Need For Speed Shift>> Two Bmws On The Nordschliefe

I sit in an area of the huge EA Canada complex in Burnaby, B.C. Canada, right next to the Need for Speed marketing team. For the past two days they've been buzzing with all the great reviews that are coming in for SHIFT. It's no surprise to me, though… I mean just look at that image!… It looks completely real!… and the racing experience is just as refined as the realistic looks.

So for my next game session, I thought to focus on building up two BMWs and take them out for spin on the fearsome Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Now there are three different generations of 3 series BMWs in SHIFT but I thought it would be most interesting to have a play with a 3D model which is new to the NFS franchise: the E36 M3.

It's possible to transform this car into a wild Works GT racer, but instead I wanted to build a track day car. Something like what you'd expect to see running laps during a public session on the Nordschleife.

So I left the body completely stock, but upgraded pretty well every other component on the car including turbo power, a full engine overhaul and aftermarket suspension and drive-train.

The wheels just had to be BBS LMs…. and they fit nice and tight.

And with over 500 bhp on tap but with no aero what-so-ever, I knew this car was going to be a handful. Controlling the BMW was more going to be a case of wheelspin management and trying to avoid getting too much air over the 'Ring's many humps and jumps.

I personally find driving around the 'Ring is very stressful. With no runoff areas anywhere, one wrong move and you are into the barriers. Here I'm threading my way around the famous Karussell corner.

I haven't quite got the hang of this corner just yet… go too fast and you'll fly out of the corner, into the barriers… go too slow and you'll end up on the grass inside the turn. It's hard to keep the car lined up to the banked concrete bit.

I find the E3 M6 to be a great handling chassis. Although my crazy Nurburgring Sleeper was bit too overpowered for its own good, I was more or less able to keep it off the barriers.

You can see in this shot that the paint on the right side of the car is a bit scoffed up from a light brush with the armco.

Driving this car is stressful although rewarding too. The chassis is pretty compliant and allows you to ride the curbing from time to time…. just try not to get the car into a tank slapper!

Once I reached the long straight at the end of the lap, my close ratio, race transmission suddenly became a liability… With a lack of drag inducing wings and spoilers on the car, I had to sit on the rev limiter for around 2 kilometers… I wonder what this car would top out at with proper gearing!

So next up I took out this little monster onto the track. It's a fully tuned up 135i, complete with wide body conversion and full aero.

I also put some BBS LMs on the car, but chose ones with Time Attack style red trim.

I went for a flat white finish but painted the hood/bonnet and the trunk/boot glossy black.

This kit also features some nicely detailed raw carbon fiber bits.

Some Speedhunters stickers were also in order. Special thanks to the SMS crew (that's you Suzy!) for putting these logos in the game!

And the wheels are tight!

In this guise, the car was developing around 450 hp or so. That's plenty for such a small car!

You can see all the various race ready upgrades already present in the cockpit area…. BTW I ALWAYS grip race (in this case I'm doing a time attack session) using the cockpit view…The follow-cam (also known as swingman camera) is too gamey for my taste.

Wheel spin galore!… I'm a hooligan I know…

Now with all of this extra downforce on tap, driving this car is quite different to the E36. It feels more planted to the road.

But if things go wrong….

It all happens much quicker than with the M3.

I was feeling very edgy after a few of these moments…

… And I ended up losing the car. In this shot you can see I'm about to go head first into the barriers…. Ack!

Oh well… thankfully this is all inside a computer… or I'd be pretty devastated!

Next up, I'll show you a FD and a S2000 that I took for a spin on the Tokyo docks street circuit. They are both very fine machines although one of them didn't survive the session unfortunately….

More soon.




Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest


Yep ,.... appetizing ( very !) , definitly !

Both Carbon on the serie1 and wheels on the E36 are bloody good looking , + the frontlight shining effects + sky and object's refections on car bodies...., for an old man like me it's simply hard to think that these are un-edited ingame screenshots !

But i know they are , and that add more trouble again ! ! !


wow, great detail!


FD!! S2000!!! YAY!


Hey Rod, stunning images! Again the cars look goddamn tasteful and track-dedicated, wouldn't expect such things in a NFS game to be honest. Seems like you did a very good job indeed ;-).Looking forward to your next posts!!!


I'm actually somewhat excited of the new game although I think I'll rent it before I decide to drop $60 on it.

The wheel fitment looks to be on point. When you change the offset does the hub move into the wheel well or does it stay in place?


Hey Rod! Thank you for the awesome coverage however there is a ginormous contingent of sim racers (GTR2, Rfactor, and yes some of those forza 3 prospective buyers) that are wondering if this is another GRID. Meaning we all want to know if there is a SIM mode in the game or if when you turn off the assists it can closely resemble something like the GTR series or Forza or whatever.

Can you possibly guinea pig for us and give us some info on how the game handles without the aids or in this elusive sim mode that some are talking about?

