Honda is quickly carving out a groove for itself as a purveyor of interesting concept cars, if too sharply designed on occasion. This is traceable to the first concept renders for the car that would result in the second-generation now-hybrid-only NSX. Then there’s the the tiny mid-engine S660 concept of 2013 that became a virtually unchanged showroom model in 2015.
Most recently, they showed us how they’re keen to both preview the future and channel their past through the Urban EV and Sports EV concepts at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. If this trend is bound to repeat, there’s a lot more reason to celebrate this Sports Vision Gran Turismo.
Confined to the realm of pixels as it is right now (playable in the new Gran Turismo Sport game for the PS4 console), the virtual car still clearly looks like a very possible candidate for series production, filling the gap midrange underneath the flagship NSX and above the Civic Type R. It’s also a space that other manufacturers are keen to fill, following in the footsteps of the Alfa Romeo 4C and 2018 Alpine A110.
According to Honda, the Sports Vision Gran Turismo uses many carbon fibre components (you know, but virtual), which allowed them to keep (simulated) weight down to a scarcely believable 899kg kerb. Since it has quite a wide stance but a wheelbase that’s kept quite compact, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol is mounted transversely behind the passenger cell, transmitting power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.
In-game, the engine is said to produce around 300kW, which leads to the obvious guess that this is an up-tuned version of the VTEC Turbo motor found in the new FK8 Civic Type R, which in real life chucks out 228kW and 400Nm.
Designs were submitted via competition held to all Honda designers spread across the globe, one that was ultimately won by members their Los Angeles studio, and finalised with the help of Polyphony Digital, developers of the said sim racing game.
The team in LA constructed a quarter model based on computer modelling before wind-testing the 3D printed car like a real production model would. The developers in Japan would then translate the finished design and replicate that in the game world, replete with its own dynamic characteristics.
Naturally, Honda has not breathed a word openly yet about the possibility of this car entering production. Considering how realistic is looks in contrast to some of the truly alien concepts submitted to feature in-game as a Vision Gran Turismo car, the fact that it features an engine that Honda already produces, and that it has already undergone aerodynamic testing, there’s a far more solid base for the automaker to work from should it be given the green light.
Honda seems to be very interested in the sports car playing a considerable role in their portfolio going forward, and as of right now they do not have a direct competitor to many enthusiast-focused machines out there. Nissan is still producing the V6-powered 370Z and Toyota are soon to unveil their all-new Supra, a car that was co-developed with BMW.
This Sports Vision Gran Turismo could be a very strong and convenient answer to all those cars should it be made real. Also recently, Honda is rumoured to be quite receptive to the idea of resurrecting the S2000 roadster. The introduction of both these cars (knock on wood) into the marketplace would cement Honda’s presence in the accessible performance segment with huge style because, let’s face it, who among the majority of us can afford an NSX?