All those Beetle shots are not for me.
Also I think GT still looks and feels great!! Game was mind blowing and yeah the “campaign” seemed so deep to me at the time! Just the sheer variety of not just “cars” but how they handled differently depending on so many factors (AWD v RWD v FWD, plus modifications and stuff). Undeniably landmark software and it still holds up for me.
I agree that it is interesting how it looks like a path to what “realistic looking” racing games look like now, while the Ridge Racers still look unique and cool.