BMW Vision Gran Turismo virtual racer is a 3.0CSL for the 21st century

Following the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept unveiled last fall, BMW has created its own virtual racer for Gran Turismo 6.

The BMW Vision Gran Turismo is the latest in a planned series of cars designed specifically for the game. Like the Mercedes, it leverages the fact that it will never turn a wheel in the real world on a provocative design.

The car takes styling cues from recent BMWs – particularly the M4 coupe – to the extreme. Massive front fenders emphasize its scowling face, and there’s all of the scoops, ducts, spoilers, and diffusers one would expect of a race car.

However, the best part may be the paint job, which is reminiscent of 1970s BMW touring cars like the 3.0CSL “Batmobile”. In a scientific twist, the tricolor striping actually traces the airflow around the car.

Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, which produces 549 horsepower and is connected to a six-speed, paddle-shifted transmission.

Thanks to carbon-fiber bodywork, BMW says the Vision Gran Turismo weighs just 2,601 pounds, and it features a perfect 50:50 front-rear weight distribution. At least, in the game, it does.

After all, it’s only a virtual car. This racy BMW is the latest in a series of concept cars from different manufacturers planned to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo franchise.

So while you’ll never be able to physically get behind the wheel of one, you will be able to drive it. The BMW Vision Gran Turismo and the other cars will gradually be added to Gran Turismo 6 through online updates.