"You never forget the first time you sit behind the wheel of a mint condition Declasse Tornado: that effortless class, that shameless bulge in your pants or wetspot on the seat, that dawning certainty that you're still going to be crawling up this gentle suburban hill fifteen hours from now. Still, with our help, onlookers will be so floored by your paint job they won't even take a Snapmatic selfie in front of the impressive smoke clouds coming out your hood."
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas the Tornado assumes the design of a 1958 Chevrolet Impala but without the features of dual headlights. The car has its distinctive front end, chromed lines on the sides and a large trunk on the rear. It uses small-size wheels with centercaps.
Grand Theft Auto V
In Grand Theft Auto V, The Tornado still resembles a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air in its front end and overall shape, but the years of the ends have been swapped; the front end now has the '58 Bel Air design and the rear now takes influence from the 1957 Chevrolet or 1957 Bel Air. New features include a bumper similar to a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado, dual headlights (with black surrounds like the '57) and 1957 Bel Air style rear wings and trunk. Other than the dual headlights, and '57 Chevy Bel Air rear, it resembles its predecessor. It also has some design cues taken from a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere.
The Tornado is available in different variants, which share the same body:
The standard, hard-top version, which employs a fixed roof.
The convertible version, which features a paintable soft top that can be retracted and is always Black by default.
A beater version of the hard-top variant, which has a worn bodywork and its details are heavily rusted.
Having only two doors, the Tornado is only designed to carry two occupants. The car does make up for this with its above average top speed and acceleration, as well as its generally stable cornering (even with its long wheelbase that is supposed to hamper the car's maneuverability). Braking, however, is not so great. The Tornado is also quite durable and can take a good bit of road damage/gunfire before exploding. Although it does not appear to have a visible fuel cap, it will explode when the license plate is shot.
The Tornado is again quite durable and handles relatively similar to its SA counterpart. One disadvantage of this car is that it performs horrible while driving up hills. It again does not have a visible fuel cap, but it will explode if the front engine is shot enough or if its hit from a high enough impact (rolling down a steep hill and directly hitting the ground with sensitive spots may result in an instant explosion). The beater models commonly found in Blaine County tend to have a delayed engine ignition, which could become a problem in the event of a situation that requires a quick getaway.
The engine is modeled after a V8 with single-overhead camshafts and a large cylindrical air filter. It is coupled to a 4-speed gearbox in a front engine, rear wheel drive layout.
The Tornado Custom is a custom variant of the Tornado exclusive for Grand Theft Auto Online, which features highly-advanced modifications, and hydraulics enabled, not present on the standard Tornado. It was added as part of the continuation of the Lowriders: Custom Classics update.
The Tornado Rat Rod is the hotrod variant of the Tornado, having a rusted body and several modifications, including a large engine and drag racing-style wheels. It was added as part of the continuation of the Bikers update.
A convertible mariachi beater version can be seen during the mission The Civil Border Patrol, with sombreros and guitars on the back seat. There is also a Mexican flag, ostensibly a sticker, on the area between the trunk and the backseat. It can be stolen after stunning its owners, required to obtain the gold medal in the mission. This version cannot be modified at Los Santos Customs but can be repaired.
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Grand Theft Auto V
A black variant with a unique plate (reading "MONIED") is owned by Devin Weston and driven by Trevor in The Third Way. It can be obtained by driving to any Los Santos Customs or Beeker's Garage and modifying the car before finishing the mission. After completing the mission, the player can retrieve the vehicle at the LSPD Auto Impound. This does not work on mission replay.
Pre-modified variants of the Tornado can be seen in in certain locations randomly, particularly at two locations in Cypress Flats.
Modified purple variants can sometimes be seen driving on the Grove Street cul-de-sac by a Ballas gang member.
They can also sometimes be parked in the same area.
Modified green variants can be found on Forum Drive, parked, or being driven. Franklin can steal them and not get shot at as opposed to if the player tried to take a Ballas or Vagos variant. This is an easy way to get the Tornado for Delivering the Truth.
In GTA Online (on the original PS3 and XB360 versions) the convertible gang variants of the Tornado are the second most valuable vehicles that can be stolen and sold to Los Santos Customs, netting the player $12,575 in mint condition. In the Enhanced Version, they only rank 10th most valuable. The hardtop variants only pay out $8,050.
After the Heists Update, the convertible gang Tornado used to sell for $43,305 in mint condition. However, this was later patched after the 1.22 update.
The Tornado is the lowest vehicle in the game and only lowrider and/or car capable of dragging. Dropping its rear end on the ground produces a continuous stream of sparks like a minitruck. This trick can be executed through the aid of hydraulics by nose up with right analog stick (PS2). The scraping can be done by pressing the Num 8 button or by pressing H, then the Num 2 button (PC).
When taking over all turfs occupied by the Los Santos Vagos, acquiring a Tornado would be hard as it rarely appears or won't actually appear again.
A glitch in the mobile port of the game has the Tornado's interior sometimes being invisible before entering it. This glitch can be fixed by placing the camera position to the back.
The Tornado was meant to spawn regularly through the three main cities, as shown in the cargrp.dat file, but a coding error prevents it from spawning around, thus making the car impossible to find after all Vagos' turfs are taken over. The same happens with Euros.
Grand Theft Auto IV
A Tornado-like vehicle can be seen in a picture in the back room of The Triangle Club in the borough of Bohan.
Attempting to add chrome on the roof of the convertible version will color it black.
The Tornado can be modified to resemble the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air further with hood ornaments and fender skirts.
Unlike most vehicles that spawn in the street, the Tornado can have any license plate by default as opposed to the usual Blue on White 2.
At the 7:00 PM spawn point near the Altruist Camp in the mountains, two NPCs drive a mariachi variant Tornado off a cliff while surrounded by police. This is an easter egg referencing the end of the 1991 movie Thelma & Louise, where the two main characters drive their 1966 Ford Thunderbird off a cliff.
It is possible to steal this Tornado in GTA Online if the player waits nearby for the event to begin, then uses a sniper rifle to kill the driver and passenger.
Grand Theft Auto Online
The mariachi variant can be used in GTA Online races, albeit it is considered an Off-Road vehicle despite having no performance difference compared to the normal versions that would imply it is an Off-Road vehicle. Furthermore, unlike the regular Tornado and its varaints, the mariachi version's modification options are limited to explosives and Loss/Theft Prevention as its performance cannot be upgraded at all.