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<B>Gran Turismo Concept!</B><BR><I>Drive the cars nobody ever actually drives in Polyphony Digital's latest effort for PS2.</I><BR><B>October 24, 2001</B><P> <IMG SRC="http://ps2media.ign.com/media/previews/image/gtconcept/gtc_2.jpg"> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>Concept" is a word with its own meaning in automotive circles. Every year, whenever a major motor show rolls around, car manufacturers large and small display one-off creations never intended to be actually driven -- they're merely there for effect, to illustrate a design ideal, or serve as the vehicle (no pun intended) for some breakthrough in manufacturing the company would like to highlight. These are concepts, automobiles that usually last no longer than a weekend, a few magazine writeups, and the next season's series of Hot Wheels cars. A few graduate to become full-fledged production models (the new Volkwagen Beetle being perhaps the most famous example), but by and large, the public never gets anywhere near the driver's seat.<P>Polyphony Digital would like to change that, though. The Gran Turismo series has always been about driving cars you could never get anywhere near in real life, and its developer is taking that idea a step further with Gran Turismo Concept, a special sort of one-off Gran Turismo gamelet featuring a small garage of famous modern concept cars. It's only coming to Japan as yet (on New Year's Day, at the bargain price of 3200 yen), but SCEA had better bring it on over, lest the wrath of Dave Z be visited upon them. <P>Gran Turismo Concept was debuted at the fall 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, and most of its cars were concepts exhibited there. The following list is the selection available in the demonstration version, although it's worth noting that the list is followed by an "etc." on the SCEI webpage.<P>A few of these you've already driven in Gran Turismo 3 A-spec: the Evo VII, the RX-8, and the new Nissan Z concept. Others are very similar to cars already in the game -- "Prodrive Style" can't add all that much to the hot Impreza, and the two new Honda Type Rs are likely just the new Civic and the Japanese version of the Acura RSX. In between the familiar faces, though, are some brilliantly hot rides. The Honda Dualnote is intended to be the company's entry into the fiercely competitive 4WD sports market, with a 3.5-liter V6 powerful enough to throw down with the Skyline and Lancer. Toyota's Pod is filled with animated gadgets intended to allow the car to express emotion, a sort of motorized application of the Aibo concept. And if you want to just blaze your way past the competition, of course, you can always try Nissan's new R34 M-spec and GT-R concepts.<P>GT Concept obviously doesn't pack all this fun on top of the complete GT3 package -- the low price is proof of that. It will feature just the concept cars, and apparently a more limited selection of tracks as well (possibly just five -- the screens shown so far feature Tokyo, Midfield, and several scenes too closely focused to give away the track). Thus, this is more of a fans-only production than something aimed at the wide audience that has embraced Gran Turismo worldwide. It should do remarkably well for all that, though, considering the main source of GT's appeal -- more than the superior driving, it's about the superior cars. We will, of course, do our best to bring you all the goods on GT Concept in the very near future, in the tradition of our stupidly deep GT coverage in the past. Dave Z would demand no less, after all.<P><B>Concept List:</B><BR><B>Daihatsu</B> - Copen <BR><B>Honda</B> - Civic Type R, Integra Type R, NSX-R, Dualnote <BR><B>Mazda</B> - RX-7 Type R, Bathurst R, RX-8, Atenza 5HB <BR><B>Nissan</B> - R34 Skyline GT-R M-spec, GT-R Concept, Fairlady Z, Skyline 3-GT, Primera 20V <BR><B>Subaru</B> - Impreza WRX STi Prodrive Style <BR><B>Mitsubishi</B> - Lancer Evolution VII Rally Car Prototype <BR><B>Toyota</B> - Altezza Gita AS200, Soarer 430SCV, WiLL VS, Pod, RSC<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>-Drew
 
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