Wheel Bases

Moza R16 Review

Looking for a high-quality direct-drive wheel base that delivers an immersive sim racing experience? Look no further than the Moza Racing R16. This might just … Read more

Fanatec DD Pro Review

Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro Review: Direct Drive & PS5!

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.

Fanatec GT DD Pro Review Pedals Overview

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:

Bundle NameWhat’s Included?Price
Gran Turismo DD ProSteering Wheel, 5Nm Wheelbase, Pedals£584.99 / €699.95
Gran Turismo DD Pro 8NmBase above, with 8Nm Power Supply for Base£709.00 / €849.90
Gran Turismo Pro DD ExpressBase 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
The Pricing Structure and Variations of the GT DD Pro

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!

GT_DD_PRO 8NM Torque

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!

The Design

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.

GT_DD_PRO Gran Turismo Design
Does the colour take away from the seriousness of this wheel?

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

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!

GT DD PRO Wheel Base
A sharp blue ring around the rear of the base, it’s a shame we won’t be able to see it!

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.

GT DD PRO Load Cell kit
To load, or not to load… cell kit?

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.

Technical Specs

  • 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.

Direct Drive Wheel Guide

Direct Drive Wheels Explained: Complete Buyers Guide

Direct drive wheels are becoming increasingly popular among sim racing enthusiasts. This technology offers a more realistic driving experience by removing the traditional belt or gear system that connects the steering wheel to the motor. Instead, a direct drive motor is mounted directly to the steering wheel shaft, providing precise and immediate force feedback.

As direct drive wheels gain traction in the industry, potential buyers may wonder what sets them apart from their belt-driven counterparts and whether they are worth the investment.

Direct Drive Wheel Guide

In this buyers guide, the advantages and intricacies of direct drive wheels will be explored, providing insights on both the benefits and potential downsides. Key factors such as torque, force feedback, durability, and compatibility with other gaming peripherals will be discussed to assist in making an informed purchasing decision.

Additionally, the guide will consider a range of price points to cater to different budgets, ensuring everyone from hobbyists to professionals can find the perfect direct drive wheel for their setup.

Understanding the mechanics behind direct drive wheels and comparing them to traditional belt-drive options will serve as an essential step for consumers. This knowledge will ensure that they make an informed choice about investing in this advanced sim racing technology, ultimately elevating their gaming and immersive driving experience.

For future reference in this article, when we mention DDW, it’s Direct Drive Wheel!

Direct Drive Wheels Overview

Fundamentals of Direct Drive Wheels

Direct drive wheels are a type of steering wheel used in racing simulators and gaming setups. They utilise a motor connected directly to the steering column, eliminating the need for belts or gears. This results in more accurate force feedback, smoother operation, and quicker response times. Some key features of direct drive wheels include:

  • High torque output: Direct drive wheels can generate multiple times the torque of traditional gear or belt-driven wheels, providing more realistic force feedback.
  • Enhanced reliability: The absence of belts or gears reduces potential points of failure and wear, extending the lifespan of the device.
  • Customisability: Most direct drive wheels support the use of interchangeable wheel rims, allowing users to tailor their setup to specific racing or gaming preferences.

How Direct Drive Wheels Differ from Traditional Options

Direct drive wheels differ from traditional gear or belt-driven wheels in several important ways:

  1. Force feedback: Direct drive wheels deliver more precise and realistic force feedback, as there is no loss of fidelity from mechanical components. This allows for better immersion in the racing experience and improved vehicle control.
  2. Response time: The absence of gears or belts in direct drive wheels ensures near-instantaneous response times, enabling users to react more quickly to changes in the game environment.
  3. Noise and maintenance: Gear or belt-driven wheels tend to produce more noise and require regular upkeep due to wear and tear. In contrast, direct drive wheels are comparatively quieter and typically require less maintenance.
  4. Price: Direct drive wheels usually command a higher price than traditional options, reflecting the advantages they offer in terms of performance and reliability.

