When it comes to fun thing to do, for me there isn’t much that can top racing. Either in real life or virtually through a video game there is always a thrill going wide open on the throttle to test your skills. When we found out that Simcraft would be at CES 2009 we jumped at the opportunity to visit their booth and experience what the DOD has selected for its SAVE program. The “to do” of Simcraft is that you are sitting in a tubular chassis and driving/racing in a virtual in environment. Depending on the model, you have up two 3 degrees of motion that can be simulated. In this case we would be experiencing the APEX SC830, the industry’s most realistic simulator. It allows 40 degrees of roll, 20 degrees of pitch, and 40 degrees of yaw. Games like GRID, DiRT, Live for Speed, and rFactor can be loaded into the simulator for your driving pleasure.
At $44,500 the APEX SC830 is designed and priced for professional racers and performance driving instructors!
Before experiencing the SC830, I had to sign a waiver. Notice the spiffy new LR logo on our polo’s.
After a brief run down of the controls and track I’d be driving on it was finally time to start hot lapping.
Unfortunately to keep things flowing smoothly they had everyone driving on an oval track. Laguna Seca was an available track but with a waiting list 10 deep I wouldn’t be able to drive it until the end of the day once the floor was closed.
The experience was great, as you can see in the videos below it was a lot of fun. The SC830 puts you in the drivers seat of your favorite ride and lets you enjoy the thrills of driving at the edge, without worrying about things like traffic and police. With the motion added it definitely transcended the experience from Gran Turismo video game to driving an actual car that moved with your motions. No other simulator I have experienced has done a better job providing that missing feedback that racing in a game has always lacked. Now if I just had an extra $44k sitting around, I would have guests at my place all of the time! For those making a more modest salary, Simcraft also offers the SC320 which has just 2 axis of motion (20 degrees of roll, 20 degrees of pitch) and is priced at $17,500.
In this first video you can see there isn’t much movement going on as I’m driving a fairly decent line around the track. Jeff Gordon would be proud!
Deciding that a good line was no fun for the camera, it was time to do some donuts and spins. This really shows off what the SC830 can do!