We’re lining up a bunch of great Gran Turismo 5 specials for you, including an in-depth look at the A-Spec/B-Spec modes and the Track Creator. For now, however, we decided to delve back into history a little bit and talk about one of the more interesting cars being included in Polyphony Digital’s upcoming racing game – the 1965 prototype known as the Miura.
Gran Turismo 5 includes a number of vehicles from the 1960’s, including the Ford Mark IV Racecar and the Ferrari 330 P4 Racecar (which look like they came right out of the movie Grand Prix). However, the Miura stands out in a league by itself, due to its back-story.
It all began back at the 1965 Turin Auto Show, at the Lamborghini booth. It wasn’t even surrounded by a full body structure at the time, merely the seats, steering and engine. However, many who saw the car back in this time were thrilled with its build, which Polyphony compares to that of a “thoroughbred” on the official Gran Turismo page. Midship engines were the patented trademarks of racing cars during this time, but this prototype featured a powerful 12-cylinder engine. The interesting part? It was mounted behind the seats, and sideways.
While that sounds rather uncomfortable when it comes to seating arrangements, fear not. A year later, at the Geneve Auto Show, a more finished build was on display, showcasing this design in a well-realized body. This was known as the prototype “Miura”, with flowing body lines to match its rear wheel drive set-up. This was the work of the chief designer of Bertone at the time, Marcello Gandhini. He had gotten the name of the car from the owner of a ranch down in Spain, where he was breeding many powerful fighting bulls.
Many inquiries followed after the Miura made its debut, but Ferruccio Lamborghini (maker of the car of the same name) stepped up for commercial distribution. However, making the car was anything but easy. Offset weight balance caused indifference on the front wheels and made the rear wheels face heavier odds than usual cars. As a result, it was difficult to drive, not only in terms of handling but putting up with the ridiculous amount of heat and noise coming from the rear of the seats. Fortunately, world famous F1 constructor Gian Paolo Dallara was able to resolve a number of these issues, starting with the Miura P400 with its 4 liter 12 cylinder engine. A refined P400S model would follow soon thereafter.
Unfortunately, only two models were ever made. One of the prototypes mysteriously disappeared, but the other, a yellow American model, ended up in the ownership of J.W. Marriott, the owner of the famous hotel group Marriott International. It’s no doubt thanks to his involvement (and perhaps even the people who made the car in the first place) that the Miura is a playable car in Gran Turismo 5. Thus, you’ll find yourself driving a piece of history this November.
As we’ve seen from screenshots in the game (which we’ve included in this article, along with an eyes-on video), the Miura is a peculiar ride, but certainly not an impossible one. You may notice the one-inch lower ride height, one that brings you closer to the ground than usual vehicles. Furthermore, the knock-on wheels provide elegant handling of the car. Oh, and we highly suggest driving it at night, so you can see the headlights lift up when you start them up. This is one of the first car models to include fold-in headlights that pop up upon start-up.
There’s no question the Miura is in a league by itself. We’ll talk more about it and the other cars from the 60’s in a future article here at Gameplaybook. In the meantime, get ready to rev your engines November 2. It’s not far off!
Thanks to Polyphony Digital for providing us background and images!