A long running driving game franchise on the Sony consoles, starting on the PlayStation in 1998.The games are known for their high production values and visual fidelity. Each game has a large selection of cars for the player to purchase, from second hand classics through to cutting edge modern cars and sometimes beyond into concept car territory.The player must earn the right to compete in the harder races by passing licence tests that teach proper racing techniques such as using the correct line, late braking and so on.While not a full-on simulation, the handling model of the game is definitely at the realism end of the spectrum, the game's subtitle being 'The Real Driving Simulator'.The game has been challenged by Microsoft's Forza Motorsport series of games, which use the same basic formula but adds in custom paint jobs and car damage at the expense of a huge car list.Not to be confused with Gran Torino.Provides examples of:
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The economy of 5 can feel like this. You will win a lot of useless and/or undervalued prize cars (which are mostly unsellable and can only be won once), the prize money gained even in Endurance races is... underwhelming to say the least, the fact that the cost of cars is far increased and the thoroughly ridiculous Premium/Standard car system, which, in summary, has over 700 of the cars in game (mostly ones imported from 4) only available to be brought from the Used Car Dealership at random in-game days leads to head-banging frustration.
Although the introduction of Seasonal Events, and the Online Collector's Dealership reduces the frustration level somewhat.
Most seasonal races (each of which is ten minutes or so) give you a prize of at least 350,000 credits. The 1000km of Suzuka endurance event, which is six hours, in A-Spec mode gives you 345,000 credits. Spectacular, Polyphony.
Autosave: 4 has this on by default, though it can be turned off.
Any car whose engine can produce more power than its chassis can handle.
The Toyota 7 Race Car mostly averts this. It's very light and powerful even for a car made in 1970. In 6, it has a high enough PP rating to make it a contender in any race that allows it. However, it is almost unusable in 24 hour endurance races in 5 and 6 for one glaring reason: no headlights.
GT1 had the used R32 Skyline GTR. Affordable from Day 1 with your starting money, tunable, stable at cornering - no wonder almost every guide advised you to make it your first car.
This is subverted as you progress through the game(s), but it's justified because the faster races require cars either built exclusively or heavily modified for performance.
The Real Circuit Tour seasonal in 5. The highest payouts of any non-endurance event in the game, with Le Mans prototypes racing at La Sarthe, Spa and the like. Especially the Tsukuba event - it is six laps of the shortest road course in the game, leading to a four minute race giving you over 500,000 credits, only increasing with the Performance Difference and Login bonuses.
GT1 and GT3 often rewarded the player with cars normally purchasable but in a special colour. In the first game, said cars also came with aftermarket rims (which became redundant soon after, as 2 added a wheel shop), although they were still stock, performance wise. Most famous example (even memetic, in the GT community) is the pink Toyota Vitz in 3, which, thanks to the random prize draw in championship events, can be won 3 times if you're unlucky.
Artificial Stupidity: B-spec mode in GT4 allows you to direct an AI car rather than drive yourself. While it is pretty adept at sticking to the track, it has a really bad habit of riding behind other cars without trying to pass, even if you order it to "Overtake" and you have a vastly superior vehicle.
The AI opponents in GT5 can have some trouble as well. See how they almost repeatedly bungle the NGK chicane in the Nurburgring GP circuit here. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny when it happens en masse.
Ascended Fanboy: The game is so realistic that a few fans have become professional racers, or have been invited to try out real cars.
Along with GT5, GT Academy was launched; a series of competitions that give the most skilled gamers the opportunity to become real racing drivers.
The 2010 GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez has gone on to win the ILMC and finish 2nd in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (in his class) in his first season.
Ascended Glitch: More like an "ascended hack", but players in 5 discovered that they could remove rear wings from their car if they hack the savegame. 6 added the option to remove rear wings from selected cars.
In 5, the player character (as seen in the cinematics) wears a white racing suit and helmet. That's right, you are The Stig.
In 6, two of the cheapest racing suits and helmets you can buy for your avatar with in game credits? The exact same ones as the White Stig(s), and the original Black Stig.
Bragging Rights Reward: A-spec Points in GT4, of which more are awarded for winning races with weaker cars, and the points are not cumulative if you win the same race multiple times.
Additionally, they are completely useless. They can not be exchanged for anything and the player earns no reward for accumulating them. They exist for no reason other than for the player to point to his total and go, "My total's higher! I'm a better driver!"
