Fanatec steering wheels

Steering wheels for the Ecosystem from Fanatec

Fanatec is probably the best known and also largest brand in the simracing world. There are systems in the price range between about 500€ and 2500€, all of which have one thing in common: they are compatible with each other and offer their own closed ecosystem, which is divided into three series:

  • CSL Elite Series
  • CSW Clubsport Series
  • Podium series

The CSL series is the entry into the world of Fanatec steering wheels with steering wheels starting at around €180. The CSL Elite Steering Wheel WRC, which is the latest steering wheel in the series, has a tool-free simplified quick release, which can subsequently be exchanged with the Clubsport Quickrelease from the Clubsport series.

The Clubsport series offers a wide range of steering wheels with a Clubsport Quickrelease in the price range between 250 and 400€. Higher-quality materials and more complex functions compared to the podium series are the main feature here.

The podium series is the spearhead of Fanatec's ecosystem. This is based on the Podium Hub with an aluminum monocoque, a dedicated ARM processor and a quick release.


STEERING wheels of the CSL Elite series

The two steering wheels of the CSL Elite series are very similar. While the P1 has a Fanatec logo and still has the old quick release, the WRC version is officially licensed (also used in the official WRC E-Sport competitions) and has the simplified Quick Release Adapter (QRA) installed. Both steering wheels have a diameter of 30cm and are equipped with an Alcantara® cover. Steering wheel spokes made of brushed aluminium are just as much a part of the equipment as a D-pad, stable shifters (still without magnetic shifters) and controls matching the buttons of the X-Box controllers, which can be equipped with enclosed Racing-Style Button Caps. A RevStripe (speed display) and a 3-digit LED display are also installed, which can display the speed and the current gear in compatible titles such as Assetto Corsa and iRacing, for example. With 970g (P1) and 1092g (WRC with simplified QRA), the two steering wheels are extremely light and therefore particularly predestined for fanatec's smaller wheelbases.


Steering wheels of the CSW Clubsport series

The two steering wheels of the Clubsportseries are almost true-to-original replicas of the Porsche 918 steering wheel and a BMW steering wheel from the Touring Car Championship. Both share most of their eigeschaften:

  • LED display for displaying telemetry data.
  • 11 assignable buttons and 2 shifters
  • 7-way rotary switch (print, right, left, top bottom, rotation to the left, rotation to the right)
  • Diameter of 32cm
  • Analog joystick (for example, for viewing)
  • Speed display (different in design)
  • Clubsport Quickrelease

The BMW steering wheel has an Alcantara steering wheel cover, the Porsche steering wheel is equipped with a steering wheel rim made of authentic leather from the automotive industry. With 1690g (RSR) and 2120g (BMW GT2), both steering wheels are not necessarily lightweight and you should consider whether you want to use them in conjunction with the CSL elite base, as the high weight to some extent mitigates the force feedback effects. The two steering wheels are excellently suited for road vehicles of all kinds, GT-Cars are also particularly predestined for this steering wheel shape.

Fanatec's Clubsport Formula steering wheels all follow roughly the same pattern and have the same external dimensions as well as, among other things, the following dimensions:

  • Diameter of 27cm
  • Two configurable vibration motors integrated in the palms.
  • LED display for displaying telemetry data
  • 11 Buttons + 2 shifting rockers
  • Analog joystick (for example, for viewing)
  • Palm pads from original Alcantara
  • 9-part speed display
  • 7-way rotary switch (print, right, left, top bottom, rotation to the left, rotation to the right)

The price difference between the officially licensed F1 wheel and the Formula carbon, as the name suggests, lies mainly in the use of real carbon fiber for the front panel instead of anodized aluminium. In addition, the steering wheel is closed at the bottom, which additionally provides a little more stiffness. The weight in both variants is approx. 1200g.

The Formula-V2 is a consistent further development of the Formula Carbon and is structured as well as the two cheaper variants, but offers some more complex features:

  • Two flag LED bars with three multi-coloured LEDs each
  • Possible upgradeability of the shifters with the Advanced Paddle Module
  • Two thumb encoders
  • Two rocker switches (red)
  • Two 12-speed rotary switches
  • A quadruple rotary switch
  • Improved 1" 128×64 OLED display

The steering wheel weighs 1245g without an optional Advanced Paddle Module. Mounted the total weight is 1375g.

Tip: The schifters can be upgraded to Magnetic Shifters with little effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ3RYYpvYD8

The Universal Hub is, as the name suggests, Fanatec's all-purpose weapon. with it a variety of steering wheels can be installed, which can be purchased from any third-party manufacturer or also from Fanatec itself. The hub provides the following features:

  • Four button clusters
  • Two adjustable shifters (each in large and small)
  • 16 fixed buttons
  • A FunkySwitch™
  • A 3-digit LED display, which can also be folded
  • Xbox compatibility (One).

Some of Fanatec's countless combinations can be found below.


Steering wheels of the podium series


DIY – Steering Wheels

Unlike Thustmaster's system, a DIY steering wheel for a Fanatec wheelbase requires using either the podium hub or a universal hub, otherwise no force feedback information can be transferred to the steering wheel. Conveniently, four (universal hub) or two (podium hub) button clusters can be connected with three buttons each, which can also be soldered with other buttons with some skill. For further functions, however, a separate solution with USB connection is required. As an alternative, emulators are now also available: simracingmachines