“Force feedback reinvented” is the catchphrase that Fanatec uses for its Podium Wheel Base DD2. This is because of the powerful motor combined with state-of-the-art sensors that the wheel base uses to let sim racing players feel even the smallest bumps on the road. Is it too much to say that it brings esports to the next level by increasing immersion?
The Podium DD2 Wheel Base is a direct drive base that uses a powerful brushless motor and force feedback and high-quality components to deliver unbeatable performance. This piece of sim racing equipment offers one of the most impressive force feedback, realistic steering feel, and great immersion, thanks to its advanced features. Far more than another accessory for your rig, completing the kit, plus you get a fancy kill switch!
This wheel base has been used in Fanatec’s Podium Racing Wheel F1® and is therefore compatible with all major racing games, consoles, and platforms. This article will discuss the details you need to know about the Podium Wheel Base DD2, along with a comparison against the competition devices from other companies.
What can you expect after purchase, and what type of performance can you expect? Is the wheel base worth the investment? Let’s find out! Feel the sprint from 0-180 mph with direct drive and read also the other articles from our fanatec review series.
Podium Wheel Base DD2 Review – A Summary
The Podium DD2 Wheel Base is the result of years of research and development by Fanatec, one of the leading manufacturers of sim racing hardware. Thanks to its brushless motor and high-quality components, it offers a direct drive experience unrivaled in the sim racing world. Some of the leading selling points for the wheel base is its remarkable forced feedback, performance, and build quality.
After testing the wheel base through constant off-road drives and even man-handling it a bit, we found that the base did not heat up as much, nor was there any excess noise during operation. The wheel comes with a full ecosystem of accessories to complete your setup. The base is also upgradeable, so you can keep your gear up-to-date as the sim racing world evolves – or per your budget.
There is no denying that the Podium Wheel Base DD2 is a much higher-end product compared to other podium wheel bases or even competitor products. Of course, there are several others that you can go for that will be budget-friendly or feature-rich – but expecting it all from a single competitor may be a bit of a stretch.
If you are new to the racing sim world, the racing wheel base may be a bit too much to handle, though, and you may not get that premium feel as it sets the bar really, really high. You may be better off buying the Podium Wheel Base DD1. However, this does not mean that the DD2 is difficult to operate. It is fairly straightforward and has a dedicated force stop button when things get hairy.
The DD2 is fully compatible with the PC, Xbox One, and PS4/5. Now, let’s take a detailed look at the DD2 and see how it performs.
Podium Wheel Base DD2 Specifications and facts
Here is a closer look at the DD2 wheel base specifications.
|Platform||PC, Xbox One|
|Hard Mount||3-hole pattern|
5-hole pattern from bottom
|Side Mount||2-hole pattern on each side|
|USB Update Rate||1000Hz|
|Degrees Of Rotation||UnlimitedAdjustable|
|Cover Plates||Carbon Fiber|
|Display Modes||Telemetry: FFB Wheel Base Clipping|
|Tuning Menu Through Steering Wheel||Yes|
|Rev Lights||No (None on the wheelbase)|
|Cooling System||Single fan|
|Force Feedback Drive System||Direct Drive|
|Dimension (L X W X H)||20 x 10.2 x 11 inches.|
|Certification||CE, FCC, C-Tick, Rohs, and all others required by law|
The Podium Wheel Base DD2 is known for its high-end performance with decent energy usage. The power supply is 480 watts, but with its performance, you may think it consumes a lot more!
Is The Podium Wheel Base DD2 a Good Investment?
A few key things make a wheel base great for sim racing. Firstly, it needs to be powerful enough to provide strong force feedback data and feel without breaking the bank. This feedback data is important because sim racers need to feel all the bumps, curbs, and vibrations of the track to drive well.
Secondly, the wheel base needs to be realistic, so it feels like you’re driving a car. This is important because it helps you build muscle memory and improve your racecraft. This is a practice that professional racers have employed since the very beginning. Take Nikki Lauda, for instance, who used to walk around the track every morning to memorize the turns.
This helps immerse sim racers into the experience better. This immersion makes you feel like you are in the race car and therefore improves your ability actually to race in a real F1 car. Many sim racers have performed exceptionally well when seated in a race car, solely because of the muscle memory they have developed over the years and familiarity to the experiences.
