Forza Horizon 5 Season 17 Preview: Turning Japanese

Playground Games has previewed the next Series of Forza Horizon 5 — Japanese Automotive — in its latest Let’s Go stream, revealing what people will be doing, building, and winning when it gets underway on February 2.

As you might expect from the name, the Series is all about cars from Japan, and just about every event on the list will require the use of a Japanese car or reward you with one. Usually both.

In total, across the ten Playlist main prizes you can win, there’s four new-to-FH5 Japanese cars — two of which are new to the series — with a further six hard to find existing vehicles including some previous Playlist rewards.

For the S17 overall rewards you’ll be able to win the Nissan GT-R NISMO 2020 and the Subaru Impreza 22B, which rank among the finest and most desireable Japanese performance cars ever made.

Naturally we’ve already seen plenty of the new-to-Forza Nissan Z, with the car being teased as long ago as October. That essentially headlines the Series, given its place in the thumbnail, and is the first of the seasonal reward cars — for 20 points in Summer.

The other big car is a very small one: Toyota’s Sports 800. Although not small enough to qualify as a keijidosha (kei car) and sporting an engine that, at 800cc, was far too large for the class, the Yota Hachi is hardly an SUV.

Predating the incredibly handsome 2000GT by two years, the Sports 800 was one of the first glimmers that the outside world had of what the Japanese car industry — until then rich with dreary three-box designs — could and indeed would become. At 45hp it was hardly rapid, but then it only had 1,300lb to drag around.

Two cars return to Horizon and are available for 20 points in respective seasons. You’ll be able to pick up the second generation Toyota MR2, in 241hp GT guise, and the Galant VR-4 which saw Mitsubishi take its first steps in world rallying. The Galant has actually been in the game since launch, as an NPC traffic car…

There’s some new challenges during this month too, starting with a new Showcase Remix. This alternative version of the Catch Me If You Canyon event — the classic Horizon train race — now features a Rocket Bunny-kitted S15 Silvia and will be part of the Summer season.

Across the Series there’ll be new photo challenges, which require you to hunt down stone Japanese lanterns, while a new collectible event featuring the maneki-neko — also known as “Lucky Cat” — figurines will be available during winter. Unusually, all four weeks feature two EventLab challenges, reflecting the popularity of Japan-themed event creations.

That’ll also get a boost this month as a selection of 57 new props and objects will become available for EventLab, all themed around car parks — neatly explaining what we saw in the cover image.

The props include modular sections of car parking structures with auto-snapping functionality, allowing you to build your own Tokyo Drift-esque car parks. Or maybe Driver

Japanese car fans will also be thrilled by the inclusion of a set of 23 new types of wheel rims, from brands like 5zigen, Advan, Enkei, and Ray’s Gram Light.

When Series 17 comes to an end on March 2 it’ll be replaced with Horizon Wilds Takeover, which will see Cross Country events come to the fore and the return of the Stunt Park. It will also bring a number of Ken Block tribute events and prizes, which PG will preview sometime next month.

One thing of which there is no sign just yet though is the game’s second expansion. Towards the end of 2022, PG teased it would be announced in early 2023, but January’s stream seems to have been just a little too early.

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