RIDES: Bugatti Turns Video Game Car Dream into Reality

Sep 11, 2015

Bugatti has transformed a virtual project into tangible reality. The French super sports car brand will be presenting its virtual concept Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo at the Sept. 17-27 66th International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, which it developed in cooperation with Polyphony Digital Inc., creator of the Gran Turismo video game franchise.

Bugatti has published the first digital renderings of the car. The project is the brand’s tribute to its racing tradition in the 1920s and 1930s and its victories in Le Mans 24-hour races, according to the company.

“The Bugatti design team normally works only for the exclusive and very distinguished circle of the brand’s customers. Now Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo has given us the opportunity, for the first time, to do something special for our fans as well,” said Achim Anscheidt, the head of Bugatti Design. “When the target group suddenly grows from 450 Veyron owners to several million fans, gamers and high performance aficionados, it is a very exciting matter. We had a lot of fun with this project.”

The historical theme for the design of the Vision Gran Turismo virtual modern race car was, in particular, the Bugatti Type 57 Tank and its victories in the 24-hour Le Mans race in 1937 and 1939. Consequently, the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo makes its appearance in the classic blue two-tone finish of the Type 57 G Tank, the winning car in 1937, simultaneously evoking the colors of French race cars of that period. Since then, blue has also been Bugatti’s brand color.

Although the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo will be racing in a class in which the cars generally have little or no relationship to real road vehicles, and their designs therefore are far more extreme and performance-oriented than that of a street-legal car, two things were important to the design team: First, the virtual car should look unmistakably like a Bugatti; and second, every part of the vehicle should have a real function.

“Under no circumstances did we want to create a retro-style race car in memory of the successes in Le Mans, but rather to transfer the feeling and mood of these special moments in Bugatti’s history to a modern vehicle,” said Sasha Selipanov, the head of exterior design creative development for Bugatti. “As an acknowledged Gran Turismo fan, it is a great adventure for me to bring a brand which was once so successful in racing back to the virtual track.”

Another typical Bugatti design element is the centre fin, which originated on the legendary Type 57 Atlantic from 1936. The designers employ two versions of the fin on the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo: one on the front and rear wings, where they contribute to the appearance of the vehicle and the other running the length of the roof, where it makes an important contribution to the car’s dynamic stability.

An interesting detail on the roof is the NACA air intake, which, with its contrasting light blue finish, not only has a striking shape but also makes a crucial contribution to the control of the aerodynamic conditions on top of and at the rear of the car without compromising the effectiveness of the impressive rear wing.

The car has a strong trailing edge which provides great longitudinal-dynamic stability, exhausts the hot air from the engine compartment and, no less important, communicates to the pursuer in the video game that a Bugatti is getting away from him.

“We wanted to create a project as realistic as possible for our fans and put a real Bugatti in the virtual world of the PlayStation video game franchise,” said Frank Heyl, the head of exterior design for production development at Bugatti. “Every design characteristic is defined by its function. Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is the perfect symbiosis of engineering and aesthetics.”

The interior is designed to meet racing requirements. All indicators, displays and controls are located where a race-car driver expects them-easy to read and easy to reach.