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Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro Wheel and Pedal Set Review

Fanatec’s new Gran Turismo DD Pro bundles are the best all-in-one solution for sim racing on Playstation consoles, but they carry some questionable design aspects.

After several busy and successful years for Fanatec, which included becoming a title sponsor for a major race series, bringing direct drive wheelbase technology to the mid-tier price point, and announcing a race car spec wheel available for public purchase, the sim hardware manufacturer has shifted its aim to a corner of the market previously dominated by a rival company.

Thrustmaster’s stranglehold on the Gran Turismo hardware market has been a tremendous asset for the company, giving them exposure on the world esports stage in perhaps the most watched virtual racing series in the world. But Fanatec has now come to market with a product intended to loosen that stranglehold, the Gran Turismo DD Pro. Fanatec’s set distinguishes itself from TM’s flagship Gran Turismo hardware set, the T-GT ii, by offering direct drive wheelbase technology and optionally a load cell brake pedal.

The GTDDP is an all-in-one bundle that gamers and sim racers will be able to pre-order via Fanatec’s website starting on Black Friday.

Fanatec offers the following orders for the Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro
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The first three of the bundles above are schedule for delivery in March of 2022, and the fourth includes pricing for air shipping the set, and Fanatec hopes (but notably doesn’t guarantee) to have the Express Shipping deliveries completed before Christmas of this year. Fanatec has also noted on the DD Pro website that the wheelbase will be sold separately at a future date.

What’s Included

As tested, the Gran Turismo DD Pro bundle includes a 5Nm CSL DD-esque wheelbase, custom Gran Turismo inspired steering wheel with quick release, table-mounting clamp, two pedal set, 5Nm power supply, and RJ and USB cables.

This is an all-in-one solution that can be mounted with the wheelbase clamped to a desk and the pedals on the floor, or hard mounted to a cockpit. The bundle is compatible with both PC and PlayStation 4/5 consoles. The wheelbase has rear connection ports for Fanatec peripherals, and can accommodate two shifters, pedals, and a handbrake.

Initial Impressions

My initial visual impressions of the DD Pro’s wheel are mixed. The wheel was designed by Polyphony Digital, which explains its gamer-inspired looks. Eschewing the aspects of realism Fanatec has provided in wheels such as the BMW, McLaren, or Porsche wheels, Polyphony has put forth a design with lots of bright colours and abundant plastic. PD has equipped the wheel with four separate 5-way sticks, which seems excessive.

The wheelbase is the showpiece of the bundle, with a modified exterior versus the PC and Xbox version of the CSL DD. While not striking, the design conveys professional and robust design, especially in the market of PlayStation compatible systems. The accompanying table clamp is equally well styled, and provides a firm footing on which to mount the base.

Lastly, the pedals follow the trend of the accompanying products by providing owners with a strong and well-engineered designed, though not especially gorgeous to look at.

Value

Fanatec’s CSL DD became the current benchmark for sim racing wheelbase value when it was released. Direct drive sim racing gear had previously been associated with a four-figure price tag, but Fanatec smashed that preconception with their €/$349.95 price tag for the wheelbase. The obvious mark to beat when they entered the Gran Turismo realm was the $799.99 MSRP of the T-GT ii and T3PA bundle from Thrustmaster, which they have done.

As noted above, there are various bundles available in the Gran Turismo DD Pro line. The addition of the Boost Kit, which takes the wheelbase from 5Nm of available torque to 8Nm, bumps the price up by €/$150. The price of the Boost Kit has been a subject of controversy for Fanatec, with critics saying the power supply is overpriced. Add a load cell equipped brake pedal to the bundle, and the price again jumps, this time by €/$120. If the bundled price is too high for the initial purchase, the Boost Kit or Load Cell Kit can be added a la carte in the future.

Even with the peak price in the DD Pro line of the Premium Bundle at €/$969.85, the package is a good value when you factor in the direct drive and load cell technologies. The base bundle price of €/$699.95 is well below the DD Pro’s logical rival and packs a lot of features, but is still well above other PlayStation compatible offerings like the Thrustmaster T248 and Logitech G923. So, buyers will need to weigh the importance of direct drive wheelbase technology and potential upgrades. Fanatec’s Podium Racing Wheel F1 is the top tier direct drive offering with PlayStation compatibility, and its $1,799.95 price without pedals highlights the value of the DD Pro bundles even further.

The value of the Gran Turismo DD Pro bundles doesn’t quite extend to the PC world, however. Creating a bundle of the CSL DD, CSL Pedals, Table Clamp Kit, and a compatible wheel at $200 exposes the premium customers will pay for PlayStation compatibility. The Gran Turismo wheel looks out of place as a PC racing wheel as well.

