GM's concept cars stayed on the safe, familiar and extremely boring side of the river in recent years, but thanks to Gran Turismo, they finally went loco for the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Opel tried to shake things up a bit in Europe but the American side of General Motors gave the press and public nothing but slightly beefed up production cars with a shiny paint job. Only Cadillac could wow us a few times with their concepts, and the resulting products speak for themselves.

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It seems like what GM needed was the liberating power of the digital world. The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo didn't have to make sense financially, didn't have to comply with safety regulations or be adjusted the GM's current technological capabilities.

It just had to look bonkers with the PS3's RSX 'Reality Synthesizer' making it real enough.

Now, you might think all virtual cars are completely useless design exercises, but look at them with this in mind:

  • Using more active aero and carbon fiber parts can put wild machines into production.
  • Fuel-cells and electric hub motors are tiny compared to gas or diesel powerplants. Even if we remain as fat as today, that will change the packaging eventually.

But yeah, for now, this is crazy, and that's great.

Photo credit: Getty Images/David McNew