Popular automaker, Audi, debuts REAL LIFE Gran Turismo concept car
Audi has created revolutionary reality out of virtual reality by designing a real life Gran Turismo concept car capable of racing in Formula E. Inspired by “Vision Gran Turismo” which was a challenge launched in 2012, proposed by the legendary video game creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, to celebrate the fifteenth year of the extremely successful PlayStation racing game. The innovative project encouraged popular automakers and designers to create their own virtual custom creations that could be played within the game. Although it was groundbreaking at the time, no one, not even Yamauchi, could have anticipated the success of idea. Mercedes, BMW, and Mitsubishi were among the first to submit their formidable concepts, and many big name automakers followed suit, including Toyota, Aston Martin, and Chevrolet.
Even now, years after Yamauchi first proposed his informal contest, companies are still making new submissions and improving upon former models in an attempt to create the best of the best. But now, Audi has taken the challenge to the next level, by designing AND creating a real world fully electric Gran Turismo model that debuts this weekend at the Rome Formula E race.
Previously, automakers have created large scale models of their ideas, but they have only been used as displays at car shows, and none have been fully functional as virtually designed. Audi boasts that the E-Tron Vision Gran Turismo is the first car created for Vision Gran Turismo that will be driven on actual racetracks. Don’t get too excited though, the E-Tron VGT will not actually be racing…yet, anyway. In its virgin debut, it will serve as a “race taxi” which will perform exhibition runs and serve as transport for VIPs, who can take a ride accompanied by a professional driver.
You can also expect to see the E-Tron VGT at popular car shows and events, such as the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Audi’s chief designer, Marc Lichte, notes that “although the design of a virtual vehicle allows much greater freedom and the creation of concepts, which are only hard to implement in reality, we did not want to put a purely fictitious concept on wheels.” Their aim was a fully functional vehicle, an idea innovative in its own right. Despite being 100% reality however, the model is just a one-time prototype, so don’t expect to see it on the road or racetrack in any sort of mass produced capacity in the future.
Taking style and design cues from the legendary Audi Quattro IMSA GTO, which originally raced back in 1989, the new vehicle is predominantly red and white with much sleeker lines than its predecessor. The two-door supercar features a large spoiler and is fully powered by three electric motors, two located on the front axle and one on the rear. The vehicle also boasts segmented LED lights and body-color grill insert to add to the dramatization. In addition to the real world debut this weekend, a fully electric and hybrid virtual version of the vehicle will be available to play in the game later this month. So for those of you who will miss the exciting Formula E Rome appearance (ie most of the world), you can play driver in the comfort of your own home on your PlayStation in the very near future.
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