Sim racing peripherals manufacturer Thrustmaster has previewed a new wheel being launched in the near future.
From the limited shots of the new wheel, it looks to be open-wheel style and either made from carbon-fibre or wrapped in imitation. There seems to be a lot of colourful buttons and even potentially multiple shifter-plates, possibly to include a hand-clutch.
All wheels in the Thrustmaster ecosystem currently use the same “quick-release” system. It’s not quite the same speed as you get in a real race car, or with rivals Fanatec, but it nonetheless will allow you to change the big round thing you hold within a couple of minutes – if you have a screwdriver handy. It’s highly likely that this rim will be compatible previous wheels but we shouldn’t rule out that there’s a new wheel-base as well.
It’s the LED panel that is taking up our attention. It’s clearly full-colour and includes shift lights, gear, RPM, ERS, DRS and more. It’ll be interesting to know whether this can be customised at all and whether there’ll be compatibility with console products.
Recently, rivals Fanatec announced a partnership with BMW that would mean you could own the exact same wheel as the one in the new BMW M4 GT3 car. Unfortunately, the price of the wheel is set to be fairly expensive, “below €5,000“, making it no more than a dream for most of us.
Will the new Thrustmaster wheel come in at a comparative price-point? It’s unlikely to be super expensive, the French manufacturer is known for being more affordable than Fanatec whilst retaining quality of its force-feedback and feeling. That said, there are some new features on this wheel that we haven’t seen before so how much it costs will remain to be seen. Currently, the premier open-wheel rim that Thrustmaster offer is the “Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On” which retails for £169.99.
What do you think about this new racing hardware from Thrustmaster? Does it look like something that you’d purchase? Let us know on social media.