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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Virtual racing fans looking for the most realistic experience outside of a race car should start saving up their dollars. Fanatec, creator of the Porsche branded steering wheel and pedal set for gamers, has evolved one of its best products with its new ClubSport Pedals V2.
Having experienced Fanatec’s products firsthand, we undoubtedly believe that its products are as close as it gets in the virtual racing world. The first generation of ClubSport pedals featured all-metal construction, high-end technology in an industrial design package with a fairly reasonable price. Now a new version is out, priced at $250 (includes ClubSport Wheel) and offers even more for the ultimate race fanatic.
The ClubSport Pedals V2 now come in either anodized black or polished aluminum and when combined with its color kits, gamers can sport gray, orange, red, or blue colored combinations. One of the biggest improvements however is a hydraulic brake complete with an oil damper to give it a very realistic and dampened feeling. Gamers can adjust the stiffness of the pedal by replacing the silicone oil with different viscosity types and can also change the spring tension on the damper.
Another enhancement to the pedal set is a degressive clutch mechanism that now gives the clutch pedal a much more realistic feature. Again, the spring strength can be adjusted to the gamer’s liking.
Unfortunately an upgrade kit won’t be made available for current ClubSport Pedals owners, but we’re sure you can fetch a good price used on craigslist or eBay if you’re looking to upgrade. Pre orders will be up on Fanatec’s website starting in May and the company hopes to have its first shipments in America by June.
GALLERY: Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V2
Check out an intro video of Fanatec’s ClubSport Pedals V2 after the break.
The SRT Viper debuted at the New York Auto Show earlier this week and has become the new, hot, and trending topic since then. As with any vehicle debut, there’s mixed emotions and opinions about it, but overall the reception on the SRT Viper is that it’s a success.
But for most automotive enthusiasts, the new SRT Viper will be an unobtainable vehicle and many will never have the opportunity to drive one. That is unless you own an Xbox 360 and a copy of Forza Motorsport 4. The 2013 SRT Viper will be hitting the virtual racing world long before it will even hit the streets of America.
It is believed that the SRT Viper will be added as a downloadable content (DLC) sometime this summer, well ahead of the Viper’s 2013 sale date. Powered by an 8.4L V10 powerplant with 640-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, the new SRT Viper also features a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission.
Watch a video of the 2013 SRT Viper in action in Forza Motorsport 4 after the break.
The popular Xbox racing simulator Forza Motorsport 4 has had monthly add-ons ever since it came out in October 2011. For April though they’ve released another car-pack featuring 10 very different and very interesting cars to play with.
The Aplinestars Pack features a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, fully decked out in racing livery. Gamers should be happy to note that 9 other interesting vehicles are included in the pack. For 560 Microsoft Points (about $7) you’ll get access to the 2011 Mercedes-Benz #35 Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3, 2011 Aston Martin #009 Aston Martin Racing AMR One, 2012 Jaguar XKR-S, 1995 BMW M5, 2011 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S, 1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE, 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, 2012 Scion tC and 1997 Volvo 850 R.
Turn10 studio, the company behind Forza Motorsport 4 has provided a cool trailer for the upcoming add-on, which will be available April 3. Check it out below.
Thrustmaster has the next best thing to being behind the wheel of a Ferrari. All you need is an Xbox 360 and a passion for racing games.
Thrustmaster’s Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel is licensed by both Xbox 360 and Ferrari, and it will take your gaming experience to a whole new level. A replica wheel of the Forza Motorsport 4 hero, the Racing Wheel measures in 11″ in diameter, making it 7/10ths the size of the original, and it comes equipped with rubber texture cladding for optimal handling. Plus, its wheel-mounted sequential gearbox features two Ferrari GT-style metal paddle shifters, so you can improve your lap times consistently.
Boasting unique design with exceptional ergonomics, the developers of the Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel have thought of everything. There are various action buttons and controls that are right at your fingertips, so you can customize all the relevant settings before your race starts up. Its 270° steering radius lets you make those sharp turns every time, while the pedal set offers realistic resistance and angle, so it really feels like you’re burning rubber on the track. It also comes with an Xbox guide button with an illuminated ring that indicates the player number, a super-stable V-shaped clamping system that can be attached to any table or desk and an Xbox 360 USB 2.0 full speed cable with InLine Quick Release connector.
The Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel is compatible with Xbox 360 and PC, and when it hits stores this October, you can pick it up for $89.99. To find a store that sells it near you, visit the Thrustmaster website.
Now that we’ve all had some time to settle in on the disappoint that was Gran Turismo 5, virtual racers can look forward to the upcoming release of the Xbox 360 flagship driving simulator, Forza Motorsport 4. On October 11th, gamers from all around the world will be able to experience the next installment of the Forza Motorsport series, and with it comes a limited collector’s edition packed with virtual goodies, and a few actual ones too!
