In our current climate, video games are getting incredibly close to replicating real-life racing conditions. YouTuber Will L recently decided to compare a real lap of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to another lap that he did in Gran Turismo Sport.
Both laps were completed in a Mk 7 Volkswagen GTI, which uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine, pumping out 228 horsepower (170 kilowatts) to the front wheels. While the GTI comes with a manual gearbox from the factory, the hot hatchbacks in the video appear to have the optional dual-clutch automatic.
Gallery: 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI: First Drive
Aside from the obvious difference in visual fidelity, the GT Sport interpretation of the Volkswagen appears to suffer from a bad case of understeer. While it’s hard to judge from the video alone, the virtual GTI looks like it needs quite a lot of steering input to motivate it around the corners. It almost looks like the tires magically grip up mid-corner regardless of the amount of lock behind the wheel.
However, the issue with vehicle dynamics is simply splitting hairs at this point. With the exception of turn one – taking a much tighter line during the real lap – the driving lines around the circuit hold up pretty well between the two. Will says that his best lap in the game was 1 minute and 44 seconds, while he could only manage a 1:45 in real life.
Before anyone jumps into the comments, it’s only fair to mention that video games don’t replicate the element of fear. There’s no reset button when it comes to real crashes that will hurt you and your bank account. Semantics aside, we remain excited to see how far video games can close the gap between the virtual world and the real world.