Making its world debut at the company's new Research and Development Center in Sunnyvale before heading on down the road to Los Angeles, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision represents the real-world incarnation of a concept super sports car. Its virtual doppelganger will be appearing in the new Gran Turismo 6 racing game for the Sony PlayStation that goes on sale next month. Like other Vision Gran Turismo vehicles developed by some of the world's best-known automakers at the request of the Gran Turismo 6 producers, this stunning M-B one-off presents a look ahead at the kind of potential developments that could redefine the genre for the coming century.
Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG, sees the AMG Vision Gran Turismo as a unique embodiment of the brand's defining design philosophy, noting that it "reflects to extreme effect the perfect symbiosis between emotional, sensuous contours and intelligently presented high tech." Frankly, we're more inclined to go with a simple "stunningly cool," but however you care to efine this futuristic phenom, you won't miss it in even the most crowded parking lot.
Built on an aluminum space frame and clad in composite panels, the AMG Vision Gran Turismo is finished in liquid silver and complements its low and more than slightly sinister profile with a long wheelbase, short overhangs, massive alloy wheels and dramatically contoured bodywork. An exercise in neo-retro sensibility, the Vision Gran Turismo deftly blends contemporary cues found in modern racing cars with those seen in classic Mercedes competition vehicles, including gullwing doors and a bold grille treatment that recall the legendary 300SL.
Flanked by stylized LED headlamps, the Vision Gran Turismo's grille insert has a look reminiscent of the new CLA-Class. It retains a large center star element but replaces the classic SL-style bar inserts with an array of small, individually controllable LEDs that can be programmed to project a variety of different light patterns. The rear of this amazing Mercedes design exercise boasts a complementary take on the theme courtesy of a dynamic fascia highlighted by an articulated spoiler, a narrow full-width LED taillamp and a functional diffuser that houses the car's eight exhaust outlets.
Inside, the cabin of the AMG Vision Gran Turismo draws inspiration from modern Formula One racers. A study in black and red, it features two sport buckets that are integrated directly into the floor in a manner that creates a protective structure for those aboard. The dash shape of the Vision Gran Turismo mimics the design of its gullwing doors -- one on each side of the steering column - while the car's racing style steering wheel is fitted with the requisite shifter paddles. A glass heads-up display keeps the driver current on all critical systems data and can have the readouts toggled via switches located in the dash and in the overhead console.
Power for the Vision Gran Turismo comes from a front-mid-mounted AMG biturbo V8 that turns out 577 horses, 590 lb-ft of torque and is fitted with a trick exhaust system that promises to aurally excite all within the sound of its bark. Given this supercar's trim 3,090 lb curb weight, each pony needs to haul only 5.2 lbs, a figure that Mercedes says will guarantee the Gran Turismo "exceptionally dynamic performance." Stopping chores will be up to the task, courtesy of custom AMG ceramic-composite high-performance brakes.
No word yet on what other vehicles we might see in the Gran Turismo 6 scuderia, but if the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo is any indicator, PlayStation fans should have a lot to look forward to in the months ahead.
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