In 1992, a group of Japanese game developers set out to design the greatest racing game ever made. Four consoles, five series entries and over 70 million copies later, the team behind the Gran Turismo racing series have created the most successful video game franchise ever made for PlayStation. At last week's L.A. Auto Show, one of the first vehicles designed specifically for the franchise was unveiled to the world: the gorgeous Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo.
Our choice for the best concept debut of the 2013 show, the Gran Turismo AMG Vision exemplifies the progress car designers have made over the last decades. The AMG Vision was a task of complexity, skill and technical engineering created to mark the 15th anniversary of the first game—and to develop the ultimate visceral driving machine to take its virtual place within Gran Turismo 6, which goes on sale next month.
Gorden Wagener, Daimler AG Vice President of Design, says the vehicle represents values that are central to the Mercedes-Benz brand. "By virtue of its proportions and expressive appearance, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo embodies the brand's defining design philosophy of sensual purity in a unique way. The design of this concept car reflects to extreme effect the perfect symbiosis between emotional, sensuous contours and intelligently presented high tech."
Under the hood, anchored by the LED light–studded radiator grille (a throwback to the legendary gullwing '52 300SL, winner of the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico), the AMG Vision contains a biturbo V8 front-mid engine that produces a hefty 585 horses of power and approximately 590 pound-feet of torque. Combined with a superlight aluminum space frame body laced with carbon-fiber elements to further reduce weight, the AMG Vision weighs a mere 3,053 pounds or 1,385 kg. Comparatively speaking, the 2.4 kg per individual horsepower ratio makes the AMG Vision the absolute leader within the super sports category.
The Italian designers got creative with the interior as well, and the dash and control panel follow the vehicle's gullwing doors on either side of the steering column, making it appear as if the doors themselves are an extension of the cockpit command system. When they engage in high-octane race warfare, those behind the wheel will appreciate the F1-inspired integral sport seats that are designed with ergonomics, safety and, of course, speed in mind.
Bold, beautiful and totally out of our league, the AMG Vision Gran Turismo is the perfect concept car. Available to all (by joystick) but otherwise untouchable. Go enjoy it on PS3 next month while we continue to stare at the photos on this Thanksgiving weekend.