The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is a premium steering wheel with a wide range of usability and authenticity benefits. However, the most important aspect of the steering wheel is the performance and suede feel that the steering offers with its near-authentic design and the true feedback of the track. The Porsche 911 GT3 R is a race car that was introduced in 2016. It is based on the 911 GT3 RS road car and is powered by a 4.0-litre flat-six engine. The GT3 R has a wider track than the GT3 RS and is fitted with a larger rear wing and front.
Sim racing steering wheels are a piece of essential equipment for any sim racer. They provide the necessary force feedback and input to feel every nuance of the race track and your car. There are many manufacturers of sim racing steering wheels, each with unique features and designs.
Fanatec’s Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is one of the market’s most popular sim racing steering wheels because of its “cost-effectively premium” design and feel. It is renowned for its build quality, materials, and force feedback system. The Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede has compatibility with the PC. Of course, for Mac, Linux, and the Xbox, you will need compatibility software and some external hardware in case of the latter. Firmware updates will typically be announced by Fanatec.
The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is an excellent choice if you are looking for a top-of-the-line sim racing steering wheel. This article will examine this steering wheel closely to give you a better idea of what you can expect from it.
Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede – Review Summary
Fanatec offers some of the most premium steering wheels in the market, with some offering high power, others focusing on a better feel, improved feedback, reliability, or more. The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede delivers on the Fanatec promise of high quality and premium sim-racing experience without breaking your bank. It is one of the most cost-effective options, especially compared to the F1® and the BMW M4 GT3 steering wheel.
Of course, the cost-effectiveness comes with a few downsides as well. Nevertheless, it is a top-of-the-line sim racing steering wheel that sim racers worldwide have revered because of its high-quality materials, powerful force feedback system, and its native compatibility with the PC.
It is also compatible with all major sim racing titles and platforms. Take Forza, for instance. Though it is an Xbox title, you are sure to get the high-performance you have always wanted through the steering wheel, even when playing on the PC. The same goes for rFactor, Assetto Corsa, DiRT, and more.
The steering wheel offers a similar experience to what you can expect from a real car, but the feedback you get will ultimately depend on the wheelbase you purchase – which you will have to purchase separately. You don’t have to go for the premium bases, such as the Podium DD2 to truly enjoy the steering wheel, either. You will find that the steering wheel performs exceptionally well with other, more cost-effective bases, too. Within $1,000, you can get a decent setup for the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede and take your sim racing ventures to another level!
From the unboxing all the way to finishing races, the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede offers an alluring experience and performance – not just for you but for spectators as well, especially for GT racing. After all, the wheel was made specifically for GT racing, with these components for a modular steering wheel, just as you would find on a Porsche 991 GT3 R wheel. It is a full-size replica, giving you a feel of the real thing in every way.
The manufacturer suggests that the steering is “born to win,” and we are inclined to agree.
Detailed Review of the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede
The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is a result of Fanatec’s partnership with Porsche, which resulted in two distinct steering wheels (at the same cost); the leather and suede option. Both have their pros and cons, but only in terms of the feel. Both offer the same level of feedback and control in terms of performance.
The wheel is registered by Porsche and therefore represents its premium drive and performance in every aspect, even with cost-effective wheelbases. Let’s take a closer look at the wheel and discuss the different features that the wheel has to offer.
Fanatec has a wide range of Porsche steering wheels, ranging from $150 to $650. The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is the top-of-the-line steering wheel from the Porsche series and is compatible with a wide range of wheelbases, pedals, buttons, and more.
When you order the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede, you will find that the box comes inside another cardboard one for safe shipping. Open it up, and you will get the all-black steering wheel box with its outline on the outside, coupled with gold traces. Of course, first you will get the mandatory Fanatec sticker set, in case you don’t have any yet – what is rather unusual!
You will get the rim and the button module, which you will have to combine after opening the boxes. The suede wheel rim has a 32 cm (12.6 inches) diameter with a metal Porsche badge in the center. The log is 3D and has a very satisfying feel to it. And, of course, the suede finish is unique in its way, offering a unique feel to the wheel.
The pedal module that comes with the purchase is the same as what you can expect from the Formula 1® rim, with its carbon fiber finish and a truly “sensational” feel. You will need to combine all this to make the Fanatec Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede.
Opening the boxes up may not give you the “premium” feel as the BMW GT3 or the F1® Racing Wheel, though, as the box does not contain any specific housing for the rim or modules. Instead, the rim is in a polystyrene wrapper. However, once you pull the rim out, you will feel the heft and impeccable suede finish right off the bat!
The same is true for the podium hub.
The Button module, on the other hand, has a very satisfying box and feel that you can connect to the hub and the rim using the tools that come with the purchase. Before putting on the rim or the button module, don’t forget to attach the pedals!
Ideally, it should take 10-15 minutes to set the wheel up, but we took our time with it, enjoying the feel and the general experience of putting the entire thing together. You can set it all up with the help of the instructions manual that comes with the purchase, but the process is quite straightforward, nonetheless.
