Thrustmaster Reveal Direct Drive Wheel – Price, Release Date & More!

Yes, Thrustmaster are making a direct drive racing wheel. Here are all of the details including price, release date, features and more!

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Thrustmaster Direct Drive Racing Wheel Launch

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Thrustmaster has officially confirmed that they are releasing a direct drive racing wheel. This will be the first direct-drive wheel Thrustmaster has ever released, which has made a lot of sim racers and fans of Thrustmaster excited.

Update – 20th January 2022

Thrustmaster has released another tease of their new direct drive wheel base. This teaser showcases the quick release system, as well as another look at what we now know is the front of the wheel base.

The tweet below with the hashtag #Startinglights shows the light that runs around the front hexagon shape of the wheelbase. Thrustmaster also gave another date, for what we can presume will be another update. This new date is the 3rd March 2022.

It seems Thrustmaster are going to be releasing updates for this direct drive wheel base very slowly throughout the year. If we are lucky, we may get a release date for Thrustmaster’s first direct drive wheel base at some point in 2022!


When will the Thrustmaster direct drive wheel be released?

So far we haven’t had an official release date for Thrustmaster’s direct-drive racing wheel. However, they have announced that on the 20th January 2022, they will be releasing more detail about this wheel base.

Other than the fact that the new Thrustmaster racing wheel base is only PC compatible, what else do we know? Well, the answer is not very much until the official unveiling on the 20th of January.

From the image that Thrustmaster released, we can however see the likely shape of the new wheel base. The red hexagon shape looks like a red LED light which could be the power indicator light.

We have brightened the image that Thrustmaster released slightly, which better shows the shape and outline of the wheel base.

Thrustmaster Direct drive wheel base

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    You can see that there are grooves along the bottom edges which look very similar to those found on the Fanatec CSL DD and GT DD Pro. These are most likely for cooling purposes.

    The red hexagon light also looks very similar to the bright blue feature found on the rear of the GT DD Pro wheel base. We presume this light ring will be at the rear of the wheel base so you aren’t constantly being blinded by it during racing!

    The real question that remains is how small/large this wheel base is. Fanatec have done supremely well to fit their direct drive technology into a small form factor. So it’ll be interesting to see if Thrustmaster can get close or beat Fanatec’s design.

    We still don’t know how the Thrustmaster direct drive wheel base will be priced. This could be a very expensive direct drive wheel base aimed to compete with Fanatec’s DD1 and DD2 as well as Simucube wheel bases. But it is more likely to be competitively priced, and aimed at the same price range as the Fanatec CSL DD wheel base.


    Thrustmaster direct drive wheel compatibility

    Thrustmaster has confirmed that this new direct drive wheel base will only be compatible with PC. That means Thrustmaster are still a step behind competitors Fanatec, who have a multitude of console compatible direct drive wheel bases.

    Fanatec has the CSL DD and the Podium wheel bases which are all Xbox compatible. And they have recently released the Gran Turismo DD Pro which is PlayStation 5 and 4 compatible.

    In the small teaser that Thrustmaster released, they did however confirm that all of their current racing wheel add-ons will be compatible with the new direct drive wheel base.


    Will Thrustmaster make a direct drive wheel?

    Thrustmaster has confirmed a direct drive racing wheel is being made. They teased this new wheel back in 2021 via their Twitter account. The first mention of a direct drive wheel was in Thrustmaster’s official 2021 road map which they unveiled on Twitter in August 2021.


    Thrustmaster’s road map

    The roadmap that was unveiled by Thrustmaster included a whole host of new products which were set to be announced before the end of 2021.

    These products included new sim racing pedals, a new wheel base for consoles (which we now know is the T248 racing wheel), new flying joysticks and the new direct drive wheel base.

    Thankfully, Thrustmaster came good and on the 29th December 2021, they released a tweet that gave us our first look at the new direct drive wheelbase.


    Do you need a direct drive wheel?

    Direct drive technology is currently the pinnacle of racing wheel base tech. It connects your steering wheel directly to the motor which produces the force feedback, resulting in more powerful and detailed force feedback.

    While a direct drive racing wheel isn’t needed at all, as there are plenty of very good belt and gear driven racing wheels, it will feel better to race with in most scenarios.


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    Article written by Rich

    Co-Founder of SimRacingSetups.com

    Rich is the co-founder, and one of the main F1 setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. With over a decade of experience as a graphic designer, marketing director, competitive sim racer and avid motorsport fan, Rich founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.

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