The real cars of Grand Theft Auto 5

The real cars of Grand Theft Auto 5
Who wouldn't push their granny in a ditch for this? Or something. Ahem.

In the same way the streets of fictional Los Santos feel an awful lot like Los Angeles, Grand Theft Auto 5 features a huge range of cars that will be very familiar to any petrol head. 

None of the vehicles are licensed – for obvious reasons, would you want your brand associated with Trevor? Exactly. But many share more than a hint of a resemblance with some of the greatest (and not so great) cars of the real world.

There's everything from the compact you passed your test in, to SUVs, sedans, classics, electric cars, exotic supercars, tuned cars fit for a Fast and Furious collaboration, and even racers complete with huge wings and slick tires.

As is Rockstar's way, the cars of GTA just about stay on the right side of copyright infringement, but also do so with tongue firmly in cheek. Fictional brand names and badges often feature not-so-subtle digs at real carmakers, while others are just plain funny.

Here's a look at some of the best cars of GTA 5, along with what real-world car they remind us of. We're sure any likeness is purely coincidental. Honest.

1. Obey 9F / Audi R8

One of the more common sports cars in Los Santos is the Obey 9F, which in coupe and convertible forms bear an uncanny resemblance with the Audi R8. 

Priced at $120,000 in the game, the mid-engined, two-seater shares the R8's prominent side air vents and interior details, while the logo is made up of four overlapping circles, just like that of Audi.

Key differences are the circular rear lights, which look more like those of a noughties Ferrari, and the wheels that share more with the Ferrari 458 than the R8.

2. Dewbauchee Rapid GT / Aston Martin Vantage

Dewbauchee is GTA's answer to Aston Martin, featuring a range of vehicles that look similar to those by the British sports car maker. The Rapid GT is one of the longest-serving in GTA and one of the most common, with its design seemingly borrowed from the Aston Martin Vantage.

Available as a coupe and convertible, the Rapid GT is priced from $132,000 and features headlights that appear to have come from a Porsche Carrera GT and dual stacked exhaust tips that are shared by the Ferrari California.

3. Ubermacht Sentinel / BMW 3-Series

Ubermacht is a German car company in GTA that takes some of its styling cues from BMW. One of the most common Ubermachts is the Sentinel, which has more than a passing resemblance to the BMW 3-Series.

Much like the 3-Series, there are several variants of the Sentinel, including two generations each with coupe and convertible versions. Priced from $28,000, the Sentinel has featured in many GTA games over the years.

4. Infernus Classic / Lamborghini Diablo

The Infernus Classic is like a greatest-hits compilation of every nineties supercar. Most prominent is the overall look of the Lamborghini Diablo, complete with steeply raked windscreen, scissor doors, pop-up headlights and 'pepper-pot' wheels. 

The car also shares a front grille with the Ferrari Testarossa and its circular lights are like those of the Ferrari F50.

Much like the real thing, this two-seater doesn't come cheap, with a GTA price of $915,000.

5. Lampadati Tigon / De Tomaso P72

Loosely translated from the Italian for 'tanned with a sun lamp', Lampadati is a fictional Italian sports and supercar maker of GTA 5. 

The company flagship is the Tigon, a classically-inspired two-seat supercar with a swooping body and substantial $2,310,000 price tag. 

This car shares a likeness with the De Tomaso P72, which was revealed in 2019 as part of a relaunch of the De Tomaso supercar maker of the seventies.

The rear features some elements of Lancia Stratos, while the highly decorated engine is revealed with the lifting of a huge clamshell cover. A fairly nondescript interior is accessed via dramatic gullwing doors, like those of an Aston Martin Valkyrie.

6. Dewbauchee JB 700 / Aston Martin DB5

No prizes for guessing which British spy is expected to drive the JB 700. Looking very much like an Aston Martin DB5, this car is even equipped with dual machine guns, a retractable bulletproof shield and, of course, an ejector seat. 

Unfortunately, outside of a couple of in-game missions, the guns and other gadgets are decommissioned.

Although predominantly British, the styling of the $475,000 JB 700 also borrows from Sixties Italy with its covered headlights and fender grilles . 

The interior is exactly the wood and leather affair you'd expect, while the car's V12 engine has twice the cylinders of an Aston DB5.

7. Grotti Carbonizzare / Ferrari F12

There's quite a lot going on with the design of the Grotti Carbonizzare. From some angles we're seeing the Ferrari F12, but from others it looks a lot like the Aston Martin V12 Zagato, especially at its angular rear end. 

There are also hints of Ferrari California, and to our mind there's a bit of Alfa Romeo 8C there too. Meanwhile, the headlights are pure Lamborghini Gallardo.

A two-seat, grand touring convertible, the Carbonizzare is reasonably priced at $195,000.

8. Grotti Furia / Automobili Pininfarina Battista

You would be forgiven for likening GTA's Grotti brand with Ferrari, but in the case of the Furia we think it looks much more like the Battista by Pininfarina Battista. But where the real-life hypercar is electric, the Furia is powered by a V12 engine in GTA 5.

Its likeness to the Battista is striking, but the $2,740,000 supercar also shares some styling cues with the Ferrari SF90 Stradale hybrid and F8 Tributo. 

