Mazda knows that it is capable of great design. Its cars are arguably among the most beautifully styled on the planet right now, turning smooth curves and soft creases into real world sheet metal isn’t easy but Mazda manages it. Back in 2015 the Hiroshima-based automaker unveiled the RX-VISION concept car with what it promised would be ‘the compact and lightweight next-generation SKYACTIV-R rotary engine’ which is still nothing more than an empty promise. Today, Mazda took the digital covers off of a GT3 racing car based on the RX-Vision. You can drive it, but only in Gran Turismo.
The car is clearly inspired by the swoopy curvature of the FD-generation RX-7, especially at the back end. It’s got some Aston Martin-esque designs around the front. The side profile is traditional two-seat sports machine with an injection of Mazda’s infamous Kodo design flow. Add that all up and it’s spectacular. Even five years later the first glimpse of the RX-Vision GT3 instantly dropped my jaw.
As usually happens, the design of the RX-Vision has only been tightened up and further beautified by its transmogrification into a racing vehicle. The fender flares, the hood vents, the deep front splitter (clearly inspired by Mazda’s RT-24P DPi IMSA prototype), and the giant rear wing are extensions of the original beauty and very well integrated. I love it. I’m in love.
Mazda isn’t in the greatest position right now. Sales have slumped across the board. Its four-SUV, two-sedan, plus MX-5 lineup has some great cars, but nothing really shouts at people the imminent need to step into a Mazda dealer. The premise of a halo car is nothing new, and Mazda needs one right now. Grab some headlines, some column inches, some eyeballs. A bit of free advice, Mazda, just build the damn thing!
Mazda says that the aim of the RX-Vision GT3 Concept is to ‘convey the joy of driving a car to the wide range of people who love digital motorsport’ with the end goal of creating Mazda fans. I’m not opposed to Mazda, I’ve owned a few of them in the past and I truly enjoy some of its current lineup. But I’m almost more inclined to be a Mazda hater because the RX-Vision only exists in digital space. I want to get behind the wheel and feel the machine work beneath me.
If you’re so inclined, the RX-Vision GT3 Concept can be downloaded in Gran Turismo Sport on Friday, May 22. I guess I’m more of an Xbox guy.