i imagine some sort of beta or beta multiplayer demo. Back in the day Starcraft had what was called a spawn copy for mulitplayer if you had friends over.
Some of that is to detailed to answer yet. Remember I'm not the mack daddy project leader but, mosto f this speculation and what i and you know about the game already. As well as time spent with project and the forums both new and old as well as my finding in much older archives from when the project was first derived.
Sr3 with be love child of Sr 1&2 (DOS and Amiga), Hot Rod: American Street Drag and Snap-On Gearhead Garage, in that order with big emphasis on Gear Head Garage since SR3 is a 3D conversion for lack of better words.
With Sr3 being a 2D game originally it's rebirth being in the GHG era and with big part of the fan base being from the rather large GHG community GHG had big roll of SR3's 3D rebirth, the way you bolt your parts on and off the car. I am not sure weather or not if it was planned or if it was even suggested to be able to side jobs like GHG for extra cash.
Current Old version
HOTROD American Street Draghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Rod:_American_Street_Drag
GHG (YT video links are Janky, I never meant to embed them.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gearhead_Garagehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YoMTDzRubwhttp://www.gearheadgarage.com/
Obviously game mechanics are almost self explanatory or if you have played the current old version as i call it. SR 2 in 3 with GHG and HASD (Hotrod American Street Drag) aspects.
Graphics are up in the air. I greatly hope with a solid performing game stuff like poly count would be "future proofed" a little bit or in English meaning a little more demanding but, totally kick ass and good looking.
I'm not quite sure how to describe styling but, it certifiably won't be cartoony or absurd, if anything it would be "realistic" imagine the current old version with better textures and lighting with better matched 3d modeling style and scale (size) as well as better atmosphere.
I really hope it could something like this but, with modern graphics (higher res textures, higher ploy count and better lighting) That's just me but, I'm sure others agree.
The game world size might make a little since you have just seen the 2D SR3's main menu as SR3 ever since I have been a part of was kind of like GTA 1 where there are several cities to choose from. In this case it was planned that would after beating the first city and or getting more well know/money that you could get use other garage in other cities which you owuld race in. There were 3 cities plan but, my memory fails on me on which ones, i only remember L.A. and St.Louis. I do not weather or not if could start in any city at your choice.
We hadn't yet decided to make it like SR 1 and 2 where you "auto pilot" to the racing areas or if there would be explorable maps and if so how we or where we would draw the limit/edge of the explorable parts.
Over all there were/are a lot more ideas for stuff like being able to use a phone booth to call people (actually think that was in sr2?) to having actually parts in you inventory show up on the selves in garages (aesthetics) but, I imagine that goes with out saying since SR3 is over 10 years old.
as for price I have the impression that it's agreed SR3 is it ever became a pay for title would be on the cheaper side like indie games but, i'm not sure that i would be the one to ask as I'm just kind of speculating here.
Some time I'm gonna have to get my shit together and do some real work and make some sort of "History of SR3" sometime especially being as old as it is, Including info/story from when it was first conceived.