I am still playing NFS Shift almost every day, and still loving it. Here are the best cars in each tier (sometimes more than one in each tier).
In my opinion the best Tier One car is the Audi TT. This is a rather fast, good handling Tier One entry. Adding nitrous oxide really ramps up it’s acceleration, but even without it, this is a great car. It has good handling, pretty fair braking and the engine is powerful. In fact, the top speed of the Audi TT is way up there when one has the room to crank her up to that speed. Only on Nordschleife, on the really long, 1.5 or 2 mile straight at the end can one reach outrageous speeds. Other good Tier One entries are the BMW i135 Coupe, followed by the Honda 2000 and the peppy little Mazda RX8, and Infiniti G35.
Tier Two gets interesting with lots of choices. My personal favorite is the Mitsubishi Evolution 9. Fast, good handling and very drivable, this is a great car and my favorite Tier Two ride. Not to be left out of the mix are many other great rides, among them: Ford Shelby Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Lotus Elise 111R, Nissan 370 and of course, the Porsche Cayman. All of these cars are wonderful rides, I just prefer the Mitsubishi Evo 9 as my favorite. The Porsche Cayman is awesome fun too, but my favorite Porsche’s are Tier Threes and Fours, thus to keep from being an all Porsche, all the time guy, I will stick with the Mitsubishi Evo 9.
Tier Three cars are where we move from affordable street cars to the uber high end, just on the cusp of exotics field of vehicles. My absolute favorite Tier Three purchasable ride is the Nissan GT-R SpecV R35. This car is everything and then some. It’s very fast and really handles, accelerates and stops like a race car. It’s sharp looking and really an expensive track car done up with every creature comfort and high end do-dad a car nut with cash and a desire for a Need For Speed would want.
Other fabulous Tier Three entries are: Audi R8. This car is totally awesome and almost tied for my favorite Tier Three jalopy. It’s my second favorite car in the game, especially when all of the available upgrades have been done. It’s a beast !Of course the Corvette ZO6 is nothing to sneeze at. The Ford GT is a throwback and great American track car disguised as a street legal, low slung, gull doored rocket. The Lotus Exige is a blast to drive too. The Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 is big fun to drive in the tradition of the rare, Italian sport legend. Not to be left out as well are the two Porsche entries – the 911 GT2 and 911 GT3 RSR. OMG! These two are dynomite!!! In fact, if truth be told, are as good as the Nissan GT-R SpecV R-35, but again, to not appear to be a Porsche snob, I opt for other rides.
The best Tier Four supercar is in my opinion the Porsche Carrera GT. This is a tiny, very low slung two seater that is fast, fast, fast. In my opinion it is the best of all Tier Four supercars because it does everything really well. Yeah, the Bugatti Veyron has a higher top end, but the Veyron doesn’t handle for crap by comparison. The Pagani’s, the Zonda F and the faster Zonda R are nothing more than composite bodies stuck over aluminum or titanium race frames. As well, for my tastes they look a bit alien, and that’s just not my style.
Now we move to two special classes – the Works converted cars and the award cars.
The Works converted cars are lower tiered cars that have been tweaked to the nth degree to be real race cars with roll cages, racing setups in braking, speed and handling, and racing cockpit interiors. Without doubt the hottest and by far the best Works car is the Corvette ZO6 turned into a full on racing machine. In the game, cars are rated form 0 to 20.00 in terms of speed, acceleration, handling and braking and the ZO6 rates a 20.00 after works converted. It is the fastest and best handling of all the Works conversions in my opinion.
And now we move to the category of the Award cars. There are five of them that are awarded as one reaches higher tiers, and my absolute favorite car, hands down in the entire game is the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. This car is awarded as a prize when the player reaches Level 40 in their climb to reach the top level of 50. It is the same platform as the stock 911 RSR in Tier Three, but it’s been tricked out
This 911 GT3 RSR is essentially almost a Works convert, but not quite. It’s rated at 15.5 I think in terms of power, handling and all, but driving this car is the real beauty. It honestly holds the road as if on rails. Compared to any other car in the entire game, this is the one. While the Works converted Corvette would outrun it, the ‘Vette still feels as if it’s on the very edge of losing it, whereas the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR feels right being hung out all the way.
The 911 in question is tricked out with Works level bodywork and racing tires and wheels, as well as roll cage and racing cockpit. The motor, drive train, shocks and brakes have been tweaked to the max and this car is in my opinion the best overall car in the game, no contest, no comparison.
It accelerates like a rocket from a dead start. It’s stiffened suspension, huge wheels and tires and massive disk brakes and rotors allow a driver to accelerate deeper before nailing the binders to slow the fire breathing dragon for a turn. This is a real plus in that when other cars are braking to slow for the turn the 911 GT3 RSR is still rolling up before the need for braking manifests. Once the driver brakes to set up the turn, the power and “on a rail” feel from the car allows a driver to accelerate hard thru the turn’s apex and out onto the straight for whatever is next. If it’s a long straight, the Porsche is gone, the others trailing behind. If it’s another curve the RSR can dive into the turn harder and increase the lead thru the next turn’s apex.
For me, driving this car feels as if I am driving a real race car. It feels substantial, powerful and positive. It is so well suspended even a slight flick of the wheel points the nose where one wishes it to be, and surprisingly, the rest of the car usually follows along in a tame manner, if one can call screeching tires, smoke and the feeling of being thrown around in the cockpit, to be “tame. But it is. It feels so positive in it’s feedback. Other cars feel as if they are sliding out from under ya, and they are, but the RSR just keeps digging.
That is not to say ya can’t spin her, cause ya sure can, but it requires more of a reckless effort than with most other cars. In fact in most other Tier 3 or 4 rides, if one drove them as deep into a corner as one can do with the 911 GT3 RSR, they would be in the gravel a good deal of the time.
This car is a killer on the Dakota, 1.56 mile high bank tri-oval, but it’s real calling are the grand prix tracks, especially the big, hilly ones in Europe and the monster Autopolis GP in Japan. This car will make any track more fun to drive because the car can do almost anything. It loves climbing, hard turns. It loves to dive deep downhill, tap the brakes to slow a tad and then nail the gas pedal and slingshot thru a corner. And this car really tames the two most twisty and tight feeling tracks in the game – the Autopolis Lakeside set up of twists and the ultimate in up and down, left and right, spring is about to be sprung, Willow Springs Horse Thief Mile. This car will hold those narrow and very tight up and down hill turns like no other.
The best tracks for this car are really all of them, but that’s a cop out on my part cause I love this ride so much. It does shine on Autopolis GP, Spa, Nordschleife, Ambush Valley and Willow Springs GP. It’s also a great car for Laguna Seca and Road America, although these are largely flat tracks and this car is so much fun on the tracks with lots of high speed elevation changes especially. The more challenges the track throws at ya the more fun this car is. It is also a great performer at Silverstone GP and Brands Hatch GP set up.
Having driven a real Winston Cup NASCAR ride, the price of the game is worth it alone to play thru the first 40 levels just to get to sit in the seat of this car. It’ll ruin ya for most other cars in the game after ya sling this sucker around Spa or Nordschleife once or twice. Driving this car is really reminiscent of my driving the Winston Cup car. It feels like a race car, handles like one, which means nothing at all like you’ve likely ever experienced, and the thrill is visceral. It almost allows one to suspend reality and actually feel like you are in this car in Europe, slamming down the notorious tracks of the world’s grand prix circuits.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR players win at level 40 is why I keep coming back to play this game over and over and makes the entire experience worth the price of the game alone. Drive it once and you’ll see my meaning for sure. Enjoy!