Italian luxury goods company Bulgari has just unveiled its Vision Gran Turismo concept car at the GT World Finals in Barcelona, Spain, as part of a new collaboration with Polyphony Digital.
It’s a two-part announcement, consisting of the virtual item — called the Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT — and a tie-in real-world item from the brand by way of a special, celebratory timepiece.
That’s the “Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition” watch, a reinterpretation and celebration of the classic Bulgari Aluminium watch which first released 25 years ago in 1998 — making it roughly the same age as the Gran Turismo series.
There are two versions of the new Gran Turismo edition, one with a yellow dial and black counters of which 500 will be made, and one with an anthracite dial and yellow indices for which Bulgari will produce 1,200 examples. Prices and availability are not yet known.
Each watch also bears model-specific numerals, inspired by Gran Turismo, with the “10” picked out to mark a decade of the Vision Gran Turismo project; this is also commemorated on the rear.
The second announcement is, of course, for the Bulgari Aluminium Vision GT car coming to Gran Turismo 7.
Its shape and materials are designed to echo those found in the watch, of course, with a curved case and an articulated bracelet with visible screws similar to what you see in the cockpit and wheels.
The interior design is a contrast of the materials found in the watch, including aluminum, rubber, Alcantara, and yellow accents, with appropriate yellow dials on the dashboard.
This car is the result of a collaboration between Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, the product creation executive director at Bulgari, and Fabio Filippini, car designer and design strategy advisor at ACCAEFFE Creative Consulting Ltd.
“I envisioned a different way of playing with Bulgari’s DNA, creating a concept car that speaks the same language as the Bulgari Aluminium watch,” said Stigliani.
“Its design is based on geometric, pure, and angular forms, inspired by the lines of legendary Italian gran turismo cars from the 1970s, featuring sporty three-spoke steering wheels and walnut dashboards.
“These shapes come together to create the unmistakable Bulgari aesthetic, resulting in a concept car with perfectly realistic proportions, also in the real world, at full scale.”
Gran Turismo series creator Kazunori Yamauchi was also involved in the project, and had the chance to try his hand at watchmaking in Bulgari’s manufacturing facility in Le Sentier, Switzerland.
“We greatly value personal relationships. That’s the key to many of the collaborations we have forged, and it’s the soul of our community of players,” commented Yamauchi.
“It’s especially true this time: it flowed naturally from the strong relationship between Mr. Buonamassa, Bulgari’s design director, and Mr. Filippini, the former design director of Pininfarina with whom we collaborated, and also a member of our Explore studio.
“The timing was perfect, too, as this year marks the 10th anniversary of Vision Gran Turismo. There’s no better way to celebrate it than with a product as stunning as the Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition watches and the striking Bulgari Vision Gran Turismo car.”
Exact performance specifications about the car have not yet been released, but we can confirm it includes a four-cylinder, mid-mounted engine which revs to 10,000rpm, mated to a seven-speed gearbox.
A release date for the car in GT7 is still unknown, but everyone who purchases the Bulgari Aluminium x Gran Turismo Special Edition will receive a code to redeem the car in the game.
At present there’s no word on general availability of the vehicle, though it’s playable in a special game build here at the Gran Turismo World Series Finals in Barcelona.