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The Best Direct Drive Wheels: Our Buyer’s Guide 2024 Edition

My Simucube 2 Pro direct drive wheelbase

Featured image: My Simucube 2 Pro Direct Drive Wheelbase

While I have no intention of parting with my Simucube 2 Pro direct drive wheelbase, there are now numerous options for the beginner to intermediate sim racer on a budget to go racing with. Here at SIMRACINGCOCKPIT HQ, I have Fanatec’s CSL DD which is, in my opinion, the best low-budget wheelbase, my Simucube 2 Pro is a more expensive but higher-end choice. I’ve also tested the SIMAGIC Alpha and I own a Moza R5.


So, what’s on the market, and what’s the best direct drive wheel for your skill level, budget, and experience?

Your buying choices have never been better than they are today, leaving you to answer the question – which direct drive wheel is best for your skill level? And of course, what fits my budget criteria? In the list below I’ve tried my best to balance pure force feedback performance and price.

The Best Direct Drive Wheels: Our Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2024 Edition
  • Fanatec CSL DD
  • Simucube 2: Sport
  • Simucube 2: Pro
  • Simucube 2: Ultimate
  • Moza R5
  • Fanatec DD2
  • Simagic Alpha Mini
  • Simagic Alpha
  • Simagic Alpha-U
  • MOZA Racing R12 Direct Drive Wheelbase
  • Fanatec Clubsport DD

Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the subject of all things direct drive sim racing wheels.

Choosing a Direct Drive Wheel

If you ask for a recommendation in the majority of the sim racing forums, you will end up with a bit of a competition amongst owners to declare their wheel the best. Put simply, there’s always going to be some bias when you’re asking around. I think the best advice is to try to gather an opinion from a broad range of sources – use the wisdom of the crowds, if you will.

I’m a Simucube fan (you’ve probably already noticed that) but my dispassionate view is that all of the direct drive wheels I’m looking at today provide varying levels of detailed, FFB (Force Feedback) in-game and that any beginner can easily get started with these devices.

Each device has a budget price range, with the cheapest units priced at sub-500 ($/£/€). The majority of direct drive wheelbases listed are priced at sub-1000 ($/£/€) and a handful, like the SIMAGIC Alpha Ultimate and the Simucube 2 Pro Ultimate are high-budget devices.

What are the main differences between Direct Drive wheels?

The main differences between each direct drive unit are peak torque availability, software support and reliability. Some cheaper direct-drive wheelbases might get hot during prolonged use, which adversely impacts torque availability.

Some software can be glitchy (although in every case with the wheels I’ve tested, issues can be overcome with a bit of thought).

With this said, all wheelbases are now plug-and-play and are easy to install and set up. Each community offers online support for troubleshooting and the forums are always forthcoming with FFB settings for your favourite racing game.

Simucube’s TrueDrive is the leader here, with TrueDrive paddock offering the ability to upload, share or download popular FFB profiles, sorted by game. This is my favourite feature:

Truedrive Paddock – I wrote about the platform in detail on the G-Performance blog.

If you have force feedback properly set up, there is rarely any significant difference between wheels that would fundamentally affect your enjoyment or performance in your simulator.

That’s not to say that each manufacturer has unique characteristics, but in every case, the differences are somewhat subtle, except for the overall strength and endurance characteristics.

How do Direct Drive Wheelbases Work?

Much of the development in the wheel technology is actually in the drivers and onboard DSP algorithms – the technology that interprets the output from the simulation package into force feedback, and the inputs coming from the driver’s actions.

This is a fluid thing because software, firmware and drivers are updated frequently by good manufacturers.

This is my FFB profile for the CSL DD:

Fanatec tuning menu for my CSL DD
Fanatec tuning menu for my CSL DD (with my FFB setup)

Direct-drive wheels use an onboard motor that connects directly to the steering wheel. This is unlike belt, or gear-driven wheels because they have an indirect connection, via a belt-drive system or a gearbox. Theoretically, direct drive units lose vastly less “fidelity” or detail because they are mechanically far simpler.

