Interior styling and performance continue to evolve, and customer’s preferences and taste also continue to change. Steering wheels are one area where style, comfort, and function all have to come together. Whether a car is meant for high performance driving, or making the daily commute having something comfortable, that is also good to look at and functional can be key to enjoying the driving experience.
GT Performance Products introduced several new products at the 2013 SEMA show, including several steering wheels designed by a renowned Italian designer. The GT Pro-Touring Apex model, model number 52-4415, is a good looking steering wheel right at home in a variety of vehicles. The Apex features 5mm thick 5086 aluminum spokes riveted to an inner steel channel. The wheel is a 13.75-inch diameter with a 3.5-inch dish. When combined with the other spoke features this wheel is incredibly strong, able to withstand the stress and demands of high performance driving.
The model on display featured a beautiful black Artisan Italian leather wrap. The grip felt extremely comfortable on the display model, and quality was apparent throughout the model. The three bolt mounting pattern was designed for use with any of GT’s hubs or quick release systems.
GT was also showing the Drift model of their Pro-Touring line, model number 52-4316, and 52-4306. This wheel featured an ergonomic suede grip, with colored top marker, 13.75-inch diameter, and 2.75-inch dish.
The Pro-Touring Auto Cross wheel model 54-5815 is aimed squarely at the Pro Touring crowd. With a modular design that allows the grip to be detached, GT’s Rich Barsamain tells us “The grip can be removed and owner’s can have it recovered in any color or material they choose,” this allows for further customization and personalization of the look of the wheel. Additional features include a two-inch dish and 15-inch diameter.
Also new is the GT3 quick release hubs. Barsamian explained, “We went with 2023 aluminum on the casing for this part which is twice the strength of 6061, this offers extreme strength, an incredibly tight fit tolerance, and excellent wear characteristics.It also offers more precise fitment with a part that is taken on and off regularly.” We were impressed with the extremely tight fit of the splines on the quick release system, which offered a sure fit and positive engagement of the parts every time.