When Project CARS was delayed – time and time again – developer Slightly Mad Studios promised to give away some free cars (which might otherwise have been sold as DLC) in order to appease the angry mob. Rarely do we see such accountability from a studio; usually delays and bugs and mistakes and… they’re simply chalked up as – if you’ll pardon the expression – shit happens.
And that’s not to say the list of vehicles in Project CARS wasn’t already impressive and varied, but we are insatiable beasts and we always want more. What more do Slightly Mad Studios have to give?
When you take a look at their website and the cars list page – that outlines not only the modes of play on offer, but the list of cars available – there are a few spaces. A few question-mark slots in the list. Some omissions. And none of these gaps are more glaring than the empty slot for ‘Free Car 2’ at the bottom of the page (underneath the first freebie, the W Motors Lykan HyperSport).
It’s frustrating enough to not know what ‘Free Car 2’ is going to be, but to not even know what “coming soon” means is galling. Not being ones for sitting on our hands and waiting by, we devoted some brainpower (and research time) over at Thumbsticks into working out what the remaining unannounced vehicles in Project CARS could be.
Thankfully, a couple of things are on our side. Firstly, the car list is alphabetical, meaning the list of things it could be are finite, and two, we freaking love puzzles. Here’s the list, with those six all-important question marks:
Let’s tackle them in alphabetical order – because we like being anal about how we go about solving puzzles almost as much as we love the puzzles themselves…
Project CARS gap #1:
Audi R8 V10 Plus
– ? –
This is a relatively straightforward one. There aren’t many vehicle manufacturers that come between Au and Ba in the alphabet. Austro-Daimler closed in 1934, Autobianchi was bought by FIAT in the eighties and integrated in Lancia (who also closed), Auto Union was integrated into Audi (but its distinctive ‘four rings’ logo has survived), and while Austin Healey made some good little sportscars in the sixties, compared to the rest of the line-up in the game they’d be incredibly slow.
That only really leaves us with two options for our first prediction:
- Prediction 1: Austin (not Austin Healey) generally made dreadful British cars, with one notable exception – the original Mini – and we wouldn’t be surprised (or able to hide our delight) if we were to see a world-conquering rally edition in Project CARS.
- Prediction 2: Let’s face it, this one is far more likely – it’s going to be another Audi – alphabetically speaking, either something from the S-range (like a 512bhp S8) or an RS model. Disappointingly, it’s not likely to be an original four-wheel drive Audi Quattro Rally from the eighties, as that doesn’t fit alphabetically. Missed opportunity!
Project CARS gaps #2-4:
– ? –
– ? –
– ? –
BMW 1 M Coupe
It’s not going to be another BAC as the Mono is the only car they’ve ever produced. There’s only really one marque that fits between BAC and BMW, and has the performance chops to join this list: Bentley.
- Prediction 1: A big Bentley (or two) with an even bigger engine. Possibly a Continental or Flying Spur, with one of those great big 6-litre W12 engines – that’s basically two V6s bolted together, back to back – delivering 616bhp. Seems excessive? It’s absolutely required, for pushing a car that weights as much as a small bus at close to 200mph.
- Prediction 2: Something non-production, that we’re not likely to have heard of. Much like BAC, which will be a new name to most (it stands for Briggs Automotive Company and is a small British outfit based out of Liverpool) there’s every chance there could be an open-top track day car, or even a go-kart, that we’d have no chance of predicting.
- Prediction 3: More BMWs. We’re not entirely sure what BMW could have in their product range that comes before the BMW 1 M Coupe, but anything’s possible when you’ve got a car list as big as this.
Project CARS gap #5:
– ? –
This is another pretty limited space. There are lots of great marques in ‘M’ that would have looked great in Project CARS – Maserati, Maybach, Marcos – but none of them fit alphabetically. The only thing between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz is… er… nothing.
- Prediction 1: It could be another McLaren, but they don’t have many models alphabetically higher than the P1. The only one we can think of is a McLaren SLR, which is technically a McLaren modified Mercedes. There’s also the McLaren X-1, but only one of those was ever made, so it’s unlikely Project CARS got their hands on one for testing/modelling…
- Prediction: It could be another Merc, but we’re struggling to think of what comes before the 190. The obvious answers are the 180, 170 et al but the 190 is already an aged beast – you won’t find one much older than about 1993 – and it’s unusual they’d go back to the forties and fifties. Perhaps a Formula 1 model designation, rather than a production car? We’re not sure on this one.
Project CARS gap #6:
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
– ? –
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
This could well be another Merc too, although they don’t carry many models starting higher alphabetically than the SLS. It could also be a different Mitsubishi, a dreadfully boring subset of the Evo rally car, but we’re hoping against that. Again, there’s not too much that fits in this gap, but we’ll try and fill it anyway.
- Prediction 1: An old MG? We don’t think this is especially likely, but let’s be honest – it’s a hell of a lot more likely than it being a current one! There were a couple of flagship MG models that did silly things, holding records like the world’s fastest estate car and other… erm… coveted automotive prizes – is it any wonder they shut down?
- Prediction 2: We’re going Mini. Again. If it’s not the Austin Mini from earlier, then the rebooted BMW-built Mini would make an obvious inclusion, especially given that BMW have already lent some of their own vehicles to the Project CARS roster. Maybe something small and obscenely fast, like a John Cooper Works…
Or of course, the hidden option is that they’ve made everything else alphabetical but the hidden cars aren’t, just to screw with us, but if that happens I’ll lose all faith in the world as we know it!
So there you have it. Only time will tell if any of our predictions have come true – the Lykan HyperSport certainly arrived like a bolt from the blue, so you never really know with Project CARS – here’s hoping we find out what Free Car 2 is soon, and fingers crossed it’s something on our prediction list…
Update: Free Car 2
Project CARS free car 2 has been announced as the Audi A1 Quattro. Hmmm.
Are we all feeling like this is kind of a let-down after all the waiting around? But… now there’s a free car 3…
Thoughts? Suggestions? Predictions of your own? Let us know what you think is coming next from Project CARS!