Direct drive wheels have a position sensor so that the electronics can communicate driver input data back to your gaming PC. This is where the development and complexity can be found in the design: the electronics and the software.

Early Simucube 1 FFB DSP board
Early Simucube force feedback controller

Here’s how a direct drive wheelbase works:

The rotary encoder, usually mounted at the rear of the servo motor, detects the rotational movement of the motor on a near-constant basis (to be precise, it measures at a sample rate and provides precise feedback on the wheel’s position)

The encoder works at a set resolution. For example, a 14-bit encoder will measure rotations at 0.02197 degrees per step. Therefore a higher resolution encoder running at a high sample rate will provide the best and most accurate positional data and force feedback resolution.

The internal electronics in the wheelbase (the “controller board”), translate the FFB data received from the game (signals such as road texture, tyre grip and slip) into meaningful steering wheel forces. There’s a motor drive board (also known as a servo drive) will also be integrated and deal with directly manipulating the motor.

Factors that are Important to the Typical Sim Racer

Critically, I want my DD wheel to work! If you’ve spent enough time in the sim, you’ll know that from time to time, things can go wrong.

If you’re quite technically inclined (perhaps you build your own OSW wheels or you’re just interested in the software and technology), then occasional problems aren’t a big deal. But if something stops working just before qualifying, it can be frustrating.

Around the back of a Simucube 2 Pro
Around the back of a Simucube 2 Pro

Mainstream equipment providers like Fanatec and Simucube are well-developed and ultra-reliable.

That’s because they’re no longer particularly niche, they’re plug-and-play and, offer good after-sales support.

QR Hub compatibility is important too.

I own several Fanatec wheels, which are only compatible with Fanatec wheelbases. My Simucube F-Pro can be mounted to any hub that supports either a 50.8mm or 70mm PCD fitment.

Read my guide to QR hub compatibility for more information.

Finger tightening the first bolt
How to fit a QR hub

Why is Direct Drive better for Sim Racing?

Direct Drive wheel motors have no lash…. that momentary, if subtle relaxing and tensioning on a belt within most conventional belt-driven sim steering systems. The absence of lash in a direct drive wheel results in the ability to crank the steering weight up without losing any of the feedback quality.

With sufficient time, practice or community support, you can fine-tune the steering to achieve any level of expected feel.

To understand why direct-drive wheels are potentially better for sim racing, it’s a good idea to look at what makes a sim racing wheelbase, good.

Precision

All of the wheel movement is as intended by the simulation software. There’s less lag in the system and no mechanical play. The speed at which a direct drive wheel can deliver feedback means you can respond more quickly to slides, so you’ll feel like you can handle slides and sudden events quickly and competently. Once you’re used to the forces involved with a DD sim wheel, you’ll likely feel more confident, make fewer mistakes and eventually find a sweet spot where you’re really enjoying the driving.

Rotation

All wheels go beyond 900° of rotation which means that your steering input matches the simulated wheel rotation precisely. This has been a feature for a long time now.

Wheel rotation setup in iRacing set to 900° of rotation
Wheel rotation setup in iRacing set to 900° of rotation

Force Feedback strength and Force Feedback effects

Direct-drive wheels can deliver higher peak and nominal (holding) torque levels. The Fanatec DD2, for example, has a holding torque of 20 Newton meters (Nm) and a peak torque of 25 Nm. That peak figure is a lot – almost 5 times higher than the belt-driven Fanatec CSL Elite.

The availability of torque does open the opportunity to give more concise force feedback effects (see: what is FFB?) – as a driver, I like to feel when the car is losing its available grip, and I like that sensation to manifest itself through an opposing force, especially in the mid-corner. Direct-drive wheels do this exceptionally well, whereas something like a Logitech G29 would barely let you know you were sliding by comparison.

Detail at High Frequencies

I love feeling the track detail as I’m driving. Kerbs and rumble strips are there to tell you you’re on the track limit with your car. To feel the vibration through the wheel is great. By their nature, the motor and motor control electronics can operate the motor at very high frequencies. High enough, that the Simucube 2 Pro can beep at you simply by sending a high frequency through the motor.

