Recent Event Highlights: Need for Speed World Online, Silverstone extends affiliation with British Grand Prix, Donington Park files for bankruptcy, Need for Speed NITRO, Need for Speed SHIFT, Vettel sets lap record on Spa, and 43 more...
Created by needforspeed on Oct 16, 2009
Last updated: 03/11/10 at 06:52 PM
Gittin hollows out his Mustang, which is a standard 4.6-liter GT, but with an added twist: a Ford Racing supercharger. The front passenger seat is taken out, everything that adds extra weight is removed to make it the best drift car it can be.
Need for Speed World Online for the PC is the largest open world game in the history of Need for Speed, with an extensive roster of licensed cars and game modes – all for free online. The game offers numerous race tracks and game modes where players are able to form teams to take on the competition and the police. Players can collect and customize racing characters alongside authentic real-world licensed cars and will be able to track their progress via online leaderboards. Need for Speed World Online is a new entertainment experience that delivers excellent gameplay, stunning graphics and sophisticated online matchmaking features that emphasize social interaction between players. World Online will begin the beta process in Taiwan this winter and will open to players around the world in fall 2010. Need For Speed World Online is a multi-player PC game jointly developed by Black Box, the developer of the Need for Speed franchise, and EA’s online studio in Singapore.
For muscle car fans, the debate is back on. The Chevrolet Camaro made its much-anticipated return for 2010 and is poised to re-ignite the pony car war with fans of the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang.
Silverstone Circuit will be hanging around for 17 more years - until 2026 to be exact - as host of the Formula One British Grand Prix after signing a contract today. The return to Silverstone was inevitable for the circuit after Donington filed for bankruptcy last month.
The holding company which held a lease onDonington Park filed for bankruptcy protection, and soon after the track was returned to the Wheatcroft family.
The first NFS title to be released exclusively on Nintendo systems - NITRO is available on Wii and DS - NITRO is a major change for the series.
Large, colorful cars with oversized badging, power-ups and full customization make NITRO a winner for people who want to make the game their own.
SHIFT was a real return to simulation racing for the Need for Speed series. Going back to a track-based format, SHIFT also re-introduced a full damage model to the game, making smart driving an important part of winning races.
New to SHIFT was the Driver Profile, which keeps track of every race you do in the game and assigns points for aggressive or precision driving. Both styles are rewarded equally, with players getting points for moves such as ‘trading paint’ or ‘mastering’ corners.
The cockpit camera view was brought back in SHIFT and brought with it beautifully detailed interiors for the game’s more than 70 cars, including the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, Bugatti Veyron 16.4 and Pagani Zonda F, just to name a few.
Tracks were also improved, with Norschleife, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road America being included, among several others that went into making SHIFT the best NFS game yet.
Upon its release, SHIFT received the IGN.com Editors’ Choice Award.
Red Bull-Renault driver Sebastian Vettel set a modern era lap record time at Spa Francorchamps during the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, turning in a time of 1:47.263 on lap 38.
The Porsche 911 GT3 on its own is a scream to drive in regular traffic, but when you take it out on the track, you may not want to give the car back. Fortunately in SHIFT, you can drive the GT3 RSR any time you want.
RSR was designed with racing in mind, and within its water-cooled, six-cylinder boxer engine sits a snarling beast trying to escape. The RSR packs 450 horsepower at 7,800 RPM, with a rev limiter kicking in at 9,000.
The SpecV is based on last year's Japanese entry to the Supercar standard but with a few modifications, mainly to the bodywork to reduce the weight while increasing the power delivered to the mid-range gears.
All great info if you're able to afford the car (and live in Japan) but for those of you just looking to race the car in SHIFT then the key thing you need to know is that it's huge fun to play in the game. I've spent more than one lunchtime sat in front of the screen taking the SpecV out for a spin on the track.
It's probably one of the most drivable cars in the game; if you fancy yourself as a bit of a gymkhana-wannabe then this is one of the best cars to play with... forwards, backwards, sideways... it's a huge amount of fun to drive.
The sixth generation of Nissan’s famed ‘Z-car’ line, the 370Z (known in Japan as the Fairlady Z) was officially unveiled in late 2008 at the LA Auto Show and is a continuation on the line of cars that have excited young and old since the original Datsun 240Z hit the streets in 1969.
In terms of power, the 370Z packs a nasty punch, packing 332 bhp in its 3.7-liter V6 to go along with 270 lb-ft of torque, giving it more than enough guts to haul you and a friend quickly along any stretch of the concrete jungle.
While the Zonda R may look similar to the Zonda F, only 10 percent of its parts were recycled from the wildly-successful first model.
Much like its brother, the R has an almost unbelievable 739 horsepower from its 7.3-liter V12, which was engineered by Mercedes-Benz. It’s also ahead of its time technologically, with a system that records and stores how much downforce is generated by each wheel at all times, helping drivers improving their cornering technique.
