Well, we’ve finally reached the logical conclusion of the arms race to create ever more realistic driving-game hardware. Why put together a painstakingly detailed replica of a racing-car steering wheel for gamers when you could just build the wheel itself?
That appears to be the thought process at Fanatec, which, in collaboration with engineers at BMW, has designed a steering wheel that is compatible with PlayStation, PC, and the real-life 2022 BMW M4 GT3 racing car.
To be clear, the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is the exact same wheel that will be used in the GT car, and as a result, it’s constructed to the exacting standards of modern motorsport homologation. That means eight-layer forged carbon construction, dual-action magnetic shifter paddles, and backlit buttons for racing either at night or in an inadequately lit gaming basement.
As a gamer, you’ll feel a bit like you’re putting together a complete racing car one component at a time via one of those overpriced magazine subscriptions, but for drivers who are lucky enough to be switching between the sim and the real thing, sharing a single wheel means exact continuity.
This being a legitimate race-car component, we’re not expecting this thing to be cheap, but if you absolutely must have the most authentic equipment for your racing games, this appears to be as real as it gets. Fanatec has a revised version of its quick-release system to connect it to your wheelbase, and there’s even a directional pad cunningly hidden beneath the BMW badge.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.