Forza Horizon 5 Series 34 Preview: Riding the 80s Retrowave

The next new Series in Forza Horizon 5 is set to get underway on Thursday, May 23, and Playground Games has been letting us know what to expect a little ahead of its usual schedule.

Officially called “Horizon Retrowave”, it’s the 34th in the lunar-monthly Series since the game launched in November 2022, and it brings something of a 1980s vibe along with it — or at least a 2020s idea of what the 1980s thought would be a 2000s vibe, like someone remade TRON for some reason…

It’ll bring with it some interesting new cars, which include some modern takes on 1980s classics (yes, they’re classics now; feel old?), as well as an all-out neon assault on the senses in a map makeover. There’s some new cosmetics and EventLab props too, as well as an all-new radio station.

Forza Horizon 5 Series 34 New Free Cars

It’s actually pretty difficult to say which of the five new cars this Series is the headliner, although PG has chosen the Hyundai N Vision 74.

This 670hp, hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicle actually riffs off the 1974 (hence the name) Hyundai Pony Coupe Concept by ItalDesign. A little early perhaps, but we’ll let it off since the Pony ran into the 1980s as a production car and the concept inspired the DeLorean and isn’t too far off the Isuzu Piazza either; Giorgetto Giugiaro designed all three.

Joining it is another retro-modern design, this time from Lamborghini. The modern Countach (okay, LPI 800-4) was a limited-production model based on the Sian FKP 37, with classic, Gandini-inspired lines from Mitja Borkert.

The three other vehicles come directly from the 1980s with no pretence required, with the S2 Lotus Esprit Essex Turbo taking our eye. This was the first turbocharged model of the Esprit, packing just 210hp from the 2.2-liter turbo, and also a film star courtesy of some neat efforts by Lotus’s marketing team to put James Bond into the driver’s seat.

Giugiaro and Gandini are taking it in turns this month, with the fourth car an oft-forgotten Group B homologation special from the latter’s pen. That’s the Citroen BX 4TC, which is just about the rarest of all of its peers. Citroen only raced it three times before Group B was cancelled, and as a result it barely sold the road car — with just 62 making it into customers’ hands.

Finally there’s a German gatecrasher to the party in the shape of the BMW M635CSi. This ultra-cool autobahn crusher — just called the M6 in North America — was the third ever car out of the M stable, with a 282hp straight six allowing it to cruise at 160mph.

The Hyundai is available for scoring 80 points across the four-week Series, with the Countach, BMW, Lotus, and Citroen available at 20 points in each of the four seasons in that order.

For the first time in a while, there’s no DLC pack this month, so it should be a cheap four weeks for completionists…

Forza Horizon 5 Series 34 World Changes & Cosmetics

Some 80s cars does not an 80s retrospective make, so PG has worked to bring sights and sounds from the decade into the game to complete the aesthetic.

That starts with a highway makeover, which sees much of the bottom portion of the main autoroute decked out in neon lights. As you can see from the image above, that includes pink palm trees, green pylons, and blue barriers — as well as what look like blue-outlined geographical features, again right from TRON. A drone show picks out an iconic 1980s sunset graphic too.

Elsewhere, the neon decor from Midnights at Horizon is back, along with the lengthened night time period to have more time to enjoy them. 20 new neon props make it into EventLab too.

A new radio station is available from this month too, with Horizon Wave bringing some synthwave sounds. Like the Lamborghini and Hyundai, the track list is a full-on modern interpretation of some classic 80s electronica, and it’ll run through all this month’s seasonal events. There’s also six new retro horns available.

New cosmetic clothing items include a Retrowave Outfit, consisting of a blue and purple race suit and some kind of cybernetic glove. You’ll also be able to pick up two Minecraft helmets, as PG celebrates the 15th anniversary of fellow Microsoft outfit Mojang’s sandbox title.

Forza Horizon 5 Series 34 Other Changes

There’s only a handful of other changes noted this month, including a glitch with the Audi TT RS introduced in Series 32.

Elsewhere there’s a fix for some issues with Creative Hub and some menu interactions, as well as one which would cause NPC traffic to not appear in Street Races.

The update should arrive at around 1600UTC on Tuesday May 21, ahead of the Series getting underway at 1430UTC on Thursday May 23. We’ve already received a teaser for Series 35 too, as “Modern Horizons” looks set to celebrate the present day’s favorite vehicles.

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