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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Watch Mazda’s LM55 Concept Scream onto Gran Turismo


mazda lm55 vision gran turismo photo

On June 23, 1991, the world echoed to the sound of rotary power as Mazda finished the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans in its now legendary 787B screamer. It was the first-ever win for a Japanese manufacturer at the event, and the first for a rotary-powered car. 

It’s a rather inspiring underdog story and now Mazda is giving its iconic 787B a 21st Century rebirth in the form of the LM55, a digital race car for Gran Turismo 6′s Vision GT series. Want one? Simply download and install the Holiday Season Update for GT6, and give it a spin.

mazda lm55 vision gran turismo rearview photo

Details for the LM55 are fairly null, but the video below establishes that the LM55 hasn’t lost what made the 787B such a legend – its noise. Given that guttural howl, the LM55 could very well pack a high-spinning rotary engine, and what a noise it is. However, the car dons the company’s Skyactiv badging, which does hint at a gas or diesel-sipping four-pot underneath its flanks.

On the surface, the LM55 evokes similar lines as its Le Mans winning forefather. A longer front, tucked rear with almost no overhang, and edgy wheel arches create aggressive sports car looks, melded with Mazda’s current Kodo “Soul of Motion” design language, quite noticeable in the front fascia. Mazda says its lightweight monocoque chassis construction extensively utilizes carbon fiber and other weight-saving components.

Is this a hint from Mazda at a return to Le Mans? Perhaps. The automaker fielded a pair of Skyactiv-D powered racers in this year’s Tudor United Sportscar Championship. Similar models and powertrains could very well find their way out to la Sarthe within the next two years.