Just a month after the most recent additions, the Automobilista 2 Le Mans dev update has been released – and the namesake content will not be far behind.
The highly anticipated Le Mans and Endurance Pack DLC for Automobilista 2 has finally released on the very last day of the last year! The new game update shifts Automobilista 2 to v1.5.5 and adds completely new contents to the sim with Le Mans and state-of-the-art 2023 Endurance race cars.
But it gets even better. As the news announcement in the official Reiza forum says, “the two new DLCs will remain free for all at release and into the first few days of 2024 so everyone gets to enjoy AMS2 at its very best.”
For more info on AMS2 and the news contents, watch the “2023 Wrap-Up Promo Trailer” from Reiza.
The new content and update are delayed due to instabilities during beta testing, according to Reiza Founder & Lead Developer Renato Simioni. A release candidate could become available over the course of the final weekend of 2023, but is also not certain. Either way, the actual update “shouldn´t be more than a couple of days for an official release“, as Simioni states.
Note: A previous version of this article originally posted on December 25 stated that the release of the new update and content would be due on December 27, according to info available to RaceDepartment. As this info has changed, we have edited the affected part accordingly.
Endurance racing icons are already present in Automobilista 2, but Le Mans likely tops them all. The legendary Circuit de La Sarthe is due for release for the start of 2024, with a 2023-spec batch of LMDh and GT3 cars in tow. More historic and modern Le Mans-related content will come later. But the modern track and the cars are supposed to close out 2023 in style.
Of course, the track is just what you would expect from Le Mans. A 13,629-kilometer blast on public roads and purpose-built race track in its current guise, including all the scenery that developer Reiza Studios has a knack for recreating well in their tracks. In addition to the endurance circuit that hosts the 24 Hours of Le Mans each year, the DLC will also include the less popular Bugatti circuit.
Automobilista 2 Le Mans: Three Prototypes, Four GT3s
What would Le Mans be without top-tier prototypes to race at La Sarthe? The same thought has been on Reiza’s minds, as no less than three Hypercars will come to the sim. Thus far, the BMW M Hybrid V8, Cadillac V-Series.R and Porsche 963 are only in iRacing as officially licensed content. This will change as the Endurance Pack Pt. 1 releases – according to the Dev Update, this should happen in the final week of 2023.
Meanwhile, the four new GT3 vehicles could potentially become new stars of AMS2. The new GT3 Gen 2 class features the McLaren 720S GT3 Evo, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, the Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) and the BMW M4 GT3. Taking over from the older-spec GT3 cars, they are AMS2’s chance to shine in that car category. Thus far, the GT3 cars already in the sim are decent, but not among its showpieces. The four models are also part of the Endurance Pack Pt. 1, which is set to retail for €8,99/$9,99 – the same price Le Mans will cost.
In preparation for the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans, the updated cars make sense to coincide with the track. As GTE will not be part of the WEC anymore, GT3 swoops in to take over the non-prototype class.
Shader Update For Better Lighting
With the new content come new features as well, as the Automobilista 2 Le Mans Dev Update highlights. One that is immediately obvious once you run the new cars against AI is that they now flash their headlights. Additionally, the numbers on the doors of the new cars now light up when their lights are switched on. This is a result of shader adjustments, which also reduces glare from in-car displays.
Speaking of displays: Flag LED boards at modern tracks are functional now. Though only displaying green and full-course yellows for now, this will be expanded to show blue flags and local yellows as well. The shader update also changes the way rain behaves on windshields and interacts with wipers.
Automobilista 2 Le Mans: AI Driver Swaps & Better Night Performance
Furthermore, the first few improvements for endurance racing capabilities are part of v1.5.5. While multiplayer driver swaps will still have to wait, it is now possible to hand the car over to AI drivers. These have received more attention to behave in a more realistic way. The feature had already been there in the previous update, though the AI would not scale to the selected AI strength. This has now been remedied.
The feature is set to expand in future versions. The Dev Update mentions players being able to choose which AI drivers are going to be their teammates and which should drive in which session. This will allow players to use the AI drivers’ strengths and weaknesses strategically. To properly enable multiclass racing, the developers have also implemented a multiclass points system.
Meanwhile, those struggling with AMS2‘s performance in night scenarios can breathe a sigh of relief. The update adds a function to reduce the number of visible vehicles, which had proven to be the main source of the problem. Another adjustment the player can make is to set the level of engine noise reverb off of walls.
Exciting Plans For 2024
Of course, this update packs quite a punch just a month after the release of v1.5.3. And subsequently v1.5.4, which in itself was rather substantial. Reiza are not done, however. Historic versions of Le Mans plus appropriate cars are in the works, as well as more modern machinery. In both cases, the intention is to mostly add to existing classes, although new ones will come, too.
The Automobilista 2 Le Mans Dev Update also mentions two “very traditional race tracks in the USA [that are] still needed to make AMS2 truly complete for endurance racing.” Could Sebring and Road Atlanta be on their way? It would seem so – but time will tell.
Another teaser could mean the arrival of even more spectacular endurance cars. “We do have some red hot news they may look forward to early on next year“, states Reiza founder and lead developer Renato Simioni in the Dev Update. “We can´t yet confirm which and how many there will be, but it´s fair to expect them to have a more latin flavour to them.“
Ferrari, Peugeot, Lamborghini?
The final part of this quote is extremely intriguing. “Latin” likely does not refer to Spain or South America, as there are no manufacturers from those regions in either IMSA or WEC. It could mean Italy and France, however. So AMS2 racers could get treated to the Ferrari 499P, the Lamborghini SC63, or the Peugeot 9X8 – if this was the intended direction of the hint.
This would likely enable Reiza to add Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s GT3 vehicles, or the outgoing GTE version of the Ferrari 488. Not to mention the possibilities for historic cars …
What are your thoughts on the Automobilista 2 Le Mans Dev Update? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!