Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Forza Motorsport 6: Breaking Aztek

One of the strangest cars appeared in the Forza Motorsport 6's Alpinestars Car Pack is none other than the world's least lovable car on the road, the Pontiac Aztek, the crossover, despite its infamous styling, became a cult classic since it became Heisenberg's personal transport in the Breaking Bad TV series. So, what's it all about?

Launched as a 2001 model year, the Aztek is Pontiac's first ever crossover utility vehicle that shares its underpinnings with the Buick Rendezvous, although the platform these crossovers used is a shortened version used in General Motors' minivans. Rather than using sliding doors, the Aztek's design features conventional rear swing-open kammback and a bi-parting rear tailgate. It was penned by Tom Peters and reports state that the Aztek is suppose to be a sign of General Motors' rebirth, only to find out that it became a commercial flop until the Aztek's discontinuation and it became the car of choice for Breaking Bad's Walt "Heisenberg" White.

The Aztek is powered by a 3.4L LA1 V6 engine which produces 185HP of power and 210lb-ft of torque, while mated with a 4-speed 4T65-E automatic gearbox. It is available in either front-wheel or four-wheel drive with independent rear suspension.

The Aztek was produced in Mexico from 2001 to 2005 and it was replaced by the Chevrolet Equinox-based Pontiac Torrent. When it was launched, it became the official pace car for the 2001 Daytona 500. Although intended to be sold for the younger democratic, some criticized the Aztek as one of the car that could save General Motors as well as one of the worst-designed cars in history.

The Pontiac Aztek appeared in the "America's Worst Cars" episode of Top Gear USA as Rutledge Wood's car of choice as the presenters try to make it look cool and sell it to the highest bidder.

I have no idea why the game's producers decided to put this crossover here and any purpose about how this car does in FM6 remains a mystery for now. We already had the weirdest cars in-game such as Fast Five's Gurkha and the Cadillac XTS Limousine, and with the addition of the Pontiac Aztek, it's really difficult to find a purpose on driving this car in-game unless if you got endless imagination to do so. Apart from its styling, I find driving the Aztek to be somewhat terrible. Of course, it may have a V6 engine, which is fairly nice, but it's less powerful, meaning it doesn't got the oomph to go further. Because it's mated only with a 4-speed automatic gearbox, you won't find much excitement either.

Handling wise, the Aztek feels heavy and I find this car doesn't find much purpose on track at all. It's just plain terrible and a quick demonstration comes into driving this car round Long Beach, California. Hey, at least this is a city track so it would work...

While most underpowered cars can get round this track around the two minute mark, the Aztek did poorly with a lap time of a disappointing 2:13.083 and I thought this Aztek finds its purpose on a city center like this.

It's a shame why we had one of the most terrible cars like the Pontiac Aztek in Forza Motorsport 6 but with a little know-it-all, a little appreciation goes a long way. Who knows, this car might have some potential underneath its bizarre bodywork or having the ghost of Heisenberg do its work for you.

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