There's a new Forza 6 car pack being released this week, but there's only one car included that truly matters. Starting tomorrow, Forza 6 owners will be able to virtually pilot one of the crown jewels of all motorsports: the McLaren MP4/4.
The news was announced in a post by Forza developer Turn 10. The MP4/4 is one of seven new cars being added to the game, including a 1980 Lancia, a 2014 Maserati, and the 2000 Plymouth Prowler. An all-too-brief video shows off glimpses of each new car, with the MP4/4 careening through the streets of Rio de Janeiro.
This car won nearly every F1 race in 1988
Chances are that you've seen the MP4/4 before, even if you only have a passing interest in auto racing. But for the uninitiated, here's a quick recap. The McLaren Formula One team rolled out a new car in the 1980s called the MP4 (or MP4/1). It was more aerodynamic than its predecessors, and it was the first car with a monocoque built entirely out of carbon fiber. It was good, but the MP4/2 was much more dominant, giving McLaren 22 wins and two constructor's championships in three years. The MP4/3, however, was a relative disappointment in 1987, and McLaren found itself having trouble keeping up with the competition. Enter the MP4/4.
McLaren made big changes in 1988. While the MP4 cars had previously been powered by TAG-Porsche engines, they were losing more and more to teams with Honda engines. So McLaren made a change, and equipped the MP4/4 with a 1.5-liter Honda V6 turbo engine. The team also radically changed the position of the driver in the car, a sign of things to come for F1 in general. And on top of all that, the team signed rival driver Ayrton Senna to run alongside then two-time world champion Alain Prost. The result of all this was unmatched dominance. McLaren cars won all but one of the 16 races in 1988, and led 93 percent of all laps run that season.
The MP4/4 was the perfect mix of performance and style
The MP4/4 is a truly iconic race car because of its performance, but also because it just looks sharp. The McLaren cars sported the white-and-red before the MP4s were around, but it was the dominant run in the 1980s that really made the look stick — so much so, in fact, that the Penske IndyCar team copied it when they signed Marlboro on as a main sponsor in the 1990s. The MP4/4 was the best car in basically every way at a time when the sport of Formula One was at its height, which is why current F1 champion Lewis Hamilton was practically in tears when he got the chance to drive it on Top Gear a few years ago.
Turn 10 has been adding different vehicles left and right to Forza 6 ever since it was released in September, pushing the total number of cars to over 500. Included in that number is a slew of supercars and sports cars, the current Formula E and IndyCar grids, and even some modern F1 cars as well. As if that's not enough, the company is also teasing the impending release of a "special surprise" in addition to the new cars. (Monaco, please?) Considering we're still waiting for Gran Turismo to officially arrive on PlayStation 4, the MP4/4 just adds to Microsoft's head start.