Forza Motorsport 7

IMSA and Off-Road Expansions Both Likely for Forza Motorsport 7

Article By 
Isaac Forcella
January 5, 2018
Forza Motorsport 7

IMSA and Off-Road Expansions Both Likely for Forza Motorsport 7

Article By 
Isaac Forcella
January 5, 2018

Recent Forza titles have all followed a fairly identical DLC formula – a launch car pack, a car pass that includes 6 monthly car packs, followed by 4 additional monthly car packs and then 2 big expansions sprinkled in between. Forza Motorsport 7 doesn’t seem to be deviating from this plan, with the ‘HOONIGAN’ car pack released at launch, ‘Fate of the Furious’ car pack in October, ‘Samsung QLED TV’ car pack in November and the ‘Doritos’ car pack in December.

Abarth 124 Spider, as featured in the Samsung QLED November car pack

What that therefore means, is that we can expect 2 major expansions to be released during the game’s lifecycle. The question is then, what will these expansions include in terms of content? Looking back at previous Forza titles, 1 of the expansions has always been Porsche. The exclusivity licence held by EA meant Turn 10 Studios had to obtain a costly sub-licence to include Porsche in their games. To make the inclusion of Porsche viable for Turn 10, Porsche vehicles were added to older titles as a paid expansion.

Of course, that exclusivity licence has now expired, and Turn 10 were able to obtain a 6-year long partnership with the German marque – allowing Porsche vehicles to feature in Forza Motorsport 7 from launch and simultaneously rule out another Porsche expansion. Instead, I believe that Forza Motorsport 7 will include an IMSA expansion, as well as an Off-Road based expansion. It should be made expressly clear that this is all speculation, and in no way has any of this been confirmed or verified by any official source. That said, let’s take a look at why I think these expansions are coming.

IMSA expansion

Let’s begin with my prediction of an IMSA expansion, as there is more convincing evidence to support this theory. All the way back in October, the International Motor Sports Association announced a so called “Strategic Alliance” with Forza Motorsport 7. IMSA president Scott Atherton released this statement regarding the alliance:

“This alliance between IMSA and the Forza franchise further solidifies the long-standing relationship between these two outstanding brands. IMSA cars and tracks have enjoyed a significant presence in the game for many years, and we are proud to have our series featured to the millions who play the game every day.”
IMSA is well known for its multi-class racing

A post on the official IMSA website mentions the fact that more than 100 cars from IMSA history feature in Forza Motorsport 7, as well as 9 of the current 12 track calendar. The announcement was made during the final round of the IMSA weekend, at the Petit Le Mans – an endurance race held at the Road Atlanta race track. During the race weekend a Forza Motorsport stand could be found in the paddock, and many of the cars taking place in the race featured a Forza Motorsport 7 decal.

Interestingly, most of the cars that compete in IMSA are not featured in Forza Motorsport 7. You’d have thought that an alliance like this would bring some kind of in-game item – such as the Ford GTLM race car that was added to Forza Motorsport 6 when Turn 10’s Ford partnership was announced in 2016. But there has been no mention of the alliance since the initial announcement, and no in-game benefit seemingly for Turn 10. Unless of course the current field of IMSA cars are being saved for a themed expansion…

Change Racing's Lamborghini Huracan GT3 that ran in IMSA in 2017

Whilst we’re on the topic of the current field of IMSA cars, let’s talk about the Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 car that competes in the GTD class. Yeah, the one with the huge Forza Motorsport and Xbox logos slapped all across the car. That sponsorship apparently hasn’t warranted Turn 10 including the Huracan GT3 in any Forza title to date. They did include the Huracan Super Trofeo car in Forza Motorsport 6, before releasing it into Forza Horizon 3 with part of the Change Racing livery as a gift car when the sponsorship was announced. However, the GT3 variant of the car has not yet featured in 6, Horizon 3 or 7 - which is odd since it’s literally a car Xbox/Forza Motorsport sponsor.

