Dutch sim-racing manufacturer, Simlab, is back with the most extravagantly quirky and above all zero-flex, solid pro-rig we've ever come across.
Over the last two years, we at Gamereactor have used the aluminium profile rig "Modus" from Swedish Rig Design as our main cockpit, while we also test built and test drove products and aluminium solutions from, among others, Next Level Racing, Treq, Playseat and Fanatec. The market out there is starting to become almost flooded with manufacturers doing exactly the same thing, powder coating standard-build aluminium profiles black and putting together basic systems for anyone looking to upgrade from their desktop racing setup to sitting in what at least somewhat feels like a "real" car.
For several years, Dutch manufacturer Simlab has dominated the market for aluminium profile cockpits with the best-selling model P1-X, and now they've launched their pro-rig, we at Gamereactor, of course, had to try it. After just over a week of building and tinkering and about two weeks of testing the finished product, we are ready to say exactly what we think of the newly released Simlab X1-Pro premium rig, and just as the price suggests, this is essentially the Rolls-Royce of sim-racing rigs.
Basically, the X1-Pro is based on larger and therefore stronger aluminium profiles than most other solutions on the market, which means that it weighs a little more, but also offers a driver environment that regardless of body weight or the weight of the peripherals you mount on it (steering wheel, screen, seat, pedals, etc.) presents zero flex. The profiles are 120x40 millimetres instead of the 80x40 millimetres that make up our SRD Modus, and already during assembly we noticed some difference in the quality or torsional stiffness of the profiles themselves as they absolutely do not flex a single micro-millimetre. Now, this is hardly what makes you want to shell out €1799 for an aluminium profile cockpit, but rather it's the specially designed solutions for the floor and how the screen is fixed here, and the steering wheel base.
This is an ad:
Namely, the X1-Pro has a specially made floor in bent, powder-coated aluminium (five millimetres in thickness) that is mounted in three different partitions and extends over the profile sides like wings, which makes the entire machinery, and stepping in and out, super smooth. The floor is nicely done with a superb finish, it doesn't weigh very much, is extremely rigid and just like the rest of the rig, there is zero-flex or room for play or the like. There is also a slot in the centre of the floor for mounting the specially designed pedal rack, which allows it to be moved forwards or backwards without bumping into the floor panels, which is super cool and cleverly done.
The pedal rack itself is super solid and heavy, milled from solid pieces of aluminium and, unlike many other rig solutions, zero-flex applies here as well. Absolutely incredible. We've had flex in our rig for the past year, which has absolutely pissed me off. Those small problems can quickly become big when you drive with gadgets that require you to steer for your life (Fanatec DD2) and brakes with 100kgs of force (Heusinkveld Ultimate Plus).
This is an ad:
Another unique part of this rig is the way the steering wheel base is attached as well as the screen mount that hangs over the steering wheel base location to give me as a player the ability to place my monitor as close to the back of the steering wheel base as possible, which only enhances the feeling of actually sitting in a real car. The handlebar mount sits via spacers and together with the floor makes this rig wider and bigger than anything we've ever come across, something you should keep in mind if you have a tight space for your sim-racing hobby, but it works great here. Having the steering wheel in the way that Simlab here intended and the screen directly behind, is an original solution that both breathes and looks very 'motorsporty'.
Everywhere in this rig you have the option of inserting the M8 screws with custom made washers of black lacquered aluminium and although it sounds like a minimal feature it is something that makes this package feel more luxurious and designed than anything else we have seen in an aluminium profile rig before. The floor is also super stylish and extremely flexible when you as a player want to step in and out.
Simlab X1-Pro is expensive, but as it looks really good and works incredibly well, it's worth it, and for those who really want the best rig available on the market right now, this is the only and completely obvious choice. The screws fit solidly, the profiles are perfectly powder coated, the instructions are superb, and as a complete solution this is really the next step forward for the entire product category.