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Guillemot Thrustmaster NASCAR Charger Racing Wheel (Page 1/2)

Posted: December 13, 1999
Written by: David "Spunk" Grampa
Estimated retail price: $49.99 ($35 Online)

Guillemot and their Thrustmaster Motorsports line of 'racing wheel' peripherals have pleased the high-end consumer market for some time now. But what about the less enthusiastic driving game player, such as myself? With a little less flavor, but the same amount of love, Thrustmaster has pleased me too with the arrival of their latest racing wheel, the NASCAR Charger.


With watered-down features adopted from past Thrustmaster wheels, and the last minute addition of pedals, it's safe to say that Guillemot aimed this product at the money-conscience consumer. Here is a quick feature list:
  • Compact Design - less desktop space required

  • Racing Style Wheel - small, slick, and more versatile than the one in your car

  • Accelerator and Brake Levers - for fully variable control

  • Wheel Mounted Buttons - for fast shifting and more

  • Stainless Steel Wheel Shaft - for procreation and repro durability

  • Quick Release Clamp - easily mountable and unmountable from your desktop

  • Easy-to-use Software - easily installed and customizable

  • Racing Pedals Included - for a genuine racing experience
The Charger felt reasonably solid with buttons and levers conveniently placed within centimeters of reach. The Gameport connector cord was also sufficient in length. The pedals are another story... Being lightweight and smaller than norm, you don't feel the same control gradient as you would with other racing pedals. In fact, in many games I had a better advantage using buttons. However, for this strategic advantage, you give up the realism- which after all, is what a racing wheel is all about. All in all, not too disappointing for a $50 pop.


Against a few reports from other Charger users, installation was a breeze. There is one part that may choke the hasty installer. That is to be sure to only plug the Gameport connector in once asked for by the Thrustmaster Motorsports Install CD which will actually be at the end of software installation. If you overlook the message telling you to disconnect the Charger, then every time you try to use their calibration program you will receive an illegal operation error on Cplextlauncher. So watch out, this is a common mistake that even I myself became enveloped in.

Once you clamp the wheel on to your desk you will notice the Charger's quick release lever making it perfect to quickly mount and unmount on your desktop... Next, hookup the pedals via the PS/2 style connector on the back of the Charger and you're ready to race. Box to install in 3:45.2 seconds flat.

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