Welcome to Rear-View Mirror, your weekly racing game news roundup.
To help you get up to speed, we’ve rounded up everything that happened in the world of racing games over the last week, from the launch of the first Forza Horizon 5 expansion to the reveal of F1 Manager 2022’s driver ratings.
Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels expansion launches
The first Forza Horizon 5 expansion has been a long time coming. Arriving eight months after the launch of FH5, the Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels expansion is finally here.
Set on a new map set high in the clouds above Mexico split into four distinct islands, the Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels expansion features gravity-defying magnet sections as well as ice and water flumes. You also get ten new cars to play with, including four Hot Wheels cars scaled up to lifesize, as well as new bonus boards, PR stunts, and a five-part Horizon Story.
To celebrate the launch, Playground Games hosted a special stream at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.
With player numbers declining, the Hot Wheels expansion arrived at the perfect time to breathe new life into FH5 – a game that hasn’t held our attention over time.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t reinvigorated Forza Horizon 5 as we hoped. It doesn’t help that we’ve already had a Hot Wheels expansion in Forza Horizon 3, so FH5’s version lacks the surprise factor. There’s also a dedicated Hot Wheels game with Milestone’s surprise hit, Hot Wheels Unleashed.
Crucially, FH5 Hot Wheels lacks the exploration that makes the Horizon games so appealing.
Extreme E comes to Forza Horizon 5 in Series 10
It’s been a great week for Forza fans. Not only did the Hot Wheels Expansion launch, but Forza Horizon 5 Series 10 also started this week. Revealed in the latest Forza Monthly stream, Series 10 focuses on the electric Extreme E off-road race series, putting you behind the wheel of the extreme Odyssey 21 e-SUV.
With a 470kW Williams Advanced Engineering battery, a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, and modified suspension, the Odyssey 21 is a lot of fun to drive off-road in Series 10’s Dirt and Cross Country races.
F1 Manager 2022 driver ratings revealed
We’re all avid Formula 1 fans at RacingGames, and so F1 Manager 2022 is easily one of our most anticipated games of the year. With just over a month until the release, Frontier Developments revealed the full F1 Manager 2022 driver ratings this week.
Like Codemasters’ F1 games, every driver in F1 Manager 2022 has a driver rating. You can probably guess who the top F1 drivers are. We demand justice for Mick Schumacher, though.
Tthese ratings change dynamically as your drivers and staff gain experience throughout the season. As a Team Principal, you’ll need to decide whether to hire experienced drivers or younger drivers who will improve their skills over time.
B-Spec set to return in Gran Turismo 7?
Four months after it launched, Gran Turismo 7 is still missing several key features. One of these is B-Spec, a useful mode where the AI takes over driving during endurance races while you issue commands instructing them to pit in or pick up the pace.
Sadly, B-Spec hasn’t featured in a Gran Turismo game since GT6 in 2015 – but there’s hope it will return in Gran Turismo 7. This week, fans discovered a B-Spec mode hiding in Gran Turismo 7 while digging through the code.
Footage of GT7 running in debug mode shows the AI taking over control of a player’s car in B-Spec mode. There are no driver commands, however – all you can do is change the camera view. Don’t take this as proof that B-Spec mode will be added to Gran Turismo 7 in a future update, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
In other racing game news, Hot Wheels Unleashed’s July DLC update added the iconic characters Shredder, Skeletor, and Swamp Thing.
MotoGP 22 also wheelied onto Game Pass, Donington Park is coming to RaceRoom Racing Experience, Prodrive revealed a swanky racing simulator that costs more than a second-hand Tesla, Rocket League received new decals inspired by Nike football boots, and the 2022 Lamborghini Countach came to Need for Speed No Limits in the latest update.