Support Rupert, click to buy via us...
The radio controlled HPI Racing E10 Ford GT LM brings together two hobby worlds - video games and r/c cars. The r/c car and been designed and branded by Polyphony Digital around a vehicle from their video game racing simulator on the PS2 and PlayStation 3.
This reminded me of the synergy behind Nike and Apple working together on their running shoe add-ons for the iPod. Two brands set their differences aside and create something that works in both markets. Here we find the high end R/C components and design of HPI join the attention to detail and eye for high design of Gran Turismo to create something a little bit special.
The HPI E10 RTR Ford GT LM Race Car Spec II designed by Gran Turismo is a 1/10th scale 4WD road car. It comes Ready To Run (RTR ) and as such would suite new or casual RC car hobbyist.
The focus here is on a complete kit rather than upgrade options. As such the E10 takes advantage of HPI's usual design standards. The E10 takes performance cues from previous HPI championship-winning cars and durable design elements and bring them all together for a total package that is fun to drive, tough and featuring great performance.
Gear ratios and metal parts can be added to the car, but you are unlikely to get as much value as you would from upgrading a less specialised HPI car. One easy customisable option is to replace the wheels with any HPI 12mm hex touring car wheels - simply bolt them straight on.
The Gran Turismo HPI E10 RTR Ford GT LM comes fully assembled and painted. Simply remove from the box, charge the battery and you are ready to go. There are spare and addition decals included in the kit for a little bit of customisation. The only tricky aspect is perhaps threading the receiver antennae through the aerial - a slightly tight fit.
The HPI E10 RTR Ford Gran Turismo LM R/C car feels as solid as other HPI vehicles. There has obviously been an eye on price as this is for the more casual driver, which in turn has meant more plastic parts. However, the overall finesse and design feels easily solid enough for new and novice drivers to cut their teeth here.
A tough drive shaft translates the power to all four wheels to offer great 4WD performance. Sealed motor gears as well as centre shaft and the front and rear differentials give the E10 great cornering ability. An oversized drive shafts and strong plastic parts should ensure it can stand up to everyday knocks. Although the suspension - wishbones, shock towers, uprights and hubs - is of plastic construction, it is thick enough to survive most knocks and bashes.
The chassis is a strong plastic tub to help keep rocks and other debris out and maintenance to a minimum. An extra-wide, foam front bumper protects the car's front end and body shell during crashes and impacts. The rear venturi-style bumper is less robust but certainly looks the part
The motor is mounted on a cam mount for easy gear mesh alignment. A large cover protects the spur gear, and a snap-on cover keeps rocks away from the pinion and spur gear. The central drive shaft also has longitudinal ribs to prevent excess flex.
The HPI TF-1 radio transmitter features interchangeable frequency crystals, a retractable aerial, easy access to radio adjustments and simple battery replacement. Although it feels a little plastic-y, the electronics here are well up to the job.
This being a special edition Gran Turismo HPI kit a big part of the thrill is to drive a physical car straight out of the video game. There was a special buzz to the simple fact that just hours before I'd been driving this E10 Ford around the Autumn Ring on he PS3, now here I was in a local car park doing just the same.
The Ford GT body shell carries that super-shiny white sheen that identifies it as the car from Gran Turismo. Vents, scoops and wheel openings have all received greater detail than usual for an R/C model. Add to this the licensed decals, 5-spoke 'mag' wheels, discs brakes and callipers and you have a car that looks and feels like something special. In fact the shame would be for those that find it too pretty to take out and muddy up.
Setting this novelty aside, the drive is as positive and robust as you would expect from an HPI R/C car. The 4WD and road tires work well to give strong acceleration and a little oversteer on corners. New comers and casual R/C hobbyists may want to take things easy at first as the E10 Ford can really move - and a collision at maximum speed would put even the best of parts at jeopardy.
The HPI E10 Ford Gran Turismo LM R/C car is easy to maintain. The bucket chassis and simple plastic parts require a simple brush and wipe down. As is true with any touring car, if you run it in the wet you will need to ensure it is well dried out afterwards and give the body shell a thorough wash and wipe down.
The Gran Turismo HPI E10 Ford LM R/C car is most likely a marketing idea. But it is one that fans of both Sony's PlayStation3 Gran Turismo game and HPI's high performance R/C cars will get a lot of value from. It strikes a sensible balance between price, performance and appearance. Although it looks pretty, you really need to hit the road to see this car really shine.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: