It's not long now until Forza Horizon finds its way onto the shelves at your nearest game retailer, but there's still a while to go until Turn 10's and Playground Games' car announcements have eventually covered the entire roster.
With some of the most advanced supercars of all time, a collection of awe-inspiring muscle cars, dinky little hot hatches, homologation specials and even one of the most valuable cars ever to be sold at auction, this week's round-up certainly looks like a very interesting one on paper.
But we'll let you decide whether or not this is one of the better weeks for Forza Horizon reveals. So, let's kick things off with one of the motoring icons of the last decade.
The latest in a long line of mid engined, motorsport inspired, uber-exclusive Ferrari supercars, the Enzo is certainly a car that deserves to be named after the founder of the famous Italian auto maker. After all, when it went on sale, it was comfortably the fastest, the most powerful, the most track focused and expensive Fezza the world had ever seen.
Every number and figure on the Enzo's technical spec sheet is, put simply, amazing. I mean, how can anyone not be impressed by a car that has a 6.0 V12 with 650bhp, a carbon fibre tub, an F1-inspired gearbox, pushrod suspension (i.e. until recently the same suspension you saw on Ferrari's Formula One cars) and bodywork that was honed to nigh-on perfection in Maranello's gargantuan wind tunnel.
Yes, it's not quite the fastest Ferrari around the Fiorano test track anymore – the less powerful and heavier 458 Italia is a second or so quicker than the might Enzo -, it's soon to be 'replaced' by the upcoming "F70" and the looks aren't to everyone's tastes, but we reckon that the moment you floor it on the in-game highways, or send it flying through tight corners with loads of camber and such, you'll understand why Enzos swap hands for a cool £1,000,000 in the real world nowadays!
Subaru WRX STi
For everyone who's wondering why there's no "Impreza" in the sub-heading, it's not a typo. Subaru, for some reason, decided to make the performance car its own stand-alone model, so it isn't actually an Impreza anymore.
Still, at least the rest of the recipe is the classic, old school 'Scooby' way of doing things.
Oh, and now we've got a current WRX STi and a Mitsubishi Evo X in the game, the 'fanboy' wars can now be transferred to to the new open-road racing game. Who'll win the duel in Forza Horizon? We'll leave you to find that out for yourself…
Abarth 500 esseesse
As good as the modern day Fiat 500 is, there's no denying that the original from the Fifties was arguably the 'cleverer' and cooler car in comparison. And the same story applies to the faster Abarth models – the new one may be competent and capable, but those wanting a 'proper' hot hatch Italiano style, the original Abarth 500 is the one to go for.
Sure, the rear-mounted engine may be poking out of the bonnet, but it's tiny capacity and even smaller power output means it's by no means a fast car – if you're really lucky, you might just be able to get 75mph out of the thing. But that's missing the point of the car entirely – yes, it's not quick, but the low curb weight of 600kg or so means it's certainly agile in the corners.
Us here at Team VVV aren't forcing you to like it – we all know that, like black pudding and reality TV shows, the Abarth 500 esseesse won't appeal to everyone. But we do urge you to take it for a spin down a twisty canyon road at least once. You may end up liking it more than you'd care to admit!
Plymouth 'Cuda 426 HEMI
Thanks to the oil crisis in the early 1970s, muscle cars quickly went out of fashion and, as such, the very rare 'last of the breed' examples are highly sought after by collectors today. And one such machine is this: the Plymouth 'Cuda 426 HEMI.
Though not as valuable as the ultra-rare convertible version, the fact this is one of the last 7.0 HEMI V8 Barracudas before the muscle car craze died out makes the Plymouth quite an exceptional piece of automotive history. Oh, and with 425hp on tap and a claimed 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds, it's also quite quick by modern standards as well.
Of course, being an old American muscle car, it most likely won't handle particularly well when compared with modern day machinery. Still, as with all cars of this type, who really cares when the motor in question is this cool and has this much cult appeal?
Lamborghini Miura P400
When Ferruccio Lamborghini started building his own sports cars in response to the poor customer service he received from Enzo Ferrari, he instructed his engineers to focus on the street, as he reckoned Ferraris were just 'thinly disguised race cars' that didn't work on the public road. Which, ironically, makes the Miura one of the motoring industry's biggest ever contradictions.
After all, it was the first ever mid-engined road car (all other cars with their motors mounted amidships were racing prototypes), one of the guys who worked on the chassis was none other than Gian Paolo Dallara – albeit before he was directly involved in motorsports – and the 3.9 V12 was designed by Giotto Bizzarini, the same bloke who used to do the engines for Ferrari's race cars.
