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Is Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels free?

As a gaming expert and Hot Wheels fan, it‘s a question I‘ve been asked a lot recently – is the Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels expansion free to play? The answer is no. You‘ll have to pay $19.99 for the add-on content. But it‘s worth exploring what exactly that gets you in the stunt-filled DLC.

The Hot Wheels expansion adds a thrilling new map

According to details provided by the developers at Playground Games, the Hot Wheels park area added in the Forza Horizon 5 DLC is over 80 km squared in total size. To put that in perspective, it‘s more than double the area of the map added in Fortune Island – the first major expansion for Forza Horizon 4.

That makes it the biggest themed map playground added to the open world Forza Horizon series so far. And it‘s packed with over 200 different stunts spread across the sprawling Hot Wheels track, including:

  • 113 ramps for big air
  • 14 giant half-pipes
  • 6 colossal loops
  • 4 tremendous corkscrews

They‘ve really gone all-out crafting an extreme stunt attraction. This isn‘t just a small novelty add-on – it‘s Forza Horizon‘s take on an entire action sports park.

10 new stunt-themed cars join the garage

In addition to the vast Hot Wheels map, the DLC also includes 10 new cars perfect for stunt driving. It‘s an eclectic mix of classic and modern models outfitted with upgrades to help you pull off crazy moves:

2018 McLaren Senna
1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
2020 Koenigsegg Jesko
2020 Hennessey Venom F5

Cars like the Senna and Jesko should have no problem reaching the high speeds needed for record-breaking jumps. According to the devs, their upgraded stunt versions can exceed 500 km/h on long straightaways. Time to fly!

Expanded customization and track building

On top of the map and cars, the Hot Wheels expansion provides new ways to customize your experience. There are themed character outfits, paint colors, smoke effects, and horns to really get that orange Hot Wheels vibe going.

But most interesting is the track builder. It lets you place stunt pieces together to create your own fun courses. These can also be shared online for others to try. Considering the sheer amount of track pieces and flexibility it offers, this adds a ton of replay value.

A history of Hot Wheels gaming expansions

This isn‘t Playground Games‘ first foray into bringing Hot Wheels to life digitally. Other popular racing games have featured licensed Hot Wheels expansions over the years:

  • Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels Expansion (2017)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 Hot Wheels Car Pack (2018)
  • Rocket League Hot Wheels Triple Threat DLC (2020)

The Forza Horizon 5 version definitely learns from past games and includes the most content yet. Reviews indicate Playground has nailed making stunt driving exciting in the latest DLC.

Taking stunt driving physics to new heights

In an interview with IGN, the developers revealed just how much work went into adapting Forza‘s physics system to handle Hot Wheel‘s high-speed stunts:

"The amount of work that went into making the simulation capable of performing all of these stunts was significant…there was a tremendous amount of back and forth between design and engineering to achieve this."

Things we take for granted, like simply staying on the track after a big jump, required major changes under the hood. The result is an expansion that looks and feels like an actual living Hot Wheels set – no strings attached.

Reviews praise the sheer fun and gameplay variety

So does the effort creating a believable Hot Wheels experience translate into a fun time? Absolutely, based on early reviews that praise how it complements Forza Horizon 5:

"The Hot Wheels expansion is an absolute blast, recapturing the barely contained chaos of childhood imagination and combining it with Forza Horizon’s trademark charisma."

Popular YouTube channel AR12 Gaming summed up the DLC well, saying it‘s "hot wheels gameplay done right." It takes the best part about playing with toy cars as a kid – the sheer fun – and amplifies it.

Is it worth buying?

Based on the amount of content, attention to detail, and glowing reviews, the Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels expansion earns an enthusiastic recommendation from this gamer.

The mix of speed, stunts, and customization come together to create something special. It‘s a must-buy for fans of Forza Horizon 5 looking to spice up their driving experience. Just be ready to pay the $19.99 entry fee to access this content-rich playground.

So while it‘s unfortunately not free, I can assure you the Hot Wheels DLC is well worth the price. Time to defy gravity and let childhood imagination run free once again!