If you’ve been a fan of the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise, you might recognize this sports car . Why yes, it’s the Bravado Banshee, the getaway car that made its debut in the opening moments of Grand Theft Auto III. The Banshee was always treated simply as a video game car that ultimately became one of the mainstays of GTA.
All that’s about to change now that a real world version of the Banshee has been built, thanks to Rockstar Games’ collaboration with West Coast Customs. It’s only a one-off machine, yet it makes good use of state-of-the-art fabrication technologies to turn it into a true sports car befitting its stature as a bad-ass in the GTA franchise.
One look at the Banshee and you can surmise that it was based on a past version of the Dodge Viper — a 2006 model, to be precise. WCC used molds for the exterior, and cut and machined piece-by-piece to recreate the high-performance look of the video game sports car . And as an added treat, the Banshee’s iconic metallic-blue exterior complete with ice white racing stripe, ensuring that the sports car’s video game looks translated perfectly into the real-world car.
Additionally, the interior is also a sight to behold with the seats upholstered and embroidered with the "Banshee" name and insignia. Likewise, carbon inlays were used on the dashboard, door panels and center console while a multi-speaker premium sound system was installed.
But the best part about this Banshee isn’t so much it’s appeal; it’s the fact that GameStop raffled it off as part of its Epic Rewards Giveaway back in 2013.
Updated 06/02/2014: If you want to drive the Bravado Banshee for real, you will be happy to know that one unit is currently on sale on eBay. The only problem is that it is listed at $170,000
Click past the jump to read more about the 2006 Banshee.
I always thought the Bravado Banshee was a Dodge Viper that has been modified enough to enable Rockstar Games get away without paying any license fees for reproducing the car, which is true for just about every GTA car. Seeing the Banshee finished as a real car doesn’t really change that, although the vehicle sports a few design cues of its own.
The Viper’s aggressive front end is pretty much ruined by the plain bumper
The Viper’s aggressive front end is pretty much ruined by the plain bumper. The thin lower side with its rectangular "mouth," the lack of creases and the nearly square headlamps make the Banshee look unique, but not exactly inspiring. The rear end, however, boasts more aggressiveness through its lower fascia and the remarkable, 1970 Camaro-like spoiler that nearly reaches the flared wheel arches.
When viewed from the side, the Banshee’s Viper-inspired nature is even more obvious. The doors, the front fenders and the greenhouse area basically unchanged, with only the flared arches and the new wheels adding a bit of variety. The blue metallic finish and the white stripes are a cool addition, but the combo is far from being original. My guess is Rockstar Games borrowed it from the first-gen Viper GTS.
Everything from the door panels to the dashboard and the center console are now covered with carbon-fiber inlays, while the passenger’s side is accented by red "Banshee" lettering and a red stripe
The second-generation Dodge Viper was far from being a luxurious vehicle on the inside, as the cockpit was packed with plastic surfaces and leather was pretty much limited to the seats. That’s not half bad for a vehicle built to offer pure driving pleasure, but the folks over at Rockstar Games and West Coast Customs overhauled the cabin to give it a well-appointed look. Everything from the door panels to the dashboard and the center console are now covered with carbon-fiber inlays, while the passenger’s side is accented by red "Banshee" lettering and a red stripe.
Additionally, the leather-wrapped seats are embroidered with the Banshee name and insignia, the latter also inspired by the Viper emblem. Rounding off the interior is a multi-speaker premium sound system that’s ready to cover that loud exhaust note. Just like the Viper it is based on, the Bravado Banshee comes equipped with air conditioning, cruise control, power locks, power windows and a CD player. Did I hear anyone ask about Bluetooth? No, there’s no Bluetooth, no iPhone or Android connectivity and no built-in WiFi, just HVAC controls that look ripped straight from a 2002 Dodge Neon.
The Bravado Banshee is nothing but a standard 2006 Dodge Viper under the hood
The Bravado Banshee is nothing but a standard 2006 Dodge Viper under the hood, which means it has an 8.3-liter, V-10 engine at its disposal. The unit produces 510 horsepower and 535 pound-feet of torque and uses a heavy-duty, six-speed manual box to motivate the rear wheels. It’s not exactly impressive when compared to the 640 ponies the current Viper comes with, but it’s still plenty of power to have fun with.
There are no performance figures available for the Banshee, but a brand-new 2006 Viper was able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds and reach a top speed of 190 mph.
|Output (HP @ RPM)||510 @ 5,600|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||535 @ 4,100|
|Acceleration (0-60 MPH)||4 Sec, Est.|
As of 6/2/2014, the eBay listing says the vehicle can be bought for $170,000. The "Make Offer" option is also active, which means buyers may have a shot at lowering the price by a few thousand bucks. The current sticker makes the Banshee more expensive than any 2014 model year Viper. The base version retails from $93,395.
I could throw in a heap of 500 to 600-horsepower sports cars in here, but the current SRT Viper is enough to make a point. I have no clue why Rockstar used a 2006 Viper for a unique car that was built last year, but I know it wasn’t such a good idea. At least not when compared to the 2014 model, which benefits from 640 horsepower, 600 pound-feet of torque, a 0-to-60 mph time of just 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph.
Not to mention the more refined interior, the superior technology and the large amount of goodies that can be added using the company’s option packages. Priced from $102,485, the base Viper is quite the bargain when compared to the Banshee, but the range-topping GTS is still cheaper at $124,985. Heck, for $118,485 you can have the Time Attack Viper and embarrass your Corvette ZR1-driving friends on any American track.
Gallery SRT Viper
The Bravado Banshee is a truly unique car. Not only because it’s a one-off, but also because it was built after a vehicle featured in a video game. That’s not a common occurrence. However, this makes it appealing to a limited crowd — either Grand Theft Auto gearheads or avid car collectors. But I have a feeling not many GTA gamers can afford it and I don’t think Jay Leno is anxious about adding this contraption to his lavish garage. It’s less appealing than a regular Viper and it was dated since the day it left the West Coast Customs shop. Need I say more?
- Unique design
- Future collectible
- Not exactly alluring
- Dated technology for the price
- Buy a real Viper