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Fanatec drops another real-world compatible wheel


Fanatec have produced a brand new wheel compatible with their sim racing wheelbases and a real-world Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak race car.

It seems like there is something new coming out from Fanatec every other week at the moment, and that's no bad thing. Recently they have thrown the cat amongst the pigeons with their CSL Direct Drive Wheelbase and Pedals as they represent a ton of spec at a lower price point. This time however they have once again turned their attention to the top end of the market with yet another real world compatible wheel.

At this stage we haven't been any indication on price but by looking a the product in the trailer and photos, this thing doesn't hold back in terms of features. The circular screen in the centre of the wheel and the high end pots and knobs, one suspects it won't be cheap, but that's what you would expect from a car that works in a freaking Bentley!

With Fanatec labelling themselves as "the leading manufacturer for sim racing equipment" I started to wonder if they might start to rest on there laurels and slow down the rate of innovation, like some market leading companies have done in other industries cough cough....Apple. But thankfully that doesn't appear to be the case at all, Fanatec are pushing boundaries and it's great to see.

Here is the full Fanatec press release:
The leading manufacturer for sim racing equipment, FANATEC®, announces an all-new Podium Series steering wheel, developed in partnership with Bentley Motors Limited. This exact wheel is being used in the Bentley GT3 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb car. Made from lightweight carbon fibre and magnesium, it features a large circular, digital display which offers vital telemetry data and hardware tuning features.

To learn more about the Fanatec Podium Steering Wheel Bentley GT3 and would like to support RaceDepartment you can use our Fanatec affiliate link here: bentley.fanatec.com

Stand out from the crowd.

You’ve never seen a wheel quite like this. The spectacular circular display dominates the front face, with a stunning forged carbon bezel and CNC-machined aluminium rotaries with signature Bentley knurling.

A real racing accessory.

The Podium Steering Wheel Bentley GT3 was developed simultaneously for both the real Pikes Peak race car and for sim racing, in collaboration with Bentley and their Motorsport team. The quick release (QR2) meets FIA standards, allowing it to connect to the real car and compatible Fanatec wheel bases.

Performance and beauty.

Combining ultimate performance with distinctive Bentley design, this 310 mm diameter wheel features a round 3.4” display, magnesium core, 5 mm-thick carbon fibre front plate with custom green weave, and Alcantara® grips.

Telemetry and much more.

The large, circular display can show game telemetry and other special features using a bespoke interface. Adjusting force-feedback and other hardware settings in the Fanatec Tuning Menu also provides a unique experience with this wheel.

Striking timepiece.

The included mount can be used to showcase the wheel on either your wall or desk. Powered by a USB connection, the wheel can be displayed as a clock inspired by the traditional timepiece found in

the Bentley Continental GT. It can also replay preloaded race telemetry from famous laps, showing pedal and steering inputs, gear changes, G-meter, and a track map.

Take control.

The vast selection of inputs are intuitively placed around the wheel, including premium snap-dome buttons, two 7-way FunkySwitch™ directional sticks with encoder functionality, two aluminium thumb wheels with optical encoders, and a magnetic shifter and dual-analogue clutch paddle system.

The perfect paddles.

A unique configuration of the integrated Podium Advanced Paddle Module based on the shifter paddle design from the Continental GT offers four magnetic paddles: two for gear shifting, and two for additional functions. Dual analogue clutch paddles use contactless Hall sensors for precision and durability.

Illumination.

In addition to the main display, the eight primary buttons also attract the eye with a special backlit surround. Integrated RevLEDs and FlagLEDs are programmable to display many colours through FanaLab.

Optional lower handle: The Pikes Peak Grip.

Due to the number of hairpin turns on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course, it is essential for the wheel shape to feature a lower rim section. This optional grip (included) can be attached to help when applying extra steering lock around tight corners.

