With the launch of Gran Turismo 7 earlier this year came a new entrant into the fabled Vision Gran Turismo programme – where real-world car manufacturers design a car specifically for the game series.
While vehicle companies must invest time and energy into something that won’t enhance their bottom lines, designing for a game allows certain creative freedoms not offered elsewhere due to legislative restraints.
It also allows a brand to engage with fans and potential future customers. Would you rather the money was spent on promoted Instagram posts, or on something that people can experience hands-on, albeit virtually? The latter, please.
With the Vision GT initiative underway since 2013 and Gran Turismo 6, one brand was conspicuously absent – Porsche.
The esteemed make made its game series debut in 2017’s GT Sport, and with Polyphony Digital’s seventh-numbered title, the electric Porsche Vision Gran Turismo finally welcomed Stuttgart’s finest to the initiative.
When the game launched in March, it was the culmination of a detailed project for the main Porsche design studio.
“It was an in incredible process and working with Gran Turismo on that level is for me, an achievement unlocked,” said Sebastian Hornung, Manager of Branded Entertainment for the car company to Traxion.GG.
“The most inspiring meetings were the first time when we convinced our design team to really create a car that never will hit the road.
“It’s a complete design development process of a potentially real car, but only for the game.
“From the very first moment, they were up for it. This time, they really had the creative freedom to develop a visionary concept car that’s five or 10 years ahead of its time.”
However, creating something internally is one thing, meeting the approval of the Gran Turismo creators and players is quite another. Thankfully, in the eyes of the Japanese studio, Porsche pulled it off.
“When we showed it to Kazunori Yamauchi, the iconic creative mastermind behind Gran Turismo, he was so happy with the result,” explained Hornung.
“He said, ‘that is exactly what I expected from Porsche’, not an overpowered 100,000 horsepower concept car, but more reduced back to the roots. A two-seater, lightweight, pure electric, with an elegant silhouette.
“That gives us the approval that we decided the right way to go with our Vision Gran Turismo concept.”
Now that the car is available to the public, the German sports car manufacturer is making the most of the design. It has full-size models, which have appeared at various events including Gamescom, where we witnessed social media visual artist star Vexx paint one across the weekend.
The final design is then available as a 1:18 scale model and as a downloadable livery within Gran Turismo 7.
The Porsche Vision Gran Turismo could have stayed in the virtual world alone and still achieved its objectives. But the notion that the company is willing to pursue additional exposure for the project highlights just how much Porsche wants people to know about the involved passion.
“We have many young designers, and they grew up with Gran Turismo, so for them, designing a Porsche car for Gran Turismo was making a dream come true,” ends Hornung.
And you thought creating the next electric super saloon or a Nordschleife-demolishing recorded holder were the main goals for a car designer. No, it turns out, it’s working on a Gran Turismo project.