It is important to carefully consider the differences between direct drive wheels and traditional options while researching a purchase, ensuring the buyer’s needs and budget are met.

How a Direct Drive Wheel Works

Direct drive wheels operate on a different principle than other wheel types like belt-driven or gear-driven wheels. Instead of using belts or gears to transmit force from the motor to the wheel, direct drive wheels directly connect the wheel rim to a powerful motor. This direct connection allows for a more immediate and precise transfer of force feedback effects and torque.

Advantages of Direct Drive Wheels

Improved Driving Experience

Direct drive wheels offer a more immersive and realistic driving experience compared to belt-driven or gear-driven wheels. With direct drive, the force feedback is immediate and accurate, allowing drivers to feel every bump, curb, and change in road surface. This leads to better car control and a more enjoyable racing simulation experience.

Greater Force Feedback Precision

Direct drive wheels provide greater force feedback precision than other types of wheels. The lack of gears or belts in the system means that there is no delay or loss of signal between the motor and the wheel, resulting in a more direct response to the driver’s input. The increased precision allows sim racers to feel subtle differences in car handling, grip levels, and weight transfer, enabling them to fine-tune their driving techniques.

Increased Durability

Direct drive wheels are generally more durable and have a longer lifespan than belt-driven or gear-driven wheels. Due to the absence of belts or gears, there are fewer components susceptible to wear, which reduces the chances of mechanical failure. Direct drive wheels typically have larger and stronger motors and robust construction, further enhancing their overall durability.

Key Features to Consider


When looking to purchase a Direct Drive Wheel, the first factor to consider is compatibility with your preferred gaming platforms. Direct Drive Wheels are available for various platforms, including PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Ensure that the wheel is compatible with your gaming devices and the racing simulators you use. Some Direct Drive Wheels might only support specific devices, making cross-platform gaming a challenge.

Power Output

A critical aspect of a Direct Drive Wheel’s performance is its power output, measured in watts. The power output determines the force feedback strength and how effectively the wheel can deliver accurate steering inputs. Higher power output typically results in a more authentic and immersive driving experience. When comparing various Direct Drive Wheels, keep in mind that some models may have adjustable force feedback settings to accommodate different user preferences and driving conditions.


Torque is another essential factor to consider when evaluating Direct Drive Wheels. It measures the rotational force applied to the steering wheel, which directly affects the force feedback intensity and responsiveness. Higher torque values result in quicker responses and more precise input adjustments. However, too much torque might strain the driver, especially during extended gaming sessions. Compare the torque values of different Direct Drive Wheels within your budget and consider your comfort level when selecting the best option.

Popular Direct Drive Wheel Brands (Compared)

Several leading brands offer direct drive wheels to cater to the growing sim racing community. Among the most popular are Fanatec, Simucube, and Heusinkveld.

Direct Drive WheelFeaturesPrice (GBP)
Fanatec DD1– Direct drive motor with strong force feedback£999.95
– Dual belt drive system for smooth operation
– Brushless servo motor technology for high torque and responsiveness
– Integrated electronics for quick and easy setup
– Compatibility with various platforms and racing games
– Interchangeable quick release system for easy wheel changes
– Advanced firmware and software for customization and fine-tuning
Fanatec DD2– All features of Fanatec DD1£1,499.95
– Enhanced direct drive motor with increased power and torque
– Improved cooling system for optimal performance and durability
Fanatec Podium F1 Base– Designed specifically for Formula 1-style racing£1,699.95
– All features of Fanatec DD2
– Realistic Formula 1 steering wheel with integrated display and buttons
– Carbon fiber construction for a premium and authentic feel
– Adjustable quick release system for easy wheel changes
Simucube 2 Sport– Powerful direct drive motor for strong and detailed force feedback£1,299.00
– Integrated electronics and motor drive for seamless operation
– Advanced torque reconstruction algorithm for smooth and precise feedback
– Adjustable force feedback settings and profiles for customization
– Wide compatibility with popular racing simulators and games
Simucube 2 Pro– All features of Simucube 2 Sport£2,099.00
– Higher torque output for even stronger force feedback
– Sturdy and durable construction for long-lasting performance
Simucube 2 Ultimate– All features of Simucube 2 Pro£4,999.00
– Maximum torque output for the most powerful force feedback
– Premium build quality and materials for a top-of-the-line racing experience

