Project Cars has amassed a large, loyal following of virtual motorsport fans thanks in part to its impressively realistic car physics. But the series has always been missing a few of the features expected from a modern racing sim—something its developer plans to remedy in the scaled-up sequel announced today, which should be out sometime this summer.

Career mode has been rebuilt completely from scratch, with the intention of giving players a better sense of progression. In your career you’ll progress through ten car classes, earning XP as you go, unlocking upgrade parts and new events. But, cleverly, if you don’t like a particular type of event, you can spend in-game currency (earned by playing, there are no microtransactions) to skip over it. This is so players don’t feel tied down, forced to drive cars they don’t enjoy.

You’ll notice I mentioned car upgrades. This is something Project Cars has been sorely missing, and it’s great to see it finally making an appearance. Previously we’ve been able to customise a car’s performance, but now you can radically change it with a new engine, exhaust, suspension, and so on. Hardly a groundbreaking feature for a racing game, but it will add a whole new dimension to Project Cars’ sensational driving model.

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

This also means you can take a favourite car all the way through a career, from the lowest level to high-end events, increasing its performance index with new parts. Developer Slightly Mad Studios wants players to feel like they’re constantly improving and making progress, and playing in any mode, including multiplayer, will earn you experience points and in-game currency. You don’t even need to come first in some cases: Just participating is enough. But, of course, the higher you place in a race, the better your rewards will be.

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