The seven most important additions to Gran Turismo 7’s Spec II update

Thomas Harrison-Lord
Here’s everything you need to know about Gran Turismo 7’s pivotal 1.40 Spec II update, which includes Sophy AI, World Circuits challenges, a new set of licences and a new snowy venue.
The six most important additions to Gran Turismo 7’s Spec II update

The 1.40 update for Gran Turismo 7 is being touted as significant enough to be labelled ‘Spec II’ and it’s available right now as a free download for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 – here are the most important new features, plus the complete changelog.

Released today, 2nd November 2023, it adds seven new road-going cars and a new fictional snowy track set in Canada, but there are also significant changes to the single-player World Circuits area, the integration of GT Sophy (an artificial intelligence agent) and a deluge of new challenges, from 20 new races and 50 new ‘master’ licence tests.

Let’s dive in…

Gran Turismo Sophy becomes a permanent fixture

Only for those on PS5, like PSVR2 support presumably due to the raw horsepower needed to run it, Sony AI’s GT Sophy agent can now be raced against on nine tracks in in 340 cars.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Gran Turismo Sophy selection World Circuits

Initially, we thought this may be on the World Circuits set challenges and events, but the reality is that on each track where Sophy is available, a new ‘Quick Race’ feature has been added. Select that and you can opt-in to race against Sophy.

The quick race option is now simply a large button, with a cash bonus for completion, that will mould the event around the car you’re currently in.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Gran Turismo Sophy selection

Sophy, meanwhile is a collaboration between Sony’s artificial intelligence division and Polyphony Digital. It uses machine learning to sock up driving style information from other players, and so far, it delivers some of the most authentic battles we’ve seen from an AI – it can attack, defend and make mistakes in a naturalistic fashion.

Earlier this year there was a Sophy test, now Sophy 2.0 will be permanently available within these quick races – give it a try, and it may even learn from you.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Sophy Race

Below is a list of tracks you can use Sophy on, which is signified by a Sophy heart icon on the track select screen.

  • 24 Heures de Mans Racing Circuit
  • Deep Forest Raceway
  • Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
  • Grand Valley – Highway 1
  • Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
  • Tsukuba Circuit
  • Red Bull Ring
  • Suzuka Circuit
  • Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca

World Circuits Weekly Challenges and progression meter

It’s been long-held the opinion of the Traxion.GG team that while the single-player World Circuits events are fun enough and are a way of receiving credits and racking up daily miles, there never really felt like a cohesive experience following the completion of the Café Menu Books.

While a return of prior Gran Turismo-game aping championships hasn’t happened, there’s now an event directory option, which firstly shows your percentage completed for World Circuits events. Ours here reads 84 per cent, and that alone is likely a motivator to finish the new additions (see below).

Select it, however, and it clumps together all the ‘cup’ or ‘championships’ that otherwise feel disparate, spread across the locations. For example, the Sunday Cup, which you can see here we have completed.

Perhaps more pertinent is the introduction of Weekly Challenges. This is five events, in a new green sub-menu for which completion unlocks rewards. This week, for example, provides 100,000 bonus credits for completing just one of the set races (on top of the race reward), 200,000 for three and a five-star roulette for five.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Weekly Challenges

Some of these you may have previously completed, but the weekly reward will be refreshed every seven days.

Within this section, there will be a ‘Special Event’. This is a ‘limited time online event’. This week it’s the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS (see below) around Laguna Seca, a single-player race that only appears fleetingly within World Circuits. Presumably, this will be replaced with a fresh limited-time event soon.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Special Event

Not five new races, but 20 plus extra Café Menus

In the blog post by Gran Turismo yesterday (1st November 2023), it stated: “There will be five ‘Standard’ level and two ‘Expert’ level races added.”

This is somewhat understating things, as there are actually 20 new race events for the single-player World Circuits campaign as it undergoes a remodelling.

Instead, five new ‘championships’ or ‘categories’ of races have been added, with several individual races within each.

