At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz released their latest mockup of where the company may be headed in some ways. On paper, and in Gran Turismo 6 for Playstation 3, the concept generates 577 bhp and behaves somewhat like a grown up and skilled Mercedes SLS on the track.
The physical concept car uses very little paint and quite a few LEDs to attract attention; interior touches include black and red seats that give the impression that they were poured in to fit the car as well as an instrument cluster that resembles gullwing doors of the original 300 SL gullwing.
The front end of the AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept takes the glitzy and nearly gaudy grille seen on the Mercedes CLA and for all intents and purposes, turns it up to 11. For some this is a polarizing car, trying too hard to shock and amaze onlookers and to others, it affirms their beliefs that Mercedes is no longer just building vanilla, but well-engineered taxicabs.
Exquisite virtual reality: Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo
November 20, 2013 – Stuttgart.
PLEASE NOTE INFORMATION MAY REFLECT EUROPEAN SPECIFICATION.
Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo
Driving Performance at its most beguiling
Powerful, fast and as graceful as a big cat on the hunt: with the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo, the Stuttgart-based premium brand is presenting its visionary concept for a super sports car. Mercedes-Benz designers developed it specifically for the new PlayStation® 3 racing game Gran Turismo® 6. Extreme proportions, sensual contours and precise graphics blend to form a body that visually confirms the breathtaking performance of 430 kW (585 hp) and 800 Nm of torque. As a 1:1-scale model, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo is celebrating its world premiere at the opening of the new Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Center in Sunnyvale, California. Before the end of the year, this super sports car with hallmark Mercedes gullwing doors will take to the virtual racetrack. As the first “Vision Gran Turismo” model, it will be available for download when Gran Turismo® 6 goes on sale in December 2013.
To mark the 15th birthday of the popular Gran Turismo® series this year, Kazunori Yamauchi, Producer Gran Turismo series and President of Polyphony Digital Inc., called upon the world’s leading automotive manufacturers and design studios to look forward into the future. Using the theme “Vision Gran Turismo”, these creative teams were to develop concept models which give a unique insight into the further development of the automobile. As virtual vehicles that nonetheless function just like a real car, the visionary concepts will be gradually unveiled in and integrated into the new game Gran Turismo® 6 through online updates.
The designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Sindelfingen and Carlsbad (exterior design) and also in Como, Italy (interior design) succeeded in developing the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo in a relatively short space of time. As part of this they worked precisely in accordance with the regular design process for new series production vehicles and show cars. It is almost impossible to develop a vehicle in such a short time – but the hearts of the Mercedes-Benz designers beat with a passion for super sports cars. The modern design language combines classic design elements from motor racing history, a fact which helped to accelerate the creative process enormously.
Extreme proportions and flowing, sensual contours
“By virtue of its proportions and expressive appearance, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo embodies the brand’s defining design philosophy of sensual purity in a unique way. The design of this concept car reflects to extreme effect the perfect symbiosis between emotional, sensuous contours and intelligently presented high tech,” says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG.
The sports car proportions that are a typical Mercedes feature have been reinterpreted: the long bonnet has a flowing transition into a compact greenhouse offset to the rear, which takes the form of an aerodynamically efficient water drop to descend slightly at the rear, where it rests on the powerful, stylish rear end with broad shoulder contours. The dynamic aura is accentuated by an extended, dramatic side contour and a pronounced bulge to the wheel arches, which blend into the low-slung, muscular bodyshell. The long wheelbase, small front overhang and slightly longer rear overhang likewise give visual confirmation of acceleration power.
An elegant contrast with the flowing, sensual contours is created by the clear geometric graphical elements that highlight technical features such as the headlamps, radiator grille and tail lights. The angled headlamps, with their colour scheme and determined look, convey a sense of sportiness and readiness to leap forward. This impression is reinforced by the bonnet with its expressive forms and motorsport details, such as the release catches on the bonnet and the fuel cap, for example. The red-glowing contour lines on the lower part of the vehicle create an effect similar to that of exterior ambient lighting and stand out from the silver-painted bodywork. This makes the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo look even more aggressive.
