The Sedan Super-Rivalry, Part 2: 1988 Ibishu Pessima vs. Gavril Grand Marshal vs 1996 Ibishu Pessima vs. Hirochi Sunburst


In Part 1 of this Sedan Super-Rivalry(link here), the 1953-1954 Burnside Special, 1963-1968 Ibishu Miramar, 1984-1988 Bruckell LeGran, and the 1985-1993 ETK I-Series battled against each other for sedan supremacy, with the I-Series coming out on top with 121.5 points. In this second and final part of the Sedan Super-Rivalry, however, we move out of the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1980’s and into the 1990’s and 2000’s  with the 1988-1991 Ibishu Pessima, 1990-1996 Gavril Grand Marshal, 1996-2000 Ibishu Pessima, and 2009-2014 Hirochi Sunburst. Although the older, slower sedans may have been able to put up a decent competition, how well will they be able to hold on to their positions in the onrush of new technology that is these four newer vehicles?

Part 2: The Fast and the Sophisticated

The first of these faster sedans, and the most sophisticated of the lot, is the 1988-1991 Ibishu Pessima. Added to the game in the 0.5 update on December 18, 2015, the first-generation Pessima is powered by two engines (a 123-horsepower 1.8-liter single-overhead-cam inline-four and a 134-to-543-horsepower 2.0-liter dual-overhead-cam inline-four), four transmissions (a 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed manual, a high-efficiency 5-speed manual, and a race 6-speed manual), and two drivetrains (front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive). It also comes with many customization options (widebody kits, three stages of turbocharging and a sport intake for the 2.0-liter inline-four, all-wheel steering, race and rally parts, big wings and splitters, and more), a lot of power in its tiny engines (it can have up to 543 horsepower from the 2.0-liter inline-four with the Stage 3 turbo), and very low price tags. Despite being one of the most advanced cars in full stop, the 1988 Pessima ZX All-Wheel-Steer (AWS) costs a mere $4,700. The GTZ – a 158-mile-per-hour, 205-horsepower, all-wheel-drive turbocharged speed machine – is only worth $6,500. Even the Hill Climb model isn’t worth very much, coming in at $41,500 in the insanely-high Performance Class 13. That is $13,500 less than the ETK 2400tix Evolution, $23,500 less than the Miramar Race and I-Series Rally, and a mere $6,500 more than the Burnside Special Drag. All of the aforementioned vehicles are at least 5 performance classes down on the Hill Climb 1988 Pessima, and none of them can match the absurd handling of it. Finally, this vehicle can achieve very good mileage for a late-1980s midsize sedan (30+ miles per gallon is easily achievable with the 1.8 HX). So far, it looks like the 1988 Pessima should have been handed the win already.

While it may be a champion of low-price awesomeness, the 1988 Pessima still isn’t perfect. For example, it looks quite boring next to the Burnside and Miramar, and it isn’t exactly the strongest vehicle in the game, either. Compared to the near-indestructible older sedans, the old Pessima (especially in Rally and Hill Climb trim) is quite prone to breaking its front wheel axles while turning sharply, reducing its reliability. Also, the ’88 Pessima’s suspension in general can break rather easily, and the Custom’s incredibly stiff race suspension makes it useless off-road.  Overall, the 1988 Pessima is very fast and very good for the price, but its lower reliability and strength somewhat undoes its potential.