Still, when the end result is one of the greatest and most iconic road cars of all time, I think we can let the late Mr. Lamborghini off (or, more precisely, the small team of engineers and designers who worked on the Miura as an 'after hours project') for going against his own word.
Oh, and given it's quite a nice car to drive in Forza Motorsport 4, we have high hopes for it in Forza Horizon. Though, unless it ends up being one of the game's barn find cars, don't expect it to be what you'd call "affordable"…
Dodge Charger R/T
Another round-up, and another highly-sought after muscle car has joined this week's pack of cars for Forza Horizon. However, whilst the aforementioned Plymouth Cuda is highly prized because of its rarity, the Dodge Charger R/T is known by many as a result of its starring roles on the big and silver screens.
After all, how can anyone not think of the Dodge Charger without associating it with the iconic TV show 'The Dukes of Hazzard', with its brazen orange paintwork, 'Dixie horn' and confederate flag on the bonnet? And, if you're a keen fan of car chases in films, you may also notice that a Charger of this spec starred alongside Steve McQueen and his Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback in the famous 'Bullitt' chase sequence.
Speaking of which, we're really hoping there'll be a 'Stang of that type in Forza Horizon as well, so we can imitate the famous scene, albeit not in geographically correct circumstances (Bullitt was,after all, filmed in San Francisco, not the canyon roads of Colorado). And, if not, then we're certain there'll be plenty of dirt trail jumps for us to launch the Charger over in proper Dukes of Hazzard style!
Mazda MX-5 (NA)
There was once a time where the motoring world was dominated by small, affordable sports cars. Sadly, the diversity of that particular genre has now diminished in the UK at least to just one. But, when said car is the Mazda MX-5, having only one small roadster to choose from isn't exactly what you'd call a "curse".
And, for the purists out there who reckon the current car is too big and too heavy now, Forza Horizon will feature the highly regarded first-generation model; the one the motoring press fell in love with over twenty years ago, and keen drivers adore to this day.
And, with Colorado's canyon roads to guide it down, we can't think of another environment in a racing game that'd suit the Mk 1 Mazda MX-5 more. It genuinely is a match made in console "simcade" heaven, and we can't wait to take it for a spin down such strips of in-game tarmac.
Citroen DS3 Racing
Despite Citroen's dominant success in the World Rally Championship, with Sebastien Loeb having clinched his ninth consecutive Drivers' title with the team earlier today, they hadn't done much to transfer the technology they used to win the various rally stages onto a road car. That is, until now.
Called the DS3 Racing, and engineered by the same people who work on Monsieur Loeb's rally car, the hot street-legal Citroen certainly has a lot going for it. Not only is it by no means a shrinking violet, thanks to the orange trim on the car you see in the pictures and the carbon fibre trim inside and out (and yes, it's real carbon fibre), but it's also got a 200hp 1.6 turbocharged engine.
Of course, it's not quite as punchy as the competition car that just dominated the Rallye de France (and, indeed, the entire WRC season so far), but it's still brisk enough to have fun in. And, of course, there's no harm in bolting on some off-road gear and emulating the aforementioned French rally driver on Forza Horizon's dirt trails, eh?
First attempts are, by their own nature, often quite appalling – after all, how can you expect to do something right first time around, especially if you've had no previous experience? However, Lexus were somehow able to do such a good job on its first ever performance car, the IS-F, that it very nearly gave the likes of BMW and Mercedes something to really worry about.
With a 414hp 5.0 V8 and no less than eight cogs in its semi-automatic gearbox, the fast Lexus certainly had enough speed to take on the Merc and the Beemer. What really surprised everyone, though, was the way the car handled – though the general consensus is that the M3 is just ahead with regards to dynamics and body control, the IS-F is certainly no wallowing barge.
Put short, this is one very quick and capable road car. And, whilst it might not have enough poke to take on the overkill "wannabe DTM racer" that is the C63 AMG Black Series, the bog standard BMW M3 that's also in Forza Horizon will be a mighty fine rival to try and take down in online races.
Peugeot 205 T16
As part of Group B homologation rules, it was necessary for their ballistic turbocharged rally stage smashers to have road going versions, albeit ones that were considerably less powerful and dangerous to drive. In the short yet exciting history of Group B, we had, among many more homologation production machines, the Audi Quattro, the Lancia Delta Integrale, the Ford RS200 Evolution and this, the Peugeot 205 T16.
