Racing simulators are a pricey investment. The best drivers in the world often use them to familiarize themselves with various tracks; e-sports teams use them in competition. You may not think something like that can be a work of art. But as Wallpaper shows us, Prodrive’s newest rig proves a simulator can be as wonderful to look at as a Monet painting — thanks to some input from a world-famous designer.
Prodrive approached British automotive design icon Ian Callum to style this latest sim. Callum held positions at Ford and Jaguar, and his projects include cars like the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and DB9 and the first generation Jaguar XF. Callum also contributed to other legendary vehicles like the Ford RS200 and Escort RS Cosworth. When he left Jaguar in 2019, Callum started his own design firm. Simply called Callum, the firm specializes in designing one-off and limited edition products.
Prodrive chairman David Richards said the idea for a new racing sim came about during the Covid lockdowns of 2020. “We had a team entered in the virtual Le Mans race, and already had some high-end simulators that we tended to use for driver familiarization of racetracks. I use them myself when driving a support race for fun – I’ll go on the simulator for a few hours beforehand and just learn it” he said. So Prodrive enlisted Callum with the stipulation that Callum would handle all design work while Prodrive would deal with the technical stuff. The result is something that looks like it’s from the near future, where we’re all a little more stylish and cool.
Elegant and abstract at the same time, the sim blends organic and technological forms, and comes together in what Callum describes as “something that can be absorbed in one eyeful.” The canopy that covers the driver is made from 16 layers of birch wood with a lacquered gloss black finish; the seat itself appears to be floating, but it’s actually suspended and has a carbon monocoque housing.
While the design is impressive, the tech is less so. Prodrive says the system is purpose-built, which is cool. But they need someone to tell them the proper specs for a modern racing sim. The simulator uses a 12 GB GeForce RTX graphics card with just 16 GB of memory. Those last-gen console graphics get routed to a 49-inch curved display, and sound is handled by\ Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones.
If you want one, you’ll need some deep pockets. Callum says the simulator will cost £39,000 (or just over $47,000 at today’s exchange rates), and that doesn’t include shipping or tax. But Callum and Richards think most people will be drawn to it. “I wanted to create something that people would almost buy just to have the object itself” Callum says. You can head here to reserve yours.