Just hoping to clear some info for alot of people! Alot of people are curious but those who are, are wanting to know if the series has turned a corner and actually drive like a sim and give these sim guys a challenge.

BTW the game looks phenomenal!

Brandon Chappell


looks like a decent game might be worth a pick up ...

one thing you haven't covered yet (i think) is your setup ... ie PS3 Xbox 360, PC ... controller or wheel ...


NFS Shift < Forza 3


I can deal with all the advertising of NFS, but I don't see how you can keep on saying how realistic it looks, when it clearly doesn't, everything I've seen of this has it looking like Forza 2, but it's being released against Forza 3 and GT5..... come on!


Rod, thanks again.


The small comments make this so much more enjoyable, then just another batch of schreenshots!!!



So, ROD. I know the Nordschleife looks great and all. But the people want to know what Willow springs look and feels like. So for the sake of the people why not give us some info on some of the other tracks on SHIFT.. Willow springs for instance.... Not that i am excited about EA putting our home track in SHIFT or anything. I am just asking the questions that the people want to know. ;)



Brandon just remember who made this game: It's the same development team that did the GTR series so you can be assured it's very realistic, especially when you drive it in the first person POV. So the style of the driving experience is in this direction when you turn off all the assists. I also come from this hardcore PC background (I was the co-founder of the Virtua_LM mod team remember and also used to work for SImbin) so from my personal perspective I would compare it to this lineage of games as the physics leads are the same people.

rRav3n these screens are done with a full blown gaming PC (sorry i'd have to look up the specs) running an X360 controller.


thanks for the pics Rod

It looks fantastic. i can't believe that I could see the radiator behind the kidney grille. That's crazy detailed! Count me in as one of the future buyers


Saw the E36 and got excited.

Its cool to see older cars in the game.

Is it cheaper to license them?

With this site its clear NFS is headed in the right direction.


Forza 3 looks way more detailed


loved the E36 M3 it is one of the best things on Shift... more old cars on the future, like the RX-7 FC, R33. Like Drhovno said its cool to see old cars in a game.


this game looks great!! any body kno if its supports the logitech wheels?


love the write ups good reads


Rod, you were part of Virtua_LM? You just got extra points for being way awesome. That, and you've sold me on SHIFT.

22 how the BBS LMs look on the 135i

cant wait until tuesday

does anyone know if the G37 is in the game

cause i would love to hook up that car


Nice, game looks great.

One thing though, can you get smaller wheels? The rims in these screenshots look pretty big, and I don't mean just down the rim size. Like can you get rims a little smaller and put the same size tire on them? So the overall size with tire is smaller then the stock size?


i heard the game play sucked. my friend played it today said the graphics are ill as fuck but its jsut like grid physics wise. jr said it felt like were drifting A hole ahha


That widebody kit on that 1 series is fugly.


i cant wait to lap the nurburgring in all generations of SKYLINE GT-R's!!!! 32,33,34,35!! (both stock and tuned) :)


Looks great, but still dont know where i should spend the money on it, ive got empty pockets...


Wolfgang ask your friend is what driving assists he was using when they drove the game and what car. You can turn on so many aids that the game practically drives itself for you, but shut all of the driving assists off and you have something very different. If he drove it with the aids on in easy mode then he might have received a strange impression as what you are saying doesn't sound right.

What I look for when I race games is as follows:

1: does the car feel like it has weight and not feel like a toy car or an RC car... and I'd say that SMS as succeeded in this. The tire model has a little bit more of a linear falloff than GTR went you go over the limit.. you can get it back a little easier but otherwise this definitely is a creation from the mind of Doug Arnao. You know who he is?

2: does the game force me to drive in an oversteer or understeer fashion?.... and the answer to this is no... depending on the car and the tires you have on it, it will allow either... the driving model is very lively on the limit... you are constantly dancing on the edge... which is what I love about it so much.

3: does the game reward you for using REAL LIFE racing techniques? and this is a big YES for Shift. Trail braking, left foot braking, slow in/fast out/ fast in/slow out, off throttle weight transfer... on throttle oversteer (if you have the power)... The driving model rewards you for using these techniques when you drive. I've sat and watched Tommy Milner play Shift and have seen how he uses proper racing techniques to gain more speed with the game.

So for me this isn't an arcade experience. It's a first person racer.

Wolfgang let me know about the driving assists as to my ear it sounds like your friend is playing a different game!



Hey, thanks for the coverage, looking good. Is the works package stage 3 body, stage 3 parts ect, or is it a level above that?


Rod post some in-game stuff with the graphcial overlays in place, etc. The images look sick but I'm assuming these are the same amped up 'replay' engine gfx?


Rod.. your killing me with these teasers... xD


haha i clicked this thinking the cars were real


The game looks pretty good, with advanced physics and handling. But the graphics are quite poor compared to Gran Turismo 5, The cars look kinda plasticy, with many reflections missing. And why is the speedhunters sticker in such a small resolution? Definitely gonna buy the game.