The previously mentioned post on the IMSA website has another small nugget of information that should be considered too. They list off 20 car brands that are featured in Forza Motorsport 7 that are also official partners of IMSA (essentially the car brands that race in the series). They toss Lexus in as one of the brands featured in the game, but they aren’t. Lexus are owned by Toyota, who have no road cars in Forza Motorsport 7. Lexus therefore also fall victim to Toyota’s absence, which includes all road cars – but doesn’t include race cars.

3GT's Lexus RCF GT3 that also ran in IMSA in 2017

Lexus race cars could then feature in Forza Motorsport 7 - and Lexus just so happen to have a GT3 car that runs in the GTD class within IMSA run by the 3GT team. What’s more is that following the December update for Forza Motorsport 7, a number of new cars were found in the game’s files – including one titled ‘2016 Lexus RCF GT3’.

The final clue that I have collated up until now came with the addition of the 2017 #92 Porsche 911 RSR. This was a car added to the game as a bounty hunter car rewarded for beating Xbox Head Phil Spencer’s rivals event time. While the car is called the #92, and in game features the WEC Porsche Team’s livery, the thumbnail image for the car features the IMSA Porsche Team’s #911 RSR. The RSR runs in the WEC’s GT Pro class, while in IMSA it runs in the GTLM class – both of which run to the same GTE specifications. It seems menial on its own, but when you add it to the larger picture this clue holds much more weight.

The 2017 #92 Porsche 911 RSR

I genuinely believe we will see an IMSA expansion for Forza Motorsport 7, and I think many fans would love for such an expansion to come to the game. The longing for a larger focus on Motorsport is clear on social media from hardcore fans and casual players alike, and an IMSA expansion bringing plenty of GT3, GTE and DPi cars to the game as well as a new track would certainly satisfy.

Off-Road based expansion

An off-road based expansion is something that I see as very likely, but it’s definitely much more up in-the-air in comparison to an IMSA expansion. Essentially, the main argument here is that there are just too many off-road race cars within Forza Motorsport 7 for there to not to be an off-road track to race them on coming to the game. Why would Turn 10 bother with obtaining licences for cars and scanning said cars in if there is no off-road track to drive them on?

Ken Block and Tanner Foust's Focus RS RX and GRC Beetle

From Ken Block’s Ford Focus RS RX, to the multitude of different stadium trucks, to the dune buggies like the Alumi Craft Class 10, to the 2 Arctic Trucks Toyota pickups – there is a massive variety of off-road based cars. However, something Forza Motorsport titles have never had is an off-road track. We’ve never seen something like a RallyCross track with multiple surface types, or even a single surface type off-road track like a Rally Stage. I think with the number of off-roaders transferred over from Horizon 3 to Motorsport 7, as well as new additions, there’s a very good chance that something is planned for these cars.

And actually, talking of Ken Block, he has been heavily involved in the marketing of Forza Motorsport 7. He, alongside Tanner Foust, is an official brand partner and both feature as voices of motorsport in-game. Why choose 2 off-road racing drivers for a game with only track racing?

We also know that the ForzaTech engine can run different off-road surfaces, as seen in Forza Horizon 3. There we saw sand, gravel, dirt, water and even snow as terrain surfaces that cars could drive over. Who’s to say Turn 10 don’t transfer some of these surface types over to Forza Motorsport 7 as part of an off-road expansion?

Forza Horizon 3's Blizzard Mountain expansion brought snow to Forza for the first time

In addition to all the other off-road cars already in the game, one of the other cars added to the game’s files alongside the aforementioned Lexus RCF GT3 is the ‘2016 Honda Civic GRC’. That’s a Global RallyCross Honda Civic – which would bring the number of RallyCross cars in the game up to 3 without even considering how many other cars would be added with an expansion.

All things considered I really do think an off-road expansion is coming to Forza Motorsport 7. It would certainly be a very different addition to the game when compared to previous expansion for other Forza Motorsport titles. It would also bring the fight to Project CARS 2, which also features off-road based racing – predominantly RallyCross.

Isaac Forcella

Isaac is one of our lead writers for FullThrottle, and has a lot of passion for racing games and real-world motorsports. He’s also a competitive online racer in organized league events, and you can expect plenty of coverage from on real-world motorsport, racing games, and eSports.