Image Break Down: Project CARS

It's definitely a car. But is it a CAR?

Hugely ambitious crowd-sourced racer Project CARS aims not only to look utterly gorgeous but to allow a full career, beginning with karting and ending up in the motorsport of your choice. If it all comes off it could be the definition of definitive. There’s more on the development process here and the official site contains plenty of details. For now, here are some screenshots that have been cleverly disguised as photographs of vehicles. Racing game images often convince me that petrol-burning simulators will soon reach the point at which they look more like footage of cars driving fast than actual footage of cars driving fast.

Click to make the cars slightly larger, with a smidgen more detail at the periphery around them. It is only a smidgen but these are the largest versions I have.

Edit: larger versions do exist!


  1. Squirrelfanatic says:

    The second picture made me think of twin machine guns mounted on a F1 racing car.

  2. Fierce says:


    A friend of mine, who once literally salivated at some screenshots of Gran Turismo 4 back in the day, should be kept far away from these. I fear for his trousers.

  3. Nallen says:

    Very funny guys, these photos are not fooling anyone.

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    This isn’t realistic at all… all those parked cars and not a single traffic warden lurking nearby.

  5. asshibbitty says:

    Bigger shots here

    link to

  6. Gnoupi says:

    It looks beautiful, but I wonder how it runs on a regular computer. I mean, making a super detailed 3D model is something, but having it in motion on something else than a rendering farm is another thing.

  7. Squishpoke says:

    Not sure if video game

    or photographs

  8. pmanpman says:

    You can tell it’s a video game, the No. 4 audi doesn’t exist IRL

  9. wodin says:

    Definately vidoe game graphics…damn good ones but not yet at photorealism levels…

  10. Bungle says:

    Race car drivers attract beautiful women. If I become good at this petrol-burning simulator and the simulator’s footage looks more like cars going fast than actual footage of cars going fast, would that make me eligible for time with said beautiful women? Or at least some footage of a woman simulator that looks more like a woman than actual women. Honestly, if I could just get a passing stranger to acknowledge me I think it would make me feel much better.

    • Cognitect says:

      I hereby acknowledge you, Mr. Bungle.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      There is a joke about internet pornography somewhere but I’ll be damned if I’m feeling creative enough to find it.

    • sidhellfire says:

      Would you feel better if the porn sites were attracted to you?

  11. applecado says:

    I have this, and although it does look amazing, it drives like Need For Speed Shift – which is a let down. Also, needs a super-mega-hype PC to run at even slightly close to those screenshots.

    iRacing is still king.

    • IDtenT says:

      You’d think that those guys who buy steering wheels, pressure pedals and buckets seats can afford a decent GPU.

    • PoulWrist says:

      No, they spent it all on steering wheels and bucket seats.

    • Damo says:

      And here’s the opinion of somebody sane: It drives fug-all like Need for Speed shift.

      C.A.R.S is definitely very sim-like, and at such an early alpha stage (official release late 2012) is already making people doubt the hype surrounding the pay-to-play tard-fest that is iRacing. God knows why I sub’d to iR for so long when other sims offer so much more. But then, I am also a tard.

      I have one of those antique computers. You know, from around 2007. And the latest build of C.A.R.S runs OK for me even if it doesn’t look exactly the same as those screenshots. But that’s OK, because my girlfriend doesn’t exactly look like Kelly Brook but I still fancy the panties off her.

      On the other hand – if you’re looking for arcade racing, probably best sticking to games like NFS, GRID, and all the other toss you’ve been spoon-fed lately. It’s already been made well clear the community is taking C.A.R.S into the anal world of simulation, and I like it that way. The anal way.

    • Vagrant says:

      iRacing is still king of bending you over backwards and stealing your wallet. Physics are great, but I have spent way too much money playing it.

      I’ve been recently told about CARS, and intend to give it a shot once I get my simulator reassembled.

    • applecado says:

      Thanks.. ;)

      I am running two rigs, one i5 2500k, and one i7 2600k, one with a GTX580 and one with a HD 6970 – neither system can run it at full res with AA more than 4x with 60fps.

      It feels _exactly_ like shift 2, I’m afraid. Play them back to back – especially now they have added the Caterham – it is very very similar indeed.

      Same as NFS:S2, it looks amazing, but doesn’t quite live up to the fancyness.

  12. IDtenT says:

    Reminds me that I desperately want a new GRID. Le Mans > F1. GRID is still the best racing game in history, just ahead of NFS: Porsche.

    • Gaytard Fondue says:

      GRID is a game with cars in it, just not a racing game.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It’s a very cinematic soap-box driving simulation.

