Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 / DD2 – Review

Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 / DD2 – Review

For several years, the two Podium DDs have been the flagship of the ecosystem from Fanatec, currently probably the largest provider of simracing hardware. With 20 and 25 Newton meters of torque respectively, both wheel bases are in the high-end range of wheel bases and leave nothing to be wished for in terms of the strength of the force feedback.

Order and shipping

Both models can currently only be ordered via the manufacturer’s website. When available, shipping within Germany usually takes a maximum of 2-3 business days, and the following prices are quoted:

  • Podium Wheel Base DD1: 1.199,95€
  • Podium Wheel Base DD2: 1.499,95€
  • Optional Podium Kill Switch for DD1: 99,95€

Unboxing

Normally, the unboxing is no longer part of the review for some time, because who cares about the packaging in the end as long as the content is convincing?

However, an exception has to be made for the Podium DD. Rarely has the packaging been so massive and of such high quality. Especially due to the high-quality locking on both sides, the precisely fitting recess and the noble design, you simply have more anticipation for the first laps on the racetrack when you unpack it. The packaging from MOZA, Simucube and also the CSL-DD from Fanatec simply can’t keep up here.

Scope of delivery

The usual suspects are included in the fancy packaging. In addition to the wheel base with power supply, you’ll also find a USB cable (USB-A), the manual as well as stickers and the torque dongle to unlock the full performance of the DD1 / DD2. The latter also has an emergency stop with integrated on/off switch in the package.

  • Podium Wheel Base DD1 / DD2
  • Emergency stop button with remote control (DD2 only)
  • Torque dongle
  • Manual
  • Power supply (480 Watt)
  • USB cable
  • Sticker

Technical data

The two models (DD1 and DD2) differ technically only by the cover plates, which are made of carbon instead of brushed aluminum on the DD2, in addition to the maximum strength of the torque.

In addition, the aforementioned emergency stop is only included in the larger Wheel Base, which also has a warranty of five years instead of three like the DD1.

Gemeinsame Merkmale

PlattformPC, XBox One Ready
Permanente Montage3-hole pattern, 5-Loch-Schema von unten, Seitenbefestigung mit 2-Loch-Schema auf beiden Seiten
USB Updaterate1000Hz
Maximaler DrehwinkelUnbegrenzt / Einstellbar
Unbegrenzt / EinstellbarCAN-Bus, Daten, Drehmomentschlüssel, Handbremse, Not-Halt, Pedale, Schaltung 1, Schaltung 2
Display2.7″ 256×64 OLED
DisplaymodiClipping, FFB-Telemetrie, Wheel Base Telemetrie
KühlungseinheitEinfacher Lüfter
Force Feedback AntriebssystemDirect Drive

Differences DD1 / DD2

DD1DD2
DrehmomentBis zu 20 NewtonmeterBis zu 25 Newtonmeter
Kill SwitchOptionalIm Lieferumfang
AbdeckplattenGebürstetes AluminiumCarbon-Faser
Garantie3 Jahre (5 Jahre optional)5 Jahre

Driver / Software

Driver

Fanatec offers a probably incomparable long-term support of their own products. Even for the fast-paced simracing world ancient steering wheels and accessories are still supported by the current drivers.

The FFB settings and changes to the steering wheel configuration can also be made here if you use a wheel from Fanatec.

Firmware updates can also be carried out here. It is important to follow the instructions of the software, otherwise you run the risk of breaking your base. To counteract this, Fanatec has introduced a new update process that takes the user even more by the hand to prevent errors by the user.

Fanalab

Fanalab is also offered by Fanatec and offers countless configuration options, which can seem confusing at first glance. You should not be intimidated by this at the beginning and initially trust the standard settings, which work very well in most situations.

Appropriately, there are also recommended FFB settings for most simulations in Fanatec’s forum: https://forum.fanatec.com/categories.

Similarly, in Fanalab you can also make very extensive settings for the LEDs of the steering wheel (if present) and on the ITM display of the Wheel Base.

Compatibility and steering wheel recommendation

Probably Fanatec’s greatest strength by far is its incredibly well-developed ecosystem. Many different steering wheels can be found there, as well as pedals, a handbrake and a shifter. Only for dashboards you currently have to rely on third-party suppliers.

The following products from Fanatec are directly compatible with the DD1 / DD2:

  • All Fanatec Podium steering wheels
  • All Fanatec ClubSport steering wheels
  • All Fanatec CSL steering wheels
  • All Fanatec Pedals
  • All Fanatec Shifters

If you want to go for an in-house steering wheel (power and data are transferred via the Quick-Release here, no additional USB cable is needed), you can choose from a wide variety of steering wheels at Fanatec: https://fanatec.com/eu-de/lenkraeder/*.

