Thrustmaster on Thursday (November 17) unveiled the new Thrustmaster T818, a direct drive wheelbase that is available for pre-order now.
Written by Thomas Harrison Lord and Justin Melillo
Thrustmaster is officially in Direct Drive after it was revealed T818 Direct Drive wheelbase on Thursday (November 17) during a live stream on Twitch.
A hexagonal base with LED lighting that’s been teased for about a year is displayed on the front fascia, and the good news is that for some buyers, they might get it in time for Christmas.
THRUSTMASTER T818 Features
The Thrustmaster T818 Direct Drive Wheelbase ships with 10Nm of constant torque power built into it. One highly noted area is that this particular system does not have any kind of filters, thus giving users an unfiltered experience in their hands.
The in-house engine was produced within the system, as well as the entire base in France.
On the base itself, there are buttons for calibrating settings in the base, as well as an instant feedback off button on the side, just in case.
Customizable LED strip
The front of the T818 features an adjustable LED strip. By default, you will be able to cycle through the available colors and adjust their intensity as well.
In the future, however, Thrustmaster hopes game developers will program it to support engine revs or staging flags — which we predicted back in March.
This is similar in philosophy to the telemetry screen on the Ferrari SF1000 plug-in version of the Formula wheel, as the makers had to support this feature.
Interchangeable body panels
The outside of the T818 wheelbases will have two removable metal plates. Out of the box, it will be dark blue.
But, optional additional color plates will be available for €29.99. The initial set will make up five different colours.
Next generation, express release
The T818 is the first Thrustmaster system to include the next generation quick release. With the help of an adapter, all previous Thrustmaster frames can be compatible with the new system.
Wheel rim replacement can be completed in less than five seconds, the latch integrated into the base is raised, the wheels easily retract and lock in, and the latch easily installs.
“Developing the new quick release adapter was a very large amount of work,” said Pierre-Yves Savary, head of the racing team at parent company Guillemot Corporation.
“We work hard to make sure you get the best feedback without breaking your existing wheel, so we really put everything to the test. We took care to make sure that everything you use performs at 10 Nm.”
The new Quick Release Adapter is available separately for €34.99. There will also be a cockpit mounting kit and desk mounting kit sold separately for €39.99 f €49.99 respectively.
If you’re already in the Thrustmaster ecosystem and have an existing Edge, luckily there is one adapter included with the Thurstmaster T818 box.
Four new rims are also on the way, but we don’t know what they are at this time. These will feature an original version of the new quick release, so a second quick release adapter will be available for compatibility with older Thrustmaster wheel bases as well.
THRUSTMASTER T818 COMPATIBILITY
The Thrustmaster T818 will be a PC only device. However, there is a plan for consoles down the line.
“Don’t worry, we have a plan for the console, too,” said Xavier Pieuchot, director of product marketing for Thrustmaster.
For rims and earlier Thrustmaster equipment, the T818 is backwards compatible with the appropriate adapters. Thrustmaster also mentioned that the wheel will have compatibility in the future.
What ports are included?
Good question! There’s a USB C port for connecting to a computer for future firmware upgrades, a hub for existing Thrustmaster pedals and a brand new RJ45 port for unannounced future peripherals.
How much does the THRUSTMASTER T818 cost?
The base model of the Thrustmaster T818 will include the wheelbase, metallic blue panels, one quick-release adapter and the appropriate UK, US or European plugs depending on the region in the box.
This package will cost £599.99 for those in the UK, €649.99 for buyers in Europe and $649.99 in the US.
It is worth noting that the price does not include the steering wheel or pedals.
WHEN IS THE THRUSTMASTER T818 AVAILABLE?
Pre-orders for European customers live today, November 17, 2022. This first wave has a limited production and will ship before Christmas 2022.
The second European wave of pre-orders will be on December 26 for January 2023 delivery.
US customers will have to wait until March 2023, availability for other regions is yet to be determined.
A Ferrari special edition with an existing wheel set similar to the SF100 formula is also on the way, but pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
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