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Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Pack is out today, screens and trailer hail its release

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[Update]

The Rally Expansion Pack for Forza Horizon is now available on Xbox LIVE – get the details on the new content below.

[End of Update]

The first major add-on for Forza Horizon is due out today over Xbox LIVE Marketplace, providing five new cars to test out in the game’s fresh new environments and challenges. Forza Horizon players, get ready for the Rally Expansion Pack.

Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Screenshot 1

This latest downloadable content for Microsoft and Playground Games’ open-world racer brings with it “a thrilling new automotive experience ‒ with new cars, terrain, and off-road racing challenge ‒ to this year’s biggest racing game.”

Of course, the accuracy of those words is entirely up to you, so if you’re willing to pay 1600 MS Points for the Rally Expansion Pack (or if you’re already a Forza Horizon Season Pass owner and up to the task of downloading the content), then you’ll be able to put this DLC to the test.

Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Screenshot 2

“With the Rally Expansion Pack, the Horizon Festival is expanding to include epic rally racing and iconic rally cars that have been specifically tuned to handle the extreme terrain of Colorado’s most formidable off-road stages,” says Microsoft.

You’ll also have the chance to test your skills against online opponents with multiplayer rally events, leaderboards and Rivals challenges, while new career events will continue the rally theme. “These stages feature severe and sudden elevation changes, massive jumps, and more surface variety than has ever been seen in Forza Horizon, providing an intense and varied off-road driving experience,” Microsoft promises.

Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Screenshot 3

The DLC will also add five “iconic” rally cars, which will be upgradeable with rally-specific parts, while any current Forza Horizon car can be transformed into a “dirt-eating [machine]” by applying rally upgrades to the game’s vanilla motors.

A pumping dubstep track and pacey visuals in this trailer for the Rally Expansion Pack introduce us to the content proper:

Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Trailer

The five cars included in today’s Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Pack are:

2005 Subaru Impreza WRX ST

The traditional blue and yellow Subaru is nearly synonymous with rally racing. The Subaru World Rally Team has been active since 1980 and has employed a “who’s who” list of rally-driving greats including Ari Vatanen, Colin McRae, and Petter Solberg. The 2005 WRX STi saw minor interior upgrades over the 2004 version. It is powered by the turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-liter flat-four that cranks out more than 300 horsepower. Subaru’s invincible all-wheel drive system provides grippy traction on any surface.

1982 Lancia 037 Stradale

The words “Group B” will send a chill of excitement down any rally lover’s spine. These cars were so fast they were eventually banned from rally competition. The Lancia 037 Stradale represents the last of the RWD cars to be competitive before AWD cars took over the sport. With a silhouette similar to its predecessor, the Lancia Stratos, the 037 is a mid-engine, tube frame beast with body panels made of Kevlar. The 200 road going versions built for homologation had an Abarth-developed 16-valve four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine with a Volumex supercharger. Power output of the street car is right around 200 horsepower, although the final evolution of the rally 037 had as much as 325 horsepower.

1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Built with the intent of winning the World Rally Championship, the RS Cosworth was a successful stopgap model between the Sierra Cosworth and the later Focus. Although the Escort did not win the championship, it did win eight events between 1993 and 1996 and was extremely competitive as a Group A car. What makes the Escort RS truly special is the Cosworth YBT 1993cc turbocharged I4 engine. Its standard output of 224 horsepower has been tuned to as high as 1,000 horsepower in competition trim. Its full-time 34/66 front/rear split AWD system also give it excellent handling on any surface.

1992 Toyota Celica GT-Four RC ST185

Driven by Carlos Sainz, the ST185 won the driver’s title in 1992. This was the pinnacle of Sainz’s rally career and the first time a Japanese car won trophies in an otherwise European manufacturer-dominated motorsport. The GT-Four RC is an AWD, turbocharged, 4-cylinder with a water-to-air intercooler and close-ratio transmission. A total of 232 horsepower give it plenty of juice and, when you upgrade to the rally body part components, the Celica is an obvious standout rally-racing icon.

2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR

The Lancer’s AWD performance is equal to supercars costing exponentially more. With 276 horsepower ready to be unleashed, the lightweight 3,109-pound Evo VIII MR is a formidable car on any surface. Lightning-quick turbocharged acceleration is put down to the surface through a six-speed transmission and helical limited-slip differential, making the Evo VIII a natural choice for any rally lover.

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