Asphalt 8 (iPad screenshot 001)

Is it the speed? The acceleration and pure velocity? Nah, it’s got to be going Airborne, says the clever blurb for Gameloft’s highly-anticipated eighth installment in the Asphalt mobile racing franchise. We previewed the game back in June and although it got delayed a bit as the team needed more time to perfect the little things, it’s out now and available now for your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad for just 99 cents a pop. I’ve included action-packed screenies, additional info and a launch trailer so jump past the fold for more awesomeness…

Asphalt 8: Airborne invites you to leave gravity in the dust:

The best iOS arcade racing game series reaches a new turning point! Perform dynamic, high-speed aerial stunts in an intense driving experience powered by a brand-new physics engine!

Getting airborne entails hitting the ramps and performing barrel rolls and wild 360-degree jumps. The fact that you can maneuver through the air while pulling off stunts adds a dash of Fast and Furious craziness to the game, I guess.

Airborne features 47 high-performance luxury dream cars, with 80 percent new to the series, from top licensed manufacturers and models such as the Lamborghini Veneno, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari FXX and Pagani Zonda R.

The team went all out to make this Asphalt edition the funniest and most engaging racing game on iOS so they recorded all motor sounds from scratch, and in high-fidelity.

Here’s the launch trailer.

The racing action takes place across nine different exotic locations like Venice, French Guiana, Iceland, the Nevada Desert and more. The tracks feature hidden shortcuts and can be played in original and mirror variations in Career mode for some added variety.

This is arguably the prettiest racing game on iOS. If you own one of the latest iOS devices such as an iPhone 5 or iPad 4, you’ll be treated to stunning visuals, courtesy of Gameloft’s next-gen shaders, real-time geometry reflection and other special effects.

Check out the screenies.

Asphalt 8 Airborne (screenshot 005)

Asphalt 8 Airborne (screenshot 007)

Asphalt 8 (screenshot 002)

Asphalt 8 (teaser)

All told, Asphalt 8 includes eight seasons and 180 events in the Career mode, a detailed damage system and all-new Infected and Drift Gate modes.

As for multiplayer, you can race against up to eight opponents simultaneously, challenge friends to asynchronous or ghost races, compare you score against others on the global leaderboards and so forth.

Also, this Gamescon trailer is worth watching.

The soundtrack, you ask? Asphalt 8 features mixes of licensed music, including tracks from Bloc Party, Mutemath & The Crystal Method.

Asphalt 8: Airborne is available for 99 cents from Apple’s App Store.

The 884MB download is compatible with the iPhone 4/4S/5, fourth-generation iPod touch and up, iPad 2/3/4 and iPad mini.

The game requires iOS 5.0 or later and is optimized for the iPhone 5’s taller screen.

In related news, Gameloft announced its blockbuster games will be hitting Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows Phone platform, beginning with this Fall’s releases of Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dungeon Hunter 4.

More triple-As will follow before year’s end, including Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Total Conquest, Six Guns and UNO & Friends, followed by an impressive lineup of the latest Gameloft titles in 2014, all supporting features like cross-platform play between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices.