Next Level Racing F-GT Lite Review

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The Next Level Racing F-GT Lite is an all-in-one portable sim racing cockpit. It utilises the same design philosophy to the F-GT, but in a more budget-friendly configuration. Our F-GT Lite review finds out whether this cockpit is worth considering.

Buy F-GT Lite
Next Level Racing F-GT Lite Cockpit

Our Verdict

8.3 / 10

Product Design

85

85
Gameplay

78

78
Value For Money

86

86
Compatibility
Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC

Pros

  • Incredibly versatile
  • Performs well with entry-level gear
  • Rigid enough for a small direct drive wheel
  • Comfortable racing seat
  • Shifter mount included
  • Well designed

Cons

  • Takes time to fully collapse
  • Some adjustments can be stiff
  • Load cell pedals can be too powerful
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Next Level Racing’s original F-GT cockpit remains one of their most popular sim racing rigs. The F-GT Lite looks to fill the gap below the F-GT by utilising similar design philosophies while introducing much more budget-friendly focused elements. I’ll find out in this review whether these changes and tweaks make this a go-to budget sim racing cockpit.


What is the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite?

Next Level Racing markets their F-GT Lite as their first portable sim racing cockpit. While this is true, I would much rather focus on its ability to perform while sim racing while looking at it as a budget and compact sim rig. In this space, the F-GT Lite seems incredibly successful.

The F-GT utilises thin yet sturdy metal tubing throughout along with unique NLR hubs which enable adjustability. The hubs let you collapse the whole cockpit down to a small carriable shape which can be stored away when not in use. This is a sim racing cockpit that definitely has the user in mind in terms of practicality.

How is the F-GT Lite different from the F-GT and GT-Lite?

Next Level Racing’s naming structure can be a little confusing at times. There is the F-GT Elite which is a sturdy and premium aluminium profile cockpit. Then there is the F-GT which is a metal-framed all-in-one cockpit that sits in a mid-range price point. At the budget end are the F-GT Lite and the GT Lite.

Both of these budget sim racing rigs use the same metal tubular frame and feature collapsing elements so you can store them away. They’re both designed to be the entry point for anyone looking to start sim racing on a budget.

Below is a quick overview of each of Next Level Racing’s sim racing cockpits that utilise the F-GT name. They do sell other cockpits to these F-GT branded ones that sit outside of the F-GT branding. However, the products below all use a similar design philosophy as you increase in budget and performance.

CockpitDescriptionCost
F-GT ElitePremium 8020 sim rig$999 / £999
F-GT Elite LiteEntry-level 8020 sim rig$599 / £599
F-GTSturdy all-in-one cockpit$499 / £449
F-GT LiteCollapsible budget cockpit$299 / £279
GT LiteCollapsible budget cockput$249 / £229

F-GT Lite Cost

The NLR F-GT Lite is designed to be a compact budget-friendly sim racing cockpit. It’s no surprise to find this cockpit is priced cheaper than its big sibling, the F-GT. You can buy the F-GT Lite from just;

This price seems pretty good at the outset. For that, you get a sim racing cockpit that can transform across a few different driving positions. And it’s collapsible so it can be stored away. So far so good.


Assembly and build quality

The overall build quality of the F-GT Lite is good, which is to be expected from Next Level Racing. Generally, their sim racing products always excel in the overall quality and this cockpit is no different.

F-GT Cockpit Adjustability

The cockpit is much simpler to set up than other NLR products such as the F-GT and their aluminium profile rigs, and can be done in a pretty short space of time. Some parts come pre-assembled, while you will have to do some finishing touches such as mounting the pedal mounts and shifter mount.

When assembled, this sim rig felt pretty high quality and actually rather sturdy. And that is something I didn’t think going into this review. The frame is relatively light weight and thin, but fully assembled, it holds itself together nicely.


NLR F-GT Lite design

Much of the sim rig is constructed from the thin metal tubes which wrap from the top of the seat down and through this cockpit. They are generally joined using the plastic quick-release hubs that are designed to allow for quick adjustments.

These parts are identified with the splash of red that allows them to stand out from the all-black design of the frame. There are some really neat design cues throughout. The way that NLR have incorporated both a stand for the seat and pedals is clever, and when they are in use, their both relatively stable. When they aren’t in use they don’t look out of place either.

