R Racing is a small company based in the United States that focuses on producing steering wheels for sim racers. The business is run by Alberto, a very friendly and helpful man. In addition to the current small range of steering wheels, you can also find custom steering wheels. We have been in contact with Alberto for a while and of course he wanted us to get our hands on the R Racing Audi RS5 DTM steering wheel. Of course we love to do just that.
Packaging and Contents
As mentioned, the steering wheel comes from the United States, which means that you have to take import costs into account. The package was delivered by UPS and was ultimately on its way from the United States to the Netherlands for 4 days. The steering wheel was neatly packaged in a white box with the RRacing logo on it. In this box we find a detachable USB cable and the steering wheel which is neatly packed in bubble wrap.
The Steering Wheel
The Audi RS5 steering wheel is a replica as it was used in the DTM in 2019. The steering wheel consists of a 4mm carbon fiber plate with a 3D printed housing. The steering wheel is 305mm wide and has a 70mm bolt pattern for mounting on most common quick releases. The grips are made of polyurethane and covered with synthetic suede. The shifters are made of aluminum with 4mm carbon fiber paddles on top. The steering wheel is equipped with 12 Apem push buttons, 10 of which are mounted on the front and 2 at the rear. There are also 2 CTS rotary encoders with 3D printed buttons on the front of the steering wheel. All this is controlled inside the housing by a Leo Bodnar controller board. The steering wheel weighs a total of 825g and can only be used on a PC. The steering wheel has, at the time of writing, a price of $ 499.99 (converted around € 410.-) excluding shipping and import costs.
After mounting the Fanatec Podium Hub, connecting the USB cable and mounting it on the Fanatec DD, the steering wheel is ready for use. For the real Audi RS5 DTM experience we start RaceRoom, configure the buttons, rotary encoders and shifters and we are ready to race!
Everything on the steering wheel does what it should do, the steering wheel has many good points and unfortunately also some points that we are critical about. The overall “feel” of the handlebar is more than fine and feels very solid and sturdy. This steering wheel also looks good in terms of looks.
The handles are made of elastic polyurethane with a hardness of 70 shore. This means that the handle still moves a little bit when you squeeze it, this ensures a comfortable feeling. The handles are neatly covered with synthetic suede which still look neat after a few weeks of intensive use.
We always find the finishing of the carbon fiber an important point. This has been neatly done and the edges are nicely finished so that no sharp edges can be felt. Although the steering wheel has a 3D printed enclosure, this is not a disadvantage, on the contrary. But given the price of the steering wheel, a molded plastic or aluminum enclosure would have been appropriate in our opinion.
The Apem push buttons feel really great, they have a short click and are very responsive. However, we have to be critical of the 3D printed rotary buttons. We think these should have deserved a little more attention by using, for example, molded plastic or aluminum buttons so that the steering wheel feels more high-end.
The shifters are solidly built and consist of a black anodized aluminum base. If you gently tap the paddle you will feel some play of the shaft with which the module is mounted. Something you hardly notice while driving, but we have to mention it.
The overall impression of this steering wheel is just good and it feels solid. The carbon fiber is neatly finished and you don’t feel any sharp edges. Good parts are used such as a carbon fiber front plate, the Leo Bodnar Controller and the Apem buttons. The handles feel comfortable and are neatly lined with synthetic suede. However, we had expected some more high-end parts on a steering wheel in this price category. For example, by using molded plastic or aluminum for the rotary-encoder buttons and enclosure, the steering wheel gives you a really high-end feeling. We think the shifters could use a little more attention, there is a little bit of play in what you do not notice during racing. However, if you want to experience the ultimate Audi RS5 DTM feeling on your simulator, this is the steering wheel you should use.
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