Design and performance
The Esperanza first appears in Rage Racer as the player's first car, and the only Grade 1 car available in game. The Esperanza takes cues of European boxy luxury sedans of early nineties such as the BMW M3 (E30 and E36 generations) and Alfa Romeo 155 as well as their Japanese contemporaries such as the Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. The car's body have touring car aesthetic to it, starting out as a Supertouring-specification car in early three classes and evolving to DTM-style bodykit in fourth and fifth grade, where the resemblance to Alfa Romeo 155 is more visible. As the player's first car, the car has a well-balanced handling and speed, enough to take the opposition in Grade 1. This particular design was carried over to Gnade Dignistar years later, with the Esperanza nameplate switching to a sportier look in later years.
From Ridge Racer (PSP) onwards, the Esperanza was dramatically changed to a more curvy bubble-top look reminiscent of an Audi TT and is positioned as mid-end, mild-drift cars in the later games. The car received a facelift in Ridge Racer 6 to further make the similarity closer.
However, in both the Ridge Racer (PSP) and Ridge Racer 6 incarnations, despite it being front-engined, the rear section is somewhat long enough to be mistaken for a mid-engined car, in which the Esperanza could also potentially resemble an Audi R8 (most front-engined sports cars follow the "short deck, long nose" design principle).
Unlike the Audi TT, the Esperanza is still a rear-wheel drive car and uses a straight-six engine instead of an V6 engine and all-wheel drive. This specification is called Gnade Erstlanze in Ridge Racer Slipstream, where the car has Dynamic handling instead.
The upgrade chart for all the car's available configurations in Rage Racer.
|Grade||Power||Gears||Engine||Max speed (MT)||Price (eg)|
|1||70 ps||4||I4 SOHC 1600cc|| 163 km/h|
|Given at start|
|2||140 ps||4||I4 DOHC 1800cc|| 187 km/h|
|3||200 ps||5||I6 DOHC 2000cc|| 196 km/h|
|4||240 ps||5||I6 DOHC 2000cc Turbo|| 217 km/h|
|5||280 ps||5||I6 DOHC 2600cc Turbo|| 245 km/h|
- All maximum speed numbers correspond to the car when driven with manual transmission. Please note that not all cars in Rage Racer can be equipped with automatic transmission.
- The price that appears in the first row indicates the car purchase price from the car shop. All other prices are prices for upgrading the car.
- All versions of Rage Racer uses ps (metric horsepower) as unit of power.
- Data taken from rr-ken.net (Japanese only), except for top speeds, which is taken from Sal_89's GameFAQs entry.
Ridge Racer 6
|2||3.2 liter DOHC inline 6||247 km/h|
|4||4.0 liter DOHC inline 6||312 km/h|
Ridge Racer 2 (PSP)
The car's maximum speeds from all the car's available configurations in Ridge Racer 2 for PSP.
|2||239 km/h||241 km/h||243 km/h|
|4||314 km/h||316 km/h||318 km/h|
- Esperanza is Spanish for "hope".
- The Rage Racer incarnation of the Esperanza in Grade 1 specification may probably have the lowest horsepower output of any car in the series.
|Cars in Rage Racer|
|Class 1||Gnade Esperanza|
|Class 2||Lizard Acceron · Age Erriso|
|Class 3||Lizard Bayonet · Age Abeille · Assoluto Fatalita|
|Class 4||Lizard Hijack* · Age Pegase* · Assoluto Istante*|
|Class 5||Assoluto Ghepardo*|
|Class 6||Lizard Bulldog* · Age Vanquire · Assoluto Squaldon*|
|* denotes car only available with manual transmission|
|Cars in Ridge Racer (PSP) and Ridge Racer 2 (PSP)|
|Class 1/4||Kamata Fiera · Age Prophetie · Danver Bayonet|
|Class 2/5||Age Abeille · Gnade Esperanza · Assoluto Bisonte|
|Class 3/6||Assoluto Fatalita · Himmel E.O. · Soldat Raggio|
|Specials||Kamata Angelus* · Soldat Crinale* · Rally-X Car' · Namco Pac-Man* · Danver Hijack^ · Terrazi Wild Gang^ · Age Angelus Kid^ · Age Crinale Kid^ · Yamasa Raggio^|
|* indicate cars in both games but with different designs, ' indicate cars only in 1, ^ indicate cars only in 2|