Next Level Racing have become a major manufacturer of sim racing cockpits over recent years. They produce versatile, affordable cockpits that often perform exceptionally well. One of their most popular products being the Next Level Racing F-GT Cockpit, a cockpit that can be used in both a GT and Formula seating position. The Next Level Racing F-GT came as a replacement to the F1GT, addressing many of the concerns and issues with the old product. In Next Level Racing’s current line-up, the F-GT is priced above the F-GT Lite and the Challenger (which you can see our review of here) but below the, more hefty, GTUltimate V2 and GTTrack cockpits.
We have had access to the F-GT cockpit for almost a year now and all findings will be summarised in this complete review.
In short, the F-GT takes a couple of hours to fully assemble. However, the process is relatively simple and Next Level Racing provide you with all the hardware and tooling necessary to complete the job. You will not need any tools from the garage, toolbox or otherwise. They provide the only 2 allen keys and 10mm spanner you’ll need along with all the bolts, washers and nuts.
The fiddliest part of the build is bolting the seat back to the base, unless you have a second person to hold it in which case it’s pretty simple. The instructions provided are comprehensive and proved to be very easy to follow.
The best way to assemble the F-GT cockpit is to get everything loosely in position when assembling. Then position the pedal distance and angle and the steering wheel base height, distance and angle relative to the seat before tightening everything up.
The cockpit looks fantastic in any environment. There have been many visitors who have asked about or wanted a go in the cockpit just because it looks so interesting and eye catching. One of the updates from the F1GT to the F-GT was that all the hardware was painted black to match the frame. This has vastly improved the looks of the cockpit and just gives it a higher quality appearance.
A particular favourite feature of ours is the seat. Once you realise that in a static simulator there is no need for seat bolsters, you begin to appreciate how well made and comfortable the seat is. The embroidery on the seat back, denoting the model, is glorious and feels extremely well done.
The frame is powder coated matte black which gives it a lovely stealthy aesthetic and the finish looks and feels high quality. Overall, in the form department, there can only be one criticism being that the seat is slightly simplistic in its design.
The unique selling point of this product is its ability to be used in either a Formula or GT style driving position. So, in GT you would have the seat base relatively flat with the pedals lower than the seat base whereas in the Formula position you would have the seat base low and reclined with the pedals much higher. The cockpit does both driving positions very well and switching between them is an easy process. It just involves adding (or removing) two rear seat base supports and re-adjusting the steering wheel and pedal position.
However, in order to achieve the feature of being able to provide both seating positions, there has been some compromise. For example, cockpits such as the Playseat F1 will provide a more true to life Formula seating position and the GTUltimate V2 cockpit from Next Level Racing will provide a more realistic GT position. Don’t let this put you off the F-GT though, when driving these small compromises leave your mind as you become fully immersed in the drive.
We have been using a Logitech G920 whilst putting the cockpit through many competitive league events on simulators such as Assetto Corsa and ACC. During our testing of this cockpit, at no point has there been any flexing in the wheel base supports, pedal plate or shifter mount. The whole cockpit feels extremely rigid and ready to tackle more powerful wheels. If we can get our hands on other wheels to review, we can provide a more rigorous test in this area.
Next Level Racing does offer an integrated monitor stand and a stand-alone monitor stand. For our review, the monitor was simply placed on a desk in front of the wheel base. The monitor stand would be a fantastic addition to make the cockpit a completely standalone rig.
The F-GT comes with mounting holes for all major brands of wheel, shifter and pedal sets including Logitech, Thrustmaster, Fanatec and other producers of less mainstream direct drive wheels.
The seat is on sliding rails and the wheel and pedal supports are bolted to slots in the frame meaning they can be moved to accommodate a wide range of drivers.
The Next Level Racing F-GT is officially priced at $499 USD or £399. However, on websites such as Box.co.uk there are often deals to be had. At the time of writing it is available for just £369.99.
This puts the F-GT about £100 above the Challenger cockpit. If you consider the added features and rigidity that the F-GT provides, it warrants the extra cost. It’s worth mentioning, the customer service and aftercare that Next Level Racing give their customers is fantastic.
To summarise, the Next Level Racing F-GT cockpit is an extremely good entry level sim racing cockpit. It offers the user versatility and rigidity for a relatively affordable cost. It is one of the cheapest cockpits offering a rigid Formula style position whilst also offering a conventional GT position in the same package. Assembly can be time consuming, but this is made up for in the quality of the finish on the product and its rigidity under stress.
If you are serious about making a step towards a sim racing setup then you should without doubt, consider the F-GT. It is a product that will never let you down.