Le Mans Ultimate’s HUD, UI and Glickenhaus Showcased In Fresh Gameplay

Le Mans Ultimate Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH RD.jpg
Additional Le Mans Ultimate footage has been released, with gameplay showcasing the sim’s user interface and HUD in action for the first time.

Images: Motorsport Games/Studio 397

Following yesterday’s unveiling of the Cadillac V-Series.R and Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTE, it is now time to hit the track with the latest Le Mans Ultimate gameplay.

Not only do we witness Sebring in action within a multi-class practice session, but this is also the first time we can see the user interface being used (outside of still images) and the HUD expected at launch.

Menus In Action​

When rFactor 2 Online – the ranked multiplayer system for the venerable simulator – launched last year, the segmented menu system looked noticeably different from the rest of the platform.

Le Mans Ultimate is seemingly a progenitor of those foundations, with a UI that looks nothing like Motorsport Games and Studio 397’s previous offerings.

Le Mans Ultimate Car Selection screen


The options such as track and car selection look to be in large, clear, blocks with the livery selection displayed through a three-quarter perspective car shot.

The latest footage shows a cursor navigating through the various options – while an improved driving experience with a gamepad has been touted, initially, you will not be able to navigate the menus with a controller.

At the top right, you can see both ‘DR’ (driver rating) and ‘SR’ (safety rating) scores, reflecting the ranked online system functional from the title’s release.

Le Mans Ultimate Race Weekend options


Conspicuously, only the surface-level menus are showcased, with items such as advanced options and car setup omitted so far.

The home screen highlights how bereft of modes LMU will be at launch, with just the simple race weekend (practice, qualifying and race) and ranked online initially available. But hey, this platform is now somewhat inoculated by the early access moniker.

Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH​

Ticking off the last box in the Hypercar category for the embryonic roster is the Glickenhaus SCG 007. The LMH car was briefly spotted lining up at the back of a grid during last week’s early access reveal trailer, but now the non-hybrid entry has been fully showcased.

That means in-sim images of all aspects, front, rear and inside. Based on these depictions, it looks as accurate as the other LMH and LMDh representations shown, replete in its 2023 blue design.

Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH interior Le Mans Ultimate

Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH interior. Image: Le Mans Ultimate

The gameplay footage for this car isn’t direct capture, but rather genial rFactor 2 expert and esports competitor Michi Hoyer. You can see he locks the front right heading into Turn Two, immediately flagging a red tyre icon on-screen. Towards the end of the lap, power-on oversteer is prevalent.

Also visible is the functioning rear-view camera and the tyres working away through the front wing’s cut-outs.


To date, the engine sounds have been exemplary. The sim racing equivalent of the Pepsi Challenge, the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Ferrari 499P sounds so lifelike it would be hard to spot the virtual version and the real-world version when played back-to-back.

The onboard footage of the V-Series.R is possibly a little less convincing, with FIA WEC clips sounding a tad more guttural than Le Mans Ultimate so far.

The HUD Exists!​

We were getting slightly worried there. Apart from a very basic on-screen rev and gear indicator at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans preview event, the heads-up display has been absent.

Mercifully, this has now been ‘displayed’ with a sleek new design. Top left are the standings, top right lap time information and bottom right revs, temperatures, gears, fuel and energy meters.

In the lower-left corner looks to be a display that the driver can cycle through, showing relative timings in these clips, but with what looks to be repair, fuel and electricity icons among others.

Just above here is an on-screen track map, and note the option of a virtual rear mirror.

Le Mans Ultimate HUD


The main takeaway is perhaps that, like the main menus, this is something refreshing compared to the development team’s prior efforts.

Aside from in trailers, this is also the first time the spotter is heard during gameplay footage – voiced by motorsport commentator and competitor Piers Prior. He provides your lap time, but also seemingly updates about the session and items like tyre temperature.

Today’s footage also marks the first on-board video captured using a steering wheel input. Any definitive judgements about the performance of AI-powered rivals will be reserved for later this month.

Le Mans Ultimate Porsche leaves Sebring pitlane


Outside of the smaller details, the broadcast-style footage as the sun sets released on social media is atmospheric. A relief to see vehicles from the three categories mixing on track as opposed to just the single-car on-board clips released earlier in the year.

