Gran Turismo Sport revs onto PS4 November 18

Start your FIA-approved virtual engines

Make sure you've got your crash helmet and race suit at the ready - Gran Turismo Sport has an official launch date.

The undisputed king of PlayStation racing simulations will hit the PS4 on November 18 in the UK. It's the first time the series has made an appearance on current-gen consoles, and the first since 2013's Gran Turismo 6.

You can't call this latest version a teaser like the Prologue releases that came in the past; it's packed with tracks, cars and content - plus it's got the FIA seal of approval.

137 different cars have made the cut, split across four racing groups made up of street-legal cars (think hot hatches, sports cars and muscle cars), race-modified road cars, race-ready supercars, and cars built specifically for the track.

It won't just be real life cars, either. Polyphony has teamed up with a group of car manufacturers to turn some of their concepts into (virtual) reality.

Ever car has been remodelled from scratch, rather than borrow models from Gran Turismo 6 - meaning you can kiss those jaggy edges goodbye. Each one has a fully rendered interior view, too, so you can drive from the cockpit instead of from a disembodied camera bolted to the front bumper.

Six tracks have been confirmed so far: the Northern Isle Speedway (the first time a half-mile oval has shown up in the GT series), Tokyo Expressway, Brands Hatch (both the indie and F1 circuits), Willow Springs raceway, and (of course) the Nurburgring. All the returning tracks have been reworked from the ground up to take advantage of the PS4's extra graphical grunt.

Dirt tracks will also be making a return, although they weren't ready to be shown off at the launch event. There's finally a livery editor, too, so you can customise your cars before heading online.

That's only half the story, though - this is also the first time the FIA, motorsport's governing body, has signed off on a game.

With officially sanctioned virtual racing, players will be able to enter races and compete globally - with the winners heading to international finals at the end of the year. The very best drivers will be honored at the FIA end-of-year awards ceremony alongside actual racing drivers.

Sony will be holding the inaugural Gran Turismo Sport race later today; we've embedded the live stream above, so you can tune in and see what level of competition you can expect when the game arrives.

GT fans have a few months to start visualsing their racing lines - Gran Turismo Sport arrives worldwide on the 15th of November in the US and 16th of November in Europe. Sad news for the UK though - we have to wait until the 18th.

We're about to get behind the (virtual) wheel, so make sure to check back later today to find out how we got on.