- Brilliant force feedback from the 8Nm CSL DD
- Savings of around $/€200
- Xbox compatible out of the box
- Includes premium pedals
- McLaren GT3 V2 wheel isn’t overly premium
- Included pedal set seems costly
What is the CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Elite Bundle?
Fanatec has introduced its Ready To Race bundles to lower the cost of its products and make higher-end sim racing more accessible. And with that in mind, I’d say they’ve been successful.
The entry-level Ready To Race bundles can represent a saving of $/€150 and the cheapest bundles start at just $/€399.85. That is mightily impressive given you get a direct drive wheel base for that price.
There are also additional Ready To Race bundles which include more premium-orientated products. These include this CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Elite Bundle which I’m reviewing here.
In this review, I’m going to find out whether the premium CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Elite Bundle is worth buying. This bundle includes the CSL DD 8Nm wheel base, the McLaren GT3 V2 steering wheel and the CSL Elite V2 pedals.
One of the biggest perks of this CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Elite Bundle is the savings you can achieve compared to buying each product individually. So I want to start by talking about the price before looking at the rest of the review.
The price of this McLaren Elite version of the CSL Ready2Race Bundle is $/€799.80.
That is a full €400 more expensive than the lowest-cost Ready2Race bundle. The cheapest bundle is the P1 bundle which costs just $/€399.85.
Although with this bundle, both the steering wheel and pedals are considerable upgrades, plus you get the 8Nm CSL DD rather than the 5Nm version. These upgrades do probably justify the increased price tag.
And it is also worth noting the savings that you can achieve by purchasing this bundle compared to each product individually. Below is a price comparison of each product in this Ready To Race bundle alongside each product’s individual price.
|Product||Individual Price||Bundle Price|
|CSL DD 8Nm wheel base||$/€449.95||$/€299.90|
|McLaren GT3 V2 wheel||$/€199.95||$/€199.95|
|CSL Elite V2 pedals||$/€299.95||$/€299.95|
You can see from the table above that there is a saving of $/€150 when purchasing this Ready To Race bundle. And all of that saving comes on the CSL DD wheel base. Both the steering wheel and pedals cost the same individually as they do in this bundle.
And in the case of the pedals, this is where a little bit of the problem with this bundle lies. I believe that the CSL Elite V2 pedals are a touch overpriced for what you get. But I will touch on that more later in this review.
Overall, this bundle still represents a good way to save some money, and good value for money considering the quality of the products you receive.
If this bundle does seem a little pricey to you, below are a few other Ready To Race bundles that Fanatec sells. Each of these bundles represents a saving much like this CSL DD Ready To Race bundle. But each of the below bundles comes with a smaller price tag.
- CSL DD Ready2Race Bundle for PC (5 Nm) – $/€399.85
- Gran Turismo DD Pro (5 Nm) – $/€699.95
- CSL DD Ready2Race NASCAR Bundle – $/€679.85
The wheel base
In this McLaren Elite bundle you get the CSL DD 8Nm wheel base. This is a mid-range direct drive wheel base that is mightily impressive given its size.
The CSL DD is an Xbox and PC-compatible wheel base that utilises direct drive technology to power its force feedback. This means the force feedback is as crisp and detailed as possible, and the 8Nm of peak torque is a very good amount that beats almost every racing wheel within this price range in terms of strength.
The fact that the CSL DD is compatible with Xbox, as well as PC, makes it one of the very best Xbox-compatible racing wheels available currently.
The real piece of this bundle that adds value for money is the saving you can achieve on the CSL DD wheel base. Currently, Fanatec is offering a $/€150 saving on the price of the CSL DD wheel base when purchased as part of a complete bundle.
This discount along with the high quality of this wheel base is what makes this bundle really appealing.
The steering wheel
Included with this Fanatec Ready To Race bundle is the McLaren GT3 V2 steering wheel. This is the second iteration of this steering wheel with improvements to the display, internals and shifters.
This steering wheel is a replica of the actual steering wheel from McLaren GT3 cars, and if you’re a McLaren fan it’s a must-have!
