Jaguar's designers are known for penning cars that flawlessly meld aggression and elegance. Still, they're limited in their work, whether by ergonomic concerns, budgetary constraints, or trifling laws of physics. What happens when all of those are removed and passion is allowed to flow freely? Creations like the Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo Coupe come to fruition.
The vehicle is, as the name implies, a virtual design study created for the Gran Turismo Sport racing video game. The design team looked at iconic Jaguars like the C-Type and D-Type for inspiration, but without real-world constraints to hinder their imaginations, they created something impossibly low, long, and sleek.
Massive wheels wrapped in thin strips of rubber sit below voluptuous wheel arches. Those curvatures continue across the surfaces of the vehicle, providing a silhouette that glides through computerized air. At the center is a lift-up canopy over the cockpit, surrounded by a single piece of glass that tapers to a narrow point along the sides. Head- and taillights are little more than thin LED strips which accentuate the flowing form of the body. Creases or edges are limited, applied only to evoke the car's sporting purpose.
The interior is just as fantastical as the outside. Seats are formed into the chassis in a near-reclined position, divided by a prominent gear selector which leaves its componentry exposed for a mechanical ambiance. Still, it's packed with futuristic technology: The driver faces a wraparound digital dashboard with integrated side-view displays to compensate for that visor-like windshield. The steering wheel is distinctly elliptical and stripped down to the bare minimum controls needed on a racetrack. Most outlandish of all is a holographic central display which can project the car's position on a racetrack, essential data, or an on-board artificial intelligence avatar modeled after an anthropomorphic jaguar.
This being a vision of Jaguar's perfect future race car, it is, of course, all electric. Power is channeled through three electric motors: One on the front axle, and one driving each rear wheel. Lithium-ion batteries give the Vision Gran Turismo Coupe over 1,100 hp and 885 lb-ft of torque. The result is an in-game 0-60 mph time of under 2.0 seconds. Handling is complemented by 50:50 weight distribution and a huge deployable wing to generate digital downforce.
While this all seems too good to be true, don't dismiss Jaguar's efforts as video game frippery. Automakers have previewed future cars and technological concepts in Vision Gran Turismo collaborations. The Aston Martin DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo closely resembles the Vanquish Vision Concept which may eventually enter production. Bugatti's Vision Gran Turismo was shown at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, a clear preview of the Chiron which debuted there a year later. Jaguar's Gran Turismo creation might preview a new direction for the brand following design legend Ian Callum's recent departure. Only time will tell—for now, gamers can download the car to their PlayStation 4 starting in November.