ProDrive and Callum turn the racing simulator into art



It is the race simulator’s turn for a makeover, one that will let the grubby gamer’s toy come up from the basement to breathe fresher air as part of the faux-museum setting of so many modern homes. Two heavyweight British names have created the piece you see here, longtime race maestros ProDrive and the design consultancy Callum, headed by ex-Jaguar design boss Ian Callum. Story goes that when ProDrive CEO Dave Richards mentioned getting a rig for a game room in his new home, his wife said “‘over my dead body,’ because these things just look so lashed together.” So, with various lockdowns keeping everyone inside and ProDrive folks keeping sharp in various virtual series’, Richards had time to think about creating a race simulator that could look the part as well as any grand piano in a certain kind of residence.

He called Callum for an exterior design. The consultancy laid up 16 layers of birch in the form of a meta-cradle, then lacquered the birch in dark, brilliant layers of gloss black. Within that, a carbon fiber cradle supports the input and display devices. It won’t be missed in a room even beyond its artistic contribution, the simulator sitting 12 feet, 10 inches long, a little more than 4 feet wide, and nearly 4.5 feet tall. 

As it does with many of its race team clients, ProDrive handled the bits that make the simulator go. A custom computer with 16GB of RAM includes an Nvidia 12GB GeForce RTX graphics card. ProDrive didn’t specify the card model, but it’s likely either a 2060, 3060, 3080 or 3080 Ti. Virtual drivers sit in a Cobra Nogaro Street seat. A Simcube Pro 2 steering motor sends feedback to a Precision Sim Engineering steering wheel with 12 buttons, five knobs, two toggles, and carbon shift paddles. A mechanical pedal box with electrical adjustment sits in the footwell. Visuals from the installed Assetto Corsa sim program are thrown up on a 49-inch, curved AOC 5K gaming monitor with a 165-hertz refresh rate, and audio gets sent through the monitor speakers or a pair of Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones. 

There are but two details we question about this racing sim. The keyboard sits in a pocket on the left side of the driver cradle, meaning it needs to be removed whenever keys are needed beyond the assignable inputs on the wheel. And it deserves a name befitting such furniture, something better than “Racing Simulator.”

The cost: £39,000, which comes out to nearly $47,000 before taxes and shipping. And because this is the way all things are going nowadays, those interested are invited to express their interest. After doing so, they’ll be invited to tour ProDrive’s race operation and given a chance to test the simulator on the premises. Assuming the deal gets closed, ProDrive will deliver and install the sim. The company expects to build one per week, and first deliveries are planned for later this year. 

And you’ll be happy to know that Richards’ plan worked. “My wife actually said she’d accept it in the sitting room, not the games room,” he said.



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