Simucube 2 Pro DD wheel
Simucube 2 Pro DD wheel

This availability means saw effects like vibrations and track detail are reproduced in exquisite detail. Side note: if you want to feel every exquisite detail coming from your FFB, go for something stiffer than aluminium like this one from VPG; It’s amazing!

Rigidity and Build Quality

High torque loads and heat mean plastics are more or less out of the question. A proper direct-drive sim wheel will have at least 4 M6 threads for mounting into an aluminium cockpit. All mountings and bolts have to be strong and tight to deal with 25nm peak torque.

Most DD wheels feel heavy, industrial by design, and as a result, feel like they’ll stand the rigours of time.

What does “Torque” mean and How Does it Benefit Me?

Torque is the most important aspect when it comes to direct drive systems. Manufacturers tend to talk about two types of torque values:

  • Peak torque
  • Holding or constant torque

“Peak torque” refers to the maximum output of the wheel motor in short bursts. You might experience peak torque when you drive over a high curb, during a high-speed direction change, or in a crash.

“Holding torque” refers to the strength of the motor in resisting rotation.

In sim racing the driver is regularly resisting the car’s self-aligning torque through a corner, causing the motor to heat up. High holding torque performance is crucial to a consistent driving experience.

“Torque ripple” is a very subtle vibration you would feel in the steering wheel during constant rotation

What’s inside a Direct Drive Wheelbase?

Most of us would never dream of unscrewing our wheelbase cases to find out what’s inside. Fortunately, YouTubers like Barry Rowlands at Sim Racing Garage do so regularly! Here he is taking a Fanatec DD2 apart.

In any DD wheelbase, fundamentally, you have a motor, a power supply, a motherboard, a digital motor drive and a USB converter:

Types of motor

You’ll encounter a few different types, arrangements, and manufacturers of the motor in a DD wheelbase. Here’s what you’ll commonly come across.

The back of the outrunner motor in a Fanatec DD1.
The back of the outrunner motor in a Fanatec DD1.

Inrunner motors

Conventional in-runner motors have stator coils on the inside of the case, and the magnets are attached to a rotor in the centre. The shaft rotates with the magnets. This is a typical motor arrangement found in a DD wheel.

Outrunner motors

Outrunner motors have their magnets attached to an outer casing that rotates around the stator.

The motor shaft when spun would also spin the outer motor case. The permanent magnets on the outrunner are placed on the rotor and the rotor spins on the outside case. On the inside of the motor are the stator windings which do not rotate, they are fixed in position.

Outrunners can produce more torque but have a lower RPM per volt. The Fanatec DD1 and DD2s use outrunner motors as their preferred component choice as they feel the outrunner can deliver more torque at low RPMs.

fanatec dd2 hub with z-ring installed
My Fanatec DD2 with Z-Ring installed

Stepper Motor

Stepper motors are DC motors that move in discrete steps. They have multiple coils that are organized in groups called “phases”. By energizing each phase in sequence, the motor will rotate, one step at a time. The advantages of step motors are low cost, high reliability, high torque at low speeds and simple, rugged construction that operates in almost any environment. The main disadvantages of using a stepper motor are the resonance effect often exhibited at low speeds and decreasing torque with increasing speed. (source)

Servo motor

A servo motor is not a motor type per se, but a motor that has an encoder built into its casing to measure position, torque and rotation. This is critical for fine control of the output rotation and sensing the driver’s inputs (resisting forces, steering inputs and so on) through the digital motor drive.

MiGE Motors

MiGE is a popular servo manufacturer in the sim racing community, and their products tend to form the basis of most OSW wheel kits. This particular item comes with an optional Fanatec hub adapter meaning that with a USB conversion board like this, you could make a start on building your own direct-drive sim wheel quite cheaply.

Early Simucube 1 setup
SimuCUBE-based OSW kit with Q1R hub and converted Fanatec Clubsport steering wheel

Fanatec CSL DD

Price: €349.95 (Base only)
Budget: Low
Compatibility: PC / XBOX / Drivehub (advanced)

Fanatec rocked the sim racing industry just a few years ago with their new CSL DD wheelbase. As a sub $500 / 500EUR device, it plays directly in the usual stomping grounds of Logitech and Thrustmaster. As the CSL DD was launched, so was the Clubsport and CSL Elite range of belt drive wheelbases made obsolete. It’s both PC and XBOX compatible – making it quite a versatile device!

