Porsche and the Japanese video game development studio Polyphony Digital Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment, present a spectacular virtual vehicle concept. The ‘Gran Turismo’ game series has featured Porsche sports cars since 2017, most recently the Taycan Turbo S. For the launch of the game’s seventh edition, Porsche has, for the first time, developed a vehicle purely for the virtual world. The Porsche Vision Gran Turismo is the sports car manufacturer’s first concept study created specifically for use in a computer game. It will be available exclusively in Gran Turismo 7, which will be released on 4 March 2022 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
By partnering with Polyphony Digital, Porsche is not only demonstrating its special visionary approach, but is once again also demonstrating the high level of expertise among its designers. Freed from the constraints of developing models for series production, they were able to put their own ideas for a Gran Turismo concept car into practice. “A vehicle designed purely for the virtual world opens up exciting possibilities for us that are otherwise heavily regimented in a regular design process for a series production car,” says Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche. “Projects such as the Porsche Vision Gran Turismo are particularly valuable for us in the creative process. Further developing our clearly defined Porsche Design DNA and exchanging with designers from other industries is an important part of our work.”
The Vision Gran Turismo features future-oriented versions of familiar Porsche design elements. The concept car exhibits the brand’s typical proportions with an especially sporty height-to-width ratio, an extremely low-set bonnet and very pronounced wings. The lights in the particularly purist front and the integrated air intakes create a visual link to the design language of the Taycan – a nod to the car’s purely electric drive. The rear is adorned with a markedly narrow light strip – a further development of the light signature that is familiar from the 911 and Taycan models. The clear emphasis of the brand identity continues in the interior, with the curved hologram display, tailored to the driver, which appears to float above the steering wheel. The low seating position underscores the car’s dynamic feel. The realistic surface appearances in the interior also play a major role. “We spent a long time considering the right material design consisting of carbon and titanium. The aim was to reduce weight while increasing performance,” says Markus Auerbach, Head of Interior Design at Porsche. “In addition, sustainable aspects also play a role in forward-looking projects. For example, we only used entirely vegan materials in the concept car.”
“The appeal of a Porsche comes from its purist design,” says Kazunori Yamauchi, President, Polyphony Digital. “And in terms of engineering expertise, both we and Porsche follow the same perfectionist philosophy. We share the same passion for racing and are looking to the future of the car.”
In addition to purely design-related themes, there are also new functions that contribute to a strong sports car feeling, with players experiencing haptic feedback via the controller, which mimics the feel of the steering wheel. This fast and direct feedback is reminiscent of a real racing car.
Expanding its gaming activities also has strategic significance for Porsche. “We can engage young and digital target groups in the place where their automotive dreams are born: the world of gaming,” says Robert Ader, Vice President Marketing at Porsche AG. “The partnership with Polyphony Digital and ‘Gran Turismo’ is a perfect fit for Porsche, because motorsport – whether real or virtual – is part of our DNA.” The integration of the first Porsche sports car developed purely for the virtual space is an important milestone in the strategic partnership between Porsche and Polyphony Digital Inc.
Porsche stands for authentic and emotive experiences. In this context, video games and the virtual world offer new opportunities to make sports cars interactive, and to make driving them an accessible experience. For this reason, the brand has been cooperating with various companies from the gaming industry for several years and these activities are now an integral part of the marketing mix. The overriding goal is to create a lasting brand experience.