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The Maibatsu Penumbra is one of those interesting cars in GTA V‘s roster that initially come off as subpar in terms of performance but have the potential to become a beast with the right upgrades.
When I first took the Penumbra for a drive, nothing stood out – sure, it had impeccable handling, but other Sports cars outclassed it in every other department. This made me question the car’s tagline, which somehow verbatim claimed it to be a “high-performance” vehicle. However, my questions were soon answered when I took the Penumbra to Los Santos Customs.
In this guide, I’ll discuss all I learned about the Penumbra in my pursuit of exposing its allegedly nonsensical tagline.
Miabatsu Penumbra Overview
The Maibatsu Penumbra is a coupe-style Sports car that can only house up to two people, owing to its two-seater compactness.
As far as performance goes, although the game advertises the Penumbra to be fantastic in that regard, many players find it to be mediocre at best. Thus, with handling being its strongest suite at first glance, the Penumbra is often perceived as a car good enough for drifting around in – I’ll be addressing those pre-conceived notions later.
Regardless, you can get your hands on the stock Maibatsu Penumbra by opening up the internet on your phone and heading over to the Southern San Andreas Super Autos. The vehicle is retailed at 24,000 dollars and can be purchased in one of eight colors: red, pink, yellow, orange, green, blue, black, and white.
Although 24,000 dollars is generally considered quite cheap, if it’s difficult for you to fork that much out of your wallet, then you can take the more criminal approach to acquire the Maibatsu Penumbra.
It turns out that Hao owns a Maibatsu Penumbra, which is fully customized from front to back – you can see it for yourself by activating his stranger/freak mission at Pillbox Hill. If his orange Penumbra is to your liking, then you can actually steal it by scaring him off with a gun and taking away his car with a tow truck. Simply saving and reloading the game after dropping the car off in your safehouse garage will permanently unlock it – how convenient!
The Maibatsu Penumbra hones inspiration on the North American edition of the 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse, from a design standpoint but also from a historical lens which I found particularly intriguing. That’s because, similar to how the Mitsubishi Eclipse was discontinued in 2012; the Penumbra is also described to have been suspended – it’s almost like an in-game adaptation!
But of course, as is the case with most cars in GTA V, the Penumbra isn’t a complete replica of a single real-life vehicle, but instead is a beauty stitched together from different real-life cars. More specifically, a close inspection has revealed that:
- The front bumper and grille are taken from the first generation Scion tC
- The headlights are similar to those found on the 2013-2016 Dodge Dart
- The tail lights bear lots of resemblance to the ones found on the 2006-2014 Audi TT
Inspiration aside, if I evaluate the Penumbra’s appearance for what it looks like, I can briefly describe the car to be one of the most minimalistic yet aerodynamically stable cars in GTA V. If you have a thing for an elegant sports car that doesn’t make you look extravagant, then the Penumbra should tick off that preference.
While I refer to the car as the “Penumbra” mostly, it is, in fact, the Maibatsu Penumbra, and the manufacturers ensure that branding goes through by highlighting their emblem on the car. It is seen mainly on the vehicle’s upper area, adorned on the upper grille, and on the car’s horn cap, although it is a little hard to see unless in first-person mode.
As for the colors, the primary color for the vehicle is applied to the entirety of the bodywork as well as the interior stitching of the vehicle to accentuate the interior. The secondary color goes on the lower portions of the vehicle, mainly encompassing the mirrors, roof panels, and the central section of the front bumper.
The Penumbra’s top speed averages out at around 95 mph, although it has the potential to go up to 105 mph if you’re willing to invest in some beefy upgrades. However, even at 105 mph, the Penumbra does not offer solid competition in drag races where numbers above 120 mph more commonly take the limelight. With that said, if you’re not planning on bringing this car anywhere near competition, then its top speed should be decent in free roam.
Even though the Penumbra’s top speed could be labeled satisfactory, its stock acceleration really falls flat. Tests have shown that the car takes around 6.3 seconds to accelerate from its rest position to a speed of just 60 mph, an empirical result that genuinely speaks for itself. Even though many attribute this to its heavy frame, the fact is that acceleration is where the Maibatsu Penumbra lacks the most.
When it comes down to pure handling, the Penumbra shines the most with its A-grade traction and steering. You can make sharp turns around tight corners without understeering or oversteering, something that usually plagues Sports cars, probably because they’re usually able to achieve higher speeds.
