Mini hits the virtual racetrack with Clubman Gran Turismo
Mini has joined the raft of manufacturers determined to win the hearts and minds of gamers through Gran Turismo 6, where, unburdened by the stifling regulations that surround traditional racing series, manufacturers are able to let their imaginations run wild. The Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo takes the Clubman's fairly mundane shape and replaces it with a full racing aerodynamics kit, powered by a 395 hp (295 kW) engine.
This powerful racing motor is enough to shoot the virtual Clubman racer from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.5 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 290 km/h (180 mph). This is in part thanks to its permanent all-wheel drive system and fast-changing six-speed sequential paddleshift gearbox.
To convey the sense of go-kart like handling on which Mini has built its reputation, the Clubman Vision Gran Turismo is fitted with fully adjustable dampers at all corners, working with the car's aggressive aerodynamics to keep it planted through aggressive cornering. These aerodynamics include an aggressive splitter that sucks the car to the road, all the while directing air to the brakes and engine, while a fully-flat carbon underbody also contributes to the Vision's lightweight, high downforce ethos.
As a throwback to the Minis that tore up the rally stages and racetracks, the Clubman Vision Gran Turismo's LED headlights are covered in X shaped graphics, reminiscent of the tape that racers used to prevent stone chips from shattering their headlamp glass. The inset mini headlamps are also a throwback design feature, keeping up the brand's retro-focused design.
You may have noticed something different about Mini's design when it's compared to some of the other Vision Gran Turismo concepts. Chevrolet's Chapparal is a laser-powered, 900 hp (671 kW) interpretation of what the racecar of the future will look like, while Inifiniti's Vision GT is a gorgeous example of what can be done when designers aren't restricted by pedestrian regulations.
In comparison, Mini's offering is rooted a bit more in reality. Rather than prove what they can do with a blank piece of paper, the brand's designers seem to have played it safe and stuck to a traditional racing formula for improving their cars.
The Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo is available on Gran Turismo 6 as a game update.