.