5 Cars, 5 Video Games (Alfa SZ, Impreza, Testarossa, Hilux, Esprit)
“Prepare to Qualify!” Ever since there have been video games people have been trying to translate the excitement of driving on the road to a video game. The first one was “Grand Trak 10” in 1974, and top-down games like this also came to home computers when they were a thing in the late 70s and early 1980s. But very soon games in the arcades and indeed of course real cars used a steering wheel not a joystick or even just keys which I had to use that just didn't provide the analogue input of a steering wheel, and often you were fighting the way you tried to control the game not the other cars in the game. Some games tried clever hacks like getting you to roll Sellotape across the top row of keys. I don't have Sellotape so this is my rough approximation of what I was trying to do in the 1980s, and it sort of worked but it was still not really very good.
Anyway this video is a look at five of these games and the cars that featured in them that I've picked out with Neil from the RMC Channel. If you're not familiar with Neil's RMC Channel he does lots of loving repairs of old gaming machines and retro computers which is how I got into his channel a few years ago. He's also built a great museum which I had the pleasure of visiting last year. I'd highly recommend checking out the channel for a low-key dose of retro fun, and there's a link above and in the description - the normal things. So, over to Neil to talk about the first of the five cars that we're going to talk about featuring a car that I've already done a deep dive into - the Toyota Hilux and “Super Off Road”. Who the hell is Ivan “Iron Man” Stewart? That was my first reaction when I saw this arcade cabinet.
It appeared in our local video rental store because that's one of the places where I would play after school, or sometimes during school when I perhaps shouldn’t have been there with friends, and the first thing you saw was these three steering wheels on the arcade cabinet lined up just begging to be played shoulder to shoulder. But it had this name on it Ivan “Ironman” Stewart. None of us had heard of him before, and none of us have heard of him since. So, who was this guy. Well, Mr Iron Man unsurprisingly is an American off-road racing driver born in 1945. His accolades span four decades from driver of the year in 1975 through to an induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009. But as a Brit who's only exposure to off-road racing was rally driving in the forests and banger racing on dirt tracks, he was a complete stranger to us. His racing was mostly around dune buggy and endurance off-road races which made him the ideal endorsement for this game. The goal in the game is to win on eight different tracks which can be
raced in reverse to create 16 courses. These are all dirt tracks over which your 4x4 must reverse hills jumps and water filled holes. You can collect bags of cash and nitro boosts which magically appear on the track. A well-timed nitro can get you back into the running, but used badly you can also find yourself shooting in the wrong direction and sending yourself to the back of the pack. Between each race we would use our collected cash and winnings in the shop to upgrade our vehicle and this is where the arcade's motives really kick in. You can
spend your winnings or you can pump yet more cash into the machine to use to spend in the shop. If you thought microtransactions in video games were a recent thing then you clearly didn't spend enough time in the arcades. Now this is our racer with no scrolling, so you can see the whole track just on one screen in front of you. It certainly wasn't a new thing with Off Road - we
can trace that all the way back to the 1970s. If we're to include AI controlled competitors, then we would look at Atari's Sprint 2. This takes us to 1976 the “2” is for two player. There was also a four and an eight player model, and we're currently restoring one down in the Arcade Archive at the moment. It's significant because it's the first racing game that had a CPU in it, the CPU being a 6502 model. Sprint in turn was inspired by the 1974 game “Grand Trak 10” but that game was made entirely of discrete logic, so no CPU was present and therefore no AI controlled opponents. From Sprint would come Super Sprint Championship, Sprint and Badlands and these games clearly were the inspiration behind Super Off Road. The arcade was produced by company
Leland. This company came about when Trad West purchased Cinematronics in 1987 and formed Leland, and the only arcades that I can see that they came up with were Quarterback, Dragons Layer 2 and Super Off Road. Super Off Road being by far the most popular one, and it was ported to just about every home computer platform you can think of. It was on 16-bit micros such as the Commodore
Amiga, consoles such as the Super Nintendo which featured fantastic music by composer Tim Follin. [music] And even the Nintendo Game Boy got a port, although the zoomed in scrolling nature of the Game Boy version to accommodate the small size of the Game Boy screen did make it feel like a very different game. More like the type of game we'll see in just a moment. But just what were those vehicles that were able to jump at death defying heights and come crashing down seemingly with no damage whatsoever to their suspension? Well, it's no secret really because the name Toyota was all over the box, the marquee and the side art. It is of course the Toyota Hilux but let's learn a little bit more about that car from Andy.
