Nissan builds life-size RC sports vehicle that uses PS4 controller

GIF  GIF via NissanUK

To mark the release of Gran Turismo Sport as well as the 20 anniversary of Nissan's relationship with the franchise, the Japanese automaker hooked up its most famous performance vehicle to a video game controller and let one of its recent GT Academy graduates take it for a spin around Silverstone's National Circuit.

Check out Mardenborough driving the GT-R /C via remote control in the video below. For GT Academy victor Jann Mardenborough, it was a no-brainer.

So it's entirely appropriate that to celebrate the upcoming release of Gran Turismo Sport, the newest entry in the series, Nissan put together a special one-off GT-R that the driver controls not by gripping the wheels or stepping on the pedals, but by using a PlayStation 4 controller.

The one-off GT-R /C was engineered in the United Kingdom by JLB Design Ltd and extensively modified with four robots that operate the steering, transmission, brakes and throttle. Driving a full-size, remote-control GT-R to 131 miles per hour at Silverstone whilst chasing it down in a helicopter was an unforgettable experience.

It's all to celebrate the release of Gran Turismo Sport, and brings gaming to life in the most ideal way. And it performed: the vehicle topped out at 210km/h on the National Circuit's longest straight and recorded a best lap time of 1:17.47, as well as an average speed of 122km/h versus the human-driven car's average of 134km/h.

During the run, a micro-computer transmitted inputs from the controller to the GT-R's on-board systems. The controller itself was completely unmodified connected to a microcomputer with a wireless operation control range of one kilometre.

Dubbed the GT-R/C (R/C for "remote control"), the vehicle was actually a modified 2011 model with a top speed of 196 miles per hour.

"This was once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff", said Mardenborough.

Since taking out the GT Academy in 2011, Mardenborough has gone on to become a full-time professional driver for Nissan in Japan. The GT-R /C was enginered by JLB Design which used a standard spec V6-powered R35.

The GT-R/C will tour primary and secondary schools in an effort to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

Related news: