Fanatec's affordable direct-drive wheelbase is a game-changer for sim racing

The CSL DD wheelbase promises a plethora of feedback, and the price is seriously impressive.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski

Sim racing is just that: a simulation. But that doesn't mean sim racers building their rigs don't want a true-to-form feel when carving corners on virtual race tracks. The trouble is, that kind of precision typically comes at quite the cost. Not so any longer, after Fanatec dropped the CSL DD direct-drive wheelbase.

The wheelbase costs just slightly more than an entry-level Logitech wheel, but the feedback and reliability it promises are off the charts. Fanatec talked up how its custom motor sends digital feedback from a racer's favorite virtual car and track surface, thanks to a carbon-fiber composite motor shaft. Peak torque sits at 3.7 pound-feet, but an optional booster kit can provide 6 lb-ft, should sim racers desire.

All of this comes at a price of just $350, which is why this feels like a really big deal that I'm sure our resident sim racing pro, Editor-in-Chief Tim Stevens, can't wait to get his hands on. The CSL DD wheelbase will be compatible with all Fanatec Podium, ClubSport and CSL wheels, and all Fanatec pedals and shifters. We don't have a launch date yet, but this piece of machinery could well democratize crisp feedback when it comes to the sim-racing sector.

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