We may have already started to experience the full game already – Alan's just recently uploaded the first hour or so of the career mode in two separate vids onto our YouTube channel – but that doesn't mean the train of newly announced Forza Horizon cars will be drawing to a hault anytime soon, as it still seems to be growing strong.
And, by the looks of things, all the new auto announcements seem to fit in very well with the whole Festival lifestyle of speed, adrenaline, high intensity races and more speed.
Actually, that's a bit of a fib – as you'll find out, there's one in the list that we're a bt puzzled by. Thankfully, though, we're kicking off our Round-Up with a car that's far better suited to holding its own as a road racer…
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
Every so often, a car pops up in these lists that, despite my best efforts to ramble on about them in an opening paragraph, don't really need an introduction. And the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa is one such car.
Not only is it regularly cited to being one of the most beautiful racing cars of all time, but it's also one of the world's most valuable – they regularly change hands for well over a million Pounds at auction, and one last year sold for a very cool £10,000,000.
And, it has an incredible back catalogue of wins to call upon – it fought in some of the toughest and most grueling road and circuit events of the era, and most of the time came out head and shoulders above everything else.
Which does bode well for all the road racing you'll be doing in Forza Horizon…
Gumpert Apollo S
As that age old saying in motorsports goes – especially in the era of jutting aero parts and 'Platypus noses' in Formula One – "If it's fast, it's beautiful". Which, if you take those words in a literal sense, makes the Gumpert Apollo S one of the most aesthetically appealling cars of all time.
After all, when you've got a twin-turbocharged 4.2 V8 that develops 690bhp and is bolted into a car that takes the term 'race car for the road' further than almost anything that's come before it, the Apollo S was never going to be a slouch, was it?
Heck, when something can claim to have held lap records around the Top Gear Test Track and the Nurburgring, it's certainly worthy of your attention if you want a super fast performance car. Even if the car in question did fall out of the 'Ugly Tree' and hit every branch on the way down…
Audi R8 GT
A while ago, we were able to reveal that the Audi R8 GT Spyder would be available as a VIP bonus car. However, if you didn't want to fork out more money to add the drop-top Audi supercar in Forza Horizon or were planning on buying the game once the prices go down, you'll be pleased to know that the coupe version will be available in every copy.
And, from a statistical point of view, it's actually the marginally better car. The power is the same at 560bhp but, because it's noticeably lighter, the R8 GT hardtop is the quicker car – the 0-60mph time is, at 3.6 seconds, a tenth faster than the Spyder's time, whilst the top speed of 199mph is 2mph better than what the convertible version can muster.
Despite its more track-orientated nature, though, the R8 GT retains all the user-friendly qualities that make the standard R8 the critically acclaimed car that it is. Put simply, unless a Nissan GT-R or a Porsche 911 Turbo is announced anytime soon, we can't think of another high-speed supercar that's this easy to drive quickly.
Koenigsegg CCXR Edition
And now onto the Koenigsegg CCXR Edition, a car that's perhaps the exact opposite of the aforementioned Audi R8 GT. Whereas the German car is relativley easy to drive and control on the limit, the bonkers Swedish speed machine reguires a lot of concentration if you're to get the most out of it.
After all, whilst this car does have the potential to smash everything this side of a Hennessey Venom GT in a rolling-start drag race, all the 1,000bhp it has is being sent to the back wheels, so, unless you leave the traction control on its maximum strength setting, even partial throttle will get the wheels spinning as if the tarmac's been replaced by ice.
Still, it'll be an impressive feat if you can master the Koenigsegg's traction issues, especially if you decide to find the car's limits on those tight and twisty canyon roads.
In fact, we hope we get more experience points if we can keep the CCXR in a massive drift than we would if we did it in something easy like a Toyota Supra. And we do mean way more!
Lancia Delta S4 Stradale
As you may have noticed, quite a few of the cars that've been announced in our Round-Ups are already in Forza Motorsport 4. Thankfully, though, the car we've got now is an all-new one to the Forza franchise.
And my, what a fine addition to Horizon this is! Essentially the road going version of the Delta S4 rally car – widely cited to be most of the most advanced machines ever to compete in Group B – it featured all the goodies that made the competition car so amazingly fast.
Not only does the Delta S4 have the mandatory all-wheel drive system, but the engine is mounted in between the axles for better weight distribution and – most crucially – it has a turbocharger and a supercharger, so the power output is 250bhp. Mind you, that's nothing compared to the 560bhp the rally car could muster…
Still, the combination of a 1.2 ton curb weight, all-wheel drive traction and the 'twincharger' setup giving punch at almost all revs, the Delta S4 should be quite pretty handy on the dirt trails and tight tarmac roads we know are present in Forza Horizon. And, with plenty of homologation Group B cars now in the game, we're looking forward to seeing which one comes out on top in multiplayer races…
As more and more Rufs are announced for Forza Horizon, we're starting to get the impression that Turn 10 and Playground Games weren't able to extend the Porsche licence beyond Forza 4's Expansion Pack. However, when it means that cars such as the RGT-8 are included in the game, we can't be too disheartened, can we?
