This is what McLaren cars could look like in 2030

In all the years that the Vision Gran Turismo concepts have been around, McLaren has been one of the few automakers that have yet to unveil a concept for the Gran Turismo video game franchise. It was only a matter of time before it did, and that time has finally come. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo, and it is positively spectacular.

It is a bit ironic, though, that the most extreme McLaren I’ve ever seen isn’t actually a real thing. This coming from an automaker that’s known for releasing some mind-bending machinery over the years. That’s just the catch of all these Vision Gran Turismo concepts. They are created exclusively for the Gran Turismo game franchise and without any real-world rules and regulations to hinder them, these automakers go to great lengths to make their concepts as unforgettable as possible. That’s evidently the case here with McLaren’s Ultimate VGT concept. It’s prepared to be a showcase of the kind of cars the company envisions it’s going to produce by 2030. Not that I’m getting excited, but the LMP1-style treatment to the concept does make me wonder if this is the kind of future we can expect. Seeing as it’s already capable of zany creations like the MSO-designed X1 Concept, I wouldn’t put it past these guys to turn this concept into reality 13 years from now. For now, all we can do is enjoy it once Gran Turismo Sport hits shelves in October.

Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept

Exterior

2017 McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior
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If there ever was a Vision Gran Turismo concept that looks too good to be true, this has to be it. One look at the McLaren Ultimate VGT and you know that it was created with one purpose in mind: showcase the future.

One look at the McLaren Ultimate VGT and you know that it was created with one purpose in mind: showcase the future.

In typical VGT fashion, the McLaren Ultimate followed the function trumps form motto. The exterior, in particular, was designed with aerodynamics placed as top priority. The free-flowing body is devoid of a bummer as the car’s sharp nose is connected to the lip spoiler by two carbon fiber bars. The wheel arches are massive and take the shape of an eye of all things. The teardrop-style cabin is a sign of the present getting a futuristic application, as does the fin that extends from the roof of the car to the rear section. A massive spoiler is also a prominent item in the concept and it’s worth noting how part of the taillight setup is actually integrated in. Massive diffusers complete the aerodynamic design and if you noticed, the exhausts are actually on the side of the car, hiding in plain sight just on the rear wheel arches.

2017 McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2017 McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior
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In keeping with its tradition of being different from the rest, McLaren went some lengths to present the Ultimate VGT in three different configurations: Performance, Ulterior, and Noir. Each version comes with a different livery, although the colors don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things since the concept looks stunning in it of itself.

McLaren went some lengths to present the Ultimate VGT in three different configurations: Performance, Ulterior, and Noir

Altogether, the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept tips the scales at just 1,000 kilos (2,200 pounds). By comparison, the McLaren P1 GTR checks in at 1,400 kilos (3,086 pounds). If the Ultimate VGT is around today, it’s safe to say that it automatically ascends to the top of McLaren’s hierarchy as the lightest, fastest, and most powerful car the automaker has. Sadly, that’s not going to happen for at least another 13 years, should McLaren go that route in the first place.

Interior

2017 McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior
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We don’t get to see a clear shot of the interior so we’re going to have to rely on McLaren design director Rob Melville to walk us through its interpretation of the McLaren Ultimate VGT concept’s interior. According to Melville, McLaren didn’t just want to design an interior with a standard layout. That would be unbecoming of the whole philosophy of the Vision Gran Turismo exercise. Instead, it played with a seating configuration wherein the driver is positioned in the center of the chassis, lying on his stomach instead of sitting down.

McLaren played with a seating configuration wherein the driver is positioned in the center of the chassis, lying on his stomach instead of sitting down

Think of it in the terms of how motorcycle riders are positioned, head far forward, extending almost right above the front axle. Not only is this cutting-edge for a car, I imagine that it’s also going to be the subject of plenty of safety and regulatory hearings. The cabin of the concept is also snug and tight, or as Melville describes it, “shrink-wrapped” around the driver. It’s hard to imagine what that interior is going to look like but that’s a testament to how above-and-beyond McLaren went into designing its VGT concept.

