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Latest Gran Turismo 5 Features Revealed at Tokyo Game Show 2010 (5/5)

The Story Behind The Cars of GT5:
"ISUZU 4200R Concept"
'89 Tokyo Motor Show

At the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show, Isuzu Motors, which had great success with models like the Piazza and Gemini at the time, unveiled an eye-catching new concept car. Its organic curves created gave it a dynamic form, and the passenger compartment was set forward, giving it an appearance of a beast ready to pounce. This high-performance midship sportscar with four doors and four seats was the talk of the Tokyo Motor Show that year. The car was the Isuzu 4200R.

The 4200R was designed by Shiro Nakamura, who at the time was the chief designer at Isuzu Motors Europe Studio (he currently serves as Managing Executive Officer of Nissan Motors Corporation). Going abroad to Europe by himself in 1988, he established Isuzu's design studio in Birmingham, England. And by organizing designers who had ties with Lotus, who were under the same GM group at the time, he created the 4200R.

Assembling Talent

An interesting group of designers gathered at the Isuzu office in Coventry, 21 years ago. There was Simon Cox (currently the GM Advanced Studio Manager), Julian Thomson (currently the Chief Designer at Jaguar), Peter Stevens (currently president of Peter Stevens Design), and Peter Horbury (currently Ford Design Executive Director), all men who would later go on to shape automotive designs of the world. been .

With the combination of so much raw talent for its development, the 4200R was highly praised at the motor show, and marked a milestone in Mr. Nakamura's career. But Isuzu at the time was transitioning to focus more on SUVs, and in 1993 they completely withdrew from the passenger car market. Amidst this transition, the 4200R had lost its role, and the beautiful body of the car was set to be dismantled.

The Encounter at Pebble Beach

20 years later, Mr. Nakamura had not forgotten the ideas and energy exchanged with the designers on the 4200R, nor its enduring style. And at the judging seat of the Concours d’Elegance, a historic car event in California of the US, he met Kazunori Yamauchi.

Upon hearing the stories from back in the day from Mr. Nakamura, Kazunori, who had actually seen the 4200R at Makuhari Messe in person 20 years prior, immediately made a proposal. The idea, revive the 4200R through Gran Turismo. It was decided. New life would be breathed into the legendary car after all these years thanks to Polyphony Digital.

Brought Back to Life After 21 Years; Just As It Was Then.

Its creation took over a year, and Mr. Nakamura visited Polyphony Digital periodically to watch over its progress. Once the exterior had taken form, he cried out loud in amazement from its level of recreation. But at the same time, his gaze had changed. He started to give precise instruction on details, and concepts and ideas that were not possible to get across through the photographs initially provided. Mr. Nakamura’s visage, his voice, even his fingers pointing out details, was once again that of the chief designer who gave direction to Simon and Julian back in Coventry 21 years ago.

See for yourself the 4200R revived for the first time in 21 years, in Gran Turismo 5. Experience a part of automotive history.