That leaves another car to attempt to take the throne of the Best Sedan in The 1990-1996 Gavril Grand Marshal, a full-size, rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame American sedan that has been in the game since the original 0.3 version in August of 2013. The Grand Marshal is powered by two engines (a 214-horsepower, 4.5-liter V8 and a 238-horsepower, 5.5-liter V8; both with three stages of supercharging) and two transmissions (a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic). Although it may have a relatively high base price of $3,600, the Grand Marshal happens to be even cheaper overall than the 1988 Pessima, despite being able to put out over 600 horsepower from its 5.5-liter V8 with the Stage 3 supercharger. The V8 Sport, a Performance Class 5 car with a mere 238 horsepower and a 4-speed automatic, can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds – as fast as the Miramar Race and Burnside Special Custom, and much faster than quite a few higher-horsepower and lighter vehicles. It also has a top speed of 153 miles per hour, making it fast enough to keep up with the LeGran Sport V6 on a straight. On top of that, the Sport Grand Marshal costs $4,800, or the same price as the facelifted ETK 2400. The Grand Marshal Custom, a 424-horsepower, 180-mile-per-hour monster of a car that happens to be in Class 6, costs only $8,500, or the same amount as a Miramar Base Mira-Matic. Compared to these versions of the Miramar and I-Series, the Grand Marshal Sport and Custom are much stronger, much faster, and better through the turns. It is also the only car in the game to have a taxi variant and two police versions from standard, which means that it can be quite fun to play around with while pretending to be a taxi driver or a police officer. With all of that power and a rear-wheel-drive platform from standard, it would make sense that the Gavril would be a fantastic drift car, and the $6,000 Drift Missile most certainly is amazing for its price. With all of that in mind, the Grand Marshal should walk this contest like a champ.

Not quite. Even though it may seem like the most over-powered vehicle in this contest, with seemingly everything good and nothing bad, there still are a few problems with the Grand Marshal. For example, it doesn’t have a race limited-slip differential as an option to allow the sedan to have longer gearing for higher top speed. It can certainly get up to 200 miles per hour with enough horsepower, but because it has only 5 speeds and some relatively short gearing (the tallest rear differental for the Grand Marshal has a 3.27:1 ratio), the big sedan is limited in top-speed potential. Speaking of big, the Grand Marshal weighs over 4,000 pounds from standard, which is more than even the Burnside Special. All of that weight reduces the acceleration of the Base Grand Marshal down to around 7.8 seconds, which is slightly slower than the LeGran Sport V6 (a car that can be had for a similar price). From standard, the big sedan is prone to understeering with its sloshy suspension, slow steering, and its sheer mass. Finally, while the Grand Marshal may have excellent customization to make it into a service car, it isn’t really all that customizable overall (only the LeGran has fewer customization options), which means that making a truly personal vehicle out of this car is very tough. Overall, the Grand Marshal is incredibly cheap for what it can do, but it can only do so much.


If the Grand Marshal is somewhat limited in capability by its lack of a race differential, then the 1996-2000 Ibishu Pessima, which was added in the update on August 7, 2015, is a joke of a car in comparison. The second-generation Pessima may have more power from standard than the first-generation model, but it is far from being a great car next to its fantastic older brother. Motivating this melted and toned-down sedan are three engines (a 127-horsepower, 1.8-liter single-overhead-cam inline four, a 2.0-liter, 141-horsepower dual-overhead-cam inline-four, and a 171-horsepower, 2.7-liter V6), three transmissions (a 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed automatic, and a 5-speed manual), and only one drivetrain (front-wheel-drive). The 1996 Pessima has the lowest top-end horsepower of the sedans (even the Miramar has more power from its 1.9-liter dual-overhead-cam inline-four), the third-lowest base price of these vehicles (only the $2,500 1988 Pessima DX and $1,500 LeGran Base are cheaper), the third-lowest top-end price (the Custom is worth only $8,500, the same as the Grand Marshal Custom and a bit more than double the cost of the LeGran Sport V6), and the second-lowest amount of customization from standard of all of the vehicles in the game (no bodykits, no all-wheel steering, no all-wheel-drive, no forced induction, no race transmissions or differentials, one tiny rear spoiler, and only three supsension types). This new Pessima weighs 100-200 pounds more than the old one, reducing fuel economy (the 1.8 DX only gets about 28 miles per gallon(mpg) at 55 miles per hour, 2 mpg less than the 1988 Pessima DX).  The 171-horsepower Custom variant, which is the fastest 1996 Pessima in the game, still gets destroyed by the LeGran V6 Sport, Grand Marshal Base and V8 Sport, and 1988 Pessima GTZ – cars that cost $2,000 to $5,000 less. The 1988 Pessima was sharp, clean, and subtle; the 1996 Pessima looks like a giant jelly bean in comparison to all of the other vehicles. From these viewpoints, it seems like the 1996 Pessima is living up to its name of being “the lowest point” and “terrible” (which are some meaning of “pessima”).

