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Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown: Map & Exploration

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is a hotly anticipated racing title coming in 2023, the devs speak of the map and exploration development.

One of the greatest things about game development is the devs and team keeping the community posted, Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is an anticipated title due for release in 2023. in this update letter, the great people working on the racing title speak out on some of the development phases and what you can expect with the map and exploration. If you know your racing titles, you will know that Test Drive is one of the special titles within the genre, its first release in the series was back in 1987.

We’re going to continue exploring the world of TDUSC. After the first newsletter, you now own your new luxury car with customized performance and style. It’s now up to you and your driving skills to stand out from the crowd and beat your rivals. As you know, other than physical, mental and fine-motor skills, what separates an excellent driver from a good one is knowledge of the terrain. You need to master your speed, cornering, bumps in the road, weather conditions, visibility… Getting to know a course inside out takes time, dedication and practice.

The variety of roads that can be found on Hong Kong Island (also known as HKI) makes it great for exploration. That’s why, in this newsletter, we’ll explore this unique island together and take a closer look at your playground for Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown.

Faithfully recreated and at true 1:1 scale, Hong Kong Island is actually a great place to enjoy a very varied and intense driving experience, despite what you might think. You may not be able to tackle all the challenges the island has to offer with your first car, but you will be able to explore and discover many of the surprises that HKI has in store.


Hong Kong Island is full of very different landscapes. From the traditional narrow streets of the old town, to the wide highways where you can really put the pedal to the metal, to the off-road mountain trails that require skill and technique, each type of terrain poses its own unique challenges. The driving experience offered by TDUSC is realistic and challenging, while remaining  accessible for drivers of all skill levels. By honing your skills behind the wheel and choosing the right car for the road type, you will learn to dominate all the different types of terrain you encounter.

As well as the varied terrain types, there is a dynamic weather and time of the day system: you can go from a sunny ride at dawn to a long night-time drive under stormy skies. Rain has a significant impact on the behaviour of your car: you will need to adapt your driving to avoid unexpected skids and maybe change your tyres and gear ratios. Don’t forget to turn on your windscreen wipers while waiting for the sun to come back out so you can put the top down again! The day/night cycle is also realistic with distinct phases for dawn, day, evening and night.

Like previous editions, HKI has been optimized to encourage freely driving around in your car. In total, you can explore over 600km / 370 miles of roads. Exploring roads in HKI is a core part of the TDUSC gameplay: the more you explore, the more rewards you earn!

Note from Alain Jarniou, Creative Director

“Recreating Hong Kong Island with all its variety and small details was a considerable challenge. In an open-world game like TDU, we need to provide a seamless and interesting driving experience as well as encourage exploration, which is an important part of the experience.
To increase immersion and transport players to a new country, we also wanted to make HKI very realistic, which is why we recreated it at 1:1 scale. It was a challenge technically as well as in
terms of gameplay.Thanks to the experience gained developing many rally games (WRC series) and motorcycling games (TT series), we have considerable expertise in creating realistic environments on a large
scale. But TDU is a different kind of experience and more challenging.Hong Kong Island is an amazing playground that offers incredible diversity, and each environment received special attention to make them more fun for players. To emphasize the fast and smooth driving, for example, the very dense urban network of HKI needed some small adjustments because of certain little streets that were very (too?) narrow.

Conversely, some light redesign was done to the major thoroughfares to make them more fun and adapted to very fast cars, while respecting the identity of Hong Kong Island.

To increase exploration options, we used our expertise from WRC games to transform certain walking and hiking paths into small mountain roads that a car can use. It’s up to you to discover
all the island’s secret areas by driving down routes that aren’t always shown on the map! It takes time for HKI to give up all its secrets”…


As you can see, everything has been done to provide a unique, fun and sometimes challenging game experience, while remaining as authentic as possible.


While the competitive drivers among you will love all the different races organized by the Solar Crown,players looking for exploration and relaxation will also be happy. You’ll find 14 districts to explore, and each one full of activities, events, and objects to find and collect. And fans of previous TDU games will be excited to hear that wrecks are returning to HKI with parts to be found across the island. Anyone who manages to find all the parts can acquire some iconic cars.

There are also many challenges to tackle: beat your speed records through the island’s speed traps, and go head-to-head against other players or your friends in Instant Challenges. Your driving will probably not be perfect, and your cars won’t always stay in immaculate condition, but don’t worry: there are gas stations available to restore them to their shiniest best.


Note from Stéphane Cambier, Lead Artist

“HKI has a wide variety of locations, and we wanted to reproduce as many of these environments as possible: from small inlets on the coast to mountain peaks to dense urban areas and swamps.

Obviously, you can’t show Hong Kong without the major landmarks that make up its famous skyline and iconic places from movies like the Monster Building.

You can cruise through downtown Wan Chai, the financial district with huge buildings like the Hopewell Centre and Convention Centre, then pass through the Central District under the Bank
of China Tower and the twin towers of the Lippo Centre, an iconic skyscraper on HKI.

The East docks area is the perfect playground for the Streets. Their HQ, an underground industrial nightclub, can be found here. But if you prefer a calmer and more residential atmosphere, the
Repulse Bay district with its luxury dealerships is there on the south side of the island. The Peak, the island’s highest point, is perfect for an off-road experience and to admire the city as the sun
goes down.

Are you an inveterate explorer at heart? Set off to find small fishing villages at the foot of Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir, which can only be reached by small paths; then take the Dragon’s Back to reach
Shek O for unforgettable gaming moments that can only be found in TDUSC.

With this guided tour, you can see that HKI has incredible variety that we have faithfully recreated so you can enjoy epic driving adventures with your friends”.

Members, we hope that with this information you can envisage your future playground and that it has made you even more excited to explore Hong Kong Island. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts! Which district are you most excited to visit first in your car? Feel free to share on our social media channels:

About Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown

A driving and lifestyle experience unlike any other. The brand new Test Drive Unlimited keeps the DNA from the first games, and revamps it for the modern era. You have the freedom to progress however you like, the classic open championship concept returns too. Live your best life. Race, cruise, and hang out with your friends until the sun goes down and even after!

With confirmed marques so far being Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Koenigsegg, Apollo, Dodge and Bugatti, you’ll have to really work your way up to have the privilege to drive them. Customisation is not reserved for your cars only, but for your avatar as well and even better than ever. You’ve got to dress to impress.

Add to your Wishlist on Steam: Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown on Steam

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Darren Buckner

Darren Buckner

Darren became a member of Simrace247 in January 2021 and has been a valuable addition to the platform ever since. He began his journey as an Editor and has progressed to the position of Editor in Chief, owing to his unwavering commitment and hard work. With his profound interest in motorsport and gaming, Darren is passionate about sharing news and exceptional content with like-minded people worldwide.View Author posts