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A full run-down of the weird and wonderful world of Gran Turismo’s Vision custom concept cars
Gran Turismo has gone from being a cult hit to one of the biggest racing video game series in the world. It’s turned gamers into real-world racing drivers and in its latest iteration, Gran Turismo Sport, it features FIA-sanctioned race series for people to compete in wherever they are in the world.
It’s also played a huge part in influencing car culture, and with the Vision GT series of vehicles, it’s gone a step further by commissioning design studios around the world to create unique concept cars especially for the game. Some have even made it into physical form, and a few of those have ended up, in some form at least, as production cars.
While we’re getting to grips with GT Sport - you can read our initial thoughts here - here’s our look at every Vision GT concept created for the series so far, presented in chronological order.
All the Vision GT cars from the first the latest
Mercedes-Benz was first to reveal a Vision Gran Turismo concept, back in the early days of Gran Turismo 6, in late 2013. Yet it remains one of the most beautiful, with smooth styling not unlike that now emerging on the company’s production vehicles. The company is one of few to have built a full-size replica of the car, and interest in AMG’s Vision GT has recently grown with the announcement that Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne will drive one in the upcoming Justice League movie.
There’s more than one way to our hearts but BMW’s Vision Gran Turismo concept is certainly one route. Based loosely on the BMW M2, it’s not dissimilar to some of the marque’s “Hommage” cars, in this instance looking like a modern interpretation of the “batmobile” CSL and wearing the iconic BMW Motorsport colours. Its powerplant is less fictitious than many here: a turbocharged 3-litre inline six developing 541bhp through a six-speed sequential transmission.
Mitsubishi clarified its Evolution brand at the recent Tokyo motor show: think of it not as simply rally-bred saloons, but as significant developments of existing vehicle classes. Recently, that means SUVs, and the XR-PHEV was one such Evolution when it hit Gran Turismo 6 in 2014. As the name suggests it’s a plug-in hybrid, while a CFRP body keeps weight down and a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system distributes power.
Like no GTI we’ve ever seen before, the GTI Roadster Vision GT debuted in GT6 on June 18, 2014. VW as a brand has had rather a busy time of things since then, so probably wouldn’t present a twin-turbo VR6-engined roadster as its vision for the future any more, but the 503bhp wedge was certainly a unique addition to the game. It’s a sign that the GTI brand is still valued highly by VW too, despite “R” taking over for the company’s highest-performance models.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see the Concept 2020 as one vision of a future Nissan GT-R - not least because the concept replicates the GT-R’s famous quad taillights and packs a twin-turbocharged V6. We’d not be surprised to see hybrid technology feature on the next GT-R either, as it does on the 2020, which also uses an active rear wing to develop 400kg of downforce at 300kmph. The concept was the work of Nissan’s London design studio while its drivetrain was conceptualised by a group of young Nissan engineers in Japan.
It’s unusual for a road car to completely overshadow a pie-in-the-sky concept vehicle, but when the DP-100 concept made its first appearance in GT6 in mid-2014, few could have known the company would later announce the Valkyrie hypercar. The Adrian Newey-designed Valkyrie has made Aston’s Vision GT concept look a little tame and a little too traditional in form, but a twin-turbo, 800bhp V12 goes some way to making up for that in-game.
While we’re tapping our fingers waiting for the next-generation Toyota Supra to appear - or GRMN Supra, as it’s likely to be badged - we can at least experience something similar in Gran Turismo, in the form of the FT-1 Vision GT. The Toyota FT-1 concept was the first hint that a new Supra was in the works and in Vision GT form, there’s a strong Super GT vibe with wider arches, larger intakes and slick tyres. All good stuff, but can we please have that road-going Supra now?
If you recognise the Viziv name then you’ve probably seen it during our Tokyo motor show coverage, where Subaru revealed a sporty fastback-style four-door giving hints as to what the next WRX STI might look like. Unfortunately, the production car will likely tone down many of the Viziv’s more dramatic additions - but then the Viziv Vision GT was more dramatic still. The 591bhp engine - horizontally opposed, naturally, and paired with three electric motors - powers along a 1380kg frame through all four wheels. It first appeared in GT6 in late 2014 - and appears again, like all Vision GTs, in GT Sport.
Undoubtedly the most outlandish car here, the 2X revives the famous Chaparral name from racing and envisions a futuristic “Garage 56” experimental car for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Power comes not from a conventional combustion engine, but using laser pulse shock waves, and the driver operates the vehicle leaning forwards, in a kind of fusion between drag-bike racing and skeleton sledding. Utterly barmy, but easily one of the most exciting and entertaining Vision GT concepts so far.
Infiniti has turned out some stunning concept cars over the last few years. Enormous grille aside (something of a Vision GT trend and indeed a trend in the wider market these days), the Infiniti Concept Vision GT could be considered among them. The work of Infiniti’s Beijing design studio, it was designed under a competition for a “pure Infiniti GT car”. It certainly has GT proportions (albeit exaggerated) and a suitably-GT engine too, in the form of a 4.5-litre V8, paired with an electric motor. A spoiler, underbody aero and front and rear diffusers help keep the Concept firmly attached to the ground.
Released on Christmas day 2014, you might actually have seen Mazda’s LM55 Vision GT in person - it was part of Goodwood’s centre display at the 2015 Festival of Speed, alongside the iconic Renown-liveried and Le Mans-winning 787B of 1991. True to that heritage, the LM55 is designed as a Le Mans Prototype. No clue is given as to the powerplant however, so the presence of a rotary powerplant is unclear. Mazda’s “Kodo” design language is present and correct though, and works as well on an LMP racer as it does on Mazda’s road cars.