I know that we've already shown off this car quite a bit...but it's a seriously powerful car and and we’re proud to have it as the SHIFT cover star. It’s a fantastic car in real-life and just as impressive in the game.
Branded by the German automaker as the first racecar intended for consumer use, the Audi R8 LMS is a work of automotive art, but it’s not meant to be looked at. It’s meant to be driven. Fast. You can do that in SHIFT as much as you like.
The R8 LMS joined the FIA European GT Championship for the 2009 season and is showing well, winning two races so far in its debut season.
The Need for Speed series got another dose of Hollywood magic with the release of Undercover.
Actress Maggie Q plays a federal agent and is your character’s only contact to the outside world as you go undercover to foil an international crime syndicate in Tri-City.
Singer and actress Christina Milian makes an appearance as Carmen, a friend you encounter throughout your travels.
Undercover returns to the “sandbox” style seen in Underground, Most Wanted and Carbon, but increases the size of the world map to more than 100 miles of drivable blacktop spread across three cities connected by highways.
New to online mode was a “Cops and Robbers” game, where one team would be “robbers” and try to grab cash that spawns, and the "cops" trying to stop them.
With 350,000 polygons on screen at a given moment, the graphics in Undercover were the richest seen in the NFS series.
Seven minutes, 32 seconds. That’s how fast the 2008 Porsche 911 GT2 did a lap at Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Considering the thousands if not millions of cars that have taken the challenge there, this time places the GT2 in 13th place overall, trailing some of the most expensive cars ever made, including the Pagani Zonda F Clubsport and Enzo Ferrari by mere seconds.
Who says Americans can’t make supercars? Dodge has been at it with the Viper for more than 15 years and with every model, the viper gets meaner and faster.
In SHIFT, the Viper SRT-10 is as curvy, loud and fun as ever, sporting a 8.4-liter – that’s 510 cubic inches, folks - V10 that hisses with delight when you put each and every one of its 600 ponies to work.
The tC has been a hit with young people looking for a fun and sporty 4-cylinder vehicle for less than $20,000 out the door. More than 250,000 tCs have been sold since the car was introduced.
From the factory, the tC kicks out 161 horsepower from a peppy four-cylinder engine.
Easily modified, the tC is a favorite of import drag racers like Chris Rado, who got his tC to kick out over 1,000 horsepower. Rado took home the 2008 Redline Time Attack trophy in the FF Unlimited Championship class.
There's not much I can add about the Veyron that hasn't been said already.
The car is a feat of modern engineering, powered by an 8-liter W16 which features four turbochargers, 10 radiators and effortlessly pushes out just south of 1,000 horsepower according to Bugatti, who admit the figure is conservative, saying the Veyron is closer to 1,010 bhp.
The latest Scirocco was announced in 2006 and made it to the roads in 2008 although sadly VW announced recently that it won’t be releasing the car in North America.
On May 20 2009, VW announced the R version of Scirocco; which is powered by a four-cylinder 2.0l TSI engine.
The E92 continues in the tradition of outstanding performance for the ‘M’ line, kicking out 414 horsepower from its 4.0-liter V8. This is an increase in power of more than 20 percent from the E46.
Despite its appeal to the suburban crowd, there’s nothing suburban about the RS4, it belongs on the track. With a 4.2-liter V8 that kicks out 414 horsepower from the factory, get out of the way if you see an RS4 bearing down on you in traffic.
The MX-5 – known colloquially as the Miata in North America – has been known since its launch in 1989 as one of the most fun and most affordable cars for people who want a little more performance.
In SHIFT, you’ll have access to the 2008 MX-5, which has a 2-liter engine that churns out 170 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
All of the numbers and letters in the Lamborghini LP560-4’s name has a special meaning to the automaker.
‘LP’ stands for ‘longitudinal posteriore’, referring to the car’s rear-mounted engine; 560 referring to the number of muscular horses pulling its 5.2-liter V10; and ‘4’ meaning, well, four wheels.
The LP560-4 is trimmer than the previous generation of Gallardo, dropping about 50 pounds and greener, cutting CO2 emissions by 18 percent, but stomp on the gas in SHIFT and your LP560-4 will scream to life just like the one that blew by you on the freeway this morning - but you won’t get any speeding tickets.
Coming in at under $100,000, the Nissan GT-R provides more bang for the buck than any sports car on the planet. Its hand-built 3.8-liter V6 pounds out 480 horsepower but takes so much delicate assembly that it’s only possible for Nissan to make 1,000 GT-Rs a month.
Not wanting to ‘copy’ the many supercars that come from Europe, Nissan’s chief creative officer said the GT-R is modeled after the giant Japanese robots from the cartoon series Gundam, making it a true representation of Japanese culture.
