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Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed offers sports car racing enthusiasts both open road and closed circuit tracks in seven locales. Initially, three of each type of track are available, with a seventh bonus track unlocked only after winning a tournament at the six others. Players can enjoy four types of races (time trial, head-to-head, single race, and tournament) as well as options that include manual or automatic shifting, maps, replay, and statistics tracking.
Automobiles are showcased with specifics in five categories: general, performance, mechanical, history, and video, with statistics and voice-overs provided by Road & Track Magazine. Tournaments are divided into three classes (A, B and C) with specific sports cars and tracks featured in each.
Class C tournaments include the City and Rusty Springs raceways, with the Mazda RX-7, Acura NSX, and Toyota Supra Turbo. In Class B tournaments, players visit the Coastal and Autumn Valley tracks and maneuver the Porsche 911 Carrera, Dodge Viper RT/10 and Corvette ZR-1. At Class A tournaments, the Lamborghini Diablo VT and Ferrari 512TR super cars are featured at Alpine and Vertigo Ridge tracks.
Finishing races on closed circuit tracks results in game standings, while open road tracks are run in segments ending in checkpoints where current rank, top speed, and cumulative time stats are provided. On open road tracks, when racing in head-to-head mode with another player, the in-car radar becomes important to avoid police stops — getting two tickets during any one segment results in arrest and disqualification. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide