JUN 27th 2014

New mid‑engined Aston Martin launched at FoS... but you can only drive it in two dimensions

A mid-engined Aston Martin that looks like nothing you have ever seen from the 101-year-old British marque was launched at the Festival of Speed today.

Don’t get your hopes up, though – unless you are one of the millions hooked on GranTurismo the game. The Aston DP100 concept is a full-size car but destined to take on the world’s racetracks only on PlayStation – it’s available for the game from July.

It didn’t stop a collective intake of breath when Aston chief designer Marek Reichman whipped the covers off the concept in the Supercar Paddock today.

The Aston DP100 is the latest in a line of Vision GranTurismo concepts for the game that PlayStation has created in association with car makers.

‘With a project like this you can do all sorts of crazy things so we did,’ Marek told us. ‘We have done something completely unexpected but it still has Aston Martin body language and the great proportions and stance, and all the drama of an Aston.

‘The amount of CAD (computer aided design) work that goes into cars for GranTurismo is incredible. The engineering has to be there to ensure the car feels dynamic on the virtual race track. So everything is there: the suspension, aerodynamics, engine mapping, how the brakes work.

‘So in theory it could be put into production. There is as much work in it as we put into a pre-production car. We didn’t have to build a full size model but it is easier to see it in context when it’s full size.’

Anything here that tells us the direction of future Aston Martin design?

‘I think every time a designer does a sketch which becomes reality in three dimensions there is always a hint of what might go into future product.’

The launch gave us a chance to catch up with GranTurismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi who told us: ‘The Aston Martin DP100 is easy to drive and simply put really fast. It might be a little bit too fast for some people.”

Any tips for players?

‘The car is displayed here with standard road tyres but in the game I would recommend putting on slick tyres. That will give the best balance. Also, it’s a midships car so you must keep the rear of the car stable into the corners. It’s not a car you want to drift.’

What are your favourite GranTurismo cars of all time?

‘I really like the Ford GT, after that the Nissan R32 GTR. But on top of those now are the five Vision GranTurismo cars created with Nissan, Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW and now Aston Martin. All those cars were developed with the manufacturers so they are very special.’

And will the new Aston be the gamers’ new champion? The GranTurismo master said: ‘Hard to say but I think it will be in the top two.’

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