Finally, a good wheel base must be compatible with all the major sim racing games, accessories, and most importantly, the platforms PS4, PS5, Xbox, and PC). If the base is backward compatible (i.e., it runs on older versions as well), it is a great added benefit. This ensures that you can always enjoy the oldies and the latest and greatest content, regardless of what platform you’re using.
The Podium DD2 Wheel Base also meets all of these criteria and has much more to offer. It is a powerful, realistic, immersive, and intuitive wheel base that offers unbeatable performance and value for money. If you are looking for the best sim racing experience, then the Podium DD2 Wheel Base is a perfect choice. Of course, you will need to consider your budget and skillset as well, and will need to take some time setting up the wheel properly.
For example, if you do not calibrate the force feedback level on the wheel base, you may get tired much more quickly or risk hurting yourself (when combined with motion simulators). The torque key will also take some getting used to in the beginning.
Fanatec has always gone above and beyond to offer better value for money to its users. The Podium DD2 Wheel Base is one of the most premium wheel bases, and the box itself tends to reflect this premium quality.
Within the box, you will find
- The Podium DD2 Wheel Base
- A killswitch that includes a remote power button – exceptionally handy for rough tracks and conditions, especially when combined with motion simulators
- A torque key
- A detailed guide on how to use the Podium DD2 Wheel Base. We highly recommend that you go through this guide carefully, since it may include instructions for safe operation and installation. Remember, any damage to the wheel base because of faulty installation may make the warranty void.
- A 480-watt power supply.
- A regional power cable. In the UK, there are usually two power cables that come along with the purchase. The power cable is fused, protecting the Podium DD2 Wheel Base from any power surges.
- A dedicated USB cable for the base.
You will see a warning sign with the package that the PODIUM DD2 WHEEL BASE IS NOT A TOY. This warning is kind of ironic, considering you are looking to buy the base for sim racing. The fast movement and feedback of the steering wheel can produce very stung torque, which in turn may be dangerous for children. You should go through the safety instructions manual within the box for more details. Avoid having children around when calibrating or testing the wheel base.
According to the manufacturer, the Podium DD2 Wheel Base is one of the most advanced direct-drive solutions out there – and they are right. The wheel base has actually been the preferred base for many premium steering wheels, such as the Cube Controles F-Pro, Podium Racing Wheel F1®, Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3, and more.
It has an outrunner-type motor that was researched and designed specifically for racing and is therefore used for private, commercial, and even professional use. This is also why it is known as the last wheel base that you would want to invest in. The design is very sturdy, offering endless rotation between data and power output while being aesthetically pleasing as well.
It has a killswitch with a remote button, also made from carbon fiber. Looking at the podium wheel base, you may think that the Podium Wheel Base DD2 seems very similar to other bases since the top and the wheel base both have a carbon fiber finish. However, when picking up or using the DD2, you will see marked differences in the bases. The most common comparison of the base is with its predecessor, the DD1.
The Podium Wheel Base DD2 has a higher torque output, including the pique and holding outputs. It offers a 25Nm output compared to the 20Nm output by the DD1. Even if you don’t use the entire torque output, having a few extra Nm to spare can make a marked difference in performance.
The 5Nm difference actually makes a huge difference when driving, especially on games like DiRT and rFactor 2. The most alluring element includes the consistent performance and noiseless operation that the Podium Wheel Base DD2 offers.
While playing, the design of the Podium Wheel Base DD2 is known to elevate experiences, offering better fidelity, stability, and a generally pleasing and crisper feel.
Along with the carbon fiber finish, the entire Podium Wheel Base DD2 housing is made from sturdy aluminum. If you would like to customize the design, you can always change the carbon fiber cover plates that come with the original design. You can even buy custom-designed plates that reflect your favorite game, or include RGB lights into the mix without having to worry about messing up the finish!
The Podium Wheel Base DD2 is known for its reliability compared to the DD1 or others in the market. Not only is the design a major element for this durability, the extended warranty period also helps you make the most out of the wheel base. If offers an extra two-year’ warranty, increasing the total warranty period to up to five years.
This is great for people who actively use the base with different wheels, as this was a very common issue with the DD1. The warrant also extends to the killswitch, even in motion simulators. Of course, the warranty may be void if you end up using the wheel base other than its intended use, or the damage could have been avoided. The sturdy build and carbon fiber body usually end up saving the wheel base from most damage in case the wheel base does fall on the ground.
One of the most important changes that the Podium Wheel Base DD2 brought against its predecessor is the killswitch – something that looks like a nuclear launch pad, for all intents and purposes. The button is very satisfying to click, and can even bear punches from you in an emergency.