Overall, the car has some okay-ish beginner stats for its price points, but with the right modifications made over at Los Santos Customs, you can get a good bang for your buck.
You can head on over to Los Santos Customs to upgrade your Penumbra to your heart’s content. Keep in mind to go easy on the performance modifications as an overpowered engine may cause instability and handling problems at high speeds, a widespread phenomenon in Sports cars. On the more positive side, feel free to go wild with the cosmetic modifications for the vehicle, as there are a lot of exciting options to choose from!
All in all, just make sure to have some decent cash on your hands, especially if you’re tricking out your ride for GTA Online.
Armor upgrades are a must if you plan to take your Penumbra into GTA Online, given how it can easily be taken down with a few bullet rounds or an RPG, for that matter. If you’ve already spent a decent chunk of money on a tricked-out Penumbra, I would strongly recommend going the extra mile and reinforcing it to the max with a 100 percent armor upgrade.
|Armor||GTA V||GTA Online|
|No Armor||325 Dollars||650 Dollars|
|Armor Upgrade 20 Percent||1625 Dollars||6375 Dollars|
|Armor Upgrade 40 Percent||4062 Dollars||10,625 Dollars|
|Armor Upgrade 60 Percent||6500 Dollars||17000 Dollars|
|Armor Upgrade 80 Percent||11375 Dollars||29,750 Dollars|
|Armor Upgrade 100 Percent||16,250 Dollars||42,500 Dollars|
If you’ve got a performance-based Penumbra but some weak brakes, you’ll definitely crash into concrete or oncoming traffic. Therefore, make sure to get proper brake upgrades for the Penumbra, especially because it has got some pretty awful stock brakes. Consider it a worthwhile investment!
|Brakes||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Brakes||325 Dollars||650 Dollars|
|Street Brakes||6,500 Dollars||13,000 Dollars|
|Sport Brakes||8775 Dollars||17,550 Dollars|
|Race Brakes||11375 Dollars||22,750 Dollars|
You can’t expect to drive a Penumbra around and not have a cool bumper kit to make it look all the sassier. It’s important to realize that the Penumbra makes for an impressive JDM sports car. Thus, with the right performance upgrades, a sick livery, and the right bumper setup, you can create the ultimate Penumbra that every GTA Online player will stare at (or bomb if they’re a griefer…)
|Front Bumpers||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Front Bumper||750 Dollars||1500 Dollars|
|Custom Front Splitter||1250 Dollars||2500 Dollars|
|Carbon Splitter Canards||1650 Dollars||3300 Dollars|
|Rear Bumpers||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Rear Bumper||750 Dollars||1500 Dollars|
|Carbon Rear Bumper||1250 Dollars||2500 Dollars|
|Painted Diffuser Tow Hook||1650 Dollars||3330 Dollars|
|Carbon Diffuser Tow Hook||1950 Dollars||3900 Dollars|
Let’s be honest. Despite being a supercar class vehicle, the Penumbra doesn’t offer all that much acceleration and top speed, but that’s what modifications are for, right? The Penumbra comes pretty cheaply for 24,000 dollars, so you can spend the extra money on EMS upgrades to get some well-needed boost in top speed and acceleration. Just don’t go overboard with turbo tuning!
|EMS Upgrades||GTA V||GTA Online|
|EMS Upgrade Level 1||2925 Dollars||5850 Dollars|
|EMS Upgrade Level 2||4062 Dollars||8125 Dollars|
|EMS Upgrade Level 3||5850 Dollars||11700 Dollars|
|EMS Upgrade Level 4||10877 Dollars||21775 Dollars|
Although the Penumbra has a limited exhaust selection, the available exhausts look pretty sick, and you could go for any of them.
- The Stock Exhaust looks a bit clunky, so that needs to go in my books – what do you think?
- The Dual Titanium Exhausts add a bit of symmetry and style to the Penumbra. They’re definitely worth the price if you ask me.
