What’s next for Assetto Corsa Competizione?

Ross McGregor
What's next for Assetto Corsa Competizione?

Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC) was first released to Steam Early Access in September 2018, gaining a full release on 29th May 2019. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions then followed on 23rd June 2020.

Kunos Simulazioni, the developers of ACC, has released consistent paid and free DLC since its release, including GT4 cars, updated liveries and tracks from the real-life GT World Challenge series, as well as the usual bug-squashing updates that help add a coat of polish to the already-capable GT-racing sim.

So, with seemingly nothing new except a native PS5 and Xbox Series X versions later this year, and aeons until the release of a sequel to the original Assetto Corsa slated for 2024, we ask the question; what’s next for Assetto Corsa Competizione?

Here’s a little clue, it won’t be the Nürburgring Nordschleife…

Assetto Corsa Competizione not the Nordschliefe
Is this the Nordschleife? No.

SRO Motorsports Group

ACC simulates the real-life GT World Challenge (GTWC) and GTWC Europe championships, with all the cars, teams, drivers and tracks from the 2019 & 2020 seasons. A British GT Championship pack was also released in February 2021, with liveries and three tracks to match its real-life counterpart.

The championship is operated by the SRO Motorsports Group (SRO), which also runs the regional GTWC America, Asia and Australia series, all for GT3 machinery. Kunos Simulazioni also released a GT4 car pack in 2020 providing gamers access to the GT4 European Series, which later included liveries for the British GT GT4 class.

Other GT4 championships run by SRO include GT4 America, GT4 Asia and the French GT Championship. In terms of other SRO series, this year they launched a championship aimed at ‘gentleman drivers’, adding GT2 cars. These are aggressive-looking beasts with tons of horsepower, but with much less emphasis on aero in comparison to GT3, meaning the cars’ potential could be exploited by their bronze-rated pilots.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Aston Martin Vantage GT3
GT3 racing is super-close. Especially here, at Not-the-Nordschleife

New Cars?

Based on the above, one could certainly expect to see 2021 livery updates for the GTWC Europe & World championships, with updates for the British GT Championship and GT4 series too. But should we also expect the entire GT2 Series to arrive in the next season of DLC? Would there be demand from ACC fans to drive the GT2-spec Porsche 911 and Audi R8 with upwards of 700bhp?

That was a rhetorical question of course.

Also, looking at the cars in the 2019/2020/2021 British GT Championship, should we expect the addition of the Ford Mustang, Toyota Supra and Jaguar F-Type in their GT4 guises? Many fans were particularly upset about these exclusions when the British GT DLC arrived, so it would make sense to see them included to ‘complete’ the championship properly.

A potential left-field option in terms of vehicle content is the addition of Touring Cars to ACC. Sit down Alan Gow, I don’t mean the British Touring Car Championship, I’m referring to the TC America & TC France Series run by SRO.

These are extremely diverse competitions, with eligible vehicles including BMW M2 CS Cup cars and Ginetta G40 Juniors, up to and including TCR-style efforts such as the Audi RS3 LMS. The potential for one-make series using these kinds of cars is huge, and would surely add a whole new layer of longevity to ACC for years to come… if they were included.

“But what about GTE cars?” I hear you ask. Well, there’s as much chance of Porsche making their 911 mid-engined as there is of seeing GTE cars in ACC…

…hang on, they did what?

BMW M6 GT3 in Assetto Corsa Competizione
Two Bavarian BMW beasts. Their perfect natural habitat would be the Nordschleife. Ain’t gonna happen, random forum users

New Tracks?

If new cars weren’t exciting enough, the worldwide appeal of the SRO GT championships means Asetto Corsa Competizione players could potentially drive on some of the finest racing tracks on the planet.

Picture this; Philip Island from GTWC Australia, Road America from GTWC America, and Zhuhai from GTWC Asia. Okay, maybe not that last one, but the other tracks used in SRO series include Watkins Glen, Virginia International Raceway, Sonoma, Circuit of the Americas, Indianapolis Road Course, Shanghai, Nogaro, Circuit de Lédenon, Circuit d’Albi, Magny-Cours, Tailem Bend and Sandown. That’s quite a list, isn’t it, and features some of the most enjoyable driver’s tracks in the world. Nice.

We can dream about these, right?

What We Definitely Won’t Be Seeing…

“No Nordschleife, no buy”, said a very unimaginative forum user, who quite clearly doesn’t understand the world of GT racing. Yes, as much as we want to see ‘The Green Hell’ in ACC, it’s not going to happen.

As SRO hasn’t completely taken over the world of GT racing (yet…), there are still some very successful GT championships, including the Nürburgring Endurance Series (formerly the VLN) – which races exclusively on the Nordschleife – and the DTM.

Controversially, the DTM has moved away from using expensive silhouette-style cars with masses of aero grip to the more run-of-the-mill GT3 machinery – mainly due to falling manufacturer interest and rising costs. However, the GT3 cars in this new-look DTM are slightly tuned-up from GT3 spec, helping differentiate them from the standard SRO GT3 fare. If that’s not enough, the DTM has an existing relationship with RaceRoom Racing Experience, so the chances of seeing DTM cars in ACC rank alongside that of seeing Andy Neate becoming five-time BTCC champion.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Aston Martin Vantage GT3 sparks, Paul Ricard
Sparks from an Aston Martin at Paul Ricard. A racing circuit with a long straight. Just like… Spa.

Time For a Sequel?

If Kunos wanted to add more DLC to ACC, then you can see from the above that there is huge potential for track and car DLC in future.

2021 livery packs will be expected in due course, and I think ACC fans all over the globe would welcome racing GT3 & GT4 cars at epic venues such as Philip Island, Watkins Glen and Virginia International Raceway. For me, the addition of a complete field of GT4 cars would be most welcome, but seeing as they tend to be less popular with the ACC player base, Kunos may decide to focus elsewhere.

Likewise, would adding the GT2 championship add much value to the sim? Judging from the relative unpopularity of the single-make Porsche Cup & Lamborghini Super Trofeo cars already present, we should probably guess not. Also, the GT2 series has yet to take off properly in real life, with barely more than 10 cars on the grid for the first round at Monza, so won’t be quite as attractive to your casual motorsport fan.

If DLC isn’t an option, then should Kunos release a full sequel to Assetto Corsa Competizione? Or even an all-new title encompassing more aspects of the motorsport world – along the lines of the original Assetto Corsa? Well, if financial presentations to go by, despite the success of ACC, the team is working on the latter.

In my opinion, the success of ACC – as well as the forthcoming next-gen console releases – suggest that Kunos is going to continue as they are for the time being until AC2 in 2024, which is a long time away. I’d expect more DLC track & car packs to be announced, possibly with extra liveries from the GT3 & GT4 championships around the world as a second season pass.

With the sim’s tie-in with the GTWC, one would expect this relationship to continue into the future with a sequel to ACC at some point, but from the sound of things, that may have to wait until after AC2.

Regardless, you won’t be seeing the Nordschleife though, or Andy Neate…

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