The steering wheel itself features a plastic composite build with rubber hand grips. This makes the wheel itself feel relatively light which is a good thing as it lets the wheel dance around in your hands. Although the lack of metal or real carbon fibre does take a little away from the overall build quality.
Across the front of the steering wheel are a series of push buttons and three rotary encoders. All of the push buttons feel firm, with the N and P buttons feeling possibly a little too firm for my liking. But each button has a short and provides good feedback.
The rotary encoders can be used as multi-position switches or rotary encoders and this can be changed using Fanatec’s software. It is worth noting that these rotary encoders and the display aren’t Xbox-compatible, but they work flawlessly on PC.
The shifters on the rear of this steering wheel have been upgraded with a much firmer resistance. There is a single piece of metal allowing the shifters to perform on a push/pull mechanism. This lets you shift one-handed if required.
There are also a set of dual-clutch paddles under the shifters. These are constructed from plastic but add extra functionality which is a nice touch.
Overall, this steering wheel feels good during use. It is on the larger side at 300mm which adds to the realism and immersion. This is a great licensed mid-range steering wheel and one I’ve personally raced with for months.
If you fancy a different steering wheel in your Ready To Race bundle, below are a few alternatives. Each comes with a different steering wheel allowing you to personalise your bundle.
- Check out the F1 Esports Ready2Race bundle
- Check out the Nascar Ready2Race bundle
- Check out the Gran Turismo Ready2Race bundle
The pedals included in this bundle are different from any other Ready To Race bundle. All other bundles include the CSL pedals either in a 2-pedal or 3-pedal configuration.
This bundle is the only one to include the more premium CSL Elite V2 pedals. This is a 3-pedal set with a load cell brake pedal. They are an upgraded version of the old CSL Elite pedals, and therefore follow the older styling using an all-black metal design.
There are some differences between these pedals and the newer CSL load cell pedal set other than the aesthetics. Notably, the brake pedal has a very different feel.
The newer CSL pedals have an extremely stiff brake pedal. This is fairly common for load cell pedals, as the load cell measures the pressures rather than movement. With the newer CSL pedals there is almost no pedal travel, which can feel odd for some people.
The CSL Elite V2’s brake pedal features a more realistic interpretation with a pedal that does have much more travel. It still uses a load cell to measure the force applied, but there is less resistance initially providing for some pedal travel. This is more realistic for a road car and will feel more natural for many sim racers.
The main negative of these pedals is the price. They cost a whole $/€100 more than the newer CSL pedals. And I personally don’t think the small improvement justifies this price increase.
The build quality and design are very similar across both pedals, with some small differences to how each pedal set works. The brake pedal does feel more natural, and the construction is slightly better than the newer CSL pedals which do go some way towards justifying the price increase.
While the majority of Fanatec’s Ready To Race bundles offer Xbox ready compatibility, few are actually compatible with Xbox consoles out of the box.
Xbox Ready is Fanatec’s term for a wheel base that will work with an Xbox console as long as it is paired with an Xbox-compatible steering wheel.
This CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Elite Bundle does include an Xbox-compatible steering wheel. So it is compatible right out of the box. This is a great pro for getting this bundle over the others that Fanatec offer as you won’t be required to purchase another steering wheel to enable console compatibility.
It is worth noting that this bundle isn’t compatible with PlayStation consoles though no matter which wheel you attach. For a PS5-compatible Fanatec racing wheel, you’ll need to look at the GT DD Pro.
Should you buy the Fanatec CSL DD Ready2Race McLaren Elite Bundle?
Overall, this premium bundle provides upgrades across the board compared to other Ready To Race bundles. You get the 8Nm version of the CSL DD wheel base which is definitely the one to opt for if you can.
You also get a nice McLaren licensed steering wheel and a full 3-pedal load cell pedal set. Both of these make this bundle feel much more premium than the lower-cost bundles available.
Throw in Xbox compatibility out of the box and the $/€150 saving, and you’ve got an incredibly enticing sim racing bundle. Overall, this is a fantastic mid-range racing wheel bundle and one I would recommend if you’re an Xbox sim racer.