It’s been a few months since Motorsport Games announced Le Mans Ultimate, the first official Le Mans game in over 20 years in development by rFactor 2’s Studio 397.
After showing off an early build of the game to the public at the centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Motorsport Games has released new work-in-progress screenshots of the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar and offered insight into the car-building process.
First look at Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar in Le Mans Ultimate
2021 marked the start of an exciting new golden age of endurance racing with the introduction of the Hypercar class replacing LMP1. This year’s season saw hypercars from Ferrari and Peugeot make their Le Mans racing debut, joining Toyota, Vanwell, and Glickenhaus on the grid.
After a close battle with Peugeot, Ferrari won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, marking the Italian manufacturer’s first victory at the prestigious endurance race for the first time in nearly 60 years.
For the first time, Le Mans Ultimate will let you race all 2023 FIA WEC Hypercars along with a wealth of LMP2 and GTE cars. New screenshots released by Motorsport Games showcase the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar sporting impressive levels of fidelity. Peugeot's pace was formidable in the first half of the endurance race until the #94 car slammed into the barrier.
“We are doing things that haven’t been seen on other sims concerning cars”
Every Le Mans hypercar is built from CAD data and reference photos. Because Le Mans Ultimate is an officially licensed game, the team has worked closely with the manufacturers with access to more resources for building cars than rFactor 2.
“Having the CAD is essential as the cars all have unique shapes – so we want to make all these cars 100% accurate. References and photos are essential as well as you can compare CAD to real car – some things change from the original CAD, as the car develops in real life – such things as wires, aero etc,” explained vehicle designer Paulo Matias.
Laurent Evenisse added: “The CAD has been very important as it gives us the real dimensions and volumes and we can check them with reference photos throughout the season as teams evolve their cars.”
Although the game is based on the rFactor 2 engine, Le Mans Ultimate’s cars will sport more detail than rFactor 2’s and take around three months to build. As you race, dirt will dynamically gather on the car bodies and windows, with Studio 397 aiming to “make things more lifelike and realistic” than rFactor 2.
This granular level of detail is also being applied to the track textures, which show dirt marks, handprints, and grime.
“We are doing things that haven’t been seen on other sims concerning cars,” said Studio 397’s Mirza Rustemovic. “One thing is that we recognise these cars – none of them are painted as they are carbon fibre and Kevlar with wraps/livery on top. We are adding that weave under the paint so it has the same texture, look and feel.”
No release date is set yet, but Le Mans Ultimate is currently on track for a PC release in December 2023. Motorsport Games is considering a console release, but this will depend on how the PC game's sales perform.
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