Nissan Gran Turismo historyEnlarge Photo
Nissan is showing off its performance-car family tree in anticipation of its next Gran Turismo video-game car.
That car--set to arrive June 10--will join a pantheon of 148 Nissan models that have appeared in the racing-game franchise so far. The list encompasses everything from the 1962 Skyline Sport Coupe, to the iconic 240Z, to today's GT-R NISMO GT3. In between, you'll find everything from Le Mans racers to the Leaf electric car.
In the bottom-right corner, Nissan's next Gran Turismo car looks low and sleek under its veil. Perhaps this is the Japanese carmaker's answer to the Vision Gran Turismo concepts from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen.
Nissan's relationship with the Gran Turismo franchise goes deeper than mere licensing of vehicle likenesses. Years before the GT-R came to the U.S., players became acquainted with it through the game, producing a ready-made fan base when the car finally arrived in Stateside showrooms in 2008.
The various games in the series have become known as repositories for all kinds of esoteric Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) cars, like the S15 Silvia.
There's also Nissan GT Academy, which pits the best Gran Turismo players against each other for a ride with a real Nissan-backed race team. A pair of U.S. winners are sharing an Altima Coupe in the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, while four graduates are set to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this month.