Given the amount of vehicles that've been announced over the last four weeks, we're surprised that Playground Games and Turn 10 have enough interesting metal to reveal between now and the game's release in late October. In fact, we're tempted to say that this is one of the best reveal weeks to date!
We'll let you make your mind up about that little bit, though. However, given the collection of cars that make up this feature, we'll be surprised if none of the motors we've got lined up below tickle your fancy!
But what are you waiting for? Start scrolling down the page! It's the only way you'll find out for certain, after all…
Pontiac GTO Judge
Slogans and catchphrases from omedy routines usually don't have much influence on cars, but it seems quite a few people at Pontiac in the late Sixties were big fans of 'Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In' show, as the "Here Come de Judge' saying went on to inspire the name for the ultimate variant of the second-gen GTO muscle car.
But it's not just a novelty name that makes the GTO Judge a special car, as this was the flagship in the range. However, despite being the top-of-the-line GTO, the Judge actually came with a load of optional extras, such as front disc brakes, four-speed transmissions…oh, and a 370hp 'Ram Air IV' V8 engine.
Of course, being an old school muscle car, don't go expecting the Judge to rool the roost on twisty canyon roads. However, get the GTO lined up with rivals of a similar vintage in a drag race between the traffic lights, and we're certain the Pontiac will leave them all trailing in its tsunami of V8 bellow and plumes of rear tyre smoke.
Audi Sport Quattro
In the 1980s, is you wanted the best all-terrain, all-weather performance car that money could buy, you only had one choice: the Audi Quattro. Actually, that's a bit of a fib – if you really wanted the best all-weather performance car, you had to plump for the Sport Quattro version.
It might not be the prettiest homologation special ever made, but don't ignore the Sport Quattro on the basis that it's "a bit fugly". The combination of a shortened wheelbase and all-wheel drive gives the Audi impressive handling and road adhesion qualities, and the 2.1 turbocharged five-cylinder engine with 307bhp means it's very quick: the 0-60mph time of 4.8 seconds was identical to what a Lamborghini Countach could do!
Of course, being limited to 214 units (with 164 of those being road cars – the rest were Group B prototypes and special stage monsters), very few will ever get to see the Sport Quattro in the flesh. Thankfully, with its inclusion in Forza Horizon, many more people will be able to experience its off-road capabilities, its potential to slay supercars on the right roads and, of course, that fantastic five-cylinder warble!
Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II (R34)
If the Forza franchise's arch rival has taught us anything about this gen of Skyline, it's that Nissan made many variations of the R34 series, all boasting names of varying length and inclusion of acronyms. But what the motoring press has told us anything, it's that the one that's being included in Horizon – the V-Spec II model – is one of the best of the breed.
Though not quite as focused as the more hardcore Nurburgring edition, the R34 GT-R V-Spec II is still a serious piece of kit. After all, it comes with a 311bhp 2.0 twin-turbo straight-six, a trick four-wheel drive system, carbon aero implants and enough real world performance to trouble almost almost every single sports and supercar you can think of.
Oh, and the digital display on the dash features, amongst many more things, a g-meter. Which, if you ask us, is the perfect excuse to thrash the nuts off the R34 Skyline – I mean, how cool would it be to max out the g-meter!?
BMW M3 (E30)
The Forza community has been requesting the first-gen BMW M3 to be included in the esteemed racing game franchise for yonks now, almost to the point where it seemed the folk at Turn 10 would follow in the footsteps of Gran Turismo and "ignore" the outcry. However, Turn 10 has listened to the community, and the E30 M3 will be making its Forza debut in Horizon.
To be fair, it's not hard to see why the Forza fans have been praying for this day to come. Yes, with only 192bhp to play with, this M-car was never going to be the fastest example of the breed, but what made the E30 M3 special was its handling: to this day, the motoring press and driving enthusiasts around the world all agree that it's one of the finest (if not, the finest) driver's BMW of all time.
So yeah, compared with the most recent M3 (that's also available in Forza Horizon), it'll be blown clean out of the water. But whilst the driver of the modern car roars into the distance, we reckon you in the E30 would be having the most fun.
Dodge Viper ACR-X
We were initially told that there'd only be street-legal cars in Forza Horizon, but we've found out in the last few weeks that track-biased machinery such as the Zonda R and Shelby Daytona Coupe have all found their way into the game. And now, there's a new racing car addition to the title: the Dodge Viper ACR-X.
As its name suggests, the ACR-X shares a lot in common with the Viper ACR that, at one point, held the record around the Nurburgring for the fastest time ever set by a road-legal production car. The ACR-X, though, does promise an even more ballistic turn of speed. The weight was reduced to 1,500kg, the downforce package was improved with the new 'flicks' on the front bumper and the power of the monstrous 8.4 V10 was boosted from an already considerable 600hp to a nigh-on outrageous 640hp.
