Following on from Gran Turismo 7’s huge v1.26 update today (24th November 2022), the fortnightly Lap Time Challenge has received its usual fortnightly update. And as part of the franchise’s 25th anniversary, we revisit one of its most famous vehicles: the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak.
GT7‘s Lap Time Challenge is a time trial mode where you compete against other players to set the fastest time on the leaderboard. However, there’s a caveat: setting a lap within three per cent of the fastest time nets players 2,000,000 Credits.
If you aren’t quite quick enough for that then lapping within five per cent gains you 1,000,000 Credits, while a time inside 10 per cent of the fastest results in a 250,000 Credit payout.
Introduced to the series in Gran Turismo 2 alongside the fearsome Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course, the Suzuki quickly became a fan favourite owing to its unparalleled performance and extravagant looks.
What most fans didn’t know at the time, however, is that the Suzuki was a real car. The Escudo hillclimb car was first used in 1994 with a unique twin-engine layout. One engine would drive the front wheels and the other the back wheels. It would win the 1995 edition of Pikes Peak, driven by Japanese rally driver and tuning shop owner Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima.
For 1998, Suzuki had long-dispensed with the twin-engine format and instead fitted a single, twin-turbocharged 2.7l V6 that produced upwards of 980bhp. Combined with a kerb weight of around 800kg, the Suzuki was blindingly quick, although it could only manage second place at Pikes Peak in both 1998 and 1999.
Although Willow Springs doesn’t feature the same amount of gravel as Pikes Peak used to, it still proves to be a perfect hunting ground for the Suzuki. The car’s over-the-top aerodynamic wings mean several corners can be taken flat-out, with sub-one-minute lap times within touching distance. Astonishing for a 2.5-mile-long circuit.
Although the car is a 1,700,000 Credits purchase from the Legend Cars dealership you can still attempt GT7’s Lap Time Challenge by renting it for free. Handy.
For GT7 newbies, the Sport mode – where you can find the Daily Races and Lap Time Challenge – unlocks after completing Café Menu Book nine.
For more Pikes Peak-themed content, why not check out John Munro’s ode to Ari Vatanen’s 1988 winning run – Climb Dance 2?
Recommended car: Suzuki V6 Escudo Pikes Peak Special ’98 (Legend Cars 1,700,000 Credits or free rental)
Lap Time Challenge
Car: Suzuki V6 Escudo Pikes Peak Special ’98
Track: Willow Springs International Raceway – Big Willow
Entry Period: 24th-November-5th December
Useable Tyres Racing: Soft, Intermediate, Wet
Wide Body: Prohibited
Specified Car: Suzuki V6 Escudo Pikes Peak Special ’98
BoP/Tuning Forbidden: Mid-speed (M)
Car Used: Garage Car, Event-Specified Car
Car Settings: Specified
Track Limit: Normal
Shortcut Penalty: Light