Forza Horizon 4 | Series 36 Update
We’re jumping right into the details of the new cars coming to Series 36 at the Horizon Festival. Get them now!
1972 Mazda Cosmo
In the mid-1960s, countries like the US, the UK, the Soviet Union, and their allies were embroiled in the space race, each pouring resources into developing new technologies that would give them the advantage in reaching the stars.
This was the environment at the time when a Japanese car manufacturer decided to make a name for themselves with a new technology of their own. So Mazda set their sights on the Wankel rotary engine, and dedicated themselves to building a car worthy of it.
The first Cosmo released in 1967 as a “halo car”: a type of car that a manufacturer creates to pioneer new technologies for use in future car development, even if the halo itself is never meant to be commercially viable. And it worked! The Cosmo was never a huge seller, as each one had to be hand-built, but the rotary became a mainstay of Mazda manufacturing, appearing in numerous cars in the decades since its first appearance here. The Cosmo’s rotary engine put out more power with less displacement and had fewer moving parts. This meant a smooth and powerful engine in a compact body.
The car itself was designed specifically around the rotary engine. Mazda was inspired by the space race, but also by recent offerings like the Thunderbird and the Jaguar E-type, which informed the Cosmo’s styling. They had a vested interested in demonstrating the value and reliability of the rotary technology, which is why they entered Series 1 Cosmo into the 84 Hour Marathon de la Route at the Nürburgring; it came in fourth.
The final model of the Cosmo was released in 1972.
You can get this pioneering halo car by completing the “Mazda’s Guide to the Galaxy” seasonal championship in Autumn.
1973 Mazda RX-3
If the Cosmo was built as an expensive, commercially nonviable halo car so that its technology would influence future Mazda offerings, the RX-3 would be one of the first beneficiaries. Sensible and affordable, the RX-3 gave Mazda their first chance to build their identity and brand, both as a manufacturer and a presence in the racing world, around the Wankel rotary engine.
The car was called the Grand Familia when it came with a piston engine, while “RX-3” was reserved for the rotary version, and in its home turf of Japan it was known as the Savanna. Just as with the Cosmo, Mazda put the RX-3 up for competition to prove its legitimacy, driven by the same person who had taken them to the fourth at the 84 Hours at the Nürburgring. They took the car to the 1972 Fuji Masters, and upset the favored Nissan with a win (and three more in ’72, ’73 and ’75), followed by a victory in its class at Bathurst.
The RX-3 benefitted greatly from the rotary engine because of its size. Originally designed to house a piston engine whose weight and power were intended for an ordinary passenger car, when the RX-3 was equipped with the much smaller rotary, it became dangerous on the track. A stock RX-3 topped out over 100 horsepower on only a one-liter engine—comparable to engines four times its size. The RX-3 became so popular for motorsport drivers that finding a stock version of this car now is nearly impossible, all of them having undergone some kind of upgrade or transformation.
The RX-3 is available after completing 50% of the Summer seasonal playlist.
2018 Saleen S1
Until the year 2000, Saleen made its name upgrading Mustangs into dominant track cars. But at the start of the 21st century, it was time to release something uniquely all their own, and that was the S7: a 7L supercar that looked more like an F1 prototype, and sold for a cool $388,500. It led directly to the creation of the 2004 Ford GT, and established Saleen outside of their Mustang roots.
Saleen continued to provide assembly services to other manufacturers until 2018, when they finally followed up the S7 with the slightly more moderate ($100,000) S1, a mid-engine supercar featuring a 2.3L four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The S1’s inner workings are all Saleen, while the outward stylings are influenced by the defunct Artega GT. After the makers of the Artega went bankrupt, the GT design was purchased by a Chinese manufacturer called JSAT, which asked Saleen to assist in modernizing the design. That modernization would ultimately prove fruitless, but it would give rise to the S1.
The S1 is available after completing 50% of the Spring seasonal playlist.