The Albany Esperanto was originally a two-door coupe available in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto Advance, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. In Grand Theft Auto IV, however, it is a now a four-door sedan. It is one of the most common cars in most of the games in which it appears.
The Esperanto made its first appearance in Grand Theft Auto III, and its design has remained almost exactly the same in the following games, with only minor styling changes (mostly to the taillights and rear bumper).
A modified variant (with official taxi ID plaques) is driven by Niko Bellic's cousin, Roman and is simply called Roman's Taxi when getting into that particular Esperanto. When free cab rides from Roman's garage are unlocked, an Esperanto will be sent to pick Niko up. It changes to a Cavalcade after Roman purchases a penthouse in Algonquin, fetching around $20,000+ at Stevie's. It can be obtained in Roman's missions after you complete them, you can steal the ones that Roman sends to you to pick you up however the doors are locked at first so either shoot the driver or get in as a passenger, go to a safehouse, then when Niko gets out, quickly get in front and aim a gun at Mohammed, he will freak out and leave the car, leaving you to kill him for his money (he usually carries some extra cash) or just let him run, and now that the door is open you can just jack it.
The Esperanto was one of the first cars to appear in any media in the run-up to GTA IV's release. It has often been mistakenly referred to as an "Albany" due to the fact that the word is conspicuously emblazoned on the grille. In actuality, Albany is the "make" of the car (other vehicles are seen with the Albany nameplate on their decklids and logos, such as the Primo), while Esperanto is the model. In GTA IV, after collecting all thirty cars for Stevie he agrees to purchase cars from Niko Bellic, with the Esperanto fetching $1,800.
GTA III—GTA Vice City Stories
The GTA III era Esperanto is based on a 1975-1978 Cadillac Eldorado, more specifically the 1975 and 1976 models judging by the taillights. However, the vehicle has received significant changes throughout its appearances in these games.
When introduced in GTA III (and, later, in GTA Liberty City Stories), the Esperanto features a slightly curvy profile and flatter details. The GTA Vice City rendition (as well as the GTA Vice City Stories rendition) received a major retouch with the vehicle featuring a more angular body design, detailed fascia and rear fin that slant forward. GTA San Andreas' Esperanto is essentially similar in design as that of GTA Vice City, but noticeably sports differences in the rear, with its tailfin-based taillights reduced in height (implying they are now part of the rear bumper) and its rear license plate relocated from the trunk lid to the bumper. Similarly, the GTA Advance rendition maintains much of the physical traits of previous Esperanto's as seen from the top down.
One of the earliest known name of the car is the "Esparanto", revealed during development of GTA III and depicted in the Capital Autos website. The beta Esperanto was also intended to feature hydraulics, but the feature was dropped in the final release. This feature was passed to the Yardie Lobo however.
GTA IVIn Grand Theft Auto IV, the Albany Esperanto is very different to the earlier renditions. Rather than being a large two-door coupe, the new car is a mid-sized four-door sedan. Its styling inspiration appears to be a pastiche of common late-70s/early-80s American car styling. The bumpers, sides and bustle-back styling (a majority of the chassis) is based on the Seventh Generation (1982-1987) Lincoln Continental. The grille and headlights are similar to a 1982/1983 Chevrolet Malibu (the shorter width of the grille makes it look like a 1984-'85 Chevrolet Celebrity, but the Albany signature on the grille and flatter headlights are more like the Malibu); and the taillights seem based on a '80-'81 Pontiac Bonneville/'85-'86 Pontiac Parisienne, the reverse lights could also suggest some other luxury cars. The combined look seems to emulate an early Cadillac Seville as it is commonly mistaken for one.
Roman's Taxi is based on GTA IV's Esperanto.
