Review: Next Level Racing GTtrack racing sim

...

Next Level Racing specialises in creating racing simulators that gamers and aspiring drivers can use to refine their craft. The company continues to iterate on their design and their latest is the third I’ve used from the company in the last couple of years. I’m happy to report, the GTtrack is easily their best sim yet.

For those semi-serious gamers or even professional racing drivers looking to keep their skills up to date, this rig is perfect at home or in the office. From the evolution in design and features, NLR have displayed a great willingness and responsiveness to accept feedback from fans and iterate the product.

The GTtrack offers the most comfortable seat to date, which closely resembles an actual seat you’d find in a car from Sparco or Recaro. The seating position is also much more reflective of how you feel in the car, which makes the driving experience feel more natural and also more comfortable for the longer racing sessions.

 

DESIGN

Curves in all the right places

From the time you unbox the GTtrack, you’ll notice just how solid and robust the solid metal frame is. This gives you confidence that no matter what you bolt on to it, it’ll be able to take the load and you’re excited forces when behind the wheel.

The frame GTtrack is black in colour and the matt black is an idea that NLR learnt from the F-GT sim and thankfully have continued it here. It looks great in most rooms, complemented by other black electronics like the display you use and also makes hiding cables (or making them more discreet) an easier task.

One of the big design decisions with this sim is the seat, the part you’ll interact with the most. This seat feels like its actually out of a car, the seat moulds around you, making you feel like you’re connected to the virtual car you’re driving. It’s seriously comfortable, even for long sessions of racing and given how easy it is to lose track of time, that’s a great asset. The seat is also finished in black leather, keeping with the stealthy overall look to the sim.

The exception to all that black is the proud Next Level Racing logo embedded in the headrest. You’ll also get a few stickers that you can choose to proudly present if you choose. The red in the logo works perfectly with the red straps of the 4-point racing harness, included in the sim.

The racing sim is designed to caters for a wide variety of wheels and pedals with all the mount points and adjustability you could want, designed in to enable racers of any size to enjoy. The seat rails are long which provides great flexibility when taking turns with friends of different heights. I love the design decision to move from a small adjustment handle to a full bar along the front of the seat, it just makes any adjustments so much easier and natural. The backrest angle can be adjusted with a simple pull of a handle on the left hinge when seated.

The more significant adjustments that can be made include the distance and angle of the pedal mounts, the height and angle of the wheel mount.

What’s really new in this sim, is the ability to choose between static floor mounts or rolling casters like you’d find on the bottom of an office chair. Personally, I went with the casters as I do move the sim between the Office and the Rumpus from time to time. If you’ve ever tried to move other racing sims, they’re usually heavy and awkward, so it’s a 2-person job. This can easily be rolled by a single person. Once you’ve settled it into the location, you can choose to lock the casters, another great design decision, given some will have this on hard surfaces and the last thing you want when getting on and off the sim, is for it move around.

FEATURES

Stand out features of this display.

Let’s talk about features and the GTtrack was designed with the close feedback of professional drivers and some of the world’s fastest eSports drivers to give you every feature required for serious sim racing. The complete rigidity of the GTtrack allows it to support direct drive wheels and professional pedal sets as well as being compatible with all major wheel and pedals including Thrustmaster, Logitech® and Fanatec.

As a serious sim racing solution, it features a 4-point racing harness, gear shifter and handbrake adaptor and Buttkicker Gamer 2 adaptor.

The biggest upgrade you can make is to add crazy Next Level Racing Motion Platform V3, a whole platform that slots in between the base frame and the seat rails. This motion platform then tilts and adjusts the whole seat to provide an even higher level of immersion. This can be installed in less than 10 minutes, like many adjustments just requiring an alan key on few bolts to make adjustments.

One of the features I wish the GTtrack had is the same mounting holes on the front that’d support the monitor mount from other NLR sims. While this is a fringe use case, I have the GT Ultimate V2 and it’d be great to use the monitor mount from that sim on the GTtrack.

The takeaway is that this sim is designed for professionals and serious sim racers. While I bolted on a Logitech G920 without issue, there are also pre-drilled mounting holes for all major brands including Thrustmaster, Logitech and Fanatec. The is really solid, built with the rigidity necessary to support direct drive wheels and professional pedal sets. The racing bucket seat is reinforced with the rigidity required for high-end motion. This differs from fibreglass simulator seats that don’t have the necessary flex.

