Nissan has revealed its latest vehicle destined to join the pantheon of 148 different Nissans to have appeared in the Gran Turismo video game series over the years. The popular racing sim turned 15 last year and to celebrate the anniversary its creator Kazunori Yamauchi asked design studios from all across the globe to come up with a concept using the theme “Vision Gran Turismo,” and among them was Nissan Design Europe.
The concept penned by the men and women at Nissan Design Europe is the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, and like other Vision Gran Turismo concepts, such as those from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen, it will be available to download in Gran Turismo 6 next month.
But is the concept more than just a fantasy of Nissan’s designers? According to the automaker, the design of the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo was considered to have so much potential it benefited from input from an advanced engineering team based at Nissan’s technical center in Atsugi, Japan. As a result, Nissan has confirmed, the concept gives hints as to how a performance car of the future might look. Considering all the familiar design cues, that performance car of the future is likely to be the next-generation GT-R, the R36 model tipped to be introduced for the 2016 model year.
Few automakers are linked as intimately with the Gran Turismo series as Nissan, and no car more so than the GT-R—years before the GT-R came to the U.S., players became acquainted with it through the game, producing a ready-made fan base when the car finally arrived in Stateside showrooms in 2008—so it’s entirely possible that Nissan will use the video game to give us our first inkling of a new GT-R.
It should also not come as a surprise that the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo sports some elements of a Le Mans prototype. Nissan has said that the development of its upcoming LMP1 racer and next-generation GT-R is closely linked, so it’s likely there will be some styling elements shared between the two.