Forza Horizon 5 – Release Date, Trailer & More

author avatarJoe Terrell
08/26/202026th August, 2020
Filed under Gaming Guides

We’re huge fans of the Forza series here at Drifted, and like you, we’re eagerly anticipating the launch of Forza Horizon 5. But when’s the official release date?

forza horizon 5 release date

Since the initial introduction for the soon-to-be immensely popular Forza Horizon series in 2012, Playground Games has continued the pattern of releasing a brand-new Forza Horizon to the market every two years.

Given that the current game, Forza Horizon 4, launched in 2018, it’s understandable that fans are eagerly anticipating the launch of Forza Horizon 5, which historical trends have shown should be arriving in 2020.

Well, we were hoping that this would be the case.

However, as we count down the remaining months of the year, it’s becoming increasingly likely there’s been a change of plans from Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios this time around.

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Forza Horizon has brought us some of the most incredibly stunning, endlessly-enjoyable open-world racing games to reality, combining, and building upon the thrill of the circuit-oriented Forza Motorsport series, alongside the excitement and adrenaline of the likes of the Need For Speed heritage.

More than capable of bringing your wildest drifting dreams to reality, Horizon enables you to tear up the streets in beautifully realistic real-world locations, while rewarding you for crazy driving skills without the fear of losing your license.

As we look towards the imminent launch of the latest Horizon release in the franchise, it seems likely that it’ll have to wait for its time to shine once again.

Although we’ve grown accustomed to the two-year launch pattern, Forza Motorsport has also followed the same theory since it first hit the marketplace in 2005, continuing to launch every two years until the most recent addition, Forza Motorsport 7, launched in 2017.

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From there, Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games has seemingly opted to take a break production.

As we look to the future, could the forthcoming release of the Xbox Series X in November 2020 bring us a brand-new Forza Horizon, or Motorsport, as a launch title?

First, let’s look back at what the history of this incredible series has already provided us.

Forza Horizon 5 Trailer

Please note that this is a concept trailer and is not officially endorsed.

Forza History

When Forza Horizon 4 first hit the shelves, it had an impressive 2 million sales in its first week, before going on to cater over 12 million fans that were enjoying the game by August 2019.

With the history of the Forza release dates being entirely predictable until recently, gamers assumed they knew precisely when the arrival of the next rendition was just around the corner, with the previous launch dates looking like this:

  • Forza Motorsport (2005)
  • Forza Motorsport 2 (2007)
  • Forza Motorsport 3 (2009)
  • Forza Motorsport 4 (2011)
  • Forza Horizon (2012)
  • Forza Motorsport 5 (2013)
  • Forza Horizon 2 (2014)
  • Forza Motorsport 6 (2015)
  • Forza Horizon 3 (2016)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 (2017)
  • Forza Horizon 4 (2018)
  • Forza Motorsport 8 (TBA)
  • Forza Horizon 5 (TBA)

After analyzing these trends, it would come as a surprise if we were lucky enough to receive Horizon 5 before the launch of Forza Motorsport 8, which is still yet to be confirmed.

Of course, the dream would be for Turn 10/Playground Games to release both Forza Motorsport 8 AND Forza Horizon 5 alongside each other to crush Sony’s Gran Turismo dreams, providing the ultimate Xbox Series X showcase - but we can’t see that happening.

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However, despite leaving us hanging, we can only hope that this hiatus means that the next games we receive are going to be more polished and refined than ever, which we’re confidently hoping will be well worth the wait.

Despite the rumor mill heating up earlier in the year for September/October 2020 release dates, we’re feeling confident to safely say that it’s less likely than ever to be the case now, as much as we’d love it to be.

Forza Horizon 5 Release Date

Microsoft has remained tight-lipped with regards to providing any specific dates for the next Forza games.

Since we’ve had an official trailer, it’s looking extremely likely that Forza Motorsport 8 will be one of the first releases on the Xbox One X as one of their initial launch titles.

If you’ve not yet seen the epic official Forza Motorsport 8 trailer, you can check it out here:

Once FM8 has hit the market, we’ve got no doubt that the focus will immediately shift to the new Horizon launch.

Assuming this is the case, it would fit in nicely with some of the rumors that have been circulating for an early 2021 release for Forza Horizon 5.

However, there has been a glimmer of hope for an early Forza Horizon 5 launch in the Xbox Series X World Premiere video.

At around the 0:59 mark in the official trailer, you can see what appears to be a Koenigsegg Regera drifting on the streets, which ties in nicely with Forza Horizon, but this could be their way of fitting FM8 into the theme of the video.

Or, perhaps Turn 10 Studios are looking to go down a different route this time, by combining the two games in some way? Let’s face it; the potential possibilities are endless, and we could come up with rumors and ideas all day long.

Although this gives a small hope for an early launch, we feel that it’s most likely that they’re going to aim for a date of around September or October 2021 for Forza Horizon 5.