Six of the two new races also make up two brand new Café Manu Books – No.48 and No.49 respectively. For these specific World Circuits events to appear, simply start each Menu Book.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Extra Menu No33

Café Menu Book No.48, World Touring Car 900

  • Autopolis International Racing Course – 10 laps, 900pp or less, Gr.2 car recommended, 10x Fuel, 13x Tyre wear – Maximum reward 150,000 credits
  • Nürburgring GP  – 10 laps, 900pp or less, Gr.2 car recommended, 8x Fuel, 14x Tyre wear – Maximum reward 135,000 credits
  • Suzuka Circuit – 10 laps, 900pp or less, Gr.2 car recommended, 8x Fuel, 10x Tyre wear – Maximum reward 170,000 credits

Reward (finish third or better in each race): Five-star roulette ticket

Café Menu Book No.49, X2019 Nations Cup

  • Autodromo de Interlagos – 12 laps, Red Bull X2019 Competition or 25th Anniversary, 3x Fuel, 6x Tyre wear – Maximum reward 150,000 credits
  • Sardegna Road Track A – 13 laps, Red Bull X2019 Competition or 25th Anniversary, 2x Fuel, 8x Tyre wear – Maximum reward 175,000 credits
  • Dragon Trail  Seaside – 14 laps, Red Bull X2019 Competition or 25th Anniversary, 2x Fuel, 7x Tyre wear – Maximum reward 190,000 credits

Reward (finish third or better in each race): Six-star roulette ticket

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - World Circuits Lake Louise

With a new track, Lake Louise, comes three additional World Circuits events to participate in which you’ll need to equip snow tyres for:

  • Pickup Truck Challenge – Maximum reward 50,000 credits
  • Japanese 4WD Challenge 600 – Maximum reward 38,000 credits
  • World Rally Challenge Gr.B – Maximum reward 85,000 credits

Finally, in terms of new permanent World Circuits events, six ‘expert level’ events where the competition level and strategy game are turned up to maximum have been added:

Clubman Cup Plus

  • Watkins Glen International
  • Special Stage Route X
  • Fuji International Speedway
  • Autodromo Nazionale Monza

GT Cup Gr.3

  • Mount Panorama Circuit
  • Daytona International Speedway
  • Deep Forest Raceway
  • Red Bull Ring

Alongside the new on-track events, three further Extra Café Menus have been added – this is where simply owning certain vehicles unlocks rewards:

Extra Menu No.31: ‘Collection: Road-Going Racers’

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Extra Menu No31

Collector Level 30 and above.

Own the:

  • BAC Mono ‘16 – Brand Central
  • Radical SR3 SL ‘13 – Brand Central
  • KTM X-BOW R ‘12 – Brand Central

Prize: Six-star Roulette Ticket (Engine)

Extra Menu No.32: ‘Collection: Lexus’

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Extra Menu No32

Collector Level 34 and above.

Own the:

  • Lexus RC F ‘14 – Brand Central
  • Lexus LC500 ‘17 – Brand Central
  • Lexus LFA ‘10 – Brand Central

Prize: Five-star Roulette Ticket

Extra Menu No.33: ‘Collection: Red Bull X Series’

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Extra Menu No33

Collector Level 50 and above.

Own the:

  • Gran Turismo Red Bull X2014 Junior – Brand Central
  • Gran Turismo Red Bull X2014 Standard – Brand Central
  • Gran Turismo Red Bull X2014 Competition – Brand Central

Prize: Six-star Roulette Ticket

Lake Louise circuit

While it may not be another real-world licenced venue, the Gran Turismo series is also known for spellbinding fictional venues that over time become part of the series’ fabric.

Strangely, however, up until this Spec II update, not a single new original circuit has been added to Gran Turismo 7. GT Sport introduced several – think Dragon Trail, Sardegna and Lago Maggiore – and GT7 adding new versions of old tracks – such as Trial Mountain and Deep Forest – but Lake Louise is the first all-new venue.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Lake Louise

It’s also permanently snowy, thanks to its Canadian location. That means snow tyres have also been added to the game – skinny and studded and mercifully, affordably. Sub 5,000 credits for our Toyota here.

