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Base Fanatec CSL Elite : Test & Review

Sim Racer

E-sport driver & Sim Racing enthusiast, I decided to share my passion on this website.

Fanatec CSL Elite


  • High-end force feedback
  • Superbly designed ergonomics
  • Numerous settings
  • Incredible value for money
  • Compatible with multiple platforms


  • Finishes and plastic shell
  • A bit complicated to handle

A lot has happened in the world of video games since the days when controllers were our only accessories to to immerse ourselves in the car racing simulation. Since then, the sector has undergone many innovations and today allows us to experience incredibly realistic feelings during the game.

The German brand Fanatec, little known at the beginning, has truly marked a turning point in the world of Sim-racing, finally making accessible to all high-end products that seemed unattainable until then.

And if there is one model that has made the brand take the lead in the market, it is the Fanatec CSL Elite base that we have just tested for you.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this model that has revolutionized the sector. You will know what the characteristics of the Fanatec CSL Eliteto which type of player it is best suited for, what are its advantages and its disadvantages as well as its price and where you can get it.

fanatec csl elite image1

The characteristics of the Fanatec CSL Elite base

The Fanatec CSL Elite Wheel Base, more commonly known as the CSL Elite and the younger sister of the Wheel Base V2.5, is an entry-level model of the brand, although it is positioned as a high-end product in the market.

Here is a list of its main features:

  • Release date: 2016
  • The shell of the the Fanatec CSL Elite base is made entirely of plastic with a brushed aluminum front panel. Fanatec and model logos are displayed on it.
  • On the Fanatec CSL Elite base there are two buttonsOne to turn on the power and the other to select the mode (the platform). It is also equipped with 9 LED indicators for telemetry.
  • This model is equipped with a brushless belt motor with a power of 6 Nm. The amplitude of robbery of the CSL Elite is 1080 degrees.
  • The Fanatec CSL Elite base is equipped with the DirectSensor technology mounted directly on the steering shaft to provide better accuracy, as well as the Clubsport technology which includes all the mechanical part of the base (the servo motor, the electronics and the power supply) and which offers a high level of reactivity and realism.
  • The CSL Elite model is available in official PlayStation version but also in an Xbox compatible version. Both models work equally well on PC.
  • The Fanatec CSL Elite features the Quick Release QR1 systemAll of the brand’s steering wheels are interchangeable on the base. It is also compatible with the entire Fanatec ecosystem, including pedals, shifters, etc.
  • At the back of the base are all the connection ports of the Fanatec CSL Elite: 1 power supply, 1 USB output, 1 output for the pedal, 1 output for the handbrake, 1 2 outputs for the gearbox (H-shifter and sequential)
  • Dimensions: 35 x 35 x 28 cm (L x W x H)
  • Weight : 4,6 kg

For what type of person?

The Fanatec CSL Elite base is a great choice for those who want to start outand learn about the world of sim-racing while taking advantage of the German manufacturer’s extensive ecosystem.

We recommend this model more specifically for adults, as it is indeed not the most suitable for children.

Moreover, the Fanatec CSL Elite package has been designed for both for GT fansand F1 as well as for games such as DIRT. The wheel and all the accessories can be easily adapted to all styles of racing.

fanatec csl elite back

Its advantages

We had heard a lot of positive things about the Fanatec CSL Elite and thanks to our test, we were able to find out for ourselves what the advantages of this model were.

First of all, we were really seduced by its force feedback which is, in our opinion, the most interesting of its range at the present time. The engine is both very powerful, but also very fluid, its effects did not just convince us, they won us over! The vibration and driving feel of the Fanatec CSL Elite’s force feedback is truly excellent and very realistic. In addition, it remains silent and does not overheat, even after several hours of play.

In our opinion, it is the whole ergonomics of the CSL Elite has been superbly well thought out by its creators. This model offers the possibility to manage many settings. The 9 LED indicators on the base for telemetry are very practical and we also have the possibility to store up to 5 profiles of settings in the internal memory of the base, which is not negligible.

The Fanatec CSL Elite base has revolutionized the Sim-Racing market with its incredible value for moneywhich is clearly one of its great assets. The materials chosen for its design are robust and of very good quality, which guarantees a good life span. And considering all the features and benefits this model offers, its price is more than reasonable!

This model also has the advantage of being really customizable and to be compatible with the entire Fanatec ecosystemThe Quick Release QR1 system is really simple and effective. You can therefore make your set evolve according to your desires and your budget over several years without changing your base.

Finally, the Fanatec CSL Elite base offers the advantage of being compatible with several platforms. The manufacturer having decided to develop two almost identical models, one compatible with Xbox One and PC and the other, compatible with PlayStation and PC. Moreover, all updates are available for all platforms via the Fanatec Control Panel and are easily done.

Its disadvantages

While we were able to discover the many advantages of the Fanatec CSL Elite base, our test also revealed the disadvantages of this model.

First of all, we were a bit disappointed with the choice of finishes and the shell of the Fanatec CSL Elite which are all in plastic. This is not, in our opinion, up to the quality of the rest of the set and it is frankly a shame. This gives a “cheap” side that could really have been avoided if the brand had chosen to invest in a more professional material.

Then, we have to admit that, as for other competing models, the Fanatec CSL Elite base offers so many possible settings that it can quickly become complicated to find your way around. You will have to spend some time to learn how to handle and configure everything to your liking. This will certainly not be easy if you are still a beginner. Be patient!

Finally, in our opinion, the biggest drawback of the Fanatec CSL Elite is thatit is not available new today. The manufacturer having decided to stop the production of this model, the only way to get it is to buy it second hand. Clearly, this limits your chances of finding one in new condition and at a very good price. You must therefore be patient and persistent in your research.

Where to get it and for how much?

As we mentioned earlier, the Fanatec CSL Elite base is unfortunately no longer available for sale as new. Indeed, the brand has decided to stop the production of both the Xbox version version than the PlayStation versionversion, and as a result it is no longer in stock anywhere.

However, you can sometimes find it for sale in good condition and at various prices on websites selling second-hand items such as Le Bon Coin or Vinted. On average, for a new condition, count on a budget of 250-300 €. And be very careful about the condition of the product!


Now that we have tested the Fanatec CSL Elite Wheel Base, we understand why this model has become a reference in the market and why the brand has made it one of its bestsellers.

For an entry-level budget, despite finishes that may be imperfect, the CSL Elite offers all the advantages of a product placed at the top of the range.

This base combines all the latest technologies to provide a powerful and fluid force feedback that will give you a truly incredible gaming experience, no matter how long your sessions are. It is also made of robust and quality materials that will allow you to keep it for a long time.

In our opinion, if you have the opportunity to find the Fanatec CSL Elite used and in good condition, do not hesitate to buy it. It’s an investment you won’t regret!

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FANATEC: The best brand for Sim Racing in 2023
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