2015 will be remembered as the end of a truly watershed era in automotive history. Earlier this year, the 450th and last Bugatti Veyron, arguably the definitive supercar of its age, was sold and order books for this iconic road-going monster closed for the final time.
It seems strange to liken life after the Veyron to some kind of Mad Max style post-apocalyptic wasteland when other such biblical cars such as the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari continue to roam the world’s roads. Even so, there was something particularly enchanting, almost mythical, about the Bugatti Veyron that transcended its obviously gorgeous looks and renowned mind-blowing performance. It possessed the kind of unexplainable, unquantifiable quality innate to only a handful of cars in history. It was a true one-off phenomenon.
Except of course, it isn’t a one off – or at least it won’t be. Last week we brought you spy pictures of what is thought to be the Veyron’s ultimate successor, the Chrion. Now, the Volkswagen-owned supercar stable has made an intriguing announcement; for the first time we’ll be able to get our hands on the controls of a Bugatti on PlayStation’s premiere racing video game, Gran Turismo. Cryptically, the only image made available to accompany this news was of a small engine cooling component common in supercar design known as a NACA duct.
That in itself may be fairly insignificant, however there’s a common thread between Bugatti’s Gran Turismo debut and the covert development of the Veyron mk2. With video game developers pouring more and more detail into their titles with every passing year, digital gaming platforms represent ready-made test beds for car manufacturers to experiment with potential future design ideas and gauge public opinion on an enormous and relatively inexpensive scale. The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo concept will be just that; the first virtual step in the development of the heir to the vacant Veyron throne.
Indeed, an official Bugatti statement confirms that the clear goal of the Vision Gran Turismo concept was to develop “a vehicle which could also be driven on a real race circuit if it left the virtual world”.
The source continued, “with the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo virtual concept, Bugatti will be presenting the new form and design language developed by the brand to celebrate the next chapter in its history following the end of the Veyron era.” It’s the clearest hint yet that our first peak at the prototype Veyron replacement is just around the corner.
The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo project will be presented at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show before it joins the virtual garage in Gran Turismo 7, expected to hit the stores sometime next year.