Did you know that Mazda is the only Japanese automaker ever to win the renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race? Yep; they won all the way back in 1991 with their LM787B race car.
To be honest, we didn’t know that little fun fact either. But, now that we do, it makes the newest addition to the Vision Gran Turismo garage all that much more special. It’s the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo Concept, which will be available as DLC (downloadable content) for the Playstation sometime in the couple weeks. See the car for yourself in the full Holiday-themed teaser video below. (skip to 2:10 if all you care about is seeing the car)
In case you didn’t catch that huge SkyActiv logo on the LM55’s tail fin, this will be a SkyActiv inspired car making full use of Mazda’s new Kodo design language. Even though we know it’s just a video game, we can’t help but drool a little at the sound of the LM55’s high-pitched thrum as it flies around the virtual track in the video above.
Speaking about the LM55’s development, Mazda’s NA Design Director, Derek Jenkins, had a lot to say about the car’s origins and what they wanted to do with their contribution to the Vision Gran Turismo garage:
“The design, from a heritage standpoint, obviously we looked at cars like the 787 (editor’s note: you can see the LM787 behind the LM55 in the image below). That car has this amazing long front overhang, really short, low rear-end, and it creates this very unique balance that’s just not commonplace in contemporary sports cars. So, we wanted to take that influence and bring it into this new concept and create this dramatic proportion where you had really low front-end, very dynamic sculpted fender treatments, and then really low rear-end.”
Now, our regular readers already know that we have an affinity for Mazda, but no one can argue that this LM55 Concept stands out even among the other jaw-dropping cars in the Vision Gran Turismo garage. Because it’s based on a real car with real heritage, it just looks more refined and deliberate than many of the other Vision concepts we’ve seen up to this point.
Furthermore, it’s clear that Mazda’s designers have given real thought to the production of this car (not that it’ll necessarily ever happen; just that they’re being realistic). “The Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo barely tips the scales with lightweight, carbon-fiber components, including a monocoque chassis clad in striking atmospheric white paint.”
To wrap up with one final fun fact, if you dig a bit into the LM787’s history, you’ll see that the individual race car that won the ’91 Le Mans actually bore the number 55. So, that’s where the LM55 got its name!