British automaker Bentley has collaborated with German sim racing hardware producer Fanatec in creating a GT3 steering wheel for work and play. Yes, this fancy tiller is applicable for real and virtual racing, and it’s the first of its kind in the world.
In actuality, Bentley’s newest GT3 steering wheel will come standard in the hardcore Continental GT3 Pikes Peak racing car. The ultra-lightweight construction is sure to delight professional racers with its magnesium alloy and carbon fiber construction. But with a nifty circular digital screen and bespoke knurled rotary dials, gamers can experience the thrill of piloting one of the world’s most powerful cars.
“There cannot be a more realistic way for gaming enthusiasts to experience the thrill of driving one of our fastest ever vehicles, from home,” said Paul Williams, director of Motorsport at Bentley Motors and an avid sim racer. When not seeing action in your racing rig or out on the track, Bentley’s GT3 steering wheel is pretty enough to be displayed on your wall or desk, and you can do so with the included mount.
But with a steering wheel like this, why waste it as a home or office accessory? It features Bentley-exclusive signature details to bring a tear to any car lover’s eye. Besides the circular screen and exclusive knurled rotary encoders, it has a forged carbon display bezel, a pair of FunkySwitch directional sticks with encoder functionalities, and another pair of aluminum thumb wheels with optional encoders.
And since this tiller is ready for some real tire-shredding action, it has four magnetic paddles to control the gearbox and other auxiliaries. “This is the most advanced wheel we’ve ever made, and it will be used in a car which is simply stunning and the definition of cool,” said Thomas Jackermeier, CEO of Fanatec.
Also, this state-of-the-art steering wheel is compatible with Fanatec force-feedback wheelbases, ensuring that every jolt and vibration is present as you conquer Pikes Peak. Meanwhile, the Bentley Continental GT3 racing car is the very definition of extreme. It has a heavily reworked 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine running on a unique blend of renewable fuel, allowing the engine to emit 85-percent fewer greenhouse gasses as it climbs the summit.
Pumping out 750 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, the latest Continental GT3 has all the makings of a record-breaker. It has a massive rear wing and a new rear diffuser to amplify the downforce and keep the car planted at silly speeds. It even has a two-plane splitter and new dive planes at the front to tame incoming air.
Bentley will attempt to set a new Pikes Peak milestone to crack the current time-attack record of 9:36.5 set by the Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport in 2019. Bentley already holds the course record for the fastest production SUV with the Bentayga, and it also has the production class record of 10.18.48 with the Continental GT. The 2021 Pikes Peak Hill climb begins on June 27, 2021.