Driving Impressions

There are reviews posted here at RaceDepartment for both the CSL DD and the CSL Pedals from Fanatec, so those wanting a more in-depth review of the major components and specifically how well they perform can refer to those individual reviews.

But in short, the 5Nm wheelbase and wheel, plus the two pedal set both perform very well. As a regular user of the 8Nm CSL DD on PC, the 5Nm arrangement as tested did lack some of the punch you can get when the Boost Kit is added, but the force feedback detail is still impressive, and was exceptionally smooth on both PC and PS5. The soft rubber wrapped wheel feels good in my hands and has an ample 280mm diameter. The shifters are precise and solid but lack magnetic shift action.

I’m similarly spoiled when it comes to the pedals, as the CSL Pedals I own have been upgraded to a three-pedal set with a Load Cell Kit. This makes the included two-pedal set feel less natural to drive with, though still very functional in game and a worthy complement to this bundle. The brake pedal is quite light, but this will save those using the pedals directly on the ground and those seated in rolling chairs a lot of grief.

Even in its basic form, the Gran Turismo DD Pro bundle is amazing. By a healthy margin, it’s the best wheel and pedal set I own for PlayStation. I’m a big fan of Thrustmaster’s T248 bundle, but it’s a tier below the DD Pro in terms of the driving feel and build quality.

Summary

Fanatec’s second major entry into the PlayStation market, and the first targeting Gran Turismo directly, is an excellent bundle. For those shopping for a PS compatible wheel and pedal set in the sub-$1,000 price range, this is clearly the front runner.

While the bright and visually busy Polyphony Digital designed wheel strongly contrasts the subtle and functional design of the wheelbase and pedals Fanatec has packed into this bundle, it’s far from enough to ruin the overall experience. A replacement wheel could be thought of as a third upgrade path for the DD Pro bundle, along with the Load Cell Kit and Boost Kit. The ability to replace or upgrade individual parts is another key feature of the GTDDP bundles.

Historically, higher end technologies like direct drive wheelbases and load cell equipped brake pedals were thought of as overkill for console users. More recently, however, the rise in esports and the console porting of simulators like Assetto Corsa Competizione has helped legitimize sim racing on PlayStation. Fanatec’s Gran Turismo DD Pro is an impressive step forward for PS gamers and establishes itself as the new reference point for console compatible sim racing hardware packages.

Good
  • PlayStation compatibility
  • Driving feel
  • Build quality
  • Price point relative to features
Bad
  • Wheel design
  • Price point relative to T248/G923

What do you think about this product? Let us know on Twitter at @RaceDepartment or in the comments section under this article or submit your own review and help the community decide.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

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Comments

That's a good review but the steering wheel looks so similar to the Thrustmaster T-GT 1 & 2.
 
So, the wheel makes the base compatible with the PS5, if one, who already own a CSL DD base, is to buy the GT wheel, he should be good to go with a PS5.
 
Asians (Japan) in general loving transformers and quite weird design time from time (every culture having some kind of taste and ways of views at things)... and center of this wheel looking something like this.
Thing will be with solid quality and this weirdo look. It as well will do work very well, whatever.
Probably the most part of market for this piece - Asia. Probably. This hardware is kind of special order from Polyphony Digital

P.S. Fanatec, if u can update mine second Porsche GT3RS wheel (which still loved) for DD base or what - u will get big plus into Karma for near 5 years. Take this seriously. lol
 
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The shilling is on overdrive on this one, the sim youtubers really want them affiliate payments, I recognise it is probably a good product but i've grown tired of just how hard these "impartial" youtubers are ramming stuff down our throats, it's not even subtle anymore.
 
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I holding of buying anything until GT7 actually comes out and we see where it sits in the sim and arcade camps. I'm certainly not buying one if GT7 has the same old physics and FFB but I would be tempted if it was a revelation.
 
Frankly, after dealing with my G27's paltry 6 buttons for years, I'll take a million buttons on a wheel over having so few. In a lot of sims there are so many things you can map to buttons that I am always out of space on my wheel and have to put them on the shifter which is a hassle to quickly reach, sheesh. I can't wait till I can upgrade to SOMETHING with more buttons.
 
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The shilling is on overdrive on this one, the sim youtubers really want them affiliate payments, I recognise it is probably a good product but i've grown tired of just how hard these "impartial" youtubers are ramming stuff down our throats, it's not even subtle anymore.
Seeing how often a Playstation compatible CSL-DD was brought up on Fanatec's forum, the Youtubers are kind of justified in plastering GT DD Pro videos everywhere. I watched the most brief videos (thank You Random Callsign), got the gist of what the new wheel is, and went back to using my CSL-DD. The only thing that's annoying me about this wheel is the Fanatec Ads. The song they chose for it, just ain't doing it for me. So I skip it ASAP.

