I’m not entirely sure this has happened before, but a car designed for a video game is going to be produced for sale in reality. The game is Sony’s Gran Turismo Sport, the car is the IsoRivolta Vision, and the reality is the one you’re using now, the same one where you do laundry and eat corn dogs in.
Of course, Zagato isn’t exactly going into mass production of the cars—only three to five copies are planned—but I suppose that’s three to five times more than just a one-off concept car.
There’s a lot strange about all of this, even beyond the fact that they’re building a car designed originally for a Playstation game. Though, that fact is a big deal, as Norihiko Harada, VP of Design at Zagato, explains:
“The IsoRivolta Vision Gran Turismo was created to drive in the virtual-reality world, a world created by Gran Turismo. There is no mass in the virtual-reality world, as it remains a place that exists only in our imagination... Like a Mobius strip, the PlayStation game has allowed ourselves to be transported from reality and thrust into a world of pure fantasy, and then back again. The body style of the IsoRivolta Vision contradicts the sense of oneness that has evolved over the past hundred years of automotive design... Our next wish is that this car, which was born in Gran Turismo, will take to the road in real life and one day grow larger in your rear view mirror, eventually passing you at high speed. When this happens, you will feel the limits of your imagination being severely tested, blurring reality.”
Even for overblown company press releases, that’s a weird statement. Mobius strips, contradicting the “sense of oneness” of auto design, blurred reality? Zagato sounds like a fun place to work, and I suspect may be free of random urine tests.
Of course, it’s sort of strange Zagato is involved in this at all; Iso, the company that’s now IsoRivolta, was once Iso, the designers of many remarkable cars, including the Isetta (famously licensed to BMW), the stunning Iso Grifo, and, yes, the Iso Rivolta.
The Iso Rivolta was designed by Bertone, not Zagato, and, interestingly, the most obvious old-Iso design quote in this new IsoRivolta Vision concept, that raised, louvered panel on the dash, is actually from the 1968 Iso Grifo 7 Litiri, which was also designed by Giugiaro at Bertone, not Zagato.
At the very least, the lineage and history of this thing is sort of confusing.
The car itself will be built on a custom chassis with a Corvette Callaway drivetrain—a 6.2-liter V8 driving the rear wheels and making 997 horsepower. It only weighs 2,489 pounds, and has a claimed top speed of 227 mph, and will get from dormant to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds.
The design of the car is interesting. A lot of effort has been spent to break up the usual monolithic form of a car, making some interesting negative spaces between the body and rear wheels, for example.
The louvered-hood “penthouse” from, the old Grifo is interesting, too, and I actually like the big griffin hood graphic, like a high-rent version of the Firebird hood decal.
Most of these images are CG from the game, but at least one car has been built, and is being shown at the Tokyo Motor Show.
It’s a striking car, but with a sort of forced historical context and a strange video game genesis—either of which could be good or bad things. I’m not really sure. I’m just hoping someone makes the car from Spy Hunter next.