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Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept at LA 2014

Published: 19 November 2014

The Gran Turismo Playstation game is fast becoming a portal for some of the industry’s most outlandish concept cars. Every so often a manufacturer will be tasked with creating a car especially for the game, and this is the latest flight of fancy: the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo.

They’ve built a full-size mock-up too, and it’s on display at the 2014 Los Angeles motor show.

Why is Chevrolet calling it a Chaparral?

According to Chevy, this is an exploration of what racing cars could look like in the future, assuming more relaxed technical regulations and some advanced future propulsion tech. As the name suggests, it takes its inspiration from the inventive Chaparral sports racing cars of the 1960s, many of which took their power from big-horsepower Chevy engines.

The Texas-based constructor famously experimented with the likes of automatic transmissions, active aerodynamics (including sky-scraping rear wings and ground effect fan cars) and lightweight alloy powertrains in its time.

How can it be so low?

The driver lies face-down, with their limbs splayed towards the wheels in a layout inspired by skydiving daredevils’  wingsuits.

In theory, the driver would be able to control the car’s aerodynamics on the fly, eliminating the need for conventional wings and spoilers. Instrumentation and data would be projected onto the driver’s visor. It all sounds terrifying.

How does it work?

Theoretically at least, it’s powered not by a combustion engine, or an electric motor, but by laser. Based on studies underway for space travel and future aircraft design, Chevrolet’s design team assume a mid-mounted  671kW laser beam propulsion system. It would pulse light beams focussed by a shroud to create shockwaves and in turn create ‘tremendous thrust.’

Taking its energy from lithium-ion batteries and an air-powered generator, the designers estimate the system would give the equivalent of 900bhp. Complete fantasy then, and none the worse for it.

In the world of Gran Turismo, it’ll get from 0-60mph in 1.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 240mph.

Can I have a go?

Digitally, yes. Downloading an online update for Gran Turismo 6 unlocks the car, ready and waiting for you to attempt some improbable Nurburgring lap times.

 

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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