Here’s how the “Forza Horizon 5” team recorded audio for every car

Here’s how the “Forza Horizon 5” team recorded audio for every car

An important part of any automotive video game is recreating the sounds of the cars depicted. This video shows how Playground Games did it for “Forza Horizon 5,” which is due to be released November 9.

First, you need a lot of cars. The “Forza” games have long car lists, and each car featured in a game needs authentic audio. The sample shown here includes everything from a Jaguar XJ220 and Lancia Stratos to a GMT400 pickup truck and Mk7 Volkswagen Golf R, plus a pair of A80 Toyota Supras. Each vehicle got mic’d up and was driven around a test track.

Recording sessions included the expected burnouts and fast drive-bys, but also recordings of engines idling and at startup, covering every scenario that might appear in the game.

no title

“Forza Horizon 5” takes place in Mexico and will feature the arcade-style gaming of previous “Horizon” titles, as opposed to the more realistic racing-simulator setup of the main “Forza Motorsport” series. A trailer released earlier this year showed a wide variety of terrain, ranging from rainforests to deserts—all rendered in 4K.

Based on the trailer, players will have a wide assortment of cars to choose from as well. A special Forza Edition of the Mercedes-Benz AMG One hypercar will be in the game, along with many off-road vehicles, including the Ford Bronco R and Land Rover Defender.

A new “Forza Motorsport” is on the way as well, although it may not be released until after “Forza Horizon 5.”  Announced last year, it will also feature 4K graphics, as well as software to render light and shadows more realistically.

Jay Leno drives a tastefully updated 1973 MGB

Jay Leno drives a tastefully updated 1973 MGB

The 1973 MGB featured on this episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage” is responsible for keeping many of its kin on the road. That’s because it serves as a testbed for parts supplier Moss Motors. Robert Goldman, chairman of Moss Motors, joined Jay Leno to discuss the car and its role with the company.

With a production run spanning two decades, the MGB is one of the most popular British sports cars of all time. The MG brand survives today under Chinese ownership, but primarily sells sedans and crossovers now. While time has inevitably removed some cars from circulation, the MGB still makes up a sizable portion of Moss Motors’ business, Goldman said.

This 1973 model was built about halfway through the MGB’s production run, but before the addition of oversized rubber bumpers, a raised ride height, and primitive emissions equipment required by United States regulations in subsequent years.

Moss Motors' 1973 MG B on Jay Leno's Garage

Moss Motors’ 1973 MG B on Jay Leno’s Garage

While it has a clean, stock appearance, the car has a few aftermarket parts, including a prototype Panhard rod, a supercharger for the inline-4 engine, and a 5-speed manual transmission that uses Mazda MX-5 Miata internals, Goldman said. Braking is handled by Wilwood discs up front, and drums in the rear. Switching to rear disc brakes wouldn’t have a major impact, Goldman said.

Inevitably for a discussion of vintage British cars, the topic of electrical issues came up. Goldman said the real problem with MGB electrical systems today isn’t flaws baked in from the factory, but years of use and abuse. This car also has a modern alternator, electronic ignition, and a high-torque starter for added reliability.

Watch the full video for more tips on upgrading classic cars, and to see Leno drive this modernized MG on the streets of Los Angeles (with the top down, naturally).

Nikola founder Trevor Milton charged with fraud

Nikola founder Trevor Milton charged with fraud

A federal grand jury has charged Trevor Milton, the founder and former executive chairman of electric-vehicle startup Nikola, with three counts of fraud related to claims he made about the company’s planned products.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed civil securities fraud charges against the 39-year-old billionaire.

The indictment, details of which can be read at the Department of Justice website, alleges that Milton made “false and misleading” claims about Nikola’s products and technology to the investing public.

Alleged false claims made by Milton include one that Nikola had a functioning semi-trailer truck prototype, another that the company had developed a pickup truck, and another that the company was producing its own hydrogen. Also mentioned was the now infamous video posted on Milton’s Twitter account of a truck driving along a flat road, which was allegedly filmed by having a non-functioning truck towed to the top of a hill and then rolled down.

Milton pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently out on bail.

Nikola Tre

Nikola Tre

Nikola over the years has rolled out various vehicles including the Badger pickup truck; One, Two and Tre semi-trailer trucks; and NZT utility task vehicle.

In a statement published to its website on Thursday, Nikola said it is cooperating with the inquiry and remains committed to its previously announced milestones and timelines, including delivering the first examples of the Tre battery-electric truck later this year.

Milton, who at one point owned 20% of Nikola, stepped down from the company last September after the DOJ and SEC started probing Nikola over allegations of fraud brought up by investment company Hindenburg Research.

Hindenburg Research, which called Nikola an “intricate fraud” in a report published Sept. 10, was first to claim that Milton falsely claimed to have proprietary technology, and that the company used mockups in its promotional videos instead of functioning vehicles.

It was about this time that Nikola announced a deal that it would source hydrogen powertrain technology and production capacity from General Motors, though GM scaled back the deal the following November to only supplying powertrains.

Trio of special race cars mark 50th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz AMG’s historic Spa victory

Trio of special race cars mark 50th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz AMG’s historic Spa victory

It was at the 1971 24 Hours of Spa where AMG first made a name for itself.

