Grid Engineering: GRID MPX Sim Racing Steering Wheel Review

Grid Engineering: MPX sim racing hweel review
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We’re doing a “back-to-back” comparison of the sim racing wheels on offer from our friends at Grid Engineering, the second being this rather wonderful MPX wheel. It’s very different to it’s bigger brother the Porsche 911 RSR Sim Racing Steering Wheel but shares many component parts such as the power adapter, hub adapter (which I really like), paddle shifters and of course compatibility with SimHub and support via their Race Director software. It’s another wheel I really like – with this one appealing more, I suspect to the separate DDU crowd. That’s if such a group exists!


First impressions

I’m now used to unboxing a Grid Engineering product, owning several items myself. Grid has clearly spent a lot of time on packaging and the arrangement in and outside of the box.

Grid MPX wheel in Box

The wheel arrives very firmly packaged, with its custom over-moulded polyurethane (PU) with an anti-static mixture grips carefully wrapped in a plastic protective covering.

Beauty in simplicity: the Grid Engineering MPX
Beauty in simplicity: the Grid Engineering MPX

In the box, you’ll find:

  • The GRID MPX Sim Racing Steering Wheel.
  • A flyer with a QR code that refers to the location of the online manual.
  • Five (high-quality) sticker sheets to label the buttons and rotary encoders.
  • The Power Injection Box (PIB).
  • A USB cable.
  • A data cable with a Lumberg connector.
  • All of the tools and bolts you need to mount the power injection box and the wheel to your QR hub.
  • Additional (stronger) magnets for the shifters.
  • Tweezers to stick the stickers on the buttons and rotary encoders.
accessories
The sticker set is of extremely high quality – textured and hard wearing

Perhaps, as a reviewer, there are certain details that make me breathe a sigh of relief when I open a box like this. Having the tools provided and the visual quality of the box, stickers and of course, the wheel make me feel like I’m about to enjoy myself. I’m sure that’s not an uncommon feeling, better described as “I’ve bought the right wheel!”.

grid mpx mounted to SQR
Grid MPX mounted to an SQR hub

Grips

The grip, vital for any racer, is crafted from moulded polyurethane mixed with an anti-static compound. This ensures a comfortable and grippy touch.

close up rear paddles and grips
Close up of the rear paddles and grips

It’s the same material we encountered in the Porsche wheel review with a small addition at the very bottom of the grips – the edges flare out ever-so-slightly which creates a nice rest for your hand in long high-speed corners. I love little ergonomic touches like this.

Controls

mounted MPX wheel
So much colour!

At the top of the wheel where the 5mm thick carbon faceplate meets the grip, there are two 7-way switches on either side. These little “funky switches” are so handy, especially in iRacing where you’ve basically got the assignability you need to make any black box setting change you need.

Mounted either in their own plastic protective shrouding or directly on the faceplate itself there are 8 APEM pushbuttons, four on each side, and nine ELMA custom spec encoders, each of which is within easy reach. Again, great ergonomic design here.

close up of controls

Each button and encoder has been strategically positioned for ergonomics but I must emphasise how nice they feel, too. The controls are responsive to touch, with lovely, tactile feedback from the APEM pushbuttons and the smooth operation of the rotary encoders.

If memory serves, the momentary buttons on the MPX are slightly larger than the Grid Porsche wheel, which is a feature I really like. It makes for such a colourful wheel – it’s nice just to look at, let alone drive! As it happens I have a Pimax VR headset in for testing, and I’ll be using this wheel as its simplicity and layout place it firmly in the “VR-friendly” wheel world.

Paddles

The paddle shifters on the GRID MPX Sim Racing Steering Wheel are precisely the same as the shifters used on the Porsche wheel.

close up of paddle shifters on the MPX

They’re very clearly high-end, manufactured in CNC machined aluminium. They have a pleasantly short travel, which allows for swift, confident gear changes. Grid has included additional magnets that can be added to or used to replace the existing magnets in the shifter modules to adjust the feeling but in my experience, this seems unnecessary.

paddles and clutches

The shift experience has a certainty to it, they’re not noisy and they just feel, nice.

Visuals / RGB

Visually, the wheel’s lighting is a joy, thanks to the colour choice(s) applicable to the 87 telemetry controllable RGB LEDs.

colourful
Momentary buttons and faceplate rotaries have a very wide RGB range

These LEDs are not just for show – they provide crucial data at a glance, ensuring racers can focus on the track – they can act as flag indicators, spotter warnings, low-fuel and more.

Rear Controls

Moving to the back, the GRID MPX is equipped with angled Otto P9 push buttons. These are positioned for easy access at the top of the rear of the grip.

rear - brake magic buttons

In F1 speak, they’re “brake magic” buttons, giving you the chance to make ultra-quick toggle adjustments (for example, engage DRS). Additionally, the wheel’s paddle shifters are strategically located for quick gear changes, and the analogue modules offer a versatile range of configurations, including dual-clutch, analogue inputs, and button inputs. I like the F1 influence this wheel has obviously been exposed to during its design phase.

