Remember the Mazda RX-Vision? That was a stunning sports car concept that was unveiled to great fanfare at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, signifying Hiroshima’s intention to return to making rotary engines. Not much has been heard of it since, but at the recent World Finals of the Gran Turismo Championships in Monaco, the company released a teaser sketch of a racing version of the car, called the RX-Vision GT3.

Despite what the moniker may tell you, the car won’t make an appearance in real-life GT3-class racing. Instead, it will debut in the racing game Gran Turismo Sport next year, as part of a collaboration between Mazda and developer Polyphony Digital. It will be available for players to race in the FIA-certified esports championship, joining other eligible real and virtual race cars.

On top of the RX-Vision’s curvaceous body, the GT3 version adds a host of race-spec aerodynamic addenda, including a large front splitter, deeper side skirts, an extended rear diffuser and a massive rear wing, plus other paraphernalia such as tow hooks and a fuel filler in the rear quarter window. The rest of the car remains unchanged, retaining the large grille and slim headlights with distinctive arching signature lighting.

No technical specifications have been released, and while the RX prefix in the name would suggest that the car will have a rotary engine (just like the RX-7 and RX-8), Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi said during the event that Polyphony wasn’t actually sure the car would use the reciprocating motor.

The original Mazda RX-Vision concept

While the specs of fictional racers in the game are largely imaginary anyway, the presence of a new rotary-powered machine – virtual or otherwise – could have implications beyond a game console. Since the reveal of the original RX-Vision, Mazda had been quite mum on the prospect of a new rotary sports car, and has even denied it a number of times over the past few years.

More recently, the engine has instead been developed for use as a range extender in an electric vehicle, and at this year’s Tokyo show, Mazda confirmed it will be offered on the MX-30 electric crossover. It’s a far cry from its giant-slaying heydays, but perhaps the RX-Vision GT3 could serve as a harbinger of a more exciting future for the Wankel mill.

This will not the first time a pretend Mazda race car has appeared in a Gran Turismo game. Back in 2015, the company introduced the LM55 Vision Gran Turismo, a futuristic prototype (again, rotary-powered) that was part of the Vision Gran Turismo programme.

GALLERY: Mazda RX-Vision