With just 11 days until the early access release, the deluge of information has been a welcome challenge to keep pace with. Now all that remains is for people outside of the responsible company to go hands-on…

What do you make of the recent Le Mans Ultimate gameplay? Let us know in the comments below, or discuss in the forum.
About author
Thomas Harrison-Lord
A freelance sim racing, motorsport and automotive journalist. Credits include Autosport Magazine, Motorsport.com, RaceDepartment, Overtake, Traxion and TheSixthAxis.

Comments

Premium
To all those saying X is missing or Y looks wrong, we have a game/sim that is being released next week that is 90% -95% completed.
Also we have to consider that this is surely the first phase of LMU with it also certainly having to be made available to consoles and controllers in the future and appeal to that market.
 
We all know RF2 has fine physics, they really should have spent time on making this look and sound better. its doesnt look nearly good enough for a 2024 product, needs to appeal to more than just the sim crowd and they havent shown anything to get someone interested thats not already invested in sim racing.
I'm not sure how you can attract people outside sim racing with a series-focused title. The only titles that do that are GT because it works like a game (i.e. it has credits and unlockables) and AC (for the vast amount of mods). Maybe they should add a football minigame? Or maybe they should use Unreal Engine to get those useless pretty graphics? No thanks, it has terrible performance.
They did show interesting stuff though. The UI is pretty slick. Never seen anything as good before, it looks dead simple and very clear, almost like a triple A title.
LMDh start their engines while moving, unlike any other sim right now. If you're passionate about WEC, it's very cool to see.
Eduardo Freitas' voice is also a kickass addition. Drivers IRL can hear him on the radio and so this is a never seen before feature in sim racing. Regardless, the man has become an icon in the WEC so having him in the game is super cool. Reminds me of John Hindhaugh in NFS Pro Street.
 
Ok did someone notice the NRG bar on the cadillac video? I'm guessing thats the total amount of energy left? If thats the case why is that bar also present on Michi Hoyer's video driving the Glickenhaus? The Glickenhaus doesn't have hybrid..
That isn't a battery level but what's left of the maximum allowed stint energy (also called the virtual energy tank) which is measured using the combined output of the engine and hybrid system

The Glickenhaus and Vanwall didn't have hybrid systems so all their energy came from the ICE but they still had restrictions on their allowed stint energy/virtual tank like the hybrid cars as part of the BoP

They probably call it NRG ingame because that's what the TV graphics shorten it to when watching an onboard like in this clip of the Glickenhaus at Monza

When you watch the Cadillac onboard, there's a blue battery icon and bar on the right side of the info directly above the fuel and NRG bars which are greyed out on the Glickenhaus so I think that's the battery level
 
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Looking forward to it, looks good at least from the videos. Hopefully it does the overall flow of a full WEC race well. Meaning working yellow flags, safety car, safety zones,mechanical failures, good AI with individual driver performance skills (this is a must in this game in particular, seeing that there are multiple drivers per car/team and in the lower classes clearly slower bronze level drivers) varied pit strategies with double or triple stints, and I could go on.

I am not expecting everything to work out of the gate, and frankly don't have very high hopes all those features will be properly implemented ever, but would like to be proved wrong.
 
That isn't a battery level but what's left of the maximum allowed stint energy (also called the virtual energy tank) which is measured using the combined output of the engine and hybrid system

The Glickenhaus and Vanwall didn't have hybrid systems so all their energy came from the ICE but they still had restrictions on their allowed stint energy/virtual tank like the hybrid cars as part of the BoP

They probably call it NRG ingame because that's what the TV graphics shorten it to when watching an onboard like in this clip of the Glickenhaus at Monza

When you watch the Cadillac onboard, there's a blue battery icon and bar on the right side of the info directly above the fuel and NRG bars which are greyed out on the Glickenhaus so I think that's the battery level
Ok now that makes alot more sense. Thank you I didn't know that!
 
I can't understand your doubts.

rF2 is nearly 14 years old - and the code base is (as the devs have confirmed) not all the current devs and a jumble of new and legacy old code. Also the content is a similar jumble of new and mod content.

The new engine uses a base of rF2 physics and incorporates better graphics tech - some of which wasn't even around a few years ago - which makes it clean and likely more suitable to survive the next decade !

We spend (sometimes!) thousands on our hardware and comparatively so little on the software.

Embrace the new - and by all means keep the old!

Modern hypercars and their series, and up to date others, I'm quite happy to see how it pans out.
So you're telling me it's basically an RF2 with modern actual graphics. I don't want to judge too early... I'll wait for the community's comments when they've tried it. But it has to be worth it.
 
