Thrustmaster is updating its T-GT, now in version 2. On the program, few changes compared to the previous one, for a steering wheel, motorization and pedalboard set that is still as convincing despite a price that remains high.
- Very few differences under the fingers
- The T-GT II keeps the compatibility with the current ecosystem
- Still the same thing under the feet
- An efficient motorization, vibrations as a bonus
- We keep the same and we start again, with pleasure
A small surprise from Thrustmaster, who is putting its T-GT II on the market after a period of out-of-stock condition for the basic version. Barely announced, already available, this new steering wheel is presented as an evolution of its elder brother, without any great technological revolution, but with official compatibility with the PS5, in addition to the PS4 and PC. The T-GT II is also the official steering wheel for Gran Turismo, with a new function dedicated to the game from Polyphony Digital. While the first version of this steering wheel overall convinced us at the end of 2017, what about this wheel in 2021?
|Compatibility||PC, PS4, PS5|
|Force feedback||Yes, motorized|
|Motorization||brushless motor, belt drive|
|Rotation adjustment||Via PC driver|
|Pedalboard||Yes, 3 pedals|
|Gear lever||Not included|
|Steering wheel weight||5 kg|
|Pedal weight||3 kg|
Very few differences under the fingers
As soon as you take out the box, you get the impression that you’re looking at a first edition T-GT. At the same time, the manufacturer Thrustmaster has warned us: this is a small evolution that, from the outside, is hardly noticeable. And this is very true for the steering wheel, which is totally identical to the one we had in our hands in 2017. Whether it’s the size, the positioning of the functions or the materials, it’s the same. So we’re treated to a 28-centimeter round, leather-wrapped wheel with a huge Gran Turismo logo at its center. Aside from a few plastic parts that look a little too flashy to our taste, the whole thing is superbly made. The leather is of good quality, with very clean stitching, and the grip is pleasant, with or without gloves.
Inside, the shape is not perfectly round and offers some grip points for the hands, especially at the thumbs level, for a rather racy look. As for the functions, this wheel is very generous. At the rear, two rotary paddles, particularly large. On the front, a directional cross, no less than 9 simple buttons (8 being accessible without lifting the hands from the wheel), 2 analog sticks and 4 endless rotary ones with click. There’s plenty to do, whether you’re into GT, F1 or even trucks.
Nothing to say about the quality of these buttons which react well, with a well-calibrated threshold to avoid false manipulations, and a very dry contact, ideal in racing. The directional cross is also perfectly adapted to the navigation in the menus, with its 4 marked directions. Note that overall, this wheel is made to be played without gloves, the buttons being less big and heavy than on the F1000 wheel or on the DD1 from Fanatec. The only negative point in this price range is the lack of spring in the paddles for the gears, which are a bit too soft and the noise is too loud.
The T-GT II keeps the compatibility with the current ecosystem
Obviously, as with all Thrustmaster steering wheels in this line, it’s always possible to change your wheel for a GT, F1 or Rally model. No surprise here, as far as the compatibility of the various accessories is concerned. The T-GT II base has exactly the same central axis as the T-300, TX, TS-PC RACER, etc., and therefore the same mounting system. You have to put the wheel in the axle and then tighten the big plastic screw to lock it. Finally, you have to take out the screwdriver for a last screw, smaller, to prevent any rotation after hours of play. This system works very well, it is effective for having used it for hundreds of hours at least, but it pales in comparison with what Fanatec proposes, both in terms of materials and locking principle. It has the advantage to be compatible with all the wheels produced by the manufacturer since ten years.
The continuity is also good for the other types of accessories. Shift lever, pedals, hand brake, etc., the T-GT II keeps the same connectivity as the previous range and welcomes all the brand’s accessories. We were able to try a TH8A lever, a TSS Handbrake, a T-LCM, without any need for an upgrade or anything else. The T-GT II fits perfectlyIt’s a great fit for the current ecosystem and its hardware and software compatibility is as broad as the previous model. We’ll come back to that later.
Still the same thing under the feet
On the pedalboard side, it’s also the same thing. We find this derivative of the T3PA with metal arms and plates on a large chassis, and we still appreciate this crankset that offers a position adjustment for each pedal plate, a cable routing system on each side of the chassis, and a piece of rubber on a metal arm to finish the brake stroke with more resistance. Moreover, Thrustmaster has very slightly revised its copy in terms of braking with a slightly different resistance, a little stronger, when compared to the original T3PA.
Unfortunately, there are no surprises regarding the technology behind this brake, which still doesn’t offer a load cell. Thrustmaster should nevertheless quickly offer this T-GT II without a pedalboard, for those who would like a higher level model like the excellent T-LCM, the whole thing being PS4 and PS5 compatible. However, the T3PA GT II does not disappoint and proves to be both stable and comfortable, whether you play on a cockpit, stand or directly on the desk (where it will still need to be fixed). In any case, it should be more than enough for most players.
