Chevrolet unveils 240mph concept car powered
by LASER – and you can drive it for free (although only in a video game) Originally designed just to be played in the
computer game – but Chevrolet has now built a real model Firm says many of the technologies – including
its laser propulsion system – could be seen in future racing cars Capable of a 240-mph top speed in the video
game with 0-60 acceleration capability of 1.5 seconds Driver lies face down with arms and legs splayed
toward the wheels. It is a glimpse of the future of racing cars
– where lasers are used instead of combustion engines, and the only cockpit displays are
beamed onto the driver’s helmet. Chevrolet says the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran
Tursimo (VGT) concept was developed for the PlayStation 3 racing game, Gran Turismo 6
– but the firm has now built a real model of it, unveiled today at the LA Auto Show.
It says the technology in the car could eventually make it onto roads. The game version of the car will be capable
of a 240-mph top speed in the video game with 0-60 acceleration capability of 1.5 seconds.
‘This concept is an audacious and ambitious vision and one that demonstrates to a new
audience how Chevy’s engineering and design teams challenge norms and explore the technologies
of tomorrow,’ said Clay Dean, executive director of advanced design. ‘It also an ode to a unique partnership that
pioneered ground-breaking technologies that are used today on the track and the street.’
The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGThas a unique shape and an advanced, laser-based propulsion
system. ‘It was created in a no-rules atmosphere to
challenge designers and test engineers to deliver the most exhilarating sensations.
‘This is a fantasy car by design,’ said Frank Saucedo, who oversaw the team that worked
on the concept. ‘Like the original Chaparral race cars decades
ago, the Chaparral 2X VGT weaves advanced aerospace technologies into the design to
help achieve its performance goals.’ The Chaparral 2X VGT’s concept propulsion
system is inspired by technology derived from advanced work targeted at space travel and
future aircraft design. It features a mid-mounted laser beamed-energy
propulsion system, which pulses beams of light that focus in a shroud, creating shock waves
that generate tremendous thrust in the lightweight race car. With a 671-kW laser, powered by a pack of
lithium-ion batteries, and an air-powered generator to provide 900 horsepower worth
of thrust, the Chaparral 2X VGT will be capable of a 240-mph top speed in the video game with
0-60 acceleration capability of 1.5 seconds. The propulsion system’s position in the composite
chassis complements an unconventional yet highly active prone driver configuration face
down with the driver’s arms and legs splayed toward the wheels.
In fact, the race car’s propulsion and suspension systems are built around the driver, enabling
progressive strategies of active and driver-adjustable aerodynamics.
‘Think of it as adapting a wing suit to a racing car, where the driver’s movements control
certain aspects of the aero package,’ said Saucedo.
‘In many ways, the Chaparral 2X VGT is like racing wing suit, with a protective fuselage
for ‘flying’ very low to the ground.’ The driver-enabled aerodynamics eliminate
the need for large, conventional wings and other aero devices used to generate grip-enhancing
downforce an attribute that helps reduce the overall mass of the Chaparral 2X VGT’s minimalist
structure. Only essential elements are on board, with
instrumentation, for example, projected on the driver’s helmet visor.
Additionally, lightweight chassis components reduce the sprung weight of the race car,
enabling the car to provide tremendous cornering grip with a relatively small footprint. ‘The Chaparral 2X VGT is a vision of how advanced
technology may shape the look and driving experience of racing,’ said Saucedo.
‘Chaparral’s race cars and methods were seen as outlandish four decades ago, and with the
innovative spirit still burning at Chevrolet, the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept
might just be a harbinger of motorsports in the next four decades.’
Other manufacturers have developed concept race cars for the Vision Gran Turismo project,
but Chevrolet is one of the few to transfer it from the digital world to a physical concept
vehicle. Gamers can race the Chaparral 2X VGT this
holiday season by downloading an online update for Gran Turismo 6, the latest iteration of
the best-selling PlayStation franchise that has sold more than 72 million copies worldwide
since its 1998 debut.