Well, the Toyota pickups in Super Off Road certainly got some serious abuse, but as Top Gear showed the Hilux could do the same surviving - even being put on top of a building and then having that building be destroyed! Toyota in the 1970s was the new kid on the block. They had cheap cheerful cars that didn't go wrong. Exports boomed and having a 1-ton truck certainly helped round out their range. It was a vehicle that just got the job done. It was especially popular in North America which was the land of the pickup, and it certainly didn't hurt to promote their trucks in Super Off Road. As exports boomed Toyota listen to their customers
and the Hilux got large engines and an automatic gearbox and more interior bells and whistles. By 1980 they were selling over 300,000 trucks every year. They were also able to reuse parts, for example the four-wheel drive system from the Land Rover competitor - the cheekily titled “Land Cruiser”. With Toyota's relentless drive to beat all the competition both domestic and foreign, the Toyota Hilux became the pickup that the world wanted. Hilux was a concatenation of the word “high” and “luxury” but early Hiluxes were luxury in name only – it was a very Spartan vehicle! But by the 1980s the Hilux was serving double duty. It was lugging work things around during the week, and it was hauling fun things around during the weekend.
Toyota knew that the Hilux needed more luxury so again they took parts from their massive Toyota parts bin, again from cars like the Land Cruiser but also their passenger cars to kit it out and give it a lot more luxury. With the Hilux's success Toyota created more versions. For example the Toyota 4Runner that appeared in the 1980s. By the mid-1990s North America got its own specific version of the 1-ton truck - the Toyota Tacoma. That 2003 Top Gear piece was probably the best advert for the Toyota Hilux. They left it in the sea overnight and it still started, and of course as I said before they put it on top of a building and then blew the building up - it still started! But they went one better when the three untrained Top Gear team with some trained other people drove specially modified Toyota Hiluxes all the way to the North Pole. That was something early explorers could only have dreamed of doing! In 2011 a specially modified Toyota Tacoma made it to the South Pole. For years the Hilux was made in Japan but not any
longer. But it's made all over the world. The Hilux is still that go anywhere pickup that can help you do your job during the week, and help you have a lot of fun on the weekend. This next game or series of games was certainly inspired by Super Off Road and the games that came before it - in that it is a bird's eye view. But this time it's zoomed in and it's scrolling in eight directions following your car around the track. It follows the same format though - win races to earn cash, go into the shop to upgrade your bog standard car to make it quicker. This
time you can also buy missiles for your car and other weapons and then go on to win more races and repeat. But because this wasn't an arcade it wasn't designed to gobble your coins. It was designed more for longevity, so it had a bit more of a balance in that respect to make it more enjoyable for home play. In particular it's Super Cars 2 that I enjoyed but I did start with the first game in the series which was just titled Super Cars. It's by developer
Magnetic Fields who had perhaps the most dramatic intro screen of all game developers. And it was published by Gremlin interactive who released it in 1990. A transitional period where we owned both 8 and 16-bit machines and were slowly moving over to the 16-bit ones. This
game came out on both 8 and 16-bit micros and it also got a North American release on the NES. You're seeing it here on the Amiga 500. The first game, Super Cars, was well received and it's clear that no licenses were obtained for the cars used within. Instead of a Cizetta we had a “Retron Parsec”. Instead of a Honda NSX we had the “Vagu Interceptor” but it's the “Taraco Neoroder” that always caught my eye, mistaking it at first for a BMW of some sort. I later learned that it was based on the Alfa Romeo SZ. It's an unusual line-up for a game called Super Cars when
more well-known cars existed from the likes of Ferrari or Porsche which could have been copied. The first game is slightly clunky to play, with opponents seemingly impossible to pass at times, but it's enjoyable. It has a nice TV style presentation with new desk reporting on the race standings and while weapons can be purchased in the shop, the key to success seems to be balancing the cost of repairs with upgrades to get the edge in the race. If you can make that engine
last just one more race without destroying it you could come away with enough money to upgrade your entire car. Many of you will be familiar with this game as I am on the Amiga, but I would encourage you to try it on the ST where I think it might just feel a little bit better to race on. Being designed for micros rather than consoles it follows a one-button control scheme. We push forward to shoot a missile forward, pull back to shoot it back, and then fire is your accelerator. So, there's really no brake to speak of. When you lift off the accelerator, it pulls up the handbrake, and you can be accidentally doing handbrake turns everywhere.
