A new month, a new Forza Horizon 5 update. Everyone's favorite open-world racing game is celebrating the holidays with its latest content update, which is now rolling out to players across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, and the various Xbox Game Pass services. Dubbed "Winter Wonderland," the update brings new and returning features, lots of new cars, and another optional car pack DLC to expand your garage.
Let's not waste any time. You can catch up on all the exact fixes and changes in this update at Forza.net, but I'll summarize all the biggest features you need to know about below.
- The return of Secret Santa. Forza Horizon 5 is embracing the spirit of the holidays with the return of Secret Santa, which encourages players to gift cars to each other. Starting today, every gifted car will count toward the community-wide gifting goal. There's a reward car up for grabs at the 50% and 100% goal milestones, with the latter remaining a mystery until that goal is met.
- A winter makeover. For the entirety of the Winter Wonderland Festival Playlist, all of Mexico will be overcast by winter. Unfortunately, this doesn't make much of a difference in FH5, since Mexico doesn't change all that much in the winter. The Stadium is getting a proper makeover, though, with holiday decorations and a new snowy racecourse.
- Earn new Accolades by racing at the new winter-themed Stadium
- There's also new Accolades (and a new Badge) for car collecting
- Find new holiday decorations throughout the FH5 map
- Witness the long-awaited return of the mighty Snowman collectible
- Forzathon Shop event. For the entirety of Winter Wonderland, the Forzathon Shop is expanding with exclusive deals on highly desirable vehicles, and players will be able to purchase one Forzathon Shop car a week to gift to another player.
- New EventLab props. Forza Horizon 5's constantly impressive EventLab 2.0 is expanding with more props, including new curbs, barriers, brake markers, and decorations. Holiday decorations are included, too.
- Various fixes and improvements. Of course, Playground Games took this opportunity to fix some issues with car audio and visuals, accessibility features, and performance.
Most people really just want to know about the new cars, and the Forza Horizon 5 car list is absolutely expanding by a fair amount with this update. Here are the 15 new cars coming to the game in the Winter Wonderland update, from four different sources.
Playground Games also revealed the 8 new cars being added to the game with the next Festival Playlist, "Community Choice," which seemingly is included in this update and won't have its own content update. The Community Choice Festival Playlist kicks off on Jan. 4, 2024.
- New Autoshow cars. In a surprise move, Playground Games is adding four new cars directly to the Autoshow, where players can purchase them with Credits. How nice.
- 1953 Jaguar C-Type
- 1958 Aston Martin DBR1
- 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6
- 1970 Ferrari 512 S
- Winter Wonderland Festival Playlist cars. As always, new cars are heading to players' garages via the Festival Playlist, which players can earn by completing weekly and monthly challenges, races, and events starting on Dec. 7, 2023.
- 2000 Lotus 340R
- 2009 Lotus 2-Eleven
- 2019 Morgan Aero GT
- 2022 Subaru BRZ
- Secret Santa reward cars. Secret Santa is returning for another year, rewarding players for gifting a ton of cars to their fellow players. There are two reward cars up for grabs this year, with the second reward (for completing 100% of Winter Wonderland's car gifting goal) remaining a mystery.
- 2022 Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 (50% of goal)
- Mystery car (100% of goal)
- Fast X Car Pack DLC. A new Car Pack DLC is joining the growing roster of paid options for players to obtain unique and premium vehicles. This time around, a collaboration with the Fast and Furious franchise sees the most iconic vehicles from the Fast X movie join Forza Horizon 5's car roster. The Forza Horizon 5 Fast X Car Pack is now available for $9.99 at Microsoft.
- 1966 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport "Fast X"
- 1970 Dodge Charger "Fast X"
- 1973 Datsun 240Z "Fast X"
- 2022 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody "Fast X"
- 2022 Fast X Flip Car 2.0
- Community Choice Festival Playlist cars. Playground Games has already revealed the 8 new Festival Playlist reward cars players will be able to earn with the Community Choice Festival Playlist starting on Jan. 4, 2023.
- 1967 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL
- 1969 FIAT Dino 2.0 Coupe
- 2006 Koenigsegg CCX
- 2008 Aston Martin DBS
- 2011 McLaren 12C Coupé
- 2012 Pagani Huayra
- 2016 Spania GTA Spano
- 2016 W Motors Lykhan Hypersport
Whoo, that's a lot! The Forza Horizon 5 Winter Wonderland update is just another stop in a long line of improvements for the best Xbox racing game you can play, and it's available now to download. The Winter Wonderland Festival Playlist starts on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, while the succeeding Community Choice Festival Playlist starts on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024.
Oh, yeah, Playground Games also revealed what's coming with that Festival Playlist. The studio asked FH5 players to vote on what they wanted to see return to the game from previous updates, so expect the return of Neon decorations in the world, 16 different PR stunts, community-chosen activities and events, and the addition of 10 cars to the Autoshow that were previously exclusive to a Festival Playlist.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.