BMW has unveiled its first virtual Vision concept, the BMW Vision Gran Turismo, created exclusively for the Playstation 3’s Gran Turismo 6 racing game. The virtual race car — created by a team led by current BMW Automobiles Design Director Karim Habib — is low and wide, with a historically-referencing BMW M color scheme reminiscent of the 02 Series and E39 race cars from the 1970s (later immortalized in the art world by renowned artists).
Characteristic BMW design elements such as the kidney grille, round headlamps, L-shaped rear lamps and Hofmeister kink have been retained for the virtual creation, which took designers several months to develop. In designing an uncompromising road racer for the modern era, the team emphasized the company’s defining proportions, adding deep spoilers front and rear to ensure optimum downforce and reduce drag.
The Gran Turismo video game series has spawned six different variations since coming to market in 1988. The award-winning racing simulation is one of the biggest virtual racing games worldwide and PlayStation’s most successful franchise. And so Polyphony Digital, the makers of the video game, decided to collaborate with 15 OEMs to create exclusive concept vehicles to celebrate its 15th anniversary last year.
It’s certainly not a one way street. The growing relevance of the video game market and its active gaming community means that concepts such as the BMW Vision Gran Turismo, as well as classic and current BMW vehicles, can not only be presented passively in images or trailers, but also experienced in an interactive manner by a wider audience.
BMW is just one manufacturer keen to reach the young gaming community. Last year, we saw Mercedes’ AMG division build a full-size concept of its entry at the LA auto show last year, and Toyota will also be making its FT-1 concept virtual. Bespoke models from Alfa Romeo, BMW, SRT and VW have also been created specifically for the game. The virtual cars will be gradually integrated into the Gran Turismo 6 game through online updates.