Nissan unleashes the ultimate radio-control vehicle


Powered by a DualsShock 4, the Nissan GT-R /C is being touted as "the ultimate remote controlled vehicle for gamers" as this controller operated auto managed to hit speeds of 130mph around Silverstone.

That was GT Academy graduate and current works Nismo driver Jann Mardenborough, who got the gig because of his proven talent in both Gran Turismo gaming and real-life motorsport.

The one-off project auto was based on a 2011 Nissan R35 GT-R, a factory-stock vehicle rather than a dedicated racing variant or a hotted-up NISMO.

GT Academy victor and full-time Nismo racer Jann Mardenborough demonstrated the effectiveness of the system at Silverstone on its 1.6-mile National circuit, where he controlled the 542bhp supercar - the GT-R /C was based on a 2011-spec model - from a low-flying helicopter above.

The GT-R/C was modified by JLB Design with four robot servos to operate the steering, transmission, brakes and throttle.

The only other gadget for Jann was a LCD display mounted the helicopter's cockpit to show the car's speed. Six computers mounted in the rear of the auto update the controls at up to 100 times a second. And it performed: the auto 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.

The controller itself is hooked up to a micro-computer that interprets the joystick and button signals, transmitting them to the GT-R /C's onboard systems. Gran Turismo Sport will be released in the USA on October 17, in Europe and Australia on October 18, and in Japan on October 19.

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.

Mardenborough described it as "once-in-a-lifetime, truly epic stuff". As a victor of the Nissan GT Academy competition that combines virtual racing with actual track races, Mardenborough was a natural choice for the task. "Now that's innovation that excites!"

Next year it'll be used in a tour of schools in the United Kingdom to promote future careers in STEM subjects, and we're already intrigued to see how many gamer kids try to yoink it.