Like building a movie set, the virtual world created by software designers and artists begins clean and perfect. Computer models are pure, created at origin in perfect orientation. For a better experience, movie set artists add dirt and signs of aging. In a race simulator game, the track needs dirt, weathering, scuff marks, and trees require some randomness so they don’t appear too much alike. More signs of realism improves immersion and reduces distractions.
The two screenshots below reveal parked cars within racing games. Since these show off the car, likely before a racing event, clean cars are expected. The first screenshot is from Asseto Corsa by Kunos Simulazioni. The second screenshot comes from Forza Motorsport 4 by Turn 10 Studios. What’s unnatural about the parked cars in the two images?
How often do you see a parked car with aligned front and rear wheels? When turning corners, wheels travel different distances. Also, it’s less natural for the wheel installer to paying attention to rotation without purpose.
Keeping the logos on the wheels oriented up may have been the intention. If not a requirement, it would be a simple matter to include a random rotation on each wheel to improve the natural feel.
Remember the small, simple-to-implement details.
Update: May 15
Below is a screenshot from Project CARS showing a car waiting at the starting line before a rainy day race. Once again, wheels are aligned.