Fanatec rightly staked its future on direct drive-only equipment:

fanatec csl dd with QR2 QR
Fanatec CSL DD with QR2 QR

Fanatec is cleverly making direct-drive wheels more affordable, and, by getting to market earlier than its competition, there’s a good chance this little direct-drive unit will become the entry-level unit. If I were building a budget sim rig, I’d choose this wheelbase and a SimLab GT1 Evo sim racing rig making a strong starting point for barely more than $1000!

The idea of a $1000 wheelbase and cockpit would have been pure fantasy just a year ago. Yet, here we are. But, is the CSL DD any good? I had my doubts, but when I tried it I found it very smooth and surprisingly detailed for an 8Nm peak torque wheelbase. The new QR system “QR2” is really solid and a huge improvement over the original.

desktop setup for sim racing
I built a small desktop setup for sim racing with the CSL DD (see the review here)

This is a brilliant starter wheelbase – and comes recommended by me. If you’re on a budget but want (rightly!) the direct drive experience, this is a fantastic and very low-budget entry point to serious sim racing. The CSL DD doesn’t have Playstation compatibility, but you can set this up to work via Drivehub.

Simucube 2: Sport / Pro / Ultimate

Price: €1090.00 (Sport) // €1350.00 (Pro) // €2570.00 (Ultimate)
Budget: High
Compatibility: PC Only

If you can afford a Simucube 2 Sport, Pro, or Ultimate, this is the direct-drive wheelbase to own.

I’m a very happy owner of a Simucube 2 Pro, It’s my “daily driver” and I see no reason to change that anytime soon.

simucube 2 pro direct drive wheelbase
My Simucube 2 Pro view from the side (detailed review here)

Simucube’s Direct Drive brushless torque motor is super smooth, and you can tell that the build quality and componentry in this wheel are of an exceptionally high standard. It’s a very weighty item (weighing some 20kg) and holding it, you feel like it’ll probably last forever! Driving it with the many profiles available in TrueDrive Paddock is a breeze, so setting the FFB up for your sim software is completely painless.

Let’s take a quick look at the technical details. The entry-level Simucube 2 Sport operates at a peak torque of 17 Nm with a slew rate of 4.8 Nm/ms. Compared to the Moza and Fanatec units this will feel strong and very responsive.

The Simucube 2 Pro is quite a different device, with a peak torque availability of 25 Nm at a slew rate of 8.0 Nm/ms. The SC2 Pro feels more detailed and can be more intense, particularly on the kerbs and during high torque moments.

Simucube 2 Ultimate Direct Drive Wheel
Simucube 2 Ultimate Direct Drive Wheel

The Simucube 2 Ultimate offers a massive 32 Nm peak torque at a fast 9.5 Nm/ms slew rate. This is exceptionally detailed and torquey, the Ultimate is reserved for the high-budget simulator hobbyist or professional.

simucube 2 pro
Simucube 2 Pro

The SQR hub leaves absolutely no flex on the table, and there are just a bunch of amazing features including their latest ARM CPU and motor control electronics that make this thing so fast and responsive, it’s a surprise when you first start using it.

my simucube 2 pro
My Simucube 2 Pro with wheelbase-side SQR hub visible is installed and ready to go (read my Simucube 2 Pro guide here)

I use my Simucube as my only wheelbase after having sold the DD2. It just outperforms the other direct drive wheels I’ve tested on both the detail and smoothness of the FFB (Force Feedback).

Personally, it’s the SQR hub that does it for me. I’ve always found the Fanatec hub lacking in stiffness – there’s always a tiny bit of play between the wheel and the hub. The SQR quick-release system is literally rock solid, and I love it for that.

For more information on the Simucube 2 family, I’ve written a guide to this favourite direct drive unit including installation and setup. If you can afford one, a Simucube is still *the* DD wheelbase to own.

Moza R5

Price: €599.00 (bundle)
Budget: Low
Compatibility: PC Only

The MOZA Racing R5 Wheel Base is a new direct-drive wheelbase that provides a PEAK torque of 5.5 Nm. It is MOZA’s latest entry-level, lowest-budget model, complementing the R9, which offers a peak of 9 Nm torque. It’s compact and a good starter choice if the CSL DD is out of reach, budget-wise.

I’ve recently had the R5 in for review and, for the money, it’s another great way to start sim racing – naturally, price dictates quality and, on that note, I didn’t find the FFB to be as detailed or impressive, but I’m going to be picky because of the wheels I own.

The R5 would make a very, very good budget starter DD wheelbase, and the desk clamp is a lot better than the Fanatec equivalent.

Moza R5 with ES steering wheel
Moza R5 with ES steering wheel and SR-P Lite Pedals (the Moza “R5 Bundle” – review here)

There are also plenty of settings to work with and tune your device in SimHub’s PitHouse software:

Moza Pit House software
Moza Pit House software

While the R9 costs $439 for the wheelbase alone, the R5 is available as a complete bundle for $499.

The R5 is built similarly to the R9, with an aviation-grade aluminium shell and plastic rear housing. The R5 is smaller than the R9, which is a plus, as it allows for easy positioning of the screen near the wheel, especially when using the included table clamp.

By the way, I think the table clamp from Moza is good and is quite superior to the one currently supplied with the Fanatec CSL DD. Just for reference, I recently compared the CSL DD to the R9 here.

ES Steering wheel supplied in the Moza R5 bundle
ES Steering wheel supplied in the Moza R5 Bundle

The R5 features a surprisingly high-quality quick release, the same as on more expensive units from MOZA, Simagic, and Immsource. I think this quick release is among the best currently offered by a wheelbase manufacturer, as it is of high quality, easy to use, and has no flex or play, outside of aftermarket options. It’s a proper “Motorsport” hub. I’ve seen them at the track.

One thing worth pointing out is that given the R9 compares well to the CSL DD, the R9 would in my opinion be a good buy, but Fanatec does have the edge, marginally on FFB quality and software.

Don’t forget that FFB can improve with firmware updates!

Fanatec DD1 and DD2

Price: €995.95 // €1499.95
Budget: High
Compatibility: DD1 – works seamlessly with all PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®4 Pro systems. // DD2 PC Only

When I owned one, I was a huge fan of my Fanatec DD2. The DD2 is extremely easy to install and set up making it ideal for the first-time direct drive wheel user. In fact, I upgraded from a CSL Elite to the DD2 and have always felt that this was a good choice.

The DD1 is pretty much the same device but de-tuned to deliver a peak torque of 20nm. It’s also console-compatible and significantly less expensive, priced at €995.95.

My First Direct Drive Wheel: Fanatec DD2
My First Direct Drive Wheel: Fanatec DD2

Fanatec’s outrunner-style motor is unique in sim racing and allows for a really convincing torque delivery throughout the torque range. It has, however, been around for a long time. Fanatec’s current fulfilment problems and the age of the device may mean that it is about to be discontinued.

Discontinuation does not mean obsoletion, however – I suspect Fanatec will support the DD1 and DD2 for a long time. Indeed, they’ve started shipping the devices with the new QR2 hub installed. Let’s watch and see.

A Fanatec DD2 for sale on eBay
A Fanatec DD2 for sale on eBay (view here)

If you’re new to sim racing and want simplicity and a high-quality experience overall, Fanatec equipment (for me) is still the best way to enter sim racing.

Simagic Alpha Mini

Price: €599.00
Budget: Low
Compatibility: PC Only

Hot on the heels of the CSL DD release is another circa £600/$650 direct drive wheelbase: the Simagic Alpha Mini. The Alpha mini is the “baby” of the Simagic family, who have been extremely busy improving and developing their ecosystem. They now offer wheels, steering wheels, handbrakes and sequential shifters. This is the Alpha Mini:

SIMAGIC Alpha Mini
10Nm of torque from this Simagic Alpha Mini in a very neat little package with (optional) wheelbase side QR attached

The Alpha Mini offers a CSL DD beating peak torque of 10Nm and it features wireless functionality through a 2.4 GHz WLAN (Wi-Fi) connection.

