Concept Car of the Month: Gran Turismo Red Bull X1 (2010-19)

Gran Turismo Red Bull X2010_1-1 model (16x9)

Looking back to when a Formula 1 team and a video game studio collaborated to design the ultimate racing car

What a year the past month has been, eh? With more and more of the world on lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all been figuring out how much of our lives can be continued from within the confines of home. You can read about how car design teams have been managing elsewhere on CDN today and for the next few weeks, but for racing drivers, whose work for the foreseeable future has been entirely pulled away from under their feet, the cure for cabin fever has been ‘sim racing’, a fast-growing area within the world of esports. Setting up a suitable seat, wheel and pedals has helped drivers stay sharp by racing in the virtual realm.

But, in this digital universe where a racecar’s design needn’t be restricted by real-world regulations or budget, what could the ultimate simulated circuit racer look like? What would it drive like? And just how fast could it be? Kazunori Yamauchi, the leader of GT’s creators Polyphony Digital, had been wondering about this around 10 years ago, and even began sketching a futuristic F1-style machine with enclosed wheels himself. Then, as he recalls it, “I sat down with some friends and we joked around that idea of a street car that could compete with one from Formula One.” One of those friends, conveniently, was legendary motorsport designer Adrian Newey of the Red Bull Racing F1 team. At some point, these jokes became a serious discussion, and together they served up quite an answer to the question of what modern racing cars could truly be like without restrictions.

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