It has taken a while for Thrusmaster to release its new PC direct drive wheelbase. Thrustmaster’s maiden foray into the direct drive wheel market was initially scheduled to debut at the end of 2021 when it was first announced last year.
Since then, the Fanatec CSL DD, a wheelbase offering smooth and precise direct-drive technology at a reasonably low price, has shaken up the market for direct-drive wheels. The wait for Thrustmaster’s response to the Fanatec CSL DD is almost over after countless hints.
The wheelbase was originally made public by Thrustmaster in December 2021 as part of a marketing initiative it dubbed “beginning lights.” That made it clear that the base wouldn’t employ Thrustmaster’s customary belt system, like the T248’s hybrid gear/belt drive, but instead would be direct drive.
The PC-only base would be compatible with all of the company’s add-ons, use a “next-gen” locking quick release, and it appeared that the large hexagonal LED would also serve as a flag and/or rev indicator, according to the teaser campaign.
Will Thrustmaster release a direct drive wheel?
Thrustmaster’s new Direct Drive wheel, the T818, has been unveiled after more than a year of anticipation. It follows the Logitech G Pro and Fanatec’s new GT DD Pro as the third of the three main manufacturers of sim-racing peripherals to introduce a Direct Drive wheel in the past 12 months.
The new direct drive wheelbase will be unveiled on November 17 during a special Twitch Livestream presentation at 3 pm BST/4 pm CET, according to a tweet from Thrustmaster.