The venue has three layouts, plus reverse options – yes, there’s a snow oval. Also, at night, it’s illuminated with blue and red lighting. It’s filled with adverse camber corners, and the driving feedback is definitely unique when compared to dirt. There’s a surprisingly high grip level, and your cars will get dirty quickly so a reason to visit GT Auto afterwards for a spruce up.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Circuit Experience Lake Louise
  • Lake Louise Long Track
  • Lake Louise Long Track Reverse
  • Lake Louise Short Track
  • Lake Louise Short Track Reverse
  • Lake Louise Tri-Oval
  • Lake Louise Tri-Oval Reverse

A new track also means a new Circuit Experience test, with up to 1,000,000 credits up for grabs by setting a representative lap time.

Master Licence Tests

There’s a brand new level of licence tests, totalling 50 new challenges in total. These are only unlocked once you’ve completed the Super Licence, which is now within the ‘normal licence’ section of the licence centre.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Master Licence Tests

Gran Turismo World Series competitor Takuma Sasaki will guide you through the new challenges, which focus primarily on wet weather and snow driving.

There are five mast licences, in the same format as the normal licence. Prizes are slightly different, with a prize ticket for all-bronze and a prize car for all-gold.

  • National B (Master)
  • National A (Master)
  • International B (Master)
  • International A (Master)
  • Super Licence (Master)

Four-player local split-screen

Another PS5-only feature, like the aforementioned Sophy and PSVR2 modes, four-player split-screen has been added to the local multiplayer options. It works in the same way as the two-player options, that is to say, all tracks but a limited list of 12 cars.

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Four-player split-screen

Perhaps even more importantly, the bug that prevented the second play from adjusting their driving assists on PS4 and PS5 in split-screen has now been fixed – it’s been present since the game launched!

New cars and engine swaps

Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Porsche 911 GT3 RS 992

The seven new cars are available across Brand Central and Legend Cars. We’ve waxed lyrical about them in previous articles, but now we know the PP levels and pricing.

  • Dodge Challenger SRT Demon ’18 – Brand Central – 624.20 PP – 200,000 Credits
  • Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi ’68 – Legend Cars – 489.03 PP – 158,000 Credits
  • Lexus LFA ’10 – Brand Central – 624.20 PP – 1,500,000 Credits
  • Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II ’91 – Legend Cars – 466.70 PP – 300,000 Credits
  • NISMO 400R ’95 – Legend Cars – 543.78 PP – 1,800,000 Credits
  • Porsche 911 GT3 RS (992) ’22 – Brand Central – 656.54 PP – 340,000 Credits
  • Tesla Motors Model 3 Performance ’23 – Brand Central – 582.67 PP – 55,000 Credits
Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - Dodge Go Mango Challenger

Of note, the 911 has a functional DRS, and the 2018 Dodge has the full gamut of outlandish colours such as our favourite Go Mango and Plum Crazy. When in chase camera, the LFA sounds like a volcano erupting.

Since the option of simply purchasing engine swaps from GT Auto was added, each monthly game update adds more car and engine combinations, and Spec II is no exception. We’ve previously compiled the most fun engine swaps in the game, but let’s see if any of these new additions live up to our expectations.

A Chiron engine inside a Corvette? Oh go on, then…

  • Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.3 Road Car – LS7-Rampage, 250,000 credits
  • Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (C6) ’09 – 8.0-WR16-64v4T-Chiron, 1,600,000 credits
  • Dodge Viper GTS ’13 – 8.0-WR16-64v4T-Chiron, 1,600,000 credits
  • Ford Mustang Gr.3 Road Car – Windsor-351-Maverick, 250,000 credits
  • Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 ’15 – 8.0-WR16-64v4T-Chiron, 1,600,000 credits
  • Lexus RC F ’14 – 8.0-WR16-64v4T-Chiron, 1,600,000 credits
  • Mazda Atenza Gr.3 Road Car – R26B-787B, 1,750,000 credits
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Road Car – VR38DETT-GT-R-NISMO, 193,500 credits
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo ’17 – 8.0-WR16-64v4T-Chiron, 1,600,000 credits
  • Subaru WRX Gr.B Road Car – CTR38-CTR3, 550,000 credits
Gran Turismo 7 Spec II update - engne swap

Of course, there are several small tweaks, and the full changelog is below. Meeting Places are now paddocks, where you can send emojis and messages to fellow drivers (but still seem superfluous), Polyphony Digital’s offices are now a scape, shutter speeds in photo mode can go even slower for a blurred effect and GT Menu has a new player dashboard showcasing your stats.