LOL
 
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Wheel looks a toyish indeed, like the G29/TM-GT. It looks cheap, like the basic P1 wheels.

I also prefer the brick CSL DD over this round version. Though it's still way sleeker than any Logitech/TM wheelbase.

Pedal set still looks good, but also looks cheaper than it's CSL Elite predecessor.


All in all, IMO looks like a good set if you could pick another rim.
 
I holding of buying anything until GT7 actually comes out and we see where it sits in the sim and arcade camps. I'm certainly not buying one if GT7 has the same old physics and FFB but I would be tempted if it was a revelation.
GT is made to sell millions, it's made to target 8 year olds and above, made to target casuals, pick up and play. I hope this makes people understand where the physics will always sit.


This deal is a bad deal imo and it's all because of that toyish looking rim. CSL DD with the booster pack, rim of your choice and load cell is a better and cheaper deal.
 
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I holding of buying anything until GT7 actually comes out and we see where it sits in the sim and arcade camps. I'm certainly not buying one if GT7 has the same old physics and FFB but I would be tempted if it was a revelation.

GT is made to sell millions, it's made to target 8 year olds and above, made to target casuals, pick up and play. I hope this makes people understand where the physics will always sit.


This deal is a bad deal imo and it's all because of that toyish looking rim. CSL DD with the booster pack, rim of your choice and load cell is a better and cheaper deal.
Not to mention that Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are both always remain as Simcades in order to get the car handling and physics optimized for both racing wheel and controller pads, so any console owners can easily pick up and play.

Meanwhile, the proper sim racing games such as Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, and others, their controls are too hard for them to be optimized for controller pad and keyboard so they're much more recommended to use racing wheels that support force feedback in order to get them playable.

I also guess that it seems more gaming PC owners would be able to afford racing wheels with force feedback support more than the PlayStation/Xbox console owners do.
 
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GT is made to sell millions, it's made to target 8 year olds and above, made to target casuals, pick up and play. I hope this makes people understand where the physics will always sit.

I remember getting my first wheel for free. It was some cheap ass thing, but it was awesome on Project Gotham Racing etc. on OG XBox. Before that, just controller for mainly Gran Turisma and Forza. After my XB got stolen out of our student dorm, so back to controller for GRID and NFS Shift, which whould've suited a cheap wheel perfectly.

I had already tried rFactor and Assetto Corsa with a controller before picking up a 2nd hand T300RS rig. Here is where a decent wheel comes in great.
For the millions of 'casuals' that play GT and Forza now, I would even think this GT Pro set is overkill. Though the design of the wheel rim does suit it. Focus on road super cars etc. and the wheel still somewhat resembling a gamepad controller.
 
GT is made to sell millions, it's made to target 8 year olds and above, made to target casuals, pick up and play. I hope this makes people understand where the physics will always sit.


This deal is a bad deal imo and it's all because of that toyish looking rim. CSL DD with the booster pack, rim of your choice and load cell is a better and cheaper deal.

Not to mention that Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are both always remain as Simcades in order to get the car handling and physics optimized for both racing wheel and controller pads, so any console owners can easily pick up and play.

Meanwhile, the proper sim racing games such as Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, and others, their controls are too hard for them to be optimized for controller pad and keyboard so they're much more recommended to use racing wheels that support force feedback in order to get them playable.

I also guess that it seems more gaming PC owners would be able to afford racing wheels with force feedback support more than the PlayStation/Xbox console owners do.
There's a lot of painfully incorrect statements here, it's hard to find where to start.
GT has the ability to adjust the difficulty of the driving mechanics and reduce the harshness of the physics for casual gamers with controllers or who just want to enjoy the "game" aspect of it, but in competitive driving (FIA), you have to remove the assists and raise the driving difficulty.

No, it's not as realistic as rFactor or ACC, but it's definitely much more realistic than Forza Motorsport. GT has qualifying laps, necessary pit stops, tire wear, slipstreams, weight mechanics. The only thing it's really missing is realistic damage models and the grass physics are too forgiving. But the tire grip in GT definitely has a fall off where you can lose the rear end if you enter a corner too hot.

And no offense, but iRacing has a great multiplayer aspect, but to call GT an arcade and iRacing a "proper sim", given how drastic the physics differences are between iRacing, ACC and rFactor 2 is just basically being unfairly negative to GT because it's on a console.
 

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