The Thrustmaster arrived in a weighty box, full of goodies. Moving from left to right, top to bottom we have: The pedals, wheel, power cable, desk clamp (piece 1), power adapter, realistic brake mod, desk clamp (piece 2), instruction manual and literature.
First impression of the wheel: heavy. It’s all incredibly sturdy and clearly built to last; there's absolutely no flex in the wheel whatsoever. It’s a shame that a few of the knobs on the wheel are imitation, but on the whole it looks and feels just like (I’d expect) the real version to be. The rubber grips fit the hand extremely well and the wheel is very comfortable to hold.
On the face of the wheel there is a total of 8 buttons, 3 momentary switches, 2 D-Pads and 2 scroll wheels. There is also a further 2 buttons on the motor housing. All of them have a nice, solid feel to them, in particularly the scroll wheels which have a nice ‘notchy’ action. My only (minor) gripe is that the buttons can twist – meaning that their labels are not always upright.
From behind we can see two sets of paddles – one set for the original T500RS wheel (not included), and the second set for the F1 wheel. Both can be individually programmed and used simulataneously. I’m a big fan of the F1 paddles, as both sides are connected/are a single piece. This means you can shift down/up by pushing/pulling a single paddle. They have a nice, positive action; with a noticeable click informing you the motion has been registered.
Moving onto the pedals – and what an impressive piece of kit they are. The pedals come floor mounted, but can be inverted, so they hang ‘GT style’. For the purpose of todays review though, we will be using them in the stock, floor mounted flavour.
Metal has been used all over, and not the flimsy kind either – this is all properly thick and rigid. There's absolutely no sideways movement present in the pedals and all 3 are easily adjustable for different distances between them.