Last updated: September 13th, 2023
Some weeks it’s like Christmas every day in sim racing. We’ve been graced with another masterpiece, the Porsche 911 RSR Sim Racing Steering Wheel, made by Grid Engineering. Given the “official” Porsche licence (and the high-end price point) it’s clear that it’s not just another run-of-the-mill piece of hardware – far from it. I suspect this is as close to driving a LeMans spec RSR as most of us will ever get, and for those who want to build a simulated RSR cockpit, this is an essential addition to the kit list.
The Porsche 911 RSR Sim Racing Steering Wheel, is a bit of a masterpiece of design and engineering, quite frankly. It comes very nicely packaged, with all the additional fittings required to get started:Grid Engineering: Porsche 911 RSR Sim Racing Steering Wheel Review
Here’s what’s included in the box:
- Porsche 911 RSR Sim Racing Steering Wheel
- 6x70mm hub spacer (50mm length – fitted)
- 2x M5x70mm socket head cap screws
- USB A-B cable
- 6-pin Lumberg to USB Type A connector
- Tool for switch guard installation
One thing that really matters, especially when you’re forever changing wheels, pedals and wheelbases (tough job, huh) is that the wheel hub adapter is drilled. Not all adapters are – which really irks me, because of the extra nuts you need to set everything up properly. Amazingly, the smallest touches can yield the most gratitude to the designers!
And this is how the wheel looks with the stickers placed well:
Central to its design is a crisp 5″ USB Display. Like the DDU5 and Grid 911 Cup display units, the screen is protected by silkscreen printed scratchproof glass. The choice of this glass not only adds durability but ensures that the vital information relayed during your races remains unobstructed.
It’s very crisp and clear and given its hard-wearing credentials I’d expect it to stay that way, provided it was treated well. As with all Grid displays, the screen itself is very close to the glass, so there’s no loss in clarity. It’s a bright, bold screen.
Grips and Feel
Gripping the wheel, one is immediately taken by the custom over-moulded PU grips. There’s an innate feeling of control thanks to the anti-static mixture used, ensuring the grip stays consistent, irrespective of race conditions, glove use (we always recommend wearing gloves) or sweaty palms.
I might add there’s a satisfying diameter to the grip size itself. They fit the hands well, in my opinion. The wheel’s width is 300mm, making it versatile for various racing disciplines. Obviously, it’s a GTE spec racing wheel – but it’d handle Formula racing just as well.
Construction and Frontplate
The aluminium CNC construction of the wheel’s body gives it a stiff, uncompromising feel, ensuring precision with every movement. The wheel’s construction from Aluminum CNC and the presence of a 5mm carbon fibre front plate is indicative of its latent sturdiness. The wheel has been described as having a “robust feel”, and there obviously were no issues with flex or twist. This stiffness adds to the wheel’s premium feel and ensures durability. The robustness is quite right – during use, in the hand – it’s solid as a rock. I wouldn’t want to test the robustness idea by dropping it down the stairs, but then again who would? It’s solid.
The front plate, constructed from 5mm carbon fibre, adds to the wheel’s rigidity while adding to a lightweight profile. Each major component has been fitted with precision, so, everything is mounted flush and the edges on the carbon have been bevelled at a nice angle that meets the edge of the wheel chassis perfectly.
Switches and Encoders
Speaking of controls, the 650gf APEM switches are responsive, each illuminated by 4 RGB LEDs. This is complemented by the backlit front encoders, each equipped with their own 4 RGB LEDs. Every button press feels deliberate and satisfying, the feedback from the switch tells you the message was received – it’s a precise thing. Refinements like this simply provide drivers with a sense of control and accuracy, crucial during races – the better the tactility, the easier it is to be accurate and consistent.
The rotary controls, with their own set of 4 RGB LEDs, have a lovely, positive feel to them. They feel nice and I like the slightly larger rotary knobs – there’s something about them that makes an adjustment easier, but the size of them doesn’t lend themselves to mistakes. These are the best thumb-mounted rotaries I’ve experienced.
But what truly stands out are the 80 Telemetry controllable RGB LEDs. These LEDs offer real-time feedback on various race parameters. And for those keen on customization, LED profiles for these are preset through SimHub when you add the wheel as a device. This integration is a real timesaver and puts the control of the device in a very familiar environment.
The Hall effect paddle shifters and clutches are height adjustable, allowing for personal customization to suit your preferences. Personally, I felt no need to adjust the paddles. However, I assigned the top rocker paddle to the “secondary gear shift” in my iRacing control menu.
So my setup: two sets of paddles for shifting, and the clutch paddles are in bite point mode (release the left paddle which is stopped at the bite point for initial launch, then ease the second clutch paddle for full drive.
The shifters on the Porsche 911 RSR Sim Racing Steering Wheel are manufactured in all-CNC machined aluminium. They come with a plethora of adjustability options too (for those shorter-fingered folk among us) – I didn’t need to make any adjustments whatsoever – the wheel just worked for me as soon as it was mounted.
They feel robust and provide slightly softer, quieter tactile feedback compared to their equivalently priced counterparts. They’re quite simply a joy to use.
The paddles and clutches exude quality, offering tactile feedback with every shift. The bite point mode is also so easy to set up through Race Director.
As so many of you will be familiar with SimHub, it makes perfect sense to provide this wheel as a SimHub-compatible device. Just click “add device” under “Devices” and search for Grid:
Adding the wheel is *that* easy:
Note that the LED profiles come as part of the device package, so the default is done and ready to go. As usual, I chose my favourite TWF dash to run on the 5″ Vocore screen:
Connectivity is streamlined with a 6-pin Lumberg connector, through a mountable “Power Injector Box”. This box is essential for the wheel’s operation with a USB adapter and power socket on the rear – with a DIN-style Lumberg connector on the front. This is ideal as the connector is obviously very strong – that’s a nice thing to have for reliability.
The power box can be mounted on profile with the supplied bolts and t-nuts. The only “gotcha” was that despite having looked, and fitted the box, I neglected to realise the power button was on the underside of the power injector box! It took a while for me to understand why the steering wheel wouldn’t power! It’s nice to mount this adapter as close to the wheel/wheelbase as possible, just to avoid any unfortunate cable stretching incidents when you’re calibrating the wheel in iRacing.
Mounting is made convenient with a 6 x 70mm hub spacer included, ensuring compatibility with most QR hubs. As I mentioned earlier, the holes in the adapter are drilled which is a handy feature!
I don’t know why but my favourite bit is always once I’ve installed the SQR hub and extension. Metalwork done and ready to race:
Ergonomically, the Porsche 911 RSR Sim Racing Steering Wheel is something you can really get hold of, with or without gloves and just drive – thanks to the presets and SimHub support. Race Director is also an excellent app to keep the firmware and calibration controls adjusted.
All buttons and rotaries feel good – $2000+ good! The larger rotaries (far larger than some nearby competition) work really well – again the tactile side of using a rotary is precise.
I’m a fan of how Grid is doing the screen work. The display always seems mounted so closely to the glass. This brings out the best of the screen, in my opinion. The Screen is just excellent and everything is fully simhub compatible which is what we love.
If you’re a Porsche racing enthusiast or a works driver – this is the wheel for you. I’d imagine that the investment is beyond most of us, although for the lucky few that get to own one, I think this has huge longevity thanks to the build quality and will remain “the wheel to own” at this level for some years to come. What’s encouraging, is that yes – this wheel is good. This bodes well for the MPX review I’m about to begin!