The Build Quality
There is no denying that the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is built with high-quality materials. From the backplate to the buttons. The steering wheel is made of genuine suede leather, which gives it a luxurious feel. The aluminium wheel rim spokes and gold anodized black finish give the steering wheel a premium look and feel. The rim, buttons, and carbon-fiber pedals all give off that “new car feel” immediately. Yes, you can have that feel in a sim racing car as well 🙂
The build quality of the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is second to none. The materials used are of the highest quality, and the craftsmanship is impeccable. Suede is a type of leather that has been given a napped finish. It is made from the inner split of the hide, which is why it is more delicate and more premium than other types of leather. Suede is often used in high-end products, such as the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede.
After combining the wheel rim, button module, advanced paddle module, and podium hub, you get a feature-rich steering wheel of the highest quality, which can take on quite a bit before making any sound or introducing resistance. Even after rough use, off-track driving, and even spilling a few things on the wheel, we found that the buttons were just as responsive, and so was the wheel itself. Fanatec button caps are made of high quality materials as usual.
Of course, you need to make sure that you clean out everything immediately and thoroughly as the unit is not waterproof.
As you’d expect, the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is made to replicate the original wheel in the GT, an award-winning racecar. According to the manufacturer, original CAD data was used to build the wheel, which shows clearly in the final build. Furthermore, it suggests that they built the wheel with automotive-grade materials, on top of the brushed and anodized aluminum for the rim, carbon fiber for the pedals, and genuine, premium suede leather to ensure that the wheel is long-lasting and can take a few punches.
The OLED display offers detailed insights about your vehicle, including tire pressure, temperature, fuel capacity, RPM, laps, position, and more. Still, you can easily tweak the OLED to displace whatever you like. This display, along with the rev lights, gives the wheel a much more professional outlook than its predecessors, as the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede was one of the first Fanatec’s steering wheels to introduce this function.
There is no flex in the wheel itself or its body, making it rather rigid and sturdy. This shows just how strong the wheel is and how it can take a beating. We did experience some flex when testing the wheel out, but after a closer inspection, we found that it was because of the DD1’s quick release, not the wheel itself.
The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede provides a realistic and lifelike driving experience. The force feedback system is incredibly realistic and provides a lifelike driving experience. You can feel every bump, turn, and change in track conditions. The steering wheel boasted extensive functionality (rightfully) for its time, including the OLED display, intelligent telemetry mode (ITM), RGB rev lights, multiple input modes, and multiple outputs. All of this was situated across the steering wheel so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road while driving.
The 12-way switches do require that you take one hand off the wheel, though, but that is rightfully so as they are designed to be primarily used off-track. However, you can tune the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede switches to your liking with the help of the dedicated software for the wheel (FanaLab). These switches are bi-directional, so you can use them to adjust anything you’d like, be it your fuel mode, tire selection, brake bias, or more (especially in V8 supercars).
Powering its force feedback system is a powerful motor capable of producing up to 8Nm of torque, one of the strongest force feedback systems on the market at its release. The force feedback system in the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is incredibly realistic and provides a lifelike driving experience. You can feel every bump, turn, and change in track conditions.
In terms of performance, the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is a top-performing sim racing steering wheel. It is compatible with all major sim racing titles, offering complete integration with the games and therefore providing a much better feel of the road and the car.
The wheel is also backward compatible, offering a much better experience across the board for older games. We tried the Need For Speed II SE with the steering wheel on PC. While it didn’t offer that great a feeling of the road (because of obvious reasons, such as lack of dedicated feedback programming), the nostalgia coupled with a completely new feeling was nothing short of exceptional.
There are four shifters (two magnetic and two analogs) on the backside of the wheel, which are also customizable on the PC. You can use these podium shifters to change gears, while the analog axis shifters can be dedicated to the dual-state clutch, brake/e-brake, throttle/brake, or more.
For the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede, we could also pull great lap times with these shifters without the pedal system. The magnetic shifters can be used for DRS, communication, or more unless you intend to use them as gear shifts.
The screws on the rim may loosen up after some rough use, though, which is something that we found quite distracting after 20 or so hours of use. Of course, this is more of an issue for off-track racing, such as in the DiRT series or when playing demolition derbies, but it doesn’t often happen for on-track racing. The difference in driving with these loose screws is not that evident and only becomes problematic when you are trying to pull the steering wheel off.
If you find that your base’s quick release is acting up, it might be time to check the tightness level of these screws. We have seen some users put a little dab of glue or sealant on these screws, but this is NOT recommended as it may damage the screws when you try to reopen them for any reason. Tightening the screws is not that hard, and as mentioned above, the difference is only clear when you try to pull the steering off your wheelbase.
Overall, the build quality, features, and functionality of the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede were phenomenal, introducing a new age of sim racing into the world. You can think of it as the founding father of Fanatec’s latest and most premium wheels out there, creating a base of new expectations from the manufacturers.