The P1 Wheel and the McLaren Wheel V2 are worth recommending as low-priced models. Here you get the best price/performance ratio, but you need an additional quick-release for the full torque, which drives the price up significantly.

The Wheel Base m terms of the materials used are more appropriate, are for example the ClubSport steering wheel Formula V2.5 (An earlier version is mounted for this test) and the ClubSport steering wheel BMW GT2 V2. For a price range up to 400€, you get very solid steering wheels here.

The crowning glory is of course the premium steering wheel from Fanatec, which is also used in the real BMW M4 GT3. Here you get real motorsport for your own four walls for around 1500€, but you also have to dig deep into your pocket accordingly.

One downer is the adapters (Podium/CSL/Universal Hub) needed for third-party steering wheels.

Mounting and QR

Fanatec offers various mounting options. On the underside, there are both the three-hole pattern known since the CSW 1.0 and two additional mounts. You can also integrate the base into your rig with two mounting points on each side. This leads to more legroom and provides once again a little more stability.

As a quick release, Fanatec (still) relies on their QR1, which transfers both power and data between base and steering wheel through pins. This is now getting on in years and a new version has been announced for some time, but it is still a long time coming.

Depending on the design-related manufacturing tolerance, the QR does not always offer a backlash-free connection if you do not want to rely on the included locking screw. There are also isolated reports of broken pins.

Especially in the high-end segment, where the DD1 and especially the DD2 fall, it is simply time for the successor, Fanatec should react faster here.

Features

In addition to the basic functions of a Wheel Base and the connection options for accessories and, of course, the steering wheel of choice, Fanatec has also installed a 2.7-inch OLED display with a resolution of 256 x 64 pixels on the front. There, for example, the telemetry data of the Wheel Base and the respective FFB strength can be displayed while driving. You can also display information from the current simulation, for example the current position in the race or the speed. Changes made to the FFB settings on the steering wheel can also be viewed here, which makes it very convenient to adjust the settings while sitting in the rig.

FFB

Force feedback is of course the most important feature of a wheel base. Neither DD1 nor DD2 have to hide here. The feedback on the steering wheel is direct and very detailed, as you would expect from a wheel base in this price segment. The 20 Newton meters of the DD1 should be more than enough for almost every purpose, the DD2 is therefore above all a purchase for the “good conscience” of always being able to use the theoretical maximum. In the video shown, for example, only 32% FFB (DD2) was set in-game in connection with the small and light Formula wheel in Assetto Corsa Competizione.

The various setting options allow you to individualize the base’s feel very well, which should be done in any case. Profiles from the web are not always the ultimate, here you can also like to do it yourself and configure the profile according to your own preferences and driving style.

FFB in comparisonh (CSL-DD / SC2)

Compared to the CSL-DD (which stops at about 8 Newton meters), the enormous power reserves of the DD1 / DD2 are naturally noticeable. The gain in force feedback is enormous, not least in the case of unintentional spins or impacts; historical vehicles with large steering wheels can also be moved around the track without clipping. If you don’t reach the maximum power reserve of the smaller CSL-DD with the FFB settings, the difference is smaller than you might think, but the DD2 also seems a bit more direct in direct comparison and you think you can perceive a bit more details.

Compared to the Simucube 2 Sport (but also Simucube 2 Pro), it is particularly noticeable at what level the manufacturers are now moving. Basically, the FFB of both wheel bases can be configured very similarly, small differences can be found more in the subjective area.

Driving impression

Verdict – Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 / DD2

Overall, Fanatec’s Podium DD is still a clear recommendation, especially if you are already in Fanatec’s ecosystem and can call one or more steering wheels your own. The ecosystem is also one of the biggest strengths, both in terms of compatibility with hardware and software. The settings in Fanalab and the driver seem a bit confusing at first, but they offer real added value after a bit of getting used to, just like the built-in display on the wheel base.

The FFB does not show any weaknesses either, only the still unavailable QR2 and the required adapters for third-party steering wheels tarnish the overall picture a bit in the end.

Pros

  • Powerful software …
  • Fully developed ecosystem
  • ITM-Display
  • Compatibility
  • FFB
  • 3 or 5 years warranty
  • (High quality packing)

Cons

  • …. which sometimes feels overloaded
  • QR2 way behind schedule
  • Third-party steering wheels only usable via expensive adapters from Fanatec

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.