In march next year Gran Turismo 7 will finally release for the PlayStation 5 and Fanatec has made an official GT-wheel pack that outclasses everything that Thrustmaster and Logitech offers.
For ten years, Thrustmaster has acted as an official partner of Sony and Polyphony Digital and with the T-series in particular, has released a number of Gran Turismo steering wheels with associated pedals for anyone who wanted to buy gadgets calibrated and optimised for Kazunori Yamauchi's hyper-popular racing series. Now, however, we are facing a shift, where Fanatec takes over and from now on stands as the official partner in the manufacturing of Gran Turismo steering wheels plus pedals, and this comes of course more than timely as the long-awaited Gran Turismo 7 is released in early March, next year.
Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro is basically the same product as CSL DD, Fanatec's affordable direct-drive wheel base, which we awarded with our highest grade earlier this year. What Fanatec has done here is to bundle the wheel base with the new CSL pedals and Polyphony Digital-designed wheel specific to Gran Turismo Sport and Gran Turismo 7, and the result is a package that for £699 is impossible not to recommend.
CSL DD, the wheel base itself, is a direct drive wheel base where the steering rod is part of the servomotor itself which is cooled via a passive system which makes it almost completely silent and also never especially hot, as many belt-driven steering wheels tend to get. The Gran Turismo DD Pro runs at 5 Nm peak torque out of the box and for those who want more, there is, just as in the case of the CSL DD, a "Boost kit" that gives the wheel base more power, and thus unlocks the 8 Nm mode. For me, who uses Fanatec's direct drive flagship DD2 with 25 Nm of torque, this Boost Kit is an absolute must.
As mentioned, the wheel is designed by the Gran Turismo studio and is similar to the one on the Thrustmaster T-GT and contains eleven buttons to be able to navigate the PlayStation 4/5 menus and all menus in Gran Turismo Sport and upcoming Gran Turismo 7. The wheel is a bit small, at 28 centimetres in width. I always prefer steering wheels that measure 32-33 centimetres as long as they are not pure Formula 1 replicas and unlike the aluminium wheel base (CSL DD) and the metal pedals (CSL Pedals) it seems a bit like the Gran Turismo wheel does not really feel at home here. For natural reasons, it does not share the same design language as Fanatec's other products. It feels tiny and more like a toy than the wheel base, the pedals, or Fanatecs regular wheels like the Porsche GT3 or the BMW GT-wheel.
When it comes to CSL pedals, it is without a doubt the most affordable and best-quality pedals you can find in the budget category, regardless of brand, type or manufacturer. These pedals cost less than £100 (if you buy them outside of this GT-package) and perform better than anything called Thrustmaster and Logitech. However, the same applies here as in the case of the wheel base, where I absolutely advise you to spend £120 extra on the Load Cell upgrade, which transforms the CSL Pedals brake from a rather mediocre story to something that can compete with pedals up to five times the overall price. The accelerator pedal is great out of the box but the brake really needs the Load Cell upgrade and when it comes to that extra pedal, I really have nothing to complain about. It's super stiff, just like in a real racing car, it can take 60 kilos of pressure and outclasses the brake pedal that comes with Thrustmaster T-GT II. It's not even close. Different worlds.
One of the obvious advantages of buying a wheelbase, steering wheel plus pedals in a package of this type that has been calibrated specifically for a certain game, is that it fits really, really well directly out of the box, with the intended game. Jumping into Gran Turismo Sport (on PlayStation 5, in my case), plugging this stuff in and going out on track right away, is as easy as it sounds and it feels great. Just great. Direct drive technology means that the steering wheel responds faster, you can always correct and counter-steer skids and loss of traction way better and faster with this wheel than an regular belt-driven wheel, and it's just the next level in terms of performance and feel. For £699, there is nothing on the market that can compete with the Fanatec Gran Turismo DD Pro-package. Nothing.
9 / 10
Superb wheelbase with lots of power, ton of detail and control, great build quality, sturdy and durable, very good pedals, brilliant software, magnificent compatibility with all simracing titles
The Gran Turismo-wheel itself is a bit too small, shifter paddles are a bit too plasticy