??120K Cruden Hexatech racing simulator is the ultimate gift for an F1 fan

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The ??120K Cruden Hexatech F1 simulator

Still not sure what to buy for the F1 fan in your life? How about a full size professional racing simulator as used by F1 teams?

The Cruden Hexatech promises the most convincing racing experience money can buy with realistic G-Force simulation and steering feedback.

It comes with software to simulate fast lap shoot-outs, 24-hour endurance races and full championships in a range of disciplines including F1, NASCAR, rally cars and sports cars.

The display is projected onto three huge 42-inch screens. The company say the simulator will withstand hundreds of thousands of kilometres’ use, and should last 10 to 15 years.

Among Cruden’s customers is Nick Wirth, who used it to test his design for the Acura ARX-01 Le Mans car before a real-life example had been built.

Like Wirth’s forthcoming Virgin Racing F1 car, the majority of the ARX’s design was done using Computational Fluid Dynamics rather than wind-tunnel testing, showing the increasing role simulation is playing in car design.

Cruden commercial director Frank Kalff says:

Let?s be clear: this is not a video game linked up to a steering wheel, race seat and pedals. Although easy to operate, this is the exact same equipment used by the top racing drivers and engineers to improve their race craft and evaluate new tracks and car settings. Our simulator and the software it uses cannot be bought in a store.
Frank Kalff

Cruden’s staff will take care of installing the Hexatech IV for you providing you have the necessary 2.3m by 3m of floor space and a 3m high ceiling to fit it in.

For most of us, this is a fantasy purchase we’d buy if we won the lottery or a wealthy relative left us his life savings. You can try a Cruden Hexatech at I-Way near Lyon in France or the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. There will also be a model on display at Autosport International in Birmingham, UK next month.

I bet every rich kid who wants to be an F1 driver will be nagging daddy for one of these now. Those of us who can’t quite afford the ??120,000 (??135,000 / $193,000) price tag will just have to make do with Codemasters’ “F1 2009”.

For more information on the Cruden Hexatech see their website.

Video: Cruden Hexatech F1 simulator

Thanks Marrc for the video link

Cruden Hexatech F1 simulator pictures

Cruden Hexatech F1 simulator (click to enlarge)
Cruden Hexatech F1 simulator (click to enlarge)
Cruden Hexatech F1 simulator (click to enlarge)
Cruden Hexatech F1 simulator (click to enlarge)

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44 comments on “??120K Cruden Hexatech racing simulator is the ultimate gift for an F1 fan”

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  1. just 5 words WISH I COULD AFFORD IT!!!!

    1. Yup! I don’t a bed in my Studio Flat…I’ve got the space.

      Money? Has there ever been a greater incentive to be an awesomely fast window cleaner?

    2. ..my begging letter to Bernie’s ex-missus is on its way! she likes short, grey haired geriatrics with ‘tunnel’ vision….fits me to a ‘T’…

    1. Thanks for the tip Marrc have added the video above.

  2. Just wait till i win the lotto next week. I’ll get one then.

  3. It’s a bit out of my price range :P Suppose I can always dream
    Great article Keith.

  4. It is incredible.
    I would be seriously addicted in a few days. Nothing’s more probable than getting down and start spit out.
    It is absolutely great.

  5. If only I could win the lotto…

    And does anyone know what track that is? It looks like Silverstone but im not sure.

    1. I think it looks like the road america race track. There is a map in the corner of the computer screen there.

    2. Looks like Zandvoort to me, although I would hope both Silverstone and Road America are included….

      1. I mean the still photos in this article are of Zandvoort- the video in that link is Road America for sure.

  6. I wanna by it and for F1 fans in Jakarta convert to rupiah is about Rp.2,001,410,000,00 Oh my God !

  7. How about this for first prize in next year’s prediction championship???

  8. In my DREAMS I will be having it.

    1. In my DREAMS I will be having it.

      ?? Be careful while choosing specific words man!

      Here in the US, people can interpret your “statement” in several different ways :P

      I mean what exactly will you be having in your dreams? lol!

      1. Ha ha I was thinking the same thing Martin! But to be fair Wasif is Bangladeshi, you can’t expect his English to be completely perfect

        1. Apology for the mistake,I really doesn’t want to mean that.What I wanted to say that couple of days later is my birthday so if someone could give me as a gift.
          Will try to make sure that I don’t make any mistake like that in future.

  9. I’ve driven on one at Silverstone, World Series By Renault, Michelin had one on their stand. It’s a great simulator – full hydraulic brake system, excellent force feedback through the wheel, and a wonderful feeling of being there. Unlike other motion systems, you didn’t get a feeling of disorientation, because the screens are big enough that they fill your peripheral vision also.

  10. I really think that the F1 teams are making a mistake in opting for this particular design. Its range of motion and transient response are really rather inadequate for the job, especially when you compare these characteristics to those of a rival simulator – the Force Dynamics 401. Take a look at a video of it here:


    Catching a car’s slide with opposite lock and throttle control is such a fundamental part of the driver’s job, that without a more instantaneous yaw response, the Cruden fails and the Force Dynamics looks sublime. Without feeling the high frequency vibration when running over rumble strips, the Cruden all looks a bit too floaty compared to the brutality of the Force Dynamics (or, well, an F1 car).

