Exclusive Gran Turismo 5 preview

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Last month, Esquire packed its bags and headed to Tokyo to talk the torque with the legend that is Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of Gran Turismo. You can read our exclusive interview with one of the gaming industry's pioneers in our December issue (on sale this Thursday, folks) but in the meantime, here are a few photos of our visit to the home of the greatest driving simulator ever made...

Ford GT40 and pit crew

A miniature replica of the Ford GT40 at Polyphony Digital's development studio. Yamauchi is so taken with its timeless design that when it was re-commissioned, he purchased the first and last cars off the production line (in white and gunmetal grey, respectively)

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In GT5, you can count on the weather making driving conditions that little bit more treacherous

Polyphony Digital whiteboard

A whiteboard at Polyphony Digital showing an F1 car and, er, the Patmobile (center right)?

Japanese room

The traditional Japanese Room, where Yamauchi and his team hold their brainstorming sessions

Yamauchi recently sat down with Red Bull Racing to design the fastest road car in the world. The result is the X1, a futuristic one-seater that shifts from 0-60 mph in 1.4 seconds. (Yes, you'll be able to drive it in GT5.)

Staff rota

Polyphony's staff rota lets Yamauchi and his team know where any employee is at a given time, with stickers denoting whether they're travelling, eating, on a break or sleeping in the office.

Yamauchi racer

Yamauchi taking a rare minute's rest by Polyphony's testing desk. (FYI, the helmet isn't just for effect - he races in real cars too.)

Gran Turismo 5 will go on sale next month on PlayStation 3.

Words by Henry Farrar-Hockley

Photographs by Jacob Hodgkinson. With special thanks to Takayuki Nushida