Previews Forza Horizon Car Reveal Round-Up Pt 9

Previews

James Allen

Writer

Posted on

Game: Forza Horizon

Platform: XB360, XBox One

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release Date: 23/10/2012

These Round-Ups we're doing from might, from now on, be a bit irrelevant – after all, we've all had a brief skim through the in-game 'Auto Show' car list (if you haven't seen it yet and would like a few spoilers, you can check it out here).

But we do like doing these weekly pieces and, with Forza Horizon going on sale next Friday, this will be the last full week of Round-Up cars we'll be reporting on. :'(

There are, though, quite a lot of tasty motors to blabber on about, so it's time to wipe away the tears and get on with this week's eclectic range of cars…

Bentley Continental GT

Given the whole 'party lifestyle' and an experience point system that 'rewards you for being reckless', it might seem a bit odd that Turn 10 and Playground Games would decide to add a Bentley in Forza Horizon. However, there is method in the developers' initial madness.

We could go on for hours about how the Continental GT provides a pleasant contrast to all the supercars we've been getting as of late, or that it's a car that's certainly in the price bracket to garner attention from camera phones, but we won't. Instead, we'll simply say that, with a 570hp 6.0 W12 and all-wheel drive, this 2 tonne+ grand tourer can still keep up with all but the fastest of supercars.

The best bit, though, is that the Bentley is a car that – if the road tests are anything to go by – is just as talented as a long distance cruiser as it is a sprint race crusher, so you can admire all the beautiful views and vistas of the virtual Colorado on your way to the events that you'll most likely end up dominating.

See, we told you there was method in their madness!

Ferrari FF

Just as we finish off a summary of one all-wheel drive grand tourer, and then we're given another to talk about! And, unlike with the Bentley, we don't think we'll have to explain why this one's been included in Forza Horizon…

The spec sheets really do speak for themselves, don't they? We'll leave you to make your mind up about the styling, but you can't deny that this will be one of the most versatile 'supercars' in the game – the combination of a 6.3 V12 with 660hp and an innovative all-wheel drive system gives the FF serious performance.

Heck, it even has the possibility of being quite a capable off-roader! If it's eligible for the events in December's Rally Expansion Pack and the new cars aren't fully-fledged racers, it's possible that this two-tonne plush and practical Ferrari could end up being one of the fastest (unofficial) off-roaders in the entire game.

Jaguar XKR-S

Unless next week sees it being announced as one of the barn finds, it's highly unlikely that the fastest Jaguar of all time, the 217mph XJ220, will find its way into the game. However, we do at least get the fastest Jaguar that, if you had £97,000 going spare, you can buy brand new in the real world: the XKR-S.

The price may be quite steep – you can get a very good Aston Martin or Porsche for that sort of wonga – but it certainly has enough upgrades over the standard XKR to justify the premium. Not only is the bodykit unique to this car, but the suspension's been stiffened up to provide better body control and – crucially – the supercharged 5.0 V8 now produces 550bhp.

As a result, it's more than a match on paper for its in-game rivals from Italy, Germany and even one or two from good 'ole Blighty. If you ever feel like you're in the mood for a 2+2 GT car in Forza Horizon and want the fastest one you can buy, we reckon it's well worth considering an XKR-S to be an addition to your garage

And no, this isn't us being biased towards the British car!

Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

Of course, if you want a really fast car with grand tourer origins and end up accumulating a ton of cash in Forza Horizon, then there's always the SL65 AMG Black Series. A bit of a mouthful, yes, but you can certainly forgive it for a long name when you realise this car's true performance potential.

I mean, how can you not be impressed by a 6.0 twin-turbo V12 that generates 661bhp and 740lb/ft of torque? In fact, had it not been electronically limited to 199mph (in order to protect the tyres from the heat and friction generated at higher speeds), the SL65 AMG Black Series would comfortably be one of the faster cars in the game. By quite a margin.

Of course, with so much power being sent to the rear wheels, it's advisable that you keep the traction control on whilst you're getting used to the way the SL65 Black Series drives. It may have wide and grippy tyres, but when you've got 1,000NM of torque being forced through them, it's not exactly difficult for the rubber to be overwhelmed by such monstrous power!

Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SV

If a car was as cumbersome as the name its makers gave it, then the Lamborghini Murcielago Longitudinale Posteriore, Seicento Settanta Cavallo Vapore, Trazione Integrale, Super Veloce (the car's full name in Italian once you decode what those numbers and acronyms mean) would be the clumsiest car ever to have graced the public road

Thankfully, that isn't the case. Yes, it's a big and wide car with a chassis that can trace its origins all the way back to the Countach from the Seventies, but the Murcielago SV certainly isn't outclassed by its rivals. The all-wheel drive system gives the SV impressive levels of traction, whilst those 670 rampant Italian horses propel the Murcie to utterly ballistic speeds.

Sure, the Aventador and even the 'inferior' Gallardos in the right hands can cover ground as quickly as the Murcielago can, and it ain't no pussy cat to drive. But that doesn't stop the SV from being one of the all-time great supercars and, let's be honest, there most likely isn't a more thrilling car in the entire game.

Though we'll let you decide for yourself if that's the case or not…

Ferrari 430 Scuderia

In recent months and years, Ferrari's boss Luca di Montezemolo has openly criticised the current Formula One legislation, which he claims don't transfer well to the company's road cars. To some, this is just the Italian being all stressy and mardy, but if you look at recent Ferraris like the 430 Scuderia, you can see his point.

Di Montezemolo argues that the technology pioneered in Formula One needs to transfer to the road cars, and the F1 connection to the hard-core 430 isn't just that Michael Schumacher gave a helping hand during the car's development phase. The semi-auto paddleshift gearbox is directly inspired by F1 and can shift cogs faster than the Ferrari Formula cars from ten years ago, whilst the carbon-ceramic brakes and software can all trace their roots back to innovations made in the top tier of motorsport.

This, however, isn't some stripped-out race car with number plates that also doubles as a billboard for the Ferrari engineers to show off how clever they are – all the technology, when brought together, culminates in the 430 Scuderia becoming one of the truly great Ferraris, and proves to be just as good on the track as it is on the public road.

It's unknown if there are any racing circuits in Forza Horizon but, with a whole host of brilliant drivers' roads, situated in canyons that serve to amplify the noise from that 4.3 510bhp V8, we can imagine the 430 Scuderia being one very exciting car to drive!

Nissan GT-R Black Edition

Before you get excited, we'd like to point out that the GT-R Black Edition isn't a radical change over the 'standard' GT-R – all you get are some extra trim pieces, and nothing that really changes how the car drives. Which, from some perspectives, is actually a good thing.

In last week's Round-Up, we claimed that, unless a GT-R or a 911 Turbo turned up, the Audi R8 GT would be the easiest car in the game to drive quickly and pown everyone else around you. And, with this model year of GT-R at your disposal – yes, the one that has the 530hp twin-turbo V6 – it's safe to say that even the Audi will have a very hard time trying to keep up with the GT-R.

After all, there is a reason why everyone refers to this car as 'Godzilla' – unless you're in a fully-fledged race car or happen to be on a highway and in a Hennessey Venom GT or SSC Ultimate Aero when you encounter one, there's very little that can claim to be faster than the GT-R.

And that's before you start bolting on 'go faster' bits!

Radical SR8 RX

In fact, only stuff like the Radical SR8 RX can attempt to hold a candle to the GT-R's angular exhaust tips and nitrogen-filled tyres. After all, when it holds the production car lap record around the fabled Nurburgring Nordschleife – a time of 6.48, if you're wondering – it certainly has a good chance of beating the Nissan if all goes well.

After all, a car with 430bhp V8 was always going to be fast. Put that engine in what is literally a road-legal racing car that weights 680kg, and you certainly have one of the most potent road cars (though calling it a 'road car' is pushing it a tad!) ever to be included in any racing game.

