Le Mans Ultimate: Everything You Need to Know

Everything we know about Le Mans Ultimate.jpg
It is release day for one of the first new games of the year. So to celebrate the occasion, here is everything you need to know about Le Mans Ultimate, the official FIA World Endurance Championship game.

Image credit: Studio-397

For several years now, Motorsport Games have owned the licence to the FIA World Endurance Championship. Until now, this has lead to the release of rFactor 2 DLC using circuits and cars from the championship.

But last year, the company announced its latest standalone title, Le Mans Ultimate. Just weeks before the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hour week, MSG told the world of plans to create the official FIA WEC game. Nearly nine months after the announcement, the game’s gestation period is up. Here is everything you need to know about LMU just before release.

Le Mans Ultimate Release Date​

From day one, LMU was branded as the official game for the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship. As a result, it stood to reason that the title releases in 2023.


In early November, the release date was confirmed via a trailer and the Motorsport Games Q3 2023 earnings report – but not for 2023. Instead, the game is set to release on February 20, 2024 – just ahead of the WEC season start.

However, in a sad turn of events, the Le Mans Ultimate social pages announced earlier this month that the aforementioned 20 February release would be in Early Access form. As we learnt days before release, the game became available to purchase at 1pm CET, costing €29,99.

Developed by Studio 397​

Ever since the title’s initial announcement, we have known one vital piece of information; it will use the same core engine as rFactor 2. The ISIMotor 2.5 with its graphics and physics sub-engines will power the game. In fact, it is being developed by Studio 397, the same team that gave us rFactor 2.

When we spoke with some of the team members at Le Mans, they confirmed to us that LMU is very close to being an rFactor 2 reskin. That being said, the physics, graphics and menus will all receive tweaks to optimise it for endurance racing.


When we tested the game out in June, it definitely felt similar to rFactor 2. One can expect Le Mans Ultimate gameplay to resemble the old title but with more refinement. Make sure to check out our video on the experience.

Le Mans Ultimate Car List​

As the official 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship game, LMU will feature every car from each class of this year’s season. In fact, the WEC in 2023 features a total of three classes; Hypercar, LMP2 and LMGTE Am. One can expect LMU to feature the following car list at launch, despite its Early Access start.

A total of Seven models join the Hypercar class.

  • Toyota GR010
  • Ferrari 499P
  • Porsche 963
  • Cadillac V-Series.R
  • Peugeot 9X8
  • Glickenhaus SCG-007
  • Vanwall Vandervell 680
Oreca 07 in Le Mans Ultimate.jpg


The LMP2 class’ sole entrant, the Oreca 07 Gibson has already been seen in LMU screenshots sporting United Autosport colours.

A final year for the GTE category brought out four different models in the LMGTE Am class.

  • Aston Martin Vantage GTE
  • Porsche 911 RSR
  • Corvette C8.R
  • Ferrari 488 GTE
F51iMVyX0AATJuU.jpg


Each car will carry every lively seen during the 2023 season. This makes for a full grid of 38 cars in standard WEC rounds. The additional grid of 62 Le Mans liveries will also feature in the game. This makes for a reported over 100 skins available in the game. Whether or not the Garage 56 NASCAR Camaro that raced at the Le Mans Centenary will feature is as yet unknown.

The Le Mans Ultimate Discord points out that the car will not join the launch car list. However, the developers do not seem to be ruling out the opportunity of it coming later on down the line.

Tracks in LMU​

For the same reason as the car list, Le Mans Ultimate will most definitely feature every circuit from the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship. Whilst a line-up of just seven circuits will make for limited gameplay experience, the endurance aspect of the game should make for endless possibilities.

One can expect the following track list for LMU.

  • Sebring
  • Portimao
  • Spa-Francorchamps
  • Le Mans
  • Monza
  • Fuji
  • Bahrain
1920x1080_Portimao-4.jpg


Whilst Studio 397 already has models of the majority of these circuits in rFactor 2, the team says it has rebuilt them from the ground up. Images of the building process for Portimao show the detail one can expect from the title’s locations. Meanwhile, the recent collection of trailers help to showcase the environments and atmosphere.

Will the WEC Game Have DLC?​

Whilst the main FIA WEC game will release with 2023 content, Motorsport Games claims that it will keep the title up to date for years to come. In fact, a first content update is set to release in the second half of 2024. This will likely include cars and tracks from the 2024 FIA WEC season.

The Le Mans Ultimate social media channels already feature testing images of the Alpine A424 and Lamborghini SC63 cars set to join the grid next year. These along with the BMW M Hybrid V8 and Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 are sure to join the line-up in this first DLC drop, with the many GT3 models also coming to form the new-for 2024 LMGT3 class.


As for tracks, LMU will likely gain access to new additions to the 2024 FIA WEC calendar. These would include Qatar, Imola, the Circuit of the Americas and Interlagos.

Furthermore, in the past we have speculated on potential historical content for LMU as well as feeder series implementation such as ELMS and Le Mans Cup. The developers also confirmed interest in such content in a recent interview.

Le Mans Ultimate Game Modes​

As aforementioned, the seven-strong track list for LMU is far from overwhelming. However, with many different ways to play the game and so many variables affecting endurance racing, one will not get bored fast. In fact, Studio-397 is developing a whole host of different game modes for Le Mans Ultimate, both online and in single player.

