When Sony’s Gran Turismo Series video game debuted last year many of the digital cars in it were amazing. One, in particular, the Gran Turismo Coupe, was destined not to remain a digital imagination. Jaguar’s designers and the design team at Special Vehicle Operations-the division within Jaguar Land Rover, combined forces to make the GT Coupe a reality. And besides going from pixels to real, it’s the first new Jaguar concept car in seven years.
“In the game, they saw the concept as a real muscle car – something with a lot of power”
Overseeing the project is Ollie Cattell-Ford. He attributes player feedback in some of the development the designers looked at. “People loved the look of the Gran Turismo Coupé,” he told Autoexpress, “but in the game, they saw it as a real muscle car – something with a lot of power but perhaps needing a bit more grip. We’ve tried to address that with the SV.”
Polyphony Digital, the folks within Sony that develop games, got involved. It actually wanted all of the info and specs based on Jaguar’s digital simulations of the car. “We have to share hard data with them,” he says. “Proper numbers. It’s not just a case of sending off some sketches or CAD drawings. Polyphony wants CFD [computational fluid dynamics] data on what’s happening with the aerodynamics, chassis parameters, information on the center of gravity, and plenty more.”
While the Jaguar GT stays close to the concept there was a need to increase downforce
While the actual car stays close to the concept there was a need to increase downforce. So some of the differences between this and the game’s GT might be due to that giant rear wing. It’s also very low yet fairly large-over 18-feet long. It is lower than a Lamborghini Aventador, but not quite as low as a Ford GT.
In this design world of body sculpting and making every surface like the ocean surface Jaguar is quick to point out the crease-free bodywork. The entire body is a smooth blend of surfaces without the overwrought creases and undercuts we find on every car today.
Though there is talk this could actually be raced, we doubt it will be. However, as an EV race car, there were some nods to the possibility. For instance, the liquid nitrogen tank that handles battery cooling can easily be changed out in a pit situation.
“We had the idea the LN2 tank could be swapped at pit-stops, much like a fuel refill”
“We had the idea that the LN2 tank could be swapped at pit-stops, much like a fuel refill,” Ollie says, “and that this could be used periodically by the car and driver during the action. We’ve been working with Polyphony on it too, so hopefully, in the game, there should be blasts of steam visible as the car cools itself.”
The interior looks right out of Star Wars. With the wrapping windshield, there should be quite a view forward. Digital cameras will need to give side and rear views as the amount of window space are almost non-existent.
The rear diffuser is huge as is the giant wing. These were compromises to the downward forces necessary to stick the car to the track. Anything that is race-functional is good in our book.
Jaguar’s design director Adam Hatton says there is no way the concept is headed to production
Jaguar’s design director Adam Hatton says there is no way this is headed into production. “But it takes all of the values that we try to instill in every car we make and turns them up to new levels. What I would say is that it gives our team the freedom to play with how far our Jaguar elements can go.”
Expect to see the GT at various Jaguar functions especially as the world gets immunization from COVID-19. Until then check out the image gallery from the GT’s studio shoot.