This year is the 75th anniversary of first race car to wear the Ferrari name — the Ferrari 125 S of 1947, powered by a 60-degree, 1.5-liter V12 putting out 118 horsepower. The Italians have ended the year's celebrations with another race car and another first that show just how far matters have progressed in Maranello: For the first time, Ferrari has created a Vision Gran Turismo one-off. Lead designer Flavio Manzoni told GTPlanet work began on the closed-wheel, closed-cockpit single-seater three years ago, and it contains references to the 125 S, to the company's sports prototypes from the 1960s and 1970s, and to the 499P that will join the Le Mans Hypercar Class next year.
There haven't been any public references to the Ferrari Sharknose Formula 1 race car, but the VGT's combination of silver hue and muscular convexities along a narrow, open-mouthed silhouette throws off shark vibes. The body demonstrates an aero design Ferrari patented that places two side channels alongside a central tunnel. Ferrari says the architecture gets airflow from the front of the underbody up and over the sidepods and cockpit via an S-duct, vents over the wheels, and openings in the sidepods. The central channel gets air through a much-extended diffuser, a duct in the sidepods pulls air above the car to run over the biplane wing that recalls the 499P.
There's a 120-degree, 3.0-litre turbo V6 behind the cockpit, the same kind of engine that powers the 296 GTB and 296 GTS road cars, and 296 GT3 and 499P racers. Without a governing body to impose restrictions, Ferrari uncorked the maximum engine output of 1,016 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 664 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. Three electric motors provide instant assistance, one in back, two in the front wheels, that can add another 326 horsepower, for a total of 1,339 hp. The engine and F1-inspired MGU-K system and its electric motor produce 811 pound-feet of torque on their own. All of this pushes a car that weighs just 2,756 pounds.
Ferrari says the suspension setup was honed "around the performance characteristics of the tires used in Gran Turismo." When virtually placed on Ferrari's test pad and Fiorano track, the automaker says its VGT can hit 62 miles per hour in under 2 seconds, 124 mph in under 5, and gets around Fiorano in less than 1'10". For reference, it takes the Ferrari SF90 Stradale 1'19" to lap the 1.9-mile figure-eight circuit. Even better for GT7 drivers, Ferrari worked with Polyphony Digital to ensure the engine note would be faithfully produced in the game.
The Ferrari VGT goes on sale in the GT7 shop on December 23. Players who don't mind jumping through a small hoop can get on GT7 and answer the final Viewer's Campaign question (hint: "Takuma Miyazono") by December 4 to get the Ferrari VGT in their garages on December 15. In real life, visitors to the Maranello Museum can check out a life-sized version of the Vision Gran Turismo in a display of Ferrari one-offs until March 2023.