It's been a big year for sim racing fans, and the reveal of the new Thrustmaster direct drive wheelbase has only added to it.
After years of waiting for Thrustmaster to enter the direct drive world, the time has finally arrived. But what have they got in store for racers? And crucially how much is it going to cost?
Let's find out!
Thrustmaster direct drive wheelbase unveiled
There are two things every racer wants to know about a direct drive wheelbase; how much Nm of torque it can produce and how expensive it is!
Well let's start with the name. Thrustmaster goes for numbers rather than flashy names, and for the direct drive wheelbase, they have gone with the T818. And here it is.
The first thing that is immediately clear is that you won't be able to slap your Fanatec or Moza rim on this wheelbase. While there is a quick-release system it looks a mile away from other manufacturers so even a third-party adapter looks like it will be tricky.
While a lot of talk was about the finesse and speed when communicating with the games, the torque was snuck into discussion.
The Thrustmaster T818 wheelbase will deliver a constant 10 Nm of torque. That sounds low but is plenty for the majority of drivers even up to the elite amateur level.
The Thrustmaster T818 also will not filter data from the game, giving players a raw and detailed experience that will allow players to get a deeper simulation experience than on any other Thrustmaster product.
Direct drive wheelbases are not cheap, and those that produce 10 Nm are far from entry level pieces of kit.
The Thrustmaster T818 comes in at £599.99/€649.99/$649.99. This is a remarkable price point given the power of the wheelbase.
Currently this is described as only for PC, so console players will be unable to use it. That price also does not include a wheel rim or pedals, it is only for the base.
It will include a quick release adaptor to make sure your current Thrustmaster rims can all work with it.
Fortunately, all existing Thrustmaster peripherals are compatible with the new wheelbase.
Players can pre-order the T818 in the EU Thrustmaster shop immediately. This is only for European customers and they will ship before Christmas.
There will be a limited number available, with other waves coming on 26 December and again in January.
US customers will be able to get the wheelbase from March 2023.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Hardware page.