At the much anticipated Tokyo release party for the driving simulator Gran Turismo 4, Polyphony president Kazunori Yamauchi stunned the attendees with the surprise announcement that GT4 and Nike had collaborated on the Nike ONE, signaling a new era in product development. Nike co-president Mark Parker joined Kazunori on stage for the ceremony, along with designers Phil Frank and Takuya Asano.
“As Nike is an athletic company, we understood there had to be more to the concept than just another fast car” says Frank. “The athlete is the critical part of this vehicle, so we designed from that perspective, taking our inspiration and learning from the human body, its motion and dynamics.”
“You don’t just drive this vehicle, you are a part of it,” explains Frank. “There is much more required to master this vehicle than being a great driver, it is just as important to be at peak physical performance”.
“An athlete training to drive the Nike ONE uses a physical resistance simulator, that mimics the vehicle’s controls, along with the digital simulation within GT4 to train their muscles and mind for specific tracks and competition scenarios,” explains Frank, “it’s the ultimate in convergent technologies”.
“The driver’s position is akin to a stretched out motorcycle rider’s, but with the added efficiency of clip-in pedals,” says Frank, “to accelerate/decelerate the athlete uses the large muscles of the leg and arms, thus the physical training that is needed to master the Nike ONE”
“The unique drive train, chassis, suspension and wheel layout leverage the future of nano-technologies,” explains Frank. “When you are working in a blue sky environment it is always important to have one foot in reality and the other one as far forward as possible”.