Taking inspiration from smartphones, P1Sim has created the world’s first portrait touchscreen display on a sim racing wheel. We went hands on to see if it’s a trendsetter.
So many high-end sim racing steering wheels, and real-world racing car wheels, opt for the traditional landscape screen.
It’s the norm. But why?
Since the iPhone was comfortable to hold in a portrait orientation, more images started to be taken this way, and then apps like Snapchat and TikTok were created exclusively for vertical content.
In road cars, the Tesla Model S/X and the Ford Mustang Mach E have gone for massive portrait infotainment screens.
Now, P1Sim has gone for a 4-inch touchscreen right down the middle of its latest Arnage sim racing steering wheel.
“We had the idea to have the vertical screen to allow the driver to display the data differently with a new philosophy,” said Founder and CEO of P1Sim, Benoit Constans, to Traxion.GG at the recent SimRacing Expo in Germany.
“We can put at the top [of the screen] the most important information, right where your look is going.”
The design of the dashboard has been created by the French company, so out of the box, it has your delta time, mainly red in my testing it must be said, right in your peripheral vision at the top of the display.
After an acclimatisation lap, I knew if I was up or down on the best lap time without thinking about it. Same for the gear selection, it’s right there at the bottom of your eye line.
The rest of the information has been simplified. It’s all you need, but nothing more. But should you want to change that, simply fire up SimHub.
The top of the wheel is also non-existing. It’s not quite a yoke, but you can see the tips of your fingers shifting gears and thankfully, there’s still enough grip real estate to keep hold of the wheel even around the Hockenheimring’s tight Spitzkehre.
Near the bottom of the device in an unconventional position are two rotary dials, and at first, it seems a little odd to have them facing away from you and nowhere near your thumbs. But, as it turns out, these are in an ideal location for your little finger to twizzle.
The display isn’t the only new area for P1Sim, as the Arnage also heralds the introduction of several key upgrades in comparison to its prior models.
At the rear, there are four paddles – two for gears, two for the clutch – but they now use Hall sensors, and the main plate is forged carbon fibre. Everything else is CNC machined aluminium and its implemented backlit buttons for the first time.
“I would say it took around six to eight months to develop,” said Constans.
“It was available for pre-orders a couple of months ago. This is now the final version, and the first ones are going to be shipped before Christmas.
“We have been overwhelmed with the feedback so far.”
This unique PC sim racing wheel can be ordered now for €899,00 excluding VAT.