The result of this is sensational performance that would leave most performance cars quaking in fear. And now, with its inclusion in Forza Horizon, one of the ultimate track tools can now be unleashed to wreak utter havoc on the public roads!
Ford GT40 Mk II
The original Ford GT40 that debuted in 1964 was, put frankly, a disaster: having spent many millions of dollars on developing the car, none proved to be competitive in the longer endurance races due to the engine overheating. In 1966, though, Ford made a come-back with the 7.0 V8-powered GT40 Mk II, and motor racing history was made.
Though it didn't win the World Sportscar Championship outright (Ferrari took overall honours that year, as it had done for many years previously), the teams that fielded the Ford took the 'real' prize: a 1-2-3 finish at that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, ending Ferrari's dominance at the French track, albeit through controversial means.
And now, with its inclusion in Forza Horizon, the beast that once dominated the world's most arduous and famous endurance race can now be exploited to its full potential on the open road. Now, where are those Ferraris?
Oh, they're right after the Ford! However, even this one might give the GT40 something to worry about…
It's very tricky to decide what the greatest Ferrari of all time with – after all, you've got the 250 GTO, the 166 MM, the 365 'Daytona' and countless more to choose from. However, there's a very strong case for the F40 to be crowned the ultimate Ferrari.
For starters, it was the fastest car in the world when it was launched in the mid-Eighties, with a top speed of 201mph and a 0-60mph time of under 4 seconds, all courtesy of a 1,100kg or so kerbweight and a 475hp twin-turbo 2.9 V8.
It was also one of the first road cars to make use of carbon-fibre, it celebrated the fabled Italian marque's 40th birthday and was the last road car that got the official sign-off from the man himself, Enzo Ferrari, before his death in 1988.
But what really makes the F40 special is that everyone's who has ever driven it all agree it's phenomenal to drive. Yes, it's no 'pussycat', and is wild and feral when compared with the firm's modern cars, but when it all comes together and you get it right, hardly anything else rewards you in the same way.
Put simply, if you want a thrilling time in a road car, you need look no further than the Ferrari F40. If you can tame the car's ability to bite hard if you don't respect it properly, you're going to absolutely love it!
Volkswagen Scirocco R
The Volkswagen Golf GTI has always been a very good car, but some people in the world might have been put off by its similarity in terms of looks with the standard Golf, along with the fact it 'only' comes with 250bhp or so. Thankfully, VW has found the solution with the Scirocco R.
Being a Scirocco, it's undoubtedly a more interesting car to look at than the Golf GTI on which it's incidentally based: it might not quite be the coupe VW claims it is (at least, from a traditional sense), but let's be honest: if you saw one on the road, you'd double take at it, wouldn't you?
It's also, thanks to the 261bhp power output, pretty quick, with a claimed 5.6 second sprint to 60mph and a top speed of 155mph. And, despite being a front-wheel drive car, it also seems to handle that power rather well.
Of course, it's not the only sporty three-door Volkswagen in the game: as we showed last week, the Corrado VR6 is also in Forza Horizon. And, with some of the world's best driving roads to try them out and compare them on, omething tells us the potential for a very interesting group test here…
Chevrolet Impala SS 409
There are plenty of iconic muscle cars to choose from in Forza Horizon so far – you've got the Pontiac Judge, the latest Shelby and Boss 302 Mustangs and the (if you can class them as "mostly-like-a-musclecar" Ford GT40 and Corvette ZR1. However, possibly the most renowned of the lot so far was never officially called a 'muscle car: the Chevrolet Impala SS 409.
It may have a long official name, but that's because it's worthy of one. Because, you see, under that bonnet and behind the chrome detailing on the front lies a 409 cubic inch V8 with 360bhp and – rather appropriately – 409lb/ft of torque. As a result, it's mightily quick for something of this vintage.
Don't let the 'Impala' bit fool you, though – it may be named after an agile and exotic form of deer (don't quote me on that – I'm no Sir David Attenborough!), but as you can see from its size, the big Chevy was never designed to go quickly around corners. However, find a straight bit of road and hook up the rears on the road, and you'll storm down the highway in no time at all, riding a wave of V8 rumble and tyre-shredding torque.
Jaguar E-Type S1
The great Enzo Ferrari was, put simply, a very proud individual who had great pleasure in, among many other things, slapping his surname on some of the greatest performance machine the world had ever seen. However, there was one car he always wished had rolled out of his factory in Italy.
And the car in question? The 'Series 1' Jaguar E-Type.
There are plenty of reasons why the E-Type was deserving of old man Enzo's envy – almost too many to list here – but it's safe to say he was incredibly jealous of the Jag's speed: it may have only had a 3.8 straight-six, but this was the same 'XK' engine that had won Le Mans three times in a row, and was enough to get the E-Type past the 140mph barrier. And this was despite the car costing less than half what the equivalent Fezza was worth at the time.
