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Bugatti unveils real-life video game car at Frankfurt Motor Show

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FRANKFURT, Germany — Bugatti, maker of 1,200 horsepower supercars with seven-figure price tags, unveiled a fantasy video game car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. But this one wasn’t just made of pixels. Bugatti engineers created a real, drivable version.

The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is a model of the car that appears in the popular Gran Turismo video game series. The real-life version is fully drivable but wasn’t designed to comply with government safety regulations — only racing regulations.

This concept car is particularly important because it offers a glimpse of what Bugatti’s next model will look like. As part of the Volkswagen Group, Bugatti is related to luxury automakers like Lamborghini and Bentley, but is even more exclusive. Over the last decade, Bugatti has sold 450 cars worldwide at prices in excess of $1 million each. All of them were versions of one model, the Bugatti Veyron.

Powered by a turbocharged 16-cylinder engine, the Bugatti Veyron evolved over the years, gaining speed and power. Later models have 1,200 horsepower and top speeds in excess of 250 miles an hour. But now Bugatti is working on an all-new successor.

“Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is the first stage on a new journey that Bugatti is embarking on following the successful completion of its Veyron chapter,” Wolfgang Dürheimer, head of Bugatti, said in a statement.

Dürheimer added that the new model will be unveiled “in the not too distant future.”

Designers for the concept car drew inspiration from Bugatti racing cars of the 1920s and ’30s. Based in France at the time, Bugatti won at LeMans in 1937 and ’39. The Vision Gran Turismo was designed to excel on the LeMans track, which features long, straight sections — putting a premium on top speed.

In this car, emphasis was placed on performance rather than comfort. Despite its extreme performance figures, the Veyron is comfortable and easy to drive on public roads. This car was created for the track, according to Bugatti.

A number of automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, General Motors and Lexus, have designed cars for the Gran Turismo game.