There's also some Lamborghini in there too, and a bit of Aston Martin in the rear diffuser. The dihedral doors, rotating forwards when opened, are of course a hallmark of Koenigsegg.

9. Pfister Comet S2 / Porsche 911 (992)

Pfister is a GTA car brand heavily influenced by Porsche, right down to the badge that carries a similar shield design. 

The Comet S2 looks very similar to the latest 992-generation of Porsche 911, from the iconic circular headlights to the muscular shoulders and wide rear complete with ducktail spoiler, shallow lights and quad exhaust.

Even the interior resembles that of a Porsche 911, with the five-dial instrument cluster. Priced at $1,878,000, the Comet 2 is considerably more expensive than a 911.

10. Coil Voltic / Tesla Roadster

Coil is to GTA what Tesla is to the real world (as in a Tesla coil, the piece of electrical equipment, geddit?). 

The Voltic is GTA's answer to the first-generation Tesla Roadster from 2008, which was itself based on a Lotus Elise S2.

The $150,000 Voltic carries a lot of inspiration from the Lotus, right down to the wheels, while the electric drivetrain, soundtrack, acceleration and Coil badge are a close match to Tesla. GTA also includes its interpretation of the Tesla Model S, called the Raiden.

As a nod To Elon Musk's SpaceX, GTA also offers the Rocket Voltic, a rocket-powered car that also looks like the 2008 Tesla Roadster.

11. Coil Raiden / Tesla Model S

The Coil Raiden has a bit of Ford to its shallow headlights, but there's no doubting how the rest of the car is very much an homage to the Tesla Model S. 

Just like most versions of Model S, the Raiden has all-wheel-drive provided by a dual-motor drivetrain.

The rear lights remind us of Aston Martin and the front grille has a hint of Jaguar to it, while the interior features a large central touchscreen like that of a Tesla. 

Strangely, there are gear shift paddles behind the steering – odd, given electric cars tend to only have one gear.

12. Coil Cyclone / Rimac Concept One

Coil doesn't just offer cars that look like Teslas. The Cyclone is an electric hypercar that resembles the Rimac Concept One, the eight-off Croatian EV that was recently superseded by the Rimac Nevera. 

The especially nerdy among you may have noticed the weather link here, with GTA's Concept One called the Cyclone and Rimac's new car named after a sudden summer storm called Nevera.

Back to the Cyclone, and performance when fully-tuned means a 0-60mph time of less than two seconds, making it one of GTA's quickest cars. The car is priced at $1,890,000.

13. Pfister Neon / Porsche Taycan

Another electric car, but this time from Porsche lookalike Pfister. This is the Neon, but you'll notice it looks a lot like a Taycan, with its sleek, four-door body and rear lights unmistakably from a Porsche. 

The wheels even look like they fit the German brand too, although the interior is nothing like that of a Taycan, or indeed any Porsche.

GTA doesn't go into much detail when it comes to electric drivetrains, but we know the Neon has two motors for all-wheel-drive, just like most versions of the Taycan, and it emits a typical EV soundtrack. 

The car is priced considerably higher than a Taycan, at $1,500,000.

14. Progen GP1 / McLaren F1

From its headlights and nose, to the roof-mounted air intake, wide shoulders and blunt rear, the Progen GP1 shares a lot of its design with the McLaren F1 supercar of the mid-nineties. 

The GP1 lacks the F1's central driving position and three-seat layout, but shares a very similar dashboard and instrument cluster.

The engine bay is also very similar to the F1, housing a motor that looks just like that car's BMW-sourced, 6.1-litre V12. 

The vertically-hinged doors also open just like The F1's, but feature a set of horizontal strakes that differentiate it from the McLaren.

15. Truffade Nero / Bugatti Chiron

One of GTA's top hypercar is the Truffade Nero, which is clearly inspired by the Bugatti Chiron. 

There isn't much else going on with the design here, other than the headlights being slightly shallower than on the Bugatti, and the dual, high-mounted exhausts that resemble those of a Ford GT.

Even details like the Chiron's exposed W16 engine remain, along with the interior, and the Truffade badge that isn't far removed from Bugatti's own.

16. Pegassi Zentorno / Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Priced at a surprisingly modest $725,000, the Pegassi Zentorno shares much of its design with the ultra-rare Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, of which just 20 were produced between 2010 and 2012.

Unmistakably a Lamborghini, the Zentorno also borrows details from the Italian supercar maker's Veneno, Huracan and Aventador. 

A lot of carbon fiber detailing finishes the look, along with a similarly dramatic interior and aggressive rear diffuser either side of a huge pair of central exhausts. 

Just like the real thing, a V10 engine sits behind the cabin and sends power to all four wheels.

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Alistair Charlton

Alistair Charlton is a freelance technology and automotive journalist based in London. His career began with a stint of work experience at TechRadar back in 2010, before gaining a journalism degree and working in the industry ever since. A lifelong car and tech enthusiast, Alistair writes for a wide range of publications across the consumer technology and automotive sectors. As well as reviewing dash cams for TechRadar, he also has bylines at Wired, T3, Forbes, Stuff, The Independent, SlashGear and Grand Designs Magazine, among others.