Forza Motorsport 4 Top Gear DLC Pack Reviewed

2012 Henessy Venom GT

These DLC packs really are a hit or a miss. There are the collectors who will have to have them for the unique offerings, and then the rest of us are going to like certain vehicles in certain packs and not others. I would have thought the Top Gear pack would include some of the guys’ favourites, a cock-eyed Morgan, a Ferrari or a Merc AMG, but none to my surprise.

The pack does include a nice mixture of collectables though; from an amazing supercar to an absolute classic. The Top Gear pack is available now, will cost you 560 Microsoft Points and includes:

  • 2012 Smart ForTwo
  • 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
  • 1977 AMC Pacer X (Wayne’s World)
  • 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
  • 1966 Lotus Cortina
  • 1990 Subaru Legacy RTS
  • 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8
  • 1965 Austin-Healey 3000 MK3
  • 2012 Henessy Venom GT
  • 2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan

1965 Austin Healey

The Good

I would be happy to spend 560 Microsoft points on the 2012 Henessy Venom GT alone. The Venom GT looks remarkably like the Lotus Elise, just longer and wider. It is also rear-wheel drive and mid-engined, but that’s where the similarity stops. The Venom GT practically explodes after 200 kilometres per hour, clicking it into third leads to savage acceleration. The Venom reportedly goes from zero to 320 kilometres-per-hour in around 15.3 seconds, and produces G-forces nearly equal to those felt by fighter pilots doing inverted loops. The turning-circle is huge, like a touring car, so this combine with the massive speed did not make for crisp handling. It is not bad at all, but nothing like a Ferrari or a Porsche. You also spend quite some time braking from the insane speeds, so you’ll want to take it to those long straights. The engines’ sound is as sexy as they come, with some sort of turbo or supercharger whistling away blissfully as the revs climb at a furious pace.

The 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 came as a bit of a shock to me. The front lights looked like they could have been pulled straight off an Audi, and while that iconic 300 C look remained to make it instantly recognizable, it looks like the gangster car got a bit of a German makeover after stopping by West Coast customs. Then we know what ‘SRT8’ stands for in Yankee terms – POWER. The engine note is exquisitely modern-American and rumbles beautifully. It is not the fastest car, not the best braking and it handles nothing like the German saloons. What it is is a big-motored, real-wheel drive gangster car.

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is just a cool 4×4 isn’t it? A timeless shape and the typical American qualities that mean it is certainly not the fastest, not the best handling you’ll find and not even the most capable. It is just some eye-candy, nothing you’ll take to the serious races.

The 1965 Austin-Healey 3000 MK3 is one of the most gorgeous cars ever made, from an era where attention to detail was top of the list when crafting a car. Yes, cars were crafted rather than built then; with real leather, metal and spokes. The British had a particularly strong era with their two-seater, front-engined rear-wheel drive roadsters, stealing the show for years to come. The Austin-Healy was one of the finest from the era and to this today remains one heck of a desirable collectible.

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8

The bad

I am sure the Subaru’s and Mitsubishis of old were great cars in the era, but let’s face it, the badges became iconic with the Playstation generation set by Gran Turismo. As very much a part of this generation, I only see the Subaru Impreza and the Mitsubishi Lancer models as desirables from these two stables. So while I am sure the 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 and the 1990 Subaru Legacy RTS are great cars, fast, reliable and a ‘tuner’s dream’, I do not care for them.

Lotus and Ford had business links in days gone by, and the1966 Lotus Cortina looks and is just like the Ford Cortina of the day. Cortina’s where rear-wheel drive and so offered a fun drive in a practical and well-priced package. Cortina’s were hailed as the blue-collar man’s car who enjoys his drive. But If you’re going to include a Cortina, how about one from the 80’s or 70’s – one with a bit of power?

You remember Sabine, the German wonder-woman at the Nurburgring? So it’s no surprise the British evergreen, the Transit made it into the pack. You get the 2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan which is a bit meatier than the stock van. So you’ll have the edge over Sabine in the ‘gaffa-taped’ Transit.

2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan

The just plain… really?

The Smart people figured out a way to get two people in a safe package that is filled with niceties. Besides being a well built car that you can squeeze anywhere in the tight roads of European cities, I can think of no reason why you would want the updated, slightly better-than-before 2012 Smart ForTwo.

While the rest of the word flocked to Volkswagen for the Beetles as the choice in cheap and dependable run-arounds, the American student snapped up the 1977 AMC Pacer X by the masses. A car which is best known from Wayne’s World, but ironically the ugly-duckling probably holds its own in Hollywood films, and would probably even rival the mighty Corvette in sheer amount of times it has appeared in movies. If there is a student, a nerd or a looser in a Hollywood movie, he or she probably drives a beat-up ugly coloured AMC Pacer.

1977 AMC Pacer

The verdict

The latter pair must be the Top Gear lad’s sense of humour coming out, and I can see no use for them in Forza Motorsport 4. They are iconic though, in a bizarre way and so you can sort of understand how they made the pack alongside other icons like the Cortina, Austin Healy and the Jeep. The Japanese oldies are not for me thanks but may come in handy in the older Japanese races.

The absolute stand-outs for me, and which totally justify the modest price-tag for the pack, are the Henesse and the Chrysler. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would say, but it is true. The one is ‘super-cool’ and the other is like a nuclear missile!

About r0gue Zombie

Known as Victor Vieira to his mommy, r0gue is a Consoloptipus [con-sol-opti-pus] plural: con-sol–opto-pi • Derived from Latin meaning “he who is too cheap to buy a gaming pc” • Commonly found online. If encountered in natural habitat, presume dangerous [to himself]. • From the ‘alles-terian’ group [will eat anything]. Needs regular feeds.