Full size pedals, with loads of foot room on the board.
Rubber grips to stop those sweaty slips.
Brilliantly designed and well finished.
I would have liked a longer USB cable to connect to the console.
Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel Review
Driving has been a passion for the human race since the invention of the car, and these days everybody wants to drive a Ferrari, even just once in their lifetime. Gaming has made these high-end vehicles accessible to everyone, from the youngest aspiring racer, to the oldest that remember the first car, gamers love racing games, fact!. To get even closer to the real thing companies have been making all kinds of racing accessories to make you feel even closer to the tar mac as you screech the tyres of your favourite supercar around the next hair pin. Thrustmaster, however, have gone that extra mile with the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel. Modelled to look and feel like it has just been ripped from the cockpit of the Ferrari 458 Spider itself and delivered directly to your door, with the only real difference being the size. The racing wheel has been officially licensed by Ferrari and Xbox, and is completely designed for the Xbox One in mind. Thrustmaster have designed this wheel with the consumer in mind. At an RRP of 99.99 euro, it is within the price range of all gamers and not just the one’s with cash to spare.
The Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel may have been designed for the mid market, but you are getting a superb product for your money. The wheel is officially launching onto the market on the 18th of April, but the guys at Thrustmaster were kind enough to let us put it through it’s paces. First of all for me there is only one game that a Ferrari steering wheel should ever be tested on, and that is the daddy of them all, Forza 5. Setting up the wheel is a simple affair, that, well even your Mum could do, just plug the pedals into the dash, and the dash into the Xbox via a USB cable that is actually supplied in the box. Also supplied is a very handy clamping kit, allowing you to well clamp it, and if you are like me, just grab a chair from the dining table and clamp it right onto it, stick the pedals underneath and rev up the volume. Getting down to business, the pedals are full size, with a very large and adequate footplate even for my size 13’s. The two pedals are made to the actual full size of the ones in the car, and both are repositionable allowing you to move them to suit your comfort. Another good point I noticed about the pedals as I was testing the wheel, is that they are spring loaded, and if I am not mistaken this is only something other companies do on their high end steering wheels. The pressure you have to apply to the pedals give a tremendous feeling of realism, as your speeding up and laying off for those tricky corners.
Now down to the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel itself, with it’s black and Ferrari red finish surrounding that iconic black stallion on a yellow background, it just makes me want to walk around holding it all day, saying “Yeah, I parked it down the road”. Thrustmaster have made the red hand grips in rubber, and to be honest, this makes a real difference when your palms start to sweat while racing. There have been times in the past with other racing wheels where my grip has slipped on the plastic, only to smash my car and lose the race. The wheel has a number of features, such as a red start engine button, just like the real car, that acts as a D-Pad. The aluminium gear shift paddles, and the sports knob on the right bottom of the wheel that changes your view in game. All of these are easily accessed in-game with little effort, and it doesn’t take long to get used to where all the buttons are laid out. The only thing I had trouble with was how sensitive the wheel actually is. As I have not used one in a while it took a bit of getting used to, but always felt natural and exciting when taking turns. Some aficionados of the racing genre may complain about the lack of the rumble function that feeds back even more information to the user, but to be honest that is mainly on high end racing wheels.
What the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel comes down too is this, for around £75 you can drive your favourite cars all day with a Ferrari wheel between your grubby mitts. For a mid range wheel it performs on every level, with Thrustmaster’s bungie technology, and spring loaded, full size and adjustable pedals, you are getting a ton of wheel for your washers. If I had to complain about anything it would be the length of the USB cable, I would have preferred a longer cable allowing me to sit further from the console. If you don’t already have a racing wheel, but are thinking of getting one, then you should seriously consider the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel. For full information on this wheel and where to buy, head over to the official Thrustmaster site here.
Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel Review
Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel
RRP 99.99 Euro
18th April 2014