For $185,000 you can buy a Ford Shelby Cobra GT350R and a lot of track time, or you can get 99% of the thrill without having to worry about those pesky 200 mph crashes.
Hammacher-Schlemmer is selling what they’re billing as the most realistic racing simulator, and I’m inclined to agree with them. This is the same model that Ford has been using at auto shows around the country to give people a feel for what driving their high-performance cars is like. I was able to take a turn in the driver’s seat in Chicago earlier this year and came away impressed. It comes as close to driving on a track as I’ve ever experienced.
Here’s a description of the simulator from the website.
“This is the simulator that provides riders with the most realistic car racing experience available. Selected by Ford Motor Company to demonstrate ride experiences, the simulator uses linear servo actuators that cause its suspended, monocoque fiberglass chassis to roll, pitch, and rotate 360° at up to 0.5G acceleration. Faithfully reproducing actual racing conditions such as entering a turn at 200 MPH or moving up a bank in the slipstream of an opponent, the chassis’ front dips when braking at hairpins, pushes forward when accelerating during passes, and rumbles when driving on an apron, all while a driver up to 300 lbs. is secured by an actual racing seat, seatbelt, and “doors”. Its two paddle gear shifters, steering wheel, accelerator, brake, and clutch—all from real race cars and modified for simulator use—provide rapid gear changes and provide adjustable travel for optimal realism. The force-feedback steering system generates 10x the forces of lesser simulators. Providing 12 race cars that include stock, GT, F1, and F3 models, the simulator replicates precisely modeled signage and backgrounds for 16 short, tri-oval, or road courses, ranging from Joesville Speedway to Nuerburg on a 108″-wide, triple HD monitor display with a 500-watt audio system.”
For more information, visit Hammacher.com.