Its first race. The incredibly fast Škoda Vision Gran Turismo

Its first race. The incredibly fast Škoda Vision Gran Turismo

Top drivers drove the racing car for the famous Škoda Vision Gran Turismo game series. Škoda Storyboard asked them to tell us what driving the virtual electric car is actually like.

7. 5. 2024 Škoda World

In Gran Turismo 7 anyone can drive the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo. At its world premiere in Prague, Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo series and head of the Polyphony Digital publishing studio, helped introduce it to the world.

“I want to congratulate Škoda on a great car. I’m happy that we’ve established cooperation. Škoda has one of the richest histories in the automotive world, and I’ve long wanted Gran Turismo players to find out more about it,” said Yamauchi.

Premiere drive with the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo in Gran Turismo 7

Immediately after the unveiling, six experienced drivers took the car out for a virtual race. Among the first to take the design-led racing concept for a spin were six racers with both virtual and real-world competition experience (Amos Laurito, Petr Semerád, Lucas Ordóñéz, Robin Běhal, Martin Machala and Filip Voržáček), as well as the virtual concept car’s designers and developers.

skoda_vision_gt_eventpictures-24_71e98ff6-1920x1281_c1ea517dOne of the test drivers was Slovak racing driver Filip Voržáček.

Fast as hell

Everyone who got behind the wheel of the Vision Gran Turismo agrees that the car is incredibly quick. “The car is really fast, the four electric motors, each for one wheel, give you so much traction, and the designers and developers have also worked hard on the aerodynamics. I really enjoyed the drive, I like the open cockpit, which is futuristic but also has a retro feel,” says Spanish racer Lucas Ordóñéz, who has made a name for himself in the past by making it big in the world of virtual racing.

Incidentally, different e-sport racers prefer different views when driving in Gran Turismo 7: some like the overall view of the car from the rear, some the view from the cockpit, while others prefer the camera “on the bumper”. At the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo’s race debut, however, all participants unanimously opted for the cockpit view, and this was also preferred by most of the other players who tested the car during free drives.

“The cockpit design lets you become one with the track, you feel the car’s presence, you can enjoy the car and at the same time you have a great view of the track, so there are no distractions,” says Julien Petitseigneur, one of the car’s designers. But other views have something to offer, too, he says: “Seeing the car from the outside creates an almost sci-fi effect, as if you were driving a spaceship. You can feel all the technology of the car, you can see the aerodynamic brake at work, there are a lot of details that you can really feel in the game,” says Petitseigneur.

Full concentration

“Seeing the car in the game is an unreal, almost surreal experience. And the result is perhaps even better than we’d hoped. We’ve already had some initial feedback from players of the Gran Turismo series saying that this is one of the best-looking cars in the Vision category,” says his colleague Martin Porteš. And since he has driven the car in the game and knows the game, he was able to judge the car’s driving behaviour: “Compared to other electric concepts, this car is more predictable and controllable. But we didn’t want to create an artificially perfect car, so the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo requires your constant attention while driving. You have to control the car all the time, and in some situations that’s not exactly easy. Still, I think it’s very user-friendly for its category,” says Porteš.

Gran Turismo requires full concentration, even in experienced players like Robin Běhal.

Its considerable power, for example, requires drivers to choose the right strategy. The first virtual competition, in which six drivers competed in a race with Škoda Vision Gran Turismo cars on the famous Spa Francorchamps track, showed that the power of the car can wear out soft tyres particularly quickly and that getting the timing of the tyre change right is therefore very important. The drivers who took too long to go into the pits lost quite a lot of time and, above all, had to “fight” against the car’s power, with insufficient support from the worn tyres. Only further experience will show how to modify the car for different conditions and tracks.

Czech e-sports driver Nikita Moysov has no doubt about the speed and handling of the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo. “The car is lighter compared to others in the Vision class, which makes it handle better in corners. But you need to be sensitive when applying huge amounts of power,” he confirms. The racer, who has been involved in the Gran Turismo game series “since he was a kid” and has now been racing professionally for four years, is certainly glad that Vision Gran Turismo is only Škoda’s first step in the game series. “I would love to drive the beautiful Škoda 1100 OHC, which served as the design inspiration for this car,” Moysov says. Other entrants might appreciate the presence of a rally car, be it the current Fabia RS Rally2 or one of the famous cars from Škoda’s history.

How to get started

To drive Škoda cars in Gran Turismo 7, all you need is a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 and the game itself. Those who want to take the experience a little further can create a physical cockpit. A gaming steering wheel, seat and pedals don’t have to be prohibitively expensive. “The equipment I use costs less than 800 euro,” says Moysov, adding, “And among the professionals, there are some who sit on an ordinary chair and only have pedals and a steering wheel.” On the other hand, of course, there are high-end kits with prices that climb far beyond 4000 euro, but nothing like that is necessary to play the game. “On the other hand, even in that case it’s more affordable than actual racing. That’s where sim racing and the world of e-sports is very democratic, it offers almost anyone the chance to experience top-level racing,” Moysov concludes.

skoda_vision_gt_eventpictures-32_34f29cc0_19a23654 If you want the game experience to be truly realistic, you can create a game cockpit with a steering wheel, seat and pedals.

Klaus Zellmer was one of those who tried out the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo: