The 149MB update gives players the option to select two levels of damage: light, allowing mechanical parts to be damaged but regenerate strength over a short period of time; and heavy, allowing for more severe damage that can only be repaired by making pit stops. The option can also be disabled all together. Complete notes on the update have not been released.
Damage and wear during races can adversely affect the handling and performance of your favorite virtual whip. When mechanical damage is enabled, the in-game HUD will note where your car is being beat-up the most; however, it does not list the severity of your abuse.
Players looking to add a new layer of realism to their career mode or wanting an extra thrill during arcade races will be disappointed, as the mechanical damage options added in the update are only available for online races.
According to tests conducted by Now Gamer, it appears that the addition lacks much finesse, giving players the option between one extreme or another. Hopefully these settings get deeper in future updates and extend to the rest of the game's modes.
For now, using your friend's sweet ride as a high-speed turning assist is no longer an option. Save those tactics for the, now somehow less realistic, career mode.