But after a bit of practice you kind of get used to it, and you get used to the practice of lifting off which pulls the handbrake and quickly putting the accelerator down again. It can't be good for that handbrake cable! I enjoyed this game back in the day but the series really came into its own with the sequel where everything was refined and improved. More screen space was used to give a better view of the track. A larger sprite set reflects driving on hills. Jumps and tunnels are added and a two-player mode. The shop offers a greater range of weapons
including mines and homing missiles, and nitro makes an appearance. All of which add an extra dimension to the game and how you approach each race. On the whole it rewards the player fairly, but there are some frustrations such as very narrow segments of the track which make missiles unavoidable. You can of course also use this to your advantage. In between races an opportunity to win or lose more Championship points or money appears in the form of a driving theory test, this one penalising me for a bad joke. Sweet talking sponsors, or at least attempting to to get more money out of them, or even try and appease protesters so that they don't fine you for your omissions or noise pollution. It's a great game and in the sequel it's that car again - the Taraco Neoroder - which appears on the title screen, and I do wonder if this game influenced me in later years because for better or worse I have owned two Alfa Romeos. A 147 and a GT Cloverleaf. But I never got
near an Alfa Romeo SZ. So, I'd love to find out more about it. Andy it's over to you! Alfa Romeo was sold to Fiat in 1986 and Fiat wanted to revive the whole Alfa Romeo brand, and so why not play on their sporting heritage with a fire-breathing sports car. But they didn't have a lot of money, so to save money they based the whole sports car thing on the Alfa Romeo 75 family car which had just launched. The designer would be Robert Opron who'd just been hired by Fiat. He designed famous cars such as the Citroën SM and the Renault Fuego. The result
was nothing like his previous cars though! It was a brutalist, high-sided beast designed to use ground effects. It had a mean six-headlighted look, maybe why it was called “Il Mostro” or “the monster” by the press. It was looks that you either loved or hated and personally I think it looks gorgeous. It also had a passing resemblance to the Volkswagen Corrado that had just launched. It was shown in 1987 as the ES30 concept and was available two years later as the SZ or Sprint Zagato. The Sprint name harked back to the 1970s Alpha Romeo Sprint and the Zagato name was a nod to coachbuilder Zagato who were helping to make the car.
Unfortunately the production car wasn't quite as exciting as the one in Super Cars 2. It only had a 3.0L V6 not a 5.5L V8. It also didn't have battering rams or front and rear missiles. At silly omission I know! But on real roads that 3.0L V6 had plenty of power. It gave the car a top speed of over 150mph (245 km/h). In an era where Alfa Romeo was lambasted for lackluster handling the SZ was a great drive with impressive performance. No wonder then
that the SZ is still sought after, maybe from grown-up teenagers remembering Super Cars 2! What's the first racing game you think of when you hear this sound? High on the list would be Gran Turismo. Perhaps Need for Speed. But for me, and this is the PC version, it's this - Colin McRae Rally. I played it an awful lot on the PlayStation as well as on the PC. You may know it today as “Dirt” or “Dirt Rally” but the series began in 1998 as Colin McRae Rally featuring the unmistakable blue Subaru Impreza with gold wheels. Apparently
there are two ways of saying the name of this car and I know Andy uses the other, so I'll go with Impreza. The game was published by Codemasters. Now their heritage goes way back to the 80s when the Darling brothers as teenagers set the company up and started publishing games at pocket money prices, some programmed by themselves and others picked up from other developers. And here are just some such examples. They would successfully transition through the 8 and 16-bit areas and beyond. The driving games often featured and you can see some examples here in the draw. One such game in the 8-Bit era was Grand Prix Simulator. Atari once tried to sue them for this game for ripping off their own Championship Sprint but ultimately failed because Codemasters were able to argue it was based on their earlier top-down racing game BMX Simulator. A lucky escape I think! The arrival of the PlayStation in the mid-90s as well as more powerful PCs with Hardware 3D acceleration such as 3DFX cards saw Codemasters capitalise on racing in the third dimension with games like TOCA Touring Car Championship which would become the Race Driver series, and this - Colin McRae Rally. It was far from the only
rally game on the scene though. The most famous of the 90s perhaps was Sega Rally Championship, but this game gave us the visuals we craved for from such games as Sega Rally but with much more depth. 52 stages, laser modelled cars, special stages and the voice of co-driver Nikki Grist guiding you around the bends. On the PlayStation it supported dual shock feedback on the joypad and analogue controls on all platforms including steering wheels and pedals.
