- Looks much nicer than the original ES wheel
- Relatively high quality materials used
- Low cost upgrade
- Doesn’t add any functionality
- Doesn’t improve the feel of the shifters or plastic buttons
What is the Moza Racing ES Formula Wheel Mod?
The ES Formula Mod allows you to completely transform your MOZA ES Steering Wheel for very little cost. Here’s our full review.
This wheel mod is essentially an accessory for someone who already owns the ES steering wheel. It allows you to remove the circular wheel rim from the original ES wheel, and replace it with this formula-style wheel rim instead.
What you can’t do with this wheel mod, is buy it and attach it right to a wheel base and start racing. You need the ES steering wheel for this to work.
Now, I really do like this wheel mod, and I think it’s a smart move from MOZA to release it so soon after the ES wheel’s launch.
If you watched my MOZA R5 bundle review, you’ll know that I wasn’t a fan of the original ES wheel. I think it didn’t look great, and felt very toy-like during use. A lot of that came down to the small form factor that the ES wheel took, and this wheel mod has addressed that, kind of.
I say kind of, because this wheel rim is actually the same dimension across as the ES wheel at 280mm. But being a formula wheel rim now, that size is pretty much spot on where you’d want it to be.
Having a circular wheel rim at 280mm is too small, but I can see why they did it, to compete with other budget wheel rims.
But before I fall down the rabbit hole of critiquing this wheel rim, I first want to touch on the price of this wheel attachment, and I do want to say that the folks over at MOZA did send me this product for review.
Now, the price of this MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod hits a real sweet spot.
In the UK, this wheel attachment costs just £37 before VAT and shipping. In the United States, it comes in at $39, in the EU it’s €45, and in Australia, it costs $65.
You have to remember that this mod is essentially just an upgraded frame that attaches to the original electronics from the ES wheel. It isn’t a new wheel on its own, and that allows it to be very well-priced.
- Buy the MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod (United States) – $39
- Buy the MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod (United Kingdom) – £37
- Buy the MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod (Europe) – €45
- Buy the MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod (Australia) – $65
I think the pricing of around £40 or $40 is about right. It gives sim racers the opportunity to transform their steering wheel, without enduring the higher cost of purchasing a brand-new wheel rim, which would normally be the case with most other sim racing manufacturers.
The Design of the MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod
Now, with the price out of the way, I can jump back into my thoughts on the design of this MOZA ES Wheel mod.
Changes compared to the original ES wheel
Design-wise, this steering wheel mod is a pretty big step away from the traditional circular design of the original ES steering wheel. Gone is the generic-looking circular wheel rim, and in its place, we have a pretty crazy and aggressive-looking design.
At first glance, this wheel mod is very traditional for a formula wheel rim. It’s the right size at 280mm across, it features a pretty squared-off top and bottom, and your hands are positioned perfectly.
When you look closer at the styling, you’ll start to see some pretty crazy shapes, and it’s these small details that make this wheel look aggressive and actually quite cool.
A lot of the aggressive sharp lines are a result of having to cut out the aluminium body around the position of the original button placements. But the slots in the design between the metal faceplate and the plastic button housing gives this wheel a lot of depth, and I do like it.
Rubber hand grips
The hand grips are made from rubber using injection moulding. And it results in a super smooth-looking finish which feels incredibly soft to the touch.
Now, when I say soft, I’m not referring to the physical sturdiness of each hand grip, as there is very little bounce or movement when you squeeze the hand grips. Rather, I’m referring to the feel in your hand.
It’s very similar to a lovely piece of matt laminated paper, or a perfectly matt iPad accessory. You just can’t stop touching it.
The downside of this perfect finish is that I can imagine it wearing quite badly over time. I’ve been racing only wearing gloves and there are very few marks or imperfections in my wheel. But if I were to race with this wheel for months, or without using gloves, I can imagine the perfect matt finish may not last. I could be wrong there, but that would be my guess.
Metal face plate
The 4mm thick aluminium used to create the faceplate is extremely sturdy meaning there is absolutely no flex or wobble in this wheel rim. Yet it isn’t too thick that it makes the wheel feel heavy.
When attached to the ES steering wheel, the whole wheel weighs in at just under 1.13kg. In comparison, the MOZA GS wheel weighs 1.6kg. The lightness of this wheel allows it to really dance around during use, making it a pretty energetic wheel to race with.
Swapping out the original ES wheel rim for this wheel mod is pretty simple. There are six bolts on the front of the wheel that holds the wheel rim in place. Remove those bolts and the electronics will simply fall away from the metal wheel rim.
A quick pitstop and swap over of the faceplates, and you can re-insert the six bolts to fully attach the new wheel rim.
MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod Performance
The change from a circular wheel rim to this formula rim does improve my opinion of the ES steering wheel as a whole. As I mentioned earlier, the size of 280mm across is very well suited for a formula wheel rim.
And the button placement works pretty well to ensure you can make inputs without removing your hands from the wheel. While holding this wheel, you can reach pretty much every button on the face of the wheel, other than the buttons that sit in the centre of the wheel at the bottom such as the home and menu buttons.
The original rev lights sit very well positioned towards the top of the wheel, and they remain as visible and helpful as they were on the original wheel.
Negatives of this wheel mod
The downsides of this wheel mod really rely on the negatives of the original ES steering wheel. Because this mod doesn’t enhance or interact with the original electronics, this means that the original buttons and shifters will still be in use with this mod.
And, if you didn’t like the original layout of the buttons or how the buttons felt, then you still won’t like them here.
Taking about compatibility, if you hadn’t guessed by now, this steering wheel mod is only compatible with one single racing wheel, the MOZA ES wheel. This faceplate won’t fit on any other steering wheel by MOZA or any other brand.
Once you have mounted this wheel mod to the ES wheel, however, the steering wheel is compatible with all of MOZA’s current lineup of direct drive wheel bases. And thanks to the MOZA third-party wheel mount adaptor, it can also be bolted onto a range of sim racing wheels from other brands.
Should you buy the MOZA ES Formula Wheel Mod?
This brings me to the question, should you buy this wheel mod? If you currently own a MOZA ES Steering wheel and fancied expanding your immersion when racing any of the Formula 1 games or other open-wheeled cars, then this wheel mod is a no-brainer.
It’s relatively low cost compared to most sim racing products, and you can mount it to your ES wheel pretty quickly. Once fitted, this wheel looks much nicer than the original ES wheel rim in my opinion, and makes racing with it more immersive.
If, however, you don’t currently own an ES steering wheel, but you do own other sim racing wheels, then there is no point in buying this wheel mod. If you own a GS or FSR steering wheel then I’d also recommend staying away from this wheel mod as it isn’t as nice as those higher-end sim racing wheels that MOZA offer.