The Complete Guide to GT6's Vision Gran Turismo Concept Cars

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There are many genres where Japanese games have become weird. The people who once made Mario and pretty much every other time-waster from our childhood now make Bayonetta or Final Fantasy, which we frankly can't be bothered to play. However, Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo racing game thrones over every simulator out there.
Through 6 generations, they've constantly improved the experience, added what people wanted and stated true to the spirit of the simulator. A few years ago, the famous Kazunori Yamauchi had a bright idea of letting the biggest companies in the automobile industry design their own cars.

The project became known as Vision Gran Turismo and started with the game founder's words: "Would you be willing to design your rendition of Gran Turismo for us?" Simply put, everybody from Audi to Zagato was asked to make a 2-door fantasy GT. Some are famous, some aren't and we're going to tell you about each and every one of them.

There are currently 11 major concepts that have been revealed and a few that are pending. Which was the first? It was the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo, a silver bullet that hugged the ground, looked like the SLS supercar from the future and was driven by remote. And by that, we mean that they actually built it from metal.

The AMG Vision was supposedly based on an aluminum spaceframe body upon which carbon fiber components were designed with racing innovation in mind. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo tips the scales at only 1,385 kg. Power comes from a twin-turbo V8 engine tuned by AMG to deliver 577 hp and a maximum torque of 800 Nm (590 ft-lb), all delivered to the rear wheels via a AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission and an electronic differential lock. As you can see, it previews the AMG GT that replaced the SLS in every way, from the powertrain to the design.

After that, two more concepts followed which are less well known. Vision Gran Turismo #2 was a BMW inspired by the racing cars of the 1970s. The Bavarians used it to preview performance production models and even added 3-stripe graphics which are nowadays available through the M Performance catalog.

This white rocket was like an M4 on carbon fiber steroids and was powered by a 3-liter 6-cylinder inline engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that put down 541 hp and 680 Nm (499 ft-lb) of torque. A sequential gearbox was used to move the 1.2 ton race car down the track at brisk speeds.

Concept #3 came in the form of 2014's Mitsubishi XR-PHEV Evolution It looked like the love child of a crossover, a coupe and a hybrid. The styling was nice but very few people know this Tokyo Motor Show debut, probably because there wasn't a palpable link to production cars. Turning one of their existing concepts into a " stoic racing machine", the Evo people built a Plug-in hybrid EV with all-wheel drive, much like the next Lancer Evo is expected to be.

Vision Gran Turismo #4 was another German car, this time coming from the biggest automaker in Europe, Volkswagen. Like Mercedes, they actually built the GTI Roadster concept and showed it at the Worthersee meet during the summer of 2014, where it was very well received by brand loyalists. Taking inspiration from the legendary GTI hot hatch, Volkswagen's bravest and youngest designers made a roofless supercar with all-wheel drive and the most famous engine the group had ever made, the VR6.

Powered by a 3.0 twin-turbo VR6 TSI engine, the GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo delivers 503 hp with a large dose of 665 Nm (490 lb-ft) of torque. Its most notable feature was the low-cut windshield, but a carbon fiber rear wing and massive 14-inch ceramic brakes made it stand out as every GTI owner's wet dream.

At the time, there was even speculation that the GTI Roadster would enter production or that its design would inspire a VW supercar. That's absolute nonsense, but we still think it may have helped sales of the Golf 7 GTI tremendously.

The 5th concept to be revealed is probably the most famous one yet, since the AMG is old and has been forgotten. We still remember waiting eagerly for Nissan to show its "2020 Vision" at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Wow, what a show-stopper that was!

The crowd was so excited about it that officials actually had to play down on the rumors that it previews a next-gen GT-R supercar killer. It had all the right ingredients, including the body of a LeMans Racer, the rear wing from a jumbo jet and a a V6 twin turbo engine, combined with 3 motors to make the hybrid FR-4WD system.

The bodywork was designed by a team from Nissan Europe, based in London, collaborated on the project with engineers from Japan. It feels strangely familiar because of all the GT-R cues, and yet futuristic enough to get your attention and keep it with every curve and line.

Unfortunately, that meant that Aston Martin, who also unveiled a Vision Gran Turismo Concept, was completely outclassed. Theirs was called the DP-100 and it was also revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unfortunately, for a company that makes the most beautiful GTs on the road, they designed a total pig. Because Gran Turismo is a racing game, the Brits decided to make something that looked like a track car, with a mid-engined layout, a hypercar-like twin-turbo V12 engine and a diffuser. Some compared it to the Pagani Huayra, but not in a flattering way…

Later in 2014, Toyota started teasing the FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo concept, which was revealed as the 7th car of the series. It was based on the design of an existing show-going model, the FT-1, which many believe previews the successor to the legendary Supra.

With that sort of pedigree, it's not surprising that Toyota's idea of a game car was really well received. Unlike the regular FT-1, everything has to look functional on the Vision race car, from the body kit to the fuel cap and the air vent. Toyota actually plans to launch a new sportscar in a few years, so fingers crossed, you might actually see something like this tearing up the Laguna Seca corkscrew by 2017 or so.

Next up, we have a few lesser known models, starting in at number 8 with the {galimg4}Subaru Viziv GT Vision Gran Turismo. Now, the Viziv was a sort of crossover concept that they showed a couple of years ago and never made it into production. But it did preview a new design language from Subaru and so does the game concept. It's long, low and sexy, something rarely said about a Legacy or Impreza.

The design starts with a new hexagonal grille and continues with sharp lines and deep creases. It has that Subaru solid fell about it, but combines it with dynamism. Beneath the body is a 2-liter horizontally opposed engine that has been fully tuned and coupled with one high power motor in the front and two in the rear to produce about 600 hp and 800 Nm(593 ft-lb) of maximum torque.

After that came Chevrolet's Vision model, which was arguably the craziest of them all. Called the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo, it was presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show towards the end of 2014 in metal form.

The 2X is like something the aliens would make. The driver sits on his chest in the middle of the car with his arms stretched out, which controls the directional changes. And get this – it's powered by a laser beam pulsating out the back.

The 10th Vision Gran Turismo is my personal favorite. Infiniti's brand new design studio in China came out of nowhere with a car so beautiful it makes you wonder why Aston didn't make it. Its flat body hides classic GT proportions. The front mid-ship / trans-axle powertrain is a combination of 4.5-liter V8 and an electric motor. It drifts, it looks gorgeous and has a V8. What more could you want?

Shortly after Infiniti, Mazda also announced its concept car. It's called the LM55 and as the name suggests, inspiration came from the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Besides playing with futuristic lines and Kodo design language, designers also looked at the famed 787 B that took overall victory at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans. Do we need to remind you that car had a 4-rotor Wankel engine and only weighed 830 kilos (1,830 lbs)? Probably not.

Many companies are still working on their concept cars. They include Renault's Alpine, Audi, Bertone, Daihatsu, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Italdesign Giugiaro, Lamborghini, Lexus, MINI, Peugeot, Tesla and Zagato. Alfa Romeo was rumored to have pulled out of the project and it seems to be true, since their logo is no longer on the GT6 website.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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