Here is an overview of the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede boasts features.
|Wheel Build||Aluminum wheel rim 32cm diameterDetailed 3D badge (metal)Suede leather|
|Button Module||Carbon fiber front plate Carbon fiber reinforcements Improved focus on stability complete scale replica.|
|Buttons/Switches||Ten buttons2 bi-directional toggle switches2 endless rotation 12-way Switches 1 FunkySwitch1 analog joystick (bi-axis)|
|Lights||9 RGB RevLEDsTwo LED groups for Flags Customizable LED behavior|
|Display||Integrated 2.7” OLED display256 x 64 resolutionTuning function displayComplete ITMClutch bite indicator|
|Button Extras||Removable button capsType-C connectorCustomizable button labels|
|Dual Analog Paddle Modes||Advanced clutch bite-point Brake/throttle Clutch/handbrake Clutch bite-point Mappable analog axis|
|Quick Release||ClubSport, Exchangeable|
|Weight||2.193 kg (4.83 lb)|
Pros & Cons of Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede
The luxury steering wheel, like any other, also has a set of pros and cons to consider. You must understand these features before you decide on what to buy. Before we get into the specifics of the pros and cons of different steering wheels, it is important to understand how the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede compares to its leather counterpart.
Suede Vs. Leather
When choosing between leather and suede, there are many factors to consider. However, the most important is your preference and whether you want durability or comfort. Leather is more durable but is not as comfortable or “premium” as suede, no matter how rich it is.
If you’re looking for a steering wheel that will last for years (even though it may take some time to get used to), you should go for the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Leather. Leather steering wheels may slip if your hand is too dry, so you may have to hold on to the steering wheel more tightly.
However, while suede is very comfortable, it is not necessarily the most durable substance as it is prone to staining.
Ultimately, choosing which material is better depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a durable and rough-use steering wheel that is easy to clean, then the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Leather is a great choice. But if you’re looking for a soft and comfortable steering wheel suitable for endurance racing, longer tracks, and shorter ones, then the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede may be a better option. Consider your play style and preferences carefully before making your purchase.
Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede Pros & Cons
Now, let’s consider the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede and its pros and cons against other competitors in the market – be it Fanatec’s products, ClubSport, or more.
|Material||Made from high-quality materials, it offers a smooth suede finish topped with the gold anodized aluminum monocoque carbon fiber shifters and a detailed 3D Porsche badge at the center.||There are more premium wheels out there as well now.|
|Price of the sim racing wheel||Medium-range with high-end performance.||Some options cost less but may not deliver as much quality and features as the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede.|
|Modes (Shifters)||Advanced clutch bite point Clutch/handbrake Brake/throttle Mappable axis mode.||Later wheels offer similar options as well but are usually costlier.|
|Value||It offers exceptional value for money, especially now as it competes with some of the most costly and premium competitors.||Does not come with a wheelbase. Requires separate purchase.|
|Feel||Exception feels because of the suede finish and the highly detailed modeling of the original GT racing wheel.|
|Performance||Amazing performance with an intuitive and easy-to-use design.||PlayStation users may not be able to experience the full functionality like PC users.|
|Innovation||It was one of the first steering wheels to introduce several premium features into the market, reshaping the entire sim racing model.|
|Compatibility||Compatible with older games as well as almost every racing sim.||Incompatible with Xbox One|
Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede – Revolutionizing Sim Racing
The Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede was built to revolutionize the world of sim racing, as it brought with it a unique perspective of GT racing and the potential that integrations into the wheel can bring forth. It wasn’t, by any means, that first racecar-themed steering wheel, but the introduction of ITM, OLED screen, an all-new forced feedback system, and more made it the pinnacle of racing.
Of course, the price range at the time was also high, but that was the price of admission into the new premium age. The pioneering steering wheel has become the budget-friendly jump into the world of premium wheels. If you’re a sim racing fan, then you know that the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is one of the most popular wheels on the market.
From the impressive design to its features, specifications, and the replication of the real thing, all this is now a sim racer’s best dream. This wheel was designed to replicate the steering wheel of a real Porsche 911 GT3 R race car. And it does an outstanding job at doing so. Every detail of the wheel has been meticulously replicated, from the stitching on the suede to the shape of the spokes. It’s a stunning piece of equipment.
But it’s not just the looks that make this wheel so great. It’s also the performance. The Sim Racing Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede is built for sim racing. It features a powerful direct drive force feedback motor that provides realistic and immersive feedback. Additionally, the wheel includes a high-end optical encoder that ensures precise and accurate steering input. The paddles on the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede are the best I’ve ever used. They’re so precise and easy to use that I can’t imagine using any other steering wheel.
In other words, this wheel is designed to give you the best possible sim racing experience. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line sim racing wheel, look no further than the Podium Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 R Suede. It’s simply the best wheel for sim racing.
Did you enjoy this review? Check out our review about the Podium Button Module!