I was so enamoured with this game back in the day that I bought something called a pair of Elsa Revelators. Now these were stereoscopic glasses and they would work with any Direct3D game, some better than others, but they worked particularly well with Colin McRae Rally. You put them on, and we were still using CRTs at this time. It would blank out one eye at a time and it would alternate the image on the screen so that you had a sense of depth perception. So,
I could see the bonnet of the car up front as I looked into my monitor, and I could see the corners approaching far away, and that that extra depth perception made it an incredible game to play. I can't imagine many people got to enjoy it in that way - until now as VR finally starts to, I won't say take off, but become more commonplace and we can play more modern driving games on them. But I was doing that in the late 90s with Colin McRae Rally and that experience was cut short when we moved to flat screens because those glasses no longer supported it. But it was a great way to play the game. It may look fairly basic by today's standards with low resolution textures and short draw distances. This was improved slightly on the PC with our 3D cards but however you played it there was always this sense that you could improve with practice as you honed in your driving skills and became more familiar with the stages and the car. But that car - what a car it was! So memorable that I completely forgot until I revisited it that McRae switched to the Ford Focus when the sequel came around - Colin McRae’s Rally 2. He was
driving for Subaru from 1993 through to 1998, Ford from 99 to 2002, and then Citroën in 2003, but the iconic Impreza was available to play in most of those games even if it wasn't on the cover. The sad and untimely death of Colin McRae in 2007 would see his name finally used in Colin McRae's Dirt 2 in 2009 again, which also featured videos dedicated to his life and his career before the series switched to using simply the Dirt name. His name and his legacy will not be quickly forgotten and neither will that car. So, let's find out more about it.
Codemaster’s Game “Colin McRae Rally” introduced many to the world of rallying, and there was only one car to play with - the Subaru Impreza. Subaru introduced four-wheel drive to their passenger cars in the 1970s and started rallying with it in the 1980s. But it was their relationship with UK-based Prodrive in 1989 that supercharged their rallying ambitions. Their four-wheel drive passenger cars were a hit and gave way to all-wheel drive. The difference between four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is with four-wheel drive all four wheels are always driven, unless the driver explicitly switches into two-wheel drive mode and only powers two of the wheels. With all-wheel drive most of the time the car is only driving powering two wheels which is more fuel efficient, but can switch into four-wheel drive mode when you run into a sticky situation. All-wheel drive seems to be the best of both worlds,
and customers that needed occasional four-wheel drive swore by it, and although Subaru's cars had all-wheel drive they didn't have a big ladder frame chassis like things like a Land Rover. A Subaru on the road drove like a car. So, if you're going through twisty bends it didn't throw you all over the place. Subaru's cars particularly in North America got a small but loyal following from people you might describe as “A to B”ers - basically people who just wanted a car that would start in the morning, get them to where they wanted, didn't want anything special. They just wanted it to work. Ironically with all Subaru's rallying efforts in the 1990s with the Impreza it was going after a completely different audience, but then maybe they were trying to expand their market into a different set of customers. There was an intense rivalry in the 1990s between the Subaru Impreza which was winning all these rally stages and the Mitsubishi Evo which was also winning lots of rally stages. There was
a battle for race wins on the rally circuit and a battle for car sales in the showroom. As we moved through into the new millennium Subaru still offered their rally inspired car - the WRX, but stopped contesting for rally wins. What they focused on was sensible family cars which is where their money lay. At the time Subaru had a minority stake from Nissan, but when Nissan and Renault hooked up in the late 90s to create an Alliance - they actually ended up getting shares from each other's company - it was a very strange deal! Anyway, Nissan had to sell their stake in Subaru and it was sold to General Motors. So, when the second generation Impreza launched it was badged as a Saab 92-X because Saab was owned by General Motors, and I guess General Motors wanted more models for the Saab range. It was of course nicknamed by the public as a “Saabaru”! By the time of the third generation Impreza in 2007 General Motors was going bankrupt and was trying to sell everything they could. So, they sold their Subaru stake to a new minority
