Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro Review
We love a new product release at Total Sim Racing, and today we are excited to bring the Fanatec GT DD Pro Review. This wheel set has been a long time coming, with the market crying out for an official PS5 wheel. Have Fanatec delivered with this wheel?
What is the Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro?
This is the steering wheel set that you’ve been waiting for, if you’re a Sim Racer looking for an official Playstation racing bundle. That’s right, Fanatec have partnered with Gran Turismo and announced this Direct Drive set, which will release in November 2021.
Instead of having to purchase all of your equipment separately, like with the CSL DD, you’ll actually get a full set delivered to your door. This means that you’ll be able to unbox your gear and get straight onto the track, as you receive the wheelbase, steering wheel and pedals. No extra purchases required.
This release has been timed perfectly with the announcement of the latest Gran Turismo game, and the developers of Gran Turismo are working closely with Fanatec to ensure that this wheel works perfectly on the game. Exciting times for Playstation Sim Racers!
Official Gran Turismo Licensing
Fanatec have secured a deal with Polyphone Digital, who are the developers of Gran Turismo. This is the reason why this wheel is called the Gran Turismo DD Pro, it’s their take on the wheel. Fanatec handed the reigns over to Polyphone, who were allowed to design the wheel to their requirements. This is the reason why the wheel seems a little different to Fanatec CSL Steering wheels, as they didn’t have too much input.
This wheel will offer a big win for Playstation owners, who will now have a designated wheel for their console.
Gran Turismo DD Pro Variations
There are multiple bundles that you can purchase, direct from the Fanatec website. These come with a variation of specification, such as different boost kits, load cell pedals etc. At time of writing, there are four bundles which can be purchased. The cheapest is £579.99, with the most expensive £799.99. As you’re getting a full set, I really don’t think that’s too bad. Here are the options:
|Gran Turismo DD Pro
|Steering Wheel, 5Nm Wheelbase, Pedals
|£584.99 / €699.95
|Gran Turismo DD Pro 8Nm
|Base above, with 8Nm Power Supply for Base
|£709.00 / €849.90
|Gran Turismo Pro DD Express
|Base Wheel But with Express Delivery
|£709.99 / €849.95
|Gran Turismo DD Pro Premium
|All Extras (8Nm 180 Boost Kit, Load Cell Pedals)
|£809,99 / €969.85
Gran Turismo DD Pro Performance
I decided to test the base bundle, which includes 5nm of torque. I made this decision, due to the fact that I’ve already tried the 8nm wheelbase, so I wanted to give the base option a real overview. If you’re getting into sim racing then you’ll most likely choose this version, so I wanted to make sure this review was suitable.
As an experienced Sim Racer, I didn’t really find the 5nm of torque suitable for myself, so I asked my close friend to pop over to test out Monza on Assetto Corsa Competizione. He loved it, to the point where I think he’s converted to sim racing now himself, and he only completed 9 laps!
I suppose the 5nm of torque is adequate for when racing, you can feel the wheelbase doing it’s thing, and you aren’t punished too much if you go wide into the gravel. I don’t want my personal thoughts to get in the way of this one, but if you’re looking at using this wheel for the next 3-5 years, it may be a good investment tactic to start off with the 8nm version, as you’ll grow to handle the torque demands.
If your budget only goes as far as the 5nm, let me tell you that this is still a great wheelbase. Due to the Direct Drive technology that’s inside these things, the level of force feedback is miles ahead of any belt-driven wheel you may have tried in the past. It’s also worth noting, like I did in the DD review, that you can purchase the optional boost kit down the line, anyway.
Again, without the risk of repeating myself and boring repeat visitors, you’ll be please to know that this wheelbase doesn’t get too hot during operation, due to it’s design. It also operates close to silent, due to having no internal fan. That’s definitely a winner, as background noise can be off-putting!
Most Fanatec releases split opinions, due to the nature of the sim racing community. Some like innovation, some like the company to stick to it’s roots and others like the exact replica wheels that Fanatec often create. The Gran Turismo DD Pro is another release to split opinion.
The Steering Wheel
Let’s start off with the steering wheel, as this is the thing that you’ll be interacting with most. The honest truth? I’m a little underwhelmed with this design. Some of my favourite designs come from the Fanatec clubsport steering wheels range, but the Gran Turismo DD pro wheel seems a far cry away from their usual standards. I’m sure there are people out there that will love the design.
Typically, Fanatec would use Alcantara, wonderfully placed Carbon Fiber and realistic toggle switches to bring their steering wheel to life. We don’t get that with this wheel, instead the replica wheel that we are used to seeing has been replaced with their Gran Turismo wheel which contains large clunky buttons, with the outer rim of the wheel just a standard rubber grip.
I’m also not a fan of how these buttons have brightly coloured backgrounds, making the buttons stand out even more. It seems like Fanatec have branched out of their usual standard with csl steering wheels and decided to make a one off ‘Arcade Steering Wheel’, because this does feel a little bit recreational. It’s something I would probably expect from a £300 Thrustmaster bundle, not the giant that is Fanatec.
I would refer you here back to the fact that this wheel was designed with Gran Turismo. I would think that Gran Turismo had a say in the development of this wheel, as it’s so far away from what fanatec usually produce.
