This aluminum profile simulation racing cockpit is the best on the market. If you are looking to up your game, Next Level Racing F-GT Elite iRacing Edition should be on your shopping list.
The DIY mentality abounds in sim racing, as you’ll see from the cacophony of custom cockpits on the internet. Aluminum extrusion is a huge favorite within the community, but going it alone is never as easy as choosing a ‘pre-built’ deck. So some sim racing hardware manufacturers have decided to bridge that gap.
Enter the F-GT Elite iRacing Edition, a stylish aluminum profile offering from Next Level Racing. A duplicate of the F-GT Elite, usually completely black, but with blue accents, not unlike what the Australian sim maker did with the F-GT Lite iRacing Edition.
If you want the most robust, customizable and versatile cockpit in the Next Level Racing line, look no further.
There are plenty of aluminum profile cabs on the market, but none of them look as good as the F-GT Elite. Extrusion equipment is not really course To look good. They exist as means to an end, they function on form.
Although it’s clear that Next Level Racing decided not to take that approach and instead created something that really stands out.
The use of angled cut and mounted extrusion (thanks to custom mounting hardware) gives the booth a truly unique profile, making it feel more like a completely original design than using a tried and tested format, albeit with the benefit added to being compatible with basically anything you can attach to the standard extrusion.
Very pun intended here, but the packaging of this cabin really was “next level”. Each piece nestled snugly in its own cutout within a sea of Styrofoam, ensuring nothing was damaged in transit. If you drop an extrusion part and dent its channels, it’s almost useless.
Unlike the last aluminum extrusion rig I built and reviewed, I was also able to build the F-GT Elite pretty much on my own.
Pre-drilled holes in the base of the cab made it incredibly easy to get started, and since the aluminum has markings on most parts, it was perfect for discerning which part was what.
If not, some parts came with ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ stickers in case you really glued. The aforementioned custom mounting hardware made getting the vertical extrusion into place a breeze and required no awkward balancing in place to start the screws.
To make things even easier, the F-GT Elite gives you all the tools you need to build it, including two sizes of Allen wrench and the same two-diameter bits for a ratcheting tool not often included. You also get a slightly magnetic bubble level to use when attaching the wheel mounting plate, which is honestly a blessing. Kudos to you, Next Level Racing, for making this process so easy and accessible!
The only moments of pain came when putting on said wheel mounting plate, as it is quite heavy and difficult to hold in place. and screw simultaneously. Sitting awkwardly under him and using my shoulder to thread things almost worked, though having someone else close at hand would have kept me from looking like an idiot altogether.
Finally, while the trim cutouts in the blue pedal support pieces are pretty nifty, the M8 washers used throughout the kit are too small to use here as they fall through the cutouts at certain points. I would recommend swapping them out for larger washers, as long as you have some compatible ones laying around.
Once you’ve assembled the cabin, it’s not time to run alone however, as he has to adjust everything to suit his (or John’s) needs.
In the places where you’d be loosening bolts and moving things for the steering wheel and/or pedals, those aluminum profile pieces have been laser etched with markings to keep everything aligned with no guesswork. Also, you still have that magnetic spirit level from before.
Aluminum profile rigs aren’t as easy or quick to adjust as some more custom offerings on the market, but that’s really by design. These cabins have far more adjustment options compared to products with a few select positions to put things in, so while it’s a bit more of a hassle to get things right, at least it’s going to be exactly as you want
Moving the wheel plate to the right spot was definitely better with two people, and adjusting the height and pedal adjustment was easy, albeit with the washer issue I mentioned earlier.
Overall, though, the F-GT Elite’s initial build and tune-up was wonderfully straightforward. The instruction booklet was much more detailed compared to other Next Level Racing products and compared to other extrusion rigs I’ve built, it wasn’t as cumbersome or tiring.
By default, the cockpit of the F-GT Elite does not They come with a seat, but the mounting hardware is universal, meaning you can fit just about anything you want on there. We chose to stay true to the brand and chose an Elite ES1, the recommended seat for this particular team. After getting everything ready for the race, how are you doing?
It may sound strange, but you hardly know the F-GT Elite is there while you are using it. Getting in and out of the cab is incredibly easy – who would have thought adding a simple foot rest in the middle of the floor would make such a difference? – and to say that it is a robust construction is an understatement.
Grip the wheel hard and slam your foot on the brakes, wave your arms like crazy as you try to correct a spin, raise the roof with your loud, gesticulating celebrations as you take pole – the F-GT Elite doesn’t move a muscle.
Not a creak, not a whisper.
Priced at £999/$1,009 (excluding seat), it’s not a budget issue in the slightest, nor would it be a platform for first-time sim racers, unless you have the money to burn.
But it is value that? From the quality of the components to the degree of care in packaging and shipping, to how simple it was to build, adjust and use, absolutely is It’s worth the price. The fact that you have a caddy to bolt to the side of the cab to keep the supplied tools accessible and tidy is worth a lot in itself. That and the little spirit level.
Finally, something I alluded to earlier, the fact that this is Aluminum extrusion with non-proprietary channels means this kit is compatible with a wide range of seats and accessories, regardless of manufacturer. We still have a cup holder from a previous aluminum shelf that needs to go somewhere, maybe now it has found a home.
Keep an eye on the Traxion YouTube channel, as the F-GT Elite has taken up the mantle of John’s studio platform. If you’re ever on the track, you’ll be driving in the best of Next Level Racing…
Revised with Thrustmaster TS-XW base, Ferrari SF1000 rim and T-LCM pedals.
Full disclosure: The F-GT Elite iRacing Edition was provided by the manufacturer for review purposes. The ELITE ES1 was purchased for review. This is our review policy.