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Chevy shows Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet brand on Wednesday revealed a concept race car at the Los Angeles Auto Show. That car has been digitized and will be one of the cars gamers can drive in PlayStation 3's "Gran Turismo 6" video game.

The carmaker developed the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo (VGT) concept, which Chevy calls an "interpretation of the ultimate race car." The car was created through the Vision Gran Turismo project, which is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the popular video game.

Created at GM's Hollywood Advanced Design studio in California, the car was inspired by the pioneering race cars created more than 45 years ago by Texas-based Chaparral Racing and Chevrolet. Chaparral founder Jim Hall was involved in the car's design. The development process took just less than a year, with the physical car model taking about three months to assemble, a Chevrolet spokesman said.

Video game enthusiasts will be able race the Chaparral 2X VGT in the game after downloading an online update for "Gran Turismo 6" during the holiday season, GM said.

"This concept is an audacious and ambitious vision — and one that demonstrates to a new audience how Chevy's engineering and design teams challenge norms and explore the technologies of tomorrow," Clay Dean, GM's executive director of advanced design, said in a statement. "It also an ode to a unique partnership that pioneered ground-breaking technologies that are in used today, on the track and the street."

The Chaparral 2X VGT uses advanced technology to give hints to what racing could be in the future, GM says, including a laser-based propulsion system.

The laser works with a pack of lithium-ion batteries and an air-powered generator to provide thrust. That helps the video game racer hit a 240 miles per hour top speed and to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 1.5 seconds.

"It was created in a no-rules atmosphere to challenge designers and test engineers to deliver the most exhilarating sensations. This is a fantasy car by design," Frank Saucedo, advanced design director for GM's Advanced Design studio, said in a statement. "Like the original Chaparral race cars decades ago, the Chaparral 2X VGT weaves advanced aerospace technologies into the design to help achieve its performance goals."

Chevrolet designed the car to be lightweight and it has just the essentials for the cabin. Instrumentation is projected onto the driver's helmet visor, the company said.

GM is the latest automaker to design a special racer for the popular video game, though it is one of a few to create a real concept car. GM and Chevy plan to show the concept car at the LA show through Nov. 30.

mburden@detroitnews.com

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