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LA show: Mercedes’ Gran Vision

Visionary: The Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo was designed for virtual racetracks on PlayStation.

Virtual reality on four wheels as Benz brings Gran Turismo game dream to life


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18 Nov 2013

MERCEDES-BENZ has built this full-sized model of a one-off supercar destined for the racing game Gran Turismo 6, no doubt triggering an avalanche of pleas from cashed-up buyers wanting the real deal.

The Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo will be revealed at the German manufacturer’s new tech centre in California today and publicly shown alongside the new S63 AMG at the Los Angeles motor show this week.

The German company describes the car as “a visionary concept of a super sportscar”, and while it says it was designed for the virtual world, nowhere in its press release does it say that the car – or elements of it – will not go into production.

The concept is just one of a number of such wild sports machines set to feature in the latest PlayStation Gran Turismo game as a result of personal calls to leading car company heads from PlayStation bosses.

Mercedes-Benz designers used the company’s iconic 1952 300 SL racing car as part inspiration for the Vision Gran Turismo design, but brought the whole package into the 21st century.

Fitted with Mercedes’ signature gullwing doors, the two-door supercar allegedly sits on an aluminium spaceframe clad in carbon fibre panels, with the whole lot weighing a claimed 1385kg.

The imagined powertrain is an AMG bi-turbo V8 producing 430kW of power and 800Nm of torque, with no fewer than eight exhausts pipes sticking out the back.

For maximum effect, Mercedes-AMG even developed a rorty V8 engine note it says “authentically celebrates the V8’s love of high engine speeds”.

Of course, brakes are ceramic discs all round.

The designers added a number of motorsport details such as release catches on the bonnet and the fuel cap, while the interior was inspired by Mercedes Formula One racers, but with imaginative flourishes such as a glass central display that “floats” above the steering wheel to show speed, revs and other data.

Benz says the display’s operation is by rocker switches in the centre of the dashboard and in an overhead console, like in a jet.

The dash itself is said to resemble two gullwing doors so the “actual doors appear to be an extension of the instrument panel”.

The red sports seats are integrated into the black floor “to form a protective shell”.

Outside, it is all muscle, with long bonnet reminiscent of the Mercedes SLS, along with bulging wheel arches.

One light touch that might make it into production is the grille filled LEDs that can show a range of light patterns, and is said to be a development of the diamond grille of the new A-Class.

While Mercedes-Benz is saying the Vision Gran Turismo is a mere piece of gaming fun, the pressure will be on to bring at least some of the vision to reality.

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