Premium
I do like what I saw and heard in that video, the Race Director, Crew Chief, onboard sounds and so on. Graphics wise, like many have said, it looks like a souped up rFactor 2. It produced a good overall atmosphere

That's the video they should have released as their first ever teaser imo.

I'd be lying if I'd say I still wasn't interested in the game after watching this video. I might just take the plunge after I've read some comments from the day 1 crowd.
 
I am sure physics will be top notch. From videos I saw I hope we can have propers shadows that look nice, not following us through the track. Looks and sounds amazing! Can't wait!
 
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Or maybe they should use Unreal Engine to get those useless pretty graphics? No thanks, it has terrible performance.
Why not, they could. As rfactor2's graphics engine is a bit outdated and not an example of good optimisation. Maybe for this game some improvements have been made though, I imagine how difficult it is to keep a good level of optimisation on a modding plateform. As I already stated, the engine needs better or additional shaders to have a moderner and more realistic look. This would probably cause new optimisation issues or require bigger configs and imo MSG doesn't want to lose the simracers with small configs but still able to play rfactor2. These simracers are probably more important than casual players who look for outstanding modern graphics, which anyway aren't pleased by simracing games which do not use any of the unrealistic effects the modern games like to include ; like art in general for many years, downgrade the quality by adding bad effects and make them common in every title, and you'll make people believe it is how the things have to be done and they will ask for them. Common culture, common tastes, common expext1tilns, industrialization, easy...
So anyway, these potential casual gamers expecting the xommon fancy graphics would not be attracted, better pleasing the faithful users with lower PC specs.

It's off-topic but this UE myth needs to be adressed.

Firstly you really need to specify which UE you are refering to, not making a general statement. You most probably refers to UE4, which is, although still in use, something from the past for more than one year now (since April 2022). It is still in use because games coming out these days have started their development before the UE5 became available.

Secondly, you make the confusion between an engine and a bad shaders compliation implementation which comes from the developpers.

The issue is mainly because the shaders compilation is config dependant. Whereas it can be premade in the game for each console, it is not processed by the machine, it has to be done by the PC for each config. If done during the game, like the recent EA WRC, the compilation is calculated and stored on the storage drive each time a new object appearing on your screen, which is the worst and laziest implementation of the process, and we all know the result. This probably is what you are refering to. This is not UE4, it is Codemasters, whatever the reason is (lack of time, of skills, pure laziness, stupid management decision... chose your hypothesis).

Another method is doing the compilation at the first launch or installation of the game. It is effective although slow, like the Call of Duty games have been doing for many years.

Another solution is to do it in parallel of loading times, so that it looks transparent for the user ; it probably increase these loading times but only the first time. A better solution for the angy impatient players who could break their screen waiting 10 minutes at the first launch of the game (but if CoD players can wait, anyone can wait).

This difficult shaders compilation seems less an issue in UE5, the tools may make that process easier. Indeed UE4 was said not being very helpful in that matter so the result fully relied on the devs, which explains the common issues. What was also common with UE4 was that small teams were much more efficient in optimising their games, whatever the genre was (r1cing included).

Apart the badly optimized Rennsport, other independant games using UE5, being racing games or FPS, seem to run properly, the first results are promising. We still have to see what AAA games can do.

And then you still can meet issues because of directx12 and vulkan which are known to require more input from the devs, than their ancestors to optimize the visuals.

What you think about any of the 3 current major engines (or 4, as UE4 is still used) is mainly human related. If many teams are able to build solid and optimized graphics with any of them, it means the ones who aren't have just project management or skills issues.
 
Honestly, I'm a little doubtful. I can't really understand the point of this game. In practice it has the same contents present in RF2 (more or less official cars, tracks..). What is the point of buying an RF2 but in a reduced form? Maybe I missed something.
Can ANY of the rF2 3rd party Hypers start from an electric motor? Do any of the Hypers have different physics based on 4wd/Rwd and how many Joules are being used? Can you manage any battery levels in the current batch of rF2 LMdH cars? There is a lot more going on than just freshened up cars & tracks.
 
