Shift 2: Unleashed, the next in the Need For Speed series, has been dated for March 24 in Europe and March 29 in North America, with an accompanying trailer teasing the visceral racer's attractions.

Not afraid of going toe-to-toe with the Forza Motorsport series on the Xbox 360 and Gran Turismo 5 on the PlayStation 3, Shift 2 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC boldly labels itself "the real racing sim".

Look under the bonnet of Slightly Mad Studios and there's no need to be surprised at the first Shift's decent reputation, especially in the wake of recent sales - the company's staff has built considerable experience working on SimBin's series of WTCC and GTR racing games.

As a result, Shift 2 promises a different experience from the cops and robbers of November 2010's Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, though Hot Pursuit's social features will be carried over.

It's to arrive at the same time as NASCAR 2011 in North America (March 29), and slap in the middle of Motorstorm: Apocalypse's Atlantic-straddling schedule, which arrives in Europe on March 16 before an April 12 debut in North America.

The Shift 2: Unleashed teaser trailer can be found on Need For Speed's YouTube channel, or on the official website,