The dream of any remote-control car fan must be akin to driving a real racer around a world-class racetrack, using only a game controller. And this veteran driver and gaming fan got to experience it. As part of a promotion for the upcoming PlayStation 4 game Gran Turismo Sport, set for release this month, Nissan invited Jann Mardenborough to take a few laps with a Nissan GT-R using only a PlayStation 4 DualShock controller. We recently got our hands on the game and took it for a test drive.
The action took place at Silverstone National Circuit in Towcester, England, with Mardenborough hovering in a Raven II helicopter above the car as it navigated the 1.6 mile course.
The car, dubbed the Nissan GT-R/C, was heavily modified for the stunt, with robotic controls to operate the throttle, brakes, steering, and transmission. The PS4 controller itself was unmodified, but had a range of about half a mile. Two other operators monitored the car on separate radio frequencies, where they could apply the brakes or cut power to the engine if needed.
The Nissan was powered by a standard 542bhp V6-powered 2011 R35, but it was also outfitted with a Racelogic VBOX Motorsport sensor, which provided data about the car’s speed to Mardenborough on an LCD display in the helicopter.
Mardenborough, a winner of the Nissan GT Academy competition, which combines actual track events with virtual racing, averaged 75 miles per hour and hit a top speed of 131 mph during the event.
“The GT-R/C has brought my two worlds together – the virtual one of gaming and the reality of motorsport – in a way I never thought possible,” Mardenborough told Autocar. “Steering, acceleration and braking were all intelligently configured, allowing for controlled application so I could really get a feel through the corners and hold it steady down the fast straights.”
You’ll be able to drive several GT-R models in Gran Turismo Sport, as well as the futuristic Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo that was revealed a few months ago. If you’d like to see the full roster, Polyphony Digital released a full list of cars available in the game a couple weeks ago. Gran Turismo Sport will be released in the U.S. on October 17 and in Europe on October 18.
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