Next Chapter in Sim Racer ‘Assetto Corsa’ Announced With VR Support, Coming This Summer


Following a week of teasing from Italian developer Kunos Simulazioni, their new racing sim has been revealed, Assetto Corsa Competizione, which is planned to enter Steam Early Access this summer. Announced as “The Official Blancpain GT Series Game”, the sim brings many technology upgrades over Assetto Corsa (2014), thanks in part to the move to Unreal Engine 4.

Update 2/23/2018: A statement regarding VR support (quoted later in this article) was removed from the game’s Steam page. Kunos Simulazioni Brand and Product Manager Marco Massarutto has confirmed directly with Road to VR that the title will indeed feature VR support.

While the development focus appears to be on bringing the FIA GT3 homologated championship to life, the title clearly represents a new chapter in Kunos’ simulation technology as a whole. Perhaps they took a leaf from the Polyphony Digital playbook in avoiding a numbered sequel, instead selecting a name that acknowledges a stronger leaning towards eSports.

Assetto Corsa continues to be one of the most popular racing sims on the PC, but it is reaching the end of its life cycle, and the team has been looking to move the technology forward. The time is right for a graphics engine upgrade, and the teaser trailer above highlights the benefits of moving to Unreal Engine 4, enabling rain and night scenes for the first time. The new systems will allow full 24-hour lighting transitions and dynamic weather.

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Further improvements over Assetto Corsa include driver swap support, motion captured pit animations, and a “well-structured ranking system” for multiplayer. This follows a recent trend towards higher quality online racing competition, with GT Sport (2017) and Project CARS 2 (2017) taking inspiration from iRacing’s (2008) class-leading matchmaking technology.

Image courtesy Kunos Simulazioni

In the description on the game’s Steam page, VR support is also confirmed. “Designed to innovate, Assetto Corsa Competizione will be VR Ready and set to promote eSports, bringing players at the heart of the Blancpain GT Series and putting them behind the wheel of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and many other prestigious GT racing cars, all reproduced with outstanding level of detail.”

Assetto Corsa‘s existing VR mode on PC is solid, but also limited by the current engine, with no full VR menu system and compromised rear view mirrors. Unreal Engine’s comprehensive VR support could benefit the new sim in these areas. Assetto Corsa supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Kunos aren’t explicitly calling Assetto Corsa Competizione a direct sequel to Assetto Corsa, but it seems that it could become exactly that, depending on the terms of the licensing agreement. “This announcement represents a dream come true for us,” says co-founder Marco Massarutto. “The Blancpain GT Series license is just the tip of the iceberg. By combining the potential of Unreal Engine 4 and the feedback received from our community, we are producing a completely new simulation aimed to redefine the racing game genre, improving the features that made Assetto Corsa so popular, and introducing those demanded by players for a high-level racing simulation game – with no compromise, and remaining loyal to our philosophy.”

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  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    With so many amzing VR racing sim : PC2, Raceroom, rFactor2, AC, iRacing, Drive club, Dirt… It is difficult to understand why some backward stubborn lazy studios still don t want to give us VR. Everyone in simracing is preaching VR as the only way. F1, Ride and Isle of man TT should be VR to be taken seriously.

    • bliglum .

      Absolutely agreed. I’ve been sim racing for years, and ever since I first tried VR, I have not looked back, so to speak. It’s just so much better than a flat screen. And not just the Gee whiz feeling of being IN the car, but the legit depth perception, and ability to look around genuinely bring more to the table….. Sim racing for me is VR’s killer app.

  • ara

    yes fuck codemasters

  • twattermaster

    Hey RoadToVR, has this sentence been changed?

    “Assetto Corsa Competizione will be VR Ready and set to promote eSports”

    It doesn’t say VR ready on Steam page ?!?

  • bud

    Do we know if the new version will support importation of current mods or if modding will be supported?

    Assetto Corsa has a huge modding community.

  • Skyfire

    Are there any statistics available on how the ratio for VR use is in Assetto Corsa or PC2/iRacing?

  • bliglum .

    Love Assetto Corsa, but I’m a little concerned about it being a “Blancpain GT Series game”. Will this licensing deal (and move to the new engine) be a limiting factor? With only cars and tracks from that specific race series?…. I was kind of hoping for a full sequel, where they build on the first AC’s great cars, tracks, and phenomenal physics. Of course with the snazzy new graphics, weather,TOD, multiplayer improvements etc… Hoping it’s the latter

    • Skyfire

      I guess they use this series to fund some of their development for a new AC version. I suspect that Assetto Corsa Competizion will be the intermediate product on which they will base some AC 2.