Fanatec has been a major player in sim-racing for over 20 years. It has to be said that the German manufacturer of sim-racing peripherals touches on practically everything in the discipline we all love. Chainstays, cranksets, shifters, handbrakes, hubs and steering wheels – it’s both a paradise for experienced riders and a dense forest for beginners.
Just take a look at Fanatec ‘s flywheel catalog to get an idea of the scope of its products: over 40 flywheels are available to racers in all categories. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just enormous, and it’s very easy to get lost in this ocean of peripherals.
Since Fanatec has extensive experience in the game, its catalog is vast to satisfy the needs of all riders. Even if we all love the same discipline, which is sim-racing, we’re not all the same. Some prefer rallying, others drifting, and some F1. And every discipline has its own wheels. In what follows, I’m going to introduce you to Fanatec’s various steering wheels, divided into categories.
CSL steering wheels
The CSL Elite WRC
The CSL Elite WRC is a Fanatec entry-level wheel that’s perfect for virtually any rider looking for a standard, round wheel. At 30 cm in diameter, this wheel is the same size as a real steering wheel, making it very realistic to use.
The structure is in brushed aluminum, with alcantara all around and orange stitching. In the center, you have the WRC logo and a tire track just below it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s very beautiful, quite sober, even if the palettes are large and bright orange. This steering wheel is ideal for sim-racing beginners and is priced at €199.95. You can use it for practically everything in sim-racing, except perhaps Formula, GT3, etc. If you pair the CSL Elite WRC with the CSL DD 5nm, it’ll make an excellent setup for sim-arcade titles. If you’re planning to upgrade to a more powerful base (the 8nm), consider opting for the metal QR.
The CSL Elite McLaren GT3 V2
Another entry in the CSL range is the CSL Elite McLaren GT3 V2 a steering wheel specifically designed for GT3 and Formula fans in general. So, this wheel is an official replica of the one used by McLaren in the GT3 category, complete with buttons, switches, paddles and all the rest.
In terms of diameter, the CSL Elite McLaren GT3 V2 is 30 cm long, but in a rather rectangular shape. The frame is made of carbon fiber, and the handles are made of rubber to provide grip for the hands. The design is very good, as are the ergonomics. The orange accents are not too intrusive, as we saw on the first steering wheel (WRC), except for 2 small paddles at the rear.
In terms of ergonomics, everything is at your fingertips. There are also 4 rear paddles, 2 of which are magnetic. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best GT3 steering wheel in its class, and for its price (€199.95). The only fault I can find with it is its QR1 Lite ; if you intend to have a good base (8nm), I suggest you switch to the metal QR1.
ClubSport 320 for Xbox
If you’re a fan of round wheels, the ClubSport 320 is the ideal choice in Fanatec‘s mid-range range. The wheel is 32 cm in diameter, which is a bit large for my taste. But you soon get used to it. The brushed aluminum structure is really, really beautiful. All around, we have leather with a white band at the top. The steering wheel is very minimalist, with the logo in the center and that’s it.
Behind it is the ClubSport Universal hub for Xbox, featuring the buttons for Microsoft’s controllers, 2 large paddles and a small screen just above. Design-wise, you’d think you were behind the wheel of an Audi R8. This hub is just beautiful, all in black, and adds a big plus to the wheel’s design.
Concerning the QR, you have the metal QR1 to couple this flywheel to practically all Fanatec bases, whether 8 nm or 20 nm. This will enable you to play many sim-racing titles, whether in sim-arcade or simu. For the price, expect to pay €399.95 on special offer, or €499.9 excluding special offers. Some might say it’s expensive, but believe me, it’s not if you compare this steering wheel to those in the Podium range.
ClubSport Forza Motorsport V2
The ClubSport Forza Motorsport V2 is a flat-bottomed steering wheel with a diameter of 33 cm. At first glance, it may look big, but the wheel is easy to handle. The structure is aluminum with leather all around, and a white band at the top. The design is both successful and sober: apart from the white logos and headband, everything on this steering wheel is black.
Behind it, the ClubSport Universal hub takes its place, with all the buttons needed for sim-racing, and 2 good-sized palettes. This hub can be removed if you wish, and is very premium too. Attached to the hub is Fanatec’s metal QR1, which withstands the torque of the German manufacturer’s powerful bases.
For the price, Forza Motorsport V2 retails for €399.95 on special offer, and €100 more off special offer. Priced to fit in perfectly with Fanatec’s mid-range product catalog, this wheel is ideal for fans of multiple disciplines.
ClubSport Formula V2.5
This steering wheel, the Formula V2.5, is designed to satisfy fans of Formula racing in sim-racing. Its carbon structure keeps the weight down to 1.7 kg. The wheel is 27 cm in diameter, with a fairly rectangular shape, as found on F1 cars and the like.
On this steering wheel, you’ll find a host of buttons, switches and other controls, all of which can be parameterized for the perfect setup. The handles are in alcantara, but a leather version is also available. The Formula V2. 5’s overall design is quite restrained, with red accents around the controls, a small screen in the center and a RevLED. This steering wheel also comes with QR1 and 2 paddles in standard configuration. For the price, count 399.95 €, just like the other ClubSport shuttlecocks presented.
Steering wheels in the Podium range
Podium Porsche 911 GT3 R
This is top-of-the-range in every respect. The Porsche 911 GT3 R is an official replica of the 911 GT3 steering wheel, and it’s just gorgeous. The wheel is 32 cm in diameter with a flat bottom and is made of aluminum with leather all around. But the heart of this steering wheel is its hub.
Behind it is Fanatec ‘s Podium Endurance module, with everything you need for GT3 racing: lots of buttons, 2 switches, 6 paddles (2 of which are magnetic), a RevLED and a large screen displaying essential vehicle data. It’s a very complete, very premium setup.
This steering wheel is magnificent, and perfect for fans of GT and many other automotive disciplines. As for the price, it’s a bit steep: expect to pay €650 on special offer and €730 off special offer. But then again, if you’re shopping on Fanatec’s Podium range, you’ve got a strong bank account.
Podium BMW M4 GT3
This steering wheel, the M4 GT3, is the top of the Fanatec range, and the most expensive too. Developed and designed in collaboration with BMW for the 2022 GT3 season, this steering wheel has been taken directly from racing to be in the cockpits of our living rooms.
Its 8-layer carbon fiber structure weighs just 1.7 kg. The wheel is just under 31 cm in diameter, with a very distinctive shape. The steering wheel features all the GT3 buttons used by BMW, plus a small display. Also at the rear, there are 2 carbon-fiber paddles and a gold-finish QR1. This steering wheel is magnificent, and very expensive too: €1,500. It looks very premium, but it’s just perfect.