Porsche revealed what it calls the most powerful 911 ever, the GT2 RS, during Microsoft’s unveil of its new Forza Motorsports 7 video game for the Xbox One X in mid-June.
Well, “reveal” might be a generous term, because while the actual car was driven onto the stage after being announced as the Forza 7 cover car, the Microsoft XBox press conference revealed very few technical details about the car.
Indeed, this was more about the game, which Microsoft calls a re-imagination of the Forza series, with 4K resolution and 60 fps graphics and HDR turning the game into a “visual masterpiece.”
Beyond that, Microsoft says in the new game racers will find different weather conditions every time they return to a track, an effort to add realism to the game.
Initial impressions are good: Digital Trends said the high-end visuals of a track set in Dubai showed “crystal clear skies stretching out to the city skyline far in the distance,” and went on to describe “puddles of water left on the road surface” after dark clouds brought rain to the track.
Microsoft says the game “offers more Porsche models than any other racing game,” a notable thing since a now-expired licensing deal between Porsche and Electronic Arts meant that game developer was the only one that could use the company’s cars in its racing games.
Now, Porsche is set for what looks like it will be a long relationship with Microsoft: The Forza 7 press release says the two companies signed a six-year partnership in April 2017, but doesn’t specify whether that agreement gives Microsoft exclusive rights to use Porsche cars in its games.
Porsche itself hasn’t officially revealed the GT2 RS; all we know for sure right now is it has a 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat six that powers the rear wheels. It’s rumored to make just shy of 700 horsepower, though the exact number is still secret.
Don’t assume this car/video game co-reveal is some kind of one-off event. Car manufacturers are in the middle of a major shift in the way they market their products, a fact driven home by how many OEMs maintain a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas every year.