Why not, they could. As rfactor2's graphics engine is a bit outdated and not an example of good optimisation. Maybe for this game some improvements have been made though, I imagine how difficult it is to keep a good level of optimisation on a modding plateform. As I already stated, the engine needs better or additional shaders to have a moderner and more realistic look. This would probably cause new optimisation issues or require bigger configs and imo MSG doesn't want to lose the simracers with small configs but still able to play rfactor2. These simracers are probably more important than casual players who look for outstanding modern graphics, which anyway aren't pleased by simracing games which do not use any of the unrealistic effects the modern games like to include ; like art in general for many years, downgrade the quality by adding bad effects and make them common in every title, and you'll make people believe it is how the things have to be done and they will ask for them. Common culture, common tastes, common expext1tilns, industrialization, easy...
So anyway, these potential casual gamers expecting the xommon fancy graphics would not be attracted, better pleasing the faithful users with lower PC specs.

It's off-topic but this UE myth needs to be adressed.

Firstly you really need to specify which UE you are refering to, not making a general statement. You most probably refers to UE4, which is, although still in use, something from the past for more than one year now (since April 2022). It is still in use because games coming out these days have started their development before the UE5 became available.

Secondly, you make the confusion between an engine and a bad shaders compliation implementation which comes from the developpers.

The issue is mainly because the shaders compilation is config dependant. Whereas it can be premade in the game for each console, it is not processed by the machine, it has to be done by the PC for each config. If done during the game, like the recent EA WRC, the compilation is calculated and stored on the storage drive each time a new object appearing on your screen, which is the worst and laziest implementation of the process, and we all know the result. This probably is what you are refering to. This is not UE4, it is Codemasters, whatever the reason is (lack of time, of skills, pure laziness, stupid management decision... chose your hypothesis).

Another method is doing the compilation at the first launch or installation of the game. It is effective although slow, like the Call of Duty games have been doing for many years.

Another solution is to do it in parallel of loading times, so that it looks transparent for the user ; it probably increase these loading times but only the first time. A better solution for the angy impatient players who could break their screen waiting 10 minutes at the first launch of the game (but if CoD players can wait, anyone can wait).

This difficult shaders compilation seems less an issue in UE5, the tools may make that process easier. Indeed UE4 was said not being very helpful in that matter so the result fully relied on the devs, which explains the common issues. What was also common with UE4 was that small teams were much more efficient in optimising their games, whatever the genre was (r1cing included).

Apart the badly optimized Rennsport, other independant games using UE5, being racing games or FPS, seem to run properly, the first results are promising. We still have to see what AAA games can do.

And then you still can meet issues because of directx12 and vulkan which are known to require more input from the devs, than their ancestors to optimize the visuals.

What you think about any of the 3 current major engines (or 4, as UE4 is still used) is mainly human related. If many teams are able to build solid and optimized graphics with any of them, it means the ones who aren't have just project management or skills issues.

Long story short: Unreal Engine is the worst engine for sim racing ever.
 
RF2 does this alright most of the time since a long time. However, last time I checked, there was a terrible bug that would make any AI car stuck behind another when in its inlap. So a LMP1 would sit behind a GT for the entirety of its inlap, ruining any attempt of a long multi-class single player race.
I hope they have dealt with that.
The inlap bug has always been there in rF2. I didn't mention it because I haven't played rF2 in over a year so I didn't know if they fixed it.....apparently not......which is why I'm very curious to see how it works in this new game.
 
The inlap bug has always been there in rF2. I didn't mention it because I haven't played rF2 in over a year so I didn't know if they fixed it.....apparently not......which is why I'm very curious to see how it works in this new game.
That was addressed about/over a year ago. They changed the location of when the AI checks the fuel/tires. It used to be that the s/f line but on all the S397 tracks they moved that point to much further along. I do not know if that was a car change or track change. Either way, it would be up to 3rd party modders to update their mods to take advantage of that.
 
Long story short: Unreal Engine is the worst engine for sim racing ever.
... That was a very long story. I read two paragraphs and then realised he'd written a short story. Jeez :O_o:

In other news, I really do hope that they darken up the night time racing, or at least have that option. The onboards IRL it's much harder to see where you're going, the night time racing demo was WAY too bright.
 
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... That was a very long story. I read two paragraphs and then realised he'd written a short story. Jeez :O_o:

In other news, I really do hope that they darken up the night time racing, or at least have that option. The onboards IRL it's much harder to see where you're going, the night time racing demo was WAY too bright.
And also make the headlights more impactful, looked a bit dim everything. Basically darken the setting more, increase the brightness of light sources, add more contrast to the scene.
 
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