Ever since the Gran Turismo 6 began arriving in Playstations all around the world at the end of 2013, an increasing number of car manufacturers have revealed a list of outstandingly designed cars for the aptly named "Vision GT" segment of the game. Mercedes-Benz and Toyota went as far as creating real variants of the virtual cars designed for GT6, but I think it’s a safe bet that the recently-unveiled Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo concept will not be joining that league.

Released as part of a special holiday season update for Gran Turismo 6, the Le Mans-inspired Mazda will probably remain a virtual model, which is not that bad considering that you don’t see many people driving the aforementioned Mercedes-AMG Vision GT or the Toyota FT-1 Vision GT out in the real world.

As it should, Mazda is rather proud of the historic win it managed at the Le Mans 24-Hours back in 1991, and that is probably why the LM55 Vision GT’s DNA is obviously infused with some genes from the fabulous-sounding 787B. To refresh your memory, the 1991 Mazda 787B was the first-ever Japanese car to achieve an overall victory in the prestigious endurance race and it was also the first and so far only rotary-powered vehicle to do so. Despite the casual stylistic resemblances with the 787B, the virtual LM55’s design actually follows the Kodo language found in modern Mazdas, which from some perspectives makes it even more beautiful than the original.

With that being said, if you own GT6 and a Sony PlayStation 4 gaming console you should definitely update the game to the latest version, which will give you option of buying the fantastic-looking Mazda LM55 from the "Vision GT" section within the "Cars" area in "My Home." Alternatively, Mazda says that you can also get a hold of the car by completing a lap in a Season Event, which is available only for a limited time in the game.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo.

  • 2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    100000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 600220

The car’s overall look is obviously inspired by current LMP racers, although some could also see it as a white Batmobile with sponsorship material plastered over it. Also obvious is the lineage that stretches back to the rotary-powered 787B, but carefully blended with Mazda’s Kodo design philosophy. The result is quite spectacular to look at, and I’m pretty sure that many GT6 gamers will pick it up just to bask in its gorgeous lines.

The model sports a road car-derived and rather unique-looking front grille and a pair of slim headlights, which would probably look terrifying in your rearview mirror while being hurled at 250 mph on the old Mulsanne Straight. Despite that, it is the car’s side view that is the most interesting — at least for some — as it completely reinterprets the almost standard look of modern LMP1/2 racing cars, especially with those dropping front-to-rear lines. The design of the rear is equally dramatic, as the car’s tail is so low that it doesn’t even have an aerodymaic diffuser. If you thought that most racing cars have started to become pretty derivative, the Mazda LM55 comes to the rescue and shows people how its done... virtually.

Interior

At least for the time being, Mazda hasn’t revealed any images with the interior of the LM55 Vision Gran Turismo, but there are two reasons for that. First of all, most gamers would probably "drive" the car using the third-person-view camera just to look at that sexy rear end and second of all the interior is probably just an array of switches and LED lights scattered on a sea of carbon fiber and Alcantara, just like in any other modern Le Mans racing car.

Drivetrain

2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 600211

Despite being virtual cars created for a game, most of the Vision Gran Turismo concepts also feature some form of virtual powerplant that is somehow anchored in reality, as all of them are required to follow the laws of physics implemented in GT 6. Therefore, Mazda’s Christmas gift to Gran Turismo gamers around the world does feature an internal-combustion engine under that aerodynamic body, and it seems to follow the Skyactiv principle. Unfortunately, its specifications haven’t been divulged, leaving everyone to dream about a modern rotary, especially since it kind of sounds like the 787B in the gaming footage released by Mazda. One can only hope.

Prices

Since this is a virtual car that you can only drive in Gran Turismo 6, the price is technically included in that of a PlayStation console, the game itself and a nice TV. Not exactly cheap but doesn’t compare with the millions you would need for a real Le Mans car.

Competition

Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo

2015 Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 578626

Although a bit on the sci-fi side in terms of both design and (virtual) means of propulsion, the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo is probably the closest opponent for the Mazda LM55 in the world of Gran Turismo concepts. Using a friggin’ laser that takes its juice from a li-ion battery pack and an air-powered generator, with all of them creating forward thrust through shockwaves, the Chaparral’s 900-horsepower "engine" can accelerate the concept from naught to 60 mph in a mind-boggling 1.5 seconds and onward to a top speed of 240 mph.

