You'll be driving some cool dystopian cars in Cyberpunk 2077.
Cyberpunk 2077 is one of this year's most anticipated new video games. Developed by CD Projekt Red, the ambitious science-fiction game is set in Night City, a seedy dystopian metropolis dominated by body modification, technology, and fast cars. As well as designing futuristic fictional cars, CD Project Red collaborated with Porsche to design a unique dystopian 911 as the perfect ride for Johnny Silverhand, a famous rockstar played by Keanu Reeves. And yes, you can drive it in the game.
"It was clear to us that a purely fictional car would not have the same effect as a real car that is revered by automotive fans across the world," Pawel Breshke Czyzewski, Senior Vehicle Concept Designer, told CarBuzz. "The answer could only be the classic 911 Turbo from the 1970s, so we got in touch with Porsche."
To recreate the car's iconic silhouette, the design team referenced photos, sketches diagrams, and photogrammetry. Senior Vehicle Artist Jakub Przybolewski explains the car was modified for 2077 with LiDAR and sensors allowing for fully autonomous driving.
Visually, the dystopian sports car, which is based on a 1977 Porsche 911 Turbo (930), features blower-like wipers, futuristic license plates on the roof to help police track the car from the air, a modified fuel system, and a fuel port allowing the car to run on an alternative biofuel. While automakers are embracing electrification, "electric vehicles simply do not fit into this dark vision of the future," says Przybolewski. "Without roaring, high-octane fuel-powered engines, the world of Cyberpunk would not be the same." The car is painted silver with a red and white livery referencing the 911 RSR.
More sensors are fitted inside, along with a hybrid gearbox and a plethora of screens, including one for the rearview mirror. Despite these extensive modifications, the body, interior, and engine have been reproduced at an "almost 1:1" scale. A working one-off model has also been built and will be displayed at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart.
Gearheads will also recognize the inspirations behind fictional cars that populate Night City. According to Czyzewski, "We didn't want ultra-futuristic-looking vehicles, where everything on the streets looks like a small spaceship," instead opting for a "retro-inspired vibe, but with details suggesting they belong in the year 2077."
Just about every cult car from the 80s and 90s you can think of is referenced: the Quadra Turbo-R, which has a turbocharged V8 producing 740 hp is clearly inspired by the De Tomaso Pantera, while the Quadra Type-66 is inspired by iconic American muscle cars and the Thorton Galena is inspired by popular German cars.
"The vehicles back then were very simple, sometimes even minimalist in their design, which highlights their retro look. Many of these vehicles had an angular body with many horizontal lines" said Czyzewski.
The designers are passionate gearheads, too, listing some of their favorite classic car designs to include the Ferrari F40, Ferrari Testarossa, Lancia Stratos, Chevrolet Corvette C2, and Lamborghini Countach because they look "fresh and timeless even today." When asked their opinions on current cars, they were full of praise for the Aston Martin DB10, Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, McLaren 765LT, Koenigsegg Jesko, and the new Porsche 911.
The ethos behind the game's car designs was a mix of both classic and futuristic, with similar cyberpunk films such as 'Blade Runner', 'Ghost in the Shell', 'Akira', and 'The Matrix' influencing vehicle design. Other influences include' Miami Vice' and the works of artist Syd Mead, who designed vehicles for science-fiction films including Aliens' and 'Tron'.
But how do the designers envision cars evolving in the real world? Czyzewski thinks privately-owned cars will be replaced with public single-seater capsules. "As a designer, I would like to see the streets full of amazing and beautiful vehicles with a V8 supported by a hybrid engine," he said. "My car of the future could be an organic-shaped vehicle that levitates lightly over the ground, which would use energy in a way that is not harmful to the environment."
Przybolewski, on the other hand, thinks internal combustion engines "will be treated as a relic of the past" and looks forward to a future with fully-autonomous cars that "serve as an information and entertainment center far beyond what smart cars of today are capable."
Cyberpunk 2077 launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 19, followed by PS5 and Xbox One Series X at a later date.