However, even the horrible ’96 Pessima has a few good things about it. Although it may not have very much horsepower, the Custom version does have good low-speed cornering in comparison to the understeery 1988 Pessima Custom, which can help massively when it comes to short courses like the Industrial Site Racetrack (as evidenced by its ludicrously-fast 50.937-second lap time, which is three seconds faster than the 1988 Pessima Custom, and only a second and a half down on the I-Series Race). The 1996 Pessima also is the ultimate car for building a high-powered sleeper out of, as it is so typical and so boring-looking that it would be much better at being a sleeper than even the Grand Marshal, Burnside, and LeGran. Wits its decent reliability and high safety, the modern Pessima could be a cheaper alternative to the Sunburst. Overall, the 1996 Pessima may be the most boring car in, but it isn’t horrendously awful overall. However…perhaps this last sedan could take the crown.


That last sedan is the 2009-2014 Hirochi Sunburst, added in the 0.3.6 update on August 18, 2014. Based upon the 2008 Subaru Impreza, the Sunburst is the fastest sedan in as of right now. It doesn’t weigh very much (only 2,899-to-3,075 pounds, depending on configuration), it has a decent starting price ($11,000 for a 1.8 FWD with the 6-speed manual), and it also is very fast in a straight line (the Race variants can top out at more than 190 miles per hour). It has three drivetrains (front-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, and rear-wheel-drive for the Drift Missile), two engines (a 1.8-liter, 139-horsepower inline-four and a 2.0-liter, 158-horsepower inline-four with three stages of turbocharging), five transmissions (a 6-speed manual and 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, a race 6-speed manual and 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, and a continuously-variable transmission (CVT)), and many customization options (two widebody kits, several different hood styles, race and rally parts, two different rooves, many wings to select from, a full-on hill-climb kit, several paint designs, and much more). It looks great next to the other sedans, as well. Fuel economy from the Sunburst is quite good, with the base model achieving 30 miles per gallon with the 6-speed manual. The all-wheel-drive Sunbursts don’t understeer nearly as much as the older I-Series’ and 1988 Pessimas do, making them much better vehicles through corners. Although it may may the newest sedan in the game, the Sunburst actually is a very good value, with the 226-horsepower, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Sport S priced at only $23,000 with the 6-speed automatic. Finally, the Hirochi is by far the safest sedan in this competition, being able to withstand a 50-mile-per hour head-on crash with a wall with almost no damage to the occupants (if any). So far, the Sunburst doesn’t seem to have any major flaws to complain out.

Even though it should be able to absolutely obliterate the other sedans (and it does), it still has one major problem that is very annoying when looking at the entire package. Like in the 1988 Pessima, the Sunburst has a tendency to break its front wheel axles in Rally and Hill Climb configuration. Considering that the Sunburst is about 20 years newer than the 1988 Pessima, that should mean that it would likely have stronger wheel axles than the older sedans. That is apparently not the case, as the Sunburst Hill Climb’s monstrous power shatters its wheel axles when taking corners too sharply. This limits the Hirochi sedan’s capability to keep up with the I-Series, Grand Marshal, and Miramar when it has 600+ horsepower, as it will not be able to turn or accelerate as quickly as it could with stronger wheel axles. Even though it has 366 horsepower from its 2.0-liter, Stage-3 turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, the Sunburst Race still can only achieve a 48.547-second lap time, which (although quicker than almost every other sedan in this contest), is half a second down on the 181-horsepower, Overall, the Sunburst is an almost perfect sedan next to the older models, but its low reliability with high horsepower lets it down quite a bit.


