Škoda is about to star in Gran Turismo 7

Škoda is about to star in Gran Turismo 7

Škoda is joining the legendary racing simulation game Gran Turismo. The brand’s first contribution is the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo. Come and meet the futuristic concept car.

24. 4. 2024 Škoda World

Having joined Fortnite, Škoda has decided to expand its presence in video games. The game this time is Gran Turismo 7, a popular PlayStation racing simulation series that’s been around since 1997. The series has already featured lots of legendary brands and cars, and now Škoda is getting in on the action.

Watch how the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo was made:

After a game update, coming on April 25, Gran Turismo 7, players will be able to race in a Škoda Vision Gran Turismo. This is a slightly futuristic concept car, but it references both Modern Solid, the Czech carmaker’s current design language, and primarily, Škoda’s rich motorsport history. It’s no accident that the designers who created this virtual race car took their inspiration from the Škoda 1100 OHC or 130 RS.

Virtual but sophisticated

Although the Vision Gran Turismo is a virtual car, the designers had to take a number of restrictions into account when creating the concept car. This is due to the requirements of the game. “Gran Turismo’s appeal doesn’t lie solely in its first-class graphics – the game also prides itself on realistic driving simulation, and we had to adapt the car design to this. The car and its characteristics in the game are defined by more than a hundred technical parameters, some of which are specific to our design,” explains Martin Porteš, who led the team that designed the Škoda Vision Gran Turismo concept.

It was clear from the outset that it would be an electric car with all-wheel drive, for example. The designers gave it lithium-ion batteries in the floor, four electric motors, two on each axle, and a total output of 800 kW. The virtual car uses 800-volt architecture and active aerodynamics. “We wanted it not only to look great, but to be able to compete with the best in its class. It’s very unforgiving, so it will be a real test of the driver’s technique,” says Porteš. 

The designers took a novel approach to working on this virtual car. “We developed the Vision Gran Turismo differently from production cars. Usually, we first define the interior space and then work out the details, but here we started from what is most visible from the cockpit: the steering wheel. The steering wheel has all the necessary gaming elements and the design of the entire cockpit follows on from it,” interior designer Julien Petitseigneur explains. 

Vision Gran Turismo je propracován do všech detailů. The Vision Gran Turismo is a sophisticated and highly detailed virtual car.

The minimalist details and sophisticated surfaces are based on the design language of Modern Solid and other concepts such as the Vision 7S. Petitseigneur also explains that the cockpit lines are designed to help focus the player’s attention on the race track.

The graceful lines of the exterior were inspired by the Škoda 1100 OHC. “It’s a car that was basically deprived of the chance to have a racing career of its own, and we want to make up for it in this way, to pay homage to it," says exterior designer Franck Le Gall. “We also wanted to commemorate Skoda’s rich history in motorsport,” he adds. 

Untitled-4_e58e1fa8It’s clear that the Vision Gran Turismo was inspired by the Škoda 1100 OHC.

The rich tradition of Škoda Motorsport is also invoked in one of the colour variants of the race car for Gran Turismo. While the elegant green refers to the Vision 7s concept and Škoda’s new graphic identity, the traditional white and blue livery with red detailing is a nod to racing icons like the Škoda 130 RS. These are the exact colours the cars wore when they notched up their famous double victory at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1977.

A dream come true

For the designers who worked on the Vision Gran Turismo, it was in a way a dream come true. Virtually everyone on the team knows the Gran Turismo game series well. Franck Le Gall and Julien Petitseigneur both remember playing the first instalment of the series years ago. “This game fostered my passion for cars and my desire to become a car designer,” Petitseigneur points out. “Over time, I realised that it was a shame and quite surprising that a brand with such an illustrious history in motorsport as Škoda wasn’t part of this legendary game,” adds Le Gall.

So together with Martin Porteš and a few other colleagues, they decided to do something about it. The project started out as a kind of game, an idea they developed during lunch breaks. But when they had sketches and virtual models, they showed them to chief designer Oliver Stefani. “I was astounded by the creativity and detail. And I immediately realised that we had to take this further, that we definitely had to be part of the game,” Stefani says. Thanks to his enthusiasm and the collaboration with the game’s creators at Polyphony Digital, the project was then seen through.

Now, everyone can see the result and try it out for themselves.

Gran Turismo

The father of the Gran Turismo game series is Kazunori Yamauchi, who started work on the first game in the series with a small team back in 1992. The game was first released in 1997 for PlayStation, and the series remains faithful to this platform to this day. The Škoda Vision Gran Turismo is part of the latest game update for Gran Turismo 7. A total of 8 main titles have been released, as well as several other spin-offs and versions of the game. Players can choose from a number of cars in each instalment (over 400 car models in the current one), the cumulative sales total of the Gran Turismo series have reached over 90 million copies as of November 16, 2022.

Watch a recording of the premiere: