Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel – Hardware Review
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Developer: Thrustmaster
Publisher: Thrustmaster
Platform: Xbox One

Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel – Hardware Review

Good: Design, Price, Precision
Bad: Lack of vibration, Some parts feel 'cheaper'
User Score
8.0
(26 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (26 votes cast)

Last year we had the chance to try out Thrusmaster’s TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition, which proved to be a great addition to your racing setup, but only if you had a reasonable budget to spend. We all know that not everyone can throw around money as if you’ve won the lottery or that you are simply looking for a racing wheel that’s a tad more affordable, there should be other alternatives. Thrustmaster made sure that Xbox One gamers could also get a racing wheel at an entry level price, namely the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel. We wonder if it can live up to the great impression its bigger brother has left us with.

 

Thrustmaster

 

Design

Thrustmaster has a knack for creating great replicas of steering wheels and the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel happens to be no exception. The wheel is a 7/10 replica of the actual steering wheel and for the most part it looks just like the real thing. The red rubber finishes as well as the Ferrari logo give the device the much needed accents to make it that much more of a design piece instead of just another piece of hardware.

The buttons are no nuisance and feel quite natural to the eye, for this Ferrari 458 Spider setup for the digital world. Most buttons received the shape of buttons on the actual steering wheel and this only adds up to the realistic appearance of the device.

Unlike the pedales of the TX Racing Wheel, the Spider version has plastic pedals. We would have loved to see the aluminum finish once again, but for its price range the Spider’s pedals still look quite solid.

SpiderRacingWheel3

Comfort

You will notice that the Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel feels actually quite light, which makes it great to put on your lap if you lack the necessary table/stool to attach your steering wheel too. The rubber padding will feel pleasant, especially for longer playing sessions and it will make sure your grip is firmer when having to tackle those tricky turns.

You will again have the option to attach a small plastic arm to the device and use a special screw in order to attach the device to a desk, table, stool or whatever suits your fancy. The system is the same as the TX Racing Wheel and it proves to be fast and easy to use.

With the 7/10 size comes the luxury that all buttons are easily accessible, which is great for those with smaller hands.

One slight issue that also occurs with the Spider Racing Wheel is the fact that the base of the pedals is not heavy enough. Thrustmaster provided a decent amount of non skid patches on the bottom, but the pedals still move around quite easily. On the other hand, when you do find a decent setup, where the base can’t move around anymore, you will be able to enjoy the resistance on the pedals, which make sure the experience feels more realistic.

SpiderRacingWheel2

Specs

  • 7/10 replica of the Ferrari 458 Spider racing wheel
  • Adjustable wheel sensitivity
  • Bungee cord mechanism for wheel base

Overview

Connecting the Spider Racing Wheel is even more simple than its bigger brother. You will simply have to connect the pedal set to the wheel base and in turn connect the steering wheel itself with the USB to your Xbox One. Seeing the device itself does not have an ‘internal motor’, the hardware does not need a power supply to be plugged in.

With the lack of the motor come a few disadvantages, which also go hand in hand with the price range the Spider Racing Wheel finds itself in. The steering wheel does not offer any force feedback or vibration. Whilst the lack of force feedback is due to the fact that the steering wheel comes at a rather low price, the lack of vibration is quite disappointing. When playing more realistic games, some ‘feedback’ would be nice when diverting a bit from the road or when hitting an opponent (or vice versa).

Even without the metallic finish of the pedals, you will still have to apply a decent amount of pressure to activate either the throttle or the brakes. This makes it easier to control your speed when playing simulation games.

SpiderRacingWheel1

With the lack of the motor and no metallic finish on the pedals, the device feels a bit more ‘plastic-like’ than the TX Racing Wheel. Nonetheless, the device is made out of sturdy materials.

The Spider Racing Wheel does not really have any dead zones when steering. The device responded very well in games such as Forza 5 and Forza Horizon 2. You will notice that the steering wheel picks up slight changes in the position of the steering wheel, allowing you to handle turns that much more precisely. The ‘Bungee cord mechanism’ will always reset the steering wheel to its central position when you let go of it. A decent addition to ensure more precision.

Conclusion

Thrustmasters Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel proves to be decent addition at an entry level price. You will be offered a great looking device, with a lot of comfort and precise handling. We only miss that little bit of feedback due to the lack of a vibration function. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a fun and affordable racing wheel, this one might be worth trying out.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (26 votes cast)
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Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel - Hardware Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 26 ratings

1 Comment

  1. MC_JP
    MC_JP
    January 23, 2015, 2:52 am

    good steering wheel. like you said it really misses the vibration feedback that people will need for the good simulation, if you are like me that build monster cars on Forza that are prone to slip a force feedback is well needed if you do not want to use tractioncontrol

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