December 23 marks 25 years since the release of the original Gran Turismo in Japan in 1997 — a game that changed not only the course of gaming, but the course of automotive history. It would be another five months before those of us in the U.S. would have our chance to explore the game’s 140-car roster and 11 fictional tracks — five months until a great many of us learned what a Nissan Skyline or a Lancer Evolution was. Of course, in Japan, car-loving gamers would’ve already been properly acquainted.
It’s for this reason that Gran Turismo 7 players will be treated this week to what developer Polyphony Digital is calling a “25th anniversary update.” On Thursday, the game gains three new cars — the 2018 BMW M2 Competition, 1987 Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth and 1996 S14 Nissan Silvia K’s Aero. The game will also add Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, long a mainstay of Gran Turismo’s sworn rival, Forza Motorsport. This marks the first appearance of the home of the Petit Le Mans in the Real Driving Simulator. It’s not the return of Grand Valley we expected, but that may still come someday.
There’s more! On Saturday, Polyphony Digital and Ferrari will jointly unveil a new Ferrari Vision Gran Turismo concept. The car had been teased earlier in the week with a front light signature evoking the new 499P Le Mans Hypercar, so it’ll be interesting to see how similar the two are.
The Ferrari VGT will not be available at the same time as the other cars; instead, players will be able to drive it beginning on December 15, long after it’s unveiled at the Gran Turismo World Series Nation’s Cup final this weekend. Players can also get it for free in-game if they follow along with the World Final and can answer some specific questions.
In fact, several rewards await GTWS viewers. Between Thursday and Saturday, players can answer questions — presumably with information displayed during the event’s livestream — for the chance to win 1 million in-game credits, a special part, an engine and the aforementioned Ferrari concept. Sport Mode races will also see higher payouts during the 25th anniversary festivities, and there’s one more big feature coming to GT7: the ability to sell cars. That last one had been a very, very long time coming indeed.
It all kicks off November 24 at 5 p.m. AEDT when the update goes live. Servers will remain down for a short while after the patch is posted, though, so it may be a few more hours before you’re able to enjoy the new content.