Fanatec Mclaren GT3
I recently - finally - made the switch from a G29 with various Logitech G29 mods To the Fanatec eco-system. After a few weeks the Fanatec CSL Elite Mclaren GT3 V2 having put it through its paces, it's time to share my experiences. Is this wheel as good as all the reviews say? In this article you can read all about this 'entry-level' model from Fanatec and also why this is an absolute must-have! Curious? Then read on quickly!
Fanatec CSL Elite Mclaren GT3
The original Mclaren GT3 steering wheel was one of Fanatec's most popular. The wheel is an exact replica of the Mclaren 650s GT3. Lightweight, ergonomic and feature-rich, the wheel had everything you needed on a racing wheel. And all at a very affordable and competitive price. The second version of the popular steering wheel offers the necessary upgrades and adjustments what the Fanatec CSL Elite Mclaren GT3 even better.
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Quality and material
Admittedly, I was a bit sceptical about the quality and price at first. After all, can a ?200 steering wheel really be that good? Wouldn't I have been better off saving up and going for the higher-quality and more advanced Fanatec Steering Wheel Formula to go? And in what areas has Fanatec made concessions to keep the price down?
The handlebar is made entirely of plastic with a carbon print on top. You might expect the steering wheel to feel a bit cheap because of this, but nothing could be further from the truth. A steering wheel made of plastic is of course to cut costs in production. However, this concession does nothing to diminish the build quality and look-and-feel.
Despite the handlebars being quite substantial in size, the overall fit and finish is very good. The grips are rubber, which feels nice and offers sufficient grip. Another added advantage - compared to alcantara leather - of these is that they last longer. With intensive use of alcantara leather handles, partly due to sweaty hands, you notice that the material wears out faster.
More than enough buttons
What immediately stands out about the Fanatec CSL Elite Mclaren GT3 V2 is the huge amount of buttons and rotary encoders. These allow you to control up to 54 functions! This offers more than enough possibilities to change all kinds of settings from your wheel. From your thumb and hands, you can easily control all the buttons. After a few weeks of intensive use, I soon came to the conclusion that this made my self-made button box somewhat redundant.
In the centre of the steering wheel you will find an OLED display - small or otherwise - on which you can see the usual information such as speed and gears. This display is also handy for quickly changing various Fanatec profiles and settings. Think Force Feedback and sensitivity.
Magnetic shifters and dual-clutch system
What immediately stands out about the handlebars are the reinforced and anodised orange aluminium magnetic shifters. This is one of the improvements over the V1. Because the shifting system is now one piece, it is possible to shift with one hand.
The analogue paddles (dual-clutch) have also been revised. These now consist of a highly visible honeycomb structure which adds to their sturdiness. In terms of finish, I personally think this looks a bit cheap and would have preferred a carbon look here as well.
When buying my new Heusinkveld Sprint pedals, I initially considered adding a clutch pedal as well. The reason why I considered this was purely out of habituation to my previous handlebar and pedal set (Logitech G29). I'm glad I finally made the choice to only have a brake and accelerator pedal, because with the dual-clutch paddles, I don't miss this clutch pedal at all.
The Fanatec CSL Mclaren GT3 has amazed and convinced me in every way. To answer the question whether this wheel is an absolute must-have? Absolutely! WHAT an insane wheel at a very decent price. Don't let its low price fool you, because this wheel feels absolutely high-quality and premium. The box also comes with extra button caps and stickers, so you can personalise your wheel just the way you want it. Super cool! The wheel is compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Sersies X and S, as well as PC or PS4/PS5.
The updated magnetic shifters work perfectly and make a nice and certainly not too loud sound. Personally, I really like the dual-clutch system. In my situation, this makes a separate clutch pedal unnecessary.
When you buy the handlebar, you get a free (plastic) Quick Release Adapter. This one does what it is supposed to do, but feels a bit cheap. I can imagine that this will come with the somewhat heavier direct drive wheelbases, like the DD1 or DD2, which is on the light side. Should you have such a heavier wheelbase, opt for the metal Quick Release adapter.
So does the wheel have any drawbacks? Yes. Personally, I find the LED display a bit on the small side, making the gear indicators hard to read. Another disadvantage I find is that the buttons - in the dark - are a bit hard to see and find. Personally, I prefer to race in a dark room so I don't always know how to find the buttons properly. Perhaps I still need to get used to this. Should you experience this too? Then there are always additional (glow in the dark) stickers To personalise your Fanatec Mclaren GT3!
Convinced? Then order it today!
Hopefully, with this article, I have been able to convince you about the Fanatec CSL Elite Mclaren GT3 V2 as it is called in the full mouth. If you still have doubts? Then don't wait too long and order it today. Because for only ?200, this wheel is an absolute must-have!