BMW Drops Steering Wheel Gamers Can Use Both in a Sim and a Real M4 GT3 Race Car

Fanatec BMW Steering Wheel 11 photos
Photo: BMW AG
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During an online streamed event, BMW Motorsport SIM Racing has recently revealed three impressive world premiers that give fans the opportunity to experience the new M4 GT3 in the virtual world.
The transfer of technology from the real world to the virtual circuit is taken to another level with the German manufacturer debuting the new flagship of its M Customer Racing range, the BMW M4 GT3 in the popular sim racing platform iRacing.

If you are a motorsport fan and haven’t played this amazingly accurate subscription-based sim yet, you should know that it is available on Microsoft Windows and faithfully recreates real racetracks and cars offering astonishingly similar handling to their real-life counterparts.

For the first time, BMW includes a prototype of the M4 GT3 into a racing sim and uses it as a test car in the development process of the real thing.

BMW M4 GT3 in iRacing
Photo: BMW AG
BMW Motorsport engineers provided their colleagues at iRacing with over 70 GB of CAD data, photos, and all the essential information on the driving dynamics of the new car, proving just how accurate the platform has become.

I find it extremely cool that the BMW M4 GT3 has been introduced on iRacing parallel to its actual development. After all, I am not only a thoroughbred racing driver but also a thoroughbred sim racer,” said Philipp Eng, a professional BMW Motorsport works driver and alpha tester for iRacing. He was the first to take the virtual BMW M4 GT3 for a spin, ensuring that the actual driving dynamics are as accurate as possible.

iRacing only allows the use of a realistic cockpit view in official races so, to further enhance the realism of racing the new M4 GT3, BMW Motorsport SIM Racing and hardware producer Fanatec have developed a fully functional steering wheel that can be used in both an actual race car and a race simulator, a feat that has never been done before.

BMW M4 GT3 Steering Wheel
Photo: BMW AG
The cutting-edge carbon fiber steering wheel features functional, illuminated buttons and magnetic, dual-action shift paddles made from the same lightweight material.

Race driver Philipp Eng demonstrated its hybrid functionality entering the event stage in the real car, taking the steering wheel, and inserting it into the simulator. After completing several laps he told us that “Compared to the steering wheel in the BMW M6 GT3, for example, the new wheel has extremely good ergonomics. It is very comfortable to hold. You can tell that real professionals have been at work in every area.

BMW Motorsport fans will be able to get their hands on the actual 2022 M4 GT3’s steering wheel along with the Fanatec base in the first half of 2021. Rounding out the dream setup is the world’s coolest piece of furniture ever created, developed by BMW Designworks and Sedus.

BMW Designworks and Sedus's Fusion SL
Photo: BMW AG
Called Fusion SL, this concept study aims to replace the complex simulation rigs with a futuristic seat and a table that transforms into a gorgeous, fully functional cockpit that we all need in our lives.

The idea behind it was to incorporate the necessary hardware for a premium racing simulator into a modern living environment while saving space in the process.

The table can be converted into an actual rig with ease making it a viable solution for those who have limited space in their homes. It features quality materials and has been designed to offer everything you would expect from a quality racing sim setup.

The chair has a bucket seat shape and offers a sporty position and good lateral support. The fact it can be used separately as a desk chair makes the concept even more versatile, and we can only hope it eventually makes it into production.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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