Chevrolet Chaparral 2x Vision Gran Turismo ・ Photo by Megan Green
The Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo (VGT) concept is Chevrolet’s entry in the Vision Gran Turismo project. The project allows manufacturers to design their rendition of what a Gran Turismo is, in celebration of the future of automotive design and innovation, as well as the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo video game series.
The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT concept is inspired by the race cars built by Chaparral starting in the 1960s, often with engineering help, engines, and transmissions supplied by Chevrolet. Many of these cars were at the forefront of technology for their time, using spoilers, wings, and ground effects. The 2A was the first car raced, and featured a fairly conventional design, though it soon sprouted aerodynamic parts on its front end to help eliminate front end lift. The 2C had a driver adjustable rear wing, with a pedal on the floor that could be used to reduce drag on the straightaways (somewhat similar to Formula 1’s DRS Drag Reduction System). The 2D was their first closed cockpit car, and featured a pioneering semi-monocoque design. The 2E featured a low front end, with the radiators moved to the side pods, and a large rear wing that sat several feet above the car on struts attached directly to the rear suspension. The most extreme of the Chaparrals before the 2X VGT was the 2J “Sucker Car.” With its extended body, side skirts, and fans powered by a separate engine, this car literally sucked itself to the ground adding around 1,000 pounds of downforce.
The 2X Vision Gran Turismo continues the Chaparral tradition of stretching automotive (and aerospace) engineering and technology as far as possible. The sleek composite chassis features an unconventional prone driver configuration, where the driver lies face down with their arms and legs pointed towards the four wheels. The suspension system is built around the driver, improving aerodynamics and lowering mass. Instrumentation is projected onto the driver’s helmet visor.
The most interesting part of the 2X VGT, however, is its unique propulsion system. The concept is powered by a mid-mounted laser beamed-energy propulsion system powered by a pack of lithium-ion batteries, inspired by work originally targeted towards space travel. To generate thrust (yes, thrust - the car is effectively zero-wheel drive) the system’s 671-kilowatt laser pulses beams of light, focusing them with a shroud to create shockwaves. The shockwaves accelerate the car from zero to sixty miles per hour in 1.5 seconds, and all the way up to a 240-mile-per-hour top speed (in the video game, at least). In keeping with Chaparral tradition, the shockwaves can also be directed and used as a form of active aerodynamics, helping to eliminate the need for the conventional aerodynamic devices and large wings.
Photo by Megan Green
The Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo was on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show through November 30th. If you want a chance to drive the 2X VGT, you’ll need a PlayStation 3, Gran Turismo 6, and an Internet connection to download the latest update, planned for this holiday season. For more information and to see the newest Chaparral on the virtual track, check out Chevrolet’s video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufruRqSaVxk.
If you want to get a closer look at the classic Chaparral models, most can be viewed at The Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas. For more information, visit http://petroleummuseum.org/.
Photo by Chevrolet Media