Gran Turismo 7 is set to be the biggest racing game of 2022, and as usual with a big release players everywhere are wondering if this is finally the time to move from a controller to a wheel.
Well, Fanatec has made that choice even more important with the new GT DD Pro. This new wheel is the official direct drive wheel for Gran Turismo and comes with a wheel rim that is designed by Polyphony.
There are plenty of other Gran Turismo wheels out there, including a brand new one from Thrustmaster. So what does the GT DD Pro have going for it? And should you buy it? We purchased the GT DD Pro bundle with our own money. Here's our review!
What is the Fanatec GT DD Pro?
The Fanatec GT DD Pro is a direct drive wheelbase and Gran Turismo style wheel rim that also comes with Fanatec's two-pedal CSL set and a table clamp for the wheel all in one box.
The GT DD Pro wheelbase is effectively a PlayStation-compatible version of the CSL DD that Fanatec unveiled earlier this year. It delivers up to 5Nm of torque through its direct drive system, and can be boosted to 8Nm with an additional Boost Kit. It is also PC compatible and if you use a separate wheel rim then can work with Xbox too.
That makes this wheel perfect for those that want to race across multiple platforms, which is becoming more and more common for players.
The wheel rim is 11" with five directional joysticks. One is for menu navigation and the other four for in-race selection and switches. It of course comes with the usual four-button PlayStation controls, gear shift paddles, a small on-wheel display, and a three-LED rev counter.
The CSL pedals are strong, sturdy, and, reliable steel construction while the table clamp is a two-piece system that means you don't need a fancy rig to go racing.
Smooth and forceful
The benefits of direct drive are immediate if you are coming from a belt, gear, or hybrid wheel like the Logitech G29/290 or G923.
The smooth rotation, immediate sensation, and weight of the feedback are all instantly noticeable if you are making the move over from a different wheel (in our case the Thrustmaster TMX). The GT DD Pro base is a hefty block of technology that provides dynamic force feedback to drivers.
The car feels more alive in your hands, but also more controllable. You can sense the loss of grip much more thanks to the direct drive, and as a result put the car on the edge much more. It's a delight to drive.
The same goes for the pedals at your feet. While there is no load cell as standard with the CSL pedals they have a great weight and feel to them, allowing for more precision.
Beauty and the beast
Some racing wheels are more about function than form. The GT DD Pro is a beautiful box of power and performance.
This is a common theme with the Fanatec family of wheel rims, bases, and pedals. The black bars are used to mount the wheel be it from below or on the sides, and that integration creates a base that pairs form and function perfectly.
The GT rim is not a bad-looking thing at first glance. But this is where the GT DD Pro starts to fall down. Upon closer inspection the build quality of the rim does not hold up compared to the base.
The wheel is plastic, which is fine but it's an immediate contrast with the heavy metal of the base. The black leather wrapping is what you would expect from wheels that cost much less. That's not to say it's bad. But holding and turning it feels like my Thrustmaster TMX. The button quality is lesser, with each press not really feeling like an impactful move to make a change to your car at 200mph.
Likewise the gear paddles are plastic and small. They don't give much of a satisfying click when you change gear. Overall it feels of lesser quality than you would expect from Fanatec and for the price. Speaking of which...
The price for the basic GT DD Pro is €699.95. That's the wheel base, GT rim, pedals and table clamp.
That goes up to €849.90 with the Boost Kit, or €969.95 with the Boost Kit and a Load Cell pedal to add to the CSL pedals. However, those bundles aren't available until 14 March 2022.
The express version is €849.95, and that's what we got. Of course, that isn't the only cost. If you are shipping to the UK expect to pay around 20% of your final cost in import duty.
For the price, the GT DD Pro is a mixed bag. The direct drive base, with its versatility, compact nature and sheer level of performance is outstanding, but the rim lets it down.
We added the Clubsport Formula V2.5 X wheel to our order for F1 2021 racing and the difference in build quality and thus enjoyment is remarkable. But adding a extra rim of course comes with extra cost.
You won't find a better wheel at this price point on the market.
Fanatec's venture into more affordable direct drive wheels is a huge success, and while the GT DD Pro has its drawback on the wheel rim, it opens you up to the entire family of Fanatec products. Meaning you can grab that Clubsport Formula wheel or the CSL BMW one.
The table clamp is easy to install and remove, making it viable for desk racing and the bundle comes with T-nuts to mount to a rig too.
The GT DD Pro is an epic piece of sim racing technology. One that has already changed the way I race and will push you to be better behind the wheel.
While the price is a big step up from more entry-level offerings, this is the perfect piece of kit for Gran Turismo 7 and beyond. We played F1 2021, Assetto Corsa Competizione, and WRC 10 as well as Gran Turismo Sport with this wheel and it deals with everything smoothly and silently.
RacingGames Rating: 9/10