Five years of platform know-how and improvements to the EGO engine mean GRID 2 can become a reality. Game features must be "absolutely first class" or they're not worth pursuing.
A fair few competing racers have come and gone since those days of GRID, and Codemasters knows they have to pull out all the stops or risking slipping into obscurity.
"The studio started to think about what it wanted to do with a sequel almost immediately after finishing work on the original GRID, but as plans developed it became apparent that our ambitions outstripped what we were able to do with console hardware at that time," Ross Gowing told in an interview.
"Fast forward five years and we're now in a position to be able to do that vision justice given how much more we know about the platforms, and the improvements that have been made to the EGO engine."
The racing community has had the likes of Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, DiRT and Need for Speed releasing new entries since GRID launched back in the middle of 2008. "It's difficult to define this in 'cause and effect' terms of what we do differently; but obviously since the original we've seen the bar raised by a number of our competitors so we're well aware of the need for every one of our features to be absolutely first class or it simply isn't worth including - the entire notion of something being 'tacked on' these days is a non-starter," continued Codemasters' Gowing.
"One easily quantifiable difference in the landscape though is what people expect from their online experience - whereas previously players enjoyed simply being able to compete on track against others in any capacity; these days you need to offer so much more in terms of progression, longevity and asynchronous play."
The likes of Criterion have been pushing the 'asynchronous play' with their Autolog, which was introduced in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. It encourages you to pit your skills against friends in all manner of ways. It was loosely featured in Burnout: Paradise. Having online social features is a mainstay for most modern racers.
The team is focusing on quality with GRID 2, especially on the cars: "We wouldn't want to be in a position where we were pumping out a conveyor belt of soulless boxes on wheels, we've hand-picked the vehicles that we want to work with and our handling team are really able to do each one justice," he said.
"I'd rather take the time to learn every nuance and feel like a hero in every vehicle I drive, rather than have twice the amount but notice no difference between any of them." GRID 2 releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this summer.
Check out thebetween Ross Gowing and CVG.