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Moonbeam

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"Good for big families. Or large gang of criminals."
— GTA Vice City Website

The Declasse Moonbeam is a four-door minivan featured in every game of the franchise after Grand Theft Auto III, with the exception of Grand Theft Auto V.

GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories

Design

Between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories, the Moonbeam is straightforwardly modeled after a 1985—1994 Chevrolet Astro/1985—1994 GMC Safari, but it has tall taillights. The GTA Vice City version's taillights are similar to those found on 1992-1994 Ford Econoline vans. Some versions of the Moonbeam have rear fog lights attached to the rear bumper. Minor cosmetic changes have been made throughout its appearances, but the van has generally retained its bulky 1980s design, making it unattractive in all its appearances. Whilst the GTA Liberty City Stories rendition of the Moonbeam is based on that of GTA III, the GTA Vice City Stories rendition adopts the design of the GTA Liberty City Stories or GTA III rendition, instead of the usual GTA Vice City rendition.

During development of GTA III, the van was originally known as the "Aster", a clear reference to the Chevrolet Astro name. The van is depicted in the Capital Autos website.

Performance

Moonbeams between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories all possess similar handling properties. Performance is poor, due to the underpowered engines, rear wheel drive layouts (Moonbeams in GTA III and Vice City are front-wheel drive), heavy bodies, soft suspension, and high center of gravity (leading to a tendency to flip on rough terrains); as a result, the Moonbeam is generally unsuitable for high-speed driving and has little practical use aside its fundamental function as a mode of transport. The Moonbeam only holds a maximum of four occupants.

GTA San Andreas

Modifications

  • The Moonbeam can only be modified in a TransFender garage.
Type Upgrade Cost
Color Car Color 1 (64 different colors) $ 150
Exhausts Large Exhaust $ 250
Medium Exhaust $ 200
Nitro 2x Nitrous $ 200
5x Nitrous $ 500
10x Nitrous $ 1000
Roof Roof Scoop $ 80
Spoilers Drag $ 200
Worx $ 200
Wheels Import $ 820
Atomic $ 770
Ahab $ 1000
Virtual $ 620
Access $ 1140
Off Road Wheel $ 1000
Mega $ 1030
Grove $ 1230
Twist $ 1200
Wires $ 1560
Car Stereo Bass Boost $ 100
Hydraulics Hydraulics $ 1500

GTA IV

Design

In GTA IV, the Moonbeam (now with a Declasse manufacturer badge) is still based on a 1985—1994 Chevrolet
Moonbeam badges
Astro/1985—1994 GMC Safari but the front end has been greatly altered, incorporating more realistic detailing and design cues, as well as supporting one-tone or two-tone body colors. All Moonbeams are only found in conversion form, and are based off incomplete cargo versions without rear quarter windows or passenger versions with rear quarter windows. The tail lights resemble those of the KK Jeep Liberty.

The Moonbeam can be found in several different configurations, with optional rear-mounted continental tire and ladder, elevated aero roof, roof-mounted luggage bars, a custom billet grille that covers the headlamps, and either one of two types of side scuffs.

Performance

The GTA IV rendition of the Moonbeam is powered by a diesel V6, unlike the GTA III era Moonbeams which have gas engines, and features a rear wheel drive layout, however its lack of power makes this characteristic negligible; with a top speed 155 mph, the Moonbeam drives as slowly as its predecessors, and still suffers from understeer. Frustratingly, the Moonbeam fails to withstand a large amount of damage, as its large size would suggest.

Variant

Moonbeam-GTA4-Stevie-front

The requested Moonbeam in Stevie's Car Thefts in GTA IV.

GTA IV

A Moonbeam is requested as part of Stevie's Car Thefts, appearing with a uniquely black and red body. As a new Moonbeam will respawn at the same spot until the player delivers one to S&M Auto Sales, the player can save one at their safehouse before delivering another.

Locations

GTA III

GTA Vice City

GTA San Andreas

GTA Liberty City Stories

GTA Vice City Stories

GTA IV + Episodes from Liberty City

Trivia

  • The Moonbeam originally had sliding rear doors, although technical limitations made it impossible.
  • The Moonbeam plays the following radio stations by default when entered:
  • The Moonbeam may get its name due to the real-life variant Chevrolet Astro, as they both share names with astronomical themes. This is also further proven by the beta name, the Aster.
  • The Moonbeam in GTA Vice City, along with the game's Bobcat, is one of the earliest vehicles in the series to physically depict its name; sporting a "MOONBEAM" badge on its trunk lid.
  • Driving a Moonbeam into the TransFender in Las Venturas will cause the vehicle to spawn on top of the garage but underneath the roof, trapping the player and the vehicle. At this point the player can only escape by blowing themselves up, re-loading the game's save file, or re-loading the game itself.
  • After collecting all thirty cars for Stevie in GTA IV, he agrees to purchase cars from Niko Bellic, with the Moonbeam fetching $2,200.
  • In the beta for GTA Vice City, the Moonbeam was originally implied, just as planned originally for GTA III, to have sliding rear doors.
  • In GTA IV the Moonbeam is equipped with the "door ajar" bong when the driver's door is opened.
  • In GTA IV it is impossible to do a burnout with the Moonbeam, possibly due to the excessively heavy weight, or the highly-underpowered engine.
  • The Moonbeam is strangely not classified as a "people carrier" in Race Mode, but instead paired with the Speedo, Burrito and Pony in the "vans" class. All Moonbeams are passenger vehicles, but some are converted from incomplete vans that are essentially cargo vans manufactured without any interior except for door panels and a dashboard. This is notable by the lack of rear quarter windows. This would make the Moonbeam a commercial van, although its physical size in comparison to most other vehicles in the class make it fit into the minivan dimensions.
  • The poor handling and performance of the Moonbeam comes from the fact that the real life Astro and Safari vans are similarly poor in performance and handling.

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