Logitech Is Finally Getting Serious About Sim Racing With a $1,500 Direct Drive Wheel

Early last year, I reviewed the Logitech G923, an entry-level sim racing wheel and pedal set. It was fine, but hardly innovative; Logitech has been producing the same gear-driven force feedback systems and flimsy pedals for generations, going back to the G25 wheel released in the mid-aughts. The peripheral giant has slowly watched the likes of Thrustmaster and particularly Fanatec — two much smaller companies — swoop in and dominate the market. Logitech didn’t seem to care about sim racing. They just might again.

Introducing the Logitech G Pro steering wheel. It’s the company’s first to forgo straight or helical gears in favour of a direct drive system, as Fanatec has popularised with the CSL DD — so it’s a big deal. Strangely, Logitech hadn’t formally announced the G Pro’s existence yet as of Wednesday morning, but an official setup guide was live and unlisted on YouTube, along with a product page on the company’s website. It appears to be in stock and shipping now, so it’s the real deal.

The G Pro’s specs seem very competitive, at least on paper. Logitech’s direct drive solution touts 11 Nm of force. That’s considerably higher than the CSL DD’s stock 5 Nm and 8 Nm players can access with the $US150 ($208) Boost Kit, which is basically a glorified external power supply.

The base includes tach lights and a small OLED display, while the paddle shifters are magnetic and incorporate hall-effect sensors. They’re underscored by lower paddles that can be mapped to the clutch. Logitech is also offering a new set of G Pro foot pedals, equipped with a load cell on the brake. At the time of writing, the pedals don’t appear to be bundled with the wheel and base, like with the company’s entry level hardware.

Logitech Is Finally Getting Serious About Sim Racing With a $1,500 Direct Drive WheelImage: Logitech

The price for all of this is very steep — even steeper than a similar Fanatec rig would be. The G Pro wheel will set you back $US1,000 (converted to around $AU1,505), while the pedals cost $US350 ($AU526). Compare that to the $US700 ($972) Fanatec GT DD Pro kit which includes pedals, albeit without a load cell or clutch. The GT DD Pro also offers less than half the available torque of the G Pro, unless you spec up to the aforementioned Boost Kit.

From a design standpoint, I like the approach Logitech has taken here. I’ve always preferred the brand’s rim designs to the more realistic-looking hardware Fanatec aims for; these are ultimately video games after all, so having game-relevant controls, like face buttons, directional pads and analogue sticks are useful in this context.

Logitech Is Finally Getting Serious About Sim Racing With a $1,500 Direct Drive WheelImage: Logitech

The G Pro has a metal centre and spokes, with a pair of rotary dials and a stick on the left side. It’s just the right number of inputs without overwhelming the player, or looking silly. The rim is connected via a quick release system, though it’s unclear if Logitech will offer alternative rims, as Fanatec does — something to keep in mind for those who prefer differently shaped wheels for different racing disciplines. As usual, customers can choose between an Xbox- or PlayStation-compatible configuration, and both will work with PC.

I’m very excited to get to grips with the new G Pro line. It’s a wonderful time in sim racing when multiple equipment makers are pushing each other to up their games. The MSRP might be high, but anyone who knows Logitech knows the company’s products can often be found with solid discounts. Hopefully that’ll be the case here as well.

Update 12:49 p.m.: Logitech has since published an official press release announcing the G Pro steering wheel and pedals.

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