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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 have collaborated with BMW to produce a steering wheel which is both compatible with Fanatec’s Podium sim racing wheel base. 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, have partnered with BMW. They have previously joined forces to produce BMW licensed sim racing steering wheels.
However, this new partnership marks a ground breaking fusion between sim racing and real world racing. Check out this link to view more information, directly from Fanatec.
Fanatec have 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 for 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.
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.
As well as being compatible with the real BMW M4 GT3 race car, it will also work with all Podium range wheel bases. That means that currently it will be compatible with both the DD1 and DD2 wheel bases.
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 magentic shifters, which feature push-pull functionality. This allows you to change gear completely one handed, both up and down.
The whole of this wheel is produced using carbon fibre, all buttons are completely backlit. The thumb encoders are the most optimised varient Fanatec have ever used, which isn’t surprising bearing in mind this is a race spec wheel.
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 wheel bases.
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.
So far, Fanatec haven’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.