From the outside, the Ruf looks similar to the now discontinued '997' generation 911 bar a few additions to the bodywork. The big change, though, regards the engine: the 3.6 flat-six has been hoiked out, and replaced by an in-house 4.5 V8 with 550bhp.
Add in rear-wheel drive, a lower curb weight and (considering this is a Ruf, and the physics engine replicated the real life car's dynamic behaviour correctly) one of the finest chassis setups in the motoring world, and you have what could possibly be one of the finest drivers' cars in the game.
Which, considering the calibre of cars we know will be in Forza Horizon, is about as high as praise for a car gets!
Ford Focus ST
When you think of fast Ford Focus models, it's highly likely that the first car you'll think of is the recent RS model (it seems the T10 PR gurus thought so as well, as the first car they announced for Forza Horizon was the Focus RS500). However, don't ignore the 'less hot' ST range, as they're also cracking cars.
Especially the all-new, 2013 model year Focus ST. Yes, it's not quite as powerful as its older RS brother and has sadly dropped the turbocharged five-cylinder engine due to ever tighter emissions regulations, but it still sounds the business, the 250hp power output is more than enough for a car of this type and, as with pretty much every Focus every made, it drives like an absolute dream.
Long story short, it epitomises all that makes a great hot hatchback a great hot hatchback, and we can imagine you'll have quite a bit of fun hustling it down those twisty canyon roads, and making everyone who bought a contemporary Golf GTI wonder why they spent all their hard earned credits on the 'less exciting car'.
And here we are, folks; the car we promised you'd be scratching your head over as to why the dev team decided to add to the game. May I present to you the humble, modest and not particularly fast Volkswagen Beetle.
It is indeed strange that the air-cooled, rear engined Beetle has founds its way into Forza Horizon – compared to everything else that's been added, it's hopelessly outclassed. Unless the fictional party goers have a penchant for retro, utilitarian transport, we doubt this 70mph bucket of bolts will appeal much.
Still, we do know that there's a tuning shop in Horizon, so you can always make the Bug a bit faster, and the rear-engined/rear wheel drive layout means that it could potentially be quite a good way to not only rack up some easy to control drifting points, but also tutor you into learning how to control the other cars in the game with this engine layout.
So it looks like there might be a point to the Beetle being in Forza Horizon after all…
Ferrari 250 GTO
The Ferrari 250 range is widely cited to be one of the most important car 'families' in Ferrari's esteemed history and there were quite a few to choose from in Forza 4. So, it's fitting yet simultaneously unsurprising that the 250 GTO has found its way into the Horizon lineup.
Whilst it might not be the 250 GTO that everyone wants – the one in the game is a Series 2 example, whilst the body style of the Series 1 is the one that almost everyone associates the car with – it's still got the fine mechanicals that made both variants the legends that they're seen as today. The 3.0 V12 is a snarling gem of an engine, and the handful of motoring writers who've been able to drive a 250 GTO all agree that it's perhaps one of the best Ferraris to drive.
So, it won't be the fastest Fezza in the game and, given it cost a bomb in FM4, you'll most spend quite a while saving up for one in Forza Horizon. However, if the words of the journos are true, it could very well be worth every Credit it's worth in the 'Auto Show'.
BMW Z4 sDrive28i
The current generation BMW Z4 has, from a driving point of view, been quite a disappointment. In its quest to take on the Mercedes-Benz SLK, it's piled on the pounds and lost the hardcore 'edge' the old car had, and us here at Team VVV were very upset when we heard there wasn't going to be an 'M' version.
And, to rub salt into the wound, Forza Horizon's going to have the 'middle of the range' car with the 2.0 engine.
Granted, it does have a turbocharger, so the 250hp output should be enough to lug the car around. but we doubt it's enough to convince us it's, as BMW's marketing men constantly tell us, the 'Ultimate Driving Machine'.
Granted, it is the only convertible sports car in Horizon this side of the Corvette Grand Sport we announced last week so, given the virtual vistas of Horizon's are so amazingly beautiful and the Z4 was engineered to be more of a cruiser than an out-and-out sports car, it does seem to have a place in the game if you're not in the mood to thrash a car within an inch of its life.
In one of our previous Round-Ups, we were able to reveal that the Ferrari F50 GT would be making an appearance in Forza Horizon. Now, though, it's the time for the car that spawned the wannabe racer to take to the stage.