Bribing Your Way to Victory: The tedium involved in starting out and getting money in 5 can be easily avoided by buying the DLC Touring Cars, using the power limiter to get the right PP level, and racing in the Supercar Festival seasonal event, which don't even require a license. Because, as we all know, you can easily enter a Le Mans-spec Nissan GT-R in a road car event.
In 6, the ability to purchase money using real cash (from PSN wallet) was added. Naturally, like other games which has microtransactions in it, fans cried foul about this.
Cash Cow Franchise: Sort of. They don't pump the games out for money, but the games tend to be massive sellers.
Christmas Rushed: 2. It was released ahead of schedule in order to be on the market in time for Christmas 1999. Early copies were extremely glitch ridden, which players reporting many extremely weird glitches, the most prominent being that their garage can be randomly deleted. Additionally, players can only attain 98.2% completion percentage due to drag racing being removed at the very last minute to meet the deadline. An additional remnant of this is there being a couple stray drag racing cars left in the game which are generally useless, and an accessible drag strip if one knows how to properly glitch Laguna Seca.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: AI cars tend to handle on dirt and snow exactly as they would on tarmac, leading to many a thrown controller as junky 80's production cars beat your souped up rally cars. Until you figure out you can cheat too, in a different way.
The penalties for crashing into other cars in the rallies in GT4 would always be assessed against the player, no matter whose fault the collision was.
The championship races in GT3 had the AI cheating in between races. In GT3, the player's car would require an oil change every 198 miles. Often in longer championships, the player would need to change the oil mid-championship, and it would have an adverse effect on the car's performance. Meanwhile, the AI would receive new cars prior to the beginning of every race.
This doesn't matter in GT3 A-Spec. A car with a broken in engine and in need of an oil change has more power than a brand new one.
6 Adds the new "Vision GT" feature which is a feature where car makers' new concept cars are being added over time to the game.
Creator Provincialism: The vehicle rosters are heavily dominated by Japanese cars and usually favor Japan-market names. It wasn't until the fourth game that Detroit actually got a decent car lineup, and it was still missing models like the 1970 Dodge Challenger (which showed up in the second game, go figure) and the 80's Pontiac Firebird. It also took until the fifth game in the series for Ferraris to finally appear.
They also have a strong emphasis on Japanese motorsports. Play 2 again and count how many of the race cars are from the 1999 Japanese Grand Touring Car Championship (now Super GT). There probably would have been more, had licensing not got in the way (see Dummied Out). Not only that, the cars in question are massively overpowered (some running in excess of 700HP, whilst the actual race cars only had 500, although the power levels was fixed in 3) and are generally easier to drive than some of the non-Japanese race cars.
In an interview around the time 2 was being released, the developers stated they didn't find muscle cars to be an important part of automotive culture, but decided to add some into the game for broader appeal.
The game's creator and producer is a big fan and owner of the Ford GT, which probably why it both ended up on the cover of 4 and had a special racing model featured in the intro as well as all the advertising.
Since 5 Nissan has a rather large presence in the dealership menus. Helps that Nissan is one of the biggest supporters for GT Academy, and that the series' Producer has raced in the Nurburgring 24 hour race in a GT-R at least twice now.
Cultural Translation: Sony always has the rather bad habits of axing the BGMs for licensed Western tracks, dividing all monetary values by 100 to resemble US dollars instead of yen, changing the default unit of power (PS to HP), and (in the first game at least) changing which cars are initially available in Quick Arcade mode.
Development Hell: Pretty much every iteration of the series goes through it. The most commonly-cited reason is the licensing issues related to the in-game cars.
The most glaring example would be the PSP port of the fourth game, which was originally scheduled to be released in April 2005 to coincide with the debut of the PSP. Unfortunately, it was neglected in favor of Gran Turismo, and as a result, took four years to be released.
Disc One Nuke: If you get all golds on the first license test, which is still kind of hard, you can get a car that will allow you to blow away the competition in the Beginner leagues.
3 gives you the best of the Miata's for doing this. There's also a Miata-only endurance race. The reward for winning that includes an F1 car.
4 has the mighty Cadillac Cien, which is obtained by completing the first rally event. And if you put this car on the 24 hours of Nürburgring — which is a pretty much assured victory — you will get the Formula 1 racer.
The second rally event (Capri Rally) gives you the Toyota RSC Rally Raid Car which could also be considered a Disc One Nuke. It is a powerful car in and of itself, and you can sell it for 265 000 credits. If you tune it fully, you can easily get 2-minute laptimes at the Capri. This allows you to grind 1.8 million credits per hour.
