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The problem with a track day terror like the Ariel Atom is this: it may be fun to flog around the nearest road course. but it isn’t much fun to drive on public roads to and from the track, especially if the weather is less than ideal.
Then there’s the issue of tires to think about: if you’ve got expensive, sticky and short-lived race rubber on your Atom, you won’t want to use it up on the street. That pretty much requires you to invest in a trailer and tow vehicle to haul your Atom to and from track days.
Now Motion Simulation, via Autoblog, offers track day junkies another alternative. For £11,500 (about $18,600) you can buy the company’s TL1 simulator, which gives you a “full immersion” in the racing experience.
The TL1 starts with 180-degrees of screen, giving the driver peripheral as well as forward vision. Three ultra-high definition projectors deliver a seven-million pixel image, which should provide more than enough detail to learn the precise line around Laguna Seca.
The seat is fully adjustable to simulate the driving position of vehicles ranging from the Ariel Atom through a Formula One car (or jet fighter, or Chieftain tank, depending upon your gaming preference). While the TL1 is sold without computer hardware, it’s compatible with either PC or current console platforms like the PS3 and the XBox 360. Yes, we think it would be ideal for Simraceway, too.
The TL1 was developed in cooperation with the Ariel Motor Company, which gave its expertise in product design to the project. The TL1 is designed to be portable (although we doubt you’d want to relocate it on a daily basis) and is sturdy enough for commercial use as well.
If $18,600 is more money than you’re willing to spend to lower your lap times, take heart: Motion Simulation will also be offering a cockpit-only version that allows gamers to use existing displays. Pricing hasn’t been set, but we’d expect it to be priced on par with similar driving rigs available today.