|Min OS X: Any Version Requires: USB Port|
The first racing wheel IMG ever reviewed was Thrustmaster's 360 Modena Pro. While it didn't receive a high rating, it was due in no part to the actual performance of the hardware. In fact, the 360 Modena Pro is a fine wheel, but the complete lack of quality racing games on the Mac and poor peripheral support left a bad taste in the reviewer's mouth. After a year and a half and an entirely new operating system, the situation has been mostly remedied. Wheel support and Immersion's force feedback libraries were integrated into Mac OS X in the 10.2.3 update, putting Mac gamers on the same ground as PC gamers.
Logitech's MOMO Racing wheel is one of the many force feedback peripherals Immersion has certified for use with a Mac. After being impressed by nearly every Logitech peripheral I have reviewed, I expected the MOMO Racing to be nothing short of excellent. With a 240-degree rotational axis, six programmable buttons, two paddle shifters, a sequential shifter, "realistic" gas and brake pedals, and MOMO's prestigious name, it has the potential to set the standard for competing products to follow.
A Rolling StartImmediately noticeable is the solid plastic construction of the MOMO Racing wheel and pedals. Picking it up and examining it revealed no creaks, rattles, or gaps in the unit, qualities I have come to expect from Logitech products. Setup is as simple as plug -and-play — attach the pedals to the wheel assembly with a special cable, plug in the AC adapter, and connect it to your Mac via USB. The hefty base, which measures about 13-inches wide and nine-inches deep, houses the gears, motors, and other electronics. It must be placed on a flat surface and is secured with a single screw mechanism. A dual screw system would have been preferable as heavily jerking the wheel back and forth would loosen the base.
The MOMO Racing's black, three-spoke wheel resembles that of one in a Formula 1 race car. Its oblong shape is wrapped in a comfortable, grippy rubber that absorbs the moisture from your hands when you're attacking the hairpin corners. There are three red buttons on each side of the wheel within easy reach of your thumbs. Logitech even molded depressions of hex screws — used to secure the steering wheel to the steering rack in a real car — around the center to add a touch of authenticity. Behind the wheel are two paddle shifters that have an exceptionally satisfying feel. The same can be said of the molded sequential shifter found on the right side of the unit, which also has a rubber grip. This begs the question: Is the shifter on the left side in the United Kingdom and Japan?
[Update] An astute reader (thanks Ronald Nieuwenbroek!) informed IMG that the MOMO Racing wheel does indeed have a three-way clamping system. Immediately behind the wheel is a "hood" with the Logitech logo printed on it. The hood can be easily removed which exposes two screws, one on each side of the steering wheel, that raise and lower clamps on the underside of the base. These two clamps, along with the main screw, secure the base steadfastly to the table.
Ronald also pointed out that the sequential shifter can be easily moved to the right or left side of the base. Simply remove the bolt that holds the shifter in place, then remove the shifter from the slot, and place it on the preferred side.