The world of motorsports is replete of innovative ideas and novel concepts, as engineers strive to make their creations go faster.
This whirlwind of ideas is not exclusive to racing, however. In the video game industry, designers push beyond the boundaries of imagination in order to craft dazzling experiences.
When racing and video games come together, the result is a burst of fresh ideas. Some of them offer players new perspectives over what is possible to achieve with a vehicle, but this does not always have to be a serious business.
Game designers often use their wildest imagination to make vehicles in their racing games that are curious, awkward, or simply funny.
With this in mind, we compiled a list of some unusual vehicles featured in racing games.
With fossil energy marching towards it demise; scientists debate over what the fuel of tomorrow will be. Will it be hydrogen or electricity? Neither of these options, according to Millennium Racer Y2K Fighters.
Released for the PC in 1999 by Cryo Interactive, this game features a futuristic universe similar to the movie Tron. In this universe, vehicles are made out of crystals and they repel the surface of the racetrack, thus setting the bike in motion, in a way similar to what you would see with two magnets with equal poles facing each other.
In this game, developers had the audacity to create a vehicle unlike any other in both its looks and functionality. This game earned its place on this list.
PlayStation 2, Xbox
The career mode developed by Electronic Arts for its NASCAR franchise was one of the best in a racing game, but as with most games, the inevitable fate of this production was to become repetitive and thus boring, once players had finished exploring the content of the game.
In the PlayStation 2 era, when developers did not have the luxury of releasing downloadable contents in order to retain players, they created cheat codes to unlock new content, prolonging the lifespan of the game.
In NASCAR 2006, developers used this technique, by allowing players to type “RaceTheTruck” as the name of their drivers. This code unlocked the UPS truck for users to pick and race in the game.
Perhaps the fastest delivery of all time.
This franchise features hundreds of cars in each entry, from the most mundane to the elite machines.
In its fourth installment, it is possible to drive and break the 400 mph barrier, with the Toyota GT-One, according to the user “Rotary Junkie” on Gamefaqs.
With a wide universe of dazzling machinery for players to choose from, the game also features an unlikely contender; the Mercedes-Benz Daimler Motor Carriage, from 1886.
Known as the first car in existence, it features an engine with less than one horsepower, reaching the top speed of 11 miles per hour.
According to its Wikia page, it takes 1 minute and 36 seconds to reach the distance of a quarter mile, from a standing start.
Race your friends with this machine and discover who among your peers is the most patient.
As the previous examples have shown, developers can go pretty far, in order to add interesting elements to their games, but this production has taken this idea even further, by allowing users to design their own cars.
The imagination of players has no limits. This statement is proven true by the creations users share in the game and through YouTube. The caterpillar car from the video above is perhaps the best example of how users can stretch the realm of what is possible, using their imagination.
Every racing engineer wants a car to go faster, but unfortunately, the racing world is nearing a point where the cars will reach their speed limit. Not because of the vehicles themselves, but because of the drivers.
In order to compete, elite racecar drivers dedicate most of their lives to physical conditioning to withstand the demands of taming the world’s fastest cars. Making a car faster means adding more stress to the body of the driver and, considering they already push their bodies near their limits, the speeds cannot increase in a significant manner in the future.
This is the scenario in real life, but in a video game, the circumstances are much different.
Given that in a virtual environment there is no need to hold a concern over the well-being of the driver, the developers of the Gran Turismo franchise created a special car, with the objective of making it go as fast as possible, within the limitations of current real-life engineering.
The result is the car in the picture above, which looks more as a vehicle from outer space than a racecar from Earth.
This is a special mention for this list, because while this car may seem as unusual, it was designed first in real life, then transferred to the virtual world, as one of the cars featured in Gran Turismo 6.
With a design that resembles an aircraft, the Delta Wing made its debut in real life when participating in the 2012 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite not having early success, the Japanese manufacture continued to develop the concept and its efforts paid out. The Delta Wing led the 2016 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona, prior to retiring from the race due to an accident.
The racing world offers a wide variety of machines for you to pick as your favorite. Some are traditional, whilst others are unusual, but there is one that perfectly suits your style.
Pick your ride and go for the ride of your life.