Anyone who bought the Collector's/Signature edition of GT5 received five "stealth cars", either racing versions of supercars or de-restricted racecars. These cars come with front and rear downforce, are drivable straightaway, and cost next to nothing to repair.
The online seasonal events in GT5 qualify as veritable Disc One Nukes if you can tune your car at the right PP level. The easiest of these events would be the Stars & Stripes, Supercar Festival, and, recently, Mini Challenge races. Since all of them can net you a LOT of money if you can secure first place, you'll be able to even get the elusive Formula Gran Turismo car in the online dealership at a mere 5,000,000 in just less than an hour. And all this by winning those events time and time again.
Step 1: Make friends with a gamer who has a Red Bull X2010 to borrow. Step 2: Enter it in all the events possible. Step 3: ? Step 4: Profit.
Hell, let your B-Spec driver race for you.
Pre-ordering GT 6 gives you access to 25 GT 15th Anniversary cars. You don't need to pre-order the game, buying the game and receive for free a code for it also counts. This is the game of the series where credits are crucial.
Despite a native resolution of 480p, two games on the PS2 supported 1080i resolution - GT4, and Tourist Trophy made by (you guessed it) Polyphony Digital.
Allowing race modifications for almost all cars in the second game. Doesn't sound very artistic, until you consider every racing modification is an Expy of a real world racing car. Even cars such as the early 80's Toyota Starlet - a 174HP economy car which was never professionaly raced - is based off an actual racer built by an amateur team for track days.
All FWD saloons from the late 90's could be turned into their touring car counterpart from the period.
Driving Test: The game's license tests. Who would have tought that getting the best rating would be that hard?!
Dueling Games: With Forza Motorsport. Forza contained elements such as car vinyl creation, full damage modelling and performance changes as a result. The GT series would not see the latter until a few games later in the series.
As mentioned below, 2s development was really pressed for time, and as a result, several cars, a few tracks and a whole game mode got shafted from the final game.
Delving deep into the files of GT2 reveals numerous Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren JGTC race cars. Predictably, licensing issues stopped these cars from being developed further. Had these been included, every JGTC car from 1999 would have been featured.
3 had a JGTC-spec Lamborghini Diablo race car available to win in the Japanese version, which got through a licensing loophole by listing the race car builder as opposed the car's original manufacturer. Fearing legal action, it was removed from the subsequent NTSC and PAL releases. It was added back in 5.
A few cars were also shafted, such as the Lancia Stratos and an actual Porsche 911.
Delving deep into the files of 5 reveals that NOS boosters was going to be kept from GT4. However, it got removed during the development.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Before the series started, the development team worked on another Playstation racer called Motortoon GP, which can be best described as a Mario Kart clone with realistic driving physics (as contradictory as that may sound). It was this physics system that they ported over to Gran Turismo's more realistic concept.
Easter Egg: In GT5 if you go into cockpit view in the High End Performance G37 you will notice a PS3 in the back.
That's probably because it was included at SEMA. Although there ARE more
In 6, if you participate in the NASCAR events, you'll occasionally see drivers with names that belong and allude to the real life versions in NASCAR, complete with the car and number that they're associated with.
Executive Meddling: Gran Turismo 2 was rushed to store shelves for the Christmas period. Cue Game-Breaking Bug(s), a few dozen typos, deleted cars, and (biggest of all) the omission of a drag racing mode.
Promotional material, the website and even the instruction booklet all make mention of the illusive drag racing mode. Two or three drag cars slipped their way into the game, although were pretty useless. This just shows how much Sony were pressuring Polyphony into getting the game in a marketable state.
Hell, the deletion of the drag racing made 100% completion Unwinnable by Mistake, as the player could only achieve 98.2%. Sony admitted they were trying to get the game out in time for the holiday rush, and offered a bug-free version with 100% completion available. The drag racing was still omitted however.
External executive meddling (between Panoz and Nissan) led to Nissan-marked DeltaWing removed from GT6... only to be added back at the last minute, thanks to day one patch. Now players has two DeltaWings to drive (the 2012 one at Le Mans and the 2013 one with it's chrome livery), with DeltaWing assigned as manufacturer name.
First Person Snapshooter: Starting from the fourth game, the series lets you take a picture, can be a still or in the track, and save it to a USB drive.