Mini’s Clubman concept was one of the more sensible Vision GTs when it appeared in early 2015, and looks even more sensible now we’ve seen the standard production Clubman rolling around on the roads for a year or two. The Gran Turismo version’s powertrain is less sensible however, with 389bhp and a 0-100kmph time quoted as 3.5 seconds. The weight is quoted as just 1050kg too - usefully lighter than the production version. As with many of Mini’s concept vehicles, the Clubman Vision GT is also awash with neat details.
Alpine has been a feature of Gran Turismo titles since GT4, which offered both a 1973 Alpine A110 and a ‘73 Alpine A310 for gamers to try. The A110 has persisted through each game since and appears again in the latest title, GT Sport - but since GT6, the Alpine Vision GT has also been available. A modern homage to the A210 and A442B endurance racers, it’s one of the more visually stunning Vision GTs since the series began, rendered more so thanks to unique active aero - enormous airbrakes sprout from the rear wings when you brake.
You’ll recognise the LF-LC as the concept that became the stunning Lexus LC production car, powered by a choice of either 5-litre V8 or 3.5-litre hybrid powerplants. Gran Turismo’s concept is effectively a race version which has since come to life in the form of the Lexus LC GT500, competing in Japan’s Super GT series. Not something many of us will ever get to drive, but one of very few Vision GTs to directly influence a real vehicle all the same.
The second GTI concept seen in Gran Turismo was a little more sensible than the first, looking more like a heavily-modified Golf GTI than a bespoke roadster. It does, however, use the same 503bhp turbocharged VR6 powertrain as the first GTI Vision GT, as well as 4Motion all-wheel drive. While the Supersport didn’t influence any road cars directly, we did subsequently see enhanced versions of the road-going Golf GTI in the form of the highly capable Clubsport and Clubsport S - the latter capable of lapping the Nurburgring in 7min 47sec.
Peugeot’s road cars are back on form these days, but the company’s concepts are arguably even more special. In recent years we’ve seen such stunners as copper-clad Onyx and the striking Exalt saloon, while in Gran Turismo we got the simply-named Peugeot Vision GT in mid-2015. Its wedgy bodywork delivers aerodynamic benefits without the need for extraneous spoilers, while some suitably videogame-like specification and performance figures are claimed: 875kg, and 874bhp - or around 1kg per horsepower.
We’re used to seeing ludicrous power from cars wearing the Dodge emblem - think Hellcats Trailhawks and Trackhawks - but not always in such a flowing, low-slung form. The Tomahawk Vision GT gets the power figures right, with more than 1000bhp from a 144-degree, 7-litre V10, and uniquely pairs it with pneumatic power to supply all-wheel drive. Three versions were announced - the entry-level S, a GTR-S (which needs a pressurised race suit to counteract the g-forces) and the X, which produces more than 2500bhp and would need a seven-month training program...
Hyundai’s sports “N” brand - which stands for both Namyang, where Hyundai’s cars are developed, and the Nurburgring, where the sportiest models are honed - is most interesting at the moment for its new i30 N hot hatchback. But the 2025 Vision GT suggests the company’s talents have the potential to go beyond hot hatchbacks, with a Le Mans Prototype-style racer. Unusually, power comes not from a combustion engine but a mix of hydrogen fuel cells and supercapacitors, for an 871bhp combined output. It also weighs in at only 972kg.
Perhaps the best-known Vision GT car, Bugatti’s concept came while Chiron hype was at its peak, and previewed many of the visual features we were to see on the production car, from its inset headlights to the huge curve along its flanks. With additional aerodynamic features, it’s also a tantalising glimpse as to what a full-fat race-spec Chiron might look like - though, appropriately for a Vision GT car, such an idea remains firmly in the realms of fantasy.
The Pininfarina-penned Fittipaldi EF7 is actually set to go into production, making it relatively rare among Vision GT cars. The vision of two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi, the sleek supercar uses a 4.8-litre naturally-aspirated V8, and just 39 will be built - the combined number of Fittipaldi’s F1 and IndyCar victories.
McLaren’s F1 programme might be going through a rough patch but its road car division, McLaren Automotive, is looking fairly healthy these days. Thankfully, the McLaren Ultimate Vision GT is billed as a product of the latter, and is designed as a view to McLaren road cars of 2030 and beyond. Three liveries are offered and, like many Vision GT cars, there’s plenty of power to move the hypercar-like shape along the game’s courses - 1134bhp to be precise, between a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 and electric motors
The Sports Vision GT is one of the more production-realistic takes on the concept, with styling not unlike that of the NSX but more compact proportions and cleaner detailing. It’s sure to provoke rumours of the long-awaited S2000 replacement, though such a car probably wouldn’t boast the concept’s 899kg kerb weight, thanks to carbonfibre construction. A 400bhp turbocharged four-cylinder though? That’s certainly not impossible.
The latest model in the series, Jaguar's Vision Gran Turismo Coupe takes design cues from its icons, such as the C-type, D-type and E-type Lightweight. Under the skin is a trio of electric motors, inspired by Jaguar’s I-TYPE 4 and eTROPHY race cars. Two motors power the rear wheels and a single motor powers the front wheels, providing a 1006bhp and 1200Nm of torque. Zero to 100kmph is said to come in under two seconds, with top speed sitting at over 321kmph