Bentley and Fanatec build a steering wheel that can be used for sim and real-life racing.
Hardcore racing simulator fans will undoubtedly adore Bentley's latest product.
It's a steering wheel, not attached to a physical Bentley. But it can be, and that's the secret.
The steering wheel you see here is obviously for a race car, but it can also be used for sim racing. Now, you probably think it's a knockoff of a real Bentley steering wheel so gamers can feel fancy, but no. This is the same steering wheel used in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this coming weekend. It can be removed from the racing sim and clipped into place in the race car, and it would work perfectly.
To help build this steering wheel, Bentley turned to Fanatec, claimed to be world leaders in gaming hardware. The result is a unit crafted from lightweight carbon fiber and magnesium alloy. Fanatec did something similar for BMW in late 2020.
At the center of the wheel is a digital display that provides all the vital telemetry information. It also comes with a forged carbon display bezel, two seven-way FunkySwitch sticks, a set of aluminum thumb wheels, and four magnetic paddles. One set of paddles is for shifting, while the other set is for auxiliaries.
"Our detailed collaboration with Fanatec has repurposed the steering wheel from the Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak car for virtual use. There cannot be a more realistic way for gaming enthusiasts to experience the thrill of driving one of our fastest ever vehicles, from home," said Paul Williams, Director of Motorsport at Bentley Motors. Williams is also a keen sim racer.
"This is the most advanced wheel we've ever made, and it will be used in a car which is simply stunning and the definition of cool. We had the honor of making an iconic wheel for an iconic car to race at the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and our customers can be part of it and drive the exact same wheel in a simulator," said Thomas Jackermeier, CEO of Fanatec parent company Endor AG.
When not used for Pikes Peak or sim racing, the steering wheel can be displayed on a wall or desk. It comes with a special mount and a traveling case.
Bentley's Continental GT3 Pikes Peak car uses the well-known 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 used in the standard Continental GT, modified to run at high altitude. The car will run on biofuel for the entire weekend as it chases a new record on the 12.42-mile hill climb course in Colorado.