Direct Drive Wheelbase – Overview

Direct Drive Wheelbase – Overview

A few years ago there were only a handful of models, but today you are spoilt for choice. Starting with the CSL-DD with 5 Newton metres for 350€, it goes all the way to the Simucube 2 Ultimate Wheelbase for an impressive 3105€ with an insane 32 Newton metres. Reason enough to take a closer look at the products currently available on the market. Wheelbases from the following manufacturers were examined:

  • Asetek
  • Cammus
  • Fanatec
  • Moza
  • Simagic
  • Simucube
  • VRS
  • Thrustmaster

For a better comparability, the criteria were availability via an EU-based shop and the possibility to buy the base standalone without accessories such as pedals or a steering wheel. Products like the Logitech Pro Base and the La Prima Base by Asetek were therefore not included.

In addition, the list should only be seen as a guideline, as various factors are not taken into account:

  • Some products cannot be mounted without additional mounting material.
  • For the VRS-Base you need an additional Base Side Quick Release.
  • Extras such as lighting, buttons and other features
ImageManufacturerNameNmPrice€ / NmWeightDimensionsMountingShop (EU)*Review
AsetekLa Prima12750€62,58,5kg293x133x132mmBottomAsetekReview
FanatecCS-DD12699€58,25Bottom, SideFanatec
FanatecCD-DD+15999€66,6Bottom, SideFanatec
FanatecCSL-DD5350€706,85kg169x160x160mmBottom, SideFanatecReview
FanatecCSL-DD8500€62,506,85kg169x160x160mmBottom, SideFanatecReview
FanatecDD1201200€6010kg330x175x155mmBottom, SideFanatecReview
FanatecDD2251500€6010kg330x175x155mmBottom, SideFanatecReview
SImagicAlpha Mini10649€64,906,35kg259,5x110x91,92mmBottom, Front, SideSim-Motion
SImagicAlpha15999€66,67,9kg281x110x91,92mmBottom, Front, SideSim-Motion
SImagicAlpha U231119€48,6510,5kg326x110x110mm
Bottom, Front, SideSim-Motion

The following chart shows the prices (€) in relation to the power (Nm) and thus gives a rough overview of the current market situation. The quite homogeneous market without major outliers is striking. For a better overview, the SC2 Ultimate Base was not included.


Budget (up to 350€)

In the under 400€ range, the choice is currently very limited. In addition to the popular CSL-DD, which has been offered by Fanatec since 2021, there has recently been a new alternative with the R5 Wheelbase from MOZA. With 5 (CSL-DD) and 5.5 Newton metres, both deliver a surprising amount of power for the price, especially in combination with smaller Formula steering wheels. Especially with regard to the details and the speed of the power transmission, they clearly stand out from classics such as the G29 and T300RS thanks to the direct-drive concept.

While the wheelbase from MOZA scores points above all with its good quick-release system and extremely small form factor, the CSL-DD from Fanatec is primarily characterised by its still undisputedly diverse ecosystem with a large number of steering wheels in all price classes and the option of upgrading the base to 8 Nm with an additional boost kit.

You can find the reviews of both products linked in the overview table.

Mid-range (~500€)

In the price range around 500€, you will find the CSl-DD (this time in the 8 Nm variant) and the Moza R9 Wheelbase, both from Fanatec and Moza. These are very similar in their basic characteristics and are also compatible with the same steering wheels from each manufacturer. While the CSL-DD from Fanatec only differs in the stronger power supply unit, the R9 Wheelbase is somewhat more voluminous than its sister model.

For 500€, you get enough power to handle almost any situation. Only larger steering wheels or very strong settings on smaller wheels need a little more power here to avoid unwanted clipping. From this class at the latest, you should also think about a rig, because the 8 or 9 Newton metres bring a desk quite clearly to its limits.

You can also find reviews of both products linked in the overview table.

Die goldene Mitte (~750€)

For many users, 10 to 12 Newton metres are currently more popular than ever in the sim racing scene. The performance of these wheel bases is completely sufficient for almost all applications and the limit of the previous class is shifting towards very large steering wheels or extreme FFB settings. For the majority of users, there is unlikely to be any risk of clipping.

  • Asetek La Prima Wheelbase: The La Prima Base offers 12 Newton metres and can be upgraded to the 18 Newton metre Forte Base in the future with an upgrade kit. (Test report)
  • Fanatec ClubSport DD: The ClubSport DD from Fanatec is the latest DD base from the German manufacturer and has a maximum of 12 Newton metres.
  • MOZA R12: In keeping with the name of the wheelbase, the MOZA R12 delivers a maximum force of 12 Newton metres.
  • Simagic Alpha Mini: The Alpha Mini wheelbase is specified by Simagic with a maximum force of 10 Nm, but has peak forces in the range of the other three wheelbases.

High-End (from 1000€)

In the price range around 1000€, a larger selection awaits us. Starting with the VRS DD for 899€ (here you also need a Base Side QR – 50€) up to the SC2 Sport from Simucube. In terms of force feedback, no compromises have to be made here, regardless of the choice of wheelbase.

  • Asetek Forte Wheelbase (review): The Asetek Wheelbase is the only device in the test field equipped with RGB LEDs and has another unique selling point with the recently introduced QR system, which makes USB steering wheels from third-party manufacturers directly compatible. The range of in-house steering wheels, on the other hand, has so far been limited to a Formula wheel. For just over 1000 €, you get 18 Newton metres here.
  • Fanatec DD1 (review): The DD1 from Fanatec is still worth a recommendation in 2023. It is the only model equipped with a display for telemetry or FFB data, for example, and delivers 20 Nm at a price of 1200€. The built-in QR is a bit outdated, but you are rewarded with a large selection of steering wheels directly from Fanatec. However, an additional podium hub is required for steering wheels from other manufacturers.
  • Simucube SC2 Sport (review): Simucube’s Direct Drive Wheelbases are a force to be reckoned with in the simracing market. The probably indestructible massive design (of both the base and the QR system), the good software and the compatible wireless wheels from various manufacturers make for a successful overall package. For a little over 1200€, you get 17 Newton metres of torque, although you will have to look for affordable (wireless) wheels for awhile.
  • VRS-DD (review pending): The VRS-DD from the manufacturer of the same name is another direct drive base. For 900€, you get 20 Newton metres here, although you have to plan for a Base Side QR (from 50€), which is already included with the other suppliers. Currently, there is only one steering wheel (Formula) available directly from VRS.

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