Recently, rFactor 2 launched its new online competition service, Race Control. This is in fact a system that will also feature in LMU. In fact, the name was mentioned all the way back in June upon the game’s announcement. Here, players will get to take part in regular races, special events and host their own sessions according to Dom Duhan, Head of Studio 397.


Aside from the competitive side of LMU, players will also get to compete in co-op endurance races against the AI with friends. Forming a three-driver team, players will have several days to complete races. Stints will take place in asynchronous form allowing players to jump into a race when they can.

Quick races and full championships will also be available to run offline, much like any other modern simulator. At launch, offline racing will only feature the quick race/race weekend mode. Meanwhile, online functionality will see Race Control present without the ability to rent private servers, or the asynchronous racing mode. These missing game modes will reportedly come later on in Early Access development.

Throughout races, dynamic weather and changing track surfaces will impact grip levels. In fact, the rFactor 2 weather system and Real Road tech are sure to feature in the game. Furthermore, cars will seemingly become dirty throughout a race, something that is sure to get endurance racing fans salivating.

Le Mans Ultimate VR & Screens​

Upon the announcement of Early Access for LMU, sim racers pointed out the lacking of Virtual Reality support at launch. Whilst VR was originally slated for support in Le Mans Ultimate, it will now not be present in Early Access. Instead, the projection mode will arrive later down the line this year according to developers.


Those looking for more immersion than a single screen will however have the chance to run the game in triple screen mode, and ultrawide.

Modding in LMU?​

As aforementioned, Le Mans Ultimate uses the same ISIMotor that runs rFactor 2. Across the community, this now-decade-old title is known for its welcoming of mod content. But setting itself apart, Le Mans Ultimate will not be as open to third party content.

In fact, its initial launch will even restrict the use of custom liveries according to many on the LMU Discord. In fact, this being the official FIA WEC game, only cars, tracks and liveries seen in the official series will be available at launch.

Are you excited for Le Mans Ultimate? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

Premium
Looking forward to seeing what an rFactor 2 title with a narrow focus can achieve.

"Whilst Studio 397 already has models of the majority of these circuits in rFactor 2, the team says it is rebuilding them from the ground up."

Ya, not likely, at least not in the way we end-users think of "from the ground up." Each track takes months and months and months "from the ground up."

It's an rF2 skin, as the article implies, and why not, let's see how good rF2 can be when it's focused and polished.
 
Last edited:
Looking forward to seeing what an rFactor 2 title with a narrow focus can achieve.

"Whilst Studio 397 already has models of the majority of these circuits in rFactor 2, the team says it is rebuilding them from the ground up."

Ya, not likely, at least not in the way we end-users under "from the ground up." Each track takes months and months and months "from the ground up."

It's an rF2 skin, as the article implies, and why not, let's see how good rF2 can be when it's focused and polished.
Hmm, I'd like tobthink everything will be more detailed.

If you look at the comparisons between the LMP2 in rF2 and screenies in LMU, its much, much more detailed, more and better detaild textures, better lighting etc.

And, rF2 DLC tracks are, IMO, some of the best in sim racing, so if they can make it better than that's good for me :)
 
Let's hope that the content is as good as the Long Beach track and the 992 car. And that they solved the strange stutter/strange light/dark visual effect when the weather changes and that the FFB is stable/gives expected behaviour across all cars. And I especially hope that mods won't be allowed so that the quality is consistent. If this is all done properly then I have a good trust in this title together with the new multiplayer system of the RC of rF2.
 
Let's hope that the content is as good as the Long Beach track and the 992 car. And that they solved the strange stutter/strange light/dark visual effect when the weather changes and that the FFB is stable/gives expected behaviour across all cars. And I especially hope that mods won't be allowed so that the quality is consistent. If this is all done properly then I have a good trust in this title together with the new multiplayer system of the RC of rF2.
As far as I am aware:
No mods
Weather has been improved
Lighting and colouring has been improved
Shadows no longer a problem

But, watch this space- time will tell
.
 
This will be an instant buy for me, since Studio 397 will always have my support, after all they did for rF2. Since rF2 already has most of this content (LMP2, GTE’s and one Hypercar), I really hope Classic Le Mans content will be part of LMU soon after release. De Race Control online system from rF2 already works great in beta and will make online racing in LMU great fun.
 
Ill buy this immediately (if only for the Peugeot hypercar) i think it will not be that succesful but better for them commercially than releasing it as rf2 DLC. But from my point of view i would much prefer the rf2 DLC route.
 
Good luck running your offline 24hour races in anything else.
I can't believe people making price an issue.
Many have been bleating for Lemans ever since GPL.
I will reiterate I am highly skeptical it will be able to load full length replays.

If they can manage that I would not care what price.
If they can bring same feature to rF2 even better still.

That is a aspect I don't think people consider.
If you do get many new S397 users saying "Gee this feels good, hey I wonder about that rF2 now ! " ;)
 
Being anything to do with MSG, what will probably happen is the game never comes out and all you get is some DLC for RF2.
 
A full series dedicated game based on rfactor2. What could anyone complain about? This is the GTR3 game many are dreaming of. That's the best decision MSG could have taken. It may be at last the sim we have been waiting for the last 15 years. I've been heavily critical towards S397 during years but I'm confident this game is going to be a big step in the simracing genre. Not a step in the future, just a step to show every evolution that came in the last 15 years and that, at last, work together. Unfortunately, just that step would be something.
 

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