Roughly 1 week after returning from the Nürburgring, we left Japan again to participate in two Vision Gran Turismo announcement ceremonies in Detroit and Paris.
But first, we had some work to take care of in New York. For myself, New York reminds me of GT4. GT4 was the first time that the Photo Mode was introduced, and we recreated the wood deck where you could see the night lights of Manhattan from the base of Brooklyn Bridge. Do you remember the scene where it also appears in the opening of GT4 together with the Ford GT?
I think you’ve already seen the beautiful flowing shape of the SRT Vision Gran Turismo in videos and images, but have you really looked closely at its specs? There are 3 versions of this VGT car appearing all at once, but the lowest powered Tomahawk S is already 792HP, the middle Tomahawk GTS-R is 1137HP, and the top model is 2168HP! Its estimated top speed exceeds 643km/h! The takeoff speed of a jumbo jet is around 320km/h or so, so you can just imagine how ridiculously extreme that is. I was honestly wondering if it’s even possible to drive properly with that much power.
At the event floor, the people of SRT were engulfed in driving their supercar creation. Watching them drive from behind, the screen was moving around so fast it was like watching a video running on fast forward. But they all look like they’re having fun. Apparently, driving it is not that difficult. Still, the guys at SRT were really good at driving!!
The people at SRT didn’t focus only on the exterior design; they thoroughly looked into every factor that comprises a car. Mike, the engineer gave us a very detailed presentation of just how far they went. He said that “The technology that went into this car is not something that will be realized a few years ahead, but was created with advanced technology that will probably be realized a few decades in the future.”
And in order to enable a car that reaches some ridiculous speeds to be driven comfortably, Mike worked closely with Polyphony Engineers in our L.A. studio to fine tune its handling.
In addition to the car itself, a G-Suit required for flying fighter jets and spaceships was designed specifically for driving these cars. Do you know how many G’s this SRT pulls? Measured in our studios, the horizontal G’s in high speed corners came to be roughly 11.5 G’s, and in full braking from top speed, it was reaching up to 13.5 G’s! You definitely need a G suit for this one.
In an automobile manufacturer, the place where the final designs are decided on by the executives is in a high security zone where the general public are never allowed in. But this event was held right smack in the middle. This is a location where normally, even the people working there aren’t allowed to photograph.
And lastly, Ralph and Mark showed us their personal cars outside of the design dome. After the event when they were giving us a tour of the company, Mark said that “SRT is a company that takes a supercar that’s already fast and powerful and modifies it thoroughly to make the ultimate extreme car.” It will be interesting to see what kinds of extreme cars SRT comes up with next.
After saying goodbye to wonderful cars and the people of SRT who hosted the event for us, we dragged our suit cases to Detroit airport, and moved on to Paris as scheduled. Halfway around the earth in a westerly direction from Japan.
Paris is a location that has deep roots with Gran Turismo. Not just to visit French auto makers, but it was a base when we data captured the Sarthe Circuit of Le Mans, and we walked all over town when making the Paris course. In the first half of the 2000’s, we visited Paris often for user events, announcement events and during the Le Mans 24 hour race.
At the design studio where the ceremony was taking place (which was again of course, normally a restricted area), Mr. Gilles Vidal greeted us immediately. We’ve known Mr. Vidal, the design director of the Peugeot Citroën design group since the GT by Citroen announced in 2008. When we came into the design studio, he called us over and we followed him out to the roof of the building, where the famous Peugeot racing cars from the WRC and Le Mans were displayed.
At the venue there were many concept cars and racing cars from the past on display, and it was like a mini-motor show where you can see and feel the history and future of Peugeot.
One great feature was an area that was a recreation of the design office area in their studios. Actual designers did design work demonstrations for the visitors.
Yamauchi-san was spontaneously asked to set the base time for the time trial competition, so he started practicing immediately. After this, he was surrounded by a huge crowd as he ran two fast laps!
At the venue there was also a very detailed scale model. Mr. Matthias, the concept car department chief, explained what went into the fine details. A lot of effort went into recreating this classy silver color properly in the game on our side as well. From the outside, the car looks as though it has no side windows, but this is because the sides utilize a special material that is only transparent from the inside. The rear wing is linked to the brakes. The seasonal event with this car is still running, so please complete a lap and try the car out for yourself!
And look forward to the next Vision Gran Turismo!