GTA III—GTA Vice City Stories
Although performance aspects vary slightly between games for this vehicle, acceleration and speed are generally quite satisfying with the rear-drive V8 or I6 (depending on the game) powertrain. The one common problem with the Esperanto, however, is its notoriously bad brakes - a problem that is only exacerbated by the vehicle's weight. Traveling at high speed it takes some time to bring the vehicle to a stop which, besides often causing minor accidents, becomes a potentially fatal problem in GTA III, where Claude is unable to jump from a moving vehicle, exposing him to serious danger in a fast-moving Esperanto about to explode. The car's handling is highly responsive, but again, the vehicle's size and weight cause problems, predisposing it to two-wheeling and loss of control when overcompensating for a swerve at high speeds. However, its huge mass absorbs damage quite well, making it a good vehicle for ramming smaller ones (and even comparably sized ones) off the road. Usually using the handbrake with this car is more effective than using the main braking system.
The Albany Esperanto is powered by a relatively lazy-feeling engine, paired with a 5 speed gearbox in RWD configuration, incorrect because the real Seville is FWD. Overall it is rather slow and dreary, in that acceleration is very poor and top speed is not very high. Handling is fairly acceptable, though some understeer can be felt. The suspension can be described as moderately firm, yet soft enough to cope with the rough streets of Liberty City. Braking has improved significantly over the GTA III-era Esperanto, though ABS is still not available. When crashed, this car appears to cope rather well, however it is easy for the engine to become damaged.
- Esperanto is French for Hoping and Catalan for Waiting.
- Esperanto is a name of most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, no matter how many times you respray the Esperanto, there will always be a lining of brown dirt at the bottom of the vehicle.
- The Esperanto is one of the few cars that the Police will say the name over the radio when chasing you.
- In GTA IV the Esperanto's engine sound, along with any other vehicle that emits the same noise, bears similarity to the sound produced by the Jersey XS, a car based on the Dodge Viper found only in Midnight Club II
- A wreck that looks like a cross between the GTA SA Buccaneer and Esperanto can be found in Used Auto Parts in South Bohan, just Northwest of the South Bohan Safehouse. It will reappear a few days after the garage was blasted. There is an identical wreck in Brucie's Excecutive Lifestyle Autos.
- The Esperanto in GTA IV shares it's interior with the Emperor.
Modifications (GTA San Andreas)
- Wheels (ten types)
- Nitro (All)
- Bass Boost
- Ray Bulgarin owned a white Esperanto.
- Roman Bellic owned a fleet of black Esperanto's.
- Tanner Drove a Esperanto in the mission: "Two Faced Tanner."
- Parked by the Old School Hall in Chinatown, Portland.
- In the parking space by the Carson General Hospital in Rockford, Staunton Island. (sometimes replaced with an Ambulance)
GTA Vice City
- In the parking lot near the Moist Palms Hotel in Downtown.
- Spawns when driving a Rancher in Downtown
- Ocassionally spawn in districts Little Haiti, Little Havana and Downtown.
- Always there are more than one Esperanto found parked in the car park behind the Hyman Memorial Stadium.
GTA San Andreas
- There are no specific spawn locations but it can be seen driven around Easter Basin in San Fierro sometimes.
- Can also be found driving around Ganton, Idlewood and in Willowfield, Los Santos.
- Very common around Garcia, San Fierro when driving a Sabre, Clover or a Stallion.
- Can be found in Rockshore West.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Can be found in an alley in front of the Sweeney General Hospital, near an Angel.
- Parked by the Old School Hall in Chinatown, Portland.
- Can be found on the parking lot of Marco's Bistro in Saint Mark's, Portland.
- Parked by the AMCo. gas station in Harwood, Portland.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Parked next to the derelict building across the northernmost empire building in Little Haiti.
GTA IV + Episodes from Liberty City
- In GTA IV, a black one is always available at Roman's Taxi Garage up until Roman's Sorrow has been completed.
- Most of the time there is one or more parked at The Triangle Club in Northern Gardens, Bohan.
- Can be found in pretty much anywhere in Broker in traffic.
- One can be found on Wenrohronon Ave. in Broker with a Marbelle, parked on the side of the road near a small construction site before the road ends. It also can be found there in multiplayer modes.
- Roman's Taxi, a variant of the Esperanto in GTA IV.