Variable LED radiator grille with different lighting patterns
Another eye-catching feature is the radiator grille – a reinterpretation of the wide Mercedes-Benz sports car grille with central star. Its shape is reminiscent of the legendary 300 SL racing car that won a glorious victory in the 3rd Carrera Panamericana in Mexico in 1952 – one of the world’s toughest longdistance races – despite the famous accident with a vulture. However, the radiator grille of the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo does not feature classic louvres but rather exclusively LEDs. The variable LED grille with different light patterns is a further development of the diamond grille introduced with the new A-Class. The majority of the LEDs are arranged to represent five horizontal louvres. When the daytime running lamps are switched on, the centre “louvre” lights up to show the front aspect that is typical of Mercedes sports cars. When the racing lights are switched on, numerous LEDs light up in green in the background, like round fog lamps.
The virtual Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo was created from the physical 1:1 model – with two small differences. To ensure perfect downforce and therefore great handling stability in tough racetrack conditions on the PlayStation, the virtual super sports car has a fixed rear spoiler while the show car has an extending variant of this integrated into the boot lid. In addition, the third brake light in the middle of the rear end lights up in red as the Gran Turismo® logo, unmistakably confirming the identity of the high-performance gullwing racer.
Purist interior dedicated to speed
The exterior design, which is systematically geared to motor racing and therefore reduced to the bare essentials, is congenially mirrored in the interior of the two-seater. The functional yet elegant interior design exudes powerful, passionate sportiness. Inspired by a Formula 1 cockpit, the red integral sports seats provide perfect lateral support and blend into the black flooring of the footwell to form a protective shell. The form of this flowing, sculptured shell is clearly dedicated to function, ergonomics and safety – and suggests enormous forward thrust.
A truly eye-catching feature is the dashboard, which takes the form of two Page 5 gullwing doors which are positioned on each side of the steering column. As a result the actual doors themselves appear to be an extension of the dashboard. The dashboard therefore has a particularly dynamic and sensuous appearance. The central display is optimally positioned in the driver’s field of vision: it takes the form of a glass surface floating directly above the racing steering wheel with its shift paddles, and shows all the relevant information such as road speed, engine speed and operating temperature as required. Operation is by rocker switches in the centre of the dashboard and in an overhead console, like in a jet. The steering column visibly penetrates the firewall to the engine compartment, creating a visual connection between the driver and the heart of this super sports car, the AMG V8 front-mid engine.
Intelligent lightweight design
The AMG V8 biturbo engine delivers an exceptionally agile response to even the smallest movements of the accelerator. It develops 430 kW (585 hp) and a maximum torque of 800 Nm. With an aluminium spaceframe body and components in carbon fibre, the material of choice in motor racing, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo tips the scales at only 1385 kilograms. That amounts to around 2.4 kilograms per hp – an unrivalled figure in the super sports car segment, and one that guarantees exceptionally dynamic performance. The weight distribution of 46 percent at the front and 54 percent at the rear likewise promises plenty of driving pleasure.
Authentic engine sound from the racetrack
The engine is combined with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission, which is systematically configured for outstandingly dynamic performance. Excellent deceleration values and fade resistance at the highest level are ensured by the AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system. The AMG sports exhaust system with eight tailpipes integrated into the rear end provides a powerful accompaniment whenever the car accelerates, and ensures an unrivalled motorsports sound experience. For fans of Gran Turismo® 6, the Mercedes-Benz AMG sound specialists have created a powerful, sonorous exhaust note that authentically celebrates the V8’s love of high engine speeds. The high-frequency sound signature when accelerating under full load is particularly reminiscent of the racetrack.