The limited collector’s edition of Forza Motorsport 4 will feature a Steelbook DVD case along with a VIP virtual car pack that includes a 2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, 2011 Ferrari 458 Challenge, 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, 2010 Noble M600 and 2011 RUF Rt 12 R. Those willing to pre-order Forza Motorsport 4 will get a limited quantity “Ship Bonus” car pack which consists of a 1965 Ford Mustang GT Coupe, 2011 Koenigsegg Agera, 1997 Lexus SC300, 2011 RUF RGT-8 and 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport.
That’s not all, as there will also be a 10 car add-on pack that features some of the best American muscle cars the game has to offer. The not-so-exclusive content will be custom-designed BMW cars that were part of the Forza Motorsport 4 BMW Design Challenge. Though it will come with the collector’s edition, users will be able to purchase the content from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Think that’s it? Of course not. Non-virtual goodies will include a 96-page book titled Cars of Forza Motorsport 4 Presented by Top Gear” and features commentary accompanying the in-game Autovista experience. You’ll also get some vinyl stickers, VIP Membership status to the online community and an exclusive BMW theme available for download on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Last but not least, Forza Motorsport 4 is really leveraging their relationship with BMW by featuring the all new M5 as the box cover car. The M5 can be downloaded as a drivable car via Xbox LIVE Marketplace (included in the collector’s edition) and gamers will be able to enjoy Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson talk about the M5 in the Autovista mode.
Forza Motorsport 4 is shaping up to become one of the greatest, if not the greatest, driving simulator game ever. Whether or not you believe Gran Turismo still holds that title is up to you, but we’re hoping that Forza lives up to the hype, unlike its Sony-exclusive competitor.
With auto/gamer enthusiast eagerly awaiting the release of Forza Motorsport 4 for XBOX 360, they will be happy to know an new element to the gameplay has been implemented to enhance the experience. Head-Tracking is the brand new feature offered through the Kinect system, allowing the gamer to lean in and out of corners as well as look in different directions from within the cockpit by moving your head.
For those not familiar with Kinect, it is basically a motion sensing device based loosely on a webcam that allows users to control gaming actions with their movements, rather than pushing buttons on a regular joystick.
The head-tracking feature allows the driver to look through the turn, which as any professional driving instructor will tell you, is a vital action when executing an apex turn.
The Kinect head tracking element looks pretty interesting. Check out the video after the jump!
Okay, so we know that not everyone is a video game junkie, so we’ll take some time to explain what’s been going on in the wonderful world of technology. Microsoft’s XBOX 360 console has entered the realm of controller-less gaming, where your body’s movements and actions will dictate what goes on in the game, essentially taking what the Nintendo Wii has offered to the public and adding another dimension to it. Through its Kinect (formerly known as Project Natal) interface, the XBOX 360 will be able to monitor your closest movements, actions and mimic them on the television.
So while just the idea that we have this technology at our disposal is amazing, implementing it for our favorite driving game simulator is overly enticing. Recently Turn 10 did a nice demo where they invited out several industry personnel to see the Kinect experience. By simply putting your hands out in the 10 and 2 position, you will be able to control your vehicle in the ever popular video game series without the need of having an actual steering wheel. We’re a little lost on how you control braking and accelerating though.
The concept is great and we look forward to XBOX 360′s Kinect to see just how it’ll revolutionize gaming, but something tells us (being hardcore car enthusiasts) we’d still prefer the actual touch and feel of a nice steering wheel, especially with the force feedback many of them provide. It may be tons of fun for casual gamers to simulate the driving experience without the actual need of additional hardware, but for now we’ll stick to what we’re used to. But hey, let’s not discredit the technology and where Forza Motorsport is heading into the future. The combination of an actual steering wheel and pedal assembly with the idea of being able to simply move your head to change your view or look around you is entertaining in its own right.
Check out the official press release after the jump.
And here we thought our Nintendo NES (yes, the gray original one) was the best gaming system since sliced bread. Actually, this author one of the few people to have completely finished Gran Turismo 4…like three years ago. Heck, the Nissan GT-R was still a concept back then!
That GT5 has been such a wait is no surprise. But news that the latest will have support for 3D televisions makes us want to, um, cry. See, it’ll look amazing and everything, but we were happy with RC Pro-Am on our NES. We never even bought a steering wheel for our Playstation, but now we have to buy 3D glasses?
So much for impressing dates.
That said, even if you don’t have a 3D TV — or don’t plan on buying one — the new Gran Turismo has hundreds of cars, models from Ferrari and Lamborghini, and tracks from around the world (including our favourite, Tsukuba.) If the closest race track is too far away, this new sim may be the next best thing.
Click over the jump to watch the interview where 3D is confirmed.