Racing legend Jim Hall never thought he'd be a video game consultant, but when Chevrolet asked for his advice to create a futuristic Chaparral for the Vision Gran Turismo series, he was eager to help.
"I said our cars are built to be winners." – Jim Hall
He reviewed early sketches and suggested some changes that made it onto the concept, including the addition of a camera that's mounted onto a mast over the cabin to aid the driver.
The Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept was revealed this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be part of a downloadable update for PlayStation 3's Gran Turismo 6 in December. Theoretically, at least, it uses a laser-beam propulsion system and an air-powered generator to produce 900 horsepower in the video game. It's capable of sprinting to 60 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds en route to a top speed of 240 mph.
Those gaudy performance specs – even in the virtual world – came at Hall's urging.
"I said our cars are built to be winners," Hall told Autoblog on the floor of the Los Angeles show.
The 79-year-old drove Lotus racecars in Formula One before launching the successful Chaparral Cars in the 1960s. Like his innovative Can-Am racers, the Vision Gran Turismo project has an eye toward the future. It also introduces the iconic Chaparral name to a new generation of fans, and hopefully, Hall says, gets them excited about engineering and design.
"It emulates what we did in the '60s," he said.
And what they did back then still resonates. Chaparral Racing and Chevy partnered more than 45 years ago for development work on the composite monocoque chassis, lightweight alloy powertrains, automatic gearboxes and active aerodynamics.
"He [Hall] walked right back into this and was able to apply thinkings and learnings," said Clay Dean, General Motors executive director of advanced design.
The Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept was created at GM's North Hollywood advanced design studio, and it will be on display at the show through November.
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