There are very few industries that are burdened by as many regulations and obnoxious mandates as the auto industry. How sweet would it be to live in a world in which engineers and designers penned sports cars as they saw fit, rather than bureaucrats? Of course, such a utopian universe exists: It’s called Gran Turismo, and it’s one of the most successful video games ever conceived. Mercedes-Benz AMG’s freshly revealed Vision Gran Turismo concept will be featured in the sixth installment of the game, and proves just how glorious such an idyllic world can be.
The Vision Gran Turismo, product of Benz chief designer Gorden Wagener’s team, debuts at the Los Angeles auto show as a full-scale model. As mentioned, the supercar will be integrated into Gran Turismo 6, which will be launched for PlayStation 3 on December 6. AMG’s concept is the first of a series from a number of automakers that were approached by the game’s producer, Kazunori Yamauchi.
Provocatively styled, the Vision Gran Turismo recalls the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow race cars of the 1930s—a favorite era in automotive design for Wagener. The grille evokes the 1952 300SL race car, but features the brand’s modern “diamond grille” texture. The classic proportions, with the long hood, gullwing doors, and low and wide tail, extrapolate the styling language of the outgoing SLS AMG. The lack of a rear window makes for an even tidier appearance.
But as classic as the Vision GT’s shape is, there are a number of interesting and unusual styling elements, too. The door sills emit a reddish aura, the diamond grille is pocked with LEDs, and the taillamp is a singular thin horizontal strip. The air intake above the windshield and the release catches on the hood evoke history’s racing cars, even if they may not have appeared on the Silver Arrows themselves.
Hinting at the power lurking beneath the strongly sculpted hood are no less than eight exhaust pipes—one for each cylinder—which exit out the back in a cluster engulfing the taillight. The Vision Gran Turismo is powered by AMG’s 577-hp, 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8, capable of producing 590 lb-ft of twist. The aluminum structure and carbon-fiber parts envisioned by AMG keep weight down to a claimed 3053 pounds—lower than the pipe-dream target weight declared during development of the McLaren SLR.
The interior of the AMG Vision Gran Turismo features a gullwing-shaped dash, which Mercedes says makes the doors themselves appear to extend from it, and futuristic instrumentation presented on a glass surface. Further, Mercedes says that a number of controls are inspired by those of its Formula 1 cars, and the arrangement of the gauge cluster is reminiscent of the cockpit of a fighter jet.