Gran Turismo 5 Tuning Guide – Improve Your Car’s Performance

By   /   5 years ago

In driving simulators like Gran Turismo 5, your car’s efficiency counts a lot. You can usually have an upper hand over your opponent by small tweaks and modifications in your car.

There are many tuning options in the game which you can adjust to get maximum out of your car. But before you change or purchase any upgrade, you should know the basic functionality of each upgrade. So here we are with a precise guide, which will help you tune your car for better performance.

Gran Turismo 5 Car Tuning Guide

Body (Chassis)
If you check the “Body/Chassis” menu, you will come across Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 options, with Chassis Reinforcement, Window Weight Reduction, and Carbon Hood.

Lighter the body of the car, the more acceleration and speed it will have. You can remove the additional parts to lighten your car or you can upgrade your car with lighter metals for speed and handling.

Chassis Reinforcement will increase the handling of the car during corners; it reduces the one side shift the car does while fast corners. By reinforcing the body, the car becomes rigid, increases grip and adds more stability to the car.

You can tweak the aerodynamics of the car for grip as the downforce ‘they exert – Wings’ would keep your car to the ground. So adding a wing to your car will give you more downforce which in turn will stabilize your ride through corners.There are couple of ways you can adjust the downforce.

If you setup front downforce low and rear downforce high, it will make your car oversteer thus helping you corner easier. But, one of the downside to this, the car can easily spin out.

If you setup both front and rear downforce in middle, your car will be balanced with better speed and good cornering.

If you setup front downforce high and rear downforce low, it will make your car downsteer. Good for powerful cars that tend to fishtail.

Engine’s power is the primary criteria for your car’s acceleration and speed. So you need to upgrade your car’s engine to pass quickly through the corners or for maximum speed at straights.

It is important that you select your upgrade wisely as most of them are expensive. Upgrade the car you drive in most of the tracks while for other cars you can go for cheaper upgrades.

You should regularly tune your car and change the engine oil to make sure that all the parts are in optimum condition. It is recommended that you buy the ECU before anything else as it has an enormous benefit for a cheap cost.

Intake System
Flow of the air into the engine for proper ignition can be an important factor. These upgrades should follow the engine upgrades. They may not provide you with a significant boost but considering that they are much cheaper than the other upgrades, you should upgrade them asap. Better filters will increase the overall efficiency of your engine.

Improved exhausts can increase the BHP of your car. It not only changes the sound of your car but also facilitate the smoke ejection properly so that you get an overall boost specially at straights when your car is at maximum speed.

Turbo Kits
Turbo kits can help you increase your engine’s HP and torque. Now these upgrades aren’t cheap so choose the one carefully and make sure that you are applying it to your favorite car. Also you can’t apply every turbo charger to each car.

Your car should have the capacity to take that upgrade otherwise you are wasting your points. Low RPM range kit is good for tracks with more turns and corners while High RPM range upgrade is useful on the tracks that have long straights with few turns.

You can make your engine as much powerful as you like but if it doesn’t have the transmission to send that power to the wheels, it basically is a waste of credits.

It is important that your wheels get the power from your engine efficiently for better results. You can alter your gears manually (if you buy customizable setup) for more acceleration or alternately for more speed.

There are other upgrades that can adjust your gears in such way that either there will an increment in speed or acceleration. Choose the setup depending upon the nature of the track i.e a track with more turns will require better acceleration while for the tracks that are fairly straight, you should go with the maximum speed arrangement.

Drivetrain is almost as important as transmission of your car when it comes to acceleration and speed. You can change your clutch and flywheels to increase the acceleration and the speed of the car. You can also add a Limited slip Differential and a Torque Sensing Center Differential. “Torque Sensing Center Differential” is a handy upgrade you can use with 4WD cars.

Suspension plays a big role when it comes to handling and grip of your car. Car height, anti-roll bars and the Cambers are the changes you can make to adjust your car grip.

Cars with lesser height configuration have more downforce and hence you have more grip through the corners. But you should keep in mind that if you decrease your car’s height too much, you will suffer while climbing the elevated portions of the track.

Cambers can help reducing the oversteering effect through the corners. You can change anti-roll bars depending upon the fact that you either want to make your car oversteer or understeer at corners. You can also adjust the Toe angle of your car. Choose Toe-out for oversteering while Toe-in for understeering at the corners.

Tires affect the grip of you car. They are important specially in long races where tires loose their grip as they get old. You can choose from Soft, Medium and Hard tires.