Connectivity and Software


When it comes to connecting the GRID MPX, the 6-pin Lumberg connector ensures a reliable connection. It’s compatible with all PC wheelbases via USB, making it versatile for various setups. The connector links to a “power injector box”, a mountable adapter that acts as a USB interface and power hub for the wheel. Like the Porsche wheel, the MPX has a separate power supply.

Race Director
Race Director LED Config

On the software front, the GRID MPX seamlessly integrates with SimHub, and Grid Engineering’s proprietary Race Director software offers an intuitive interface for calibration, telemetry settings, and firmware updates. It’s also fun playing with the LEDs in Race Director if you feel like really nerding out!

simhub grid mpx
Connected via “add device” in SimHub

Mounting

The 6 x 70mm PCD hub spacer that comes pre-attached to the wheel is one of the best in the business. I feel it rivals, if not slightly beats the Cube Controls universal hub as every hole is threaded – and I’ll never get bored of saying how convenient that is!

mounted
Mounted and ready to race!

This makes setup incredibly straightforward, meaning you can be racing within minutes of the box arriving at your door.

Technical Specifications

  • Grips: Custom over-moulded PU grips with an anti-static mixture
  • Construction: Aluminum CNC throughout
  • Frontplate: 5mm carbon fibre
  • 7-Way Switches: 2x 7-Way switches – 1 in each top corner
  • Switches: 8 x 650gf APEM switches (4 RGB LEDs)
  • Encoders: 9x ELMA custom spec encoders with push (11 RGB LEDs per front).
  • LEDs: 87 Telemetry controllable RGB LEDs
  • Shifters: GRID’s signature height and paddle mounting width adjustable single magnet paddle shifters
  • Clutches: Height and paddle mounting width adjustable clutches
  • Connector: 6-pin Lumberg connector
  • Mounting: 6 x 70mm hub spacer included – 50mm length
  • Software: Controllable via SimHub and GRID’s own software to be released soon
  • Stickers/Decals: Custom sticker pack included for buttons, front encoders, and side encoders
  • Weight: 1700 grams
  • Compatibility: All PC wheelbases via USB
  • Width: 295mm

Conclusion

The GRID MPX Sim Racing Steering Wheel stands out, despite a highly saturated market.

Pros:

  • High-Quality Components: Grid have evidently used high-quality materials and components, such as CNC machined aluminum, a carbon fibre faceplate, and custom over-molded PU grips.
  • Ergonomic Design: The wheel’s design is praised for its ergonomics, with controls like buttons, rotary encoders, and paddle shifters being easily accessible and comfortable to use.
  • Extensive Customizability: The wheel offers a plethora of input options, including multiple rotary encoders, 7-way switches, and customizable RGB LEDs, providing a high level of adaptability for different racing scenarios.
  • Impressive Visuals: The backlighting and RGB LEDs are noted for their brightness and vibrancy, enhancing the visual appeal and functionality of the wheel.
  • Software Integration: Seamless integration with SimHub and Grid Engineering’s Race Director software allows for easy customization and telemetry data display.
  • Build Quality: Both reviews commend the wheel’s build quality, emphasizing its durability and the premium feel of its components.

Cons:

  • Price: The high cost of the wheel is mentioned as a potential barrier for some users, considering it’s positioned in the premium segment of the market.
  • Power Supply Requirement: The need for a dedicated power supply for the wheel is noted as a drawback, adding to the cable management and setup complexity.
  • Limited Compatibility: While the wheel is compatible with all PC wheelbases via USB, there’s no mention of direct compatibility with console systems, which might limit its appeal to PC-only racers.

Issues Other Reviewers Found:

  • Accidental Activation of 7-Way Hats: It’s possible to accidentally trigger the 7-way hats during tight corners, which could potentially disrupt the racing experience.

My view is that Grid decided to build a budget wheel, without trying to actually save any money on budget, and eventually came up with one of the highest quality, brightest and VR-friendly wheels on the market.

mounted MPX wheel

Its emphasis on high-quality components, ergonomic design, and a plethora of VR-friendly input types makes this wheel a serious contender – particularly if you’re thinking about a Cube Controls wheel.

Yes, the price point might be on the slightly higher side, but in context, we’re only talking $100 or so more than a Cube Controls F-Pro – considering the value and performance it offers, make it a worthwhile investment for those serious about their sim racing. In any case, it will make deciding between them more difficult!

click to start racing!
Grid MPX // Porsche Cup DDU // Simtrecs ProPedal GT

Grid Engineering has set a new standard with the MPX, and we’re excited to see what they come up with next. Both the MXP and the Porsche RSR wheel will be added to our “best sim racing wheels” buyer’s guide in the coming weeks – a testament, I hope, to how I feel about these new wheels.

Thanks to Brandon and the team for letting me play with Grid Engineering’s latest toys!


Grid Engineering: GRID MPX Sim Racing Steering Wheel Review