I’m a huge fan of racing video games, and have been since I first got a Nintendo 64 and started playing Mario Kart.
Since then, I’ve become a loyal follower of the Gran Turismo series for Playstation. I’ve tried different racing games, but that seems to be the franchise that keeps me coming back. And I’m not alone in that, as the GT series has a hugely dedicated following among Playstation owners – but since it’s a Playstation exclusive, Xbox owners don’t have the chance to play it. Instead, they get Forza Motorsport. I’ve got a very limited amount of experience with the Forza series, but when I have played it, I’ve really enjoyed it.
Well Forza seems to know how to attract fans that may not even be into racing games to begin with – and that’s by including a vehicle that nobody would expect to see in a racing game, but is hugely popular in modern pop culture.
The vehicle in question? A 2005 Pontiac Aztek.
— Western GMC Buick (@WesternGMCBuick) January 7, 2016
Of course, at the time, people HATED the Aztek. It looks pretty weird, it’s based on a minivan platform but it’s not a minivan… It was just… different. But it also had its own tent attachment, which makes it a great vehicle for camping or cross-country road trips to save you the cost of a hotel.
Yo, remember the pontiac aztek? pic.twitter.com/832NtqYibc
— Jacob Rosenoli (@hebrewhurricane) July 29, 2015
But the Aztek got a new level of fame with Breaking Bad hit the airwaves and became a big hit. Of course, the Aztek was the car of choice of the show’s main character, Walter White.
Dont judge a book by its cover. Even Walter White drove a Pontiac Aztek. pic.twitter.com/QRLzU5KcAm
— Taka Black (@Takablack_) December 5, 2015
And you know, despite what the haters say, you really just need to listen to Walt’s mechanic’s opinion on it:
Of course, the Aztek ended up in the shop in the first place because, as it turns out, it’s a boss at absorbing the impact of a car accident.
It’s good for just cruisin’ on the open road through the desert…
And as Walt put on display for us, you can even get them sideways if you know what you’re doing.
Anyway, the creators of Forza Motorsport must be big Breaking Bad fans like the rest of us, because I can’t imagine any other reason they’d include the Aztek, especially with the other cars in this particular pack. They even specifically mentioned the show in their press release:
2005 Pontiac Aztek
The Pontiac Aztek’s futuristic styling (targeted at “Generation X” car buyers) was well received upon its reveal in 1999 and enjoyed a short production run as a “sport recreational vehicle.” Though it boasted flexibility and cool features like an attachable tent and a cooler in the rear center console, the Aztek has commonly been cited as a failure. Some may attribute that failure to its “futuristic” looks. Others point to the Aztek’s lack of segment identity. After all, it was built on a shortened minivan platform, but it isn’t a minivan. It is a four-wheel drive, but not an SUV. It was built by Pontiac, but it didn’t deliver the performance the marque was known for. Perhaps selecting the Aztek as Walter White’s ride of choice in Breaking Bad was an apt metaphor: each shared the dilemma of wanting to do good, but failing by design.
To see the other cars in the pack, check out this video preview:
My favourite part is the fact that all the other cars are shown flying around the track, but the Aztek just… slowly drives off.