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Delaying Horizon would allow time to iron out the bugs in FM8, enabling them to bring the best possible experience to Horizon 5.

Although we have to wait patiently for any confirmation, we don’t doubt that the development teams are currently working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring us two incredible follow-ups to the Forza series.

We honestly cannot wait to see how insane the game looks on the next-gen console.

There is, however, some good news for Forza Horizon 4 fans, with confirmation during the Forza Monthly Twitch stream that owners will also get the next-gen Horizon 4 for free on their Xbox Series X through Smart Delivery.

With this, you can expect vastly improved graphics, superior performance, alongside some exciting new add-ons.

Forza Horizon 5 Xbox One Release Date

Since Forza Horizon 5 is awaiting the launch of the Xbox Series X, we’re expecting the maps to be larger than ever, which is likely to take the game beyond the capabilities of the current Xbox One consoles.

With this in mind, there’s a realistic chance that Forza Horizon 5 won’t be available for the Xbox One, but this is still yet to be confirmed.

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Although this may feel frustrating to Xbox One owners, we think that it also presents the perfect opportunity for the game to evolve and reach its true potential.

Either way, it’s an excellent opportunity to get saving now for your next-gen console, just in case.

If we’re wrong, and it does feature on the Xbox One, then we expect the release date to be the same, or shortly after the games’ soon-to-be confirmed date for the Xbox Series X.

Forza Horizon 5 on PS4/PS5?

As with all Forza games, there is almost zero chance that Horizon 5 will ever get launched on Sony’s PS4, or PS5, consoles.

For those of you that aren’t aware, Microsoft owns the Forza franchise, and this is one of their significant assets – and a direct rival to Sony’s Gran Turismo series.

For that reason, we wouldn’t ever expect either game to appear on the rival competitors’ console.

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If you don’t wish to buy an Xbox console to play the Forza Horizon series, then fear not, as it’s also available for the PC.

However, when it comes to Gran Turismo, this is only available on the Sony PlayStation.

For this reason, many racing fans have to decide which console best suits their needs based on the Forza/GT argument – based on this article, you can probably guess our weapon of choice!

Forza Horizon 5 Location

Before the launch of each game in the series, the internet is typically alive with rumors and suggestions for the perfect location for the next game.

As you’ve probably guessed, Horizon 5 is no exception.

It came as a surprise to us, and most other fans, that Turn 10 opted for the UK, specifically Edinburgh, the Cotswolds, and the Lake District, for Forza Horizon 4.

For the first game, they ventured to the US state of Colorado.

For the second game, they hit up Europe for the first time, venturing to Southern France and Northern Italy.

For the third game, Southern Australia became the location of choice.

mazda rx7 fd flame spitting

With the UK being the fourth location, just about every major continent has had its chance to shine in the game, except Asia.

However, as you’ve probably guessed, there have been all sorts of suggestions thrown into the mix, with the UAE (Dubai) being a popular concept, alongside places like Brazil, India, Hawaii, and even giving Asia its opportunity with places like Hong Kong, or China.

But, let’s face it; the ultimate choice is (intentionally) left out here.

Where does Drifted think would be the ultimate location for Horizon 5?


That’s right, home of the touge, the birthplace of drifting, and unquestionably the perfect location for Forza Horizon 5.

Alongside the tight and twisty touge roads, Japan also has vast rural areas of wilderness, perfectly-crafted highways, and stunning coasts.

It also has the perfect mix of modern cities and ancient provinces, providing the ideal perfect variety that a game like Forza Horizon needs.

Not only this, but Japan is also the spiritual home of the car tuning scene.

Let’s face it, how many countries in the world can you comfortably drive a wildly tuned car? We’re thinking along the lines of the Bosozoku and Onikyan.

With their millimeter-perfect ride heights gliding perfectly, these cars prove that the Japanese roads are capable of catering for even the craziest modifications.

When you buy a new car, what’s the first thing you do? We’re willing to bet that one of the first things is to head straight to the tuning shop to make your car as low as possible.

Given the size of Japan, this could allow for potential possibilities to feature an entire country for the first time, which we’re sure you’ll agree; would be insane.

We’re not the only ones who think that the idea of Japan would be the perfect solution, in fact, in a Forza Reddit Group, they’ve come up with a concept map to show the potential that it has to offer.

japan touge concept map

We can imagine drifting the touge in the middle of the night, with the Eurobeat compilation blasting through the in-car radio of our AE86 as we venture into the night sky with our buddies, Initial D style.

Oh, wait, we almost forgot about the awkwardness surrounding the AE86. So, let’s take a look into that next.

Will Toyota Feature in Forza Horizon 5?

Those of you that are keen Forza fans and also have a love for all things JDM probably would’ve noticed a notable absence with regards to the likes of Toyota and Lexus in the Forza series.

In a somewhat weird boycott of the franchise, Toyota decided to have a sulk about the ‘illegal street racing’ promotion that has come with the Horizon, and also the Need For Speed series.