As with most direct drive wheelbases, the Alpha Mini incorporates a servo motor. The case dimensions are pretty tiny at 110mm x 167mm!

Configuration is managed via Alpha Manager - including firmware updates for the wheelbase
Configuration is managed via Alpha Manager – including firmware updates for the wheelbase


Simagic claim to have developed their already excellent physics models to improve the authenticity of their Force Feedback including an AI (artificial intelligence) feature for force feedback optimisation! This might be the go-to choice for those interested in drift racing too as Simagic provide “Exclusive settings for drift and rally mode”.

Technically speaking, for the money I think the Alpha Mini is among the best budget direct-drive wheels you can buy for sim racing. And, there are plenty of bundles available now for you to choose a wheel you like and still get a slight discount.

Simagic Alpha DD Wheelbase

Price: €879.00
Budget: Medium
Compatibility: PC Only

At the slightly higher price range of £865.00 – £920.00 (approx $1000) Simagic’s Alpha is quite a favourite of mine and it’s a strong competitor to the Simucube 2 Sport with a 15Nm peak torque output.

Simagic Alpha DD Wheelbase (Find out more)

This DD unit is larger than the Mini and offers an additional 5Nm of torque compared to the Alpha Mini. Again, it’s configurable via Alpha Manager, so firmware updates and tuning settings shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

There are some advanced electronics inside this Aluminium cased direct drive unit: a “3 CPU” tri-core acceleration smart base, Simagic’s 3-phase servo motor, and a rapid refresh rate of 1000 Hz (or, 1kHz) for buttons and 40,000 Hz (40kHz) for force feedback. A high-performing unit, priced reasonably and a very nice thing to own indeed!

Simagic Alpha-U Wheelbase

Price: €1479.00
Budget: High
Compatibility: PC Only

This is Simagic’s flagship direct drive wheel, the Simagic Alpha-U. This is a feature-rich competitor to the best direct-drive wheels money can buy:

Simagic Alpha-U Wheelbase
Simagic Alpha-U Wheelbase (Find out more)

Technically, the Alpha-U is very impressive. 1 23nM peak torque, <1ms response time and an encoder resolution of 262144ppr. I don’t think you’ll miss much while you’re driving this thing!

The Alpha-U’s direct drive servo motor is a custom 5-pole item with virtually zero latency. It features a CNC-machined aluminium housing, which is polished using sandblasting and anodized black.

The Force Feedback electronics themselves are also very impressive, with Simagic’s CPU architecture, 262144 PPR encoder resolution, 40Khz response rate and a “3rd gen” filter with optimized algorithms. It supports wireless wheels and can be optimised in SimPro Manager.

Just to show you how good Simagic stuff looks, here’s one with the FX Pro wheel attached:

Alpha FX Pro wheel and Alpha U DD wheelbase
Alpha FX Pro wheel with Alpha U DD Wheelbase

MOZA Racing R12 DD Wheelbase

Price: €1099.00
Budget: High
Compatibility: PC Only

Just released, the Moza R12 Direct Drive Wheelbase carves out a niche for itself by offering a balance of power, performance, and price. Engineered with a peak torque of 12Nm running at a peak power load of 216W, it provides the force feedback detail and smoothness of a higher budget wheelbase.

MOZA R12 with KS Steering wheel
Moza’s R12 DD wheelbase and KS steering wheel combination

The R12 stands out due to its high-quality design, housed in aluminium, and an impressive set of features such as a limitless max wheel rotation, a USB refresh rate of 1000Hz, and online firmware update support via their Pit House software.

MOZA Racing R12 direct drive wheel
MOZA Racing R12 direct drive wheel

Notably, the R12 is enhanced by Moza’s “New generation force feedback filtering algorithm”, a testament to Moza’s attention to detail and commitment to advancing the direct drive wheel technology. This technology offers the user a significantly improved force feedback feeling, putting it at par with some of the best in its price range. Furthermore, it also features a high compatibility range with many popular sim racing titles, making it a versatile choice for those looking to upgrade their sim racing experience.

