Over the last 6 months or so rumors have been doing the rounds with Direct Drive wheels from Fanatec. More recently we have had news on compatibility with PS4/XB1 and PC and you can read our article here.
News has now emerged about a Direct Drive Wheel from Fanatec. With all the news snippets here and there we can try and put the pieces together to hopefully give you a bigger picture of their plans.
To start with there will be multiple bases to choose from, the difference between them being the maximum torque these bases deliver. The base or starter product will produce torque that far exceeds the current CS WB 2.5! – You can read about that particular wheel base here. – right up to forces and torque most of us won’t have experienced or used, and in their opinion we won’t be using this level of torque for a very long time. I read that as in the future games or shall I say race sims will develop to utilise these high level complicated FFB effects.
Good news that the CS WB 2.5 wheel base will continue to be sold as the best “Non DD Wheel” solution available on the market. Along with the high end wheel base Fanatec will also be working on high end wheel rims, pedals, shifters and hand brake products. However it is noted this will be a “very” long way down the road.
Plug and Play
The DD wheel like all Fanatec products will be a plug and play design so will be simple to set up and get going straight away.
As will all current Fanatec products the DD wheel will be tested to the highest standard to avoid any issues with interference to your system, very important when you consider just how strong the magnets will be in this new wheel
This is history repeating itself. The new DD wheel will be compatible with PC and in their own words “should have no issues working on the XB1” Does this mean they don’t know? But unfortunately the first generation of DD wheels will not work with PS4. They go on to state they have a broad support for this wheel, and aim to lead the field in sim racing.
The heart of a sim wheel are the motors, and Fanatec having looked at all the available motors on the market have decided to build custom units for their direct drive wheels, so they have full control over the size, speed, torque and power output. More importantly to Fanatec also the price! I can sense a lot of zero’s in a final product!
The wheels will remain a quick release design and compatibility with the current Club Sport range will stay. The CSL and CSL Elite will also be compatible but with reduced torque if the base detects one of these rims is connected.
Interestingly Fanatec have opened this up to the consumer. They would like to know what you require in the software package. What parameters you would like and how much adjustment.
Due to the relatively new and complicated technology with DD wheels, Fanatec have stated they can’t give us a date of release. The technology in their wheels will be cutting edge and new to the sim racing world. The whole wheel is a custom build meaning all the moving parts will be built from scratch. There is a launch period of Q4 2017. So they must be hard at work as we speak!
There will be an event where sim racers will be “invited” to test this new product and compare with existing products on the market, no date has been set yet but it will be before the proposed launch date.
Open Beta Testers
Fanatec are looking for beta testers, not only hardcore sim racers but the home user who may be purchasing a “very” high end wheel. This beta will only start once Fanatec have completed their own in house testing. A link to the application form can be found here:
The first public appearance of this wheel will be at the Sim Racing Expo.
The best and most important bit I guess. The cost of this product hasn’t been announced yet. However Fanatec state there will be a significant difference to this wheel base and current wheel bases. The performance level will affect the price point. So I guess it depends which wheel in the DD range you go for. Fanatec also mention the current CS WB 2.5 is significantly lower in price than any current DD wheel on the market. So there are lots of room for a competitive price point. it would appear the price of the base could be like comparing a current wheel base with a buttoned wheel – so we might see a 4 figure sum! wow! Something around £800 – £900 for the base (915e to 1029e) ($1030 – $1160) Please be aware these are just estimates from current pricing and information in this blog. We shall wait and see. Best start saving (or selling).