In the box you’ll find the Next Level Racing GTtrack frame and seat including seat slider along with the 4 point racing harness and set of lockable wheel castors and height adjustable rubber feet. There are mounts for the gear shifter, a handbrake adaptor plate and Buttkicker Gamer 2 adaptor and conveniently you’ll find the screws to hard mount your wheel, shifter and pedals. There are also paper instructions to guide you through assembly, but this one is actually one of the easier to assemble, assuming you can get your way around Ikea furniture without issue.

Specifications

Supported Height – 120 -210 cm or 4ft – 6ft 9 inches

Supported Max Weight – 150 kg or 330 lbs

Product Dimensions – 138 x 120 x 55 cm or 54 x 47 x 21 inches, Boxed Dimensions – 100x61x59cm

Product Weight – 48kg, Boxed Weight- 60kg

Video hands-on

Below you’ll see a video of me racing on the GTtrack in Assetto Corsa Competizione, complete with the VR experience from the Oculus Rift. In terms of how it feels, it really is amazingly immersive and does exactly what racing sims should, it enables you to fool your brain to thinking you’re actually in a vehicle, to the point where you are looking through the corner, not just at the road ahead of you.

ISSUES

Not everything’s perfect

This section is designed to detail the issues and areas that can be improved upon so that future iterations of the products can be better. Honestly, the list of suggestions here is incredibly short, which demonstrates just how good this product is.

Display
While Next Level Racing now sells a free-standing mount for a single or triple display, I’d definitely love the option to bolt a monitor mount on the front of the GTtrack so that when you move it, you’re moving the entire sim. A number of times when I’ve moved it between rooms, there’s a 20-minute process to unplug, move, then reconnect everything. This could be a 30-second task if the monitor and a laptop mount (plenty of space under the seat) were included.

Adjustments
While the seat moves back and forward easily to accommodate different sized racers, other you’ll have adults and their kids switching in and out and that means a quick release adjustment to the steering wheel height would make all the difference. I get the arcade machines at timezone offer no better adjustments, but in a home situation, where your racing sessions last for hours, this would definitely be a nice addition.

That’s really the only feedback I’d give Next Level Racing, other than the price of their motion platform is too expensive, out of reach for many enthusiasts, so while the GTtrack can support it, many won’t ever get to bolt in on.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

How much and when can you get one ?

The GT Track from Next Level Racing is available now from their website for those of us in Australia, you can head to the Aussie importers, Pagnian Imports.

The NLR GT Track Racing Sim costs A$999.00 and that includes free delivery to anywhere in the country. For that price, it represents great value, with other racing sims costing well into the thousands. If you really want to spec it out, you can add the Motion platform v3 and a freestanding triple monitor stand accessories.

OVERALL

Final thoughts

After now having used 3 racing simulators from Next Level Racing, this is easily their best and by some margin. The biggest advance this time is definitely the seat, with clearly a larger portion of the purchase price being allocated to making you comfortable, I just can’t speak highly enough of this seat, I love racing in it. Even if it does get hot in the heat of battle, I’d rather bolt on a drink holder and keep racing.

The structural integrity of the frame is fantastic, rigid, strong and capable and importantly can accommodate even the most aggressive drift sessions.

Now I’ve used a sim on wheels, I’ll look differently about those that don’t offer that flexibility to move it around. Often when you buy a sim like this for your home, you end up slotting them into the corner of the back room, to get them out of the way of your family. The great thing about this being on wheels is that when you have the place to yourself, you could wheel it into the lounge room in front of the biggest TV in your home.

All boiled down, I think this sim is fantastic and can easily recommend any gaming enthusiast, or even a professional driver get one. I think the price tag is right for what’s on offer here and even once you add the cost of wheel and pedals, you’re still looking at a practical number, when these things can get out of control quickly. It’s worthwhile to understand how flexible the bolt on pieces are for the GTtrack, offering expandability and personalisation.

If you happen to be in the PlayStation camp, rather than Xbox or PC, then you should consider the dedicated PlayStation edition of the GTtrack that offers the PlayStation blue accents instead of the read found here. Either way, they both look great and will be a great talking point when you have visitors over, the only problem will be, getting them to leave.

More information at nextlevelracing.com/next-level-racing-gttrack

9.4
Review: Next Level Racing GT Track racing sim
The Good
  • Seat comfort
  • Simple movement thanks to casters
The Bad
  • No monitor stand included
  • Design
    9.3
  • Features
    9.8
  • Value
    9.0
Categories
GamingGeneralReviews

Creator of LSpotify, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
No Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Posts