Drive your car on track, then race yourself afterwards. That’s the promise of a future upgrade on selected Lexus and Toyota models, which will let you download your track day action and replay it on the forthcoming version of legendary race game Gran Turismo.
The cars use GPS satellite tracking to trace your route, and everything from lateral and vertical g-forces to engine revs, and even each wheel’s individual speed, is logged by the on-board computer.
The real-life hot laps can then be uploaded via a USB memory stick on to a PlayStation, allowing the driver to race their ‘ghost’, attempt to beat the lap time and work out how to improve their performance on track next time.
More details on the long-awaited Gran Turismo 5 game emerged at last weekend’s Nürburgring 24 Hours race, where Auto Express senior road tester and racing driver, Owen Mildenhall, drove a tuned Lexus IS F alongside the title’s creator, Kazunori Yamauchi.
The V8-powered saloon will appear in the new game – which Owen got to try during the event. Our man took the controls of a Sony PlayStation 3 to sample the complete Nürburgring 24 Hours circuit – for the first time in video game history. And he even got to try the new night racing feature.
“It’s incredibly accurate,” was Owen’s verdict. “And having raced in the real-life event the day before, I can tell you that every bump, crest and dip on the Nürburgring track is replicated. You’ll never recreate the race’s atmosphere in a game, but even the campsites look genuine!”
GT5’s release date has been pushed back several times, but when it arrives later this year, it will feature more than 1,000 cars, 20 tracks (including the Dunsfold circuit in Surrey, used by TV’s Top Gear). It will also be one of the first games ever that can be played in stereoscopic 3D.
Plus, for the first time, gamers will be able to fully experience the Nürburgring, recreating the 24 Hours race, which uses both the grand prix track and the 15.2-mile Nordschleife. The latter – dubbed Green Hell – can also be driven at night, to get an idea of what the pros go through during one of the world’s toughest races.