In a surprising move, Thrustmaster has unveiled an officially-licensed Ferrari Formula One wheel rim for their T500 RS steering wheel.
First photos of the new wheel rim surfaced from the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at Monza as Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa showed off the new wheel rim. The wheel is closely modeled to the real F1 rim, coming with plenty of buttons, rotary switches but lacking the display and rev-meter of the original.
Replaceable wheel rims seem to be the new thing among upmarket steering wheels. With the new rim, Thrustmaster is answering Fanatec’s challenge as their upcoming ClubSport Wheel will support replaceable rims and will offer a F1-style option as well. The Fanatec wheel isn’t licensed, comes with working displays though.
The new wheel rim for Thrustmaster’s critically acclaimed T500 RS wheel is already listed on Amazon, selling for 149.99€ at a yet undisclosed date. The wheel will also be sold bundled with the T500 RS base, it remains to be seen whether Thrustmaster will also offer the current GT rim as expansion for those buying the wheel with the F1 rim on.
Right now, more information is not available, I´ll fill in the blanks regarding features and store date once we know more. Until then, you can enjoy first photos of the new wheel below.
Update: Added a video for those who wonder how replacing the rim on the T500RS works. The wheel does not have a quick-release mechanism as one screw needs to be loosened to get the wheel off, the process is wireless though.