After a long delay, the Automobilista 2 November Dev Update is here. Developer Reiza Studios has been hard at work to deliver a first in sim racing for v1.5.3 – and much more.
Originally planned to release much earlier, including an October launch for another in-game update, the Automobilista 2 Dev Update suffered a few setbacks. The latest deep-dive by Reiza Founder and Lead Developer Renato Simioni explains that the upcoming update will actually be the result of two dev cycles, as opposed to just one like originally planned. New challenges kept appearing, and “we would not have a new public release until we felt everything was as good as we could possibly make it“.
The AI calibration work for the enormous amount of car and track combinations Simioni already mentioned in our pre-v1.5 interview took significant time as well. This should make fiddling with the AI difficulty setting on a per-track basis a thing of the past, as the the computer-controlled opposition should perform much more in line with the player. AI pit stop strategies have also been adjusted for them to race in a much more realistic way.
Automobilista 2 November Dev Update: Physics & Audio
The result is noticeable in the physics, for instance. What v1.5 had started in the tire model overhaul should now be finished after ironing out carcass issues. For the amount of cars in AMS2, this took quite some time. Additionally, smaller physics refinements took place.
A given sim car may have millimeter accurate suspension geometries, 1:1 aero map and engine torque curve perfectly matching dynamometer figures, if the tires are not gripping and letting go as they should, the experience just won’t be captured.Renato Simioni, Founder & Lead Developer of Reiza Studios
One area that received lots of attention in particular are the wet weather physics. Already somewhat implemented before, grip on the dry racing line in the wet will now be significantly reduced, forcing racers to adapt a different line. Simioni proudly states that “the end result from these developments is wet weather driving like nothing ever seen before – incredibly fun, very challenging, occasionally scary but (provided you are on the right tires and with a reasonable setup) seldom frustrating.”
Meanwhile, as the video above shows, Reiza has reworked some external sounds. The Brazilian studio has more examples available on their YouTube channel. The cars shown feature more authentic sounds when passing by – and while likely not a super important element for many sim racers, “it was important for us to capture that in AMS2“, Simioni writes.
Automobilista 2 November Dev Update: New F-Hitech
The most striking addition in the Automobilista 2 November Dev Update, however, has to be the new F-Hitech class that comes in two Gens. They portray the 1992 and 1993 Formula One seasons – but not just in the looks department. Instead, Reiza has gone for something no other sim has released thus far: active suspension.
1993 is regarded as the peak of technology in F1. Cars had ABS, Traction Control, Launch Control, automatic gearboxes, but above all, active suspension revolutionized the concept of car setups. Constantly measuring and adjusting the ride height to any given part of a racing track made the cars much less sensitive to bumps and potential changes in aerodynamics as a result.
To go with the new Gens, the 1992 McLaren MP4/7A and the 1993 McLaren MP4/8 are introduced. The latter is already featured in rFactor 2 as official content and does feature some of the technical gizmos, but no working active suspension. In AMS2‘s version, even a primitive version of DRS is implemented: Drivers can lower the rear of the car on straights to stall the air flow over the rear wing somewhat, giving their cars more top speed.
The two McLarens will get support, too. Gen 1 sees four additional models with different engine layouts and amounts of electronic aids. In Gen 2, three further models are available, representing the peak of the era.
Historical Track Pack Pt. 2
Alongside 2022’s Brazilian Racing Legends Pt. 1 DLC, the first Historical Track Pack made its debut in AMS2. Now, its follow-up adds four more layouts of the past for tracks that are already in the sim. Interlagos will feature 1991 and 1993 versions, representative of Ayrton Senna’s two wins at the circuit. Montreal will appear in its 1991 guise, with new kerbs and a tightened final chicane compared to the 1988 version already present. And Catalunya receives a 1991 makeover that includes the high-speed version of Campsa used until 1994.
The pack yet again increases the number of period-correct tracks for many of the seasons present in AMS2. Once the update is out, we will be sure to update our Automobilista 2 F1 Season Guide accordingly!
Automobilista 2 November Dev Update: More Small Improvements
In addition to these big changes, many smaller improvements are part of the Automobilista 2 November Dev Update. These include drivers’ helmets and overalls now being matched to their car designs instead of being random (and head movement finally working more realistically). A new shader fixes issues that had previously plagued sparks as well. To read all the details, check out Simioni’s original post in the Reiza forums. v1.5.3 does not have a confirmed release date yet.
Finally, the community also got a teaser of the incoming Le Mans circuit. The track should still launch in this year. Simioni’s outlook: “With this update AMS2 should be in a great place for its 2023 grand finale at some point in December.” Meanwhile, check out our guide to custom championships in AMS2 to make the wait time a bit more interesting!
What do you think of the Automobilista 2 November Dev Update? Let us know what you are most looking forward to on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!