Moza R12 mounting dimensions
Moza R12 mounting dimensions

Technically speaking, the R12 is closer to the R21 than the R5 and R9. That’s because the R12 motor employs a “slanted-pole” design. With the rotor thoughtfully divided into three sections, each set at carefully determined angles, the motor’s design greatly mitigates cogging torque, torque ripple, electromagnetic (EM) disturbance, and noise levels in contrast to traditional motors. Check out the technical specs on the Moza website.

I like the Moza series of DD units, as they open up the opportunity to build a sim racing setup on a low budget. With this said, I’m not too certain the R12 stacks up against a Simucube 2 Sport. Price wise, they are very similar, but the Simucube 2 Sport is technically superior. Moza has it right with the R5 and R9, but they’ve left the R12 “hung out to dry” as surely customers would choose the Simucube over the R12.

Fanatec Clubsport DD and DD Plus

Price: €799.95 (Clubsport DD) // €999.95 (Clubsport DD)
Budget: Medium

While I’m waiting to get my hands on these units to test, I can easily summarise the reviews that I’ve read from people I trust – that the Clubsport DD and DD Plus are the natural next step for an organisation like Fanatec.

The new Clubsport DD by Fanatec
The new Clubsport DD by Fanatec (source)

What fascinated me about these two, very recent product launches is that they haven’t become successors to the higher-end Podium series of wheelbases.

That leaves me to wonder if the technology that Fanatec has adopted in the DD wheelbases will eventually be developed further – the outcome of which may succeed the classic DD1 and DD2 Podium series. Who knows!

According to Fanatec, The Clubsport DD and DD Plus represent the “cutting edge in direct drive wheelbase technology” – but what are the differences?

Clubsport DD

Price: €799.95
Compatibility: PC, XBOX (with XBOX compatible steering wheel)

Its key features include a direct drive servo motor custom-designed in Germany, delivering 12 Nm of consistent torque. The motor utilizes FluxBarrier technology and an optimized skew angle on rotor magnets for enhanced efficiency and smoothness. The base is passively cooled, ensuring stable performance even under extreme conditions. It supports a full Fanatec ecosystem and is compatible with PC and Xbox (with an Xbox-licensed Steering Wheel).

Clubsport DD+

Price: €999.95 (Currently Pre-Order)
Compatibility: PC / Playstation

PC and Playstation licenced, you’re also getting an extra 3Nm of additional torque for your money. I suspect there’s no particular difference in the design internals, cooling and performance over time; as explained by this performance chart:

Clubsport DD thermal performance over time
Clubsport DD thermal performance over time (source)

I don’t recall ever feeling like my Simucube starts to degrade over time, it doesn’t even get hot! We’ll see what these wheelbases perform like in testing sometime in 2024.

Technical Summary: DD Wheelbases Compared

Wheel Peak Torque (Nm) Torque Slew Rate (Nm/ms) Angle Sensor Resolution Mounting Price (USD) Price (EUR)
Fanatec CSL DD 8 5 16-bit Base and Side $349.95 €349.95
Simucube 2: Sport 17 50 22-bit Front $1,190 €1,090
Simucube 2: Pro 25 50 22-bit Front $1,470 €1,350
Simucube 2: Ultimate 32 50 22-bit Front $2,830 €2,570
Moza R5 5.5 7.5 16-bit Base $599 €599
Fanatec DD2 25 50 Base and Side $1,499.95 €1,499.95
Simagic Alpha Mini 10 15 16-bit Front $599 €599
Simagic Alpha 15 15 16-bit Front $879 €879
Simagic Alpha-U 23 50 16-bit Front $1,479 €1,479
MOZA Racing R12 Direct Drive Wheelbase 12 50 1,000,000 PPR Base $1,099 €1,099
Fanatec Clubsport DD 20 Base and Side $799.95 €799.95

Related articles:

The Best Direct Drive Wheels: Our Buyer’s Guide 2024 Edition