Citroen develops a real car for Gran Turismo 5

A drivable concept supercar that can be downloaded and played in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue for Playstation 3 has turned into the star of the Paris Motor Show. The amazing GTbyCITROEN is the result of a partnership between Citroen and Polyphony Digital Inc the maker of Gran Turismo. It’s the first-ever collaboration between a real world car maker and a games developer.

Descrived as the “first car to bring the virtual and real worlds together” the GTbyCITROEN was the brainchild of Citroen designer Takumi Yamamoto and Poliphony’s creator of Gran Turismo 5 Kazunori Yamauchi who both wanted to create something that reflected the hold that digital gaming has on the younger generations of car buyers. While many car makers feature digital cars in their ads Citroen decided to actually build one!

From all reports the GTbyCITROEN is one of the most striking exotics at the Paris Motor Show no mean feat when it’s surrounded by the usual Pininfarina concept cars and new supercar models from familiar brands such as Lamborghini and Porsche. The GTbyCITROEN is imposing at 4.9 metres long and 2.08 metres wide; it’s rakishly low only 1.09 metres high; and sleek with a flowing aluminium body replete with curving panels air scoops and deflector shields that reek of F1 aerodynamics. It packs 21-inch aluminium wheels under its jutting arches and in the obligatory gesture to the environment the car is powered by fuel cells.

Citroen has not released details of the supercar’s performance but claims the car’s on-road ability will match that of the car in the game.  As a drivable concept car the GTbyCITROEN is destined for the showroom floor and maybe the occasional drive on a test track. There is no word on whether it will ever make it into production but judging by the excitement it’s causing production is not such a remote possibility. Car makers use concept cars at motor shows to gauge public reaction and when it’s overwhelmingly positive the cars quite often turn up in a road-going version.

Speaking at the Paris Motor Show Poliphony’s Kazanori Yamauchi said: “To see the car take shape in game and then for real has been a truly unique experience as our work normally stays in the digital world. I just hope I can get behind the wheel of GT by Citroen and drive it on a real race track!”

I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one either. Last time I played Gran Turismo was on a PS3 attached to a giant 50in Sony HDTV in the APC labs when we wanted to show a visting TV crew  from A Current Affair how good HDTV can get. The TV folks were blown away by the realism of the racing simulator on a big screen. And they were driving a little Alfa!

You can download theGTbyCITROEN for Gran Turismo 5 Prologue through the Playstation network.