September 17, 2015 / 6:19 PM / 4 years ago

Bugatti brings virtual Gran Turismo supercar to life

Bugatti, the maker of exotic supercars such as the 1,200-horsepower Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, delivered a treat for petrol-heads and gamers alike at the Frankfurt Motor Show when they unveiled a real-life version of their virtual racer from the Gran Turismo video game.

The French manufacturer, owned by Volkswagen, transformed its Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo from the virtual world into a real-life carbon-fiber model specially for the 66th International Motor Show. While the concept car is one-off, Bugatti’s director of design said it hints at what’s in store for their follow-up to the acclaimed Veyron model.

“This car is about our stylistic future, it’s a vision of things to come. It illustrates the new Bugatti form language, and it shows very clearly from all main views of the car characteristic DNA elements that you can expect on future Bugatti models,” Achim Anscheidt told Reuters.

Bugatti’s Veyron series, limited to just 450 vehicles with a starting price of over 1 million euros (1.13 million USD), have now all been sold. The luxury carmaker said their virtual racer, designed exclusively for the Playstation video game franchise Gran Turismo, is a ‘thank you’ to their fans for their support, with the car on display in Frankfurt for Bugatti enthusiasts to see in real-life.

“Vision Gran Turismo is really for us an exciting project to not just tailor our design work to a group of 450 exclusive customers, but really design something for the millions and tailor something for our fans of the brand,” said Anscheidt.

In collaboration with Polyphony Digital, creator of Gran Turismo, Bugatti’s team of designers and engineers wanted to create something that wasn’t beyond the realms of believability. Anscheidt said it was important that every detail of the virtual race car was authentic.

“We didn’t want to create just some kind of fantasy or science fiction project which is quite normal in that category. We wanted the Bugatti way to be an approach that is very technical and very elaborated, and based on our engineering values and our aerodynamic research. And on the functional elements, to portray the design elements really being driven by form follows performance,” he said.

The Vision Gran Turismo design incorporates state-of-the-art motorsport technology that could serve as the blueprint for their subsequent consumer models. This includes a drag reduction system (DRS) with an NACA air duct that contribute to the aerodynamic conditions without compromising the effectiveness of the rear spoiler.

The interior has a display on the steering wheel that shows vehicle information, while a second display on the steering column shows images from three cameras built into the body.

“When you’re sitting inside the car, yes it’s a pure performance-driven interior, but something neat that’s happening is the main display that is in front of you is a 180 degree virtual image that really is put together from the three cameras that you see put around the car. And that’s the most important aspect of racing nowadays, especially when you look at a circuit like Le Mans, you need to see what’s going on around the car, what’s going on behind you in order to avoid over-taking accidents,” said Anscheidt, adding that similar technology will increasingly be used in consumer cars to boost safety.

The virtual version of the Vision Gran Turismo is expected to be release soon for gamers to download. Meanwhile, Bugatti’s president Wolfgang Dürheimer said in a statement that their next supercar will be unveiled “in the not too distant future”.

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