Toyota Returns to the Forza Franchise Next Month
Playground Games has announced that Toyota will be returning to the Forza Horizon series next month. The much-loved 1998 Toyota Supra RZ will be available in Forza Horizon 4 as a part of the Series 17 update on December 12.The news came via a fun reveal at the end of the team’s latest update livestream and was repeated via the official Forza Motorsport Twitter account.In the follow-up Forza Monthly stream, community manager Brian Ekberg clarified that Toyota subdivision Lexus is also part of the deal.“Moving ahead you guys can expect cars from Toyota, from Lexus – maybe even Scion – to be in Forza for years to come,” said Ekberg.Design director Jon Knoles added that, while the fan-favourite A80 Supra is the first Toyota confirmed, it will not be alone.“The car teams have been blowing digital dust of some of these cars and getting them back together again, because they haven’t been seen since Forza Horizon 3 or Forza Motorsport 6,” said Knoles. “They had to come up to speed; they had to support the new weather effects and shaky bits and all that stuff that has been added in the last couple of games. So the first one out of the gate will be everybody’s favourite Supra, and there’ll be more to come.”Toyota street cars were absent from Forza Motorsport 7 in 2017 and Forza Horizon 4 last year. Since 2017 Forza games have only featured a selection of Toyota racing models (and two Toyota 4WDs prepared via Icelandic engineering company Arctic Trucks) but no street cars. Previous Forza games have included cult Toyota/Lexus vehicles from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and the modern era – from various Celicas and Supras to the wild Lexus LFA. A great round-up of the memorable Toyotas featured in Forza Horizon 3 can be read on the Forza website.It wasn’t just the Forza series, however. The Crew series doesn’t feature Toyotas, and Toyota hasn’t been seen in Codemasters’ Dirt series since Dirt 3 in 2011). Toyota production cars were also yanked from Need for Speed Payback and are not available in the recently released Need for Speed Heat. The manufacturer’s absence from the tuner-focused Need for Speed is still particularly anomalous considering the company has produced some of most popular tuner cars and engines in history.In August 2019 the carmaker confirmed via its UK Twitter account that “officially, Toyota Motor Corporation has no concrete plans to license its model range to any other games besides Gran Turismo Sport at the moment.”The tweet followed an earlier, deleted tweet that explained to a dismayed Need for Speed fan that Toyota cars could be found in GT Sport, “which doesn’t support illegal street racing.”This explained the presence of Toyota models in GT Sport and appeared to confirm the theory that the marque had some manner of exclusivity deal with Gran Turismo, although the theory gets murky when factoring in Japanese arcade games like 2017’s Initial D Arcade Stage Zero and 2018’s Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 6, both of which also featured Toyotas (and street racing).While Toyota fans will need to wait until December for that Supra to come to the Horizon festival, the highly-requested Ferrari 488 Pista is arriving later this week.
Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office and he likes driving pretend cars almost as much as real ones. You can find him on Twitter every few days @MrLukeReilly.