Premium technology, top marques and T3 go together like cheese and crackers, which is why we were super excited when the Thrustmaster T-GT was delivered to T3 Towers for review last week.
This state-of-the-art racing wheel for PS4 and PC is, arguably, the most advanced and premium video game peripheral ever made, with a dump truck-load of top-level tech elevating it way, way beyond standard racing wheel fayre. Indeed, the T-GT wheel and pedal set alone feel more premium and well made than the vast majority of ACTUAL steering wheels and pedal arrays on real cars, let alone rival video game racing systems.
And, to be quite clear here, that is exactly what you should expect from a racing wheel that costs a super high-end £699.99. So, let's see what you get for your money.
Thrustmaster T-GT unboxing
Earlier this week we posted our first-impression, hands-on unboxing of the Thrustmaster T-GT. You can watch the unboxing by clicking on the video above, where we show you the Thrustmaster T-GT wheel, Thrustmaster T-GT servobase, Thrustmaster T3PGT pedal set, T-Turbo power supply, clamping systems and the always interesting manual.
As you can see from the unboxing, the Thrustmaster T-GT comes in a large cardboard box, with each component securely encased in polystyrene trays. Accessing all components is easy, although due to the shear amount of metal in the package, transporting the box when it's full quite physically taxing. With all parts removed from the box, you can then proceed onto setting up the T-GT.
Thrustmaster T-GT setup
If you're coming to the racing accessory scene fresh then it is important to note that having the facility to set up the system as it is supposed to be used is ESSENTIAL. And the T-GT is no different, with the Thrustmaster T-GT servobase needing to be clamped to a solid table, desk, or racing shelf. You get multiple types of clamp in the T-GT package though, so buyers should be equipped for most eventualities.
Be under no illusion though, this is not a wheel that you can just plant on your lap or leave unclamped on a coffee table - do that and you'll immediately injure yourself and ruin the T-GT.
The primary desk clamp was easy to affix in our testing scenario, with it simply screwing into the bottom of the servobase. Once clamped we proceeded to slot the Thrustmaster T-GT wheel, which slots easily into the front of the servobase, and is then secured doubly by a screwable, extending sheath, as well as a single cross-head screw. This three-fold system secures the wheel incredibly tightly and, from our testing period, we got zero play or loosening occurring.
The Thrustmaster T3PGT pedal set is plug and play, with a single cable running into the back of the servobase. The array is really solid and, thanks to its weight and series of rubber feet, securely grips the surface it is placed on.
After the servobase, wheel and pedal set were set up, we then proceeded to wire everything else up. The Thrustmaster T-GT connects to the PS4 or PC via a single USB cable, while the entire system is powered via the T-Turbo power supply, which terminates in a standard kettle plug.
Connecting all these components and cables was quick and easy, with each port on the back of the servobase clearly labelled. Once everything was hooked up - it is important to mention here that the T-GT is compatible with a wide-range of other Thrustmaster add-ons such as the TH8A Shifter too - we powered the system on, watching as the system went through its startup procedure and the wheel and motors tested for correct functionality.
Thrustmaster T-GT hardware
Racing game enthusiasts are clearly going to have a field day with the Thrustmaster T-GT, as it comes loaded with some amazing racing wheel technology, including force feedback linearity that is 100 per cent proportional to the force determined in the game, 40-watt linear brushless force feedback for dynamic torque, a motor-cooling embedded system with 50 per cent more dynamics, four times greater stal force, and heat dissipation via monphastic cooling, and suspension and vibration effects-enhancing depth feedback.
Meanwhile the Thrustmaster T-GT wheel is crafted from genuine leather, has gorgeous metal paddle shifters and an absolute plethora of inputs, including rotary selectors, mini sticks, and PlayStation controller push buttons, which makes navigating menus and more fast and easy. We can confirm that we did not have to keep picking up our actual PlayStation 4 Pro controller when using the T-GT, with us able to navigate well both in an out of game through the wheel alone.
Lastly, the Thrustmaster T3PGT pedal set features some of the most solid, premium pedals we've seen on a video game racing system. They offered excellent resistance (notably the brake pedal thanks to a conic brake mod) and long-range travel too, with the accelerator and clutch pedals also adjustable by the user in terms of height and spacing. The internal metal frame did a top job of weighting the set down too, meaning that not once did we experience any slip or rotation.
Thrustmaster T-GT gaming
We had buckets of fun using the Thrustmaster T-GT here at T3 Towers. Playing Gran Turismo Sport on our PS4 Pro was just a fantastic, immersive experience and, thanks to the enhanced levels of feedback delivered due to its collaboration, it was obvious that this racer was taken to enhanced heights as well. Throwing a paddock of high-performance virtual marques around a series of high-speed race tracks was lots of fun, with the addictive challenge of constantly improving our lap times in time trials, racing against our own ghost, made all the better by feeling it all through the T-GT.
Check the video out above for a taste of the action!
The feedback we received through the T-GT was unlike anything we had experienced before in a video game racing wheel, with a consistent and amazingly varied and refined level of force delivered. No matter if we were gunning it out of an apex, braking hard, losing the back end to off-track gravel, or feeling the flex of the vehicle's suspension, we felt it through the T-GT and as we were interacting with the system's insanely premium components, it felt incredibly immersive, especially when partnered with a top surround-sound headset.
Thrustmaster T-GT verdict
We drive a lot of race cars here at T3 (the Nissan GT-R (opens in new tab) and Honda Civic Type R (opens in new tab)being but two recent examples ) and, despite making no claims to being ace, professional-level drivers, we do actually know what it is like to drive these high tech machines FOR REAL, often around some of the planet's most famous race tracks.
So we can quite authoritatively say that we have tested nothing else to date that delivers the accuracy and immersiveness of the Thrustmaster T-GT when it comes to video game racing wheels. Not only do the wheel and pedals feel like the real thing in the hand and under the foot, but thanks to the suite of in-built technologies, such as force feedback linearity, dynamic torque, field-orientated control and depth feedback, they go a long way in creating a very immersive driving experience and re-creating what it is like for real.
Different vehicles, environments, weather conditions, surfaces and more are all felt through the T-GT and it means that it becomes easier than ever for you, as the driver, to adapt to the conditions, feel the tarmac beneath your tyres, and drive to the best of your ability. Pair the T-GT with a top-rate racing chair and surround sound headset, as well as a PS4 Pro or powerful gaming PC, and you'll almost certainly create the next best thing to actually being in a genuine, bonafide race car.
The Thrustmaster T-GT has a premium price, for sure, but it delivers a premium, immersive racing experience that clearly takes the chequered flag.