Game-Breaking Bug: The Japanese and the early American copies of 2 has some bugs in it, but the most notorious one was that, if you filled the Maximum Speed Attack leaderboards (maximum is 8) and finished a ninth maximum speed trial, it would destroy some garage information. US players could contact SCEA for a replacement copy, while the PAL version fixed it from start.
Players of 6 quickly discovered a game-breaking bug within days of release of the game. The bug involved the brand-new stockyard feature, where unused cars could be placed. If you are unlucky, cars placed there could disappear from the game save. This bug may have been silently fixed, as some players reported that stockyard are now working fine.
Another game breaking bug in 6 involved timed races (5-Minute Races in National B, 10-Minute Races in International B, 15-Minute Races in International A, as well as most of Super class races) where the positions would jumble up as the timer reads zero, which could deny the player from winning even if the player is physically leading the race. A hotfix released after update 1.03 slightly fixed this.
Gotta Catch 'Em All: A Self-Imposed Challenge for diehard car collectors. Made into a real challenge in GT5 where the Used Car and Online dealerships only show some of the collectable cars at a time (the Used Car list changes a bit after playing certain games; the Online list changes over time), thus demanding patience, and luck, from the players.
Green Aesop: GT's 1,031-car lineup even includes hybrids and electric cars, such as the Tesla Roadster.
The latest release of GT5 Prologue had a fictional concept version of the GT by Citroën, which was powered by Fuel Cells (whereas the real car had a V8 petrol engine).
The last car pack DLC for 5 has Nissan Leaf in it.
Jack of All Stats: Clearing the first license on the fourth game nets you a Pontiac Sunfire, still a normal sedan but also a well-balanced starter car. The first game, meanwhile, is way easier if you start with the AE86.
Most Japanese cars (barring most of Daihatsu); usually moderately powerful and easier to handle, and they're slightly cheaper than Western ones (just like real life). Such as the Mitsubishi Lancer.
Joke Character: GT4 allows you to unlock a vintage 1886 Mercedes-Benz patent Motorwagen, which has all of one HP. The Model T is also unlockable. Not to mention the Daihatsu Midget-I...
Other useless joke cars include the Fiat 500F, the Honda Life Stepvan, the Subaru 360, the VW Beetle 1948, and many other classic cars. Some of these can't even be driven in races. GT2 had a few of these as well.
it is possible, in the fifth installment at least, to make a Honda Life Step Van wheelie. And, that's about all the reasons you have for buying it over that flash Skyline!
Subverted with the Citroen 2CV, which actually can be used in a certain event.
A Joke Race: your prize for the All-American Championship, which requires you to spend a few hundred thousand credits on a race car or upgrades, is only a useless 1954 Corvette. And the prize credits are a paltry sum as well. So it's a net loss.
Not entirely; the recommended route is to get a Chaparral 2J, which pays for itself. It's inconvenient, but gives you an excuse to buy the best value-for-money car in the game.
GT2 featured two dragster cars, which were meant for the Dummied Out drag-racing mode. At least you could have fun trying to control all 1000BHP of them.
GT5 throws in the Volkswagen Kübelwagen (an army vehicle) and the Volkswagen Sambus (a van), though they're used in the Top Gear Test Track challenges. It still gives you the Subaru 360 and the like as (unsellable) prize cars, however.
Joke Level: GT6 features at least one challenge involving racing a moon buggy around the Apollo 15 landing site. Although the zero-gravity environment means it is an actually a lethal one.
Jay Leno: He's a brand of car in 4, as his unique hot rod with a Sherman tank engine is a bonus vehicle.
Same car can now be purchased from the Used Car Dealership in GT5. It also can be won as a prize car in the A-Spec American Championship.
The Oldsmobile Toronado, a 1000 HP BEAST owned by Jay Leno also appears on GT 6. Expect to destroy it's tires on the first attempts of racing.
Lethal Joke Character: The Renault Espace F1 in 2 — a racing minivan, except this thing is no joke: It actually exists and will kick the ass of any other minivan ever created. A shame it has only been driven once. In the game, it is competitive with the highest tier of racing cars.
The 1967 Chevrolet El Camino SS in Gran Turismo 6. You can roll like Lyndon Johnson, wasting priceless vintage European sports cars in the process.
