Fanatec and BMW Motorsport bring virtual and real-world racing closer together than ever
This is a very special day for me and probably one of the most important milestones in my career.
Revealed at BMW SIM LIVE 2020, the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is a groundbreaking product for the industry. For the first time in sim racing history, a steering wheel has been developed simultaneously for both real and virtual racing.
This is the actual wheel for the 2022 BMW M4 GT3 race car, engineered by Fanatec in collaboration with BMW Motorsport.
The product you buy in our webshop IS the wheel in the car. Without even updating the firmware you can just swap between the simulator and the car.
But now it’s time to finally admit something. The video we made about our BMW GT2 wheel nine years ago was a bit fake:
We actually made a connection for the wheel and the car but it was never really used in the race car. But this little marketing magic has turned into reality now.
Homologated for GT3 racing by the F.I.A., the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is built for ultimate performance, with a full carbon fibre construction, optimised with feedback from BMW Motorsport pro drivers. It features molded carbon casing with 8 layers, RGB LED-backlit front buttons, backlit 12-position rotary switches, new and very firm custom thumb encoders, dual-action magnetic shifters, dual-Hall sensor clutch paddles, a motorsport grade quick release and more.
Engineering a wheel suitable for both a race car and Fanatec wheel bases was an exciting challenge for our R&D team, incorporating new electronics and meeting rigorous standards for stiffness, water and dust resistance, and shock proofing. The end result is a wheel that feels incredible to use, whether you’re sitting in the real car or your sim rig.
Seeing BMW works driver Philipp Eng step out of the BMW M4 GT3 on stage at BMW SIM LIVE, disconnecting the wheel from the car and immediately connecting it to a Fanatec simulator to drive some laps was a proud moment for the whole team. This is what he had to say:
“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. 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 wheel is due to launch in Q2 2021, and we can’t wait to tell you more!
Head over to bmw.fanatec.com for all the details.