One of the most stunning concept cars of the last decade has been the Mazda RX-Vision. No one has been able too drive the supposedly rotary-powered sports car, but that’s about to change — at least in the virtual world of Gran Turismo Sport. On May 22, the RX-Vision GT3 race car will be available in the racing sim.
The digital car asks “what if” the RX-Vision was a production car, and then applies the FIA’s real-life GT3-class race car requirements to it. Per the rules, the street car’s cabin and doors must be preserved, but everything else can be modified. That’s why you see the enlarged fenders, added to accommodate bigger wheels and tires.
The front end looks even more menacing, with an aggressive lower splitter and large hood vent. The widened fenders feature gaping ducts behind the front wheels, while a massive GT wing provides downforce on the rear wheels. Some of the RX-Vision’s already bodacious curves are accentuated even more. It looks as vicious as it does beautiful, even if some of the original concept’s elegance is lost.
Along with its new skin, being rendered in Gran Turismo also provides some concrete specs. According to Mazda, such a car would be powered by a SkyActiv-R 4-rotor engine, displacing 2.6 liters like the famed Le Mans-winning Renown 787B. The naturally aspirated quad-rotor would generate 570PS (562 horsepower) at 9000 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 7500.
That should hurl the RX-Vision GT3 around the circuit with haste, considering the car would weigh 2756 pounds. The mythical beast would also feature a double-wishbone suspension up front and a multi-link rear and a conveniently ideal 48:52 weight distribution.
The RX-Vision GT3 was designed at Mazda studios, just like any Mazda car would be, starting with sketches. According to Mazda, many of its designers, being car enthusiasts, were already familiar with the Gran Turismo series, which helped greatly in the development process. “We sought to eliminate waste, and pursue functional beauty,” said chief designer Norihito Iwao.
Iwao was also chief designer for two of Mazda’s mind-blowing show-stoppers, 2015’s original RX-Vision show car and 2017’s Vision Coupe Concept. In addition, he was responsible for applying Mazda’s Kodo design language to road cars, having designed the exteriors of the CX-3 and CX-5. His excellent work continues with this project, as seen in the way the lighting highlights the car’s curves in the launch video.
The video also helps you understand how this modern monster 4-rotor would sound at speed, when one (or two) of these things revs to high heaven. Even though the car isn’t real, the wail is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. And the thought of sending one through the tunnels of the Shuto is alone worth the purchase price of a PlayStation 4.
It is only fitting that so many of the backgrounds used in these images are of famous international circuits where Mazdas have dominated, like Spa Francorchamps where an RX-7 won the 24 Hours of Spa or La Sarthe, where the 787B became the first Japanese car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans,
The RX-Vision will be a playable car starting May 22, but it will also feature in the FIA’s Gran Turismo Championships. The e-sports race series is a real FIA-sanctioned league that mirrors a real-life racing series, with driver’s, manufacturer’s, and nations championships determined by points totals accumulated in races that take place throughout the year.
The RX-Vision GT3 now joins several other historic Mazda as playable cars in Gran Turismo Sport. Those include the L10B Mazda Cosmo Sport, ND Miata, FC and FD RX-7s, a Mazda 6 race car, the LM55 race car developed especially for Gran Turismo, and the 787B.
Now the RX-Vision joins this esteemed group, but there’s only one flaw. Namely, it doesn’t exist in real life. However, Mazda’s statement regarding the debut of this virtual car contains a ray of hope: “The model represents the vision of a sports car that Mazda hopes to make a reality in the future.”
Images courtesy of Mazda