Go for the Sports tires in circuit racing while Racing tires for overall racing. Hard tires are recommended in long races. Soft tires make your ride swift specially at corners. Tire upgrades are expensive but they are extremely worthy of the credits you spend on them.

Brakes are important part of racing car as is acceleration. Having good stopping power can make the racing easier for you. There are no purchasable kits for brakes but you can change your brake controls to adjust the brake sensitivity of your front and rear wheels. These adjustments can change the oversteer or understeer effect at corners.

Final Thoughts
Each upgrade has its importance but you should think before you purchase as credits are usually the limiting factor. Don’t waste your precious credits on slow cars. Be patient till you unlock powerful cars and then spend on them. Power upgrades comes first and later you can shift to the Transmission, Drivetrain, Suspension and Tire upgrades.

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  • Mike

    Pretty generic advice. You’ve got the advice about the wing settings ass-backwards however. More front wing and less rear will cause oversteer and more back wing and less front will induce understeer.

    I would start with weight reduction first. It gets you around corners a lot quicker and also faster down the straights. I would then go to intake mods and exhaust and the ECU, then tyres and then turbos, engine etc.

    The suspension settings make a big difference, however if you buy the fully adjustable suspension, most default settings are OK for most tracks.

  • Isamu

    Wheels and pedals increase your ability to give smooth input to the car. In racing smoothness = fast. The force feed back wheel gives information about what your car is doing + if your lucky enough to have it force feedback in the pedals can tell you what your brakes are doing.

    The only advantage to the joy pad is being able to stay on throttle while you are stopping. My times dropped like a rock when using a wheel. My only advice if you are going to purchase a wheel is make sure you are going to use it because the ones that last and are able to have the force feedback belts replaced are pricy.

    Although I bout a mad cats steering wheel with shifter and used it for several years before it broke I think it was around 75.00 if you are just trying to figure out if you like it and are going to use it. The other thing is you need a stand to put the wheel on as well as a chair without wheels on it or u will slide backwards every time you try to push on the pedals.

    If you are going to use it a lot and not simply throw it in the corner I recommend Logitech g27 as it can be used on any system including your computer if you play racing games like LIVE FOR SPEED, or Real Racing 2, or Iracing. These are the most hardcore racing sims you can get into and its worth the extra money to purchase the G27 Logitech wheel.

    IF YOU ARE A HARDCORE RACE SIM USER AND WANT THE BEST THERE IS ALSO A BRAND CALED PANATECH RACING WHEEL which is made out of metal and everything is fixable if something wears out. But the problem with any product is the better the quality the higher the price.

    PANATECH RACING WHEEL will set you back 400.00+ dollars american. Plus it has a FORZA logo on it but it works with all systems and racing games so its good. I hope this helps a bit.

  • Brendan

    This is great information, thank you. I really hope you purchase hooked on phonics though.

  • Lamborider

    Good info definitely get turbos first if u r looking for a dramatic increase in power. But what if u can’t get turbos… The answer to load your car up without them and it’s suprising because I got my 88 contach from about 480 hp to 638 with a top speed of 213 all without using a turbo because that wasn’t allowed for that model but what if u could use it on that model and imagine how fast it would be!

  • Dalloviche

    All my cars are buckin when it goes to the final gear it reaches its peak and start buckin any ideas only had the game 4 days

    • dre728

      sounds like ur hittin the rev limiter. go to transmission and incrase the overall top speed or just adjust the final gear ratio lower compliments of the new download that lets you adjust all the gears individually

  • dre728

    I really think someone is confusd. Adding downforce to the rear of your car while adding less to the front will cause the car to oversteer? No actually the opposite. It does make a difference what you add to the car and when you add it. Take your favorite car for example and crank on the down force to max on both the front and rear and take it to your favorite track,run 3 laps and check times. Now add 1-2 clicks front and rear evenly of negative camber run 3 laps and look at your time and speed overall and thru the corners. It does matter! The same with the toe adjustments . If your car pushes(understeers) decrease the amt of rear toe until you get the rotation you want while still maintaining control. Adding toe to the front is a little tricky toe-out produces a little less aggression to the the actual turn in but the car maintains more grip thru the corner. Toe-in does the opposite a sharper initial turn in but more grip is lost center-out. The key is small adjustments then test until the car has the balance you want. Its not just horsepower. If it cant run the Nurburgring does it really handle. Brakes also have an adj thru the balance control and abs. Power without control is nothing this game has a lot of tools learn to use them and watch the speeds increase….and not just in a straight line then get better tires :)

    • Isamu


  • leon ramsden

    hi is it possible to achieve all the best times using just the joypad or is it best to get a steering wheel because ive noticed i cant get a smooth enough ride round corners without tyres screeching slightly which i know slows you down. i noticed when applying for the lap times at gt academy about 3 years ago as the car i was chasing was a lot lot smooter around the bend i thought this might b because of the steering wheel so let me know please as i love the joypad but if it means getting the best results im getting a steering wheel thanks add my ps network id for trades its noelnedsmar thanks again

  • Gladdyator

    Great stuff, really appreciate the concise put together of this here, just what i needed to get the gist of it. Cheers man

  • Schwarz

    Would be very nice if you can write a session to guide in a deeper scope because most of what you wrote are already available on GT5 (in small words by clicking the orange question mark)…

    For example: there are different ways of producing the oversteering (understeering) effect by changing the brake, aerodynamics, and suspension etc, but are there any difference between them really?

    I’m doing seasonal section recently and am confused with the tuning of cars especially when the matches hv many criteria… tires, bhp, and weight… one of the most encountered problem is whenever i turn, the car does turn (not over/under-steer) automatically to the optimal but it drops a lot & i think it can do it faster. & my best guess is it to do with the grip of the car… but it doesn’t seem to help when i added aero parts… (changing tires of course will do but it’s restricted under the match criteria…) another thin’ i’m confused too is about the oversteering thin’… understeering is realized when you feel it very hard to turn… and oversteering is obviously being too easy to turn… but the thing is, if you got the wheel and can handle it very well, precisely, there’s nothing call “being too easy to turn” right…? So what is the bad part of oversteering…? Can you explain…? thanks!

    • iosef25

      the bad part of oversteering would be the fact that your car can “fishtail” ie your rear tires lose traction and slide round a corner more than you want them to and you can end up spinning out.

    • AliasNorth

      This is very late.
      But one day someone will look at this. Since GT5 is a simulation game, most of the information here will be applicable for a long time to come.

      The reason oversteer is bad because oversteer is generally caused by too much torque being applied. Oversteer, unlike understeer, can always be corrected by proper throttle control, however. Many things happen when you oversteer, depending on the degree of oversteer. The obvious is that you turn in and instead of your car following the proper line, it’s now looking at the corner. This means you need to take more time to correct the car. You need to release the throttle, correct, then apply throttle again. This is easy to do once or twice a race, but if your car tends to oversteer, it can stress you and easily cause mistakes. However, it’s still wasted time. When you are correcting it, you could be continuing through the corner.

      In extreme oversteer, you might end up drifting. This is almost never good. Contrary to what popular 1990s cartoons say, drift is slow. Ridiculously slow, and ridiculously straining upon the tires. Even with a 5lap race, using Racing Hards, drifting every other corner will leave you at about 60% of your tires left, causing a noticeable performance drain. As said before, oversteer is usually caused by too much torque being applied at once (while steering. Higher steering angle=less amount of torque needed to cause oversteer or wheelspin); this causes wheelspin, which can cause you to spinout entirely if you don’t immediately release the throttle and correct your steering. Wheelspin is literally your wheels spinning without gripping the track. You are wasting time and destroying your tires without moving. If you can’t immediately correct it, you need to take 1-2 seconds and straighten yourself before you can throttle again.

      About handling the wheel well to control oversteer, handling the wheel and controlling the throttle properly will never cause oversteer, even with the most tailhappy of cars. Sliding is always wasted energy, since you will never be able to transfer the same amount of torque from your wheels to the ground as you would normally, and wasting energy is slow.

      As for iosef’s remark, when you oversteer with an FR or 4WD with a high rwd torque ratio, it’s actually your *front* tires that have lost grip. This is because of weight. When you accelerate quickly, or apply a lot of torque, from a slow speed, (such as a corner exit!), the weight shifts to the back tires. This huge weight transfer causes too little weight to bare on the front tires, and they lose traction, ultimately causing wheelspin. Because this happens when you try to put a lot of power to the ground, this only happens in cars that are highpowered. In GT5, this is usually at 400HP where it becomes noticeable. If you wish to easily correct this, put Traction Control to 1. It will completely remove this effect with only a marginal decrease in acceleration performance.

      To see all of these effects in Gran Turismo 5, you can turn on the tire weight indicator. When you accelerate from a standstill, or a corner exit, you can see the weight move to the back. When you experience sever oversteer or wheelspin, you can see the tires warm up, and continuing it will cause faster degradation.

      All in all, oversteer is bad because it’s *SLOW*. You will always take more time to correct your angle and trying to regain traction then you will if you had just slowed down, used TCS, or tuned your car to force understeer.

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