The science-fiction analogy doesn’t end with its means of propulsion, as the driver is actually sitting on his stomach, like on a Tron light cycle. Just pray of a total lack of speedbumps when driving one, I guess. Other than that, the 2X is very much in Mazda’s league, as it was also created as a tribute to older and very successful cars that are now part of the automotive hall of fame. Not to mention that it is also white, like the LM55 Vision Gran Turismo. When it comes to lunacy, the Chaparral is way above the Mazda no matter how you look at it though. As for which is the prettiest, we’ll leave the gamers to answer that question.

Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo

2013 Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 532428

The very first virtual car to start the Vision line of concepts for Gran Turismo 6, the Mercedes-AMG Vision GT is so far the only retro-themed vehicle of the bunch. Its exterior design is very much inspired by both the 300 SL Gullwing and the W196R Silver Arrows of the 1950s, with the entire package respecting and even taking to the extreme the front-midship engine formula. Its modern bits are represented by a pair of angry-looking headlights, its rather cozy-looking cockpit and the powerplant lurking under that ginormous hood.

Speaking of which, the AMG Vision GT is powered by an engine that wasn’t invented for the game car, but can actually be found in a number of real Mercedes-Benz models. Internally codenamed the M157, the 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 develops no less than 585 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, number that are required to move just 3,053 pounds of sensual aluminum and carbon fiber. Those lucky enough were also able to check out a 1:1 scale model variant of the AMG Vision GT back at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Conclusion

2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 600212

The Vision Gran Turismo series of virtual cars has had its fair share of critics, as most concept vehicles that never arrive on the market usually do, but some of them are so good looking that even most die-hard haters reversed their opinions. Just take a look at the Mazda LM55, especially if you either a Le Mans or Mazda 787B fans, and tell me that you hate its guts. You can’t because it looks the way it is supposed to look.

Obviously, there has been no confirmation and not even a hint about Mazda wanting to return with a rotary-powered car in LMP1, but one can only hope. If it does decide for a comeback in the upcoming four or five years, it would be a mistake for the racing car not to feature most of the design motifs found on the LM55. Until and if that ever happens, you can merrily drive the virtual concept in Gran Turismo 6 while dreaming about the golden age in Mazda’s motorsport history.

  • Leave it
    • Probably not rotary-powered
    • No "real world" variant

Press Release

The “Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo” has been released on "Gran Turismo 6", available exclusively on PlayStation®3, with a special holiday season update. In 1991, Mazda achieved an overall win at the famed Le Mans 24 hour race. This was the first victory ever for a rotary engine as well as for a Japanese car in this prestigious race. This racing car pays homage to the history, while combining the spirit of ambition and challenge for the future.

2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 600210

How to receive it
After the latest update has been installed, the car can be purchased from the [Vision GT] area within the [CARS] section in "My Home" (here, you can also find the car’s presentation movie). Alternatively, it is also possible to obtain the car by completing a lap (regardless of the lap time) in the new Seasonal Event, available only for a limited time.

About the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo
The Vision Gran Turismo project is the setting for the world’s best automakers to develop concept cars for motorsports fanatics. The Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo pushes the boundaries at the intersection of technology and design. This is not your traditional Mazda but a vision of the future with a healthy dose of respect for the past. It’s the product of setting your sights on outright victory at the world’s most demanding endurance race, the famed 24 Heures du Mans.

For the design of the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo, the Mazda Design team blended agility with elegance. Its dynamic silhouette is drawn with sensual forms inspired by Mazda’s Kodo design philosophy. Even the shape of the front grille is an interpretation of the Mazda signature front end developed for its production vehicles. The stance of the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo, reminiscent of the famed 787 B that took overall victory at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, is powerful yet graceful.

2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 600212

The Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo barely tips the scale with lightweight, carbon fiber components, including a monocoque chassis clad in striking atmospheric-white paint. Pair this with advanced drive train technology that offers the epitome of power, efficiency and durability and the result is an exceptional power to weight ratio exceeding that of most cars in its class.

The Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo is Mazda’s vision of the future born of their unrelenting challenger spirit.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: