TrackMania is a remarkable series. Blending ludicrously silly Hot Wheels-style arcade stunt racing with some robust (if unpolished) community features and a simple to use yet incredibly deep track editor, the previous entries in the series still enjoy hugely active player bases today, particularly across Europe.

The official sequel -- actually the fourth game in the series -- has the potential to be the start of something big thanks to Ubisoft's ManiaPlanet service. The other ManiaPlanet titles ShootMania and QuestMania have had very few details revealed as yet, but TrackMania 2 Canyon has had a steady flow of details trickling out since its initial announcement. Offering improved graphics, a new environment -- the titular "Canyon" -- and expanded online functionality, the new game is being watched with a great deal of interest by fans of the series.

And it's not much longer they'll have to wait, either, because Ubisoft has finally announced a release date for the game: September 14. Those who want to get an early taste of the action will be able to preorder the game from Ubi's own Ubishop from August 17 and get immediate access to the multiplayer beta.

The game will be on show at Gamescom next week, with the Electronic Sporting League hosting a professional TrackMania 2 tournament as well as the first opportunity for the public to play the game prior to its release.

This article originally appeared on as TrackMania 2 Canyon Out on September 14, Beta Begins on August 17