Drivetrain

2017 McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Unlike some Vision Gran Turismo concepts, McLaren Ultimate VGT covers a lot of ground in terms of information. It even has a powertrain – a 4.0-liter biturbo V-8 engine from the McLaren 720S – that combines with electric motors to develop 1,150 horsepower and 940 pound-feet of torque. Since this is an exercise in imagination, it’s hard to argue against the output McLaren decided to give to its Ultimate VGT concept. It could just as well be double that to 2,300 horsepower and 1,880 pound-feet of torque and we’d be just as impressed by it.

1,150 ponies and 940 pound-feet of torque is impressive for a car that looks the part of a futuristic performance car

Okay, that’s not true. 2,300 horsepower is aviation-type power. I can’t imagine any automaker getting to that level in 13 years without having to jump through hoops to make it happen. Still, 1,150 ponies and 940 pound-feet of torque is impressive for a car that looks the part of a futuristic performance car.

Competition

Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo

2015 Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo
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2015 Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo High Resolution Exterior
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We normally don’t put this section on VGT concepts, but I’ll make an exception this time because of the number of other Vision Gran Turismo concepts that have been prepared in similar fashion. Take the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo, for example. It’s a lot like the McLaren Ultimate VGT in terms of futuristic styling. It has elements of LMP1 in it too, namely a pointy nose with radical aerodynamic features, fender-mounted side mirrors, an aviation-inspired canopy, a massive fin that extends from the cabin all the way back to the rear fascia, and a large wheel arches housing lightweight wheel. On the power front, Hyundai’s VGT concept features a fuel cell system that produces 871 horsepower and an undisclosed amount of torque. It’s not as powerful as the McLaren Ultimate VGT, but it certainly looks the part of a car that can give it everything it can handle.

Read our full review on the Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo.

SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo

2015 SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo High Resolution Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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2015 SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo High Resolution Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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It’s still one of my favorite Vision Gran Turismo concepts and even with the arrival of the McLaren Ultimate VGT, I’d probably still side with the Tomahawk. The wide stance and low-slung roof are massively appealing. The air intakes and the overdose in active aeros make it a true car of the future that uses advanced versions of present-day technology. It’s a good design cocktail that SRT mixed, but what I really like about the Tomahawk is the number of variants it came with, each coming with different amounts of power from the same 7.0-liter V-10 engine. There’s the “entry-level” S variant producing 1,007 horsepower and a top speed of 250 mph, the “GTS-R” variant that peaks at 1,450 horsepower with a pneumatic system in tow, and the “X” version that’s sitting on 2,590 horsepower, good enough to propel the car to a top speed of 404 mph.

Read our full review on the SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo.

Conclusion

2017 McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The first rule of writing about Vision Gran Turismo concepts is to not get caught up on any of them. They all look great from a design perspective with some even boasting of insane levels of power to hammer home the point of their concept nature. That’s what I’m getting from the McLaren Ultimate VGT. The design of the car is outlandish in a great way and the whole philosophy of the interior is just as mind-boggling.

In other words, the Mclaren Ultimate VGT is a mental piece of machinery, exactly like what most Vision Gran Turismo concepts should be.

  • Leave it
    • * Unlikely to hit production anytime in the near or far future
    • * Motorcycle-style sitting position sounds weird
    • * It’s not my favorite Vision Gran Turismo concept

References

Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo

2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full review on the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo.

Pininfarina Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo

The Fittipaldi EF7 Is Proof That Dreams Do Come True Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full review on the Pininfarina Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo.

Alpine GT6 Vision GT Sports Car

2015 Alpine GT6 Vision GT Sports Car Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The Alpine sports car may still be a pipedream, but the Vision GT Concept version carrying the famed name is freaking awesome!

Read our full review on the Alpine GT6 Vision GT Sports Car.

Press release

An extreme McLaren GT racing car is today confirmed as an exclusive choice for gamers in the hugely anticipated PlayStation 4 title, Gran Turismo Sport, which will be available starting October 17, 2017.

The McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo was designed in response to a call from game creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, for vehicle manufacturers to design ‘visionary GT cars’ to compete in Gran Turismo Sport. While not a prototype for any future McLaren model, the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo showcases the kind of car that McLaren could produce beyond 2030. Players will be able to choose from three liveries: Performance, Ulterior and Noir.

Designing for the virtual world and unburdened by production car constraints, the team that created the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo pushed the boundaries of McLaren design well beyond current realities, while remaining true to inherent principles.

The design form of the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo follows its function, meaning every single line and detail has a purpose. Just like McLaren’s road cars, the teardrop cabin and extensive glazing ensure exceptional visibility. And being single-minded in putting the driver first, meant an innovative approach to seating – the driver is positioned not just forward and centrally in the chassis, but lying on their front, with the rest of the car ‘shrink wrapped’ around them.

“We wanted to break new ground and to innovate and the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo does exactly that. It puts the driver absolutely at the centre of the action, delivering a sensory overload with incredible sound and awe-inspiring acceleration. From the game player’s point of view, the driving experience in this car will be like nothing else: the amazing glass cockpit and the motorcycle-like driving position – with your head far forward, almost right above the front axle – combine to allow you to see exactly where the apex of the corner is so you can shave vital milliseconds off each lap.More than anything though, the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo is a stunning looking car. The design form communicates exactly what the car’s mission is and what its intentions are: it’s the ultimate expression of the McLaren design pillars and principles we have already established, futured into the 2030s.”
Rob Melville, Design Director, McLaren Automotive

McLaren pioneered the use of carbon fibre in Formula 1 and the strong, yet lightweight material forms the chassis of all McLaren road cars. Featured extensively in the upper structure and body of the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo as well as in the chassis, carbon fibre helps to deliver a virtual kerb weight of just 1,000 kg.

The McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo features ultra-advanced active aerodynamic technology. Called Integrated Active Aero, it works by opening tiny aperture covers around air inlets on key surfaces during cornering to create drag and generate downforce, rather than moving the surfaces altogether. This gives the handling benefits of active aerodynamics with a reduced number of moving parts that benefits both complexity and weight. Centrally mounted carbon-ceramic disc brakes reduce unsprung mass and the driver is also able to monitor brake temperatures during racing.

Power comes from a break-through hybrid drivetrain. A twin-turbo, 4.0-litre McLaren V8 engine drives the rear wheels, while high output electric motors are housed in each of the front wheel ‘pods.’ Game players will be able to call upon maximum power of 1,150 PS, with 1,275 NM of torque available instantly from launch, thanks to the electric propulsion and all-wheel traction. Capturing the essence of the spine-tingling sound experienced when driving a McLaren at full throttle was a critical part of the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo brief and as such, the exhaust system and hybrid drive work together to generate a unique thrill for the ears, even in the cabin.

“I created the Vision Gran Turismo project to give car manufacturers the opportunity to design something that has all of the characteristics of their brand, and will live on as a playable vehicle in Gran Turismo. Many of the cars have become legendary in their own right, continuing to shine for years and attracting players from different eras. For me, a car needs to be an extension of the driver; I am focused not just on the appearance, but on the handling, the sound of the engine, and the feeling you get when you are racing. So, it was an honour to work with McLaren to bring the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo to life, and to put such a car on the circuits of Gran Turismo Sport for players to enjoy driving at the limit.”
Kazunori Yamauchi, Gran Turismo creator, President of Polyphony Digital Inc.

Gran Turismo Sport, which will be available starting October 17 of this year, is the latest release in the world-renowned Gran Turismo series for the Sony PlayStation. Gran Turismo Sport gives players the opportunity to choose their preferred car from a range of production and concept vehicles and compete at one of 17 locations, including the Nürburgring 24 Hour circuit, Brands Hatch and other world-class circuits. Designed exclusively for the game, the McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo will join real-life McLaren models such as the McLaren 650S Coupe and 650S GT3.

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