Holden has revealed its Time Attack Concept Racer, a virtual track weapon designed in-house by the brand's design and engineering teams, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first win at Mount Panorama.
Think of it as a Vision Gran Turismo sort of vehicle, with futuristic and spaceship-like design elements, along with a wild all-electric powertrain.
Up front there's slim laser matrix headlights, a large intake channelling air through to each side of the vehicle for improved aerodynamics, and of course the Lion badge sitting proudly on the nose.
Aero-style 18-inch carbon-fibre wheels fill the arches and a massive teardrop-shaped glasshouse extends to the rear, which features a Darth Vader-like diffuser treatment and slimline LED matrix tail-lights.
"This concept is a digital advertisement for the advanced skills, capability and technology of the GM Holden team," said Richard Ferlazzo, Holden's design director.
"The technology we employ today has transformed the way we design cars. We have the ability to simulate a car’s appearance, technology and dynamics in convincing animations, which enables us to deliver better designs in a shorter time."
“Ewan [Kingsbury, lead designer] perfectly captured the essence of what we wanted to achieve; an expressive, futuristic design which also displays innovative engineering solutions. Concepts are always meant to push the boundaries but are even more impactful when they are feasible and this concept is plausible as an advanced racer of the future,” he added.
Following the initial design process, the Holden Time Attack Concept Racer was developed with technical input from the firm's engineering team, and the final design spawned a digitally-printed 3D model.
Holden's in-house design visualisation team then set out to create a video documenting a simulated lap around the iconic Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst, with the company claiming the virtual racer is capable of lapping The Mountain in a blistering 1:29.30 minutes – for reference, the current lap record is 2:01.567 minutes by a 2016 McLaren 650S GT3 race car.
In order to achieve such a time, you need a huge amount of mechanical and aerodynamic performance. Power in the Time Attack Concept comes from a quad-motor electric powertrain making a combined 1000kW and 3240Nm, with each motor employing a three-speed 'planetary automatic shift' gearbox.
The 0-100 time is rated at just 1.25 seconds, while top speed is set at a mind-boggling 480km/h. Feeding those powerful motors is a 90MJ (25kWh) battery pack that can be recharged in 90 seconds using an 800V/1250A power supply – it's designed for one-lap scorchers, not endurance racing, if you were wondering.
Holden says the chassis structure is made from carbon-fibre, while the body is fashioned from carbon-fibre and kevlar composite panels.
Inside, there's just a single seat, with the interior working in conjunction with an augmented reality helmet projecting graphics showing technical information, racing line and braking zones onto the helmet visor.
A six-point safety harness keeps the driver in their seat while tearing through race tracks at high speeds, while the motorsport-style steering wheel has controls for all the vehicle's mechanical and aerodynamic systems.
Finally, there's on-board telemetry systems and a camera to enable constant data transmission and in-car filming.
"The Time Attack Concept racer is an illustration of how we can utilise cutting-edge technology to develop transportation solutions for the future. You can see from the extremely detailed approach to incorporating the advanced technology in our Time Attack Concept racer that this is more than just a visual exercise," said Ferlazzo.
"Holden’s recent announcement of the expansion of 150 new engineers to our Advanced Vehicle Development team means we have the talent, resources and technology to continue delivering to that charter.”
Check out our feature story, linked below, for more on how this concept came into being.