Kazunori Yamauchi in conversation with Gorden Wagener
Exquisite virtual reality
The Gran Turismo® series developed by Polyphony Digital Inc. is celebrating its 15th birthday this year. With sales of more than 70 million units, it is ranked among the world’s most popular video games. Mercedes-Benz has already been represented with an ever-increasing number of vehicle models since 1999. As a birthday present, fans of the new version, Gran Turismo® 6, will receive “Vision Gran Turismo” concept vehicles as online updates. The first to take to the virtual starting line will be the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo. All the other models will follow gradually next year. In conversation, Kazunori Yamauchi, Producer Gran Turismo series and President of Polyphony Digital Inc., and Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG, explain the idea behind “Vision Gran Turismo” and the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo.
Mr Yamauchi, there is already a tradition of integrating one-off concept cars into Gran Turismo. But such a large number, as now in Gran Turismo® 6, is something new. Why are concept cars important for Gran Turismo®, and which technologies are expected to become a reality in regular cars?
Kazunori Yamauchi: For me as a child, the concept cars announced by automobile manufacturers in motor shows were fantastic presents that always brought promise of a bright future. That feeling hasn’t changed today. The technology researched by automotive manufacturers reach far and wide, and is beyond my imagination. And because automobiles are at the center of all our means of transportation, I’m positive that the advancement of automotive technology is something that will change our lives.
Mr Wagener, at the start of 2013 you received an enquiry whether you would develop a visionary concept car for Gran Turismo® 6. Did you hesitate at first, owing to the short time available? And what was it like to develop a car that will only ever drive virtually in a game, and never on the road?
Gorden Wagener: As an automobile brand that has always borne motor racing genes within it, we enthusiastically accepted this progressive challenge. And of course we also wanted to present Gran Turismo® fans with the Mercedes-Benz AMG vision of a super sports car, and therefore a unique driving experience, as an exclusive birthday present from day one of the new game. Although the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo will not actually drive on the road, we applied the same standards and followed the same processes during the design development as for any other concept or series production car. As is usual, all the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios first submitted the design sketches for their visions. The best ideas were then developed in the Advanced Design Studio in Sindelfingen as part of a purely digital design process and subsequently perfected in a physical 1:1 design process. The interior design was created in our Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy, which specialises in interior design.
The word realistic is often used to describe Gran Turismo®. What features are decisive for a motor racing game to make it realistic?
Kazunori Yamauchi: The exterior of the car, the movements of the car, drive feel, and to observe the scenery around the car in as close in detail as possible. Creation starts from close, careful observation.
What is special about the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo?
Gorden Wagener: This concept car perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity. The technical details engineered with utmost precision, such as the headlamps, the front grille and even the tailpipe trim, create a deliberate contrast to the sensual design idiom of the vehicle body and bolster its breathtaking appearance on the road. Even at a standstill, the design and the extreme sports car proportions create an enormous impression of forward thrust. At the same time this visionary car harks back to features from the legendary motor racing history of Mercedes-Benz, and completely reinterprets them as in the case of the sports car radiator of the 300 SL of 1952, for example. The result is a perfect balance between tradition and progress, a fundamental attribute of designs from Mercedes-Benz. The design of this study demonstrates the perfect interaction of emotional, sensual shapes and Page 9 intelligently staged high tech.”
Mr Yamauchi, you worked together closely with the design team at Mercedes-Benz. What do you like best about this visionary super sports car?
Kazunori Yamauchi: I’m attracted to the exterior that is both modern and classic, that is elegant but gives off a sense of high performance. The young designers working on the design are also Gran Turismo fans, so I think this will be a very good collaboration.
Mr Wagener, will we perhaps see the Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo or individual features of it on the roads in the real world one day?
Gorden Wagener: For us designers, the development of a concept vehicle is always an inspiration that drives us onward. We are able to try out new ideas and venture further into the future. And of course you will also find this philosophy in future Mercedes-Benz models again. Not only in the sports cars, but of course also in some special areas, so prepare to be surprised.
