After a week of teases Chevrolet took the wraps off the new Chaparral 2X Vision GT (VGT) Concept yesterday at the LA Auto Show. The futuristic Vision GT Concept, which was made for the PlayStation 3 game Gran Tursimo 6, is inspired by the Chevrolet’s collaboration with Chaparral which goes back more than 45 years.
The Chaparral Racing program was know for its unconventional and boundary-pushing race cars. Chevrolet and Chaparral teamed up over 45 years ago and pioneered the now-standard practice of using composite and light-weight powertrain systems as well as using active aerodynamics to keep the cars planted to the road.
PlayStation 3 gamers will get to drive the Chaparral 2X VGT by downloading an update for the Gran Turismo 6.
“This concept is an audacious and ambitious vision – and one that demonstrates to a new audience how Chevy’s engineering and design teams challenge norms and explore the technologies of tomorrow,” said Clay Dean, executive director of advanced design. “It also an ode to a unique partnership that pioneered ground-breaking technologies that are used today on the track and the street.”
Not only is the design of the Chaparral 2X VGT futuristic looking, but so is the concept behind the car’s concept propulsion system. It features a 671-kW laser beam powered by a pack of lithium-ion batteries which pulses beams of light that focus in a shroud, creating show waves that generate tremendous thrust in the race car. The system is said to provide 900 horsepower worth of thrust and in the game the care will be capable of reaching a top speed of 240 mph and will go 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds.
But not really. The working system lives only in a video game and its only theoretical at this point.
Another interesting part of the concept is how the driver “sits” in VGT – or rather – lays downs in the car. The propulsion system layout creates an unconventional yet highly active prone driver configuration – face down with the driver’s arms and legs splayed toward the wheels. In fact, the race car’s propulsion and suspension systems are built around the driver, enabling progressive strategies of active and driver-adjustable aerodynamics.
“It was created in a no-rules atmosphere to challenge designers and test engineers to deliver the most exhilarating sensations. This is a fantasy car by design,” said Frank Saucedo, who oversaw the team that worked on the concept. “Like the original Chaparral race cars decades ago, the Chaparral 2X VGT weaves advanced aerospace technologies into the design to help achieve its performance goals.”
“The Chaparral 2X VGT is a vision of how advanced technology may shape the look and driving experience of racing,” said Saucedo. “Chaparral’s race cars and methods were seen as outlandish four decades ago, and with the innovative spirit still burning at Chevrolet, the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept might just be a harbinger of motorsports in the next four decades.”
Other manufacturers have developed concept race cars for the Vision Gran Turismo project, but Chevrolet is one of the few to transfer it from the digital world to a physical concept vehicle.
The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT concept is on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show through November 30.