This is our review of the best Fanatec wheel rims in 2022.
With so much competition between the top manufacturers of sim racing products in 2022, the Fanatec ecosystem arguably offers the best sim racing wheel rims on the market across all price ranges. The beauty of the Fanatec ecosystem is that they offer a wide variety of different wheel rims, catering towards a wide array of sim racers. Whether you’re into sim racing because of open wheel racing, GT, rally or drifting; there’s always a wheel rim for you from Fanatec.
|Unrivaled Performance and Authenticity||Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3||$1,499.95 USD||US, EU, AU|
|Formula Racing Enthusiasts||ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5||$389.95 USD||US, EU, AU|
|How is it so Affordable?||CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2||$199.95 USD||US, EU, AU|
|Impeccable for GT Racing||Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede||$649.95 USD||US, EU, AU|
|Perfect for Drifting & Rally||ClubSport Steering Wheel Drift V2||$379.95 USD||US, EU, AU|
What to Look For?
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the top considerations to make before making the purchase!
Before embarking on your purchase, it’s important to consider the design of the wheel rim that you will be purchasing. Of course, each wheel has it’s own sophistication which may attract you. However, it’s important to consider the type of driving you’ll mostly be playing. If you’re into open wheel racing, then it’ll definitely be recommended that you purchase an open racing wheel. If you’re into drifting, rally or GT racing, then there’s definitely a wide array of options for you.
Additionally, if you’re in the market for an officially licensed wheel with racing partners such as Porsche, BMW and NASCAR, then Fanatec is arguably the best option to go with. These wheel rims are produced with high quality, premium materials which sometimes make you forget that it’s a replica.
However, as these are officially licensed wheels, expect to pay a slight premium for the badge! It’s definitely worth it though in our books.
Controls and Features
The shape and handling of the wheel is definitely important, as it’ll provide the driver with comfort over extended hours of racing. However, another consideration to make is the availability of buttons and toggles on the wheel rim and the positioning of these buttons as well. For instance, the Fanatec open wheel rims such as the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5X offers a multitude of encoders, buttons and rotary dials to map up to 67 in-game functions.
Hence, if you don’t have a button box, it’s definitely recommended that you purchase a wheel rim with more toggles and switches to easily access a variety of in-game functions.
Just like any other tech product, it’s crucial to consider the compatibility between the wheel rim and the wheel base. For most instances, if you’re racing on PC, you won’t run into compatibility issues as Fanatec does a great job with integration with PC. However, if you’re racing on console, just ensure you check the compatibility before making the purchase.
In our top 5 selection for the best Fanatec wheel rim, we’ll be detailing whether our selection is compatible with your platform of choice.
5 Best Fanatec Wheel Rims
The Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is the most authentic wheel rim available in the sim racing market. The search for realism ends here as Fanatec has emphasized that this wheel rim is not a replica and is the actual wheel used in the 2022 BMW M4 GT3 race car. For the first time in sim racing history, a wheel has been developed for both a real race car and sim racing.
There is zero compromise in this wheel rim. It’s the exact same wheel rim that is manufactured for every BMW M4 GT3 race car. Homologated for GT3 racing and optimized with feedback from the official BMW M Motorsport work drivers, you can be reassured that everything about the wheel has been battle-tested.
Constructed with lightweight, multi-layer full carbon fiber body, the wheel rim can withstand the most demanding of drives without compromising on comfort over extended hours of racing. The wheel rim also offers an array of 12 front-facing buttons and 2 at the rear, each with 700g of activation force. The buttons are positioned perfectly for quick access to in-game functions. Additionally, the buttons are RGB-led backlit and can be dimmable and color adjusted to suit the preference of the driver. The wheel rim also features dual action (push/pull mechanism) carbon fiber magnetic paddles which are adjustable.
The full compatibility of this wheel can only be guaranteed on PC. It’s been noted by Fanatec that the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is not compatible at all with Xbox systems and the integration with PlayStation is subject to firmware/OS changes and developer support.
The Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 is simply unrivaled. However, it doesn’t come at a cheap price tag. Currently listed for $1,499.95 USD, this wheel is catered towards sim racing enthusiasts looking for an authentic wheel rim to compliment their already high-end setup. We can guarantee this will be the last wheel rim you’ll use in a while, as there’s none else like it.
The ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5 is arguably Fanatec’s best selling wheel rim currently, and rightly so! At The Downforce, we’ve written an in-depth article about this wheel rim. Till this day, it’s still one of our favorite wheel rims to use for open wheel racing for a multitude of different reasons.
From the onset, the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5 is constructed with no compromise, using premium materials including a 5mm thick carbon fiber front plate and aluminum shifter modules. If you’re racing on Xbox or PC, then you might want to opt for the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5X, which offers genuine Alcantara® grips out the box. If you’re worried about durability and don’t want to worry about racing in gloves, then we’d recommend you stick to the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5, which uses smooth perforated leather grips instead.
Other innovative features on the wheel rim includes, featuring a 1″ 128×64 white OLED display to show telemetry data like speed or gear, which is programmable through the Fanatec SDK. The RevLEDs is also included to show optimal shifting point, adding to the overall immersion of the wheel rim to your setup.
The ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5 is an excellent mid-high range steering wheel that offers a wide array of functions to ensure ease of access to multiple in-game functions. With 67 possible permutations for in-game controls, this wheel is an excellent choice for all aspects of sim racing. If you need to adjust brake bias, differential, access MFD, etc. you’ll be able to do so comfortably and confidently.