An efficient engine, with vibration as a bonus
On the motor side, we still remain on the same basis, namely a brushless motor equivalent to that of the TS-PC RACER and TS-XW, with a belt drive. This is a higher range than the T300 and TX of the brand, with about 50% more torque (no precise information from the manufacturer on this subject), but above all with a much greater stability on the side of long-term power.
Always backed by a substantial turbocharged power supply, to clearly indicate the presence of a coil inside, this engine also plays the cooling card directly integrated into the engine. As a result, the power is high and really constant, while the resistance of the wheel under the arms is much higher than that of the T300-RS that we put in front of it. Thrustmaster also assures us that they’ve made a few changes to ensure that this power gain is even more stable over long sessions. For our part, we didn’t notice a drop in engine speed after 4 hours of intensive play, but we didn’t have any on the T-GT either.
The T-GT II also keeps the transducer at the back of its base, for the creation of dynamic vibrations. A function which, we will come back to, can be very useful for the player.This is a new feature that will make a difference in-game, but for now it’s exclusive to Gran Turismo Sport with a likely use in Gran Turismo 7.
Keep the same and do it again, with pleasure
Two cockpits, one with the T-GT and the other with the T-GT II, each connected to a PS4 or PS5, didn’t allow us to feel any real difference between the two wheels. Where Thrustmaster announced a T-DCC for drift curve management, we finally found the same reactions, the same feeling, from one model to the other. In the end, despite identical settings, there might be a small difference in power to the advantage of the T-GT II, a better resistance under the arms, but that could be attributed to the age (and the hours of driving) of our T-GT rather than to a mechanical or electronic evolution.
But we’re not going to deny ourselves the pleasure. The T-GT II is an excellent steering wheel, very pleasant to play with, and very precise, both in terms of rotation and force feedback. Thrustmaster has clearly mastered its subject, and the steering wheel is very well managed with all the titles we tried. Proof that on Sony’s machines, the manufacturer has established very good contacts with the various developers and that its tools are widely used and mastered. Where, in 2017 we found it accents of T300 boosted, we must admit that the gap between the two wheels has widened over the months, releases and updates, to the advantage of this T-GT.
This observation is just as true on the PC, where the T-GT II is simply taken for a T-GT, even by Thrustmaster’s driver, for easier integration and a very broad compatibility, if not for anything new.
Of course, it’s always on Gran Turismo Sport that the steering wheel reveals itself completely. Once the GT mode is engaged, the transducer adds additional vibrations to the force feedback. Loss of grip under acceleration and braking, wheel spin, engine speed, the added information is real and changes the whole game (must try it in VR if you have the opportunity). It’s just a terrible shame that we can’t enjoy it with other titles, probably due to a locked agreement with Polyphony Digital. If we had some hopes in 2017, we have to admit that 4 years later, the mass definitely seems said.
The T-GT II is clearly a re-release of the T-GT, now officially PS5 compatible. Thrustmaster announced it as such and the result is there. Neither an improvement nor a degradation of the original model, with simpThere are only a few small differences. Not enough to encourage owners of the first edition to switch to the second. On the other hand, this doesn’t take away from the very real qualities of this T-GT II which, in the end, makes a better impression than its predecessor in 2017. The T-GT II thus benefits from 4 years of updates to its elder brother and numerous titles exploiting its motorization.
As a result, the T-GT II is now the best belt-driven wheel on the market. The sensations it provides are excellent, the information it gives is precise, and its steering and pedal control are a real pleasure. The T-GT II also accommodates Thrustmaster’s entire range of peripherals, and promises that by the end of the year it will be possible to purchase the base alone, to upgrade a T300 RS or to accompany it with a Load Cell pedalboard. As for how it will stand up to a possible Fanatec CSL DD for PS5, this is a point that only the future will be able to answer. In the meantime, the T-GT II is here, and it’s really good.
- A nice control of the power
- The addition of independent vibration, super interesting
- A silent and constant motor
- The overall finish is very good
- A very large compatibility on PS4, PS5 and PC
- Lots of functions under the fingers
- Well-adjusted button hardness and sensitivity
- All Thrustmaster peripherals compatible
- Whether you’re a general public or an experienced pilot, the wheel adapts to your needs
- A wheel measuring only 28 centimeters
- Noisy and somewhat soft paddles
- Independent vibrations exclusive to Gran Turismo
- No Load Cell pedals included
With a price of 749 € for its launch, the T-GT II follows the original model without much change. The engine is as good as ever, the gameplay is comfortable, especially on PlayStation consoles, and the finish is impeccable on all levels. Of course, we regret that the rear transducer is once again reserved for Gran Turismo or that the pedalboard is not equivalent to the brand’s T-LCM. But the T-GT II’s proposal is coherent, superior to the other references of the brand, with an excellent integration in most racing games. If you’re looking for high quality plug’n play, this is a model that we recommend with our eyes closed.
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