Okay, so it might not have the 'street cred' that other cars in Forza Horizon have, the Forza 4 car suffered from a lack of grip around slower, more technical tracks and, as Alan pointed out in his brief look through the car list, it'll be interesting to see 'how you're going to use the Radical' in the game. However, if you can master the Radical and get the absolute best out of it, it's likely that not even the top Nissan GT-R pilots will be able to beat you.

Mini Cooper S

Those following our Forza Horizon videos on YouTube will most likely be aware that Alan netted himself a classic Mini Cooper and, even though it had all the performance parts added, the top speed was 'only' 100mph or so.

So, whilst it's debateable as to whether or not it should be called a 'Mini', it's likely the new Cooper S will offer a bit more straight-line speed than Team VVV's tuned Cooper. This is, after all, a car with the same 1.6 turbo-petrol engine that you can find in the Citroen DS3 Racing, so if it's good enough for the crew who also build Citroen's rally cars, it's plenty for the Mini Cooper S.

And, being a Mini, it handles like a dream as well – we wouldn't go as far to say it more than warrants those overused 'it handles like it's on rails' or 'it drives like a go-kart' clichés, but it's still something you can chuck into bends and, as long as you're not entering corners at stupidly high speeds, it'll just clip the apex and pull its way through with no hassle at all.

Long story short, unless you utterly despise them with a passion, there's plenty to like and admire about the Cooper S.

Aston Martin One-77

Until recently at least, the Aston Martin range was essentially competing with itself – the V12 Vantage was almost identical in performance to the DBS, the now discontinued Virage was only slightly 'better' than the DB9 and so on. There was, though, one good thing about this 'civil war' – it further emphasised the One-77's place at the top of the pecking order.

Aston CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez wanted the One-77 to be the 'ultimate expression of what an Aston Martin should be in the 21st Century', and it seems his wishes were met. So, there's a great big engine up front, but it was co-developed by Cosworth and produces 730bhp; the chassis is made of carbon-fibre, but the skin is made out of a few gargantuan sheets of aluminium and are works of art in their own right, and so on.

Which certainly goes some way to justifying the many hundreds of thousands of Credits you'll need to buy the car in Forza Horizon. Then again, you're buying a car as much as you're buying a digital rendition of one of the great industrial art forms of the century so far, and we can imagine you'll have as much fun driving it as you will by soaking in all those details and snapping the car in the game's photo mode.

Aston Martin DBR1

And now from one Aston icon of the present to a legend from the past. Though it wasn't the first Aston Martin racing car – the company was regularly competing at the Aston Hill Climb from as early as 1915 – it's certainly the one that many Aston Martin fans hold closely to their hearts.

To this day, despite all the class wins with the highly successful DBR9, Aston Martin still strives to replicate the success from the late Fifties. And, whilst that seems a bit impossible in the era of Audi dominance in endurance racing, it's always good to have aspirational targets.

Though it's always worth pointing out to Dr. Bez for bragging rights that nothing will ever take away that win in the DBR1. Even if his company can't quite beat the Audi LMPs, it's always got that treasured trophy in its display cabinet to admire and cherish.

Maserati GranTurismo S

After a troubled few years in the last century, Maserati's going through a bit of a Renaissance at the moment. The Quattroporte, though starting to show its age, is still a credible choice if you want a super saloon that doesn't come from Germany, the GranSport proved that Maserati could build a properly good sports car and its successor, the GranTurismo, is evidence yet that Ferrari isn't the only car company from Modena that can make capable supercars.

For those who were hoping for the flagship MC Stradale, you will be sorely disappointed, but it's not like the mid-range 'S' model isn't worth a look at. After all, it has the same 4.7 V8 (though, with 433bhp, it's not quite as pokey as the Stradale's), the same robotised manual transmission and mostly the same looks.

So, yeah, it looks ace, it sounds fantastic and it goes like stink.

Actually, that's a bit of a lie – it may have the same engine from the Alfa Romeo 8C, but the Maserati weighs considerably more than the Alfa and, as a result, is a 'B-Class' car, whilst the 8C is comfortably in the 'A-Class' rating.