owner – Toyota. Toyota has helped Impreza sales bloom, particularly after 2012. The WRX is still sold - and it's a beast on the road! The 2.4L 271hp (202 kW) turbocharged engine gets to 60 in 5.6s. But although it has all the performance numbers, drivability from
the reviews isn't what it was in its 90s heyday. So, it's probably best to stick to driving one in a video game - where according to this clip you can crash and yet still get the best stage time! Another game now from the Magnetic Fields and Gremlin Graphics stable, a reflection really of my Amiga ownership in the early 90s and the games that I had access to, and boy what a game this was! This game follows in the tradition of 2D racing games viewed from behind the car and making use of scaling sprites to give a pseudo 3D effect, something we'll talk about more in our next game. But it was used a good effect here across 8 and 16-bit platforms in three games in the series. The first – “Lotus Turbo Challenge” while enjoyable only utilised
half the screen in single player mode, displaying a side view of your car in the bottom half. On some platforms this was accompanied by animated mechanics tinkering under the bonnet, and in two player mode that would become a split screen racer. This felt like something of an oversight for the solitary gamer - a gamer like me. Was it a technical limitation? Was it a design choice? Well, we would get the answer to that in 1991 when we received Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, and we got to enjoy full screen racing. The series I think really found its stride in this game.
The racing was time trial based through city, desert, snow, forest, night-time stages and a lot more. All racing against the clock to hit the checkpoints and avoiding other cars along the way, who really only serve to get in your way rather than to take positions from you. And I had a sense that the technical achievement in this game was the closest that I'd seen yet to what the arcades were doing in my local seafront, and the use of a British manufactured car that wasn't really in the supercar range gave a sense that maybe one day I might actually be able to buy one of these for myself. Well viewer, that never happened. I have never owned a Lotus in my life I'm sorry to say. I did as I said earlier own an Alfa Romeo. It was a “147 Selespeed” was the first one, which had a reputation for having a terrible gearbox. It
wasn't quite automatic, it wasn't quite manual. It had a robotic arm that changed gear for you hidden away. It was very slow and it clunked between the gears and had a reputation for breaking, and that's exactly what happened. My gearbox broke or at least that mechanical arm broke, and perhaps I should have listened to the Lotus's Esprit Turbo Challenge and not Super Cars, and I would have been a happier driver! Anyway, the series finale was “Lotus III - The Ultimate Challenge”, which took Lotus 2 and tried to throw every feature they could think of at the game. The killer feature they pushed for this one was called RECS - a procedural track
generator which you seeded with your desired track type and it would spit out one for you to try. Want to race on Jupiter with lasers and turbo boost in tarmac? Well now you can! And this is where it fell down for me. The gritty racing through a forest in the rain in a British-made Lotus, mastering five manual gears to perfect the cornering speed felt good. It felt really good.
Driving it on Jupiter turned it into a bit of a caricature of itself. On the flip side, though this game certainly gave you value for money. Time trial or circuit racing, unlimited tracks to generate and multiplayer racing - you could even play over a serial link. And in the case of Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 you could play cross-platform - an Amiga and an ST working together in harmony. By the final game the three cars you could drive with the open top Elan SE, the Esprit Turbo SE and the M200 concept car which never made it to market. But the Esprit was the car that I always chose, and no doubt that was slightly influenced by a certain movie! It's a car with a lot of heritage, so let's find out more about it.
