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Virtual Racers Compared: Bugatti, Hyundai Vision Gran Turismo Concepts

Whose PlayStation-only race car is cooler?

If you want to drive the newest high-performance machines from Bugatti and Hyundai, you need only fire up your PlayStation. Both companies introduced Vision Gran Turismo concept cars at the Frankfurt auto show, which will be offered as playable downloads for the Gran Turismo video game franchise. How do the wild racing concepts compare?

What are they?

The Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo is the more exotic of the two concept cars, taking the shape of a low-slung LMP racing car. With its small bubble-shaped canopy and gracefully shaped carbon-fiber bodywork draped over large wheels at each corner, the N 2025 wouldn’t look at all out of place screaming down the Mulsanne Straight. A huge vertical fin not only provides aerodynamic stability, but also allows Hyundai to advertise its name for all race spectators to see.

Bugatti’s Vision Gran Turismo concept also looks wild, but rather than an entirely new design, it builds upon the shape of the erstwhile Veyron hypercar. The fenders are flared significantly, a NACA duct atop the roof forces air into the engine bay, and an enormous wing sprouts from the car’s tail. While it’s still one of the more striking concept cars on display at Frankfurt, it looks much more closely grounded in a real car than Hyundai’s racer.

What’s under the hood?

Bugatti offers precious few details about the power source for its Vision Gran Turismo concept, saying only that there’s a W-16 engine. It’s most likely a variant of the quad-turbocharged unit employed by the Bugatti Veyron road car, but with performance amped up for racing use. At a virtual representation of the Circuit de la Sarthe circuit, Bugatti says its digital racer can crack an incredible 250 mph.

Hyundai, on the other hand, imagines a hybrid powertrain for its N 2025 concept. That would bring it in line with modern Le Mans racers from Porsche and Audi, both of which use energy recovery systems — lithium-ion battery for Porsche, kinetic flywheel for the Audi — in their LMP cars. Just like real racing machines, the Hyundai employs a strong-but-light carbon-fiber monocoque design, keeping curb weight to a claimed 2,143 lb.

What does it mean?

While both cars are intended to amp up attention for their parent brands among Gran Turismo gamers, the ultimate motivation is a little different. Bugatti’s car likely provides some hints as to the shape of the forthcoming Chiron, which could pack as much as 1,500 hp from an updated version of its famous W-16 engine. The Bugatti Chiron should make its debut next year, serving as a new halo model for the Volkswagen Group.

Hyundai is probably less likely to build a real-life racer based on the N 2025. Instead, the car serves as a way to introduce the company’s N performance brand. The name is already used for Hyundai’s i20 World Rally Championship car, and could be used for other models. At Frankfurt, Hyundai also introduced a mid-engine Veloster racing concept that may or may not evolve into an actual race machine.

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