Woking, Surrey - This is the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo, designed in response to a call from game creator Kazunori Yamauchi for carmakers to create ‘visionary GT cars’ to feature in the new Gran Turismo Sport for the PlayStation 4, due out on 17 October.
It’s not a prototype for any future McLaren model, but it’s a look at the kind of car that could come out of Woking beyond 2030 - and an opportunity for the designers to let their imagination run wild, pushing the boundaries well beyond current realities.
Rather than sitting in a layback racing seat, the driver sits astride, right at the centre of the action, leaning sharply forward like the rider of a superbike, with his head almost over the front axle.
“That allows you to see exactly where the apex of the corner is,” says design director Rob Melville, “so you can shave vital milliseconds off each lap.”
Like all real-life McLaren road cars, the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo’s monocoque and body panels are made almost entirely from carbon fibre, keeping its kerb weight down to only 1000kg. The body also features a futuristic but not fictional active aerodynamic technology that opens tiny aperture covers around air inlets on key surfaces during cornering to create localised drag and generate downforce exactly where it’s needed, reducing both complexity and weight.
The powertrain is also an extension of hybrid reality rather than science fiction, with a four-litre version of McLaren’s twin-turbo V8 driving the rear wheels, and and an electric motor in each of the front wheel ‘pods’, for a total of 845kW and 1275Nm - most of which is available from standstill thanks to the torque characteristics of the electric motors and all-wheel traction.
Inboard-mounted carbon ceramic disc brakes reduce unsprung mass, and allow you to monitor brake temperatures during races.
While the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo doesn’t exist outside the game, it will join virtual renderings of real-life McLaren sports-racing models such as the 650S Coupé and 650S GT3 in the new game.
You’ll be able to choose from three liveries - Performance, Ulterior and Noir - and race against a range of production and concept cars at 17 world-class circuits such as the Brands Hatch and the Nurburgring.