Fanatec Release Brand New Podium Wheel In Partnership With BMW
Update – Since publishing this article there has been a lot more information released about the Fanatec BMW M4 GT3 steering wheel. We’ve written an updated guide with all of the information you need to know including price, release date and when you can order this steering wheel.
Read our ultimate Fanatec BMW M4 GT3 steering wheel guide here.
This past week has seen something that we have never seen before in sim racing. For the first time ever, sim racers will be able to officially buy and use a real racing steering wheel with their sim racing wheel.
Fanatec has collaborated with BMW to produce a steering wheel that is both compatible with Fanatec’s Podium sim racing wheelbase. And BMW’s new M4 GT3 race car.
Yes, you read that right… The exact same steering wheel will be available for sim racers to buy, and for real racing drivers to use in a GT3 race car!
This isn’t the first time that the German sim racing manufacturer Fanatec has partnered with BMW. They have previously joined forces to produce BMW licensed sim racing steering wheels.
However, this new partnership marks a groundbreaking fusion between sim racing and real-world racing. Check out this link to view more information, directly from Fanatec.
Fanatec has also released a video to showcase how this partnership will work, so feel free to watch that below.
Like us, you probably have so many questions about how this new steering wheel will work in practice. Below I’ll run through what we know and answer as many of those questions as possible.
Will this new wheel actually work in both sim racing and a real racing car?
Yes! It’s incredible but the same wheel will be used across both platforms. All units of this steering wheel are being manufactured in the exact same production line. And are fundamentally the same.
They utilise the exact same chassis, same back-lit buttons, toggle and rotary encoders. The wheel itself has been specified by BMW so that it can perform well in a GT3 race environment. And that is the same spec wheel that will make its way onto many sim racers rigs.
What products is this wheel compatible with?
As well as being compatible with the real BMW M4 GT3 race car, it will also work with all Podium range wheelbases. That means that currently, it will be compatible with both the DD1 and DD2 wheelbases.
What is new with this wheel?
Along with the brand new quick release, and other GT3 spec features, this BMW M4 GT3 features some pretty impressive specs.
There are brand new magnetic shifters, which feature push-pull functionality. This allows you to change gear completely one-handed, both up and down.
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The whole of this wheel is produced using carbon fibre, all buttons are completely backlit. The thumb encoders are the most optimised variant Fanatec have ever used, which isn’t surprising bearing in mind this is a race-spec wheel.
How will this new M4 GT3 wheel connect to the Podium DD1 and DD2?
The wheel itself utilises a brand new quick release, which is built to a race car spec. That quick release is fully compatible with both Direct Drive wheelbases.
To be fully compatible with the real M4 GT3 race car, the wheel now supports CAN bus. It’s also both water-resistant and shockproof to bring it in line with other FIA steering wheels.
When will this wheel be available to buy?
So far, Fanatec hasn’t announced when this new Podium spec steering wheel will be available to buy. All we know is it will be released in the first quarter of 2021.
Check back regularly and we’ll keep this article updated when we know more information.
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