Racing Vs. Racing Simulator – We obviously love racing, and event though we would spend every day on the track if possible, we know that is not realistic. So we thought we would explore the world of virtual racing. Specifically Racing simulators and Virtual Reality Racing applications. We have looked around and found 2 solid options to compare. We chose these options based on the ability to replicated the proper motion and stimulate in such a way that you actually become a better racer. This is not meant to be a college level dissertation on racing sims, but rather a quick look at what is available and why we think they are the better options.
Our 2 choices are:
The Eleetus Motion Simulator
The CXC Motion Pro ii
First, we choose the Eleetus Racing Sim because of its robust design, small footprint and honestly its ability to simulate real g-forces. A lot of simulators have a fair bit of hype around them and the real experience is lost in small vibrations and jerk motions. Not the Eleetus, it is smooth as silk and delivers a true racing experience. It is a well engineered and very effective simulator. They have put a lot of attention into the motion aspect of the simulator, not just random movements, these are precise and well-planned movements that put you right inside the car on the racetrack. When we had the chance to drive this machine, we were playing rfactor2 and we were very impressed at how well the integration with game was. Speaking with rep, we found out they have worked closely with Image Space (the makers of rfactor) to get everything right.
The company is a US based company and they attribute the success of the simulator to the research that went into motion. Here is what is said on the Eleetus Website
No other sim in this marketplace has the screens move with the seat and the motion. We want you to experience the most realistic visual of the real world of racing and flying, and that cannot be accomplished with static screens. Imagine in the real world that you are driving a race car around a corner at 175 mph or ripping through sky in your plane at 300 mph, the horizon does not sit in one place. Having the screens move with your motion truly captures for you a more realistic and fun experience. The “shake and vibrate” systems in the market certainly give you somewhat of a feel for the real thing, but the Eleetus sim provides the most realistic experience.
As you see the screens actually move with the entire sim to produce the illusion of real life racing. Most simulators have stationary screens and the imagery on the screens move in collaboration with the movements of the game, however, you can still feel like you are just looking at the screen, with the Eleetus you feel like the screens are your field of vision. We would recommend anybody looking to get into a racing simulator to check out the Eleetus Motion Simulator!
Second, we chose the CXC Motion Pro ii, this is arguably the most well know simulator on the market, if for no other reason than their marketing and deep association with the racing industry worldwide. The design is well regarded and delivers a great experience of the track. The actuators do a nice job of capturing the feel of the road and convincing you that you are in a racecar. In fact is actually looks like a racecar. We did not get to spend as much time with the CXC as we did the Eleetus, but CXC did have some really cool customizations that could be done. For instance, they can put the simulator inside a formula 1 race car and give you an amazing experience of the track. This was one of the reasons we chose to write about them. You can find out more at cxcsimulations.com
These 2 simulators do have vastly different prices and both have their unique contribution to the simulation world. The Eleetus runs a cool $35,000 and the CXC tops that at $52,000 so either way you need to be committed to your craft if you are looking for the real deal. Becuase of the price difference and the focus on motion, not the mention the small footprint we feel like the Eleetus is the better option, but you will want to check out both before you make the decision for yourself. If you want to learn about some other great options in the marketplace here is another great comparison article from therichest.com or this one from Road and Track
In full conclusion, we did not the time a scope to do a real test at whether or not a racing simulator can help your driving. However, it is clear that companies like these we mentioned are pushing the boundaries to bring the racetrack into your living room. The realism of the games themselves are enough to make you intimately familiar with the track and adding a proper motion experience or even Virtual Reality headsets like the Oculus Rift can make the Eleetus or CXC an immersive racing adventure. This would have to impact your ability to get around the track more efficiently in a real car. So the answer to the question, Can A Racing Simulator Help You Drive Better? We don’t know, but it sure seems like it could, and it is a fun way to find out.