Gran Turismo is celebrating 15 years of GT history by asking several automakers to stretch their design muscles and create new and exciting cars for players to experience in the latest version of the best-selling racing sim, Gran Turismo 6. The latest company to jump into the fun is General Motors with a car form Chevrolet. The car was teased for a debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and now we have all the details. The new Chevrolet Vision Gran Turismo car has been revealed; it is called the Chaparral 2X and it is one of the most amazing things I have ever laid eyes on. The Chaparral name is more than four decades old, and this storied team became famous for pushing racing regulations to their absolute limits and creating some of the most ingenious and interesting race cars of all time. Chaparral was founded by Jim Hall, and the founding racer had input on the design of this new virtual track demon. If you were hoping that GM would use this historic name to create a race car that will define the idea of what a race car could even be, the Chaparral 2X is going to be exactly what you were looking for.

Since this machine only needs to exist and operate in a purely virtual world, Chevrolet threw out the rule books of both car design and viable propulsion. You lay on your stomach to drive it, projects the dash display on to the driver’s helmet, and it’s powered by a giant laser. Yes, I said laser powered. It uses a giant laser as an engine to move the car. That laser does work in tandem with a pretty big battery pack and an air-powered generator to make the 2X VGT concept one of the fastest and most powerful cars in Gran Turismo 6.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    900
  • 0-60 time:
    1.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    240 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    100000
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept Exterior
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The entire car is built from composite materials to create a package that is as light as possible for the best speed and handling.

From the moment the sheet fell from the bodywork, it was obvious the Chevrolet had created a car unlike any other the world has ever seen. In a lot of ways it looks almost like a Formula One car from 500 years in the future. The 2X VGT has four separate wheels that are housed in separate pods that appear to hold all the bearings and braking equipment needed to allow the thing to move and to stop. They are mounted to a middle vessel that appears to be suspended above the ground by an elegant arrangement of composite latticework.

The entire car is built from composite materials to create a package that is as light as possible for the best speed and handling. There is very little in the way of traditional aero work on the body for downforce, but smart designs should provide dramatic downforce levels, similar to a F1 car. The split nose will serve to funnel air down the center and under sides of the car to suck it to the road, the front bracing and small winglets will act as a front splitter and the body section that mounts the rear tires to the central monocoque should act as rear spoilers.

Interior

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept
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There is actually very little interior to speak of in the 2X GTV. A driver will suit up with helmet and then slide himself into the car to lay in a prone position. There isn’t even a gauge cluster; GM says the relevant information will displayed on your helmet visor, I assume by repurposing its heads-up display technology.

Drivetrain

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept Exterior
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The laser is designed to pulse, the pulse is focused in a special shroud which then creates a shockwave.

If this turns out to be even mildly feasible, the future will be amazing. In a move that is straight from science fiction, the Chaparral 2X Gran Turismo Vision concept is powered by lasers. The “propulsion system” features a 671-kW laser that is powered by a bank of lithium batteries. To give you a small taste of how powerful that laser really is a 600mW laser is enough power to set things on fire. This laser is ONE MILLION times more powerful than that. The laser works with an air-powered generator to create the equivalent of 900-horsepower worth of thrust.

I would just say it all works by magic, but GM has actually given us a short crash course on how the thing actually moves. The laser is designed to pulse, the pulse is focused in a special shroud which them creates a shockwave. It is the shockwave that actually moves the car. This same technology is being pioneered for space travel as a way to move large objects in space at incredible speeds while consuming only a small amount of energy.

If you don’t care for the nerdy science that makes it all work, you will still be interested in this; in Gran Turismo this car will hit 240 mph and it can make the 0-to-60 run in 1.5 seconds.

Type 671-kW laser, powered by a pack of lithium-ion batteries
Horsepower 900 HP
Top speed 240-mph
0-60 mph 1.5 seconds

Competitors

Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo Concept

2013 Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Mercedes-Benz Vision, one of the first virtual concepts created for Gran Turismo, is also a radical concept that has very little in common with the company’s current design language. The dramatic lines of this supercar comprise a long bonnet, muscular fenders and rain drop-shaped rear end. But the Vision Gran Turismo isn’t only about futuristic styling. The large front grille was inspired by Mercedes’ Le Mans racers of the early 1950s, which suggests the Germans designed the concept with some brand heritage in mind.

The cabin is inspired by the world of Formula One, while a biturbo, V-8 engine provides motivation in the game. The powerplant generates 585 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which, when paired with the car’s weight of only 3,053 pounds, leads to an impressive power-to-weight ratio and quick Gran Turismo lap times.

Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

2014 Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo High Resolution Exterior
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Unlike most Vision Gran Turismo concepts, the Nissan Concept 2020 will serve as inspiration for an upcoming production vehicle. Described as "a vision of what a high performance Nissan could look like in the future," the 2020 Concept previews the next-generation GT-R, which is expected to arrive in 2016 with a hybrid drivetrain.

The Concept 2020 was penned by the company’s team of young designers at Nissan Design Europe in England and carries many styling cues reminiscent of the current GT-R. The V-shaped headlamps and the glasshouse are just a few of the details borrowed from the road-going GT-R supercar. The remaining design features are pretty much futuristic, which is quite normal for a virtual concept car, but we expect most of them to be dropped when the production car is developed.

