Best Fanatec CSL Elite Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
By offering ready-to-use steering wheel + pedal sets, Fanatec is reducing the entry ticket to its range of peripherals for car racing simulations. At less than 500 €, the CSL Elite Wheel Starter Pack intends to seduce simracers both on Xbox One and on PC.
This set consists of a CSL Elite Wheel Base with Steering Wheel P1 in its Xbox One version and CSL Elite Pedals crankset. At the time of writing, it is sold at € 499.95. We also tested the CSL Elite Pedals Loadcell Kit (€ 139.95). This optional brake pedal with integrated pressure sensor ( load cell ) replaces the original pedal, which can then be easily transformed into a clutch pedal.
- 1 Best Fanatec CSL Elite Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
Best Fanatec CSL Elite Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
A very convincing steering wheel in this price range
Although the Fanatec CSL Elite Wheel Base is the entry level of the manufacturer, its selling price (€ 419.90) and its technical characteristics position it rather at the level of high-end models of Thrustmaster, like the TS-PC Racer and TS-XW Racer. The Logitech G29 and G920 steering wheels , or the T300 / TX , as well as their versions at Thrustmaster, are indeed a notch below. It must be said that Fanatec did not skimp on the quality of the components and offers a base equipped with a brushless motor ( brushless) relatively powerful (6 Nm), driving the steering wheel axle with a simple belt, a “DirectSensor” sensor fixed directly on the axle for more precision, a quick wheel fixing system, a LED bar on the top of the base
Admittedly, we do not reach the technical level of the ClubSport Wheel Base V2.5 from the same manufacturer (and twice as expensive: € 849.90), but there is already enough here compete with the aforementioned steering wheels.
The German manufacturer nevertheless had to carry out some understood. The base body is all plastic, rather than metal. If the quality of the materials and the assembly are rather good, the rigidity of the assembly is not optimal and does not avoid cracking. On this point, the Thrustmaster steering wheels seem more robust. Attachment to a support is satisfactory, however, whether you screw the base to a dedicated cockpit or use the pliers to grip an office.
An all-metal crankset that imposes
Since we are testing a complete pack here, let’s talk about the excellent bottom bracket supplied with the Fanatec CSL Elite Wheel Starter Pack. Named CSL Elite Pedals, it benefits from an all-aluminum construction which immediately reassures it of its solidity. Very wide, it accepts the installation of pedals over its entire width, allowing several choices of spacings between them. The inclination and height of the pedals are however not adjustable, but their orientation seems quite universal and their comfortable width should satisfy both small and large feet. It is also possible to do without the original support to install the pedals independently on a home support or a racing cockpit.
The third pedal is optional, so we have two identical-looking pedals here. Appearance only, because the brake pedal is of course harder than that of the accelerator, due on the one hand to a firmer spring, and on the other hand to a fairly rigid piece of foam giving the impression of depressing a real brake pedal. To get a feel closer to reality, however, you will need to purchase the optional Loadcell pedal (see box below). The fact remains that the accuracy is already satisfactory with this default configuration, the depressing distances of the pedals being measured by potentiometers with a precision of 12 bits (4,096 values).
A small box located on the underside of the crankset gathers all the connections and is connected to the Fanatec steering wheel of the pack. To take advantage of this footswitch in USB on a PC, you must nevertheless change this box which does not offer a USB port by default (the one delivered with the optional Loadcell brake pedal is well equipped).
Installation and settings
Regarding the fixing of the steering wheel itself, nothing too exotic, Fanatec has provided screw threads for fixing on a racing cockpit and provides a clamp coming to be screwed under the base to then take up a desk. In both cases, nothing moves once the steering wheel is fixed.
Then just plug the power cable behind the base and connect it in USB to the computer or the game console. On Xbox One, detection is automatic, just switch to Xbox mode with the button reserved for this purpose located on the right of the base. An indicator light overhanging this button then turns green. On PC, the latter must be lit in red and the Fanatec drivers installed for the system to recognize the steering wheel. We then take advantage of a configuration interface to modify the parameters of the Fanatec CSL Elite and test its operation. These drivers also allow you to update the steering wheel firmware.
In racing: power and fluidity at the same time
Flying Xbox One requires, we did not resist very long to test this Fanatec CSL Elite with the latest Forza Motorsport to date. Good surprise, the steering wheel is recognized by the game and we can therefore enjoy it very quickly. After a few passages in the settings anyway, in particular to reduce dead zones and increase the sensitivity of the steering wheel for more responsiveness, you quickly find your bearings. Although this game is perfectly playable with the joystick, the contribution of such a steering wheel is undeniable when it comes to playing in professional or veteran mode, with a minimum of driving assistance.
A quick tour on PC then to taste the joys of Assetto Corsa . Although the game does not offer a specific profile for this steering wheel model, it is quite easy to create one yourself. A few minutes later, you can appreciate the power of the force feedback and the richness of the effects in this game renowned for making good use of the force feedback wheels. We had no trouble regaining our marks with the CSL Elite in our hands. We particularly appreciate the flexibility of the brushless motor .
In order to properly assess the reactivity of the effects of the CSL Elite, we have also configured it with the excellent DiRT Rally , which inevitably requires very rapid steering and reverse steering. Again, we noted a certain flexibility of the steering wheel, which clearly does not lack power, but would probably deserve a higher velocity for more precision in the effects.
Despite a price almost twice that of Logitech and Thrustmaster’s steering wheel + crankset, the value for money of this Fanatec CSL EliteWheel Starter Pack is simply excellent. We are evolving here in a higher range, no doubt. This set of Fanatec is therefore a very good choice for those who wish to take a first step in the world of simracing and then take advantage of the manufacturer’s already well-supplied ecosystem.
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