The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo was not designed as a real car. It was conceived as a dream.

There are dreams that do come true, just as there are visions that have to be realized. The Concept 2020 is one of those visions, and as it comes to life, it gives us a glimpse of Nissan’s performance cars through the end of the decade.

This is how the Nissan Concept 2020 came to be and what it means for Nissan moving forward.

Nissan Concept 2020 Shows Racing is More than a Game

If it looks to you like the Concept 2020 came out of a video game, you might be surprised to know that you’re spot on. As part of its long-running partnership with the Gran Turismo racing simulator series, Nissan was to develop a super car of the future for Gran Turismo 6.

A small team at Nissan Design Europe in London was given the task as well as the freedom to explore ideas that might never have otherwise been viable.

For a car designer, it’s liberating to focus on performance and style. The team skipped the traditional clay design phase and moved straight to digital modeling. They created wireframe renders and plugged those into advanced simulations with the goal of fully leveraging aerodynamics to make the car as fast as possible.

Nissan has plenty of experience building cars for the virtual world, but it also excels at bringing those cars and those experiences into the real world. Since 2008, Nissan has partnered with Sony Interactive Entertainment and Polyphony Digital Inc. to present GT Academy, a competition to take the best competitive video game racers and turn them into real race car drivers. Starting in Europe and expanding to North America in 2011, Nissan uses virtual time trials to find the best talent and then narrows candidates down through an actual racing camp hosted at Silverstone Racing Circuit in England.

The Nissan 2020 Concept debuted at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Graduates of the GT Academy were on hand to test-drive the car on the virtual racetracks of Gran Turismo 6 while a real version of the car was on display at Nissan’s booth.

But how did a design challenge like the Vision GT end up as a fully functional concept car?

Visions of the Future Through Nissan’s Concept 2020

The car dreamed up by Nissan Design Europe made a big enough splash that a team at the Nissan Technical Center in Japan caught wind of it. They saw a design that was not only visually impressive but technically viable.

To say that the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo is a finished concept car is something of a misnomer. Concept cars are exploratory by nature, and they only bear a passing resemblance to final production models.

What you can see when you look at the Concept 2020 is a vision of Nissan’s future.

This car looks fast because it is. In its most recent appearances along the auto show circuit, it has arrived with a 784 horsepower capability, the combined output of a 3.8-liter V6 engine and a 134-hp electric motor. This kind of hybrid system is similar to what you might find in advanced supercars like the LaFerrari or the McLaren P1.

The “vision” of the Concept 2020 is a host of technology that might make its way into the next generation Nissan GT-R. Nissan’s long-running sports car, affectionately dubbed Godzilla by enthusiasts, could make use of this kind of hybrid system paired with 4-wheel drive and a new 8-speed transmission.

We should also expect to see elements of the Concept 2020’s aero kit incorporated into the new Nissan GT-R. The concept is designed to allow more air to pass through the wheels and around the cabin, with an advanced diffusion system at the rear of the vehicle. It’s also fitted with an adaptive spoiler that raises and lowers to provide optimal downforce.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Nissan Concept 2020 is that it is a physical testament to the automaker’s dedication to innovation. This is a brand with its sights set firmly on the future, and that future is one that still includes and embraces performance vehicles like the GT-R and the 370Z sports coupe. Cars like this one have a positive impact on all other modes of transportation, and we will keep our eyes out for news of its continued development.