Whilst it might not be as quick as the track version – which, let's be honest, not much else is – the road-legal F50 is still a holder of quite a few impressive statistics. Whilst the top speed of 194mph might be a bit 'weak' compared to what modern Ferraris can manage, there's very little to complain about a super-rigid carbin fibre tub, 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds, a curb weight of just over a tonne and an F1-derived 4.7 V12 with 520hp on tap.
And, whilst the F92A F1 car that donated the engine was a bit of a pig to drive, pretty much everyone who's driven the F50 in real life reckon it's one of the greatest drivers' Ferraris of all time. Perhaps even the greatest.
But we'll let you make your mind up about that for yourself…
Lancia Delta Integrale Evo
It seems the Turn 10 and Playground Games employees seem to be pretty big Lancia fans. We've had the road-going versions of the Stratos and Delta S4 rally cars already confirmed for Forza Horizon, and now we can announce the last great Lancia will also be in the game.
As its name suggests, the Delta integrale Evo is an evolution of the already pretty potent Integrale model. The front and rear tracks were widened to improve grip and cornering prowess, the turbo boost was turned up so the 2.0 four-cylinder engine produced 210hp and, due to closer and tighter regulations, shared far more bits with the rally car it was based on than the aforementioned S4.
Put all of that together, and you end up having one of the greatest hot hatchbacks ever to grace the public road. There's a reason this car is regarded today as a cult icon, and we'll let you find out for yourself on the dirt stages and off-camber bends in Horizon's rendition of Colorado.
The last few years seem to have brought about revolutions in various supercars' family trees. The Ferrari 458 Italia is a huge step forwards from the F430, Porsche's 911 has just undergone the largest overhaul in its 50+ year history, and Lamborghini's flagship is now one of the world's ultimate super sports cars.
In almost every way you can think of, the new Aventador is a 'clean sheet' car. The carbon-fibre monocoque chassis is all-new, the 700hp 6.5 V12 is all new, the seven-speed 'Independent Shifting Rods' transmission is all-new… Apart from the badge on the bonnet, absolutely nothing has been carried over from the Murcielago it replaces.
But, thankfully, it still retains the qualities you'd expect from a Lamborghini, i.e. loud, brash and very, very fast! It may be a modern supercar, and by far and away the quickest and easiest Lambo flagship to drive, but don't go thinking that hustling one along a tight and twisty canyon road will be a walk in the park!
Ferrari F40 Competizione
Wow, this week's been a pretty good one for Ferraris in Forza Horizon! We've already showcased the 250 GTO, the 250 Testa Rossa and the F50, and now we've got perhaps the most ballistic one in the bunch: the F40 Competizione.
Known also as the 'F40 LM', the Competizione model really cranks up the standard F40's performance to biblical levels. The weight remained the same at 1,050kg, but the turbo boost pressure has been upped considerably, so now the power output stands at over 700hp.
So yeah, it's fast. Very fast. As in '0-60mph in 3.1 seconds, 228mph' fast. Think you can handle it?
SRT Viper GTS
Us here at Team VVV are a bit puzzled as to why the SRT Viper's been announced. After all, it's on the box cover and almost all the press pics of Forza Horizon feature the damn car. Still, at least it gives us an excuse to blabber on about America's latest supercar.
Though the previous two Vipers were seen as 'crude' and 'simple' speed machines, the new SRT Viper is a far more sophisticated piece of kit. Yes, the 8.4 V10 and steel chassis have been carried over from the previous car, but the body panels are either made out of aluminium or carbon fibre, all the bits that have been used again from the old SRT-10 have been thoroughly beefed up and – a first for a Viper – it now comes with traction control!
But don't go thinking the Viper's lost its venomous bite – with 640bhp being sent to the rear wheels, you better be confident in your ability to handle all that power should you turn all of the assists off!
When you think of current mid-engined, track-inspired British supercars, it's highly likely that the first machine that springs to mind is the McLaren MP4-12C or, at a pinch, the Noble M600. However, though the firm's been very quiet in the last few years, there's also Ascari with its KZ1-R speed machine.
Essentially a detuned and slightly heavier version of the Ascari A10 that famously once topped the 'Power Lap' board on Top Gear, the KZ1-R is by far and away an impressive bit of kit. The 5.0 V8, with its 520bhp output figure, is enough to send this carbon-clad racer for the road to 60mph in 3.1 seconds, and onto a top speed of 201mph.
Okay, so that's a bit weak when compared with cars of a similar calibre can manage. But it's worth pointing out that, despite the race mods, the KZ1-R still has the ease of use that has always been a feature of the KZ1 range, so you can actually take quite a few liberties with.
And, be honest here, you can't really say that about most other mid-engined, 520bhp+ rear-wheel drive supercars now, can you?
Okay, that's all for now folks! Be sure to check back in next week for another entry into our Round-Up 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.