Chevy to unveil Gran Turismo concept race car

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Chevrolet will unveil a new concept race car next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

General Motors Co.'s largest brand on Thursday said the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT concept — developed virtually for the popular Vision Gran Turismo project, which celebrates the 15th anniversary of PlayStation racing game Gran Turismo — will give a "glimpse into the future of automotive design."

"It will serve as an example of what our designers are capable of when they are cut loose, no holds barred," said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, in a statement. "A fantasy car in every sense of the word."

GM's Advanced Design Studio, with input from racer Jim Hall, designed the concept. It was inspired by the first Chaparral, a conventional, front-engine race car, built and designed by renowned racing designers Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes in 1961.

In 1962, racers Hall and Hap Sharp – who had purchased one of the original Chaparral racers – formed Chaparral Cars, Inc. and immediately began the design and construction of Chaparral 2, a mid-engine car with an aerospace-inspired semi-monocoque fiberglass chassis. It was powered by a 327-cubic-inch Chevrolet small-block V-8 engine and would later incorporate an innovative torque-converter transaxle.

"Jim Hall and Chaparral blended the art of racing with science in an unprecedented way, changing the sport forever and inspiring a new generation to experiment with aerodynamics and unconventional materials," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, in a statement.

Following the vehicle's unveiling on Nov. 19, gamers will be able race the Chaparral 2X VGT following the release of an online update for Gran Turismo 6 during the holiday season.

GM is the most recent automaker to design a special racer for the popular video game. Aston Martin, Nissan, Subaru and others have developed vehicles specifically for the game.

The Detroit-based automaker also plans to unveil a high-performance V-Series model of its Cadillac ATS at the LA Auto Show.

(313) 222-2504