In 2, we have a Rover Mini Cooper rally car on the special dealership. What's special about it? It doesn't have just 74hp, oh nooo, it has 200hp. And since it's a Mini, it also handles incredibly well while trashing opponents with their Japanese Sport cars, Muscle Cars and even the legendary GT40 - which is not supposed to be there anyway, due to the horsepower limits!note (In fact, all rally cars, as well as the GT500 and GT300 ones in 2 has buffed amount of horsepower compared to the real-life counterparts when in action. For instance, the other purchasable rally cars in-game, such as the Lancer Evo V WRC, Impreza WRC '99, and Corolla WRC, has their horsepower rates double once purchased, probably without the required restrictor installed. The horse power rates for WRC, GT500, and GT300 cars were nerfed to the real rates in 3.)
In 6, the Fisker Karma and the Tesla Roadster and Model S. Yes, they're electric cars but their single greatest advantage compared to combustion engine powered cars is their single-gear transmission, which doesn't tax the engine and the car's speed. In straightaways, they lose their effectiveness because they can only go so fast as their motor allows them to and electric motors do not have a customizable transmission; however, in the corners, because of their single-gear transmission, they can actually outrun even sports cars (provided that they are not of supercar level), and these electric wheelers make surprising contenders for first place because of that advantage.
Level Grinding: Actually played straight in 5, though in all incarnations, you're going to have to work hard raking in the dough if you're going to spice up your car with the best parts and/or getting the car(s) of your wildest dreams. Often overlaps with Money Grinding.
The sequel has some where in the region of over 600 cars.
The third dropped it down to around 150, thanks to the longer time it took to render a car on the more powerful PlayStation 2.
Over 700 in 4.
Granted a good part of it were variants of various cars, such as the Nissan Skyline and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Exceeds 1,000 in 5, although 700 of these were brought over from 4, without any changes.
Marathon Level: Endurance races. Taken Up to Eleven in the fourth game, which added THREE 24 hour races to the event list, along with a couple 4 hour races, an 8 hour race and a 9 hour race.
Money for Nothing: The Seasonal Events in 5. The Power Limiter means that even race cars can enter the higher PP-level events, and the payouts are astronomical. This is likely to make up for the absolutely pathetic payouts in the regular game.
Nintendo Hard: To the point where actually driving a car is easier than beating some of the races.
Special mention has to go to the level 30 Red Bull event in 5, a time trial challenge that pits you in the X2010. The car itself is essentially a mini-rocket on four wheels; unfortunately, the incredibly phenomenal performance of this machine makes it teeth-gnashingly hard to win even a bronze in that challenge, let alone gold. And to make things worse, you have to complete all three of them if you want to unlock the car. This makes the final driving mission from 4 look like it's a Sunday Cup event, and that race was difficult enough already.
Alternatively, either attain an A-Spec level of 40 or level up your B-Spec driver to 35. You'll unlock it quicker than the actual event and get your badass mofo of a car.
Getting the licenses can be no big deal. The REAL CHALLENGE is getting gold on every licenses. The worst of them all is IA-15 and S-16 from 4, where you have to race around the ENTIRE Nurburgring Nordschleife! It doesn't sound that much if the track wasn't 20km(12 mile) long. And in test licenses, getting out of the track or crashing into the wall(or crashing the Pace Car in IA-15's case) results into an instant failure and you have to retry all over again. Patience, knowledge of the track, knowledge of how to drive the car AND knowledge of how to race is needed.
The Nineties: Pumping techno music and the use of pastel colors in menus is very clear when looking at the original today.
Nearly every car in every manufacturer's dealership in the second game was a car that was available to buy brand new at the time. Granted, it was very late in the 90's - the Christmas period of 1999 - but the idea's still there.
It returns in 6, but most of the seasonal events disallow the usage and it's very expensive (100.000 Cr).
At least it does not drain the fuel of the car.
Obvious Beta: The PSP version. Five years to develop a cut-down Arcade Mode. Some circles speculate that the game was actually scrapped mid-way through development and was resuscitated because GT5 was taking too long to develop and Sony decided to throw gamers a bone.
From 1 to 2: Transferring save data from GT1 to GT2 would give you some extra credits, plus exemptions from the B and A licenses.
From 3 to 4: Pretty much the same, except the amount of credits transferred dwarfs the previous example.
From Portable or Prologue to 5: Any cars earned in either of those games are unlocked in the Arcade mode of GT5.
Played with in Gran Turismo Concept (a PAL and NTSC-J only release) - after passing all the license tests, the game allows players to import over 10,000,000 creditsand complete all unfinished licenses on GT3. Counts as a sort of Disc One Nuke if you're just starting to play GT3; with that amount of cash and full licenses, you can buy, modify, and enter every car necessary for every event.
