Compared to most other SimRacing peripherals, shifters are not among the most important pieces of hardware for SimRacers. This leaves relatively few good choices for enthusiasts of manual transmissions, and quality can be hit or miss. The SHH Newt2 aims for high quality at relatively low cost – is it the best bargain in SimRacing?
At just under 100€ in its base version, the shifter is less expensive than the offerings of Fanatec or Thrustmaster. It features a 3D-printed case, but do not let this fool you into thinking the rest of the shifter is made from cheap components: Internally, it is all metal and HALL sensors to ensure a good feel and longevity – and it is all constructed and assembled by a tiny company in Spain.
As a result, your order is likely going to take a while to be shipped, as the almost omnipresent message on the SHH website already announces – usually, there is a lead time of about three weeks due to orders quickly piling up.
An advantage of the small company and 3D-printed case is the customizability: The Newt2 can be ordered in either black, red, white, or gray, and it is possible to have a custom logo featured on the case. Additionally, the shifter gate itself has multiple options for different colors.
As for mounting options, the Newt2 is compatible with basically any rig or desk – a mount of your choice is included with every order. Either a six or seven speed H-shifter gate is also included, as well as two shifter knobs, one for normal H-shifting, the other for the sequential mode, for which an additional shifter plate is available too, though at small extra cost. A set of allen keys is included with every shifter as well.
Using the Shifter
After mounting the shifter to your rig, wheel stand, or desk, all that is left to do is connecting the included 180cm USB cable to your PC – the shifter does not work on consoles – and start racing. The Newt2 is plug-and-play and does not need a driver or additional software. The stiffness of the shifter can be customized via two screws on the shift rod – tightening them will give each gear shift more resistance.
The shifter has a nice mechanical feel to it thanks to this option, although it may sound hollow when hitting the shifter gate – likely a result of the shifter knobs being hollow themselves. They are 3D-printed as well and feature a rubber coating, but anyone who wishes to use a metal or leather knob can do so, too, as the shifter is compatible with any standard-sized knob that can be used in real cars. Still, having two options included with your purchase is a plus.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned sequential mode is where the Newt2 really shines: The mechanical feel gives great feedback about when a gear is actually engaged – something especially the Thrustmaster TH8A struggled with in sequential mode, as it offered almost no feel in this regard. Also, switching between these modes is a matter of seconds with the Newt2: Simply push down on the shift rod, rotate it clockwise 90 degrees, flip the switch on the side of the shifter, and you are done. This comes in extremely handy if you switch cars often.
If you race older cars frequently or even if you only do so occasionally, you cannot go wrong with the SHH Newt2. Of course, there are options out there with more features, but they also usually come with a higher price tag. It is possible to switch the Newt2 from H-shifter to sequential mode and back in a matter of seconds, and it feels surprisingly good for its price category. Is it the best bargain in SimRacing like we asked at the start of this article? This is always going to be hard to say with certainty – but when it comes to SimRacing shifters, it is very much the leader of the pack in this regard.