Whilst no where near what the rally car was capable of doing with regards to outright speed, there was still plenty to like about the T16 production car. Like the competition car, the Peugeot was mid-engined, came with all-wheel drive and had the same turbocharged engine, albeit one that was hugely detuned when compared with the 400hp+ the rally version was churning out.
Of course, being a thinly disguised rally car at heart, it should prove to be just as capable on the tarmac as it is in the dirt. And, with the Audi Sport Quattro and Ford RS200 we mentioned in the first paragraph also set to make an appearance in Forza Horizon, it's going to be very interesting to see which one ends up on top.
Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible
You might have thought that, given it's the Corvette's 50th birthday and, incidentally, the last full year the 'C6' gen 'Vette will be in production, that Turn 10 and Playground Games would've given us the new 427 or the ZO6 Carbon Limited Edition to play with in Forza Horizon. Instead, though, we get this: the Grand Sport Convertible.
Still, it's a Chevrolet Corvette, so there's still plenty to like about it. For instance, it's got mostly the same drivetrain as the standard C6, so there's a 430hp 6.2 V8 under the 'hood', but this being a Grand Sport, there's also uprated brakes, bigger tyres and revised gearing, all to make it that little bit better.
Of course, with there not being a standard C6 'Vette to compare it with, we'll have to take Chevy's word for it. However, whether or not it's on the open road or being hustled along your favorite stretch of in-game tarmac, we reckon the Grand Sport will fit in perfectly in the world of Forza Horizon.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe
You wouldn't usually associate the Korean auto manufacturers with sports cars, but that image is slowly starting to change. Kia's announced plans to make a Golf GTI-rivaling Cee'd, and Hyundai has been busy away working on the Veloster and the car you see here, the Genesis Coupe.
By some margin the flagship in Hyundai's performance car range, the Genesis has all the ingredients to make it a serious rival for other 'hairy chested sports cars' of this calibre, such as as the Nissan 370Z. After all, up front is a 3.8 V6 with 340hp on tap and at the back is a limited-slip differential that makes drifting and powersliding the Genesis seem like an absolute doddle.
Oh, and Rhys Millen was able to set a new record and claim overall victory at this year's Pikes Peak Hill Climb in a Hyundai Genesis, so if even an essence of the car that won the esteemed event has rubbed off on the road car, guiding it along tight and twisty roads should be quite entertaining to say the least!
Ferrari 250 GT California
If we're brutally honest, we are scratching our heads as to how the Ferrari 250 GT California passed the Playground Games selection process – after all, when it comes to street racing, huge late-night concerts and mass-media entertainment, the classic Ferrari just doesn't seem to fit in!
Not that we're complaining, mind. Any excuse to have a Ferrari in a racing game is fine by us, especially when it's a 250 California. After all, not only is it one of the most beautiful and evocative performance cars of all time, but it's also one of the most valuable – a few years ago, BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans bought one for a very cool £5,500,000, and we're sure they'll go for even more money when one eventually finds its way onto the auction block.
So, yeah, it's a bit pointless in our opinion as an addition to the game, and it's highly likely it'll end up being one of the game's barn finds (we can't see the California ever being a reward car!). But hey, it's one of the most desirable and exclusive Ferraris in the world, and its inclusion in Forza Horizon will be the closest many of us will ever get to driving one in the real world.
That is, unless you win the lottery or you're Chris Evans. In that case, could we have a quick go in your beautiful Ferrari, please? We promise we won't end up like the California in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' did!
It's always the swan songs that end up being regarded as the 'greatest ever' of something, isn't it? The Victorian leviathan that was the SS Great Eastern is seen by many to be Isambard Kingdom Brunel's greatest engineering triumph, the iconic Supermarine Spitfire was the last aircraft to be designed by the genius that was RJ Mitchell and, for TVR, there was the Sagaris.
After all, the motoring press were unanimous in their verdict that the Sagaris was the best ever TVR, and it's pretty easy to see why. The chassis that underpinned the bonkers British sports car is widely seen to be the best that was ever assembled at the Bristol Avenue factory, the 380hp 4.0 'Speed Six' motor is an absolute gem of a motor and, as you can probably tell from the above picture, it makes an excellent 'bedroom wall poster' car.
Alas, it's a shame that TVR is no more – a successor to the Sagaris was allegedly being built, so ne can only imagine how good that could have been. At least we should be thankful that the one-time 'left field' rival to the Porsche 911 will be able to make the roads of Colorado its own in Forza Horizon.