F-GT Lite Seat

The seat is constructed from a thin piece of fabric which looks incredibly uncomfortable when you first see it. However, park your bum in it and it actually wraps around and supports you nicely. I spent multiple hours in this sim rig at once and didn’t feel uncomfortable at the end of it.

Getting into the cockpit when it’s in the formula configuration is a bit of a challenge due to it essentially sitting on the floor. You have to do a funny shimmy in and out, and it’s not the most elegant way into or out of any sim racing cockpit. But again, once your in, the driving position feels pretty nice. I’m just over 6″ and didn’t feel too cramped.


Adjustability and mounting

What makes this F-GT Lite cockpit stand out are the unique adjustment points that Next Level Racing have built-in. These are made up of adjustment hubs that use a quick-release mechanism to both secure the right into position and loosen it so elements can be adjusted.

These hubs are positioned at each of the joints that span from the top of the seat through the sim rig to the pedals at the very end. Using these adjustment hubs lets you adjust the overall driving position so you can raise or lower the seat and pedals to switch between a GT and Formula driving position.

NLR F-GT Lite Review
Adjusting the racing position

Making this adjustment between driving positions requires you to adjust just the pedals and seat support. Simply pull the quick-release lever to unlock the frame, move the frame elements and re-lock.

In practice, making these adjustments can be a little time-consuming. The theory is solid, just release adjust and tighten. However, some of the joints don’t move as easily as hoped. This can make the whole process a little more awkward. Especially as you have to adjust one side at a time. Doing this can cause the whole sim rig to lean during the adjustments and become a little unstable.

However, after a few repetitions and getting used to how the sim rig behaves to being loosened and tightened, you can navigate this process with relative ease.

Collapsing the sim rig

When collapsing the sim rig to be stored away, the same principle applies. You have to loosen all of the quick-release hubs and fold the sim rig up. There are eight hubs in total with a few other areas that can be adjusted.

NLR F-GT Lite Shifter Mount

Adjusting all eight hubs and collapsing the whole cockpit down can easily take around 10 minutes. During my time with the rig, this process also led to a few words that I won’t repeat. Simply because some hubs can be stiff to adjust, and loosening some parts can cause other parts of the sim rig to fall or drop unexpectedly.

As I mentioned just now, after a few times adjusting the rig and collapsing it right down, you quickly become accustomed to the best way to navigate the puzzle. But the first few times are best done with another person to hold the various parts that you’re adjusting.

When the sim rig is collapsed, it uses a very small amount of space which is excellent. If you don’t have the room for a permanent sim rig to be set up, this can easily be stored in a cupboard or against a wall and out of the way.

Mounting racing wheels and pedals

Both the wheel deck and pedal tray come pre-drilled so you can mount various sim racing wheels, pedals and even shifters to the cockpit. I didn’t run into any real issues in this department while mounting products from a few brands.

I had a Fanatec CSL DD mounted as well as a Thrustmaster T248 and Logitech G923 and didn’t have any issues with any of these sim racing wheels. The trickiest part of mounting my sim racing equipment was the pedal tray.

NLR F-GT Lite Pedal Tray

The pedal mounting comes with two sliding elements that can be moved to fit various pedal mounting. I tried to mount a set of Fanatec CSL pedals to this and the two pedal mounts didn’t quite move far enough apart to get bolts in both the front and rear mounting holes. This didn’t cause any issues though and I could race away.

This cockpit does come with a shifter mount included which is a really nice addition. Next Level Racing is always very good at including shifter mounting solutions that other brands often charge extra for. This can be mounted on either side of the cockpit and was very easy to integrate. Again, this comes pre-drilled to support most shifters.


How does the NLR F-GT Lite perform while sim racing?

My time with the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite was spent primarily with a Fanatec CSL DD wheel at 5Nm and a set of Fanatec CSL Pedals. This really is a top-end setup for this style of sim racing cockpit. Upgrading to a more powerful racing wheel would almost certainly cause stability issues. I did run into a couple of issues with stability during my time which I’ll talk about in a second.

Wheel mount flex

I first want to start by talking about the wheel mounting and the overall rigidity of the whole cockpit. And I was pleasantly surprised in this category.

