Fancy driving some concept cars? You can do it from the comfort of the couch image

The New York Auto Show is about to close its gates this week and the annual season of automotive events has already delivered outstanding concepts that might just be the drive of a lifetime.

That is, if only we had the money to buy or at least “lease” them for a trial period and, of course, if automakers actually made some of them road-worthy – not just beautiful, empty carcasses. It turns out the year’s already large selection of exotic prototypes, as well as some of the more interesting production models, can actually be had in one place. You could use just a few bucks and have them all in the comfort of your video console’s virtual environment. That’s because Sony Computer Entertainment has been hard at work promoting under the ‘Vision Gran Turismo’ theme the popular driving game’s 15 years birthday. And in the process it has also enticed global automakers and some leading design studios to imagine concept models linked to the game’s virtual world. The auto shows this year have seen a marvelous collection of prototypes from the likes of Chevrolet, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz , Toyota or Volkswagen.

And it turns out all of them have virtual brethrens that can be driven from your own couch – although we can imagine some aficionados also having the entire cockpit assembly, complete with racing seat, car controls and a myriad of monitors for surround view. All the cars can be downloaded for free in Gran Turismo 6, although they are exclusive to the PlayStation console, with the fabulous exotics then being available on exquisite racing circuits around the world.