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Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 Review

The Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 is a pristine direct drive peripheral that showcases the brilliance of German engineering. Every aspect of the wheel base protrudes glamor, performance and durability.

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Since the inception of Fanatec, their products have always been ahead of its competitors in terms of engineering, reliability and performance. The Fanatec Podium DD1 Wheel Base is no exception and hence why it’s one of the most trusted wheel bases used by professionals. We’ve been using this wheel base for many months now and it has easily been our preferred wheel base due to its raw performance. In this article, we will be going through many aspects as to why we believe this is one of the best wheel bases available.

Podium Wheel Base DD1

Podium Wheel Base DD1

The Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 is the pinnacle of direct drive simulation. The ultra-low torque ripple ensures minimal mechanical disruption, enabling ultra smooth and precise force feedback for the driver. The 20 Nm of torque will ensure countless hours of fun and immersive virtual racing that will replicate the feel of a real race car.

What is Direct Drive?

Before we delve into the spectacular features offered by the Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1, we should first understand the significance of direct drive technology. To put it simply, direct drive is the transmission of torque without the interference of belts or gears. This facilitates for a much more authentic drive, where the force feedback sensations are not diluted. The downside to a direct drive wheel is that they often cost many folds more than a gear or belt driven system. However, the Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 is well worth its price as the performance supersedes its cost.

Podium Wheel Base DD1 Features

From the onset, the Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 is enriched with features you’d expect in a high-end direct drive wheel base. Below is our summary and analysis of the best features about the Podium Wheel Base DD1.

Build Quality

The Podium Wheel Base DD1 delivers on all facets in terms of build quality. The wheel base weighs an impressive 7.42 kilos thanks to premium interior/exterior construction. The wheel base features an all-aluminium housing that is engineered with German precision, set to last for years. The Podium Wheel Base DD1 also uses an outrunner-type motor engineered designed for virtual racing. This means that, instead of using a random industrial motor, the custom motors are tailored to provide the best performance for sim racing. Without a doubt, the Podium Wheel Base DD1 is extremely durable and might be the last wheel base you’ll need for a very long time.

Some other features in terms of build quality and design is the integrated OLED Display. At the front of the housing sits an OLED display that provides endless opportunities for tuning your wheel base and providing real-time motor and force feedback data. This allows you to tune and monitor force feedback performance in real-time, adding to the immersion of the simulation. Another astounding feature is the included wireless quick release system. This means no external cables between wheel base and steering wheel and the hyper fast exchange between different Fanatec wheel rims.

The construction of the Podium Wheel Base DD1 is unrivaled by its competitors and is a true testament to the premium quality of Fanatec peripherals.

Podium Wheel Base DD1
Front view of the Podium Wheel Base DD1.

Performance

As mentioned previously, the Podium Wheel Base DD1 leverages direct drive technology meaning that force feedback is smooth, crisp and accurate. With 20 Nm of peak torque, the output is on par with most real race cars that use power steering. It’s incredible how precise the output of the force feedback is, especially when compared to other wheel bases from Fanatec and Logitech that utilise belt and gear driven technology. With the Podium Wheel Base DD1, you’ll feel like you’re fighting the wheel throughout the race, enhancing the overall immersion of the simulation. We run the force feedback setting on 70% in FanaLab (Fanatec’s proprietary software to tune the Podium Wheel Base DD1), as the output is incredibly powerful.

Whether you’re a drifter or a racer, the maximum rotation of the wheel base can be set to 2520 degrees. This enables the driver to dynamically choose a wheel setting that matches their driving style. For example, in F1 2021 you might choose to limit the wheel rotation to 360 degrees, while in Forza Horizon 5, you might choose to go with 900 degrees rotation.

Overall, the performance of the Podium Wheel Base DD1 is unmatched at its given price and is an amazing wheel base for a true sim racing enthusiast. If you’re looking to harness more torque from a Fanatec Wheel Base, then we’d recommend you upgrading to the Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD2 as it provides an extra 5 Nm of torque compared to the Podium Wheel Base DD1.

Compatibility

If you’re already part of the Fanatec ecosystem, then you would know how great products integrate with one another. The Podium Wheel Base DD1 features full backwards compatibility. This means that the wheel base retains compatibility with all existing Fanatec steering wheels, while also being completely interchangeable. This includes all Fanatec Podium Steering Wheels, ClubSport Steering Wheels, CSL Steering Wheels, Pedals and Shifters. Additionally, there are many sim racing cockpits in the market that have pre-drilled holes and mounts that are ready to be integrated with the Podium Wheel Base DD1.

From a platform compatibility perspective, the Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 is fully compatible with PC with all available Fanatec steering wheels. The wheel base is also compatible with Xbox One® and Xbox Series X|S when used with any Fanatec Xbox-licensed steering wheel. Unfortunately for PlayStation® console users, the wheel base is not compatible and cannot be upgraded to achieve compatibility.

If you are a PlayStation 4 or 5® console user, then we would recommend you going for the Podium Racing Wheel F1 or Gran Turismo DD Pro Wheel Base (8 Nm).

Podium Wheel Base DD1
Rear view of Podium Wheel Base DD1.

Pricing

The pricing of the Podium Wheel Base DD1 does not come cheap, considering it’s a direct drive wheel base that offers 20 Nm of peak torque. Additionally, you’ll need to purchase a compatible Fanatec Steering Wheel as well, which will add to the total cost unless you already have a compatible steering wheel. As of March 2022, the current price of the Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD1 costs $1,199.95 on Fanatec’s website. Considering the amount of power it generates, the consistent force feedback, premium construction and astounding compatibility, I would say this wheel base is well worth it for sim racing enthusiasts.

Verdict

The Podium Wheel Base DD1 features all the aspects of an ideal direct drive wheel base. The premium build quality, superior force feedback and integrated ecosystem are all the reasons that make this one of the most in-demand wheel bases on the competitive market. Obviously, the pricing isn’t for everyone. However, if you want to experience driving a real race car from the comfort of your home, then this is a valued investment to make for a sim racing enthusiast. The CSL DD (8 Nm) is an excellent alternative for those who want to experience direct drive at a lower cost while also having great force feedback performance.

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