Forza Motorsport is a racing video game developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft for the Xbox gaming system. The word Forza is Italian for power. The game is the first installment in the Forza series, a series that has continued on Microsoft's subsequent consoles, the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.
There are 231 cars in Forza Motorsport ranging from a Honda Civic to supercars such as the Enzo Ferrari and Le Mans race prototypes such as the Audi R8. There are nine classes of cars, ranging from standard production vehicles to sports and high performance cars to purpose-built race cars. Each car can be upgraded and tuned with a large number of extras and parts. Upgrades are separated into three categories: engine/power, appearance/aerodynamics and chassis/drivetrain. There is a wide range of tuning available including tire pressure (which changes during races due to temperature), downforce, gear ratios and limited slip differential.
Forza Motorsport is able to realistically model damage to cars, from both a cosmetic and a performance standpoint. This changes the way the game is played, as collisions with barriers and other cars will alter the car's handling, top speed and acceleration. More noticeably, spoilers can be knocked off cars, paint can be scraped off and windows can be smashed completely (the front window however can only be shattered). Bumpers can't be knocked off.
The game contains a mix of licensed, street, point to point and original circuits. Real world tracks Road Atlanta, Silverstone, Laguna Seca, Tsukuba, Road America, and Nürburgring Nordschleife were licensed and included. Furthermore, the game's Blue Mountains Raceway circuit is heavily comparable in track layout, characteristics and backgrounds with the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst. In addition to these, Forza Motorsport also contains a wide variety of autocross, oval, and dragstrip courses.
Like the majority of major racing simulators, Forza Motorsport is designed to calculate a car's performance in real time using physical data (for example, the weight of a car's engine, its drag coefficient, etc.), consequently causing the cars to mimic the handling characteristics of their real-life counterparts. In 2005, Popular Science magazine tested this effect by inviting professional race car driver Gunnar Jeannette and a car enthusiast without major professional motorsports experience to drive identical cars on an identical track in both Forza Motorsport and the real world. Aside from several cars which were either in challenging physical condition or lacking identical setups, Jeannette's track times matched closely from his performance on the real track and in virtual reality. The amateur's real world times in all of the cars were roughly identical despite a 16-second spread between fastest and slowest in Forza, which he attributed to his fear of the consequences of driving too hard causing him to drive more slowly in the faster cars.