Fans of virtual racing get six new cars for Forza Motorsport 5, including what might seem the most unlikely collection of vehicles ever selected for a video racing game. The new half dozen includes the 2015 Mustang, a pair of Infiniti sedans, the Vauxhall Astra, a battery electric race car, and a Rolls-Royce. Yes, for a racing game.
The 2015 Ford Mustang makes sense enough. The Turn 10 Studio folks have added the new Mustang to their virtual garage because Mustang. It would be bigger news if Forza didn’t add it.
The two Infinitis are the 2014 Q50S and the 2014 Q50 Eau Rouge, the former Infiniti’s rear-drive premium sedan powered by Nissan/Infiniti V6, though most track burners will prefer the Eau Rouge, Infiniti’s concept performance sedan. The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is powered by a twin-turbo V-6 with wider tires and fender flares, along with a carbon fiber front splitter and a rear bumper with an integrated diffuser. Performance-oriented premium sedans on the virtual race track? Why not?
A little less likely, however, is a 2013 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Tech Line Top Gear edition. Americans last saw as Astra as a Saturn, and its underwhelming demeanor is one of the reasons we no longer have Saturn. Or anyone has Saturn. The Astra is in Forza Motorsport 5 because of the BBC car show Top Gear and its regularly recurring “reasonably priced car” segment in which celebrities drive ordinary cars on the race track against the clock. “It’s no racecar,” says Turn 10 Studio, “but when you envision yourself setting your best time on the track after having been coached by the Stig and having to face Jeremy Clarkson in front of the cameras, it just might seem like it.”
With the advent of racing’s Formula E, a new race series featuring formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy, it was only a matter of time before a Formula E car would be available on a racing game. The single-seat Spark-Renault SRT_01E will allow gamers to experience the sights and sounds of an all-electric race car. Jaume Sallares, speaking for Formula E, said “It’s fantastic that faming fans will be able to drive our Formula E car and experience electronic racing for the first time in their own homes.”
Perhaps the most seemingly improbable, however, is the Rolls-Royce, though not for anyone who has driven a Wraith, the model duplicated for Forza Motorsport 5. The real Rolls-Royce Wraith, which we recently reviewed, produces 624 horsepower from its twin-turbo V-12 and has a GPS-linked transmission which makes sure the Wraith is in the right gear for every corner. Gamers will do more than drive the Wraith, however, as the game replicates the interior, right down to the 1,340 fiber optics lamps in the ceiling creating a night sky overhead.
No doubt working with Turn 10 Studio was a labor of love for Rolls-Royce, as it’s unlikely the Xbox game will generate many sales of the ultraluxury Wraith. Said Marc Mielau, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ marketing manager, “We are delighted to mark a first in video game history by introducing Wraith, the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever made, into Forza Motorsport 5. The game will provide players with a new level of excitement by exploring the iconic feathers of Wraith.”
So as they say, start your virtual engines.