Reuters reports that the game has piqued consumer interest certain Japanese car models, but because of safety and emmissions standards in the USA, some models have never been seen outside of their home country. However, bolstered by the marketing power of Gran Turismo, the demand for these cars is rising, and car manufacturers have sat up and taken notice.
Mitsubishi Motors, manufacturer of the Lancer Evolution, said that in response to the new demand for the Evo, the car will appear in American showrooms in 2003. Nissan Motor will bring the Skyline GT-R model to the USA and Europe as well, although it hasn't set a date yet.
Takashi Kiuchi of Mitsubishi told Reuters, "there's no doubt that Gran Turismo played a huge role in our decision to launch the Lancer Evolution in the United States. The car wouldn't have attracted as much attention as it has in the United States without the game."