Paranormal physics on the Nordschleife?

I’ve recently spent most of my Forza time doing freeplay races with low-powered vintage cars on the Nordschleife, and I noticed there are a couple sections on the track where physics/gravity seem to behave weirdly and cars will not accelerate at all on downhill sections…at times it feels like the game is thinking I am actually going uphill. The most noticeable/longest section is from Kesselchen to Klostertal (the relatively long mostly straight, mostly downhill section in the upper part, directly before you enter the carousel)…in a stock BMW 328, it really feels like the car is struggling to gain any speed at all.

I realize the section is not completely downhill and has a couple slight uphill bumps in it, but these shouldn’t slow down the car that badly, and the last section before the sharp righthander that leads to the carousel is definitely completely downhill…but even there I can’t get the 328 to accelerate past 125kmh (give or take a kilometer).

Are others experiencing this too, or am I imagining things?

I think almost everything from the breidscheid access to hohe acht is uphill. These are the lowest and highest spots on the track, respectively. Within it, the upgrade may be slight as it is at klostertal, medium as in the kesselchen section, more in others - with maybe a few dips.

Bergwerk to klostertal (including kesselchen) is actually well-known for taxing the anemic cars of yore.

Great chart, thanks. Then I guess my eyes are what’s deceiving me…I could swear the track is going downhill into Klostertal.


It is quite deceptive, mainly because the whole run from Bergwerk is basically following the bottom of a valley as it climbs up to a saddle so you have little to no horizon to use as a reference.

I remember Project Gotham 2 getting this section REALLY wrong and it did look exactly like you were going downhill into Klostertal at the bottom of the Steilstrecke. Since that was my first real experience with the Nordschleife (I had driven it briefly in Grand Prix Legends) it meant that for several games after my mind kept telling me “this bit looks wrong, it should be downhill” until I watched in-car videos (Hans-Joachim Stuck in a BMW M3 GTR is a great one) that showed what it should look like. Games these days take a lot more pride in accuracy than back then (PGR2 lap times were way off what they should have been, supposedly the in-game track was ~15-20% shorter than in real life).

PGR2 was barely anything like IRL. If you were in the Strassen Porsche, you didn’t even have to use the brakes once, and you could still have a clean lap. I played this track at least daily with my friends, and it got to the point where we were all within 10 seconds of each other in that car. It wasn’t until we used the Speed 12 that it even became challenging.

That’s more a comment on PGR2’s physics engine (which was firmly on the NFS end of the scale), but I get your point.

This chart explains everything you are experiencing as far as elevation changes. As you can see, the run from Kesselchen to the Karusell is the steepest section. I can confirm that you sir are still sane.

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One of the biggest differences between the virtual Nordschleife and the real Nordschleife is the elevation. The virtual depiction of the track is far more accurate than it ever has been in Forza titles but it still struggles somewhat with the elevation. I think the reason for this is the fact that in the game you have no real reference point - the track ahead of you is almost always in the same position relative to your windscreen. As a gamer you also have no sensation of the g-forces that you feel as a real driver on the 'Ring.

The run from Breidscheid all the way up to Hohe Acht is indeed uphill and at some points rather steep. The tarmac is also quite sticky and so it really saps the acceleration of cars with lower horsepower.

If you ever doubt the angle of incline along this section then try turning around and driving it in reverse. You’ll notice then that there’s a difference in elevation.

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I normally drive in the first chase view (except for a few favorite car/track combos in cockpit)
If you “look” with the right stick back towards the car from the side while driving in chase cam, it will show you the incline/decline you’re driving on. (Not sure if it works in cockpit/other views)
The camera seems to be “flat” from the side view, so you can see if you’re climbing or not.
Just be sure to get the camera at 90° to the car…