Virtual virtuosity: Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo
One of PlayStation’s most enduring titles, Gran Turismo, will launch version 6 on the eve of its 15th anniversary next month with a smattering of spectacular new rides. Mercedes-Benz is one of the manufacturers to have fully engaged its marketing engine for the launch and is helping kick-off the virtual exercise with a spectacular 585 hp virtual concept named the AMG Vision Gran Turismo.
Nudged by Kazunori Yamauchi, Gran Turismo series producer and President of Polyphony Digital Inc., select manufacturers and design studios have created futuristic designs for the series.
Gran Turismo is one of the most enduring and respected driving series of any platform, not just PlayStation. The levels of realism seen in the series has proven so effective that actual GT driving programs have created some of the best drivers in their respective classes. But without the beautifully rendered racers the series is nothing, which is where Mercedes-Benz steps in with its hyperbolic racer.
Based loosely on Mercedes-Benz gull-winged SLS (with elements that are also reminiscent of the Dodge Viper, Aston Martin One 77 and Bugatti Veyron), the Vision GT is outfitted (virtually) with a twin-turbocharged AMG V8 capable of 585 hp and 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque. Weighing in at a scant 1,385 kg (3,053 lb) should give the concept a significant advantage against virtual Prius’ and others on track.
The sensual, muscular and suitably exaggerated design is built around an aluminum space frame with key elements in carbon fiber; because even in the virtual world, one can never have enough carbon fiber in the diet.
Mercedes reports a slightly insane weight-to-power ratio of 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) per horsepower and as braking in the virtual world is just as important as in the physical, proper AMG composite ceramic brakes are included to handle deceleration.
Auditory aspects are just as important to the GT experience as the visuals, which is why Mercedes-AMG sound team created a distinct, performance derived exhaust note for the eight exhaust pipes sticking out the Vision GT’s oversized rear end.
Mercedes-Benz notes the interior has influences from Formula 1 but with proper concept treatments such as a floating instrument panel above the steering wheel and F1 seats integrated into the footwell.
One key detail that remains distinctively Mercedes is the retro styled grille treatment. Reminiscent of the grille from the firm’s famous 1952 300 SL, the Vision GT’s frontal area features LED lights that can alter patterns throughout the race. The design is actually an extension of the diamond grille introduced into Mercedes new A-class vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept will be a part of the initial GT6 release with other designs introduced over time via online updates.
A 1:1-scale model of the Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo will be unveiled at the opening of the new Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Center in California this week, but unfortunately this design looks set to remain a virtual reality.