The first car I drove in my one and only session of Forza 4 was this Peugeot 905.
I wasn’t very good at it. The person who owned the copy in question pretty much said I was going without any of the driver aids I probably needed to drive such a thing in the game. So I crashed it, quite a lot.
Also I couldn’t make anything out over the deafening sound of the Ferrari 333SP he drove. So I wanted to give undoubtedly my favourite race car a shot by myself.
I first found the 905 out, quite naturally, through GT4. There it looked so…funky. And fast, which it was. Although not by GT4 standards thanks to a severely crippled gearbox. But they got it fixed and it was a very fast thing by the time, say, GT6 rolled around.
The technical side of the 905 is also worth giving pause to. How they make something look like this and make it weigh a staggering 750kg is beyond me. The aerodynamics behind it are maddening and its semi-automatic gearbox was the culmination of technology in the Group C era.
This was the last great Group C car, the last Le Mans winner of the era and nearly the last Le Mans racer that has met with success which I like. Put it this way; since the era ended, take a look at the winners of the race outside of Germany. McLaren won in 1995, but the F1 GTR packs a BMW engine in the back, whilst Bentley are owned by Volkswagen Group and only won because Audi stopped with works teams for a while. Which means that since this there, Germany has only been beaten here once. We’ll get to that once in due time. This is the finale to one of my favourite eras of motorsport.
Before talking about the drive it should be said that whilst GT’s 905 is the 1992 winner, this is the 1993 winner…which have no real difference between them so let’s get to the car.
When you take off, you have to reel it in straight away. The 641bhp V10 buzzes up past 11,000rpm behind you making the sound not too dissimilar to an F1 car of the time…as it would do when the engine in question got slotted into one after 1993. It’s a mad engine and it keeps you on your toes all the time. This 905 demands full concentration to drive, as anything with this sheer level of speed would.
The car rattles down the Mulsanne at terrific speed, an experience to enjoy in any of the onboard, hood and bumper views. In the latter most of these the road moves so quickly it’s hard to process it. But to really drive the car fast you have to see what all of it is doing in the chase cams. No matter what though, it’s always something to enjoy.
Unquestionably the best part of the car is the brakes. They’re staggeringly good, as they would be when they’re this powerful and only stopping 750kg of car. You can leave your braking so late, and it’s quite possibly the main source of this car’s speed. Sure, it inspires you to go faster, but you have to know just how fast this thing can go…else it’ll end very badly for you, and it.
And that semi-auto really makes all the difference. Shifts are near instant and it keeps the car moving at an even greater rate, more of the time. You’ll certainly want it off the line though, as after bouncing the car madly off the limiter from the start (it really bounces off it), the car and you writhe for control through the long first gear before it finds the far shorter second, a challenge you overcome a lot through slow corners as the 905 spins the back wheels all the time.
This is all that you’d expect from driving a truly, truly fast car anywhere and it is highly, highly thrilling. The 905 racks up very well in this regard, and you really can’t go wrong with choosing it.
And at the end of the day, it will always be my favourite racer at heart. That’s what you do with these sorts of things. They’re all fast, so just pick the one you like.