For the DD1, you would have to buy the killswitch separately, but it comes pre-configured for the DD2. The killswitch may not seem necessary if you have a static rig, but it is a very handy tool for motion simulators – especially if you are making one on your own. Of course, you need to make sure that the switch stays away from your children’s hands. You wouldn’t want your wheel to turn off in the middle of the race, right?
During testing, we also tried shutting the wheel off with the switch mid-game. The wheel base is very intuitive and pauses the game if, for any reason, you hit the killswitch. You shouldn’t use the switch as a pausing mechanism, though, as restarting it may take a while.
Easy Set Up
According to the manufacturer, the Podium Wheel Base DD2 offers direct drive without the hassle. This means that all you have to do is connect the wheel base, attach your steering wheel, and start driving! You don’t have to spend hours calibrating your wheel. Of course, you will have to install the device and tune it a bit the first time you are using it, but after that, it is quite literally just plug and play electronics.
On Windows 10 and 11, there is a very good chance that the wheel base will install itself automatically when you connect the USB drive. However, while your wheel base and steering wheel will be ready for operation as soon as you install them, you will still need to calibrate them a bit (especially if you are looking for something particular). For that, you will need to install the Fanatec Wheel Driver. Under the Downloads tab, you can find the DD2 driver and the calibrator.
You will need to have the wheel base attached when installing the driver, mind you. We tried running the base after the automatic installation on iRacing and found that the handling was slightly off for our tastes. You may experience some over or understeer, especially if you are using third-party pedals.
After the downloaded driver has been installed, you will find a shortcut on the desktop that you can use to start calibrating your wheel base. Once opened, you will see something like this.
You can check for updates on the firmware if needed. This software will allow you to create up to five different settings apart from what you store in the steering wheel. You can change the steering angle, forced feedback strength, damper effects, vibration indicators, and more as per your preference.
For PlayStation and Xbox, on the other hand, you will need to calibrate your steering wheel and wheel base in-game. As mentioned previously, the wheel base is quite intuitive and can easily recognize the game, helping you set up the drive quite effectively.
There are a number of features that you can enjoy with the Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD2, which make it the premium choice for sim racers across the globe.
The most prominent one includes the servo motors within the base. These motors are designed specifically for the purpose of sim racing with the F1 guidelines in mind. As the first direct-drive motor, the wheel base is designed specifically for the top racing simulator applications, complemented by its outrunner type motors. As a result, the wheel base is able to offer up to 25Nm of torque, which matches the output that most real-life F1 and GT cars have to offer (with a power steering)! Latency time you want even realise!
Whether you choose heavy or lightweight steering wheels, you can expect similar results each time, with the motor acceleration staying the same. One major advantage of this is that you don’t just have to limit yourself to racing sims with this wheel base. In fact, we tried it with the truck simulator and farming simulator (with dedicated settings, of course), and found that the base was able to handle them just fine, as well!
Of course, it would get a bit hot after extended usage on the farming simulator, especially if you are driving over the speed capacity of your tractor or on rocky soil, but the results were nothing short of remarkable!
There is an ultra-low torque option to help you reduce mechanical distractions that come with certain settings, games, or conditions. With this setting, you can also have your children or significant other enjoy the experience without them having to strength-train first. Of course, you need to be very careful about who you give the wheel to, as it could lead to injuries. For best results, you should disable the motion feedback of your racing sim before you let inexperienced drivers have a go.
The wheel offers a 2520-degree rotation, similar to most cars out there. You can adjust this rotation and limit it further to reflect different cars, hence changing the sensitivity of the steering as well. You have a 256 x 64 2.78-inch OLED display on the wheel base itself, which gives you regular warnings and displays different settings while working. This OLED display for real black, along with the USB processing light at the back adds further beauty to the beast that this wheel is.
The Podium Wheel Base DD2 is more than just any ordinary wheel base. it has a much higher range of advanced settings that you can play around with, hence giving sim racers more freedom for use. The advanced tuning menu that comes with the downloadable driver allows you to fine-tune each and every element in the menu. This also includes the feedback characteristics, clutch performance, brake bite point, accelerator sensitivity, turn sensitivity, over and under steer assist, and more.
You will also find that the steering actually responds much better to over and under steer on the base than on any other alternative. This is thanks to the extensive research that went into manufacturing this base. According to Fanatec, all upcoming peripherals will be fully supported with the wheel base, without you having to make any further purchases or modifications.
