PRO – SPARCO R383 MOD WHEEL
While the Rally Wheel Add-on Sparco R383 Mod is suppose to be a replica, it sure doesn’t feel like it. It comes in at a full 33 cm (13 inches) in diameter. Its thick rim is covered in suede with the right amount of padding underneath to keep you comfortable but in control. It’s also really sturdy feeling, resisting our best efforts to twist and bend it.
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PRO – FUNCTION
While the name suggests that the R383 Mod is best suited for rally racing, it also does another form of racing exceptionally well, oval racing. At both disciplines, the R383 Mod is fantastic.
For rally racing, the large, round, rim is ideal. The larger rim helps to keep your hands steady – as steady as they can be in rally racing – and the round shape makes it so your hand can slide on the rim and never lose contact due to a flat bottom or top.
Like in rally racing, the large diameter also assists you in oval racing. Oval racing is all about “quiet hands,” allowing your feet to steer the car. Having quiet hands is much easier with a 33 cm rim then a 28 cm one. Another plus is the rim’s thickness. Not only does the rim keep you from death gripping your wheel – no matter the racing discipline – but in oval racing you can really lean on it and use it to help keep your hands steady.
When we reviewed the R383’s brethren, the Sparco P310 Competition wheel, we thought that it was a fantastic all around wheel and could handle cars from open wheel to oval. And while we still think it can, the R383 clearly showed us that it’s better when it comes to rally and oval racing.
NEUTRAL – BUTTON BOX
The button box on the R383 utilizes the same heavy duty plastic that all Thrustmaster wheels use but this time it features a nice looking carbon fiber pattern on the front. Out back is the usual Thrustmaster semi-quick release system that allows the R383 to be attached to all the wheel bases in the Thrustmaster Ecosystem. This includes the T300, TX, T500, TS-PC Racer, TS-XW Racer and T-GT.
The R383 features 9 action buttons, which is an average number of buttons for a sim racing wheel these days. The buttons are the same as the P310 Competition’s, meaning they are concave shaped and have a positive click. What isn’t the same is the color scheme, with the buttons coming in black, white, yellow and orange. While I appreciate the seasonal color for this time of year, I would have preferred to see the Sparco Red and Black color scheme from the P310 wheel and TS-XW Racer wheel base.
Back to P310 similarities, the R383 uses the same coned shaped d-pad with push function, and like on the P310, it has its pros and cons. On the pros side, the stealthy cone shaped d-pad is a neat design. On the con side, it can be a bit tricky to use. You have to be very positive with your left, right, up, down inputs or you can accidently select the wrong function.
The paddle shifters also carry over from the P310, which is a good thing. They’re metallic, nicely shaped, tall (13 cm / 5 inches) and can be moved in and out to fit the user’s finger reach. And while they don’t have the most positive click we have ever felt, it is far from bad and solid for the price point.
NEUTRAL – PRICE
Speaking of price, the R383 is priced perfectly. At $199.99 (£179.99) the wheel isn’t a steal but isn’t overpriced. It’s priced exactly where it should be for what you get.
We’re surprised how impressed we are with the Rally Wheel Add-on Sparco R383 Mod. While the P310 Competition might be the flashier of the two Sparco / Thrustmaster wheels, when it comes to rally and oval racing, the R383 is the way to go.
The wheel is just so well designed for those disciplines. 33 cm isn’t too big or too small. The thick suede rim is comfortable but gives you leverage. The wheel feels super solid. It’s just an all around good package.
We really don’t have anything bad to say about it, i.e. no CONS. Sure, the Fall color scheme isn’t our favorite and you have to be careful with the d-pad, but those are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.
In the end, if you are a rally and/or oval sim racer and have a Thrustmaster wheel base, or are thinking of getting one, this is the best wheel for the job.