In any video game, what you see on your television is a good approximation of reality. But how good is it? It’s one thing when you are visiting an alien planet shooting a high-powered laser, but many games mimic a true-to-life experience? One of the best examples: racing games. FoxNews.com decided to compare the real sportscars below to those in the brand new game Forza Horizon 2, available only on Xbox One on Sept. 30.
Note: We compared the most recent “real” model from 2014 to the version offered in the game; in some cases, the game version is not the latest model year.
1. Audi R8 Coupé V10
This elite high-end racing car made from carbon fiber parts, priced at just under $200,000, is for those who want to experience the thrill of high-speed racing without the inherent dangers. In real life the car drives smooth and fast, hugging the road at all times using All Wheel Drive (AWD) to reduce slippage. In the game, the Forza team nailed the road-hugging aspects. In both reality and in the game, you’ll rarely spin-out even if you floor it around corners. Also, a rear spoiler starts rising around 67MPH and is fully deployed at 70MPH in the game and in the real car.
2. Ford Fiesta ST
Ford wanted to make the 2014 Fiesta ST, priced just under $21,000, a blast to drive for the true racing aficionados on a budget--which is why the real car has a manual transmission, sound amplification features that let you hear exhaust roar more clearly, and torque vectoring to help keep the front wheels straight when you floor it. Forza Horizon 2 modeled all of these features (including the exhaust sounds) but missed in only one area: the shifting in the game feels right in first gear, but stays in second gear much longer than the real car.
3. Subaru BRZ
Subaru is known for making rally cars like the WRX, but the BRZ, at just under $26,000, is their sporty low-profile racer that’s similar to the Scion FR-S. Driving one in real life, you’ll notice a few things right away. One is that the car is very low to the ground and hugs the road. Second, it’s not really that fast at only 200 horsepower. In Forza Horizon 2, the styling looks perfect but your perspective in the cockpit looks a bit too spacious. The car is fun to drive around corners in reality and in the game, and Forza nailed the so-so acceleration.
4. Tesla Model S
One surprising addition to Forza Horizon 2 is the all-electric Tesla Model S, priced at $69,900 for the base model. (If you buy one, upgrade to the version that can go almost 300 miles on one battery charge.) While an electric car might not be your first choice for the race track, just remember the physics involved. An electric motor doesn’t need to rev up to propel you forward, so the real Tesla is quite sprightly off the starting block. Unfortunately, in the game, it’s a real porker. The car seems slow and weighted-down.
5. Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG
One of the most obvious features in this compact and sporty roadster is that it has a double-wishbone suspension with a rare 50-50 weight distribution. That’s a fancy way of saying it glides around corners like butter on a curved bowl. In the game, you can take corners fast, but watch out when you floor it. Because it’s so compact, the video game version seems to spin out easily. In real life, flooring it only causes slight slippage.
6. BMW M5
Here’s the sleek sports sedan that showed up in the last Fast & Furious movie, and for good reason. BMW packed 560 horses into the engine and tuned the car so that it has an insane pop that propels you forward from a standing position. Oddly, even though the Forza team uses exact specs from the car manufacturer to create the game versions, the M5 doesn’t accelerate that quickly, especially in third gear that should push you back in your seat.