The 1970s were full of great new Italian supercar designs, for example the Lamborghini Countach, and the Lotus Esprit was Britain's answers to this Italian invasion. So, it's not surprising it was also designed by an Italian, specificically Giorgetto Giugiaro, and if you see a resemblance between the Lotus Esprit and the DeLorean then you're not far off. Both of them were styled by Guigiaro, and Lotus had a hand in both of them - specifically the chassis. When the Esprit launched it had supercar looks but it didn't have supercar performance. Today it would get beaten in a drag race by a Nissan Leaf! You didn't have the raspy V8 of those Italian Super Cars, it had something much more humdrum - a 2.0L four-cylinder. The sort of thing you'd find in a Ford Cortina of the time! Clearly Lotus had its work cut out to make the car match its image. But Lotus were more than up to the task, but they also had two key technologies
that came to the aid in the late 1970s - electronic fuel injection and turbocharging. Over the next 12 years the Esprit got its supercar performance, but not the supercar sound. It still had that 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. It would eventually get 276hp (206 kW) with an 0 to 60 time of 4.7s. This and the new late 1980s curvy body bought it a whole new fan base,
especially on home computers. In fact, many people's first Lotus history experience was driving one on their home computer, and of course continually crashing it! 2.0L may not sound great, but it did have its advantages. Italy heavily taxed cars over 2.0L so Lotus could undercut
the competition. But then if you can afford a supercar and your Italian, you're probably better paying the extra tax because driving around Italy in a Lotus probably isn't the smartest move. The Esprit would eventually get that V8 by putting two of the 2.0L four-cylinder engines together with two turbos, and it had stupid performance – 500hp (373 kW). it had to be limited to 350hp (261 kW) on the road to prevent it blowing up the gearbox that was in it! So, the gearbox was now the weak point in the whole car. But this was the late 1990s and
by then cars like the Lotus Exige were in Lotus's future and what the public wanted. The Esprit was quietly pensioned off, or as quietly as you can pension off a 350hp (261 kW) V8 supercar! Now for people who watch me regularly did you really think I wasn't going to put this game in here? It's 1986's Out Run - of course it is! I always went to this arcade first. Whether it's at Butlins Holiday Park, Weymouth seafront, or even today at retro Expos, I always go straight to Out Run if I see it there. I love playing it and I love watching other people play it too. It just oozes coolness, and it was of course the subject of many imitations. Lotus Turbo Challenge which
we just saw being one of many of them. The game was built on sprite scaling techniques that Sega called “Super Scaling” which was demonstrated before Out Run in their 1985 games Hang On and Space Harrier. This model here I'm playing is the later 1987 Super Hang On game which is very similar. It adds a turbo button to make it even quicker, but that's not the game we're talking about today. We'd also see Afterburner use this hardware and others. It would continue to develop and Sprite Scaling would be used in games such as Power Drift and Rad Mobile which really took sprite scaling to the extreme. The custom hardware and dual Motorola 68000 CPUs in Out Run made it a huge technical challenge to recreate on a home system. Many attempts
were made, and many failed to review well. But it wouldn't be until the 90s and the Sega Saturn that we saw a true arcade perfect port come to the home. The game itself was designed by Yu Suzuki and it was loosely based on the film “The Cannonball Run”, but was set across Europe - or roughly a Europe style continent rather than the US. Each stage leads to a fork in the road on which the player decides where to go next, and this creates 15 distinct stages - each themed as if in a different country. And there are five different finish lines, each with a different celebratory animation. Add to this the choice of music and the result is a game that just never gets old for me. On the one hand it's endlessly frustrating. Just
one major crash means you're unlikely to finish the game on all but the easiest settings. But on the other hand if you get a good run and you string together faultless stages, avoiding all the traffic, you start to believe your driving skills are superior. And the more who can see your skills over your shoulder at the arcade the more your ego is going to be inflated. In short it makes you feel cool, it makes you feel superior and that's exactly what Yu Suzuki wanted you to feel. This advanced technology combined with non-standard controls, a steering wheel, gear stick and pedals - or pedal, the brake pedal is largely redundant in my opinion, also created a barrier to the rampant bootlegging of arcade PCBs at the time. Even if the board could be copied