      But who cares how it drives, just look at that replay!

    • Vagrant says:

      If endurance racing is your standard, and grid is your prefered game over the sims, Need for Speed: Shift (2) does it better. As someone who has done real 24h endurance racing, the game gave me flashbacks with it’s very convincing night racing visual effects.

      EDIT: Which is apparently from the same devs as this game. Alright, then.

      My personal favorite has always been GTR2, which had support for true 24h racing. But it’s a bit more of a sim, and quite dated now.

    • IDtenT says:

      Gaytard, I never said sim. I said game. It has racing and it’s a game. :D I actually like soap-box handling, Gnoupi.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Vagrant – GTR/GTR2/GTL were made by the same people too, for the most part.

  13. moarage says:

    Finally a possible PC equivalent to Forza and Gran Turismo?

    • protospork says:

      Oh boy, do I hope so. That’s all I’ve really wanted for new PC games, ever since I bought an Xbox 360 solely for Forza 3. Most of the other genres are swamped with so many classics I’ll never be able to play them all, but the closest thing we have to a “Racing Career Simulator” (is there a real term for this?) is GRID. Which is great, but not even really the same thing.


    • Vagrant says:

      I think the proper name for the Forza/GT4 genre (which pretty much only exists in those 2 games) is ‘Car Harem Games.’

    • rapchee says:

      i thought it was car porn
      also, yes please, do want
      i dont always do car porn, but when i do, i prefer gran turismo :3
      oh and on pc test drive unlimited is a step in that way, with added freedom (and removed closed circuits, with one exception)

  14. bill says:

    That last shot makes me want a new Grand Prix Legends. Even though i sucked at it.

  15. Shivoa says:

    As Microsoft seem to somehow forget they have a high end gaming platform when it comes to car pron projects (Forza 4 is clearly gorgeous and fun to play, but also technically incredibly limited by the rendering available on the toybox. MS are making assets well beyond the rendering details required by their low spec platform and yet for some reason refuse to release it for the big shiny platform, just using these assets for a screenshot mode. Madness!) I hope this project works out well.

    • paterah says:

      I think you are forgetting Forza 4 as well as the whole franchise is a “killer app”, in other words a system seller. Forza 4 looks incredible, not just in screenshot mode, and on top of that manages to run on a solid 60 fps. And even then they managed to include 16 player races. Hell, I’m thinking of getting my first console this winter since my ps2 broke down in 2004 just for this game.

  16. grundus says:

    I’m not sure about this game. It looks absolutely incredible, but I’ve heard from a few sources it drives like Shift 2. In fact Damo is the first person I’ve listened (readened?) to to say that it doesn’t. I mean I don’t mind Shift because it’s not the only racing game I have, but I already have Shift. Also if has placed graphics before physics I won’t be buying, though going by these screenshots that would still allow for some incredible physics, so I can’t decide. I’m practically constantly on the verge of googling how to buy into the monthly builds, though. That Lotus (second picture) is just too sexy.

    I also heard it’ll be F2P when it launches, this is not necessarily good, particularly if you can only rent stuff temporarily. Who knows? I do play/have a lot of PC sims/games (GT:L, Race ’07, GTR Evo, Dirt 3, GRID, Shift, F1 2011 and the hardest of all, GTA IV), I only use my PS3 for GT5 and I fixed a 360 just for Forza 3 back before GT5 came out so this does interest me greatly, I just don’t know if they’ll let me enjoy it like all the others (except GRID, which started doing some weird stuttering thing that I didn’t care enough to fix after a few races).

    • Damo says:

      I understand your scepticism, but I’ve been sim-racing for well over a decade and i’m not always easily impressed. Make no bones about it, C.A.R.S is not perfect in any department as it stands. But we’re talking about a game that is currently in the making, in fact it’s less than 20% finished. The whole idea behind this is to get the community to shape the game. For your pennies, you not only get the game but also a say via direct communication with the devs in how it’s created. This is great news, because if you were to visit the forum you would see just how strongly the C.A.R.S following feel about the simulation aspects of the project. SMS themselves have said they wish to make the whole thing as authentic as possible, and they’ve got off to a great start. Check comments on for some thoughts from sim lovers, but really, just plump up the £9 and try it for yourself. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed :)

  17. Mehall says:

    I can confirm game looks that good, and runs pretty well.

    My rig (cost: £320 this May)

    Athlon X2 255
    4GB ram (32bit system, so only 3.25GB usable according to Windows)
    Windows 7 Professional
    nVidia geForce GTX550-ti