The Fanatec Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm) has sparked much controversy in the sim racing community on whether it’s worth the money for a boost in torque for the CSL DD. In this article, we will be covering the features of the Boost Kit 180 and whether it’s worth your money.
What is the Fanatec Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm)?
First and foremost, what is the Fanatec Boost Kit 180? The Fanatec Boost Kit 180 is designed specifically for the CSL DD/Gran Turismo DD and provides more power to the direct-drive wheel base to enable the highest performance. This provides a much stronger force feedback, and as a result, the subtle cues will be felt more clearly. It’s interesting that Fanatec has sold this as a separate add-on as it almost seems mandatory in order to unleash the full potential of the CSL DD/Gran Turismo DD.
Please note, if you have the Gran Turismo DD Pro, then your unit would have already included the Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm).
Our Experience and Thoughts
From the onset, the Fanatec CSL DD operates at 5 Nm with the stock power supply. It still feels incredible for its price as it still has the characteristics of a premium direct drive wheel. The overall smoothness, fidelity and precision of the force feedback is still second to none compared to any other belt or gear driven wheel system.
The intent of the Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm) is to raise the standard peak torque from 5 Nm to 8 Nm. This inherently transforms the force feedback of the CSL DD to provide stronger and more accurate feedback due to its wider dynamic range. We’ve tested this over multiple games including F1 2021, iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione.
Our observations included, occasionally feeling emptiness and lack of weight in some corners without the Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm). We particularly noticed this in Imola and Jeddah where most of the cornering is done at high speeds. This is likely the case because the force feedback cues are missed when the car is being put through its pace when entering the corners. Once we swapped out the stock power supply, we noticed that even the most subtle details can be felt when cornering at high speeds. This theme was consistent as we tested it across several simulations.
So the bottom line is, do you need the Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm)? For us, it’s an assertive yes. In situations where you can’t rely on muscle memory, during wet conditions or when the tires are just too worn out, having the extra newton-meters will help in understanding the limit of the vehicle.
If you’ve already purchased the 5 Nm version of the Fanatec CSL DD, don’t worry as you will be able to purchase the Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm) separately. However, if you haven’t yet ordered your wheel base, then try to consider buying the 8 Nm version instead as it will greatly benefit your drive in the long run!
Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm)
The Fanatec Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm) unlocks the full potential of the Fanatec CSL DD. By raising the standard 5 Nm torque to 8 Nm, the force feedback effects are much more prominent. Definitely a recommended upgrade for any CSL DD owner.
At The Downforce, we’ve been using the Fanatec CSL DD with the Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm), and we can tell you first hand that it’s a mandatory add-on. The implications of adding the Boost Kit is definitely tangible and if you want to unleash the potential of your costly peripheral, then it’s recommended you go with the Boost Kit 180 (8 Nm). It’s a shame that Fanatec didn’t include this as part of the base package, because of just how essential it feels. Thankfully though, Fanatec has made this upgrade modular, meaning that it can be upgraded later on.
If you would like to read our full review of the Fanatec CSL DD (8 Nm), then check out this article!