Designing the GT-R was a three-pronged attack, with the square lines on the front end coming from Japan, the swooping roofline from its European wing, and the sculpted rear end coming from their American design team.
French style with modern sophistication, that is what the RENAULT SPORT MÉGANE R.S. gives, and it’s available in SHIFT. Its curvy, attractive looks are accentuated with a saucy single exhaust in the middle of the rear bumper and 18-inch alloy wheels from the factory.
The Mégane RS has a strong, 2-liter twin-scroll turbo engine that produces 247 horsepower from the factory, more than enough to dispel the notion that France can’t build a fast car.
Its six-speed manual transmission shifts flawlessly and it goes around corners like a dream, making it a perfect vehicle for the early stages of your racing career in SHIFT.
The BMW 135i Coupé is considered to be the flagship of the BMW 1 Series. First offered in 2007, it is the world's first car with a double-helical ball bearings differential which have the advantage of running at an even lower operating temperature reached more quickly than in other cars.
Apart from slight modifications, it uses the same front end design as the rest of the 1 Series so as to ensure some visual consistency within the range. The Coupé is 133 mm (5.2 in) longer than the hatch, creating 20 liters of extra boot space. It is 220 mm (8.7 in) shorter than 3-series Coupé (E92).
Billed as Audi’s first supercar, the R8 has been a massive success since its launch in 2007. Despite its hefty six-figure price tag, dealers have begun to make waiting lists for the next model year.
Why the buzz? The R8 is equipped with a 4.2-liter, 414 horsepower V8 from the factory, or buyers can opt for a V10 that cranks that number up to 572 race-bred German ponies.
Known simply as ‘X’ to fans of the Evo, the tenth-generation Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, which started production as a 2008 model, is perhaps the finest car Mitsubishi has ever built.
Its turbocharged, all-aluminum 2-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 291 horsepower and 300-foot-pounds of torque, stunning numbers for such a ‘small’ engine.
Need for Speed SHIFT collaborator Chris Rado set the FWD Unlimited lap record at Willow Springs in 2008 with a time of 1:27.30 in the FWD Unlimited category with his Scion tC.
Need for Speed ProStreet was released in 2007 and was a return to the simulation-style track racing that won fans over for the first time when The Need for Speed was released 13 years earlier.
Speed Challenge races added another new wrinkle to ProStreet, making it the ultimate test of speed and control.
A full damage model, revamped physics and more than 70 cars available helped make ProStreet the most realistic racing game the series had seen.
Autosculpt also had a larger role in ProStreet, with modifications helping - or possibly hurting, depending on how it was used - the aerodynamics of your car.
Tracks were also improved, with 12 in total, including the legendary Autobahn, Willow Springs Raceway and Ebisu Circuit.
ProStreet was a massive hit, selling nearly 9 million copies in its first 18 months of release.
Also available as a convertible, the second-generation TT keeps the curvy figure of its predecessor but adds performance. Take one for a spin in SHIFT.
Most North Americans who pick up SHIFT may be taken aback by the choice to put a Ford Focus - normally known as an economy car providing basic transportation on this side of the pond - in the fastest racing game on the planet.
But in the UK, the Focus ST is a legitimate performance car that has some fire in its belly. The ST produces 222 horsepower from its turbocharged 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder engine – borrowed from the Volvo S40 - and still delivers respectable fuel economy.
imilar to the Volkswagen Golf R32, the Audi S3 is a two-door (but also available in a 4-door) hot hatch with a lightning-quick 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that burns up the road with a surprising 261 horsepower. But you can’t get one in North America.
For car nuts, the AMG line of performance Mercedes-Benz coupes, sedans and convertibles can best be described as ‘car porn’. It’s tough to find better looking and better performing cars on the market than this line.
The SL65 AMG, which comes in at slightly less than $180,000, packs a BiTurbo V12 that has 604 horsepower and an almost-ridiculous 740-foot-pounds of torque.
722. The number refers to the start time (7:22 a.m.) for Stirling Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson when they won the 1955 Mille Miglia in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.
The 722 Edition has a top speed of 337 km/h – which it reaches in only 21 seconds - and has a whopping 640 horsepower, running a 0-60 in less than four seconds.
With 237 horsepower coming from its 2-liter powerplant, the SEAT Leon Cupra combines Spanish style with German performance.
Built by Volkswagen in Spain, the Cupra runs from 0-to-60 in a respectable 6.4 seconds and is a curvy little car that will grow on you in SHIFT.
It shares running gear with the MkV Volkswagen GTI, giving it the same outstanding performance for a reasonable price people have come to expect from VW products.
It’s not often that you see a coupe derive from a convertible, but the Porsche Cayman is a direct descendant of the second generation Porsche Boxster drop-top. While the Boxster is no slouch off the line, the Cayman is a serious performance car that loves the left lane. The Cayman has been featured in several NFS games and returns in SHIFT.
