It had been a long wait, but Thrustmaster finally unleashed its very first direct drive wheel base on the SimRacing world: The highly-anticipated base was launched in a Twitch live stream and presented in detail – here is all you need to know about the Thrustmaster T818, including its price!
One of the big questions about the base was its strength, which was answered early in the stream, was the torque of the base. Thrustmaster’s latest piece of hardware will put out a constant torque of 10Nm, slotting in in the medium range of DD bases in comparison.
The launch confirmed the base being manufactured in a hexagonal shape, as the the starting lights in the promotional material already indicated. It features an LED strip at the front, which will be customizable and can also interact with telemetry data.
While console SimRacers will be disappointed to learn that the new base is only compatible with PCs, Thrustmaster has made good on the promise of making all existing wheel rims compatible with the new base. This is achieved using a QR adapter that needs to be mounted to the wheel, one of which will be included with each T818. Multiple mounting solutions will also be available, making it possible to mount the base to numerous types of rigs, desks and more.
Meanwhile, external customizability is also taken care of via side plates in different colors. The standard silver plates and light blue ones will come with the T818.
Most important is the performance of the base, however, and to emphasize the result of the work poured into the development of the base, Thrustmaster showed testimonials by Ferrari Esports racer Brendon Leigh, 2022 Junior WRC runner-up Jon Armstrong and Thrustmaster’s own esports racer David Greco. All three of them praised the responsiveness of the base, which had been one of the main focuses in development.
“It blew my mind. I tried it at Oulton Park, and it held it’s own fabulously”, commented Leigh, who added: “The power and precision are top notch.” Greco thought similarly, noting the “crisp and detailed Force Feedback.” Rally racer Armstrong admittedly did not have much SimRacing experience before trying the T818, “but it is the most detailed base I have ever tried. You can feel everything the car is doing, and it never limited me with quick steering inputs in rally games.”
Good engineering has its price, however – but Thrustmaster managed to keep it at a very competitive €649,99. Pre-orders are now open, and the first wave of shipments will go out before Christmas – however, this is for Europe only for now, but US-based SimRacers will be able to get their hands on the T818 by March of 2023.
Additionally, an outlook on the coming year revealed plans for four new wheel rims, all of which will be compatible with the T818 but also other Thrustmaster bases, again via adapter. Another ecosystem has also been teased via the RJ45 hub on the back of the wheel base – it looks like TM is ready to take the next SimRacing step.
- 10 Nm direct drive
- No filter on FFB signal
- PC only, console versions planned
- Quick release from aluminium & plastic
- All TM wheel rims will be compatible thanks to QR adapter, one adapter included with T818
- Multiple different mounting options for cockpits, desks, etc.
- LED strip at the front with changeable color and intensity, can interact with in-game telemetry, i.e. for flags, rev lights, etc.
- Customizable color plates on the side of the base, five colors at launch (light blue/silver included)
- Price: EUR/USD 649,99
- Shipping: Before Christmas 2022 (EU), March 2023 (US)