Out of every one of the eight sedans in, the overall winner is the 1988 Ibishu Pessima with 137.5 points, followed closely by the Hirochi Sunburst with 137 points. Both of these all-wheel-drive pocket rockets, with their high customization, decent value, turbocharged inline-four engines, fast variants and excellent fuel economy, were able to shoot ahead of the competition. In third place, with 132 points, is the Gavril Grand Marshal. Although it may be (possibly) the toughest and most reliable vehicle in the game, with amazing value and high power, it still wasn’t good enough in customization and fuel economy to beat the Sunburst and 1988 Pessima. 10.5 points down the chart, the ETK I-Series, dropping from first place to fourth, wasn’t able to have gained a big enough lead in the first part of this rivalry to maintain its high ranking. However, the I-Series [along with the fifth-place Burnside Special (115.5 points) and sixth-place Bruckell LeGran (110.5 points)] was able to stay clear of the seventh-place 1996 Ibishu Pessima. Even with its decent value, high safety, and good lap times around the track, the modern Pessima lacked the overall greatness in customization and power needed to rank higher. Finally, the little Miramar, relegated to last place with only 98 points, was squashed by the bigger, better opposition.

A chart of how the modern sedans performed:

Category 1988 Pessima Grand Marshal 1996 Pessima Sunburst
Basics (Max: 75 Pts.): 
Fuel Economy, miles per gallon (mpg) (Base Model) (10 points): 31 mpg (6) 21 mpg (4) 28 mpg (5.5) 30 mpg (6)
Reliability (10 Points): 4.5 10 6.5 4
Sophistication (5 Points): 5 1.5 2 4
Safety (10 Points):  6.5 6.5 7.5 9
Customization (10 Points): 9.5 4.5 2 10
Styling (10 Points): 6 6.5 3 7
Overall Value (20 Points):  15 18.5 14 13
Basics Total: 51 51 40.5 52.5
Performance (Max. 80 Points): 
Top Speed (Highest) (10 points):  176 mph (9.5) 178 mph (9.5) 140 mph(7.5) 188 mph (10)
Top Speed (Base Model) (5 points):  127 mph (4) 138 mph (5) 125 mph (3.5) 116 mph (2.5)
Max. Horsepower(10 points): 543 (4) 607 (4.5) 171 (1.5) 626 (4.5)
Min. Horsepower(5 points): 123 (3) 214 (5) 129 (3) 139 (3.5)
Max. Horsepower/liter (10 points): 271.5 (8.5) 110.4 (4) 63.3 (2) 313 (10)
Min. Horsepower/liter (5 points): 68.3 (4.5) 47.5 (3) 71.6 (4.5) 77.2 (5)
Industrial Racetrack Perimeter Lap Time (Base Model) (5 Points):  54.765 sec (5) 54.656 sec (5) 55.265 sec (4.5) 56.563 sec (3.5)
Industrial Racetrack Perimeter Lap Time (Fastest Model) (10 Points): 48.806 sec (9.5) 50.765 sec (7.5)  50.937 sec (7) 48.547 sec (9.5)
Braking, 60-0 mph (Base Model) (5 points):  139.5 ft (4) 136.3 ft (5) 145.6 ft (2.5) 149.7 ft (2)
Acceleration, 0-60 mph (Base Model) (5 points):  10.4 sec (3) 7.8 sec (5) 10.6 sec (3) 8.9 sec (4)
Acceleration, 0-60 mph (Fastest Model) (10 points):  4.5 sec (7.5) 6.6 sec (5.5) 7.3 sec (5) 2.7 sec (9)
Basics + Performance Total (155 Points):  113.5 110 84.5 116.5
Experience (30 Points):        
Controllability (Avg. Models) (5 Points): 4.5 4 4.5 4.5
Controllability (Top-Line Models) (10 Points): 7.5 5.5 9.5 6.5
Fun-To-Drive (Avg. Models) (5 points):  3 4 2.5 3.5
Fun-To-Drive (Top-Line Models) (10 points):  7.5 8 6.5 6
Overall Total (185 points): 137.5 132 107.5 137
Winner: 1988 Ibishu Pessima

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