But what must've really got under the Italian's skin was the the E-Type wore an aluminium shell that made anything from Pininfarina look…well…dull! Even though Malcom Sayer – the bloke who devised the sports car's shape – prioritised aerodynamics over aesthetics, the Jaguar stunned the world when it was launched in 1961, and to this day is seen by many to be the most beautiful car of all time.
Sure, it won't be the fastest car in the game, nor will it be the most dynamically composed (if the Forza 4 car is anything to go by, it'll lean like Hell in the bends!), but with looks like that, we can imagine many players will buy the car just to use it as the subject for their in-game photos!
Toyota Supra RZ
It's often the case with Japanese car makers that they save all the good stuff for the home market. However, as with every rule, there are the exceptions, and one such is the Toyota Supra RZ.
The JDM-spec Supra RZs were all equipped with a 3.0 twin-turbo straight-six with 276bhp, as required of native legislation at the time. However, the export markets didn't abide to such rules, so the same car with the same engine packed a far more meaty 320bhp. And, thankfully, Turn 10 and Playground Games decided to implement in the upcoming game.
Of course, with no tuning feature in Forza Horizon, the 1,000bhp+ monsters that were popularised by publicity seeking tuners and the 'Fast and the Furious' films won't be present in the game. Still, with that much poke on tap and presumably fairly laggy turbos, don't go thinking that a drive in the wet is going to be a walk in the park!
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Though most muscle cars would be consigned to the Automotive Hall of Fame anyway, having a starring role on the big or silver screen doesn't go amiss. The Ford Gran Torino was the ideal company car for Starsky and Hutch, Mel Gibson made the Ford Falcon an instant legend in Mad Max and, in Smokey and the Bandit, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was the motor of choice.
However, we're not too certain that we'd have chosen this particular Trans Am in a "high speed pursuit" that involved carrying beer and a bride across Texas, as it came with a rather weedy 201bhp, despite the fact it had a 6.6 Buick-sourced V6. And, even without the booze on board, it weighed 1.6 tons.
Still, when you've got a car with those iconic decals and its movie star kudos – and, if Forza 4 is anything to go by, it'll be dirt cheap – we can live without the speed. For now, at least…
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
The Range Rover has come a very long way since Charles Spencer King's inaugural masterpiece burst onto the scene in the Seventies. Over the years, they've got bigger, more spacious, more luxurious…oh, and since 2004, there's now a supercharged Sport version!
Of course, being such a huge and cumbersome vehicle, the term 'Sport' might not be that appropriate. That said, 510hp will always make something that wears a tax disc go like a bat out of hell and, being a Land Rover, it's just as fast on the tarmac as it is on the mucky stuff.
Also, now we've got something to rival the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG that was revealed a few weeks ago, we can now start daydreaming about unofficial online rallies in SUVs. I call dibs on the Rangie!
Lamborghini Diablo SV
Of course, 500bhp was always goint to be more suited to something more focused and lighter than the Range Rover, and thankfully this next car is just that. Welcome, everyone, to the 517hp Lamborghini Diablo SV.
Following in the footsteps of the previous car that wore the 'SV' badge, the iconic Miura SV from the Seventies, this ultra Diablo is as flamboyant as a Lamborghini should be. After all, it was designed by the same bloke who did the Miura and the Countach, and the phenomenal power from that 5.7 V12 made the Diablo SV one of the fastest cars in the world at the time.
Be careful with it though – whilst it doesn't quite pack the same punch of the facelifted Diablo SV, this is still a product from the pre-Audi years, so all that power is being sent through the rear wheels only. So, if you do end up spinning out and crashing violently, don't say you weren't ever warned!
Ferrari 458 Spider
When it was announced that the Ferrari 458 Italia would be available in Forza Horizon as a pre-order bonus car, depending on where you booked your copy, we did feel a bit miffed – this is one of the greatest performance cars of all time, and it's not even available to everyone who buys the game! Thankfully, balance in the universe has been achieved, as we now know the 458 Spider will come on every single Horizon disc that comes out of the factory.
If you take away the folding metal roof (the first for a mid-engined Ferrari, if you want to know), the Spider and the Italia are almost identical, so you still get the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the same 562bhp 4.5 V8, the same 3.4 second 0-60mph…in fact, the only major difference is that it's slower than the 202mph Italia hardtop. By 4mph.
But who really cares? It's a convertible version of one of the greatest Ferraris of all time and, if the 458 from Forza 4 is representative of what the Spider will be like, it should be ace.
In fact, if it's a tenth as good as the press say it is (check out Vicki Butler-Henderson's review of the 458 Spider if you can find it – it sums up the car perfectly!), we're going to be seriously looking forward to conquering the game's greatest canyon roads in the Ferrari.
And, for once, we're not exaggerating for dramatic effect – we really are looking forward to it!
And that's this weeks' Forza Horizon Car Round-Up done and dusted. Be sure to keep checking back on our website for future entries in our series – there's still a month or so to go until Horizon goes on sale, and we're sure that many more amazing cars will be revealed between now and then!