A Theory Of Everything, Take Two

An incredibly elegant console racer gets real and invites you to get in and get going. Its name: Genesis X Gran Berlinetta Vision Gran Turismo Concept. With 1,071 hp, that should be enough for inclusion in the World Heritage List.*

*First criterion as defined in the original 1978 convention: “Each property nominated should -represent a unique artistic or aesthetic achievement, a masterpiece of the creative genius.”

A Theory Of Everything, Take Two

From the rear end alone, we know: something like this can only go well. No further explanation necessary. We’ve already had a Speedtail like this imprint itself on our optical nerve, so words are superfluous. Still, we’ll gladly listen to designer Luc Donckerwolke as he talks about the elliptical “anti-wedge” silhouette or raves about the philosophy behind the virtual parabolic line that can be found throughout the Genesis model range. What we are seeing here is the birth of an icon, history being written right in front of our eyes, even if there’s still a slight hint of irritation: Is this real or just a 3D chimera? Is this still automotive design or already world heritage?

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When Gran Turismo appeared on the scene around ten years ago, it blew everything that had come before out of the water. And ever since, top designers from all over the world have gone wild developing virtual prototypes especially for the racing simulation series – 470 models and counting in the current Gran Turismo 7, from historic Abarth racers to a DeTomaso Mangusta or Nissan Skyline, SRT Tomahawk, Italdesign EXENEO and the Zagato Iso Rivolta designed by Andrea Zagato himself.

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The game has been praised for its superb racing machines, its realism, the variety of circuits and its progressive learning approach (“career mode”), in addition to its worldwide elimination races; experienced players can even apply for a FIA Gran Turismo Digital License. We only mention this here to illustrate just how serious things can get.

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You can choose from console racers like the Suzuki Jimny or an Alpine 110, with a top class that includes prototypes beyond the 1,000 hp threshold: Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo, Porsche Vision Gran Turismo, Audi Vision Gran Turismo, Red Bull X1 Gran Turismo 5 Prototype. What all these 3D racers have in common is that they’ve been recreated as real-life concept cars. Like the Genesis X Gran Berlinetta Vision Gran Turismo. Everything has to be covered in official terms, everything has to be clearly spelled out, hence the long name. And yes, it needs to be repeated: the car is real, you get in via two real butterfly doors. Our exclusive photo locations were the Norisring and the Cinecittà multiplex cinema in Nuremberg. We were even allowed to take a brief look inside the design studio as well.

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In keeping with the principle that seeing is believing, we ask what this parabolic tension theory is all about. Luc Donckerwolke explains the new Genesis front fascia, the voluminous fenders, and the characteristic Two Lines brand design connecting front to rear, which can only be described in rudimentary terms with adjectives like “exciting” or “breathtaking”.

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And the cockpit? Must have been uncharted territory, because in console racing this usually consists of a gaming chair in a teenager’s bedroom. In the real thing, a minimalist environment awaits, with a minimal potential for distraction. The focus here is on optimizing track performance, with a digital panoramic interface as the information center linked to a surround monitoring system for total awareness and steer-by-wire grip commands for precise maneuvering. The quilted and padded seat elements help protect the driver while racing and while performing rapid entry and exit maneuvers during pit stops. This is one place where reality seems to have taken a lesson from the console. All in all, you feel snug and reasonably comfortable inside this man cave on wheels the moment the butterfly doors fold down overhead. Just don’t ask about the windshield wipers – that’s one topic designers don’t like to talk about.

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The color, Magma Orange, doesn’t really need any explanation. Though it does help to know that it has already been used on the beguiling GV80 Coupe Concept and that it was inspired by the Korean ethos of the brand, with a reference to the country’s volcanoes and the peculiarities of Korean culture. Luc Donckerwolke and his team have mastered the design ethos so well that this hypercar not only elevates virtual as well as real aspirations to new heights, but also effortlessly traverses the timeline – from the heyday of avant-garde design in the sixties and seventies to today and onwards into the future. It is a future that we can look forward to without fear, because (and please keep this between us): hypercars will save the world.

Photos: Matthias Mederer · ramp.pictures
Text: David Staretz

ramp #31 The Big Easy

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Focusing on the essentials, blocking out everything else… If you’re focused, you’ve already mastered one important key skill. In our multimodal world, focus is, unfortunately, a rather limited resource. In particularly focused moments, we forget all about time. But do we run the risk of developing tunnel vision? Does focus lose its power over time? Do we become habituated? Far from it. Unexpected surprises? Bring ‘em on! Find out more


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