- The Titanium Tuner exhaust features a single large exhaust on each side of the vehicle and is my personal go-to for the Penumbra.
|Exhaust||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Exhaust||130 Dollars||260 Dollars|
|Dual Titanium Exhaust||375 Dollars||750 Dollars|
|Titanium Tuner Exhaust||899 Dollars||1800 Dollars|
Own a Penumbra in GTA Online? Well, you might want to go on the offensive sometimes and take out any unwanted griefers or players trying to steal your car. As such, the best you can do is set up an ignition bomb for 5000 dollars or go for a remote bomb for 7500 dollars.
|Ignition Bomb||5000 Dollars|
|Remote Bomb||7500 Dollars|
Grilles are something of a controversy in JDM culture. While some people like to keep the grilles, some like to get rid of them altogether and expose the vehicle’s radiator, intercooler, and fan. Ultimately though, it’s all up to you what you do with your vehicle.
|Grilles||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Grille||100 Dollars||200 Dollars|
|Exposed Intercooler||375 Dollars||750 Dollars|
Hoods make no difference in a car’s performance in GTA V and Online. It only cosmetically affects the car and offers no weight reduction advantages as far as I know.
- If you like a clean look for the Penumbra, then keep the stock hood.
- If you’re interested in something fancier, then you can go for the Carbon hood or the vented hood.
- If you have the extra money, you can go for the Carbon-Vented hood – the best of both worlds!
|Hoods||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Hood||450 Dollars||900 Dollars|
|Carbon Hood||850 Dollars||1700 Dollars|
|Vented Hood||1200 Dollars||2400 Dollars|
|Carbon Vented Hood||1450 Dollars||2900 Dollars|
Lights offer no benefits in visibility when it comes to GTA because the game is already decently lit even at night. However, if you want some cool pictures in-game and like the aesthetics of xenon lights, then be my guest.
|Lights||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Lights||200 Dollars||400 Dollars|
|Xenon Lights||1000 Dollars||5000 Dollars|
While a handful of modifications only have cosmetic value and offer no real benefit, roll cages are helpful as they offer increased protection and durability to cars. Many players have this pre-conceived notion that getting a roll cage affects the weight distribution of your car, but rest assured, as there is no evidence to support that. Take my word for it and get a Roll Cage with Chassis upgrade if you have some cash to spare!
|Roll Cages||GTA V||GTA Online|
|No Roll Cage||350 Dollars||700 Dollars|
|Roll Cage with Chassis Upgrade||550 Dollars||1100 Dollars|
Roof modifications offer no advantages whatsoever in terms of weight reduction or better speeds in GTA V. Even so, if you’re going for that Carbon look on your Penumbra, then feel free to go for the Carbon Roof – it looks gorgeous!
|Roofs||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Roof||100 Dollars||200 Dollars|
|Carbon Roof||350 Dollars||700 Dollars|
Skirts make or break the vehicle, especially when you’re going for a ricer or JDM meetup. People are and will clown you for having stock skirts, especially because they’re behind a screen (that’s just internet trolls in a nutshell). The skirt selection is limited but respectable – all that matter is that you get what you pay for!
|Skirts||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Skirts||1250 Dollars||2500 Dollars|
|Custom Skirts 1||1500 Dollars||3000 Dollars|
|Custom Skirts 2||2000 Dollars||4000 Dollars|
Spoilers help a bit in GTA V as they offer better stability and control, especially when your car is airborne or traveling at a high velocity. Fortunately, you get to choose from some amazing spoiler options for the Penumbra.
- The stock spoiler needs to go ASAP in my books, given how every other spoiler looks better than it.
- The low-level spoiler does look respectable if you want a discreet JDM car.
- If you want your car to stand out from the rest of the competition, then you, my friend, should go for the high-level spoiler.
- The GT Wing is your traditional racing wing, and if you’re a fan of it, you should definitely not hesitate!
- The Tuner Wing is my personal favorite choice for the spoiler due to the Carbon layering at the top – you should definitely check it out too!
|Spoilers||GTA V||GTA Online|
|None||500 Dollars||1000 Dollars|
|Low-Level Spoiler||750 Dollars||1500 Dollars|
|High-Level Spoiler||950 Dollars||1900 Dollars|
|GT Wing||1300 Dollars||2600 Dollars|
|Tuner Wing||1750 Dollars||3500 Dollars|
Suspension matters a lot in Grand Theft Auto. You can keep the vehicle’s soft stock suspension to drive on smooth asphalt and rough ground. But if you want the ultimate lowered drag racing JDM Penumbra, go for the sports suspension, which is rigid but keeps stability to the max at high speeds.
