Following the announcement of Gran Turismo Sport at Paris Games week, the 13th annual Gran Turismo Awards quickly followed at the Marquee Nightclub inside Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. Held during the SEMA Show, the 2015 GT Awards sought to find the best cars from five different categories (Best Truck or SUV, Hot Rod, Domestic Automobile, Asian Import, and European Import) by calling on experts from the automotive media and industry tastemakers.
Of the thousands of vehicles shown at SEMA Show this year, the automotive media experts narrowed the five category selections down to the following:
Best Domestic – 1970 Dodge Charger
Judging Expert – Autoblog
Best Euro – 1985 BMW 535i
Judging Expert – Hoonigan
Best Import – 1973 Datsun 240Z
Judging Expert – Super Street
Best Hot Rod – 1978 Ford Mustang Hard Top
Judging Expert – Bangshift
Best Truck – 1968 Chevrolet C10 Pro-Touring
Judging Expert – Truck Trend Network
In the end, Gran Turismo creator and series producer, Kazunori Yamauchi selected the 1973 Datsun “Fugu Z” 240Z owned by Sung Kang of the Fast and Furious film franchise, and built with Greddy Racing and partners.
Transplanted with a NA RB26DE, with a Pandem body kit by TRA Kyoto, the Fugu Z started as a good excuse for Sung Kang and his buddies to hang out and build something together — the result was a perfectly-executed SEMA build with a raw, yet classic feel to it, along with the right balance of modern upgrades and styling.
“Winning the Best in Show for the Gran Turismo Awards is surreal on many levels,” said Sung Kang, the actor known for his roles in the Fast and Furious film franchise and owner of the Datsun 240Z. “The Fugu Z started off as an idea between a few friends and myself to stoke our passion for cars. Thanks to Kenji Sumino, the Greddy team, and other partners, not only did that idea come to fruition, the response to our Z build at the SEMA show was overwhelming. And now with our Fugu Z winning the Best in Show for the Gran Turismo Awards, I’m honored that we’ll be able to share the car with the rest of the world as a playable vehicle in the game.”
“Greddy has won Best Asian Import for the Gran Turismo Awards three times prior to this year, but we always came short for the coveted ‘Best in Show,'” said Kenji Sumino, President of Greddy. “This year, with Sung Kang and his team’s vision for the build, thoughtful planning and tireless hours from the Greddy crew, and to our amazing partners who contributed to the build, we are honored not only to take home the fourth category win, but the Best in Show award!”
Stay tuned, Yamauchi has confirmed that Kang’s Fugu Z will come as a playable vehicle to the Gran Turismo franchise on PS4.
Go to www.gran-turismo.com/us for more info.