Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown: Everything we know so far

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Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Everything we know so far

It's 2023, the year of Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown's expected release! Test Drive is one of the longest-running racing game franchises, originating in 1987 with the first Test Drive game on home computers.

In 2006, Test Drive Unlimited pioneered the online MMO open-world racer, allowing players to race together and explore a beautiful open-world version of Hawaii. Sadly, TDU has been on hiatus since 2012 but is making a long-awaited comeback with KT Racing's Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown.

Here's everything we know about Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown so far.

Latest news - Solar Hotel hub revealed

The third Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown newsletter has dropped, this time revealing the central Solar Hotel. This will be the main social hub in TDUSC where you can meet and interact with other players, buy clothes, and change your avatar's appearance.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Solar Hotel
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Sadly, buyable houses won't be in TDUSC at launch. However, Creative Director Alain Jarniou hints this popular feature may return after launch.

“We know that houses made an impression on TDU players,” he said. “While this feature is not in the game when TDUSC launches, it is part of a long list of features we have already researched for future content in the medium and long term."

Hong Kong deep dive

In a recent newsletter, KT Racing has revealed more info about the world we will be exploring in TDU Solar Crown, Hong Kong. The deep dive on Hong Kong explored the 370 square-mile island that is being accurately recreated at 1:1 scale.

“HKI has a wide variety of locations, and we wanted to reproduce as many of these environments as possible: from small inlets on the coast to mountain peaks to dense urban areas and swamps,” Lead Artist Stéphane Cambier explained.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown
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The new images and details shared show that while KT Racing is trying to be faithful, some tweaks to the narrow side streets and major thoroughfares are required to keep the game fun too!

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown dealerships and car customisation detailed

After months of silence, KT Racing has revealed a deep dive into Test Drive Unlimited's dealerships and car customisation options in new screenshots and info.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown dealership screenshot Porsche 911 R.
click to enlarge

14 dealerships will be located around Hong Kong Island, allowing you to browse official manufacturer options and interact with cars in a social hub with other players.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown workshop Apollo Intensa Emozione
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Workshops will let you personalise your car further, with options to upgrade performance and handling as well as create your own liveries with hundreds of stickers and decals.

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Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown interview with KT Racing

In our interview with KT Racing, we spoke with Creative Director Alain Jarniou to get the latest on Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown and find out how it will set itself apart from Forza Horizon.

You can read our Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown interview here.

Location

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is a game that promises to be an awesome return to what makes the series so unique. Expect exotic cars, unique locations, and speed like you've never seen before.

This doesn't mean that there isn't any innovation, however, as the team behind the new title has promised some exciting new features.

The game is going to be open-world, and features a 1:1 scale replica of a real-world location, which has now been unveiled. We're heading to Hong Kong!

From the dense cityscape to the wild mountains of the interior island, players will get to race and explore the streets of this amazing location.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown dealerships and car customisation detailed

After months of silence, KT Racing has revealed a deep dive into Test Drive Unlimited's dealerships and car customisation options in new screenshots and info.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown dealership screenshot Porsche 911 R.
click to enlarge

14 dealerships will be located around Hong Kong Island, allowing you to browse official manufacturer options and interact with cars in a social hub with other players.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown workshop Apollo Intensa Emozione
click to enlarge

Workshops will let you personalise your car further, with options to upgrade performance and handling as well as create your own liveries with hundreds of stickers and decals.

Car customisation Workshops

Workshops provide further customisation options, allowing you to upgrade performance, improve handling, and create liveries.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Workshop Apollo Intensa Emozione
click to enlarge

Combustion-powered cars will have 13 customisable performance parts across six categories, while electric cars will have 12 customisable performance parts across six categories. Some modification options will be locked based on your Reputation level, however.

A livery editor lets you take customisation to the next level. Here you can apply custom paint jobs in metallic, matte, pearlescent or chrome, or create unique designs with a choice of hundreds of stickers and decals.

Car list

KT Racing hasn't revealed the full car list yet, but several cars have been shown in the trailers and screenshots, from classic muscle cars to swanky supercars.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown car list Ford Mustang
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You can check out the Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown car list here.

Gameplay

Trailers for Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown have predominately featured CGI footage previewing KT Racing's vision for the game.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown alpha screenshot
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A brief snippet of gameplay has been shown in the Together We Drive trailer showing a McLaren 720S and Porsche 911 R cruising the streets, but it only lasted a few seconds. We're still waiting for KT Racing to show some proper gameplay footage.

With TDUSC penned for a 2023 release, we hopefully won't need to wait much longer to get a better look at Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown gameplay.

Trailer

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TDUSC was announced back in 2020 in a cinematic trailer showcasing the setting along with the luxury exotic supercars we'll be driving. However, the trailer was CGI and not representative of gameplay.

Another trailer followed in April 2021. Once again, all the footage is CGI, but the Head to Head trailer showcases the environment's diversity and teases a gambling element.

The next trailer arrived in July 2021, confirming the game will be set in Hong Kong Island.

The latest trailer was released in July 2022, this time showing a brief gameplay snippet. Since it only lasts for a few seconds, fans were left unsatisfied and have been hoping for more extensive gameplay footage.

Release date

Revealed at Nacon Connect, TDUSC has unfortunately been delayed.

The original release date of 22 September 2022 is no longer. Instead, open-world MMO racer will now arrive at some point in 2023.

An exact release date is yet to be confirmed, but KT Racing has confirmed TDUSC is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC. With the PS4 and Xbox One versions cancelled, TDUSC is a current-gen-only title.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown dealership screenshot Porsche 918 Spyder
click to enlarge

Considering we're now in 2023 and there have been no new updates, TDUSC may not arrive until the second half of the year. But right now we don't really know when this game will arrive.

KT Racing is sharing monthly updates in the run-up to release, so we'll hopefully find out the release date soon. There's a chance the TDUSC release date will be confirmed at the Nacon Connect showcase in July.

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