It's hard to make racing games seem fresh or original nowadays, but not if you put a bit of thought into it - or even better some high explosives. Split/Second is a street racer, not the illegal kind but one that's show on reality TV all across the country.
Knocking your opponents into the odd brick wall is a traditional part of any racing game, but here you also race to be the first to trigger huge explosions rigged all along the track. Time it right and you can not only flatten rivals with a ton of falling concrete but you can drastically alter the course of the track to your advantage.
You've got to be a skilled racer as well as a demolitions expert though, with your access to the explosions dependent on how well you're driving and what moves you can pull off. Get it right and you'll not only beat the pack, you'll flatten it.