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Actual Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO Steering Wheel vs Thrustmaster 599XX EVO

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by kona076, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Thought I'd share something a few of you might find interesting. Below is my Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO Steering Wheel. I'll be modding this to work (for now) with the Thrustmaster TX/300 bases. In fact I already developed a hub on which it already sits. Here are some comparison photos of the actual Ferrari wheel and the Thrustmaster version.



    A few things to note.
    • The wheel weighs in at about 3lb 14oz / 1766g with the full weight of the cable compared to the Thrustmaster which is around 2lb 4oz. Of course there are also no paddles on the actual wheel and whatever gets mounted to the hub will result in additional weight. However, as it is currently mounted, there is no discernible difference.
    • The Ferrari wheel is 350mm and the Thrustmaster is 300mm.
    • The Thrustmaster alcantara does feel very similar to that of the Ferrari wheel as one would expect though it does seem a tad smoother.
    • Button responsiveness and stiffness is much greater on the Ferrari wheel and the buttons are slightly larger.
    Below is an adapter hub I created for a different rim last year. While this does work in its minimal state, I'll need to design a version on which the paddle shifter assembly will be mounted as well as a custom circuit to emulate the Thrustmaster steering wheel, and an integrated connection port for the cable to plug into.

    One thing to note is that the paddles in the actual Ferrari Challenge are stationary and do not move with the wheel. While I am going for an authentic experience, the first iteration will probably not involve a static design so as to avoid any destructive modifications to the TM wheel base but that's TBD.

    A few thoughts. While the wheels are somewhat similar in feeling and aesthetics it's really everything else that makes using the actual wheel a more authentic experience. Having said that, Thrustmaster have done well to offer an experience that is comparable to the real deal even if at a smaller scale.

    I'll be sure to post an update when the mod is closer to being finished. I will also be posting another Ferrari wheel soon that, for some, might be even more interesting than this so stay tuned.
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  2. fortyfivekev


    Nice project. Very happy with my Thrustmaster version and I guess the genuine item must be 10x the cost?
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  3. Any Updates?
  4. appreciate the comparison, but how is 2x the weight 'no discernable difference'?? maybe im underestimating the motor but that seems like an issue.
  5. Small update. When I finally decided I was ready to get this thing working I wanted a pretty quick turn-around so I threw this together. I wanted to retain as much of the original Ferrari parts as possible for authenticity sake so the shifter assembly and the quick release hub stayed, for the most part, intact to achieve that. I did, however, cut off some additional metal bits on the shifter assembly base that added unnecessary weight but what's left is still pretty much exactly what you'd find in a Ferrari 458 Challenge. I did a few quick multimeter reads on the shifter's plug leads and then wired up an arduino programmed to simulate the Thrustmaster 458 wheel to them.

    I also read the leads of the wheel itself but haven't wired it up yet as I'm ok with using a wireless controller for the time being. But with the arduino it wouldn't take much additional effort getting that done.

    Next step when I find the time and motivation is to create a tidier assembly that doesn't make use of the shifter base, but it would feel like a bit of a waste given how authentic of a feeling it gives with the shift response of the real deal. I'll update again if and when I do make that mod.

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