This racing simulator is almost as good as the real thing

I’ve been on the race track more than a few times and watched drivers zipping around in their sweet little Ariel Atom cars.

The Ariel Atoms – which look like street legal F1 machines – are powered by various engines, but most I’ve come across seem to be equipped with Honda derived four-cylinder engines.

Considering the cool factor the Atom packs, it’s no surprise to see that the world’s first 180-degree spherical projection screen simulator is being used to play a racing game based on the car.

The company that actually built the system is called Motion Simulation, and, in addition to recreational racing games, the platform can be used to train pilots and professional racecar drivers.

Interestingly enough, while the simulator display is quite costly, the computer used to power the projector doesn’t have to be super high-end and costly. As long as it packs sufficient graphics muscle to handle 5760 x 1200 resolution any old Windows XP or 7 PC can run the show.

Nevertheless, the display costs a pretty penny indeed: $18,573 in the States. It actually boasts three screens on a single spherical projection surface without borders to provide a seamless look ahead.

The system also has an optional motion transducer that allows players to feel bumps in the road.

I can only imagine how awesome this particular set up would be to play Forza 4 or some other racing simulation.