Fanatec Will Sell You Its First Direct Drive Wheel Base For 1€ (But There’s a Catch)

Hardware 1673 July 13, 2018 by

They say good things come to those who wait. Sim racers have been a patient bunch since Fanatec first showed off its direct drive wheel at last year’s Sim Racing Expo. Earlier today, the company shared plenty more details on the lineup, including price tags.

As you’ve no doubt guessed based on the title, it’s not as simple as sending one Euro Fanatec’s way. But, with a bit of luck, you could find yourself saving a lot of money over the base’s eventual MSRP.

First, the release date: the Podium series will reach players in December of this year. We say series because there won’t just be one wheel base option, either. There’s the DD1 — the “entry level” model, if you will — which features PS4 and PC compatibility. Stepping up to the DD2 (XB1/PC) brings an even more powerful motor. Fanatec has went the custom route for both Podium motors, using an outrunner-type unit capable of up to 24Nm of torque in the DD2.

With such a powerful motor, the Podium Series base has unlimited rotation. Fanatec therefore utilizes wireless tech for the wheel inputs as well as the OLED display.

Pre-orders are already live on the official website:

Thomas Jackermeier and his team at Fanatec are making things interesting for the DD1, however. Instead of a set price like the DD2 (which will retail for $1500 USD/Euro), the DD1 will go up for weekly auction, starting July 30.

There will be no limit to how many times a hopeful owner can bid. When the auction goes live, Fanatec will attach a countdown timer to it. Every time someone bids, the clock will reset to a minute. Whomever’s last bid when the counter hits zero will lock in their Podium pre-order at that price.

If Lady Luck is on your side, you could walk away with a serious piece of kit for far less than its eventual (not-yet-released) price tag.

Of particular interest is the Podium Racing Wheel. This PS4-compatible bundle will feature an F1-style wheel as well as the new direct drive base. Fanatec is wasting no time taking advantage of its position as the official sim racing software partner for Formula 1. We wonder if we’ll see the Podium equipment at the upcoming F1 Esports Pro Series

For those looking to upgrade from existing hardware, the Podium Series will be backwards compatible with the rest of the existing Fanatec ecosystem. Console players take note: wheel bases determine PS4 compatibility, while the attached wheels determine it for Xbox.

Jackermeier revealed plenty more on the Podium Series during the live stream earlier today, which you can catch up on here. One stand-out feature was the optional five year warranty; it’s a definite sign of Fanatec’s confidence in the product. Stay tuned for a follow-up article with a more detailed breakdown of the Podium Series.

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