    The secret of the Force Dynamics approach is to reduce the weight of the chassis. One of the videos of the 301 show the entire device physically moving across the room, such is its power to weight ratio! The Cruden’s massive chassis tubes look nice, but don’t look very optimised.

    The Force Dynamic’s kinematics are designed to bring the centre of rotation as high up as practical, so that, for example, when a right hand corner is entered, the head does not move left too far as the platform leans left This problem of conflicting messages from the transient and steady state dynamics is pretty fundamental to a floor-mounted motion platform. Hanging it all from the ceiling would push up the price somewhat though.

    Another interesting simulator of note, albeit for the more sedate world of road car simulation, is the unfortunately amusingly named NADS – the National Advanced Driving Simulator. The graphics could do with a Grand Theft Auto makeover, but the scale of the hardware is highly impressive. I suspect that even Bill Gates might still baulk at the cost of it as a Christmas present though…


    1. The Force Dynamic system over does the yaw and fails in most other dof compared to the unit above.

      The inner ear doesn’t really need to swill 90deg at a 90deg corner to make it think it just made a 90deg corner. some yaw is good but overdo it and it’s a carnival ride nothing more.

      1. AP – I’m David from Force Dynamics – you’re welcome to come to our shop to try the 401 and see for yourself! And that’s not a snarky comment, either. If you can make it to upstate NY, I’d be glad to show you the machine; it’s one thing to impress people who like you to begin with, but if you can convert a skeptic you know you’ve done your job well.

        The reason for large yaw is to avoid fast washout, which results in parasitic forces that destroy the illusion. We actually tend to raise the real:simulated yaw ratio by quite a bit.

        Still, there’s no evidence we’ve run into that suggests that 1:1 yaw is unrealistic. There can be external elements that cause problems – seeing objects ‘moving around’ outside the displays, for one, or failure of the rotation axis to adequately match transients in the simulation output, for another. But if you deal with those, there’s no reason to pull back the yaw ratio.

        There are also more elements than the inner ear involved in the yaw feel – the loading on your shoulders and body in general changes as well. You have to take all these things into account.

        We did a lot of testing with various yaw setups, and came to the conclusion that having more range is better for a few reasons:

        1) Larger range is important not because big rotations are big, but because small rotations are perceptible. With a +/- 15 degree yaw range, 1 degree changes in vehicle angle are imperceptible unless you apply nonlinear scaling or apply very fast washouts, which get extremely difficult to handle correctly and are *always* suboptimal. The ability to provide subtle rotation cues without intrusive washout is *ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL* to feel. I can’t emphasize that enough!

        2) You can deal with fast, large rotations if you set the center of rotation correctly. Put it too far back and you feel like you’re driving an office chair; too far forward and you feel like you’re on the end of a rope.

        3) Washout, as mentioned before. Even at the same ratio – say, 10 degrees of simulated yaw to 1 degree of physical output yaw – a wide rotation range allows slower washout and fewer parasitic forces; your brain doesn’t think your car is rotating to the left immediately after you exit a right hand corner and start heading down the straight.

        As far as carnival rides go – our customers use our machines in many different arenas, and some are intentionally aiming for the ‘carnival ride’ type experience.

        Cuing setup and software have a massive impact on perceived simulator performance, so for anyone out there who’s done a 5-minute run in one of our machines and said, “This is ludicrous!”, keep in mind that the operators may have set them up to draw a crowd or leave riders weak-kneed, rather than provide the most realistic possible experience.

        I think that in general we’ve got a pretty competitive setup vs. Cruden. They’ve got a proprietary system that gives them a better force feedback steering, and the size of the platforms gives them the ability to have larger payloads, but we have much lower power requirements, easy setup, easy transport and much smaller size, more flexible and open software support, equivalent or better roll/pitch/z performance and much better yaw performance, better transient and high frequency response – and a one hell of a lot smaller price tag!

  11. I think 120k is a rip off for 3 screens each costing around £700, some hydraulics and a pc. Probably the net cost of it is 10-15k. Except the fact that not many people sell them and even less buy them gives them freedom to put such a price tag. DVD-ROM drives used to cost £400 too and now they cost £20. Hopefully in 20 years time these things will sell for appropriate prices.

    1. What price do you put on the software? You know, someone had to program the thing, what is their time worth? How man man hours went into it?

      You should try putting one together, and then you might realize what a big part ‘software’ is to any computer. Without it, the hardware is just a giant doorstop.

      The price is expensive, but now you know why.

      1. the software is available for free….LOL

        1. or I should say there is software available for free…

  12. Useless – it doesn’t even have real crash effects, it cant flip you upside down and roll you over and over and over.

    1. you would expect for 129k it would do that, and break your neck and stuff? lmao

  13. That’s definitely Road America.

  14. Pedel to the Vettel
    20th December 2009, 18:17

    dont worry in about 30 years that will be as much as an xbox 360……………….

  15. Though it would be very nice to hace one (really nice, in fact!), it’s hella expensive! I base my tought in this: In a simulator that makes you experience “G-forces” by turning you around, there’s no way it could deliver more than 1G of acceleration feel, and that would be when completely vertical or horizontal (at 45º is 0.7G)
    I’d go with a real car capable of doing some good cornering, which would be a litte more expensive, but real!

  16. With that amount of money you could pay for 2 seasons in Formula Palmer Audi and still have money left over!

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