This is what sim racing fans have been waiting for! With Fanatec already having a strong Ecosystem (Really the Apple of Sim Racing) it was no doubt a Direct Drive wheel would be coming. If your already own Fanatec products there is no worry, as your existing products like shifters, brakes and quick connect hubs will work with the new Fanatec DD Podium wheel base.
The pics are screen shots from interviews found on the web from the Sim Racing Expo that just happen. BTW if you want to watch the almost 12 hours of coverage Sim Racing Expo Click here. Now don’t worry about the paint job. It is only the camo wrap used for the three DD Podium wheels at the show.
You will notice it’s a beefy looking wheel base and surly shadows the current Clubsport V2.5. It will also shadow the Clubsport V2.5 in strength, fidelity and software capabilities. You might notice the gold side mounts in the pictures as well. They are used for the existing Fanatec Rennsport Cockpit V2 Rig and whomever else might rig something up to work. No worries if you don’t have that rig. The DD Podium wheel base also utilizes the standard 3 bolt pattern we are all used to from all the other Fanatec wheel bases on the market which is good news. Now if your rig can hold up to the forces the DD wheel brings, that’s a different question all together. Speaking of forces…Well we don’t know just yet. It’s not being told as final temperature testing for certification is not compete yet. We are told it is plenty though.
The forces generated by the new DD wheel is a hot topic and we will know eventually of course, but know this. The wheel base is being sold in 2 different configurations. Think Strong and Stronger with high price and higher price! I will predict we could see 13nm+ to compete with the Accuforce Pro V2 from SimXperence for one of the wheel bases and of course the second one much higher like 16nm-20nm of torque to compete with OSW kits you can buy or the Leo Bodner.
As I touched on above Software is a concern as well. All DD wheels have some sort of software needed to tame the beastly torques and speed. Fanatec will provide 2 different modes. We get a plug and play and a full customized mode. No details as of yet, but promises to be user friendly. It sounds similar to the SimVibe from SimXperence, but lets hope it’s not as learning intensive as SimVibe software.
Also some will notice that this is the complete wheel kit. All the electronics are built in to the wheel base. No slip ring needed with a dangling wire, it’s all controlled with bluetooth with the only extra box being the power brick to hide away. No word if there is a safety kill switch though as most direct drive wheels have them just in case due to the forces that can actually break fingers and wrist.
Good news is existing quick connect wheel hubs will fit onto this new Podium wheel base. In fact there are 2 slip on flanges for quick connect wheel bases. One that works with existing wheel hubs and another beefier one that will work with Podium Series quick connect wheel hubs to handle the higher torque output of the DD2 version.
And last but no least…No Price is announced or release date. The comment we get is the forums speculating on price is close. I would expect the $999 for DD1 and $1299+ for DD2 and expect late fall as production want start til October 2017, but don’t be surprised to not get your hands on one til Early 2018 from back orders.
So what you think about it? Comment below.
See ya on the Track!
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