To drive fast, you must be precise with your controls, and to be precise, it is very important that your hardware is mounted solidly.  For your muscle memory to develop, you can’t afford to have your pedals and wheelbase moving around.  To feel all the detail from your force feedback, you need your mounting solution to be rigid, so that the haptic feedback created by your wheelbase isn’t absorbed by the flex of your cockpit.  This makes a good quality cockpit one of the most essential purchases for your dream sim racing rig.

So to help find the right cockpit for you, we have put together a number of reviews for a range of budgets.  Today we look at the Next Level Racing GT Elite, the little brother of the F-GT Elite which we reviewed not long ago.  For a significantly lower price, the GT-Elite has many of the same core features as the F-GT Elite and other Aluminium Profile Cockpits such as the Trak Racer and Sim-Lab ranges.  So let’s find out if the GT-Elite from Next Level Racing is a worthy foundation for your dream rig.

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Key Features

The GT Elite offers an excellent range of adjustability for all body shapes and sizes. We had ample length and height available for the seat, wheel deck, and pedal positions to accommodate us at a little over 6ft tall.

The GT Elite incorporates the same system for sliding the seat forward or back as the F-GT.  It is a simple solution that ensures there is no movement introduced to the rig by complicated seat rails such as the Sparco-style seat rails.  This method incorporates handy ratchets which are easily loosened and tightened and a piece of felt between the seat support and cockpit chassis. While not quite as quick to adjust as the Sparco style rails, it is still not difficult to make quick changes to the seat position for different drivers and is very secure with no flex introduced to your rig.



Pedal Tray

The pedal tray offers all the adjustability you should need to mount your pedals right where you want them.  The pedal tray does not include a heel rest so you will likely need to purchase the specific baseplate and heel rest for your pedals.  As most popular pedals come with a baseplate and heel rest system either included or as an optional extra, this should not be a significant issue, however, it is worth having a look at the Trak Racer TR120 if you are looking for the most versatile pedal mounting solution incorporating a heel mount.
We detected some flex in the pedal tray when pushing very hard on the brake pedal, but this was not an issue for us under normal driving conditions. As seen in our full review video, it is only really visible when intentionally putting a huge amount of force into the pedals, but there is some flex, and while this is a good pedal tray, the Trak Racer TR120 is definitely our preferred pedal tray from similarly priced cockpits.


Wheel Deck

There are two options for mounting your wheelbase to the GT-Elite cockpit.  The Wheel Plate Edition offers a large range of compatibility for wheelbases that require mounting from the underside.  It is strong and rigid, with only a small amount of twist visible when intentionally twisting the wheel with a large amount of force.  For many Direct Drive Wheebases you may need the Front and Side Mount Edition, which at an additional AU$100 will comfortably house your Fanatec, Simucube, VRS etc. Direct Drive wheelbases.


GT-Elite VS F-GT Elite

The Next Level Racing GT-Elite offers a GT-style seating position, unlike the F-GT Elite which can quite easily be changed from GT to a Formula-style seating position with a raised pedal plate and reclined seat.  However, this is not the only difference between the GT-Elite and F-GT Elite.  The Aluminium profile supplied with the F-GT Elite has a thicker internal structure as well as taller lengths of profile for the main chassis of the cockpit resulting in a more rigid cockpit.  While these differences are barely noticeable while driving, it is important to realise that the F-GT Elite is overall more solid than the GT-Elite.

The GT-Elite has much deeper slots for the included ball spring T-Nuts.  These slots are not properly compatible with the more standard size T-Nuts as found in the F-GT Elite.  The larger T-Nuts included with the GT-Elite must be slid in from the end of the length of profile, making it very important to slide in any T-Nuts you require for accessories while building your cockpit.  The F-GT Elite and many other aluminium cockpits use smaller T-Nuts which can be rolled into the side of the profile slots, making it possible to add accessories without disassembling your cockpit significantly.


Overall Experience

One of the big strengths of Next Level Racing cockpits is the overall user experience from the moment you open the box.  The cockpit is packaged very well, with clear instructions and labels on all parts.  We had no metal shavings present in the packaging which is something we have experienced with other brands.  Due to the clever design and clear instructions, assembling this cockpit is an enjoyable process.  As with all Aluminium Cockpits, it can take some time, but it was not stressful or confusing in any way.  An experience like this is important when you make a big purchase like this.  It helps you to appreciate what you have right from the start.

The only issue we came across during assembly was one of the pieces of profile supporting the seat was missing a threaded hole to attach the bracket.  This did bring the build to a stop until the item was replaced.

When it comes to everyday use of the Next Level Racing GT-Elite, we are very happy with this cockpit.  While the flex and twist in the chassis is more than some of its competitors, the overall fit and finish are at a very high standard.  There is a premium feel to this cockpit which is a step above the similarly priced Trak Racer TR120, however, the TR120 is more rigid.

For all the details of our findings on the Next Level Racing GT-Elite make sure you check out the full video review.  We’d also reccomend you heck out our review of the Trak Racer TR120 and Next Level Racing FGT-Elite.

As part of our review of the Trak Racer TR160 we gave some good tips on how to build an aluminium cockpit and what to look out for during the build process.