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Logitech Wingman 
Formula Force GP

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by Logitech

Responsive, comfortable, stylish & under $100.

Downs: Clamping system good, not great; pedal base too light.

System Reqs: P166, 32 MB RAM, Win 98 or Win 2000; USB port.

The new, affordable WingMan Formula Force GP is a force feedback steering wheel with realistic pedals, rubber handgrips for comfort and control, two wheel-mounted gear shifters, and four programmable buttons. As is the case with most USB products, the Formula Force GP installs in a few quick steps. Powered by an external AC adapter with a six-foot cord, the wheel is a mere ten inches wide, the same width as the wheel itself, and it only extends six inches onto the surface on which it's mounted.

The mounting clamps themselves are small, versatile, and easy to use.  Unfortunately, they're made entirely of hard plastic and lack any rubber coating to make them secure. As such, frequent re-tightening of the clamps is required or the wheel will often come loose from the mounting surface.

The Formula Force GP has a polished, solid feel to it, from the rubberized grip to its ergonomic shape. The pedals are mounted high in the rear of their base for a much more realistic feel than is too often found with other pedals. Sadly, the base doesn't weigh much and there’s no real traction on the underside, so it tended to slip on both carpet and linoleum. 

The Formula Force GP's four thumb buttons, placed in symmetrical pairs on either side of the wheel, are easily reachable. Left and right trigger-style buttons are just beyond the comfortable resting area of the fingertips, which helps avoid accidental button presses but keeps them in easy range.

Force-feedback effects are strong, offering sharp, convincing jolts and jitters. The wheel has a 180-degree range of motion, which is wide enough for precise cornering and tight enough to prevent players from having to remove their hands from the wheel.  While playing with a slightly gritty feel in non-force-feedback games, the wheel does simulate an amazingly smooth center spring.

The Logitech WingMan Formula Force GP has a surprisingly low price and is a great wheel for the money.  We had a blast testing it with Midtown Madness 2A better clamping system and weighted or textured base for the pedals are all that’s keeping this wheel from enjoying the pole position. 

--Al Wildey