The racing wheel mounting solution is possibly the area of this sim rig that comes under the most strain. It is designed to extend out from the main chassis with extra support on the left side to stop it from flexing too much.

During racing this solution holds up relatively well to scrutiny. The most powerful racing wheel I used was a Fanatec CSL DD at 5Nm, and I wouldn’t recommend trying to use anything more powerful than this!

NLR F-GT Lite Gameplay

With the CSL DD, there was some flexing that crept in, but nowhere near as much as I had thought would. With the frame being relatively thin, I had expected the whole sim rig to rock and move during heavy force feedback moments. However, I think with body weight taken into account, the whole sim rig stays pretty planted to the ground.

There was some front and back flexing present with my racing wheel cranked up to 5Nm. This wasn’t overly noticeable while racing and didn’t impact me on track.

Pedal plate flex

The pedal plate is a slightly different story compared to the relatively solid wheel deck. I’m going to start by saying that I was using a set of load cell pedals during my time with the F-GT Lite. I think a lot of the issues that I’m about to mention would be alleviated if I were using more budget pedals that required less force to activate.

My main issue came when pushing hard on the brake pedal. Doing this would do a few things, none of which you want mid-race. The first is that the force of me stamping on the brake pushed me back into the chair. The relatively thin back support would flex a lot during braking and I was always concerned that something would give if I pushed too hard.

The second thing that happened was that occasionally, the middle of the frame would lift up and away from the floor. This happened mainly when racing in the formula position with elevated pedals. When you force the brake pedal to 100% with a load cell or stiff brake pedal, it pushes the pedals up and over the pivot point at the rear of the pedal mount.

To combat both of these issues I physically had to tune down my brake pedal travel. With a lighter and more sensitive brake pedal, this wasn’t as much of an issue. However, this did prevent me from utilising my brake pedal fully which is a shame.


Compatibility with other peripherals

I’ve touched on mounting in this review already, and Next Level Racing have done a good job in this area. The pedal plate and the wheel deck both come pre-drilled to allow you to mount a good majority of sim racing equipment.

NLR F-GT Wheel Mounting

The F-GT Lite also comes with a shifter mount which can be attached to either side of the cockpit. This, much like the wheel deck, comes pre-drilled so you can hard mount most shifters or handbrakes.

I would recommend this sim racing rig is only really used with budget-friendly sim racing gear. Any racing wheel above around 5 or 6Nm of peak force will start to really test the rigidity of this design. Stiff load cell pedals are also tricky to use with this cockpit. I had some issues using a set of Fanatec load cell pedals and had to detune them to ensure stability.


Is the Next Level Racing F-GT Lite worth buying?

Next Level Racing has done a great job on the overall design and feature set of this budget sim rig. The F-GT Lite delivers on its promise. It is extremely adaptable with multiple driving positions and can be folded up to a pretty small form for storing away.

It can be a little bit of a faff to fold away and re-adjust the cockpit between every racing session. However, if you are short on space, this is easily one of the better sim racing solutions. You can keep all of your equipment mounted while folding it away as well to reduce time spent adjusting.

The rigidity of the cockpit is good during gameplay, but does have its limitations on which equipment you can use. With a budget racing wheel and pedal set, this F-GT Lite performs excellently. And I’d highly recommend it for anyone looking to start sim racing.

Technical Specifications

  • Supported Height – 120 – 200 cm or 4ft – 6ft 6 inches
  • Supported Max Weight – 130 kg or 287lbs
  • Product Dimensions – (GT Position: 175 X 75 X 127cm, 68.5 X 29.5 X 50 inches. Formula Position: 164 X 75 X 94cm, 64.5 X 29.5 X 37 inches. Folded: 75 X 40 X 87cm, 29.5 X 15.7 X 34 inches)
  • Product Weight – 19kg or 42lbs
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Review written by Felix König

About Felix König

Felix König is a professional Esports sim racer from Seattle, WA, and is the founder and editor of Sim Race Reviews. In addition to over 10 years of professional sim racing and competing in both iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione competitions, Felix has been sharing his sim racing knowledge and expertise with other sim racers. His passion lies in sim racing, and in particular in the plethora of sim racing hardware from racing wheels to pedals and more.