They say Legends never die, and that’s true. Although the Protera took a quick break throughout the mid 2000s, the second generation not only had a long and successful rallying career, it also found owners in the illegal street racing scene in the Nine Thou fuelled madness that was the mid 00s, now at the twilight years of the decade, and the dawn of the next one, the Protera is back and better than ever.
Equipped with the winning formula 2.0L Turbo I4, this incarnation is now pushing nearly 275HP while still going easy on the gas. Petrol, that is, you can still floor this thing and do some sick skids both on the asphalt, and the dirt. Did I mention this girl is now AWD? Yeah, she’s AWD.
This is what happens when first class doesn’t cut it for you, a touch of opulence but still not wallet obliterating, still uses the finest leather sourced from that dodgy ethics record company, but who cares about how those animal meatbags feel when you can sit in class-leading comfort on their skin? Still equipped with a purring 3.0L naturally aspirated V6 motor, plus a new hybrid system, you can take it easy on the road, and on gas.
For the more… let’s just say, thrill seeking businessman, there’s the F7R, less luxuries, more carbon race bits. Just like the Sapphire GT of 20 years past, you can rip down the freeway late for that business meeting you’re probably going to sleep through anyway. Now with a 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 producing close to 600 horses and now converted from AWD to RWD, on top of near 50/50 weight distribution, this girl has combines classy elegance, and rough-play power.
The range-topping Sapphire F7R is a menacing machine for anyone to see in their rear-view mirrors - and to think that all those 600 horsepower come from a normally aspirated V8! Needless to say, that trim would be a must-drive for any enthusiast worth their salt - but even the lesser F7 easily makes a case for itself.
The cutest new car on sale today, about the size of an actual bowl of miso soup, it’s powered by the fearful 1.3L I4 with an earth shattering 84HP!!. Despite not being as quick and agile as a Protera, or as luxurious and classy as a Sapphire, the Miso still gets the job done, both doubling as a cut price supermarket runabout, and a highly fashionable accessory car to complement your brand new Motorola flip phone.
Arguably my best work, and my favourite project to date, the 2nd Gen. Protera is my first cross-version car, being ported from UE4.24 to UE4.27. The new version of the Protera sports different wheels, more pronounced bumpers and cleaner lines and shading. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same thing.
I probably will become even less active as my summer comes to an end, life takes priority over some car company tycoon game y’know! I might be able to have another project out if I have the motivation (and inspiration) to do so. Here’s to 2023 being less shit than 2020, 21 and 22.
A truly out of this world Sapphire, to commemorate 20 years since the launch of the first generation Sapphire, the Sapphire Celestia comes equipped with all the latest gadgets and luxury features, as well as a punchy 2.5L N/A V6 pushing nearly 240HP, only 850 Celestia Editions were produced, making this girl a rare but captivating sight on modern Japanese roads.
The classy for the many mountainous passes all over Japan, while still retaining a 4 cylinder, this girl still has a 2.0L Turbocharged I4 pushing near 170HP, not a lot, but it’ll still get you around Akihabara with ease, and you can still visit Mt. Fuji on the weekends. Comes standard with lifted suspension, roof bars, chrome bullbars, tow ball and special paint scheme.
The rebellious goth girl of the Sapphire family, the Turbo RS is the death metal, spiked collar, heavy eyeshadow type beat, with a top of the line 2.6L Turbocharged V6 pushing 260HP to the rear wheels, comes with paint matched front lip, larger rear spoiler, 5 spoke rims and “go faster” red trim around the sides. The wannabe street racers at Mt. Akina are quaking in her presence.
1988-1992 Haruna V6 4WD Super Ascent
It’s like an Ascent, but you can fit more people in it! More seats, same wheels, same colour scheme. Really, not much has changed, except now the chrome bullbars are optional, still comes with a tow hitch to take along whatever doesn’t fit in the acres of cargo space with or without the 7 passengers lounging in air conditioned, butter smooth 2.7L N/A V6 comfort.
The Sapphire for the late 90s has been ported and remastered for 4.27, featuring a new 3.0L V6, cleaner bodylines and a new trim that is 100% not inspired by the car listed in my “Cars that I own” list, this Sapphire is sportier, aero-ier(?) and beige…-ier.
Picture this, it’s 1995, you’ve just been promoted to an Middle Manager position at Enron Corporation. It might have cost a few of your subordinates their jobs and insurance, and California their energy sector, and you’re in charge of cooking the books to inflate the profit margins. No big deal though, when has a little bit of fraudulent accounting ever hurt anyone? Instead, you should celebrate your promotion with a car to fit your job title, you deserve it.
This is where the Sapphire comes in, you can’t afford a Grand Star edition, but the Prestige comes close, offering a 185HP 2.7L N/A V6, it’ll still show up all the accountants and interns on Monday, especially with almost all the gadgets and technology the Grand Star comes equipped with, topped off with the same luxurious leather upholstery, stylish aerodynamic alloy wheels, electric sunroof and chrome trim. This is the car that means business.
Smashingly ordinary, maybe you’re a manager looking for an expendable fleet car for your equally expendable employees, maybe you’re a college student with a credit score that begins with a 3, or maybe you’re a Joe Schmoe or Plain Jane that just needs the automotive equivalent of a plain cheese pizza, if you’re any of these people, the Persona SE is just the right car for you! Fitted with a FWD 1.8L SOHC naturally aspirated 4 cylinder putting out about 106hp, it does exactly what it needs to do, no more, no less. A normal 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission, as well as just the most basic of creature comforts to keep yourself saying “it’s alright.”
Now this, this ain’t your father’s Persona, this is the hottest import of 2002. With a 2.0L DOHC naturally aspirated 4 cylinder, the power is pushed all the way up to 160HP!!. This is the ultimate blank canvas for overconfident wannabe street racers to find their calling with its sporty aero kit, spoiler, dual exhaust, “racing foglamps” and its menacing hood scoop, not to mention its striking yellow paintjob. If you listen very closely, you can almost hear Green Day banging away on the inside thanks to its upgraded sound system as standard, wicked!!!
This is the rental car of the late 1980’s, solidly built sensible luxury for the masses, it’s what the Sapphire does best. Equipped with the standard range of engines, the Charmant trim having the middle 2.5L naturally aspirated V6 with 138hp. Fleet managers love it, cost conscious buyers love it, we’re sure you’ll love it too.
Malaysia’s best selling car since 2004, the Miso can be found the length and width of the country, from Kuala Lumpur to Johor. Equipped with a 1.0L N/A I4 pushing out 82hp as standard, it gets the Miso going while reaching a peak efficiency of 3.3L/100km, or for Americans, 71MPG, making it by far the most fuel efficient egg in the Akamatsu lineup. Comes standard with air conditoning, power steering and fully equipped entertainment system. It’s Sapphire level equipment for a Miso level price.
If this car had been sold in Europe, budget-conscious shoppers would have bought it in droves - and it may have even been a sales success in the American market at the height of the Great Recession! Also, with the base engine’s high specific output, there would still have been some headroom for a junior hot hatch variant reminiscent of the contemporary Swift Sport. And in terms of aesthetics, this is one of the more resolved designs based on any of the Charites body sets.