Start your virtual engines in US$116,650 F1 racing simulator
May 9, 2013
Players of the Forza and Gran Turismo race series understand that every little advantage counts when working to trim lap times. In game, details like tires, camber angles, damper settings, plus engine mods are just a few of the tuning tricks to enhance a racer's performance. But deep down, budding racers know that such sops to realism are nothing compared to a full-scale F1 simulator. Luckily for them Costco UK and FMCG International have a solution – a US$116,650 full-scale F1 simulator.
Available in your color of choice as long as its red, black or silver, the F1 simulator will not only make your basement the coolest on the block, but is also designed to ensure an inflated ego and quicker laps. Delivery from Costco UK takes between 12 and 18 weeks, because like Shumacher’s F1 vehicle, simulators are made to order.
The in-home model carries over certain traits from the circuit. The floor plan for instance is of a composite nature, finished with carbon fiber detailing, while the main tub area where racers reside is comprised of a woven composite. Side pods, which provide no fuel delivery or aerodynamic advantage in your basement, are also finished with carbon fiber composite details.
That rear deck out back that’s hiding the non-existent formula one engine is again composite but incorporates integral aerodynamic components, an important factor when extra down-force is needed as a result of your mom leaving a window open.
The all important nose cone, supporting the front spoiler and channeling air through to the brakes and the car’s underbelly diffuser is intricately replicated and detailed. Rear spoiler/wing and end plates are again composite with just a hint of carbon fiber.
But inside the cockpit is where would-be racers will be spending extensive amounts of time and effort in trying to achieve shorter lap times. The composite headrest is removable, just like in the big boys, to make ingress and egress easier, as is the quick release steering wheel, modeled very closely after an actual F1 steering wheel.
To provide realistic steering feedback, a high use force feedback unit with industrial rollers and motors is built into the frame work. Pedals, again just like an F1, are electronically adjustable for the inevitable array of friends and neighbors looking to take the car for a spin. Managing fake power to the fake wheels is handled by alloy drive shafts and a gear box machined from a single alloy block.
What about stopping performance? Let’s say Bill leans on the car and it starts careening out of control towards the flat screen? FCMG thought of this. Carbon brake disks machined from high grade metal and a choice of AP Racing or Brembo brake calipers are in place to ensure braking performance is not compromised on the hardwood. The tires that look like racing slicks are actually Pirelli F1 show tires on magnesium alloy rims. No speed rating was provided but it's safe to assume they are MC-rated for optimal basement performance.
Visualizing the race is handled by three 23-inch TFT Screens with 8 ms response times mounted on an adjustable frame forward of the cockpit. The racing sim experience is driven by a tricked out PC with Intel Core i7 processor, Intel SSD hard drive, triple head graphics card, 16 GB RAM, 1200 W power supply, and a wireless keyboard with integrated mouse. But with a little tinkering we'd imagine one could configure and integrate an Xbox or PS3 rather easily into the F1’s system.
A 5.1 digital sound system further enhances the experience with screen towers housing the main front speakers. A sub-woofer positioned replaces the engine behind the driver to provide the bass, while other speakers located inside the car help round out the aural experience.
While the FCMG simulator is not on the same level of sophistication as Ferrari’s trainer it does offer aspirational Lewis Hamilton types a chance to race a full-scale F1 about their living room without the risk of oil stains messing up the carpet.
Although the F1 is available online, buyers need to contact Costco directly for their F1 simulator purchase in order to properly part with their £74,999.91 (excluding VAT) (approx. US$116,650).
Source: Costco UK