It’s a rather depressing statement to come from a company that gifted us some of the most incredible tuning components, such as the glorious 2JZ engine.

Due to this, Forza Motorsport 7, and Forza Horizon 4 weren’t allowed to feature any Toyota’s at launch, in a rather bizarre move by the company, given their overwhelming in-game popularity.

The move angered the Forza loyalists, as the cars continued to feature in the Gran Turismo Sport series.

toyota supra 2jz

Not only that, but the brand new Supra also played a role in the Fast & Furious 9 movie.

If they want to stick with their reasoning, then surely re-enacting street racing in a real car is a little more dangerous than a video game?

With all things considered, it seemed pretty likely that Toyota had signed an exclusive deal with Sony, and that we’d have to accept that we wouldn’t see their cars in the Forza franchise anytime soon.

After that came rumors that a Toyota exec had stated, “Home game machines are no good. Playing something that realistic makes the need for cars disappear”.

A Japanese journalist concluded that Toyota had been blaming video games for a sharp decline in sales, as people were getting the experience they needed in the comfort of their home rather than going out and buying the ‘real deal’.

Let’s face it; it’s a ridiculous suggestion. Although gaming is getting more realistic all the time, there’s just no replacement for getting behind the wheel of your dream car, or perhaps even lucky enough to own it.

For us, that added fuel to the fire with the rumors of an exclusive deal with Sony, mainly since they’d kept the cars in the Gran Turismo series, which makes the comment void.

However, in another weird turn of events, Toyota opted to reverse their decision, which lasted from 2017 to 2019, as they decided to allow the legendary Toyota Supra MKIV to return to the Forza series.

Based on their previous comments regarding street racing, you’d assume this meant Forza Motorsport, right? Nope.

In yet another bizarre turn of events, Toyota went on to release fourteen cars into Forza Horizon 4, including much-loved classics such as the AE86 Trueno.

However, to this day, you’re still not able to get them in Forza Motorsport 7.

Makes sense, right?

As far as we can conclude, for now, the future looks bright with regards to Toyota returning for Forza Horizon 5, but their return to Forza Motorsport 8 is seemingly yet to be confirmed.


Although it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Forza Horizon will continue the trend of releasing a game every two years for their fifth game, we have no real doubt that it’ll be with us within the next year, and it’ll be well worth the wait.

Significant changes are going on in the Microsoft/Xbox camp right now, and the XSX is understandably the main focus for the company, and the next Forza game will come when its time is ready.

As far as we’re concerned, the longer it takes, the better it’s likely to be. As much as we’d love the next Horizon game right now, some things in life are truly worth waiting on.

We do think it’s hugely likely that Forza Motorsport 8 will get released before Horizon 5, but this gives Playground Games/Turn 10 the perfect opportunity to perfect the game and iron out the bugs from the substantial next-gen update, which are extremely likely.

There’s no question that Microsoft is undoubtedly aware that the Horizon series is their best-seller in the racing genre.

For this reason, you can guarantee that they’ll want to make this next-gen game as impressive as possible, for extra firepower in the ongoing console wars.

Based on our understanding so far, we think there’s a reasonably likely chance that the game may be too substantial for the current-gen consoles to handle, so it may well be worth starting to stash that loose change into the piggy bank before release.

We’re insanely excited to see what the next-generation of gaming has in store for the Forza franchise, and we’re willing to bet that it’s going to live up to expectations.

We hope that the Toyota saga is finally over and that the location of choice will be Japan so that we can finally take our old-school JDM classics to the mountains.

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If Forza takes the opportunity to bring the touge to the mainstream on a next-gen console, it’s going to be phenomenal for the die-hard JDM fans among us.

For now, we can only hope or maybe pray to the JDM gods.

So, there we have it! We hope that we’ve covered everything you could want to know about the upcoming Forza Horizon 5 release date in this guide.

Thank you for reading our Forza Horizon 5 release date guide.

If you enjoyed this article, then please share it with the buttons at the side and bottom of your screen. If you’ve found this information useful, then please take a moment to share it with other Forza enthusiasts. We appreciate your support.

If you’re keen to learn how to drift in the Forza Horizon series, then we highly recommend checking out this guide.

For those of you that haven’t got access to your Xbox console right now, we’ve got some fantastic solutions waiting over on our Drifted Arcade, with a massive range of drifting games for you to enjoy, completely free.

Looking for the best drift cars in Forza Horizon 4? Here’s a line-up of our favorite drift cars!

Want to fine tune your new drift car in Forza Horizon 4? Check out our Ultimate Forza Horizon 4 Tuning Guide here!

Eager to know the latest news on the Forza series? Here’s what we know about Forza Motorsport 8.

Photography credits

We thank the following entities for the use of their photography in this article:

author avatar Written by Joe Terrell founder, motoring journalist and all-round car enthusiast. Read more about Joe and the Drifted team on our about us page.

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