Red Bull X1 Fantasy Car Makes Waiting for Gran Turismo 5 Even Harder

Red Bull X1 Prototype front view

In case you haven’t already received the bad (yet not particularly surprising) news, Gran Turismo 5 has been delayed, this time due to an apparent production snafu. Sony and developer Polyphony Digital are now scrambling like mad to get millions and millions of copies made and into stores (and ultimately, PlayStation3s) before the Holiday season is finished. That’s the bad news.

Is there any good news on the GT5 front? Oh yes. Thanks to the latest issue of Britain’s Car magazine, we now know what the radical Red Bull X1 Prototype fantasy car will look like, as well as what will be hiding under that digital skin. And if you’re like us, you’ll like the info that’s waiting for you after the jump.

Red Bull X1 Prototype side view

Sprung from the fertile mind of Formula 1 World Championship and Indianapolis 500-winning aerodynamicist Adrian Newey (who also happens to be a technical advisor for GT5), the Red Bull X1 Prototype is a tantalizing glimpse at what a modern racing car designed without regard to a budget or a rulebook would look like. Though there are echoes of the Red Bull Formula 1 cars Newey currently designs (particularly the sidepods and the actual livery), the X1 is a different animal altogether. Both the cockpit and all four wheels are enclosed, and there are headlights and taillights for racing at night and/or when the weather turns nasty.

But the biggest differences from a contemporary real race car are underneath. The X1 is propelled by a gas turbine producing – Are you sitting down? – 1,483hp and 527 lb.-ft of torque coming at 15,000 rpm and 12,000 rpm, respectively. It drives the rear wheels through a continuously-variable transmission, and is “geared” to max out at 249 mph. The X1 isn’t just about going wicked fast in straight lines, though; out back there is a suction fan (seen below) a la the Chaparral 2J and Brabham BT46B to pull the car into the pavement in low and medium speed corners, where the wings and other aero aids that are allowed in the real world aren’t as effective.

Red Bull X1 Prototype rear view

So does all of this technology that no real racing series has the stones to allow do any good? Red Bull F1 driver Sebastian Vettel – who, along with Newey, WRC dominator Sebastien Loeb and NASCAR veteran Jeff Gordon is also a consultant on GT5 – was able to set a lap time at Japan’s Suzuka Circuit almost 20 seconds faster than his best lap in his real Formula 1 car on the real track last year. Yeah, we’re gonna go out on a limb and guess a real X1 might require the driver to wear a G-suit…not that there would be anything wrong with that.

Source: GT Planet