The wheelbase for the Gran Turismo DD pro is based around the CSL DD, with a few more tweaks to allow Gran Turismo to put their final touches on this. I’m actually a fan of the little additions that have been made here, which is in stark contrast to my thoughts on the wheel!
The design of the base has been altered slightly, with thing such as the clunky power on button replaced and moved. This is a good move, as the button did feel a bit cheap on the CSL DD. I’m also a fan of the blue outer ring that has been added to the rear of the base, which replicates the light that omits from the Playstation when powered on. This is a really good touch, one of those little things that helps you remember that this is built for the Playstation.
You can choose between 5nm and 8nm, depending on the DD Pro bundle that you choose. Both offer sufficient levels of force feedback detail.
The CSL Pedals
Although I’ve been a little bit negative so far, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the pedals. These have been re-designed, but I don’t think there was a problem with the originals personally! However, looking at this new release, you can immediately tell that the pedals are so much sleeker, with a cleaner design overall.
Going forward, the new CSL Pedals will be replacing the CSL Elite Pedals, which were a stealthed out, completely black unit. The new pedals will still feature black, but with silver added into the mix to compliment the set. These look really good.
The pedals have also been re-developed, with the new fanatec pedals using magnetic hall-effect sensors. If you aren’t too sure what this means, it’s where the position of the pedal is measured without any contact, reducing friction and wear. This will help to keep a consistent pedal position, whilst reducing any degradation over time. It will also help with your muscle memory as you start to complete longer races, as you’ll naturally start hitting the perfect braking points and become more consistent.
There is an optional upgrade available for these pedals, a load cell kit. This is included automatically with the premium bundle, so you’ll only have to consider this if you’re taking one of the base sets. The base set is a two pedal set.
The load cell kit will increase immersion, by replicating braking performance. This is an extra pedal which is added to your set, and it will be your brake. This brake pedal measures pressure instead of distance and allows you to control the amount of pressure that you apply to the brake pedal.
If you’re working to a budget at the moment, you don’t have to purchase this upgrade immediately. You can buy the load cell kit for the csl pedals later down the line, add it whenever you require.
Compatibility & Requirements
Playstation fans will be glad to know that this is the steering wheel set that has been designed for use, exclusively with this console. Spoiler, it works with Xbox and PC too! (For the Xbox, you’ll need to change the wheel rim).
This release will help to cleanse the sour taste that was left in 2021, when the CSL DD was released, but not compatible with Playstation.
The GT Pro DD wheelbase has been made with a few changes to make it compatible for use with Playstation. If you’re an Xbox gamer, you probably won’t be looking at this set but it’s worth adding that this steering wheel will not work with your system. So you would have to consider the additional costs of an extra wheel, something like the Mclaren Gt3 maybe?
Which Gran Turismo DD Pro Version is best?
I really like the way that Fanatec built multiple vesions of these, allowing sim racers from various experience levels, or diferent budgets to have their choice of bundle.
If you’re looking for the most realistic setup, then the premium bundle will contain all of the options such as the load cell brake pedal and additional torque from the boost kit.
Fanatec have got you covered if you’re also looking for a budget setup. Their base package is still very strong and will be miles ahead of the Logitech G923 or Thrustmaster T150. You’ll still have 5nm of torque which is plenty, but you do lose the load cell kit. However, you can freely upgrade these down the line, adding to your current setup.
It all depends on your budget. If you can afford the premium bundle, this will work out cheaper long term as Fanatec give a slight discount for the additional gear which would cost more when purchased separately.
Should I buy the GT DD Pro?
The answer to this one will depend on your main console for Sim Racing. If it’s Playstation, it’s got to be a yes. If you’re a Gran Turismo fanboy at heart, it’s got to be a yes! You simply will not find a tailor-made Fanatec wheel for your Playstation other than this unit.
Albeit, the steering wheel design has diverted a little bit from typical Fanatec wheel designs, but this is because it was a one-off design collaboration with the Gran Turismo developers. It does look a little bit Logitech though!
How much does it cost?
I think the price point offers very good value, due to the performance specification that’s included. The base set will cost you just over £600, which sounds expensive at first, but you need to remember that you’re getting a direct drive setup. The most expensive bundle costs just under £900 and includes extra torque via the boost kit and a load cell brake pedal.
- Compatible with: PS5, PS4, PC
- Optional Extras: 8nm 180 Boost Kit, Load Cell Pedal Kit
- Weight: 10kg
- Torque: 5Nm
Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro Review: The Conclusion
I’ve got to be honest. I started off with a particular disliking to this wheel. Over the course of the review, I understand why the gt dd pro wheelbase set has been made and I’ve got to be honest, it works really well.
Playstation owners have been crying out for an official direct drive wheel for their console, and this has been delivered now with this wheel for gran turismo. (It works for other games too, but it’s been made specifically for this game, by the devs).
I’m still not a huge fan of the wheel rim, as I know Fanatec can do much better with their racing wheel design, but you’ll struggle to find better value for money than this. I’m sure the Fanatec Gran Turismo set will become a integral part of your sim racing journey, if you decide to purchase it.