As more peripherals come in, these advanced settings will also become a lot more thorough, hence giving you more control over the functions of the base. Some peripherals that you can buy (at the time of writing) with the Podium Wheel Base DD2 include, but aren’t limited to;
- Fanatec Podium Steering Wheels (all steering wheels, including the old and the new)
- ClubSport Steering Wheels (all steering wheels, including the old and the new)
- CSL Steering Wheels (all steering wheels, including the old and the new)
- Fanatec Pedals and Shifters
- RennSport Cockpit (may not be available in the market now)
- Clubsport Table Clamps, and more.
These are just guidelines for the type of accessories you can use with the Podium Wheel Base DD2. Of course, with a few modifications, you can use any peripheral along with the base.
Pros & Cons of Buying The Podium Wheel Base DD2
Now that we have considered the technical and aesthetic elements of the Podium Wheel Base DD2, let us look closely at the pros and cons that you will have to experience with the purchase.
|Complete customizability||Premium price|
|Dedicated servo motor designs||You may not experience the full torque|
|25Nm torque capacity||Compared to the DD1; since the full torque will not be experienced, the difference may not be as evident right off the bat|
|Complete direct drive capabilities||Almost the same as DD1, except for the torque, forced feedback, and killswitch.|
|5-year complete warranty|
|Dedicated killswitch, shut off options|
|Quick-release system included with purchase|
|Aesthetically appealing design|
Is The Podium Wheel Base DD2 Really Worth It?
Now that you know what you will be getting for your investment and the pros and cons associated with Podium Wheel Base DD2, one question remains. Is it really a worthy investment? Unfortunately, the wheel base is very similar to the DD1, except for its torque capacity, forced feedback, and better compatibility. Despite these improvements, you may not find much of a difference between the DD1 and DD2.
However, that does not mean that the DD2 is not a worthy investment. The most important consideration to make is whether or not the DD1 wheel base remains “relevant” for much longer. With the pace at which sim racing is evolving and how new consoles and systems are being developed, DD2 is more likely to remain compatible over the long run, and therefore offer a better bang for your buck.
The extended warranty of the Podium Wheel Base DD2 also means that you will be able to maintain your purchase in pique conditions for much longer. The similarities between the two wheel bases do NOT make the DD2 irrelevant. Instead, the future-proof design and capabilities are expected to be an investment for the future.
Another element that adds more value to the DD2 is the peripheral compatibility. The better feedback and torque capacity make the Podium Wheel Base DD2 more versatile, and therefore opens new room for peripheral design. This means that as time passes, there may be some releases, especially premium ones, that you may not be able to use with the DD2. Coupled with the right software and settings, there is no other competitor that comes close to the DD1 and DD2, with DD2 reigning supreme in the market, as at the time of writing!
Questions and answers
- How does the Podium Wheel Base DD2 work?
The Podium Wheel Base DD2 is a high-performance direct drive wheel base that delivers unrivaled levels of realism, immersion, and performance. At the heart of the Podium Wheel Base DD2 is a powerful direct drive motor that is capable of delivering up to 10Nm of torque. This allows the Podium Wheel Base DD2 to simulate the forces that are exerted on a steering wheel during real-world driving conditions.
- How is the Podium Wheel Base DD2 powered?
The Podium Wheel Base DD2 is powered by an internal power supply that converts AC power to DC power. The power supply is located in the rear of the unit and is connected to the AC power input. The power supply has an input voltage range of 100-240V AC and an output voltage of 12V DC. The power supply is protected by a fuse and has an LED indicator that shows when the power is on.
- How does the Podium Wheel Base DD2 steer?
The Podium Wheel Base DD2 uses a direct drive, belt-driven force feedback system to provide steering input to the game. This system provides a high level of realism and immersion, as well as a wide range of adjustability to suit different driving styles. The direct drive system delivers forces directly to the steering wheel, rather than through a series of gears and pulleys.
- Who makes Podium Wheel Base DD2?
Podium Wheel Base DD2 is made by Fanatec, a German company that specializes in manufacturing high-end sim racing hardware. The DD2 is their top-of-the-line direct drive wheel base, and it is widely considered to be one of the best on the market. It is used by many professional sim racers and is also popular among enthusiast-level sim racers.
- Is Fanatec better than Logitech
That is a good question. You might also check our Logitech reviews and in the best case, try different brands to see what brand convinces you the most!