Currently the ClubSport Wheel Formula V2.5 retails for $389.95 USD, which is an absolute steal for the build quality and amount of features the wheel rim has to offer. There’s just not too many wheel rims out there at the current price point which offers this much.
In terms of compatibility, the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5 (Leather grips) is fully compatible with PC and PlayStation, while the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5X ( Alcantara® grips) is only compatible with PC and Xbox.
If what we’ve said here captivates you, we’d highly recommend you read our full breakdown of the ClubSport Steering Wheel Formula V2.5 here!
Officially licensed by McLaren Automotive Limited, the CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2, is one of the most highly regarded wheel rims in the Fanatec ecosystem.
The design of the CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2 is a replica based on CAD data, so the ergonomics and dimensions of wheel emulates the design of the wheel present in the McLaren 650S GT3 race car. This includes the overall positioning of toggles/buttons as well as the positioning of the paddle.
In terms of build quality, the McLaren GT3 V2 is distinguished from most of its rivaled counterparts in the Fanatec Ecosystem, as the body is constructed with full plastic design and grippy rubber handles. However, even with the lack of carbon fiber plating and alcantara grips, Fanatec has done a phenomenal job in making the wheel feel sturdy and durable. Unfortunately, out the box, the McLaren GT3 V2 comes with a plastic quick release adapter, which may be a slight hinderance for experiencing the full torque from your wheel base, particularly if you’re using a direct drive wheel base from Fanatec.
Another major advantage of the CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2 is that it’s compatible with all of Fanatec’s wheel bases including the current direct drive wheel bases as well as previous general CSL Elite V1 and ClubSport V2. However, if you’re planning to use this on a podium wheel base, we’d definitely recommend you purchasing the upgraded QR1 Wheel-Side adapter to experience the full force feedback and torque from your wheel base.
Currently the CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2 retails for $199.95 USD, which is an absolute steal on the market given all the features it has to offer!
Overall, the CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2 is one of the best wheels available for its given price point. It’s also a must have for McLaren fanatics!
The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R is definitely the ultimate wheel for GT racing.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup rim is a premium quality replica of the real life counterpart which is built upon original CAD data. The automotive-grade quality of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede can be felt through the brushed and anodized aluminum rim covered in genuine premium suede leather.
Fanatec has leveraged its Podium series to create the best steering wheel available for the Porsche series. Utilizing the Podium Advanced Paddle Module, Podium Button Module Endurance and Podium Hub coupled with the Podium Wheel Rim Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Suede, this wheel demands the highest of quality available.
In terms of controls, the possibilities are truly endless. The driver has access to 10 buttons, two 2-way toggle switches, a 2-axis analogue stick, 7-way FunkySwitch, and two 12-position switches which can be configured as endless rotary encoders.
The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is compatible across both PC and PlayStation. If you are driving on the Xbox console, you will need to purchase the Xbox variant which doesn’t come with the Podium paddles.
Currently, the Porsche Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede retails for $649.95 USD. It’s slightly towards the more expensive end of the spectrum. However, given it’s decked in the Podium series, it’ll have everything you ever need on a high end GT-style wheel.
Overall, the Porsche Steering Wheel 911 GT3 R Suede is an absolutely stunning wheel where the prowess of Fanatec can be felt throughout.
Remember how we mentioned that Fanatec has a wheel designed for any type of drive? Well, we weren’t lying! The ClubSport Steering Wheel Drift V2 offers a unique deep dish and round shaped style rim, which makes it perfect for drifting and rally driving.
The bundle is coupled with the ClubSport Wheel Rim Drift and the ClubSport Universal Hub V2. The rim is constructed in premium materials, where the rim is brushed, anodized and covered with a smooth finished leather. The weight of the wheel rim is 929g with a diameter of 32cm, replicating a real race car. The wheel feels sturdy, while flexible enough to do quick maneuvers for drifting and rallying.
The ClubSport Universal Hub V2 is packed with features including magnetic shifters, adjustable button boxes and a comprehensive array of buttons integrated into the hub, providing you with full control over any compatible wheel rim. The buttons and toggles include the 7-way FunkySwitch, d-pad, push-button and rotary encoder. The ClubSport Universal Hub V2 also features a three-digit LED display for Tuning Menu functions and telemetry data from compatible games or third-party software. This can be controlled via the FunkySwitch.
In terms of price, the bundle currently retails for $379.95 USD, which is a pretty great deal considering the electronics and premium build features. This is definitely the perfect wheel to hit those satisfying drifts or racing in a rally car.
The wheel is currently compatible with PC and PlayStation. If you would like to use it for the Xbox, then there is an Xbox variant that is available for purchase as well. Please refer to this link if you would like to purchase the Xbox licensed version.
Overall, the ClubSport Steering Wheel Drift V2 is a fantastic option for those who interested in rallying/drifting and is definitely viable across other racing games too.
Fanatec is a leading manufacturer in sim racing products and offers a wide variety of wheel rims for any of your racing needs. Whether you’re interested in open wheel racing, GT, drifting or rallying, there’s a wheel that will cater towards your needs. Above are the 5 Best Fanatec Wheel Rims. However, if you stumble across another wheel, let us know and we’ll try our best to give our opinions and cover it as well!
If you’re missing a wheel base for Fanatec, then we’d highly recommend you check out the Fanatec CSL DD(8Nm) or the Podium DD2! Alternatively, here is an article of our favorite wheel bases on the market currently!