At the 2017 Sim Racing Expo today I had the chance to check out the new Fanatec Direct Drive wheel... here are my first impressions. Now before going any further I need to give out some caveats. My time with the wheel was limited and used with the so far unreleased Project CARS 2 software. I had over three and a half laps at Spa in PCARS 2, under race conditions at night. Not an ideal scenario to give a serious and informed opinion, but enough to at least give me an idea of what we can expect to find come release day. Using the Porsche rim from the Fanatec ClubSport range, the wheel felt like a marked step up from my personal ClubSport V2 I use regularly at home. The initial weight of the wheel on first turn into a corner carried more force, as did the step up in resistance once additional forces were applied to the car under heavy cornering. The build quality was the usual Fanatec standard, well put together, stylish in finish and I must say a rather neat and "cool" solution in comparison to some of the other Direct Drive products available in the marketplace today. Having spoken with Endor CEO Thomas Jackermeier at length about the new range (interview video to follow later), he confirmed the Podium series of wheels will be compatible with earlier ClubSport rims as well as receiving a brand new range of rims, pedals and accessories further down the line. Additional confirmation was given that two different DD units will be produced, both containing the same housing but with different torque strengths. No release date has been confirmed as yet, however early development units are under testing as we speak. RaceDepartment have requested and have been approved for a long term test unit, of which we will put through its paces once it arrives and give you a full and detailed review in the coming months. Stay tuned to RaceDepartment for more news and insight from the Sim Racing Expo over the next few days and follow us on social media at on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Steam and YouTube. Looking forward to the Fanatec Direct Drive range of products? Can the company challenge the established DD manufacturers? Let us know in the comments section below!