Forza Horizon Jalopnik car pack releases today

written by Gary Weeks on 5.2.13 ferrari 512 tr

Forza Horizon plays host to a whole new set of cars today with the release of February’s Jalopnik Car Pack. Included are some real nice treats and although you may have raced with a few in Forza 4, now come to the open world playground of Forza Horizon for the first time.  Here’s a breakdown of the cars as taken directly from the Jalopnik website:-

2013 Suburu BRZ

suburu

You’ve heard of the Subaru BRZ, yes? It’s the car that cures cancer. Car-enthusiast cancer. With its sister Scion FR-S, the Toyobaru has not only returned rear-wheel drive to the 20-large price range — ticking boxes marked “light weight” and “rigid chassis” along the way — but it’s also making people who don’t normally talk about cars in excited tones say things like, “Do want,” and “Where do I sign?” Whether those people actually buy them in any kind of mass number is a discussion for another model year.

Notwithstanding all the page-inch hype surrounding the BRZ/FR-S’s arrival, the BRZ is a car you must drive, at all costs. Especially if you’ve driven nothing but new cars for the past decade, you’ll tell right away the BRZ is special. Its chassis and tire grip matches note for note with the engine’s throughput, meaning you can toss it around like it’s a $500 LeMons-prepped E30 BMW. Power mongers will likely hang their bobbled heads at the thought of such low engine-output numbers, looking toward whatever juiced version is on the horizon. But for a platform available new at a dealership in 2013 (and one that’s not a Lotus), it’s a winner.

1973 Mazda RX3

mazda-rx-3

Quick! Name a car that’s run all the famous 24-hour races — Le Mans, Nürburgring, Daytona, Spa — as well as the Bathurst 1000, Fuji 1000k and countless rallies and SCCA, IMSA RS and Japanese touring car meets. By the way, that car also happens to be the one that took the Japanese Grand Prix in 1972, touring car class, stopping the Nissan GT-R’s winning streak at a mere 49 consecutive races.

Why yes, it was the Mazda RX-3, the company’s third rotary experiment, known in Japan as the Savanna. The rotary engine? Isn’t that the engine Ward’s Automotive once said “would power 85 percent of the world’s cars by 1980″? (To be fair, they were only off by 84.9 percent.) Still, to rotary fans — especially the motorsports-inclined ones — there’s no replacement for that trackside sound: thousands of angry, Africanized bees plugged into a Marshall stack turned up to 11.

1973 Datsun 510

datsun 510

As much as it shouldn’t be, there’s something primally sexy about the Datsun 510. In fact, it couldn’t be more elementary. It’s as if Merriam-Webster needed a dictionary drawing to publish next to the word “sedan,” and some bored soul in the illustration pool just freehanded it on the way to lunch.

Who knew, in 1968, when such a rudimentary three-box design arrived on U.S. shores that it would become the standard for affordable performance cars. You can thank then-Nissan USA president Yutaka Katayama, aka Mr. K, for making sure the Datsun 510 was not only adequately powered for U.S. roads, but also raced its little, square ass off.

1991 Ferrari 512 TR

ferrari 512 tr

They say the 1980s didn’t really end until late 1991, when Nirvana obliterated Warrant, those poor, hair-spray-addled bastards, from the Billboard charts. But the 1980s did prevail at Ferrari, with the 512 TR, an updated version of the car every car guy loved, until he didn’t: the Testarossa. Still, it had that sublime 180-degree Colombo flat-12 that revved to a number only Gottfried Leibniz could calculate, got from 0-60 in under five seconds, and topped out at 195 mph.

Thanks to a global economic downturn of the early ’90s that punctured many of the ’80s go-go earners, the TR was largely an incrementally-improved Testarossa, whose somewhat awkward shadow would cast through 1994. But it still was a hoot to drive, and for a while was a pretty decent 12-cylinder supercar bargain in the used market.

1966 Country Squire

1966-country-squire

Just as they do in today’s SUVs and minivans, previous generations’ messy kid stains — in our case, via the nuclear-crimson contents of rusty, face-scarring tin cans, not juice boxes — marred the interiors of massive family yachts like the Ford Country Squire station wagon. Soccer moms? Please. Our moms were chain-smoking pill poppers who couldn’t have cared less about what perils lurked in the steel-strewn, concrete-floored junk yards where they’d aimlessly drop us off to play. But at least on the way there we faced oncoming traffic, in pop-up child benches whose lack of safety was so acute, by modern standards, they would send today’s parents spiraling into a fugue state.

But it’s not just nostalgia that fuels our love of the ‘Squire. It’s the outright lost beauty of the thing. The low-slung roofline, the preposterous stacked headlights, the real wood trim. And then there was the possibility of “towing” capacity in the form of an optional 428ci V8, producing a highly under-rated 345 hp. Dad could smoke those punks in that Chevelle without spilling a drop of Schlitz on his starched white T-shirt.

2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

toyota fj cruiser

What came out of the new-retro car design movement that was worth a damn? Mustang? Camaro? PT Cruiser? Perhaps. But, back in those heady concept-car days of the late 1990s and early 2000s — the one that got us the tipsiest was the Toyota FJ cruiser. “They’ll never build it,” we said. “It looks like an octagon vomited a parallelogram!”

Dubbed the “Rhom-bus” by one of our geometrically-inclined friends, the FJ Cruiser wasn’t just a surprising addition to the increasingly risk-averse Toyota lineup, but it also added the craggy muscularity of a rock-face canyon to an abhorrently bean-like automotive landscape.

BONUS CAR: Devon GTX GT3

devon-gt3

If you’ve got the Forza Horizon season pass then congratulations, you’re getting a Devon. What the hell is a Devon, you might ask? It’s one of those many brainchildren of American designers and entrepreneurs who thought they’d make a go at building their own supercar.

Based on the Dodge Viper platform and sharing its same 650 horsepower 8.4-liter V10, the Devon GTX was more than just vaporware as the company built real versions of the slippery coupe. With a lighter weight body constructed out of airplane quality carbon fiber, it managed a then record lap around Laguna Seca of just 1:35.075.

Sadly, the Carpocalypse conspired with the downturn in the economy to limit the number of people who can enjoy the vehicle. Until now.

The February Jalopnik Car Pack releases today for Forza Horizon and is available to purchase now.

 

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