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Exclusive: Nissan previews the future of GT-R with Vision Gran Turismo concept


Yes, yes, the Vision Gran Turismo project — concept cars crafted by designers from more than a dozen automakers expressly for Sony's Gran Turismo 6 — has been successful in both drawing attention to the game and pushing the boundaries of creativity. We've already seen some breathtaking designs (the Toyota FT-1, the Mercedes AMG Vision GT), and a few have braved the auto-show circut, but it's all been a bit weightless, without much of a tangible link to the real world.

Leave it to Nissan, the company that has more cars enlisted in Gran Turismo's virtual world than any other, to take the logical and welcome next step by actually using its Vision Gran Turismo car — shown here undisguised for the first time — to hint at a future production model, namely the next generation of GT-R. Godzilla's getting some style.

Like Toyota and Mercedes, Nissan has built a real-life version of the car it calls the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo it unveiled today for Gran Turismo 6 racers, who will be able to download the car next month. Unlike every other automaker so far, Nissan has used the GT concept to reveal strong hints about where a production car will go — hence the 2020 reference in the name.

While the sharply angular metalwork and squished cockpit of the Gran Turismo concept certainly look like flights of designer fancy, they disguise several lines borrowed from the upcoming GT-R makeover. There's touches from some of Nissan's more recent production-intent concepts like the Sport Sedan it showed in Detroit that was a lightly altered version of the new Maxima

And while the Toyota and Mercedes mock-ups were mostly styling exercises, according to a Nissan source the Gran Turismo concept was designed as a real performance machine; note the diffusers on the rear bumper, a racing touch that a studio-only car would dispense with. Nissan didn't reveal the live version today, but hinted that it would do so soon. Power and engine design haven't been revealed yet, but it's safe to assume that any concept seeking to further the GT-R name keeps the turbocharged/all-wheel-drive combination that's made it a Nurburgring champion.

The GT-R is legendary but limited; it's long had the performance to punch with the Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world, but not the style to impress far beyond the gearhead world. The GT-R Gran Turismo concept announces that Nissan plans to up Godzilla's game at every level.