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In Ridge Racer, cars are categorized by their performance levels. As the game progresses, the player is given higher-performing cars.

Ridge Racer

In the first game, the performance classification is as follows:

  • Beginner and the Beginner Extra courses gives the player a top speed of around 100 mph/160 km/h.
  • Mid-Level and High-Level and its Extra courses gives the player a top speed of around 125 mph/200 km/h.
  • Time Trial and Time Trial Extra courses gives the player a top speed of around 138 mph/220 km/h.

Note: According to rr-ken.net, if the overall course length in the first Ridge Racer is equal to that in Ridge Racer V, then the speed levels should be multiplied by 1.5

Ridge Racer Revolution

Ridge Racer Revolution features "type"-based classes: Type-S cars are for novice difficulty, Type-R cars are for intermediate levels with improved top speed, Type-X cars are for experts with an even higher top speed. There is also "Type-Z" specification with the highest top speed (speed level for the Type-Z is rated as "excellent" in-game). The player is now free to choose the speed levels for the car in Free Run; however, the player cannot use a class higher than used in Time Trial for said track.

Classes are tied to circuits:

  • Races in Novice track use Type-S in Race and Type-X in Time Trial.
  • Races in Intermediate track uses Type-X in Race and Type-R in Time Trial.
  • Races in Expert races track Type-R in Race and Type-Z in Time Trial.

Rage Racer

Rage Racer saw the introduction of the "class" based performance classification:

  • Class 1 is the player's starting class, consisting of only the Gnade Esperanza, which has a 4 speed transmission and tops out 99 mph. The Gnade can be modified for later parts of the game.
  • Class 2 saw the introduction of two more manufacturers: Age which focuses on handling and grip, and consists of sporty compact cars) and Lizard, which focuses on acceleration and consists of muscle cars. Cars of Class 2 also have improved performance than the Class 1.
  • Class 3, which has an oval race, saw the introduction of Assoluto, which focuses on top speed and consists of high-end sports cars. All Class 3 cars feature higher performance than Class 2.
  • Class 4 cars have an even higher performance than Class 3 cars, and at this point, three MT-only machines are introduced: the Age Pegase, a lightweight compact sports car, the Lizard Hijack, a NASCAR-style pick-up truck, and Assoluto Istante, a supercar with high top speed.
  • Class 5 cars have the top performance outside the "?"-graded cars. A Class 5-exclusive special machine appears at this point, the MT-only Assoluto Ghephardo.
  • Class 6, or dubbed as the "Grade ?" cars are extreme-performance cars. All Class 6 cars with the exception of the Age Vanquire are only available with manual transmission.

Ridge Racer Type 4

In general, there are 4 stages of cars in Ridge Racer Type 4:

  • Stage 1 cars are basic cars that have 4-speed transmission.
  • Stage 2 cars are mid-range cars that have 5-speed transmission.
  • Stage 3 cars are high-performance cars with 6-speed transmission
  • Stage 4 cars, exclusive for the final race at Shooting Hoops, are prototype cars with 6-speed transmission.

Ridge Racer Type 4 introduced the "branch system", which awards the player depending on their performance. Conditions for the first preliminaries are determined only by the player's position, whereas for the second preliminaries, conditions are determined by both the player's position and their total time in each race. The complete chart are as follows: (note the player always uses car number 1 in the first heat and is required to finish first in all finals to progress)

1st Heat R1 1st Heat R2 2nd Heat R1 2nd Heat R2 Car # in 2nd Heat Car # in Finals Car # in S.Hoops
3rd 3rd 2nd 2nd 2 6 13
3rd 3rd 1st 2nd 2 7 14
3rd 3rd 1st 2nd 2 8 15
3rd 3rd 1st 1st 2 9 16
2nd 2nd 1st 1st 3 10 17
2nd 1st 1st 1st 4 11 18
1st 1st 1st 1st 5 12 19

Additional, detailed conditions are listed here (Japanese only).

The special machines in this game are treated as Class 4 cars; however, they do not appear in the Grand Prix, only in Extra Trial.

Ridge Racer V

Car classes in Ridge Racer V is as follows:

  • Standard class
  • Extra class, which consists of all the Standard class cars with new engine and improved performance, as well as new, racing body kits. In Ridge Racer V: Arcade Battle, the player uses Extra class cars.
  • Oval class, which consists of all the Extra class cars with special "Oval Engine" installed.
  • Duel class, which consists of unique, special cars that have to be obtained by defeating them.

Ridge Racer (PSP)

In the PSP Ridge Racer games, the car classes are:

Of note, Class 1-3 cars have yellow number boxes, while Class 4-6 cars have white number boxes, similar to JGTC/Super GT number boxes, where the premier GT500 class cars have white number boxes, while the lesser GT300 class cars have yellow number boxes.

Ridge Racer 6

There are five car classes in Ridge Racer 6:

  • Class 1 is the first class available for the player, featuring basic performance and a top speed of around 220-230 km/h.
  • Class 2 consists of higher-performing cars that have top speeds of around 247-255 km/h.
  • Class 3 consists of heavily modified Class 1 cars.
  • Class 4 consists of heavily modified Class 2 cars.
  • Special Machines.

Ridge Racer 7

Ridge Racer 7's car classes is as follows:

  • Category 4 cars have the lowest performance, and mainly consist of compact sports cars.
  • Category 3 cars consist of modified Category 4 cars.
  • Category 2 cars saw the introduction of higher-end cars.
  • Category 1 cars consist of modified Category 2 cars and special machines.

Exclusive for Categories 3 and 2 are Complete Machines, which are pre-tuned cars of certain model, obtainable by either winning a duel or gaining 100 Manufacturer Points for each car manufacturer. Complete Machines cannot be modified, both performance and visually.

Category 3 Complete Machines:

Category 2 Complete Machines:

Ridge Racer series
Arcade games Ridge Racer · 2 · Rave Racer · Pocket Racer · V: Arcade Battle
Console and handheld games Ridge Racer · Revolution · Rage Racer · Type 4 · 64 (DS) · V · Ridge Racer (PSP) (2) · 6 · 7 · 3D · Unbounded (Driftopia) · Ridge Racer (PlayStation Vita)
Mobile games Ridge Racer · Drift · Accelerated · Slipstream · Draw & Drift
Related games SimDrive · Ace Driver (Victory Lap · 3: Final Turn) · Dirt Dash · R: Racing Evolution · Critical Velocity · Pachislot
Universe and people Ridge City · Ridge State · Shatter Bay · Real Racing Roots · UFRA · Reiko Nagase · Enki Gilbert · Shinji Yazaki · Sophie Cavalier · Robert Chrisman · Ai Fukami · Rena Hayami · Gina Cavalli · Stephan Garnier · Kara Shindo
Game mechanics Drifting · Grand Prix · Slipstream · Nitrous · Car Classes · Customization · Special Machine

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