Not that there's anything stopping you from tastefully tuning the Maserati up, so it can give even the best from Ferrari something to worry about…

McLaren MP4-12C

With so many Ferraris being announced for Forza Horizon, it does make a nice change when a mid-engined supercar that doesn't wear the fabled Prancing Horse emblem on the bonnet is included in the game's car roster.

Especially when the car in question is the McLaren MP4-12C.

By some margin the toughest rival to any Ferrari of this century so far, what the MP4-12C lacks in an evocative name it more than makes up for with regards to speed, handling and pretty much everything else. Underneath that aerodynamically efficient bodywork lays a whole raft of gadgets and gizmos to make the MP4 do one thing and one thing only: ensure it goes faster than the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Whether or not it is faster than the Ferrari across Forza Horizon's extensive road network is up to you to find out and verify. We're looking forward to seeing which one does emerge at the top of the pile…

Bugatti EB110 Super Sport

If you were to ask the general public how many mid-engined Bugattis there have been, it's likely they'll either wonder what on Earth a Bugatti is or say that there's only been one: the Veyron. However, Bugatti in a previous incarnation has dabbled with this sort of car before, which culminated in the EB110 Super Sport.

An evolution of the already very quick EB110, the Super Sport version was, ironically perhaps when you consider what its successor would end up being, widely cited to being one of the greatest supercars of all time. Also – again, ironically – the Super Sport and the Veyron actually have quite a bit in common: both cars had an all-wheel drive system, both made extensive use of carbon fibre and both had quad-turbo engine.

Still, there are a handful of differences – whilst the Veyron had a seven-speed automatic transmission that bore the brunt of a 1,000bhp 8.0 W16, the EB110 made do with a six-speed manual and a comparatively tiny 3.5 V12 with 'only' 600bhp to play with.

That did, though, ensure the Super Sport could crack 60mph in just 3.2 seconds, and storm onto a top speed in the region of 220mph. It may not be as popular as the Veyron, but it deserves your full attention and respect nonetheless – twenty years after it went on sale, the flagship EB110 should still prove to be a mighty fine tool to tackle a great driving road with.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera

Over the years, the 'baby bull' that is the Gallardo has been getting a fair bit of criticism (mostly by people who quite possibly haven't driven the car) for being 'too soft' and 'too easy and forgiving' to be a proper Lambo. It's obvious, then, that they haven't experienced the Superleggera version…

Essentially the same Gallardo we know and love but with some extra power and a fair chunk of weight cut out, it's not too surprising to hear that many herald the Gallardo Superleggera to be one of the finest Lamborghinis to date. There are those that say it's perhaps too similar to the donor car, but the base Gallardo isn't in the game, so there's nothing to worry about there.

It also means that, being so 'similar' to the standard car, it's just as enjoyable to drive, and just as enjoyable to slide around corners. Sure, it's perhaps not as precise or as 'focused' as the 458 Italia or the MP4-12C, but who really cares when you've got a shouty Lamborghini to drift through canyons in?

Ferrari 599XX

If you read our report on the Season Pass perks, you'll know that the ultimate version of the now-discontinued Ferrari 599, the 599XX Evoluzione, will be in the first DLC pack for Forza Horizon. If you don't feel like in the mood for buying cars with your own money, there's nothing to be jealous about either, as all Horizon discs will come with the 'standard' 599XX stamped on them.

In a game of Top Trumps, the Evo will always beat the 599XX, but that doesn't mean the standard car is a slouch – it's still got 720bhp, a pretty efficient aero package (how does 630kg of downforce at 186mph sound to you?) and a top speed way beyond 200mph.

If that's still not enough for you, however, we assume there's also the possibility of tuning and upgrading the 599XX up to and beyond what the Evo version can do, or indeed any car in the game.

And, we assume, you're pretty confident in your ability as a driver. Especially if you plan on taming this feral beast with all the assists off!

Okay, that's it: our last full week of Forza Horizon car reveals. Be sure to check back in next week for the final entry in our soon-to-be ten part series, and let us know what you think of the cars and the game in general so far in the comments, in our Forums or on our Facebook page.

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