Thrustmaster is working on a direct drive wheel base, reveals 2021 roadmap

Thomas Harrison-Lord

Competition has been heating up in the steering wheel peripheral market of late, and Thrustmaster is now planning to fight back.

A market leader in entry-level to mid-range steering wheel peripherals, it recently launched a TGT-II for PlayStation and PC retailing at €749.99/£699.99/$799.99 and earlier this year, the Ferrari endorsed SF1000 Wheel Add-on.

However, also this year, Fanatec launched its CSL DD that aimed to bring more responsive direct drive technology to a wider audience thanks to a lower entry price – although it is not compatible with PlayStations or inclusive of a wheel rim and pedals.

Thrustmaster has now revealed that it’s working on several new devices via its social media feeds. While we do not know device specifics at this stage, the following racing peripherals are on the way before the end of 2021:

  • A new Racing Pedals Set for PC, PlayStation and Xbox
  • A new Hybrid Drive Wheel bundle for PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox
  • A new Direct Drive Racing Wheel Base for PC
Thrustmaster 2021 roadmap sim racing

Alongside the racing-specific items will be a new ESWAP controller and customisation packs, plus two accessories for flight sim fans.

Thrustmaster already has a large range of pedals available, and already offers a load cell set in the form of the T-LCMs. What this new pedal product provides is yet to be seen.

This announcement also reveals that Thrustmaster is working on its very first direct drive wheel base, only for PC currently. The company has long been a proponent for belt-driven devices – which are particularly popular with rally and drift communities – but now looks to be taking the fight to the likes of Fanatec and Simucube in the high-end dedicated sim racing market segment.

Perhaps what intrigues us the most, however, is the ‘Hybrid Drive’ system, as it’s specifically stated as working across multiple devices and available as a bundle – implying a wheel rim and pedals to be included.

In which case, if it can provide similar feedback clarity to something like a CSL DD, but all in one handy bundle, then the battle is well and truly on. Sim racing fans, you’ve never had it better.

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