Fanatec McLaren GT3 V2 vs V1 Wheel Comparison
Fanatec have released a new and improved McLaren GT3 V2 wheel for under $200. We compare it to the old McLaren GT3 wheel to see if it's worth picking up.
With Fanatec revealing a new and improved McLaren GT3 V2 steering wheel at the end of 2020, many sim racers will be asking whether this wheel is improved enough to pick up when orders open in January 2021.
I’ve finally had a chance to get my hands on the new McLaren GT3 V2 wheel. And I’ve spent a fair amount of time comparing it to my old McLaren wheel rim.
In this comparison guide, I’ll run through all of the improvements and differences between the two wheels. And I’ll give you my verdict on whether this wheel is worth buying.
A Quick History Of The McLaren GT3 Wheel
So, this wheel rim may look very familiar to many of you. And that would be because it looks almost exactly the same as the older McLaren GT3 wheel that Fanatec released many years ago. In fact, this new wheel is Fanatec looking to address some of the issues which plagued the first McLaren GT3 wheel.
When the original McLaren GT3 wheel came out a few years back, many applauded its lower price point. However, when sim racers actually got the chance to race with the wheel, there were a few glaring issues.
The main issue which the old wheel suffered from was with its shifters. They didn’t have a very positive feel to them, and felt rather “mushy” to use a technical term. And this is one of the main improvements with this new wheel.
Well… Actually the design hasn’t really been updated… The design of this new rim is almost identical to the previous iteration, but that isn’t an overly bad thing.
Both this wheel and the older model are designed to replicate the official McLaren GT3 wheel which is found in the 650S GT3 car. And it does a very good job at replicating this.
Almost all of the buttons, toggles and switches are in the same place as on the real wheel, with one tweak. The center dial from the real life wheel has been replaced with Fanatec’s OLED screen. This is so you can adjust settings on the wheel itself and is a good inclusion.
Other than that, the wheel is a very good replica. It sits at 300mm which is exactly the same as the real wheel. Although this is slightly larger than the standard 270mm that other Fanatec formula wheels are built to. So some may find this wheel a little larger than normal. For me, this wasn’t an issue as the size difference is so small.
Just like the real wheel, the hand grips are finished in rubber, and this is unchanged from the original Fanatec wheel. Fanatec are known for their heavy use of Alcantara on their wheels. However I actually prefer this rubber approach, as over time there is much less visible wear on the grips.
Despite the wheel body looking like carbon fibre, it is actually constructed using plastic, with a carbon fibre wrap. This looks the part and on first inspection many might not even notice that it isn’t carbon fibre. This is a design choice which helps keep the price lower, and for me is a valid substitute.
It does make the wheel feel lighter than other Fanatec wheels, and during gameplay this makes the wheel very lively. I rather like this approach as it helps feel the force feedback that is coming through the wheel.
New OLED Screen
Going back to one of the new improvements over the older wheel rim. Fanatec have updated the old blue LED screen with their new white OLED display.
This display works the same as it does on other modern Fanatec wheels. You can use it to tweak settings, flip through dials on the fly, and view data such as your speed or RPM.
Despite being a minor update, this does help the wheel feel more modern in comparison.
New Features – The Shifters
As mentioned, one of the main areas of improvement with this new wheel is with the shifters. This is probably the biggest and most notable change.
Gone are the old shifters, and in their place you will find a single piece of orange machined aluminium. Because every McLaren product needs to have a flash of orange!
This single piece of aluminium allows racers to shift single handed using a push / pull technique. So you can reach for that drink or snack mid race without missing a shift.
The new shifters utilise a magnets to help each shift feel sharp and purposeful. This added resistance is further accentuated by the new shifters having a slightly longer throw as well. So every shift needs to be more intentional, and it will feel more positive as a result.
From my testing, I would say that these new shifters sit above the ClubSport Magnetic Paddle Module in terms of performance, but they aren’t quite as good as the Podium Advanced Paddle Module.
This is to be expected as the Podium paddles are the best of the best when it comes to Fanatec shifters. But by improving on the already good ClubSport Magnetic Paddle Module is very welcome.
Just below the orange shifter sits two analogue paddles. These can be used for multiple functions including clutch bite points, as a handbrake or even an accelerator or brake.
With these two paddles being analogue, you can input a lot of control and precision. My favourite use was to use them as a dual clutch. You can adjust the bite point using the funky switch on the front of the wheel. Then when it comes to launching your car, simply engage both paddles. Release the first paddle, followed by the second paddle a moment later, and I’ll get the perfect launch every time.
Once you have mastered your launch, you can change the function of the paddles on the fly by using the center dial. Meaning you can then use the paddles for a different function during the race.
New Features – Quick Release
However the new paddles aren’t the only improvement on this new Fanatec McLaren GT3 wheel. There is also an updated quick release system on this new wheel.
This new quick release does away with needing tools to secure the wheel to your wheel base. And instead allows you to attach and detach the wheel entirely by hand. To release the wheel, now you just have to loosen the quick release, which will then allow you to pull your wheel away from your wheel base.
You can also replace this mechanism with the ClubSport Quick Release if you have one laying around. This is recommended when it comes to using the McLaren GT3 V2 with Podium wheel bases. Using the ClubSport Quick Release unlocks high power mode, which unleashes the full torque potential of the direct drive wheel base.
For me, this is the area where this wheel rim really shines. Just like the older McLaren GT3 wheel rim, this new rim has a relatively low price point. The McLaren GT3 V2 wheel is priced at just €199.95 / $199.95.
When you look at what you are getting for that price, you quickly realise how much value this wheel brings. This is especially true when compared to more expensive wheels such as the ClubSport Formula V2 which is almost double the price!
In my opinion, more wheel manufacturers should be looking at producing wheel rims at this lower price point. So Fanatec get a huge thumbs up from me with this McLaren GT3 wheel rim.
Just like the original McLaren GT3 wheel rim, this steering wheel is officially licensed for Xbox consoles. This means that you will find an Xbox button on the wheel face.
If you are a Playstation racer don’t worry, as this wheel will also work on both Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 consoles. You just need to have a Playstation wheel base such as the CSL Elite PS4 wheel base.
Whether you have a Playstation or Xbox wheel base, all you need to do is simply connect the McLaren GT3 V2 wheel rim via the new quick release system, and it will be work. It couldn’t have much better compatibility!
Although this wheel was designed with the CSL Elite wheel base in mind, you can use this wheel with the much stronger direct drive wheel bases. All you need to do is have the ClubSport Quick Release Adapter, which replaces the built in quick release system. This will then allow you to use the high torque racing mode on Podium wheel bases.
When Can I Buy This Wheel?
The official release date for this wheel is the 20th January 2021. However you can pre-order your Fanatec McLaren GT3 V2 wheel now.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Is The New Fanatec McLaren GT3 V2?
This new wheel rim is priced at just €199.95 / $199.95.
When Is The McLaren GT3 V2 Available To Buy?
Pre-orders for this wheel are open now, with the first deliveries expected to be on January 20th 2021.
Is This Wheel Much Better Than The Old McLaren GT3 Rim?
There are a few big improvements on offer with this new wheel rim. There are much improved shifters and paddles, a new quick release system, an updated OLED display, and performance tweaks to improve durability.
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