For racing fans desiring a more realistic gaming experience, two things are a must: a steering wheel and a trio of larger monitors. Past that, some have even opted for a legit racing seat - some with built in vibrations. Of course, this is all expensive, but it's the price that some pay to get an experience that's just not realistic in real-life for most people. However, with a new option given to us by Costco, of all places, it's hard to look at those previously-mentioned setups the same way again.
For a mere £89,999.89 ($137,000 USD), you could own a racing simulator built around a full-sized Formula 1 car. We're talking a realistic chassis, real Pirelli slicks, and a lack of a stepped nose that's drawn the ire of many F1 fans as of late. Its aluminum color scheme is reminiscent of team McLaren, but it's obvious that the manufacturer kept things simple so as to avoid a future cease & desist order or a scoffing from potential customers who might have an affinity for another team.
While seeing a simulator like this come from the same store that sells toilet paper and spaghetti sauce in bulk, the product's designer, FMCG International, is a stature in the F1 world. It's responsible for a number of different services ranging from F1 car hire, pit stop challenges, selling of memorabilia and of course, the creation of F1 simulators. It's unclear if FMCG has ever been responsible for creating simulators for official teams, but it's clear that the company has a raw passion for the sport, and as such, the product is likely of a very good quality (and it should be, at this price).
Specs include heavy use of composite materials and carbon fiber, Pirelli F1 show tires (a downside as far as I'm concerned due to their ridiculous shine) and other components on par with what we'd see on an actual F1 car. There's even use of carbon brakes! To power the simulator, a PC is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, Intel SSD, 16GB of RAM, 1200W power supply, Windows 7 x64, a 5.1 surround sound speaker setup along with 3 x 23-inch TFT 8ms displays.
So, whether you want to pretend you're Mark Webber trying to secure another win at Circuit de Monaco or Kimi Räikkönen tearing up the Yas Marina Circuit, nothing looks to surpass this product for an at-home F1 experience.
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