Last week Aston Martin and Curv invited us to test out the AMR-C01, a luxury driving simulator that costs more than the average car in the UK. It's been created for drivers who want to compete in the virtual world at home, and, as a piece of gaming hardware, there's probably nothing more desirable. So, with that in mind, we donned our virtual race suit and virtual crash helmet, and made a trip to Curv's HQ.
The first thing that will strike you about the AMR-C01 is how un-gamer-like it actually is. There are no bright neon lights, no big PC towers, and just a single cable running in between it and the wall. It's much more at home in a luxury games room than in a teenagers bedroom thanks to the work of the Aston Martin Design team, who made sure this gaming simulator is just as beautiful as their road cars.
Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman said: “This was a challenge for the design team as, although the simulator isn’t a car, it is inspired by our racing cars. It needed to exude the same elegance, boasting the same dynamic lines and balance of proportions as any Aston Martin with a racing lineage. I can picture the AMR-C01 in the most beautiful of residences as a sculptural work of art in its own right.”
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A sculptural work of art is right – the AMR-C01 has a lightweight and rigid all-carbon fibre monocoque, just like the latest supercars and F1 cars.
The front of the simulator’s bodywork is shaped to invoke the signature Aston Martin grille and also houses the fans which keep the computer cool.
It measures L1985mm x W725mm x H1050mm, which is fairly compact, yet it still manages to have a powerful-looking stance.
The seating position mirrors that of the upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie, adding a futuristic hypercar feel to the simulator whilst also being extremely comfortable to sit in for long periods of time.
Both the seat and pedal box are mounted on rails which offer plenty of adjustment. That makes it both easy to climb in and out of, as well as making it quick to adjust if you've got friends round.
It also means the Curv racing simulator can be used by adults and children alike.
The AMR-C01 is hand-assembled by Curv Racing Simulators in the UK, using the highest quality components and providing the same level of refinement, surface quality and finish that customers expect from an Aston Martin. It certainly felt well-made during our quick time with it.
Curv Racing Simulators is founded by Aston Martin works driver, Darren Turner, who is the perfect man for the job with over 20 years’ experience in cutting edge Formula 1 simulation.
Turner said, “The AMR-C01 is all about the love of racing. We’ve created a home simulator with incredible immersion that offers users the opportunity to have a great time racing in the virtual world, from the comfort of their own home. Our goal was to create a simulator that provided as much enjoyment in virtual reality as real racing does. Racing cars is a lot of fun and it is great to see that with the growth of Esports racing, more people are now getting involved.
“We modelled the driving position on the Aston Martin Valkyrie so users of AMR-C01 can get the full hypercar experience. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve, with design and engineering creating what I believe to be the most beautiful home simulator available.”
Inside is a top-spec PC with an Intel i7 CPU and Nvidia GTX 2080 GPU linked to a Samsung ultra-wide (32:9 aspect ratio) QHD monitor.
The monitor, which is mounted at an optimal position away from your face, and features low latency and a high refresh rate for smooth visuals. It's incredibly immersive, especially when paired with the Sennheiser headphones.
Of course, being a luxury product, there's a certain level of customisation here. You can choose the bodywork colour, stitching colour, leather colour, and steering wheel material. If you wanted it to match the car parked on your driveway, they'd be able to do that.
You can also switch out the tech components of the AMR-C01 – for example, if you wanted a VR headset instead of the monitor, or a more powerful graphics card, the world is your oyster.
The steering wheel included in the setup is a state-of-the-art formula-style steering wheel with paddle shift and clutch. The wheel boasts nine rotary dials, 12 push buttons, and a full-colour LCD display.
The wheel is attached to a high-end steering wheel motor, which is the gold standard when it comes to racing simulators. It offers exceptionally high torque response (so much so my arms ached after the test) and precise feedback.
All of this goes a long way to making the simulator as responsive and immersive as possible.
In terms of software, the AMR-C01 is supplied with Assetto Corsa as standard, with its accurate laser-scanned tracks and realistic dynamics.
You're not tied down to just one game, though, you can choose iRacing and rRactor2, or even Dirt, WRC and Forza if you're after something a little more arcadey.
This driving simulator has come at a perfect time – Esports racing has exploded in the past year as the world’s racing calendar was put on hold, with F1 drivers such as Lando Norris, Max Verstappen and George Russel taking to the virtual track and streaming it to millions of followers.
We think this will quickly become the perfect choice for those who take part in the virtual world of competitive Esports, as well as for racing drivers who want to hone their skills in the comfort of their multi-million pound gaming cave.
Of course, it's also perfect if you're a casual gamer with cash to burn – there is even an exclusive game night for Aston Martin Curv customers where gamers of all skill levels come together to race it out on the virtual track.
If you do have a space to fill in your game room, you'll have to be fast – the order book for the British-built Aston Martin AMR-C01 is open now and it will be limited to just 150 examples.
Now, the big question is, is the simulator is worth the £57,500 (plus tax, shipping costs, and customs)?
If that price makes you whince, then no – you can build your own setup with a similar specification (albeit without the Aston Martin design flair and build quality) for much less money.
If you do have the money, however, it's a completely different story. The Aston Martin Curv AMR-C01 feels like it was made for T3. It's desirable, stylish, and packed full of thoughtful, ingenious tech. If we won the lottery tomorrow, we'd buy one in an instant.
Aston Martin Curv AMR-C01 Image Gallery