Gran Turismo 6 Delivers Killer Race Tracks, a '14 Stingray, and MoreS

While many gamers are focused on what's to come with PS4, serious gearheads and hardcore racing game enthusiasts will want to hang onto their PS3s this holiday season for Polyphony Digital's high-octane swan song on the console. Yes, Gran Turismo 6 is a PS3 exclusive, and it's poised to raise the bar for virtual racing realism when it rolls up to the starting line this December.

Players will be treated to a ton of new features: over 100 track layouts, variable weather, daytime, and astronomical settings, a tuning shop and car dealership, and more (read about all the latest features here). Below, the game's most exciting features.

Eye Candy for Car Enthusiasts

Series creator Kazunori Yamauchi's never-ending quest for perfection has been well-documented throughout the evolution of the Gran Turismo franchise, so it's no surprise that his team's latest effort is its most impressive work yet. Few racing games look this amazingly lifelike. From the tuned-up cars you'll hop into to the sprawling and dynamic courses you'll burn rubber across, every aspect of Gran Turismo 6's visual design is bathed in stunning photorealistic detail. At times, it's hard to tell that you're even playing a game at all. Polyphony pushes the PS3 to its limits, squeezing out every ounce of detail and performance possible.

New Physics Engine, New Wheels, New Accuracy

Sexy chrome finishes, high speeds, and breathtaking vistas aren't everything, of course. Gran Turismo 6 sports an entirely redesigned physics engine that delivers even more realistic car handling than its predecessor, particularly in the feel of each car's weight balancing and suspension response. Polyphony partnered with German suspension manufacturer KW Automotive to achieve greater precision in the shock absorption model and worked with Yokohama Rubber to implement a new tire modeling system that considers tire compounds, structures, and characteristics under different racing situations. Combined with improved aerodynamics and load shifting, these enhancements will give the racing action a very different feel in Gran Turismo 6 without veering too far off course from what you've experienced with previous entries in the franchise.

Automakers Go Virtual with Vision GT

A big part of Polyphony's vision for the future of its flagship racing franchise is finding ways to blend the real automotive racing world with the virtual one it's created. Vision GT is one new facet of that plan. For the series' 15-year anniversary, the team invited many big names in the auto industry to design their own unique take on the perfect Gran Turismo. From Honda, Audi, and BMW to Peugeot, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and beyond, premium car makers from around the globe answered the call. The gorgeous car designs they've submitted will be rolled out one-by-one as ongoing DLC for Gran Turismo 6, which will expand the game's already massive breadth of launch-day content.

Oldies, Newbies and Goodies

While GT6 will pack all of the cars and tracks of its predecessor, it also builds on this strong foundation with some exciting new additions. The tracks are even grander than before, with seven new offerings — including Willow Springs International Raceway and the Silverstone Circuit — rounding out the game's 33 initially available courses.

As for the cars? The '14 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C7) and the '11 BMW Z4 GT3 are just a few of the new additions — a total of 1,200 sweet rides will be available from the get-go (a full list of the cars is now available here). Players who pre-order their copies can nab the 15th Anniversary Edition Upgrade, which throws another 25 killer racers onto the pile.

Pre-order Gran Turismo 6 here.