The concept of Gran Turismo first emerged long before the invention of the car. In England, in the XVII-XVIII centuries, members of wealthy families practiced long trips to different cities and countries of Europe. Such a trip played an important role in the process of education of young people, and it was called the Grand Tour. The endpoint of the journey was Rome. Because of the rather slow speed of travel, such trips lasted for several years, and, accordingly, luxury and comfort accompanied the offspring of rich and influential families along the way. When in the XX century to replace the carriages harnessed four horses came fast, expensive cars GT term (Gran Turismo Racer) has not only found but also took its rightful place in the automotive industry. Today, Gran Turismo, along with the acronym GT, is familiar to all and sundry. In translation from the Italian Gran Turismo means “long trip”. However, these days, GT is a class of cars, more than just a phrase in the Italian language.
Cars with GT in their names are the most powerful, fast, and comfortable cars in production. Traditionally, the index GT gets two or four-seat sports coupe with front-engine or medium-engine layout, as well as rear-wheel drive. These cars are designed for good roads and long, long trips, in addition, the car class Gran Turismo feels confident and on the high-speed track. Founders of the modern class GT traditionally considered car companies such as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Lancia. Cars with a nameplate of one of these companies more often than others were a work of class Gran Turismo. A striking confirmation of this is the Lancia Aurelia B20 GT in 1951. Exactly this car, among the first, was attributed to the popular class GT. In the 50-ies of the last century for the first time, there were competitions in the class Gran Turismo. After a long break, holding races GT class cars resumed in the late nineties. Then they involved models that have become legendary, such as Ferrari F40 and McLaren F1.
Traditionally, the modern automobile market distinguishes between several main types of GT-class cars. At the same time, most of them are familiar to many ordinary citizens, because these indices can often be found in the names of modern cars.
Index GTI (from the Italian “Gran Turismo Iniezione”) – means that the car is equipped with an injection engine, this index first appeared on Maserati 3500 GTI in 1961. However, the first GTI-type car to be mass-produced was the 1975 Volkswagen Golf GTI. The GTE or GT/E is the German equivalent of the GTI index. The car of this type was first embodied in the body of the German Opel Manta GT/E. The GTO index, which in the original sounds like Gran Turismo Omologato, means: “a car approved for racing,” i.e., a car suitable in terms of technical characteristics for racing in the GT class. The GTO car type is widely used by car manufacturers such as Ferrari and Mitsubishi. In turn, a lightweight GT-class car will have the index GTA (from the Italian Gran Turismo Alleggerita) in its name. And GTAm is an abbreviation for a modified lightweight GT-class car. The abbreviation GTV (Gran Turismo Veloce) is used to designate the forced GT class cars. A prime example of such a car is the Alfa Romeo GTV6 – the model, released in the period from 1980 to 1986, with an engine capacity of 2.5 liters and a maximum speed of 205 kilometers per hour.
Almost every modern eminent automobile company has GT or related GTI, GTA, GTV, and other cars in its model range. For example, Aston Martin’s GT class includes models with nameplates: DB4, DB5, DB6, V8, DB7, DB9, and Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. Also, quite widely represented in the GT segment of the auto market are cars with German roots, in particular: BMW 6 Series, BMW 8 Series, Mercedes SL, Mercedes SLR Mclaren, as well as Porsche 928. Almost the entire lineup of Maserati luxury-sports cars are Gran Turismo class cars: Maserati Gran Turismo, Maserati Mistral, Maserati Ghibli. The Bentley Continental GT, Cadillac V-Series, Ferrari Daytona, Ferrari 599 GTB, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, Jaguar XJS, Jaguar XK, Lexus SC, and also Mitsubishi GTO complete the family with the loud name Gran Turismo.
Today, a Gran Turismo-class car is not only a pass to the world of high speeds and sports tracks, but also to the world of luxury, comfort, and universal respect.