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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

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.
Which parts specifically were incorrect? And painfully so.I play exclusively on console so you're wrong there, I've played GT since 1998 so you're not telling me anything. If anyone I know wants a realistic driving experience and ask me about GT I'm telling them its arcade because they're gonna be mad after they've tried it if I tell them it's a sim. Just because you can make GT easier or harder doesnt make it more realistic, simply turning off TC doesnt automatically make it realistic. I'll say it again, GT is made to sell millions and it will never be close to being a sim, it will always be simple physics as it has always had, in fact they feel worse and less enjoyable than any other GT I've played. 've never played Forza so cant comment.
 
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dont forget ACC next gen is due to drop in Feb on ps5 (an XB), as I own on pc and ps5 I may well be tempted to get one of these as I do enjoy the pickup and playability of console gaming. I dont own any wheels atm as sold up last year but now I have the bug again I am seriously tempted. Not liking the 4 month pre-order tho and refuse to pay an extra 150 for an early delivery that isnt guaranteed either!

Oh and dont get me started on the 150 quid power pack... now that is a liberty!!!!
 
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After playing Forza 7 and GT Sport back to back with a back then compatible Wheel (T300RS) there is like really no argument to be had. GT Sport feels indeed much better on the wheel than Forza 7. While it is still miles behind 'actual' Sims from the PC space, its good enough for having a nice blast and the overall gamepackage of GT7 i believe will more than make up for it probably not feeling as good as say AC, ACC, rf2, iracing etc.
Like, i don't buy a Gran Turismo game because i want the best driving feel, i buy it because of its overall value, presentation, graphics, car-rpg elements etc.

Edit: A friend of mine now ordered the DD Pro Bundle while playing at my place on my CSL DD with the Formula V2.5 (nonX) wheel which is probably such better quality wheel than the GT rim he will have, so i am interested to see how much time it will take him to find the GT rim rubbish and order a new one from Fanatec lol
 
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Ive ordered this but i dont have a PS5 so its primarily for PC.
Ive gone without a wheel for a year now [long story] so when i saw this ready to ship yesterday i jumped in head first.
Every other configuration had a wait period of 3 to 6 months, i feel i have waited enough, and now i cannot wait for delivery sometime after xmas and testing it out on AMS2, ACC,RF2,R3E to start with.
 
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