Fanatec builds some of the best sim racing peripherals on the planet. We recently got our hands on the Fanatec GT DD Pro, the official direct drive wheel for Gran Turismo 7, and found it to be a superb piece of kit with smooth, precise feedback, and premium quality materials.
Starting at €699.95, it’s the most affordable direct drive wheel on the market and will transform your racing experience.
Thanks to the quality of Fanatec’s engineering, real-life race cars also use the company’s steering wheels. Now, Fanatec is joining forces with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team.
Fanatec develops steering wheel for 2022 Ford Puma rally car
With this technical partnership, Fanatec developed the steering wheel for the new 2022 Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 car.
For now, details about Fanatec’s wheel developed for M-Sport are scarce. A teaser video gives a glimpse of the Puma Hybrid Rally1’s cockpit. We can see the Fanatec wheel has an abundance of dials, multi-coloured lights, and an LCD screen. Whatever form it takes, it will need to have strong construction to cope with the demands of rallying.
M-Sport’s experience in eSports also “gives it an appreciation for sim racing, seeing it as a crucial and effective testing ground for developing both car and driver performance.”
A new era for WRC
This year marks an exciting new era for WRC. New regulations see the introduction of all-new plug-in 100kW hybrid systems and sustainable race fuel. Under the bonnet, the new Puma rally car packs a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine, coupled with a 100kW electric motor and 3.9 kWh plug-in hybrid battery.
You can see the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 in action when it debuts at Rallye Monte Carlo on 20 January. This year’s M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver lineup includes Gus Greensmith, Craig Breen, Adrien Fourmaux, and nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb.
“If a nine-time World Champion like Sébastien Loeb thinks our product is a vital part of the car, then we know we are on the right path,” Fanatec’s CEO Thomas Jackermeier said.
“It’s great to be working with Fanatec in preparation for the 2022 season,” WRC driver Craig Breen added. “It’s really interesting to see them take this leap into ‘reality’ and they have allowed us to get the most out of the Puma Hybrid Rally1 with their steering wheel control panel. I’m looking forward to working with them into the future.”
This isn’t the first time real race cars have utilised the German company’s peripherals - Fanatec also developed wheels for the BMW M4 GT3 and Bentley GT3 Pikes Peak.
Costing €1399.95 excluding shipping costs, the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is designed for sim and real racing. The Bentley GT3 Pikes Peak is not available yet, however. But it was “developed simultaneously for both the real Pikes Peak race car and for sim racing,” so it should be available soon.
Can I buy the Fanatec Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 wheel?
On social media, Fanatec teased we can “expect more information about what this means for sim racing soon.”
Hopefully, this means the Fanatec Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 wheel will go on sale to the public at a later date.