A perfectly decent racing sim setup with a wheel, pedals and a PC can be purchased new for less than $1,000, and the latest and greatest gear can put you in five-figure territory. But this full F1 Simulator will put you as close to a Grand Prix driver's seat as possible... for a cool $170,000.
The UK's Cranfield Simulation supplies state-of-the-art training systems to teams in NASCAR, Formula One and other motorsports. Those systems employ four modules of motion technology that operate in 11 degrees of freedom across all six axis to create an incredibly visceral driving sensation.
Without getting too technical, Cranfield's "G-Seat" uses pneumatic pressure and multiple expanding and contracting airbags to simulate the extreme gravitational forces experienced while racing. Meanwhile, the G-Seat's Proportional Rapid Onset (PRO) System accurately replicate very minor and fast movements.
The platform situated at the base of the simulator mimics lateral movements of the rear end of the vehicle, which is necessary to feel the limits of traction of the rear tires. At each corner of the platform a linear actuator that can pitch the module forwards and backwards to simulate a suspension under acceleration and braking, as well as from side to side body roll.
In addition to F1 cars, Cranfield has programmed models for road cars, off-roading 4x4s, and vehicles specced for nearly every major four-wheel racing series. If you'd rather purchase virtual cars than, say, an AMG-tuned G-Wagen, feel free to learn more about Cranfield's F1 Simulator here.