The company was only founded four years earlier, by a pair of former Mercedes-Benz engineers who wanted to develop racing engines, but couldn’t while at Mercedes since the automaker had ended all racing efforts following the disastrous 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans.

For the 1971 Spa race, AMG installed a bespoke 6.8-liter V-8 in a Mercedes 300 SEL sedan and ended up taking home a class win and second place overall, thanks to the driving efforts of Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Mercedes-Benz AMG 50 Years Legend of Spa collection

Mercedes-Benz AMG 50 Years Legend of Spa collection

In remembrance of that 300 SEL and its red paint scheme, AMG has developed special one-off versions of three modern race cars. Known as the 50 Years Legend of Spa collection, the cars include a 2010 SLS AMG GT3, 2016 AMG GT3, and 2020 AMG GT3, and will be offered individually.

All three feature the same red paint featured on the original 300 SEL, as well as additional colored sections on their exteriors that mimic the racing roundels and sponsor logos of the original sedan. For the interior, the cars feature matte gray tones and a full carbon-fiber dash. A special plaque also sits where the instrument cluster is normally found. This plaque includes the signature of original AMG founder Hans Werner Aufrecht.

The trio of special race cars will make their debut at the 2021 24 Hours of Spa which runs this weekend at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps racetrack.

Could Chevy replace the Camaro with an electric performance sedan?

Chevrolet’s Camaro has struggled since its most recent redesign, with the 2020 sales tally coming in at less than half that of the rival Ford Mustang.

As a result, Chevy has limited updates to the car, and there are rumors the nameplate may be retired after the current generation reaches the end of its product cycle around 2024…though it may end up sticking around until 2026 should there be enough buyers.

But what will fill the void? Automotive News (subscription required) reported on Monday that an electric performance sedan will directly replace the Camaro.

General Motors has set itself a goal of having all of its light vehicles powered by electricity by 2035, so it makes sense the automaker will want to replace the Camaro with an EV. A sedan body style would likely also sell better than the Camaro’s two-door body.

Another solution could be turning the Camaro into an EV, a possibility GM hinted at back in March when it unveiled its Ultium EV platform and battery technologies. Chevy has also built an electric drag racer based on the current Camaro as a tech demonstrator.

As automakers face ever-tightening rules on emissions, muscle car fans will have to get used to batteries and electric motors instead of high-octane fuel and V-8s. Ford has already launched the Mustang Mach-E, and Dodge in July teased an electric muscle car due in 2024. Ford has at least one more generation of its gas-powered Mustang planned, while the future of Dodge’s Charger and Challenger remains uncertain. We’ll likely see one more generation of gas-powered Chargers and Challengers, though a turbocharged V-6 may replace the current supercharged V-8 as the range-topping option.

Fortunately electric powertrains are well suited to muscle cars, and Chevy has an excellent base with the new Ultium tech. The platform delivers up to 1,000 hp and manages to hustle the 9,000-pound GMC Hummer EV from 0-60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. Imagine what it could do with a lighter vehicle.

Lucid goes public via biggest SPAC deal to date

Lucid goes public via biggest SPAC deal to date

A string of electric-vehicle startups have all gone public in the past year via a so-called reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) whose shares are already listed, and the latest to join the party is Lucid.

Lucid in February agreed to a merger with Churchill Capital Corp IV, and the deal was finally approved last week. The merged company, known as Lucid Group Inc., started trading on the Nasdaq on Monday under the ticker symbol “LCID.”

The deal will see Lucid receive approximately $4.4 billion in cash, though the biggest winner has been Lucid’s main backer, Saudi Arabia, or more accurately the country’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, or PIF for short.

The PIF made a $1 billion investment for an 85% stake of Lucid prior to the SPAC deal. With the deal now closed, the PIF’s stake still stands at 60% but is worth more than $21 billion based on Lucid’s current share price.

Lucid Motors AMP-1 factory, Casa Grande, Arizona

Lucid Motors AMP-1 factory, Casa Grande, Arizona

Lucid has its headquarters in Newark, California, and a plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, which is due to start churning out the Air sedan later this year. Unveiled in production-ready form last September, the Air will launch in Dream Edition spec with 1,080 hp, a 517-mile range, and a $169,000 price tag. Other versions will follow, including a base model starting at $77,400.

Lucid has also teased the Gravity SUV and may eventually construct a plant in Saudi Arabia. It has about 2,000 staff presently in the U.S. and will add 3,000 more through 2022.

Heading Lucid is Peter Rawlinson who was an early engineer for the Tesla Model S. In a statement, Rawlinson said the new funding will help Lucid expand its Arizona plant as well as establish new businesses for licensing technology and offering energy storage solutions for residential, commercial and utility markets.

A string of EV startups have all gone public in the past year via reverse mergers, thus avoiding the complexity (namely regulatory requirements) of launching an initial public offering. The list includes Canoo, Faraday Future, Fisker, Lordstown Motors, Nikola, and REE. Another EV startup, Mullen Technologies, also plans to go public via a reverse merger, while Rivian is reportedly planning to do it the traditional way of launching an IPO.