The consensus seems to be the Toyota Trueno Apex GT with a quick trip to the Upgrade Shop for a new exhaust and ROM chip OR the Chrysler PT Cruiser. IMHO, go for the Trueno since its a rear driver, it's a blast to drive hard into the corners. Also, winning the first series of Beginner Level races gives you another Trueno that you can sell for more upgrades!
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Just got back from a 3-hour GT3 session, and the Miata is a real winner. After countless upgrades, we were able to win all of the races (accepting the Miata) in the beginner slot. FYI, you can use the Miata in the 80's race!
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I concur with the Miata. I've won Sunday, Clubman, FR, Spider, and 80's with it without any trouble. Unfortunatly I can't get past R11 in the Turbo series yet. Well maybe with a suspension upgrade I can handle it better. We'll see tomorrow.
I went with the Toyota Vitz as the first car, and beat Sunday, Clubman, FF, and the Vitz cup. The nice thing about the Vitz cup is that it's worth $30,000, and you can do it with only the first turbo upgrade. After I beat the Vitz cup races twice, I bought a Vette Z06, which can beat almost all the beginner races stock, including NA and FR. I've got it hooked up now to 560hp and be the GT World champ series worth $150,000 and won an Evo VI GSR to boot. I figure that'll be good enough for beating the 4wd and Turbo races in beginner. I used the S13 turbo to win the 80's cup, only upgrading tires to sport and the turbo first stage.
FYI, in amatuer series, you will need race tires. Be sure not to equip your cars with the SUPER SOFT race tires, because they wear out after 2 laps, and the races are 5, so you are screwed. Medium soft seems to work ok so far, but I've only run one amatuer race.
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You should stay away from the Miata and the Trueno. You win duplicates fairly early.
The PT Cruiser is a good first car and upgrades nicely. I haven't tried it yet, but the Vitz car like someone mentioned is a great starter.
I won it, then tried the Vitz cup and was amazed how easy it was to drive and how fast it is with minimal upgrades. I wished I started with that car instead.
I have to go with popular opinion and nominate the Miata. I'm upgrading slowly but surely and the races become a little easier to get the gold on. And I really like the way my "upgrade" of gold rims look on it.
Well, just got my Nissan GTR-Vspec II. Man this car drives like a dream, even when it's stock! Pretty much kills other cars in the 4WD Races and Turbo Races. Can't wait to see what it can do when fully tuned!
Peter "If rubbin' dirt in your crotch is wrong, hey I don't wanna be right" - Futurama
OK, so now that we hav a lot of options for a good starter car (I went with the Vitz), what is typically the best upgrade path? I can't win the 3rd race in the second series to save my life! I can't drive worth a damn either, so that's probably why.
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train!