you'd still need the cabinet, and nobody was going to be copying the flagship deluxe model. A sitting cabinet on hydraulics which would tilt the cabinet as you played on a 26” monitor, and speakers were behind your head in the headrest just completely immersing you in the experience. This was cutting edge gaming and it remained relevant for years to come. The model we have here in our Arcade Archive is a mini or cabaret, which is the smallest in the range and it's the game I play the most down here. While the game didn't have an official license from Ferrari it's pretty obvious what the car is, or at least at face value it looks like a Ferrari Testarossa. But I've never
seen a Ferrari Testarossa without a roof. So, what is this exactly Andy? Out Run was a phenomenally popular game maybe that's why the Testarossa turned out to be one of Ferrari's most popular cars, and being featured in Miami Vice certainly can't have hurt its prospects! Testarossa actually means “redhead” in Italian. It doesn't refer to the roof of the car but the red painted cams on the engine which referenced the original Testarossa - the 1957 Ferrari 250. It was designed by Italian coachbuilders Pininfarina who styled almost all Ferraris since the 1950s as well as the occasional mainstream car like the Ford StreetKa. The engine was mid-mounted, so the styling team needed to side air intakes to cool it down. Their initial idea was to hide them but in a change of heart they decided to feature them - producing this wonderful louvred design that could double as an egg slicer! The innovative design carried on at the rear. In fact, the whole design was a bit of a departure from Ferraris of old,
but it became a shape that symbolised 1980s supercars in all their pop-up headlight glory! Out Run is accurate in that the top speed is around 293km/h (182 mph) but it of course it has a five-speed manual gearbox rather than just low and high. With a 4.9L V12 engine you'd expect acceleration to be good, and it was! It got to 60 in just 5.8s. That's impressive for the 80s, but today it's beaten by another Italian redhead - the 1.4L Fiat Abarth 500. One weird part of the Ferrari Testarossa design were its mirrors, or mirror in this case - there was only one of them in a weird high position. Even pretty basic Ford Fiestas at the time had two mirrors. Parking in a supercar is hard enough with two mirrors, so with one it must have been incredibly difficult! Presumably customers rebelled because the car quickly got two mirrors, mounted at the regular position and you can see that in the car in Out Run.
That car in Out Run is a Ferrari Testarossa Spider, that is an open top. But Ferrari actually never made an open top version of the Testarossa. They made a one-off concept, and some coachbuilders took inspiration from this and produced their own special versions of the car for rich customers for crazy amounts of money of course, and some of those rich customers bought it maybe to live out there Out Run fantasies in real life. The Testarossa was the top of the Ferrari range, and as soon as a new top of the Ferrari range - the F40 appeared in 1987 everyone rushed to that car. The Testarossa
carried on being produced and was updated as the faster 512 TR in 1991 and the 1994 512M. It ended production in 1996. Not many of us will ever have the chance to drive a Testarossa, but the beautiful shape is there for all to admire - and it's completely free. Well I hope you liked this quick dive into car video game history. If I was going to choose a game for a desert island, if I was going to have one game that I was going to have to play then like Neil it would be Out Run. I'm not very good at it, but I love the game, and the controls on the arcade game are just so amazing. Super Sprint is also a favourite,
but again it's hard to emulate steering wheels on retro computers like this Ambernic 353M I've just got, or this Frankenstein Pi setup which I made a few years ago. So, what were your favourite games? Did we cover the right ones? If not what other games and cars should we have covered? Maybe Neil and I will do another video in the future and we'll pick five more cars, who knows? We'll see how it goes. If you're not familiar with Neil's Channel – RMC, then maybe take a look at one of his old videos. For example this one, where he restores an old Thrustmaster racing wheel. Thanks for watching, and thanks to all my Patrons, some of whom you see scrolling merrily up the screen. If you want to become a Patron you can get early access to videos, usually about a week early, and I do semi-regular update videos exclusive to Patrons. All of this for a $, £ or € a month. And of course,
it also helps me make more of these videos. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video!