Gran Turismo is one of the greatest video game franchises of all time. The game takes everything that’s great about driving IRL and marries that with all of the potential that a gaming console provides. With the most recent version, Gran Turismo 6, the game’s designer Kazunori Yamauchi, a pro race driver himself, asked the world’s top automakers to create their own version of a GT car in a project called Vision Gran Turismo (VGT).
The results have been coming in over the past few months, and they are even greater than the concept cars that get unveiled at auto shows. Because unlike those cars spinning on a turntable as flashbulbs pop, you (yes, you) can actually drive the Vision Gran Turismo cars…in the video game.
As the year comes to a close, it’s a good time to take a look back and rank the Vision Gran Turismo cars that have been released so far.
9. BMW M
It’s hard to hate on any car dressed in the M-series colorway, but BMW’s entry for the video game is just a little too real. It looks like a BMW, which under normal circumstances would not be a criticism. But the Beemer designers were untethered creating a car for the video game, and didn’t take full advantage of that “no rules” environment.
8. Subaru Viziv GT
Subaru gets points for stretching outside its comfort zone. (This doesn’t look remotely like any Subaru I’ve ever seen) Unfortunately, it also doesn’t seem true to the brand’s roots. As Jalopnik noted, where’s the rally car? Sure, the VGT mission was to create a sportscar, but why not create one that can also handle itself off-road as well?
7. Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV EVOLUTION
There is just a hint of PT Cruiser in Mitsubishi’s entry, but we’re willing to overlook that. Just look at that front end. It’s mean. And the all-wheel drive hatchback seems ready to take on any conditions, from race track to rally stage. The XR-Phev Evo also happens to be a plug-in hybrid, which would be great for the environment if it were, you know, a real car.
6. Nissan Concept 2020
Based on their entry, it seems as if the design team at Nissan really wants to be creating a Lamborghini. The hard angles on the Concept 2020 do call to mind the Lambo, but that doesn’t make the car any less awesome. And if, as rumored, some of these design cues form the basis for the next-generation Nissan GT-R, then virtual and real-world gearheads will rejoice.
5. Volkswagen GTI Roadster
This VW is radical, and not in a surfer bra kind of way. It’s an aggressive hatchback befitting its GTI lineage, but it’s also a convertible with a crazy low-profile windshield. I can’t even imagine how loud it would be to drive one of these in real life.
4. Aston Martin DP-100
The automaker behind James Bond’s car assembled a ride for Gran Turismo that would leave any driver shaken and stirred. The twin-turbo V12 is bold in all the right ways, while still maintaining that British elegance. The car produces 800 horsepower and looks like a King Cobra ready to strike.
3. Mercedes-Benz AMG
The aluminum spaceframe body on this Benz is reminiscent of the 300 SL with its famed gullwing doors, but the proportions are stretched out to make it even more formidable. Bulbous curves around the wheels are well balanced against the sleek lines of the pinched rear. The car has a V8 biturbo engine that puts out 577 horsepower and 590 ft-lb of torque.
2. Toyota FT-1
The Toyota Supra is beloved by auto enthusiasts, even though it hasn’t been in production since 2002. So whenever Toyota debuts a new sportscar concept, folks examine it for hidden meaning about a possible revival of the Supra. The FT-1 for Gran Turismo is no different. After seeing it in all of its furious glory, you can count me among the many calling for Toyota to make this the next Supra as well.
1. Chevrolet Chaparral 2X
What the hell is this thing? I have no idea, but I like it. The absurdly aggressive aerodynamic profile of the Chevy Chaparral 2X looks like a spider. In the video game, the car can accelerate from 0-60 in 1.5 seconds, making it more like a bullet shooting out of a gun.