Getting Inside the McLaren Ultimate Vision

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The McLaren Ultimate Vision is where car design meets video games. You can drive this virtual concept when Gran Turismo Sport is released.

When Gran Turismo’s creator Kazunori Yamamuchi put out a call for manufacturers to create unique concepts for the next iteration of the game, McLaren took the ball and ran with it. They didn’t think, “It’s just a video game,” and knock the Ultimate Vision out in an afternoon. No, they went all out and came up with a whole in-game hypercar to represent their vision of driver-focused auto design.

The McLaren Ultimate Vision concept car.

It started with concept sketches to transfer into digital renderings, then a clay model. Once they had something solid, that’s when the real cutting-edge technology came into play. With 3D development using virtual reality, they were able to design the car around the driver. Specifically, to maximize their point of view.

That starts with the layout of the cockpit. The driver lays prone on their stomach in an exaggerated motorcycle riding position. This puts the driver’s head just above the front axle. The idea is that the view is low and from the center of the front suspension, allowing the driver to be even more precise through corners. If you play driving games already, it’s like using the bumper view.

But there is an issue people are pointing out: Keeping your head in that position lap after lap with all that G-force would be difficult. Whether it’s close enough to the position on a motorcycle to be practical is probably a debate for physiologists. Hey, this is a virtual concept. Concepts are where ideas are born, and as far as ideas go, this one truly meets the brief.

 

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And because it’s a virtual concept, McLaren is able to indulge in an exercise with no financial or production restraints. Carbon fiber, titanium, theoretical active aero, a see-through canopy, and even no-drag paint are in the mix. Power comes from a 1,150 horsepower hybrid powertrain. The rear wheels are all driven by a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo McLaren V8 engine; the front wheels are driven by the electric motors. That all adds up to a healthy 940 lb-ft of torque at your fingertips.

McLaren says the Ultimate Vision is a visceral experience that pushes you to drive fast, and it has our attention. The concept will be available to drive when Gran Turismo Sport is released on October 7th.

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