Fanatec has announced a new partnership with BMW Motorsport and launched a pioneering steering wheel that will be used in both real-world and virtual competition.
An official partner of the SRO E-Sport GT Series, Fanatec is the leading manufacturer of dedicated sim racing hardware. Its products include force feedback steering wheels, pedals, and complete cockpits for consoles and PC-based simulators and are available in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan via fanatec.com.
The company has now revealed its latest innovation: the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3. Developed simultaneously for real and virtual racing, it will be used by the upcoming BMW M4 GT3, which is set to hit the track in 2022. In a world-first crossover, these units will come from the same production line as those available for purchase.
The wheel is a full carbon fibre construction and has been optimised with feedback from BMW Motorsport's pro drivers. RGB LED-backlit front buttons, backlit 12-position rotary switches, custom thumb encoders, dual-action magnetic shifters and dual-Hall sensor clutch paddles also feature on the new unit. BMW factory driver Philipp Eng, a two-time winner of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, has been highly impressed by the quality of the product.
“The first time I heard of the idea to design the BMW M4 GT3 steering wheel to be compatible with a simulator, I was flabbergasted – because I was thrilled by the concept from the word go,” said Eng. "You have to take your hat off to the pioneering role that BMW Motorsport and Fanatec have taken on here, and to the courage to implement a project of this kind.
"I know the people who were involved in the development at BMW Motorsport and at Fanatec, and never doubted that they would design a superb steering wheel. Compared to the steering wheel in the BMW M6 GT3, for example, the new wheel has extremely good ergonomics. It is very comfortable to hold. You can tell that real professionals have been at work in every area.”
The Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is set to become available during Q2 of 2021. For more information on the product, please click here.