|Suspension||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Stock Suspension||100 Dollars||200 Dollars|
|Lowered Suspension||500 Dollars||1000 Dollars|
|Street Suspension||1000 Dollars||2000 Dollars|
|Competition Suspension||2200 Dollars||4400 Dollars|
The Penumbra is slow and doesn’t have decent acceleration or a great top speed. As such, getting some turbo tuning done increases overall horsepower for your engine, which would greatly improve the car.
|Turbo||GTA V||GTA Online|
|None||1625 Dollars||3250 Dollars|
|Turbo Tuning||8125 Dollars||42,500 Dollars|
If you want the absolute JDM look, you have to black out your windows. Blacking out windows won’t get the cops to stop you in GTA, luckily. But better luck with that in real life, am I right?
|Windows||GTA V||GTA Online|
|None||100 Dollars||500 Dollars|
|Light Smoke||200 Dollars||1500 Dollars|
|Dark Smoke||450 Dollars||3500 Dollars|
|Limo||700 Dollars||5000 Dollars|
You can get to choose from a number of customizable license plates for your Penumbra in different select colors. You can also change the text to whatever you want it to say.
|Plates||GTA V||GTA Online|
|Blue on White 1||50 Dollars||200 Dollars|
|Blue on White 2||50 Dollars||200 Dollars|
|Blue on White 3||50 Dollars||200 Dollars|
|Yellow on Blue||75 Dollars||300 Dollars|
|Yellow on Black||150 Dollars||600 Dollars|
The best part is saved for last. The livery selection for the Penumbra was added in the After Hours update for GTA Online. Do note that you only get access to liveries in GTA Online, so single-player is out of luck.
- You can go for the car’s clean, Stock Livery look for 11,400 dollars.
- The Dual White Stripes aren’t the best livery on the list, but they look respectable and get the job done for 18,240 dollars.
- Now, the Dual Black Stripes do look pretty slick and cool in my eyes – you can get them for 19,380 dollars.
- The Thick White Stripes end before the grille of your Penumbra’s hood. I can’t imagine myself rocking these, but you can get them for 20,520 dollars.
- The Thick Black Stripes, which end before the hood, will cost a pretty penny of 21,660 dollars.
- The Hard Parking Livery looks pretty cool. Hao rocks this livery in the LS Car Meet, costing 22,899 dollars.
- The Vinyltastic is a bit too much for my tastes, but if you want to stand out, you can get it for 23,370 dollars.
- The Neon Tear is loud and flashy for 23,939 dollars.
- The Maibatsu works have lots of Maibatsu branding. Personally, not my style, but if you dig it, you can buy it for 24,510 dollars.
- We have another Maibatsu livery, the Maibatsu Racing, just for 25,080 dollars.
- Last but not least, we have the Almost Had You Livery. This livery is special because it’s a reference to the livery used in Brian’s Mitsubishi Eclipse 1995 in The Fast and Furious Movie. The name references a line he said in the same movie.
|Dual White Stripes||18240 Dollars|
|Dual Black Stripes||19380 Dollars|
|Thick White Stripes||20520 Dollars|
|Thick Black Stripes||21660 Dollars|
|Hard Parking||22800 Dollars|
|Neon Tear||23939 Dollars|
|Maibatsu Works||24510 Dollars|
|Maibatsu Racing||25,080 Dollars|
|Almost Had You||25650 Dollars|
Question: How much is the Maibatsu Penumbra?
Answer: The Maibatsu Penumbra costs around 24,000 dollars at the Southern San Andreas Super Autos.
Question: Is the Penumbra a good car?
Answer: With the right turbo and EMS modifications, the Penumbra is a worthy competitor paired with its impeccable handling.
Question: Does the Penumbra spawn around the map?
Answer: The Penumbra can spawn across Alta, Vinewood, or Rockford Hills in Single-player as well as in front of Grove Street Garage or Auto Six Factory.
Maibatsu Penumbra: Conclusion
The Maibatsu Penumbra is one of the most interesting cars I’ve seen in GTA V. While it seems like a scam initially due to its stock performance, the car can reach some really good numbers that help it stand out for its price point. I would highly recommend it if you’re just starting out and want to get your hands on a neat car instead of saving up for something way more expensive.
And that’s pretty much it for the Maibatsu Penumbra guide. We got more guides coming up on Grand Theft Fans. Till then, see you later and goodbye!