Fanatec is well-known for its wide range of sim racing equipment, including direct drive wheels. The company boasts a comprehensive selection of wheelbases, such as the Fanatec Podium series. These wheelbases feature advanced force feedback, providing a realistic and immersive driving experience. Popular models include:

  • Fanatec Podium DD1
  • Fanatec Podium DD2
  • Fanatec Podium Racing Wheel F1

Simucube is another respected brand specialising in direct drive wheels. Its Simucube 2 series is renowned for its sophisticated technology and unmatched precision. With a robust build and powerful torque response, Simucube 2 models cater to both professional and enthusiast sim racers. Key models are:

  • Simucube 2 Sport
  • Simucube 2 Pro
  • Simucube 2 Ultimate

Heusinkveld is widely regarded for its high-quality pedal sets used by sim racers and professional drivers alike. Although the company does not manufacture direct drive wheels directly, Heusinkveld partners with other industry leaders like Simucube to offer well-rounded sim racing setups.

Simucube are a premium manufacturer of Direct Drive Bases.
Simucube are a premium manufacturer of Direct Drive Bases.

When purchasing a direct drive wheel, it’s essential to consider compatibility with other sim racing equipment, such as pedal sets, sim racing rigs, and shifters. Platforms like the Sim-Lab P1-X and rSeat offer complete frames designed to accommodate direct drive wheels from the mentioned brands.

Price Range and Tips for Budgeting

Direct Drive Wheels (DDWs) are a popular choice for sim racing enthusiasts due to their realistic feedback and superior performance compared to other options. When considering purchasing a DDW, it’s essential to be aware of the price range and budget accordingly.

Generally, DDWs fall into three main categories based on their cost:

  • Entry-level: £500-£1,000
  • Mid-range: £1,000-£2,000
  • High-end: £2,000 and above

Entry-Level Direct Drive Wheels

Entry-level DDWs provide a good starting point for those new to sim racing who want to experience direct drive technology without breaking the bank. They often have lesser torque and build quality compared to their more expensive counterparts. Examples include the Simagic M10 and VRS DirectForce Pro.

Mid-Range Direct Drive Wheels

The mid-range category offers a solid balance between performance and price. These wheels usually provide higher torque and more advanced features, making them ideal for sim racers seeking a more immersive experience. Examples of mid-range DDWs include the Fanatec Podium DD1 and Simucube 2 Sport. Fanatec’s later release the DD PRO may even classify in this category, with the boost kit.

Fanatec CSL DD Design

High-End Direct Drive Wheels

For those who want the best sim racing experience without compromising on quality or performance, high-end DDWs are the way to go. They often offer the highest torque values, premium materials, and advanced software features.

Simucube 2 Pro - High End Direct Drive

The best high-end DDWs are the Simucube 2 Pro and the Fanatec Podium DD2.

When budgeting for a Direct Drive Wheel, it’s crucial to consider additional costs, such as:

  • Mounting solutions
  • Wheel rims and button plates
  • Quick-release systems
  • Pedals and other peripherals

In many cases, these extras can quickly add up, so it’s essential to factor in these costs when planning your budget. Remember, investing in a high-quality direct drive wheel can enhance your sim racing experience significantly, so it’s worth considering the benefits of spending a little more on a mid-range or high-end model.


Direct drive wheels offer a significant improvement in the sim racing experience due to their high precision, excellent force feedback, and increased durability. They enable the user to experience a more realistic feel while racing, enhancing immersion and overall enjoyment.

Direct Drive Wheels are considerably more expensive than a typical belt-driven wheel, but the immersion is on a different scale. If you have the budget for Direct Drive, get one.