Performance-wise, the Cayman S is close to the 911 Carrera, Porsche’s flagship sports coupe, as it was a mere five seconds behind the Carrera during a test lap at Nürburgring Nordschleife and many enthusiasts believe if the Cayman S had limited-slip differential – which was not available at launch - it would have been able to topple the Carrera.
In a car laced with superlatives there are two more than we've not covered yet: the price and the production run. When making the such an expensive car (price is rumoured to be close to $2m USD) Lamborghini obviously realised not many people could afford such a price tag and kept the production run down to 20 worldwide and an extra one built specifically for their own museum. If you are lucky enough to see one in the flesh take your time to appreciate one of motoring's true greats as you're unlikely to see another. I was lucky enough to see one outside a very stylish hotel in Vancouver where it was parked in between a Mercedes McLaren and a Porsche Carrera GT.
The Ford GT is powered by the 5.4L Modular V8, which is all-aluminum and fed by a Lysholm twin screw-type supercharger.
The engine, designed specifically for the GT program, features a forged rotating assembly housed in an aluminum bloc.
A dry sump oiling system is employed, allowing the engine to sit very low in the frame.
The DOHC 4-valve heads are a revision of the 2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R cylinder heads (with slightly increased wall casting thickness in the exhaust port).
The camshafts have unique specifications, with more lift and duration than those found in the Shelby GT500 or 2003–2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra.
Power output is 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 500 foot-pounds force (680 N·m) of torque.
A Ricardo six-speed manual transmission is fitted featuring a helical limited-slip differential.
The Murciélago sports a 6.5-litre version of the Lamborghini V12 engine, a six-speed manual or 6-speed sequential automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive. It also has a rear spoiler that can be raised to an angle of 70 degrees, side mirrors that fold in to improve aerodynamics, and side scoops that automatically open to the needed size to let in just the right amount of air needed to cool its engine.
The Lexus LF-A is a concept car that has been in the works since 2004 and will not be available for sale until 2011, but it’s available to test out in SHIFT before it hits the market.
Considered by many to be the most beautiful car Lexus has ever built, the LF-A has plenty of power to go along with its good looks.
A 5-liter V10 engine that roars to life with approximately 550 horsepower pulls the LF-A along with ease and grace. With a chassis made entirely from carbon composite, a rear transaxle and two radiators mounted at the back, the LF-A is well-proportioned weight-wise, allowing it to run, according to Lexus, a lap record at Nurburgring at 7:24.
This isn’t your grandpa’s Z4.
Under the hood of the BMW Z4 M Coupe are 330 horses yearning to be set free on any unsuspecting blacktop, sharing a 3.2-liter inline-6 with its larger cousin, the M3, this car means business on the highway and the track.
While they appear similar, the major difference between the Exige S and its brother, the Elise 111-R is the Exige’s supercharged 4-cylinder pumps out about 30 more ponies, and is a demon on the track with 218 horses pulling its 2,000 pound frame.
Former Champ Car driver Sebastien Bourdais ran the fastest lap ever seen at Laguna Seca, burning up the track in only 1:05.880.
From November 2006 to May 2007, Spa got a renovation, and in 2007, the Belgian Grand Prix returned to the track after the race was cancelled the previous year.
Released in 2006, Need for Speed Carbon took customization to the next level with the addition of the AutoSculpt feature that allows players to shape and mold exterior modifications on their vehicles to their liking, which brought a new dimension of fun and excitement to online races.
Nighttime racing and drifting both returned in Carbon, returning to the dark and dingy backdrop of the city seen in Underground.
Carbon gave a larger role to muscle cars, bringing in several pavement-ripping monsters from the days when cubic inches were cool, including the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS and 1967 Shelby GT500.
In Carbon, racers now had a ‘wingman’ along with them during races, with each having specific skills to help you win.
Canadian actress Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men) gave some Hollywood glamor to the game, providing the voice of Nikki, an ally who helps racers complete the storyline.
In one of the most unusual events to ever occur on a racetrack, Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta ran into a deer while doing a practice lap in 2006 at Road America. He suffered a subdural hematoma.
It’s never touched North American soil (legally) because of emission and safety concerns, but the extremely limited production - 25 units - Pagani Zonda F is a fine example of art on wheels.
The Zonda F is built entirely by hand and will set you back nearly $750,000 if you’re lucky enough to procure one. Its Clubsport model also held the fastest lap ever run at Nurburgring at 7 minutes, 29 seconds, before it was bested by the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 a year ago.
For 2006, the Honda Civic was completely re-designed, and they included the Si model, its long-neglected performance brother, in the re-imagining of the vehicle.
The Si now had a quick 2.0-liter iVTEC engine mated to a six-speed transmission that shifts like a dream, as well as 197 horsepower from the factory, the most power any production Si has ever shipped with.