Fanatec’s upcoming Podium Series Direct Drive wheel has finally been seen in action! The wheel was on display at the SimRacing Expo at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, and we have the first couple photos of the wheel!
The photos of the wheel come from Team Redline, who actually features a fairly strong relationship with Fanatec. The new Direct Drive wheel was decked out in a camouflage kit to hide some of the design aesthetics, but we all know what it was. The notable fact about the wheel is that it is a single-unit Direct Drive wheel. Unlike other wheels, this wheel does not require a secondary control box, due to the wheel’s electronics being in the same unit as the motor. That makes the wheel slightly larger, with the base looking slightly taller than a Clubsport Wheel V2.5 and a bit longer (but a bit narrower).
The wheel was featured with the Porsche 918 Wheel Rim attached to the Direct Drive base. That also gives us an idea of how the quick release will work. This appears to utilize the same system that is featured in the Clubsport Wheel. I’m still not sure if the Podium Series rims will feature a stronger quick release, but rest assured, current CSW and CSL rims will be compatible.
A screen looks to be on top of the wheel base, which may be for adjusting settings using Fanatec’s Tuning Menu. Maybe it will also have a display, so if you use a wheel that doesn’t have a display, you can still have shift lights/RPM display.
Fanatec also had a unit on display in a glass case, alongside the motor that has been developed for the Direct Drive wheel. Fanatec went on the record to state they wanted to R&D their own motor that was optimized for Sim Racing, and it looks quite different than what we’ve seen for typical DD motors. I don’t know as much as what will be the specs, if it is a true servo motor, but hopefully more info will trickle in!
One last thing I want to talk about is the mounting. In the photos, it looks like it used a quite unique mounting system. Looking at that, I think I have a couple theories about how the wheel base is going to look. I’d guess that, to provide versatility in mounting the wheel, the base may feature “slidable” mounting holes, similar to the Fanatec Clubsport Shifter.
Bottom line, this is going to be an exciting time to be a Fanatec fan! Are you excited for this upcoming wheel? Let us know!
UPDATE: Since posting this article, the first video surfaced, showing the wheel in action!! The wheel is being used in Project CARS 2, and it sort of confirms my theory about the black rectangle on the wheel being a screen. In this video, it shows the Fanatec logo, but it may be able to be adjusted, who knows.
P.S. I know many people have been waiting for the Fanatec CSL Elite PS4 to be available in the USA. That time is now! You can now get the Fanatec CSL Elite PS4 in the USA! The wheel is available for $479 for the base and the rim, but you can also go for the $499 “Starter Kit” which throws in the CSL Elite 2-pedal set, which I would recommend.