In the hills with Aston Martin's DP-100 Vision GT concept, and Q-series rides
During the concept lawn show at Pebble Beach’s Concours d’Elegance a few weeks back, Mercedes-Benz’ Gran Turismo inspired AMG VGT literally stole the show. But while that PlayStation concept enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame down by the Pacific, another GT6 concept was enjoying its North American debut at a private event up in the sun-scorched hills east of Monterey. Aston Martin had invited a select group of media and clientele to not only drive and experience cars like the Vanquish and V12 Vantage S, but also to view firsthand the digital-inspired awesomeness that was the DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo.
The DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo (which in the game features an 800 hp, twin-turbo V12) made its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month in England. "The car is not just an exercise in entertaining the whims of the GT6 set," notes Matthew Clarke, PR & Brand Communications Manager for Aston Martin The Americas. "The car, which is only drivable in PlayStation’s Gran Turismo 6, actually allowed the design team to have some fun/break the rules, while exploring future design concepts."
Unlike the Mercedes-Benz GT6 concept, Aston Martin kept its concept in the shade, protected from the intense California sunshine. Although the DP-100 may look ready to go it is just in fact a rolling four ton concept.
"The car, albeit a fantasy based vehicle for GT6, has allowed our designers to experiment,” says Clarke. “The DP-100 concept, as extreme as it may be, does in fact carry with it a number of signature Aston Martin design elements. The orange 'light blade' LED taillights may push current design boundaries, but could one day become possible in production models."
Clarke noted that Aston Martin has worked closely with Gran Turismo since the game’s conception, so this clearly was not the company's first PlayStation rodeo. The concept, which took the design team over six months to produce, is a fairly substantial machine in person.
Taller and longer than I expected, the concept’s proportions are future-world fantastic and the first time Aston Martin has presented such a radical mid-engined design. The floating front fenders flare up from the descending hood line, a departure from Aston’s normal ascending treatment highlighted by Clarke. The hoodline starts so low in the front that you can hardly see the signature Aston Martin grill, but that glorious line carries uninterrupted in one fluid motion from tip to tail.
In the tail end of those winged fenders are rear view cameras which act as mirrors. Vented wheel arches, inspired from GT racing, are designed to increase downforce and handling at speed, while near seamless "swan wing" doors are fashioned in such a way as to improve access to the cockpit area.
The rear fender treatment is equally complex, as the shape flares out into a floating wing up top. This surface covers the LED taillights then snakes and wraps itself in and around the rear section. Twin exhaust pipes recessed into a tapered, vertical element are situated low in the tail, right above the concept’s massive rear deck that resembles a yacht’s boat launch.
The massive turbine wheels, that look ready to devour lesser machines, possess some interesting dual-purpose aerodynamics. Aston Martin calls them Active Wheel Blades.
"At lower speeds the design provides cooling to the brakes," explains Clarke. "But at higher speeds, the inner vanes help develop a high pressure system inside the cavity that in turn creates a pressurized area that behaves like a flat disc. The pressure system thus increasing the car’s aerodynamics and reduces drag around the wheels."
Away from the DP-100 concept, guests were invited to inspect limited edition and bespoke versions of Aston Martin's performance line. To tempt those with sufficient liquid assets to acquire such machines, finely polished examples were laid out. These included a V12 Vantage S roadster, a Vantage GT4 race car, an Alloro Green Vantage GT, a couple of DB9s in various trim levels, and a 568 hp Vanquish.
In addition to the usual suspects, Clarke also showed me examples of the brand’s Q series. A burnt orange Q-treated Vanquish Coupe had received radical graphic treatments to the car’s door liners, seats and roofliner. Priced at around US$395,000, the car also comes with its own bespoke luggage in the boot.
To see the GT6 Aston Martin DP-100 in digital action, check out the video below. Those interested in experiencing the mid-engined, 800 hp DP-100 concept themselves, can head to their nearest PlayStation console and download the car.