Chaparral History

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Jim Hall and Hap Sharp founded Chaparral in 1962, five years after they started racing the Troutman & Barnes-built, front-engined Chaparral 1. Hall and Sharp obtained permission from Trouman & Barnes to use the Chaparral name, with all of Hall’s cars being called Chaparral 2s from then on. Chaparral introduced innovative building technique from day one, with the first 2 series using fiberglass as a chassis material. Hall’s first model received numerous updates, with new ideas being tested continually. As a result, the 2 debuted new aerodynamic add-ons with nearly each race. The first 2 series and its many iterations proved successful in both Can-Am and endurance races, achieving its most important victory at the 1965 12 Hours of Sebring.

For 1966, Hall designed the 2D, the first closed cockpit version of the 2 model. It won at 1000 km Nürburgring race in 1966 and competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans the same year. The radical 2E was introduced in 1966 also, featuring a large, high-mounted wing providing as much as 240 pounds of downforce at 100 mph. It represented a milestone in racing aerodynamics, with many manufacturers using it as a benchmark over the next years. A second high-winged coupe, the 2F, was built for the World Endurance Championship. Although it failed to meet success, the 2F set the fastest lap in five of the eight races in 1967.

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept High Resolution Exterior
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1969 saw yet another radical design come out of Texas. Dubbed 2H, Chaparral’s new racer replaced the 2G as flat, aerodynamic, open-cockpit car design to minimize drag rather than maximize downforce. Unfortunately for Hall, the 2H was the least successful of his designs. Hall’s continuous research into aerodynamics and downforce reached its zenith in 1970 with the Chaparral 2J. Featuring a never-before-seen body that was both simple by design but intricate from an aerodynamic point of view, the 2J used articulated plastic skirts on its rear end bottom and a pair of rear-mounted fans mated to a snowmobile engine. The fans sucked the air beneath the car and gave the 2J tremendous gripping power and enabled greater maneuverability at all speeds.

The 2J was the world’s first ground-effects car, and although it was incredibly fast during qualifiers, reliability issues prevented the 2J from winning any races. The car was banned before the 1970 season ended.

Chaparral Cars returned into the spotlight in 1980, when the 2K won the Indianapolis 500, along with the USAC and CART series championships that year.

Conclusion

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept Exterior
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When the Vision Gran Turismo project started, this is what I was hoping to see. I didn’t want cars that slightly obscure concept car designs with standard drivetrains. I wanted to see companies go wild and create the most imaginative things possible. I was hoping it would be like the best abstract Hot Wheels cars all crammed into a video game. Finally, with this Chevrolet Chaparral X2 GTV Concept those dreams are becoming a reality. It’s a car that you can essentially wear, and it is powered by lasers. Six year-old me wouldn’t be able to think of anything cooler.

The fact that all this actually coincides with the resurrection of a nameplate that was legendary for pushing the absolute limit of what was capable with a race car makes it all the sweeter.

  • Leave it
    • * Obviously it will never really exist
    • * I don’t have a Gran Turismo 6 so I can’t drive it

Press Release

Chevrolet today revealed the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo (VGT) concept – a revolutionary interpretation of the ultimate race car, developed exclusively for fans of the PlayStation® 3 racing game, Gran Turismo® 6.

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept
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Developed as part of the Vision Gran Turismo project, which celebrates the future of automotive design and innovation, the Chaparral 2X VGT concept is inspired by the innovative race cars Chaparral Racing and Chevrolet partnered on more than 45 years ago.

Gamers can race the Chaparral 2X VGT this holiday season by downloading an online update for Gran Turismo 6, the latest iteration of the best-selling PlayStation franchise that has sold more than 72 million copies worldwide since its 1998 debut.

“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.”

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Known for unconventional, boundary-pushing race cars that shook up the motorsports world, Texas-based Chaparral Racing partnered with Chevrolet Research and Development more than 45 years ago, pioneering now-standard methods and materials used in contemporary racing and production vehicles, including the composite monocoque chassis, lightweight-alloy powertrain systems, automatic transmissions for racing and progressive, active aerodynamics. The partnership also spawned ground-breaking vehicle data acquisition technology. Chevrolet continues to use racing programs to test and develop new technologies and materials.

The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT channels that spirit of innovation into a vision of what the future of racing could hold, with a radical form and an advanced, laser-based propulsion system.

“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.”

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept
- image 577465

The Chaparral 2X VGT’s concept propulsion system is inspired by technology derived from advanced work targeted at space travel and future aircraft design. It features a mid-mounted laser beamed-energy propulsion system, which pulses beams of light that focus in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate tremendous thrust in the lightweight race car.

With a 671-kW laser, powered by a pack of lithium-ion batteries, and an air-powered generator to provide 900 horsepower worth of thrust, the Chaparral 2X VGT will be capable of a 240-mph top speed in the video game with 0-60 acceleration capability of 1.5 seconds.

The propulsion system’s position in the composite chassis complements 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.

“Think of it as adapting a wing suit to a racing car, where the driver’s movements control certain aspects of the aero package,” said Saucedo. “In many ways, the Chaparral 2X VGT is like racing wing suit, with a protective fuselage for ‘flying’ very low to the ground.”

The driver-enabled aerodynamics eliminate the need for large, conventional wings and other aero devices used to generate grip-enhancing downforce – an attribute that helps reduce the overall mass of the Chaparral 2X VGT’s minimalist structure. Only essential elements are on board, with instrumentation, for example, projected on the driver’s helmet visor.

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept Exterior
- image 577466

Additionally, lightweight chassis components reduce the sprung weight of the race car, enabling the car to provide tremendous cornering grip with a relatively small footprint. It rolls on 17-inch front wheels wrapped with racing tires.

“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.

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