Well, Just got done playing the demo.
First time through I beat the race, Drifiting was hard at first, then i got the hang of it and it was easy.
The game looks neat, but I agree the graphics are not the greatest. Old NFS games (for the times) felt like they had very good graphics, but this is just normal (I think PGR3 looks better and most likely Forza 2 will be a ton better looking).
I did like how you can make your own parts though, neat little touch