Forza Horizon 5 will be set in Mexico. Developer Playground Games always says they prioritise reflecting the local car culture of the game’s setting in every instalment. That’s why Forza Horizon 3, based in Australia, had a lot of utes and Aussie muscle. And FH4, in the United Kingdom, contained a gamut of classic British sports cars.
Following this trend, it’s only fitting that FH5 pays tribute to the staple of utilitarian Mexican motoring, the standard bearer for nearly three decades: the humble Nissan Tsuru. Fortunately, a Change.org petition is hoping to convince the dev team to do just that. Here’s the request, run through Google Translate:
On the occasion of the launch of the long-awaited video game Forza Horizon 5 which will take place in Mexico. It is requested in the most cordial way if the workers of the respective houses developing the video game can include within their catalogue of vehicles the Nissan car model Tsuru, this being particularly characteristic of the environment of the streets of Mexico, either as a vehicle that we players can drive, as a vehicle that is part of the landscape , or if possible, both.
The petition request 35,000 signatures; at the time of writing, it’s sitting at 31,150. Let’s get this over the line, folks.
I won’t lie — I was completely unfamiliar with the Tsuru’s existence until this tweet showed up in my timeline:
A petition to get the Nissan Tsuru in to Forza Horizon 5 has over 30,000 SIGNATURES!!
— Shinyodd ✨ (@_Shinyodd_) July 13, 2021
If, like me, you didn’t know about the Tsuru, you should change that. This car really has an amazing story. It was basically the second-generation Sentra, introduced in Mexico for the 1992 model year. As the rest of the world received progressively newer Sentras from 1995 and onward, the Tsuru remained such a hit in the country that it was the most popular car there until 2011 and stayed on sale until 2017. Taxi companies especially loved this thing.
By the end of its run, the Tsuru was a delightful anachronism — a compact sedan bearing the blocky protruding bumpers, lighting and hubcaps of a much older vehicle, albeit with a more modernised grille design to imitate newer Nissans and an aftermarket head unit included, to give it some modern tech amenities. In 2017, the final edition Tsuru cost the equivalent of $8,500 USD ($11,368). It was never ousted not by slacking demand, only crash test failure.
I asked our own José Rodriguez Jr. for a bit more background, and here’s what he had to say on the Tsuru:
Honestly though it feels like it would make excellent fan service in Forza. Like, a Mexican road isn’t complete without at least one Tsuru. :eyes shut laughing emoji:
He then proceeded to send me this image of a Tsuru taxi behind what I believe is an elongated Yaris. (It’s an Avanza. -ed.)
Anyway, all of this makes a strong case that the least Playground could do is ensure Tsurus pop up all over the place as non-drivable cars, like taxis and such. I have a feeling the team was probably planning to do that anyway.
If FH5 is to be truly faithful to Mexican car culture, the Tsuru deserves the works. This thing needs to be drivable, rendered with a bajillion polygons inside and out and a fully-modelled engine bay. I want to see the Tsuru raytraced, with an immaculately-rendered engine note, and the full spread of aftermarket parts and customisation options so I can make my own Tsuru SE-R. Dump a few Koenigseggs and Lamborghinis from the roster if you have to. Come on Forza — you’ve got one job.