Taking Mini into the virtual future
Munich, Germany - The countdown begins; you press the accelerator gently to get the perfect start off the line. A bead of sweat trickles down the side of your face as you wait for the green light, clutching the steering wheel, while the sound of eager horses under the bonnet stretches already-taut nerves.
The moment of truth - the tyres chirp as they scrabble for grip on the smooth tarmac. You head down to the first corner, aiming wide for a late entry followed by a hard turn-in to cut the inside apex. Your late braking nearly pays off with maximum entry speed - until your virtual car hits a competing racer with a deafening crunch, leaving a car-shaped dent in his bodywork.
Today's racing simulation games make hardcore virtual racers of us all; they include most of the thrills and spills of tight racing around a famous circuit minus the G-forces and general affection from the opposite sex.
‘GO-KART ON THE ROAD’
And now, for Gran Turismo fans getting tired of the generic supercar selection, there's something interesting at the end of the tunnel. Inspired by the brand's racing heritage, the Mini design team has virtualised its idea of a model to embody the essence of 'Mini-ness' - the Clubman Vision Gran Turismo.
The version available to Gran Turismo 6 users on the Playstation 3 console has been described by head of Mini design Anders Warming as essentially a “go-kart on the road”, with a 272kW engine, six-speed sequential gearbox and permanent all-wheel drive system.
It's capable of sprinting from 0-100km in a tunnel vision-inducing 3.5 seconds and, depending gearbox ratio, a top speed of around 290km/h.
The Vision establishes its 'track cred' with a larger-than-life grille and air ducts, letting in virtual cool air for maximum engine performance, and a front splitter also that also aids airflow to the engine, as well as keeping the front-end in line during cornering.
Dynamic styling focused on aerodynamics and road-holding gives this not-so-mini Mini an aggressive stance on the screen, while 22-inch multicolour rims punctuate the side and rear profiles. You can even choose from five colourful liveries to personalise your race car.
Supercars, move over for the Mini Clubman Vision.