Features
  • Officially licensed Bentley product
  • Actual wheel used in the Bentley Continental GT3 PPIHC car
  • Comfortable 310 mm diameter wheel with Alcantara® grips
  • 5 mm-thick carbon fibre plate with custom green weave
  • Pikes Peak Grip: optional lower grip (included) to suit different driving styles
  • Magnesium alloy core for maximum stiffness and weight saving
  • Exchangeable quick release (QR2) allows for use with real Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak race car and compatible Fanatec wheel bases
  • Unique circular, digital display in centre of wheel to show telemetry and other features
    • 3.4” 800 x 800 px RGB vertical stripe LCD
    • Forged carbon bezel
    • Four CNC-machined aluminium rotary encoders
  • Eight snap-dome buttons with 900 g activation force
  • Backlit button surrounds
  • Two 7-way FunkySwitch™ directional sticks with encoder functionality
  • Two aluminium thumb wheels with optical encoders
  • Nine RGB RevLEDs
  • Six RGB FlagLEDs
  • Paddle design based on the Bentley Continental GT shift paddles:
    • Four magnetic paddles, two for gear shifting, two for additional functions
    • Two analogue clutch paddles using contactless Hall sensors
  • Dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 microprocessor @800Mhz
  • Integrated USB-C port for firmware updates (cable included)
  • Aluminium, USB-powered desk/wall mount (included) activates the display to show:
  • Analogue clock function
  • Preloaded telemetry replays of famous laps
  • Sticker set with 50 labels included
  • Interchangeable button caps (compatible with the Button Cap and Sticker Set)
  • 1900 g (approx.)
  • Robust travel case included
About author
Steve Worrell
A motorsport fanatic and sim racer for over 20 years. Content creator for RD, and MD at Simracing.gp. Favourite sims include ACC, AC, RF2, AMS, WRC9 - VernWozza#7419 @vernwozza

Comments

Looks like a decent steering wheel with lots of buttons. But so will be the price.
 
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I just ordered my first ever Fanatec gear today, then this shows up!

But thanks to the comment from LRR_uk above for reminding me it's Bentley related - yeah I can't afford this lol

Will just be sticking to the Mclaren v2 :p
 
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I feel like the concept of the BMW and Bentley real world rims sounds good on paper however it's really not practical. The fact they have not released pricing on any of this equipment is telling in it's own sense. I would not be surprised at all if each of these retail around $5k. I don't understand them marketing this to the masses as only a very small sector invests this type of money in their hobby. Most professional teams / simulators do not use mainstream equipment from my understanding but I could certainly be wrong.
 
Would be nice if they gave the price for the BMW wheel before announcing this. Makes me less excited about this wheel. It feels like I have to wait a year just to find out how much it is, which will lead to disappointment for me ultimately.
 
there is a difference if they produce just 50 pcs for Bentley or 2000 + pcs for Bentley & simracers.
 
I'm impressed! That is one cool looking wheel! I have no doubt that it will be reasonably expensive, but I seriously doubt that it will be prohibitively expensive. Fanatec has too much business sense for that. I also have no doubt that it will be beyond some people's budget and some will complain, but that's OK. too.

I'm an SC2 Pro owner running VR exclusively so I can't see the wheel while I'm driving. I run a single PSE GT3 wheel for everything but rally where I run a real 330mm Momo. I like having a single high end wheel that I'm comfortable with for many cars.

But just because I'm not the target for this wheel doesn't mean I can't appreciate when a solid effort has been made and I think Fanatec is being very smart about this. They already have the mid tier pretty well covered, so adding a lower end direct drive wheelbase and pedals and also a higher end wheel makes all kinds of sense.

I look forward to seeing where they go with this.
 
But I wonder why a wheel needs be be for a RL and a sim? What`s the point? I don`t see any. It will only be waaay more expensive for sim racers.

PSE has a Formula wheel that costs over $3K and I've seen pictures posted by a number of people who purchased it. I consider that the upper range for this market. I don't think Fanatec will price their Bentley wheel that high.

However let me mention that one reason I purchased an SC2 Pro over the Fanatec DD2 was because of the higher quality wheels that directly bolted up to it's QR's. My PSE GT3 wheel was about $1200 and I love it. The switchgear is miles better than my previous Fanatec Porsche 918 wheel, and a huge step up from the McLaren Wheel which I didn't even like using until I upgraded it to SRM shifters.

There is a market that wants higher end wheels and Fanatec is losing those sales. I'm a prime example. I had an CS 2.5 and two Fanatec wheels. I didn't see what I wanted in their inventory, so I purchased elsewhere. I know a lot of former Fanatec customers who went to SC2 wheelbases because they wanted higher end equipment than Fanatec has. Fanatec needs to plug that hole and offer higher end equipment to keep people like me in the fold so to speak.

Even if this wheel is not what you want, it doesn't mean that they don't have a very good reason to build and sell this.
 
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