One hotly anticipated title releasing at the end of this year is the official FIA WEC game. Here’s everything we know about Le Mans Ultimate so far.
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 earlier this year, the major 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. Since the announcement, Studio 397 and Motorsport Games have revealed a lot of details. Here’s everything we know about Le Mans Ultimate.
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.
This release is said to only come to PC for the first year of release. However, console versions could come out later in the game’s life. In the meantime, you can wishlist LMU on Steam already.
Developed by Studio 397
It is for one main reason that we do not believe Le Mans Ultimate will suffer any significant delays stemming from development; it will use the same core engine as rFactor 2. In fact, the game 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 is sure to 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.
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
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
Each car is sure to carry every lively seen this year. This makes for a full grid of 38 cars in standard WEC rounds. One must assume that the additional grid of 62 Le Mans liveries will also feature in the game. However, Motorsport Games is yet to announce whether the Garage 56 Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Car will feature in the sim.
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.
- Le Mans
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. Images of the building process for Portimao show the detail one can expect from the title’s locations.
Will the WEC Game Have DLC?
Whilst the main FIA WEC game will release in December 2023, 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 have also previously shown interest in classic cars such as Group C and GT1.
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.
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.
Are you excited for Le Mans Ultimate? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!