CSL Elite McLaren GT3
Price $ 259
Brand new, and potentially the best buy of the whole range. It’s part of the lower tier CLS Elite range, yet together with the optional Quick Release that the Formula ships with, is actually $110 more. It’s an official replica of McLaren’s wheel from its 650 GT3 car and Fanatec used McLaren’s own CAD files to create it, so it’s millimeter-perfect. The big win there is ergonomics – this feels unreal to hold. The grips are molded beautifully and the size is absolutely bang-on – larger than the Formula while smaller than the BMW and most of the other fully round wheels. This really is the wheel to start with if you’re moving to the Fanatec ecosystem, and can potentially be the only wheel you ever need.
Unlike all other Fanatec wheels its gear paddles are of a single metal piece, so as you press down on one side the other moves in the opposite direction. It’s of no consequence and if McLaren do it that way it must be good. Throw is very short - much shorter than the other wheels - and it’s quite fantastic slamming up and down the gears rapidly.
But the really cool and unique addition is the pair of analogue paddles beneath the shifters. They’re multi-purpose and can be mapped as buttons, used as accelerator and brake (and for people that don’t have the use of their legs this is as far as I know the only solution allowing them to sim race!), or they can be used as a Formula 1-style launch control, where you pre-set your car’s clutch bite point and on green, release the paddles and your car rockets away.