Before you ask, the answer is no. This Saleen S7 is not the almighty, 750hp Twin Turbo model – instead, it's the 'bog standard' S7. However, when the entry-level S7 is as capable as it is, I doubt many will be too disappointed.
After all, mounted amidships is a 7.0 Ford-derived V8 with 550bhp on tap which, when coupled with the aerodynamic bodywork and low curb weight of 1,240kg or so, makes the Saleen a flippin' fast car – its makers claim the 0-60mph time is just 3.2 seconds and, whilst there haven't been any officially verified reports, we assume the top speed is in the region of 200mph and beyond.
But don't go thinking that this car will be a dog to drive, as quite a few 'race cars for the road' tend to be (strip the interior down and fit a restrictor plate to the engine, and you essentially have the S7R racing car) – yes, it's long and wide, but if Forza 4 is anything to go by, it should be quite a nice machine to drive quickly.
Then again, that's in racing circuits. How it'll fare on the tight and twisty roads that'll be present in the game is another matter altogether!
McLaren F1 GT
As much as we'd love to have the standard McLaren F1 in Forza Horizon, it seems that – until further notice, at least – we'll have to put up with the the homologated 'GT' model. But beggars can't be choosers, and the F1 GT is still quite an impressive piece of kit.
For instance, the drivetrain is exactly the same, so you still get the fabulous 6.1 V12 which is nestled in a cradle of gold (no jokes!), and the extended rear bodywork gives the car more downforce. Which is handy, given there's 620hp or so being sent to the back wheels, and the rear end of the normal F1 can be best described as 'loose'.
Actually, come to think of it, when the F1 GT is essentially a normal McLaren F1 but with a bit more aerodynamic grip at the rear, maybe we were wrong to slag it off in favour of the car's original incarnation.
I mean, when it theoreticallly improves upon what Autocar described as the "the finest driving machine yet built for the public road" in May 1994, and the game's developers insist there'll be plenty of tight and twisty corners where that downforce will come into good effect, we might just be better off with the F1 GT…
Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
And now from one iconic mid-engined homologated competition car to another. It doesn't really need an introduction, does it? I mean, it's a God damn Lancia Stratos!
For those of you who are unaware of the Lancia's influence on motorsport, allow me to explain why the Stratos is one of the all-time great rally cars – it had the punch of a Ferrari V6, gorgeous Bertone styling, a short wheelbase that made it extremely agile (which is always handy in rallying) and the fact it was one of the first – if not, the first – competition cars to be built from the ground-up to be a competition car, and nothing else.
As a result, the road-legal Stratos you see here fully deserves that overused title of 'race car for the road' – it was so focused on being a rally car, even the side door bins on the homologated production car were designed to accomodate crash helmets!
So, when you consider the racing machine completely dominated the World Rally Championship for three years in a row, it means that even the folk who'll race about in Quattros, Evos and Subarus should think twice before they take on someone in a Stratos.
Just be careful, though, especially on low grip surfaces such as wet tarmac or dirt roads. That short wheelbase means the Lancia will bite you hard if you start taking liberties with it!
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Muscle cars have always been the easy way to get loads of power at relativley affordable prices, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 should be no exception in Forza Horizon. The real life car may cost quite a bit of money to buy new but, if FM4 is anything to go by, it could very well end up being half the price of the less powerful and theoretically slower BMW M5.
Such a turn of speed is courtesy of the ZL1's might 580bhp power output, which is provided by essentially a detuned version of the same supercharged 6.2 V8 you'll find in the Corvette ZR1. However, unlike most muscle cars that came before it, this flagship Camaro is actually quite a sophisticated piece of kit: the flagship Camaro has multi-link suspension with magnetically-operated shock absorbers, the chassis is made out of aluminium and there are even carbon fibre body panels.
The motoring press also seem to say that the Camaro ZL1 has quite a good chassis setup, so that monstrous power shouldn't be too difficult to tame once you eventually overwhelm the rear tyres with a bit too much pressure on the throttle pedal.
But at least its neutral(ish) handling and tendency to break traction wherever and whenever means that, if there are any drift events in Forza Horizon and no Holdens find their way into the game, the Camaro ZL1 might be the car to go for if you're required to indulge in some power-induced oversteer moments in the Horizon festival…
So, another week of our Forza Horizon Car Reveal Round-Up has been completed! Be sure to check back in seven days time for our next installment in our little series, and let us know what you think of the cars that've been announced so far in the comments section below, in our Forums or on our Facebook page.