As the debut title for the Namco System 22 arcade system in 1992, this was the first video game to use texture-mapped 3D polygon graphics and Gouraud shading.
It debuted at the 30th JAMMA Amusement Machine show in Japan, in 1992, around the same time that Virtua Racing released in Japan. However, SimDrive was cancelled and Namco re-worked it into Ridge Racer, released the following year in 1993.
SimDrive's arcade cabinet was similar to Ridge Racer's Full Scale deluxe arcade cabinet, using a real Mazda MX-5 as a cabinet along with a large projection screen. SimDrive used was a curved wrap-around screen for the display. It was, in some ways, a spiritual successor to Winning Run as well as a predecessor of Ridge Racer.
At JAMMA's 1992 AM (Amusement Machines) show in Japan, held during 27th-29th August 1992, Namco debuted Sim Drive, for the then new Namco System 22 arcade board. The game was itself a sequel to Eunos Roadster Driving Simulator, a Mazda MX-5 driving simulation arcade game that Namco developed with Mazda and released in 1990. Its 3D polygon graphics stood out for its use of Gouraud shading and texture mapping. After a location test at the show, where it was previewed by the November 1992 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Sim Drive had a limited Japanese release in December 1992, but did not get a mass-market release. It served as a prototype for Ridge Racer.