How does the wheel/tire/suspension customization work in this game? How customizable is it? Adjustable ride height? Adjustable wheel diameter/width?


Chris these are indeed replay graphics, but in-game looks just as amazing... if not more so as the resolution is much higher than what i can post on the site here. I may not have time to do a new set of screens for you but these are easy to find if you google it.

Sten: the 135i has FLAT white paint. hence the missing reflections. If you select the Hood/Bonnet Cam while racing you can see reflections of the entire scenery in the paint work. The Speedhunters sticker can be made very large if you want. I just put it like that to make it look more like the little stickers that we give out at events.

RJ: all elements that you can adjust on a real car can be adjusted: all suspension geometry, spring rates, shock dampening, ride height etc etc etc...

The wheel diameter is based on what is available for those rims in real life only. You can't put say 22 inch TE27s on your car as they don't exist in real life. Tire width is based on upgrade packs.


looks sweet! wow, im really impressed with those screenshots, the detail and realism are amazing. the NFS franchise needed a good proper sim, the previous games were kinda arcade ricer racers. i still love my Forza though!!


Can you get smaller wheels? Not rims, the full wheel/tire dimensions smaller then stock. And can you put just peices of body kits on? Or does it come in a full package. Anyways, game looks great :)


i vote gran turismoooo


Cant wait for iiiiit!


The E36 and 135i both look sick right here! Amazing detail! Really impressed with the carbon fiber detail!

Good work! Still loads of room for improvement but this SHIFT thing looks like one heck of a killer start! Can't wait to experience the thing in person and waiting for the follow ups! There's tons of potential with this.

Have to agree with a previous opinion that if NFS follows and listens to the voices on this site, it sure has a glorious future!

So, Rod, waiting for your reply. Again thanks for the hard work and keep it up!


So u mean that we can't choose the parts separately? So we can't mix the parts if we want to!? What gives!? Who had such an idea of restricting user creativity like that!?

What if I wish to achieve a clean look and I'd like to choose parts from the previous levels, less extreme parts?

I hope that if not with this one, the next NFS will be more like SPEEDHUNTERS as possible. With more customization options to be able to create "crazy builds" or just super clean ones.

On that note, here's a suggestion: would it be possible in the future (hopefully near), for NFS to create a DRIFT/TOGUE/TOGUE-DRIFT special or somethin'? Where all of the cars that make us dream would be prezent? Cars like the R32, R33, R34, R35; the Silvias - S14, S15, 240SX and so on... Some Cressida...The Soarer, Toyota Levin and TRUENO...Subaru Imprezza old and new gen, Mitsu. EVO older and new V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X... Honda S2000... BMW E36, E92, E30, 5 series... FD, FC; Miata MX-5, new and old... C'mon...Rod u guys here at SPEEDHUNTERS know wassup when it comes to that sort of thing... I'll make u a list from of cars that come to mind and of cars related to that theme that can be found here on SPEEDHUNTERS.

So would it be too crazy to have such a NFS version maybe even called "SPEEDHUNTERS"?

And I have to agree with one opinion in the comments: How come there's only ONE Toyota!? Wassup?!

Was it lack of time or what happen in there? I checked the list and some of the cars if not most are a bit out of place, I guess. There are nice cars and all but still...

Anyway, glad to see that u are working hard on it and that u are taking it in the right direction and clad that the E36's and sorts BMWs are in the list, can't wait for the game to come out here in Europe!

Waiting for your reply Rod. Thanks!


gah!! Rod you're such a tease (not to sound in a gay way)!!

i can see you're having lots of fun and seat time with SHIFT. im really looking forward to this game.

now show us those FD's and S2K's at tokyo!! ^_^


the game looks great, such a mature step up from the last NFS game I bought and played, (on PC) Pro Street. I think I might actually purchase a PS3 now.


it`s very interesting :D


This may be a stretch but does it support common engine swaps?


well, I finally played it

it's depressing how un-responsive the cars are and how they'll do their own thing regardless of input.

The drifting in need for speed underground 2 was good, and even in carbon it wasn't all that bad (just not all that controllable)

but this outright sucks. Very disappointed with this game. Great graphics, great cars and mods... but if the driving isn't fun what's the point? It feels like it needs a steering wheel to be fun, but sadly most of us have controllers.

I'll wait for Forza 3.


cfrost - You probably had the assists turned up on high. When on the highest settings, the vehicles will turn by themselves a bit to help the player stay on the road. Its implemented to make it so new players can pick up the game and not be overwhelmed. Rest assured you can turn these settings way down if you want, so that you have full control over your vehicle.


nope.... turned them all off (with the exception of ABS)

still wasn't too happy with it. are there multiple places that will have assists to turn off?


As for those carbon parts that makes me want the real deal. I found a lot of">carbon fiber hoods like that for real cheap. I'm thinking about putting one on my E36 after seeing that stuff