To celebrate the release of the latest Gran Turismo racing game – Gran Turismo Sport – Nissan has fitted a Nissan GT-R with a system meaning it can be controlled by a Playstation controller.
Called the GT-R/C, the extensively-modified sports car was driven around the famous Silverstone National Circuit by Nissan NISMO racing driver Jann Mardenborough, who won the chance to drive for Nissan by winning the Gran Turismo Academy competition in 2011 – which used the game to look for new racing driver recruits.
Using a Playstation Dualshock 4 remote, Mardenborough lapped the GT-R/C from a helicopter seat that followed the remote-controlled car around the circuit.
Getting up to speeds of 131mph, the GT-R/C lapped the 1.6-mile ‘loop’ circuit in 1:17.41, at an average speed of 76mph – just 7mph off what a driver can normally achieve.
Engineered by JLB Design UK, company director Dr James Brighton and his team retrofitted the R35 GT-R from 2011 so it could only be controlled by the remote. This is the fastest vehicle the company has modified or built to date, with the GT-R capable of speeds up to 196mph.
The JLB team fitted four robots to independently control the steering, transmission, brake and throttle, with all being linked to six computers in the car’s boot. They updated the controls 100 times per second so Mardenborough could accurately guide the car around the track.
Following multiple laps, Mardenborough said: “This was once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff. The GT-R /C has brought my two worlds together – the virtual of gaming and the reality of motorsport – in a way I never thought possible.
“The response from the car when using the controller was far more engaging than I thought it would be. JLB Design has done an incredible job at making everything respond really well.”
James Brighton added: “The GT-R /C presented some unique challenges and a number of engineering firsts for us. We had to ensure the robotics would operate effectively during fast acceleration/deceleration as well as high cornering g-forces; deliver realistic and reassuring control of the car at all speeds; and maintain a robust connection between the car and the DualShock 4 over variable distances and with minimal latency in robot response times.
“I’m delighted to say all these challenges were overcome but it’s testament to Jann’s unique skillset that he was able to master the vehicle’s operation in a very short period of time whilst delivering some truly impressive lap times.”