RaceDepartment received an invitation from Kunos for the press event to celebrate the upcoming version 1.0 of their racing simulator, Assetto Corsa. The challenge proposed was very clear. An offer for a unique opportunity to experience how it feels to drive some of the greatest GT cars, both in their simulator, and on track. Back to back testing, and comparing. This was all to take place at their headquarters, the Autodromo di Vallelunga – Rome, Italy. The confidence needed to organize an event like this, shows that Kunos is certain of its product, and has strong believes in the sense of reality this simulation brings. Exact details were not revealed, so we had no idea which cars might be there, or what the day had in store for us. But naturally, we could not resist and after some discussing within the staff forum, two of our resident staff members were selected to experience this great opportunity to see for ourselves if and how realistic this simulation actually is. After a nice flight in, we arrived at the Vallelunga Park Hotel, located 50 meters away from the entrance of the track offering an amazing view over the first part of the track. The entire place literally breathes racing, in all its pure forms. From racing tires, to bumpers, from hoods to the gloves of Michael Schumacher, it’s all there. The moment you wake up, you are welcomed by the glorious smell of burning rubber, and the roaring sounds of the engine getting pushed hard onto the first set of flowing corners. We got a warm welcome from Kunos, and after the needed paperwork, got our access pass for the track. We packed our gear together, and started the quest, determined not to leave the track before we were convinced of the quality of Assetto Corsa. The first thing we ran into, was a nicely decorated pit box, and the roaring sounds of the Assetto Corsa game. A closer inspection showed four normal racing seats, with Fanatec wheels, and one motion simulator. The screen of the simulator was black, which immediately took our attention... The first nice conclusion of the day, Oculus Rift DK2 support was working! One thing that we needed to check out for sure. After a brief walk around the area, the official press conference started. Following an Italian version, which sounded like a total mystery to our non-italian speaking staff, luckily we were given an English version so non-italians could understand it as well. Again, the objective of the day was clearly stated. Is the term Simulazione used in a righteous way, or are we looking at “just” another racing game with great looks? To make sure the term Simulazione is used correctly, Kunos has great attention for factual details. All the official content in the game is officially licensed, and with that built on 100% real-life specifications. To get the closest to real feeling cars and the tyres they use have to behave as they should, and it needs to be accurate, no values are guessed, or estimated. Announced improvements made on the tire model are: Blistering: When the tires get too hot, small "heat bubbles" will form, and then little pieces get ripped from the surface of the tire. Graining: Very often, this happens when the tires are getting abused, or is a bit too cold for the treatment it get's, it can very easily happen at the start of a race, if the tires are not brought up to correct temperature. Blistering and graining are non-reversible, and you will lose grip and have slower lap times once you've encountered these problems. This is also a reason why pitstops are very important for Kunos to get out. For now, Kunos announced that pit stops will be on multiplayer only. Eventually, AI will be capable of pitting as well, but there is no indication given on when that will be. A nice addition to the current content is going to be LaFerrari. This recently announced flagship model of Ferrari, features some unique specifications, and of course, Kunos has brought them into the game. The unique KERS system does not only work as extra boost, but also adds to braking ability utilising the resistance of the electric motors when the traction control is engaged. This recharges the KERS system, and helps the driver to keep the car under control simultaneously. As soon as the full grip is returned in the tires, the energy is released again to boost the car away. This unique feature is found only in Assetto Corsa. So, after all these nice words, it was time to do some checking for ourselves. After looking around some more, we noticed a very familiar track on one of the normal rigs. The GT on the screen was screaming downhill, rapidly approaching Eau Rouge, and it looked stunning! Now we all know, looks aren’t everything. We are still challenging the game here, so just the looks, is simply not enough. We want the real deal, the closest thing to the real experience. Unfortunately, most of us do not get the opportunity to drive on real life tracks every week, so we did not know the real track of Spa well enough, to compare. An expert on the matter was needed, and we found one. Mr. Gabriele Piana is one of the instructors of RSRNurburg. They have a driving academy on both the Nürburgring, and Spa Francorchamps, and he has done many, many miles on