Through a collaborative project, Bentley and gaming hardware company Fanatec have developed a steering wheel that will be used in both real and virtual motorsport applications.
Featuring an array of functions and made from a combination of lightweight carbon-fiber and magnesium alloy, the steering wheel was specifically designed for use in the Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak challenge car.
“Our detailed collaboration with Fanatec has repurposed the steering wheel from the Bentley Continental GT3 Pikes Peak car for virtual use,” commented Paul Williams, keen sim racer and director of motorsport at Bentley Motors. “There cannot be a more realistic way for gaming enthusiasts to experience the thrill of driving one of our fastest ever vehicles, from home.”
Design details include signature Bentley knurling on the rotary encoders, a forged carbon display bezel, two seven-way FunkySwitch directional sticks with encoder functionality and a pair of aluminum thumb wheels with optical encoders. Based on the design of the Continental GT road car, four paddles feature – two used for gearshifting and two for auxiliaries. In the center of the steering wheel, a circular digital display gives drivers feedback in the form of telemetry and other vital information.
“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,” explained Thomas Jackermeier, CEO of Fanatec parent company Endor. “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.”