High performance on the PlayStation® 3
Mercedes-Benz delights fans with 21 vehicles in Gran Turismo® 6
Mercedes-Benz can look back on a long and successful track record in the Gran Turismo® racing game series. Models bearing the Mercedes star have been represented in the game since the market launch of Gran Turismo® 2 back in 1999. In the latest version, Gran Turismo® 6, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo is joined by 21 historic and current Mercedes-Benz models for sheer excitement and fascination. Some of these already made the hearts of fans beat faster in Gran Turismo® 5. A new addition includes another exceptional highperformance vehicle from Mercedes-AMG: the SLS AMG GT3 producing more than 367 kW (more than 500 hp).
“The Mercedes-Benz brand was forged in motor racing. We are therefore enthusiastic partners of the Gran Turismo® series, which sets the standard for racing games with its unrivalled realism and also makes it possible to experience the fascination of Mercedes-Benz in digital form,” says Jens Thiemer, Head of Brand Communication at Mercedes-Benz.
In Gran Turismo® 6, gaming fans and car enthusiasts are able to authentically experience numerous exciting high-performance icons from the brand history of Mercedes-Benz – from the legendary 300 SL Gullwing of 1954 to the CLK-LM racing car of 1998, the current SLS AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo as a vision of the future.
The SLS AMG GT3 enables the limits of motorsport to be experienced first hand. Since 2011, its spectacular racing car design and thoroughbred race technology, which precisely meets the FIA’s GT3 rules, have been enthralling motor racing fans the world over both in fast sprints and gruelling longdistance races. Its track record this year is already impressive: Five starts – five victories. This means that the racing gullwing model boasting more than 500 hp has won the “Grand Slam” of classic GT3 long-distance races.
The Mercedes-Benz cars in Gran Turismo® 6
Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo (2013)
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (2010)
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (2010)
Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG (2008)
Mercedes-Benz SL 600 (2004)
Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG (2004)
Mercedes-Benz SL 500 (2002)
Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG (2002)
Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG (2002)
Mercedes-Benz CL 600 (2000)
Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG (2000)
Mercedes-Benz CLK Touring Car (2000)
Mercedes-Benz A 160 (1998)
Mercedes-Benz CLK-LM Race Car (1998)
Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5 – Evolution II, (1992)
Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5 – 16 Evolution II, (1991)
Mercedes-Benz SL 500 (1998)
Mercedes-Benz SL 600 (1998)
SLK 230 Kompressor (1998)
Sauber Mercedes-Benz C9 Race Car (1989)
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (1954)
Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo
Engine Number of cylinders/arrangement V8, 4 valves per cylinder Displacement cc 5461 Bore x stroke mm 98.0 x 90.5 Rated output kW/hp 430/585 at 5500 rpm Rated torque Nm 800 at 2000-4500 rpm Maximum engine speed 6400 rpm Compression ratio 10.0: 1 Mixture formation Microprocessor-controlled direct petrol injection, biturbocharging
Power transmission Drive Standard drive system Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission Gear ratios Final-drive ratio 4.44 1st gear 3.40 2nd gear 2.19 3rd gear 1.63 4th gear 1.29 5th gear 1.03 6th gear 0.84 7th gear 0.72 Reverse -2.79
Chassis and suspension Front axle Double wishbone suspension Rear axle Double wishbone suspension, electronic AMG locking differential Braking system AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system, brake discs ventilated and perforated allround, brake disc dimensions 402×39 mm (front) and 360×32 mm (rear), electric parking brake at rear, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP® Steering Electro-mechanical rack-and-pinion power steering, ratio 13.6:1 Wheels front: 9.5 J x 21; rear: 12 J x 22 Tyres front: 275/30 ZR 21; rear 335/25 ZR 22
Dimensions and weights Wheelbase mm 2804 Track, front/rear mm 1734/1707 Overall length mm 4820 Overall width mm 2000 Overall height mm 1110 Ground clearance mm 80 Centre of gravity height mm 400 Kerb weight according to EC* kg 1385 Weight distribution % 46 front/54 rear Tank capacity/incl. reserve of 1 80/10
* Fuel tank 90% full, without driver and luggage
– By: Sawyer Sutton