both tracks. Gabriele was able to check out the track, and watch for those special places only a regular knows. His verdict was very short. Spot on. The only thing he could see that was missing was a cone here and there. Since we had the opportunity, we naturally invited Gabriele to test the Nürburg GP as well, after a few laps, he came to the exact same conclusion. Spot on again! This left us with Vallelunga. This time we had our own experience from the game, to compare with the real deal. We had the option to be driven around by a professional, to ensure the closest comparison possible, or to try out one of the cars present under the supervision of a professional. As they wanted to keep the cars in one piece, we were not allowed to push the car. Despite that, the feeling on the track, the flow in the corners, the elevation and drops, and the elimination of sight due to those height differences was so good that with the right settings in the game, it’s exactly the same as on the real track. After doing some intense practicing at home, it felt almost natural the first time on the track; it was almost as if it was not the first time there. The laserscan technology seems to work out. As we can see on the pictures and in the animation, the amount of data registered during such a scan, is enormous. This is good news for us, as it results in super accurate tracks for us to enjoy. What can we expect for the coming time? Well, we do not know. We have no exact dates, as they were not released to us. What we do have, is a nice overview of the announced content of version 1.0, and the announced DLC. Version 1.0 CARS: Abarth 500 EsseEsse Abarth 500 EsseEsse S1 (upgrade*) Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde BMW 1 Series M Coupè BMW 1 Series M Coupè S3 (upgrade*) BMW M3 E30 Sport Evolution BMW M3 E30 Sport Evolution S1 (upgrade*) BMW M3 E30 Sport Evolution Drift (upgrade*) BMW M3 E30 Group A BMW M3 E30 Group A 1992 version (upgrade*) BMW M3 E92 BMW M3 E92 S1 (upgrade*) BMW M3 E92 Drift (upgrade*) BMW M3 E92 GT2 BMW Z4 E89 35is BMW Z4 E89 35is S1 (upgrade*) BMW Z4 E89 35is Drift (upgrade*) BMW Z4 GT3 Classic Team Lotus Type 49 Classic Team Lotus Type 98T Ferrari F1 312T Ferrari 458 Italia Ferrari 458 Italia S3 (upgrade*) Ferrari 458 GT2 Ferrari 599XX Evo Ferrari F40 Ferrari F40 S3 (upgrade*) Ferrari LaFerrari KTM X-BOW R Lotus Elise SC Lotus Elise SC S1 (upgrade*) Lotus Elise SC S2 (upgrade*) Lotus Evora GTC Lotus Evora GTE Lotus Evora GTE Carbon Lotus Evora GX Lotus Evora S Lotus Evora S S2 (upgrade*) Lotus Evora SR Lotus Exige 240R Lotus Exige 240R S3 (upgrade*) Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Roadster Lotus Exige Scura Lotus Exos 125 Lotus Exos 125 S1 (upgrade**) McLaren MP4-12C McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Mercedes AMG SLS Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 Scuderia Glickenhaus P4/5 Competizione Pagani Huayra Pagani Zonda R AC Shelby Cobra 427S/C Tatuus Formula Abarth Version 1.0 Tracks: Drag strip Drift test circuit Nurburgring GP Nurburgring Sprint Imola “Enzo & Dino Ferrari” Magione Autodromo di Monza Monza historic 1966 Mugello Silverstone Silverstone International Silverstone National Spa Francorchamps Trento Bondone hill climb Vallelunga Vallelunga Club FREE CONTENT AFTER 1.0 Release! Zandvoort Ruf Yellowbird Nissan GTR Corvette stingray C7 Silverstone historical 60s Monza 1962 Abarth 595ss vintage Abarth 500 Assetto Corse (race car) Toyota GT86 Alfa Romeo Mito Quadrifoglio Verde Scuderia Glickenhaus P4/5 Audi R8 Plus (2014) Audi S1 Quattro Lotus Exige R-Cup Scuderia Glickenhaus P4/5 Competizione 2012 Hybrid DREAM PACK DLC: Nurburgring Nordschleife Sauber Mercedes C9 Corvette C7R GTE Nissan GTR GT3 Alfa Romeo 4C Alfa Romeo GTA Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI McLaren P1 McLaren F1 GTR Ruf RT 35 S Mercedes 190 E 2.6-16 Evolution 2 A very impressive list, considering all that is present is officially licensed, and fully accurate. It is a lot to look forward to, and we are confident that the additional cars and tracks announced are a joy for the sight, and one hell of a drive. So, where does that leave us after the day. To be honest, the verdict over the question asked was simple to us. Yes, Assetto Corsa deserves the title Simulazione. The experience we had, has confirmed that this is as close as it can get to real racing and now we are looking forward to the full release of this amazing title. Exact dates are not known at this moment, but according to the facebook page of Kunos, important news is to be announced this week! We await that what is coming, and are looking forward to take the newly announced ladies out on the track. We would like to thank Kunos for this amazing opportunity! Check out the rest of these videos including in-game and real life footage. AC Gameplay: LaFerrari @ SPA Lotus Racing @ Vallelunga Assetto Corsa Teaser AC Gameplay: 312T @ Imola Kunos Pit Garage The Cars Available to Drive Laps in GT86 Close up RSeat Motion Simulator movement Short overall impression Press event For more on Assetto Corsa make sure to visit the forums, up- and download your favorite mods and share your videos and photos with the rest of the community.