In 2013, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the popular Gran Turismo racing simulator, Polyphony Digital invited a number of top carmakers to develop virtual racing cars that could be included in the series. Many companies responded positively and came up with some extraordinary sportscars which were a combination of what’s possible today and what could be possible in future. There were no limitations to the technology and engineering so it was a unique opportunity to go to extremes.
Since 2013 and the launch of the sixth Gran Turismo simulator, over 30 sportscars have appeared from carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota, Mitsubishi Motors, Mazda, Hyundai and others. All of them have been known as the Vision Gran Turismo cars.
This month, Jaguar has also joined the program with its first all-electric virtual sportscar – the Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo Coupe. The futuristic EV will be available for players to download in Gran Turismo Sport for the Sony PlayStation 4 from the end of November. Before then, it will first be driven by competitors in the latest round of Sony’s Gran Turismo World Tour event at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show this weekend.
Inspired by brand’s racing lineage
Jaguar’s Vision GT Coupe has been designed and developed from the ground up taking inspiration from the brand’s racing lineage. The iconic C-type and D-type influence its fearless futuristic design, while Jaguar’s I-TYPE 4 Formula E and I-PACE eTROPHY racing cars provide the technical foundations for its uncompromising racing performance. Jaguar’s team of designers had complete creative freedom to develop the perfect proportions and beautiful surfaces of this virtual Jaguar of the future.
“This project has been completely led by our young designers and represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to create a vehicle steeped in our incredible heritage but pushing the boundaries of future design. The team have done an incredible job in creating something which is clearly identifiable as a Jaguar, inspired – but not constrained – by our iconic past,” said Julian Thomson, Jaguar Design Director.
The Vision GT Coupe is crafted from experimental lightweight materials, with the light and stiff monocoque made from carbonfibre composites and advanced aluminium alloys. This focused lightweight construction keeps its weight to just 1,400 kgs with near 50:50 weight distribution. Gamers will have 1,020 ps of power and 1,200 Nm of torque, a 0 – 100 km/h time of less than 2 seconds and perfectly balanced handling,
Dream project for designers
Beautiful shapes and purposeful proportions from three key cars in Jaguar’s racing heritage, the C-type, D-type and E-type, have influenced the form and graphics of the Vision GT Coupe. Radical front fenders are reminiscent of the C-type, the epic plan shape is inspired by the ‘Long Nose’ D-type, and the fast and elegant cabin hints at the Lightweight E-type.
The Vision GT Coupe is the first Jaguar to feature the iconic Leaper on the front grille. Elsewhere, the historic references continue with the twin-charging sockets flanking the rear haunches, inspired by Jaguar’s revolutionary 1968 XJ saloon.
“This was the dream project for a car designer, creating a futuristic sports car for Gran Turismo means our designs and ideas could be truly limitless. It has to excite future generations and most importantly, look and feel unmistakably Jaguar,” explained Oliver Cattell-Ford, Exterior Designer, Jaguar Advanced Design, said.
Immersive interior design
The interior has been designed to fuse Jaguar’s heritage with its contemporary interior philosophy of progressive luxury, purity, driver focus, and stunningly intricate details, all of which are allowed to breathe through the simplicity of the car’s design.
“We’ve really pushed the limit to imagine how a future Jaguar sports car interior could look. The architecture is visually lightweight, simple, and dramatic; featuring advanced and experimental materials and finishes. Sitting in the stunningly considered cockpit and looking out onto the gracefully long bonnet of the Jaguar Vision GT Coupe – a view that is unmistakably Jaguar – the player will be fully immersed in the action,” said Chris Shaw, Interior Designer, Jaguar Advanced Design.
This selection of inspired details and inventive, innovative flourishes include hologram technology. The car features an on-board artificial intelligence system affectionately named “KITT-E” – a companion that would operate systems, and interface between the driver and machine to enhance the ‘emotional connection’ with the car. This technology can also display other useful information to the driver in a variety of formats, including three dimensional maps, and essential vehicle data.
The cockpit has been crafted to envelope the driver, creating a racing experience reminiscent of Jaguar’s Le Mans-winning D-types. It also features augmented reality digital side glass for enhanced vision either side of the car; the glass being able to highlight danger and obstacles, therefore increasing driver perception. Complementing this, ahead of the driver is a transparent information cluster, displaying three-dimensional information inspired by iconic Smiths gauges, with rearward vision integrated either side in the screen’s simple wrapped design – all in perfect eye-line of the road ahead.
Pure Jaguar racing experience
A unique soundscape has also been created to immerse the driver in a pure Jaguar racing experience. Led by the team responsible for the Jaguar I-PACE’s soundtrack, the Vision GT Coupe’s distinctive sound was created using brand new recordings of the 1957 Le Mans podium-finishing ‘603’ Long Nose D-type. Its race-spec 3.8 litre XK engine provides a unique layer, manipulated and woven into a futuristic and distinctive electric soundtrack.
To offer uncompromising racing performance, albeit virtually, the team called on the same Panasonic Jaguar Racing engineers who lead the design and development of the brand’s I-TYPE 4 Formula E and I-PACE eTROPHY race cars. The car is powered by three powerful, compact motors – one driving both front wheels, the other two driving a rear wheel each – which together produce a combined 1,020 ps and 1,200 Nm. Players will be able to hit a maximum speed of more than 320 km/h but should something go wrong at that extreme speed, well, it’s just a simulation…