GTbyCitroen coming to the Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

Of the many Citroen vehicles that will be introduced in next week's Frankfurt Motor Show, the GTbyCitroen is one of the most highly anticipated. The concept was first displayed at last year's Paris Auto Show and will soon enter production. It's very exclusive and in fact, only 6 units of the GTbyCitroen will be rolled off the assembly lines.

According to our sources, Citroen is selling each unit for 1.5 million euros (around $2.1 million). Only a little is actually known when it comes to its specifications.

A report earlier this year by a Citroen insider said that he production form of GTbyCitroen will have many of the features available on the concept, including most of the carbon fiber-made parts and interior details.

The engine that will be used has not been confirmed yet however, company's head Vincent Besson initially hinted that the company will choose a V8 unit designed by either Ford or General Motors.

Expected output will be at least 500 horsepower, with a manual gearbox likely to make the final production version. The reason for the borrowed engine is actually obvious; it would be too expensive to build a new engine, especially for a limited edition of only six units.

Futuristic racing is what CITROEN had in mind when it created the GT racer that it debuted in the Frankfurt Motor Show. A large windscreen wraps around the car’s body, adding emphasis to the car’s muscular appearance. The car, which appeared previously in the Gran Turismo video game, also features blue headlamps and floating rear view mirrors.

The physical incarnation of the GT by CITROEN is a beast of sophistication and quality. CITROEN employed premium raw materials in the trims and components of the car’s interior. Black makes up the main color theme of the cabin, with leather seats finished in the color. Black is complemented by copper and steel accents.

All of these are designed to emulate a powerful racing experience for the driver; he can even just concentrate on this driving without having to steal glances at the dashboard to find out about his vehicle’s performance. A LED head’s up display does that for him while he drives.

As for its power sources, the virtual version of the GT by CITROEN made use of a fuel cell power train combined with an electric motor. What results is an environmentally friendly but powerful racer.

Polyphony Digital Inc. head and Gran Turismo creator Kazanori Yamauchi hailed the GT by CITROEN, calling it the link between virtual and real-life motoring. Yamauchi said that it had been a “unique experience” for the Gran Turismo team to work on the digital version of the car and to be involved in the realization of the concept.

The GT by CITROËN has a racing style that appears to come from the future especially with the blue LED headlamps and its carbon fibre slim-line rear view mirrors that looks as if it is floating in mid-air. Though it already has a sleek look, the large wraparound windscreen adds to the effect that the dynamic appearance and size already has.

No expense was spared and the interior of GT by CITROËN clearly shows that only superior materials were utilized. It also shows how refined and notable the car’s personality is. While the body makes use of light colors, the cabin implements a heavy and dark color scheme. The racing seats for example are padded, attached with four-point harnesses, and finished using black leather.

The cabin has steel and copper traces that when matched with the black leather, along with the rather low driving position, result in a strong and luxurious racing environment. Since the driver has to keep his attention on the race track, any on-board data that is needed can be shown through the red LED head-up display.

Furthermore, the GT by CITROËN displays the brand’s commitment to respect the environment with an electric drive train that has been powered through a fuel cell and thus removes the possibility of emitting pollutants.

Gran Turismo creator and Polyphony Digital Inc., President Kazanori Yamauchi shared that the GT by CITROËN is a good example of how real-life and virtual driving can unite to have a very ground-breaking partnership. Yamauchi added that seeing the GT by CITROËN take form first in the game studios and then in the real world is indeed a unique experience as most of the company’s work has been limited to the digital format.

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