RPG Elements: GT is basically a Car RPG, where racing replaces battles. Think about it: if you win you gain experience money; you can then level up when you have enough to buy new kit; upgrading parts replaces the upgrade cycle of buying new armor and weapons; both raise your stats so you can take on tougher opponents; you even get new party members cars. And quite often you'll be Level Grinding the races for more money and selling off the cars you win.
Oddly, experience points were added in GT5. (It is removed in GT6)
The Red Stapler: Subaru and Mitsubishi have said that the popularity of their vehicles in-game was what convinced them to start importing the Impreza WRX and the Lancer Evolution to the United States.
The fact that the Nissan Skyline GT-R was 1) affordable at the start of the game and 2) tunable up to 800-1000 BHP must account for some of its prevalence in the modified car scene in the 90s and early 00s, as the 'Playstation Generation' grew up.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Gran Turismo 5 semi-controversially removed the "Brake Upgrade." The primary reasons for upgrading the brakes in for racing in real life are just about the only two things that Gran Turismo doesn't model: brake pad condition and braking system heat. Raw stopping power owes far more to vehicle weight and tires.
As mentioned in the Dummied Out section, several cars in GT2 had their racing modification options cut to make way for its own car. The Shelby Daytona Coupe was planning to be in road-car form and have its racing livery as a modification, when in reality, a road-going version doesn't exist.
Scenery Porn: The entire series is about this. Professional racers have certified that SCEI's Nürburgring is almost exactly like the real one.
Schedule Slip: After three years in development a "March 2010" release date for GT5 was finally announced at E3 2009. Then it went back into the "delayed indefinitely" pile. Then a new release date of November 2nd, 2010 was announced at E3 2010. Then the game was delayed again (reportedly for missing its production date due to firmware issues) until the final release date of November 24th, 2010 was announced. Which, thankfully, they managed to stick to. During this time period, the game has had 2 free demos, one non-free demo and that demo's "Greatest Hits" re-release come out between it's announcement and the final launch date.
GT5 includes Dunsfold Park, the famous test track from Top Gear. This may be in honor of the episode where Jeremy Clarkson played Laguna Seca in GT4 and then travelled to the real thing to try and beat his in-game time. He failed.
Also in GT5, a racer called "J.Bond" is scripted to appear with a silver Aston Martin.
Stealth Pun: The car on the cover of the fourth game is the Ford GT. There are two racing versions of this car in the game, both with door number 4. Yes, GT #4.
Super Prototype: Both played straight and subverted. Late into the game you'll come across prototype and racing-class versions of stock cars you found in the stores. These are often far better than their unmodified stock models — the plain vanilla Geo Metro, for example, has 70 hp, whereas the Pikes Peak version has 986 hp and it can be upgraded to well over 1000hp — but by the time you have access to them, you've probably Ace Customized your own cars so much that the prototypes pale in comparison (With the exception of the Pikes peak Suzukis) — at least until you get to max those out.
GT5's Stealth Model "Gift Cars" include such vehicles, and you get to have them as early as starting the game for the first time. See Disc One Nuke.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Yes, the game allows you do so such utter nonsense as entering Le Mans cars in road car events. Or, in a truly hilarious moment, you can enter several-ton trucks into the Lightweight K-Cup in 5.
Unwinnable By Bad Luck: The All-American Championship in 4 was often this, due to the not uncommon occurrence of the Chaparral 2J, Panoz Esperante, or both competing, and starting in first place. You have to either quit and re-enter until neither are there, or do the Capri Rally until you have enough for your own 2J.
Doing a Family Cup or Arcade Mode race in 4 with a slow car (Such as a Honda Today G or Daihatsu Midget) may end up having you race against a Dodge Ram, which is vastly quicker.
Due to a bug featured in some races in the Online Seasonal Events in 5, the first-place AI car will get a massive head start to render them Unwinnable. A particularly bad example is the Japanese 80's Festival event, especially the 5-lap Tsukuba race, where you're frustratingly limited to 420PP and you have to find the right Japanese 80s car to beat the cheating first-place AI. Thanks, Polyphony.
In 2, some races has an opponent that uses a car that's not allowed to enter the race. You can end up entering the 30 Laps Trial Mountain Endurance with a 290hp car to race against a 700hp Vector M12 LM Race Car. You totaly got this race on the bag.
Vendor Trash: You'll be selling cars that practically don't fare well in most races, especially the Joke Cars.