Gran Turismo lets racing engineers' imaginations run amok with the Red Bull X1 Prototype. Now updated with new pictures and video.
If you could design a performance car that didn't have to adhere to the standards of road cars or conform to the rules and regulations of a race series, what would you come up with? Polyphony Digital, the makers of Gran Turismo 5, are attempting to answer just that with a little help from Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel and chief aerodynamicist Adrian Newey.
What they came up with is the Red Bull X1 Prototype. It's a high tech tour de force that unfortunately will only be available to drive in the upcoming GT5. The technologies used in the X1 draw just as much from what we may see in the future of performance cars as they do from what has already been banned in F1 and other racing series.
A gas turbine engine producing 1483 hp at 15,000 rpm powers the rear wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Thanks to the prodigious use of virtual carbon fiber, total weight comes in at 545 kg/1200 lbs. Top speed is 249 mph. A fan element above the rear diffuser keeps underbody air pressure low which produces massive amounts of downforce at any speed.
Sebastian Vettel was given the opportunity to test the X1 and straightaway beat his real lap time at Suzuka from last year by nearly 20 seconds. The rest of us will get a chance to take the X1 for a spin whenever GT5 is released, which should be by the end of the year. Maybe.