Autocar is granted special access to the British firm's stunning new 'virtual' concept, which has been revealed at Goodwood
Steve Cropley Autocar
27 June 2014

The Aston Martin DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo, a conceptual 800bhp mid-engined supercar that only exists in the virtual world, has been unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

A crack Aston Martin design team spent a hectic six months creating the radical machine, but it will never carry a passenger or turn a wheel in anger.

Designed on the proverbial blank sheet of paper, the car is a virtual-only GT racer created for the hugely popular Gran Turismo 6 computer game. GT6’s creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, has invited a small group of car companies and “cool brands” to create new products and launch them within the game over the next 12 months.

The proposed twin-turbo V12 Aston is soon to be ready for download by gamers, and as well as the virtual car, Aston Martin has created a full-size 3D display model to stress that this is far from being a frivolous project.

“Many of the design cues visible on DP-100 could feed into future sports cars we’ll launch in the offline world,” says Aston Martin design director Marek Reichman, who led the project.

The model, seen exclusively by Autocar between completion and shipping to Goodwood, a few hours before its official launch, bristles with Aston references freshly and subtly expressed.

DP-100 is intended as a proper GT race car, short-nosed and low, with a cab-forward layout to give maximum space for a large V12-based powertrain behind the driver. In the flesh is looks imposing but compact; nowhere near as large as a full-size Lamborghini for instance.

On the upper flanks there’s well-defined chine-line each side, running from the rear of each front wheel, upward and rearward to define the car’s proportions and especially its prominent rear haunches, which are almost architectural in form.

The car’s styling refers clearly to the Aston Martin One-77 supercar (via a well-defined chine-line that runs around the car and defines its stance), to the recent CC100 anniversary car and even to Aston’s revolutionary mid-engined Bulldog concept of the early 1980s. Designed by the late William Towns, it had the same sort of radically 'waisted' body style.

Race-bred aerodynamics contribute much to DP-100’s overall look, but designers have taken trouble to avoid crudely added wings or cut holes to relieve high pressure areas. In key places air is ducted straight through the car — to benefit of engine and downforce. The central front air intake has an unmissable Aston grille-shape, flanked by a pair of ducts that carry air straight through the body to exit across a very large, Le Mans-style diffuser.

“We designed the car according to a philosophy we call RaceCraft,” explains chief exterior designer Miles Nurnberger, “which combines the no-nonsense requirements of a race car with the kind of beauty and sophistication you find on a really well-crafted road car.

“The design is fully detailed,” he adds. “We’ve created a plausible chassis and a working suspension, a fully equipped cabin and even a complete underbonnet layout, but to see everything we’ve created. You have to play the game.

The cabin is enclosed by forward-opening 'swallow' doors, plausibly designed because they have to open in the GT6 game. The interior takes a lot of influence from the open, spartan CC100 concept, which uses exposed carbonfibre surfaces in many places.

Over DP-100’s front wheel arches (which in race cars are notorious high pressure areas) the designers have provided ducts for the outflow of air, but disguised them brilliantly so that the car’s proportions are not interrupted.

The wheels themselves are a tour-de-force; they are fitted with hinged carbonfibre blades, looking a little like jet engine intake compressor blades, which bend outward under the wheel’s rotational forces to create a smooth disc at high speed, for lowest aerodynamic drag. The wheels fit closely into the plainly styled wheel arches, and wear 255/40x20in Michelins in front, and 295/40sx20s behind.

The colour scheme — a kind of metallic China-white on the left and right extremities, with a purple expanse on the nose, the two major colour patches separated by a line of luminous orange — may not describe very well, but it looks amazing in the flesh, doing what so much of the restr of the car does, suggesting a life in racing but doing it with greater-than-usual design sophisticated.

Nurnberger reckons his favourite DP-100 features are a tail light treatment made up of an exotic array of light-sticks (they look more like something out of a museum of modern art) a pair of tiny headlights each buried in the entrance to matching NACA ducts on the short nose, that gather air for other uses, a pair of extravagantly curved pieces that define the car’s upper proportions (Nurnberger calls them floating cant rails).

Kazanori Yamauchi, who watched DP-100 evolve, says he’s delighted with the result: “When I first came face to face with this car I was at a loss for words. It is is clean and classy, and also very emotional. Here was this future Aston Martin in front of me, so detailed it could be released on the market pretty much as it.”

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Comments
5

27 June 2014
... and zero visibility.

27 June 2014
I like it.

It's a radical design for Aston but what a waste to do this just to appease video gamers!!!

The front end also reminds me of the Pink Panther car that was used in the opening sequences of the kids TV show of the 1970's ( yes showing my age now :-) )

I wonder if Merc ( when I suspect in the future they grab Aston) will allow the company the license to actually build something like this. It's always been near misses as per the quoted Bulldog!

27 June 2014
I thought Aston were teamed up with M-B not BMW i8.
Sketches much better than the car itself, it needs more width.
Sorry nice college project but no Aston winner for me...

27 June 2014
Certainlythe designs show some great signs of adventure perhaps in the way of Britain's answer to Lamborghini. They need to produce a few models with varying designs, we all get bored with family looks.

7 July 2014
brilliant design but failed in translation

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