The opening movie has been changed, although the main intro remains the same (charting history, the North Pole, Porsche Taycan production etc), but the in-game scenes when Moon Over The Castle plays are fresh.

There’s also another Lap Time Challenge with 2,000,000 credits on the line added to Sport Mode too, a great opportunity to try the new NISMO 400R.

Gran Turismo 7 Update 1.40 Spec II changelog

1. Opening Movie
 - The opening cinematic that plays when starting up the game has been updated. After the update, the ‘Play Opening Movie’ option will be set to ‘On’ when the game will be started the next time.
2. Cars
 - The following seven new cars have been added:
  ・Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi ’68 (Sold at the ‘Legend Cars’ dealership)
  ・Dodge Challenger SRT Demon ’18
  ・Lexus LFA ’10
  ・Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II ’91 (Sold at the ‘Legend Cars’ dealership)
  ・NISMO 400R ’95 (Sold at the ‘Legend Cars’ dealership)
  ・Porsche 911 GT3 RS (992) ’22
  ・Tesla Model 3 Performance ’23
3. Tracks
 - The ‘Lake Louise’ race track has been added in six different layouts:
  ・Lake Louise Long Track
  ・Lake Louise Long Track Reverse
  ・Lake Louise Short Track
  ・Lake Louise Short Track Reverse
  ・Lake Louise Tri-Oval
  ・Lake Louise Tri-Oval Reverse

The new track will be unlocked at Collector Level 22.

4. World Circuits
 - ‘Meeting Place’ has been replaced with the ‘Paddock.’ This mode can be accessed from the ‘World Circuits’ or ‘Multiplayer’ pavilions and enables players to communicate with one another through text chat and emoticons;
 - ‘Arcade Race’ has been replaced with ‘Quick Race.’ Also, in addition to the existing AI, players can select to race a prototype of the AI racing agent ‘Gran Turismo Sophy.’ (Only available on the PS5 version in specific tracks and cars);
 - The prizes for Quick Race and Custom Race have been increased. Credits awarded for these races increase based on the player’s Collector Level and Circuit Experience progress;
 - ‘Weekly Challenges’ have been added, where players can face events that change every week. This mode becomes available after clearing Menu Book No. 39 (‘Championship: World GT Series’) and having watched the ending;
 - An ‘Event Directory’ button has been added to make it easy to find all the race events currently available;
 - A ‘Change Car’ button has been added;
 - ‘Circuit Experience’ has been added to ‘Lake Louise’ track in the ‘Americas’ section;
 - The following new events have been added to ‘World Circuits’:
  ・World Touring Car 900
   - Trial Mountain Circuit
   - Nürburgring
   - Suzuka Circuit
   - Autopolis
  ・X2019 Nations Cup
   - Interlagos Circuit
   - Trial Mountain Circuit
   - Dragon Trail
   - Lago Maggiore Circuit
  ・World Rally Challenge Gr.B
   - Lake Louise
  ・Japanese 4WD Challenge 600
   - Lake Louise
  ・Pickup Truck Race
   - Lake Louise
  ・Clubman Cup+
   - Special Stage RouteX
   - Watkins Glen International
   - Monza Circuit
   - Fuji Speedway
  ・GT Cup Gr.3
   - Daytona International Speedway
   - Deepforest Raceway
   - Redbull Ring
   - Mount Panorama

5. Licence Center
 - ‘Master Licences’ have been added to Licence. This licence is unlocked after completing the ‘Normal Licence.’

