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Visionary: Our Favorite Vision Gran Turismo Cars So Far

Gran Turismo taps into automotive design’s biggest dreamers with its Vision GT program – we recount our favorite concept cars from over the years.

Bob Hernandez
Feb 1, 2021
Photographer: Courtesy of Manufacturers

Our recent story on car builder Daniel K Song's Varis widebody Toyota GR Supra, and in particular something he said about getting inspired by the concept cars that came out of Polyphony Digital's Vision Gran Turismo project, motivated us to check in with the program. We hadn't realized more than seven years have passed since the initiative first got off the ground, and in that time fictional VGT whips have been added to games Gran Turismo 6 and GT Sport, some 30 so far between them. We were equally ignorant to the fact that images of pretty much all of them are collected at the Vision Gran Turismo microsite, which was a little like finding an online treasure trove when we came across it.

From the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision GT (which went on to become a real-life concept, as did a few other Vision GT creations) that started things off seven years ago to the Jaguar that just dropped this past December, the anthology is impressive. Some automakers, like Mazda and Peugeot, have multiple concepts in the compilation, but by and large it is a fairly international and representative mix of OEMs. And while we know the VGT project is sort of meant to be a futuristic design exercise, there is something supremely escapist about imagining what these virtual cars would look like in reality (and how you would mod the F out of them).

Polyphony Digital promises more are on the way - consider our curiosity piqued for the entries coming from Tesla and Nike. In the meantime, and inspired by Daniel Song's love of these far-out things, we decided to put together a list of our favorite Vision Gran Turismo cars from over the years.

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Mazda RX-Vision GT3

Mazda released the RX-Vision GT3 concept just last June and it is smokin' hot! A motorsports version of the long-nosed, low-slung RX-Vision FR coupe that was revealed in 2015, our pulse quickens just looking at it; it's got a full widebody aero kit with carbon splitter, rear diffuser, some fat fenders, and a kind of not-obnoxious rear wing. Meaty 310-wide Michelins fill up the fender arches and a side-exit dumps exhaust just ahead of the driver door. Mazda imagines it with a 2.6L SKYACTIV-R naturally aspirated 4-rotor rotary engine that makes north of 500hp.

Ways to Channel Your GT Rage
Building a Sim Labs P1 Sim Racing Cockpit
Hands-On With Fanatec's Podium DD1 Wheelbase
Reviewed: Logitech G923 Steering Wheel + GTR GTA Pro Simulator

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Audi e-tron

We were smitten by this all-electric AWD racer for GT Sport that Audi Design debuted back in 2018, with moar widebody and moar aero. In the game, you can choose from a fully electric version or a hybrid one, and you can tell the EV from the hybrid by the wheels: the EV comes with 18-inchers all around, while the hybrid racecar has 20-inch wheels in front and 21s in back. This Vision Gran Turismo concept was built into an actual working prototype that makes 800hp between its three electric motors and is used as a racing taxi, and we love that designers drew inspiration from the classic Audi 90 IMSA GTO race car.

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BMW created its wild widebody, retro liveried Vision GT virtual concept around the M2 platform and released it in GT6 in 2014, a full year and a half before the real M2 was available to the public. It's said to pack a 3.0L straight-6 with M TwinPower Turbo technology that makes 541hp and 499 lb.-ft. of torque, sending it to the rears through a six-speed sequential. Someone needs to make this one IRL.

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Lexus LF-LC GT

Lexus answered the Vision GT call in 2015, creating its make-believe racer from another concept, the LF-LC luxury study, and inspired by its involvement in Super GT's GT500 class and FIA GT3 competition. They never made up any specs for the thicc virtual racer, but if it was based on the LF-LC there's a possibility Lexus imagined this as an FR hybrid. The aero alone takes our breath away.

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The sharp angles along the fenders of Subaru's Vision GT entry, which came out in 2014, give the hybrid VIZIV GT an almost modern muscle car presence, but we love how wide and low designers rendered it. Billed as Subaru's ultimate sportscar concept, the VGT car is based on the actual VIZIV 2 design study and is outfitted in blister fenders, diffuser, rear spoiler, turbo 2.0L boxer and three electric motors making almost 600hp combined.

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Toyota FT-1

The FT-1 was the first inkling Toyota gave that it was bringing back the Supra, and in 2014 it turned the FR concept into a motorsports-spec driver in GT6. Players got a wider track and meatier shoulders and haunches, enlarged air vents for more cooling, and canards, rear wing, and diffuser for maximum downforce. It's no Supreme 90 GR Supra, but it does look a little like what an A90 DTM racer might look like if there was ever such a thing.

By Bob Hernandez
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