French sports car brand Alpine is turning 60 this year, and to kick off its celebratory activities, the company has introduced the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo race car, the latest in the downloadable game cars for the Sony PS3 video game. This particular car is cool, not just because hails from an historic brand that’s been relatively dormant for the last 20 years, but because its design gave the rear end priority, since, according to its makers, that’s the view one gets most often while playing the game.
And what a rear view it serves: outrigger-style fenders flank a boat-like fuselage with a right-side barchetta-style cabin, all wrapped in planar bodywork that wraps down the body sides yet doesn’t meet in the middle of the car. Suspension bits poke through the panels, and taillamps line the inner fenders, too. But nothing is as radical as the outboard air brakes—complete with brake lights!—that should be amazing to see in action, at least until they’re shorn off when rubbing fenders with other players. Up front are whimsical round headlamps that recall those of Alpine’s historic A110, while three liveries are available: white/blue, matte black, or blue and orange.
Like many other GT6 entries from other manufacturers, Alpine’s piece of virtual sculpture will become real sculpture, to be shown in 1:1 form in coming days. Even better: this is not just a pointless tease: Alpine will return to actual roads in the form of an all-new sports car in 2016, one that’s said to take many of its pointers from this car: “We...took advantage of the [Gran Turismo] exercise to subtly conceal several details that are directly inspired by the future Alpine which will see the light in 2016 – but I can’t give any more away about that,” said Antony Villain, Design Director, Alpine. Consider out appetites whetted.