Honda Pits Real Against Virtual in Civic Type R Showdown

Car CultureForza Motorsport 7 4 February 20, 2018 by

It’s a question almost as old as racing games themselves: which is faster, virtual or real? Honda’s the latest to offer its take, using the latest Civic Type R and Forza Motorsport 7.

The Japanese giant has pitted IndyCar driver Graham Rahal against regular gamer (and popular YouTuber) Peter “SLAPTrain” Jeakins. The face off takes place at Georgia’s Road Atlanta, a 2.54-mile long stretch of tarmac available in FM7.

Honda installed a special mixed-reality windshield into the new hot hatch, letting Rahal see where Jeakins is on track. That means this isn’t a simple time trial for the pro driver, though he touches on the important difference between the two. “In simulation you don’t have fear, and in real life you do. To me there’s nothing like really driving,” said Rahal before setting his time.

The result? We won’t spoil it until after the video, which you can watch just below:

All done?

In the end, it’s Rahal that comes out ahead, though that’s far from a sure thing throughout most of the lap. Surprisingly, it’s Jeakins with the lead for most of the lap, and a much higher top speed too. That’s not surprising: the 316hp Civic has already set a front-drive record at the ‘Ring, and is capable of well over 170mph flat out.

There’s just one fly in the ointment for us, though: was Jeakins held back thanks to an older model? The current CTR isn’t in FM7 (yet), leaving the 2016 FK2-gen model as the most recent iteration of the breed. Its stock performance index (PI) rating? B523 — the same number that is briefly visible on screen at the 0:52 mark.

It’s possible the current model simply matches the old one in Forza’s PI system, and could be coming to the game soon.

Regardless, it’s a well put-together video, and the margin is slim. We hope this is the start of a series of game versus reality videos, and not just from the folks at Turn 10. Polyphony Digital could always dig out the old GPS Data Logger system from Gran Turismo 6

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