AS A child, there were few things more joyous than letting rip with a remote controlled car. Now, Nissan has built the R/C car to end them all – a full-sized GT-R.
Yup, Nissan has turned a road-going GT-R, 419kW 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 and all, into a toy which can be operated by a PS4 gaming controller. All this, to celebrate the launch of the new Gran Turismo Sport game, available from October 18 in Australia.
Dubbed the GT-R/C, the car required some extensive modifications to be controlled remotely, and that meant the controls were entrusted to someone who has some good experience with a controller in his hands – Jann Mardenborough.
The Brit is a current Super GT driver for Nismo, and graduated from the GT Academy program which turns lounge room gamers into professional racers.
Mardenborough took the PS4 controller in his hands, and was able to steer the GT-R around Silverstone’s National Circuit from the cockpit of a helicopter.
The GT-R/C’s best lap of the National Circuit was a 1:17.47 – roughly on par with a Ford Fiesta ST (1:17.06), or a Honda Integra Type R (DC2) (1:17.65) – placing it 25th on the standings for that layout, which is topped by the McLaren P1 which recorded a 58.24 second lap at the hands of Mat Jackson.
The average speed for the lap was 122km/h, with the GT-R/C’s top velocity coming in at 211km/h.
Modifications to make the feat possible included four robots to operate the steering, transmission, brakes, and throttle, along with six computers mounted in the rear of the car to transmit inputs at up to 100 times a second.
The PS4 controller in Mardenborough’s hands was unmodified, and the pro racer could monitor the GT-R/C’s speed via an LCD display in the helicopter’s cockpit.
"The response from the car when using the controller was far more engaging than I thought it would be,” Mardenborough explained.
“Steering, acceleration, and braking were all intelligently configured, allowing for controlled application so I could really get a feel through the corners and hold it steady down the fast straights.”