6. Brand Central
 - New Museum section for ‘Abarth’ has been added for Europe (Italy);

7. Café
 - The following Menu Books have been added:
  ・Menu Book No.48: ‘World Touring Car 900’ (Collector Level 39 and above);
  ・Menu Book No.49: ‘Nations Cup’ (Collector Level 50 and above);

 - The following Extra Menus have been added:
  ・ Extra Menu No.31: ‘Collection: Road-Going Racers’ (Collector Level 30 and above);
  ・Extra Menu No.32: ‘Collection: Lexus’ (Collector Level 34 and above);
  ・Extra Menu No.33: ‘Collection: Red Bull X Series’ (Collector Level 50 and above);

– Added new sets of conversations with the Car Designers and Characters appearing in the Café. These new conversations can be accessed by changing to the following cars in ‘Garage’ and speaking with the Characters in the Café:
  - Ed Welburn
   ・Dodge Challenger SRT Demon ’18
   ・Ferrari FXX K ’14

  - Fabio Filippini
   ・DS DS3 Racing
   ・Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
   ・Ferrari F430

  - Freeman Thomas
   ・Volkswagen 1200
   ・Volkswagen Samba Bus

  - Hideo Kodama
   ・Jaguar XJ13 ’66

  - Shiro Nakamura
   ・Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4
   ・NISMO 400R

8. GT Auto
 - Car Maintenance & Service
  Engine Swaps have been added for the following cars (Unlocked at Collector Level 50):
  ・Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.3 Road Car
  ・Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (C6) ’09
  ・Dodge Viper GTS ’13
  ・Ford Mustang Gr.3 Road Car
  ・Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 ’15
  ・Lexus RC F ’14
  ・Mazda Atenza Gr.3 Road Car
  ・Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Road Car
  ・Nissan GT-R Nismo ’17
  ・Subaru WRX Gr.B Road Car

 - Car Customisation
  The following brands have been added to the pre-set decals in the Livery Editor:

9. Tuning Shop
 - ‘Snow Tyres’ have been added to the Tuning Shop.

10. Scapes
 - The ‘Player’s Favourites’ collection has been added as a featured Curation in Scapes;
 - The ‘Polyphony Digital Tokyo Office’ has been added as a new Spot under ‘Japan’ > ‘Tokyo’;
 - A ‘Rendering Quality’ option has been added in the ‘Detailed Settings’ section of the ‘Camera’ tab: ‘Standard,’ ‘Fine.’ and ‘Extra Fine’ can now be selected to increase the number of subframes when rendering and increase the quality of photos with movement.
11. Race Photos
 - Changed the height limit of Walk Mode for certain tracks so that it is now possible to take photos from a higher position;
 - New ‘Shutter Speed’ values have been added. It is now possible to select a speed between 1s and 1/30s;
 - A ‘Rendering Quality’ option has been added in the ‘Detailed Settings’ section of the ‘Camera’ tab: ‘Standard,’ ‘Fine.’ and ‘Extra Fine’ can now be selected to increase the number of subframes when rendering and increase the quality of photos with movement.

12. Replay
 - A ‘Replay Loop’ option has been added in the Replay Options. (Only available for regular replays.)

13. GT Menu
 - A new dashboard, which shows completion rates for each of the various World Map pavilions, have been added.

14. Multiplayer
 - ‘Paddock’ and ‘Split Screen Race’ have been added. In ‘Split Screen Race’, up to 4 players, each with their own controller, can now race together. (PS5 version only.)

15. Sport
 - Indicators have been added to the Driver List in the post-race screen to show the variations in the Driver Rating (DR) and Sportsmanship Rating (SR).

Other Improvements and Adjustments

1. Cars
 - Fixed an issue with the ‘Garage RCR Civic’ wherein the anti-roll bar setting could not be changed after a fully customised suspension had been fitted;
 - Increased the viewable range of the interior of the ‘Toyota Ambulance Himedic ’21’ in the VR Showroom.

2. Localisation
 - Fixed various text localisation issues.

3. Others
 - Various other issues have been addressed.

Changelog source

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