- High quality construction in QR2 & QR2 Pro
- Easy to install
- Pretty much flex free during use
- Easy to attach and detach wheels
- QR2 Lite lacks quality
- Expensive to convert from QR1 to QR2
- Currently no bundles for multiple wheel-side QR2’s to save upgrade cost
What is the Fanatec QR2?
The Fanatec QR2 is the newest quick release from German sim racing brand Fanatec. It features a complete redesign over the older QR1 quick release, and is designed to be easier to use while producing less movement and flex within the quick release itself.
Now this new QR2 launch is a little complex, as there are a total of five new products that make up this quick release. And a bunch of bundles on top of that which provide various combinations of the quick release.
Ultimately, a quick overview is that there are three new wheel-side quick releases. The QR2 Pro, the QR2 and the QR2 Lite. Each of these can be attached to the rear of pretty much any current-generation Fanatec steering wheel.
To use this new wheel-side quick release with a Fanatec wheel base, you’ll also need the correct base-side quick release. This comes in two forms, the Type-C and Type-M.
The Type-C is only compatible with the Fanatec GT DD Pro and CSL DD. While the Type-M is compatible with the Podium range of wheel bases such as the DD1 and DD2.
So to fully make use of this new quick release, you’ll need to buy both the correct base-side quick release and whichever wheel-side quick release you fancy. I’ll touch on the differences between each wheel-side QR2 in a moment.
Fanatec QR2 Cost
First, I want to break down the cost of each of these products. As I mentioned, you can buy each wheel-side and base-side quick release individually. This is useful if you only require a single base-side quick release but have multiple steering wheels so need multiple wheel-side quick releases.
You can also pick up a bundle which includes both the wheel-side and base-side quick releases in a single bundle. This provides you with a complete quick release for a single wheel base and steering wheel. And choosing this option can save you around €10/$10 compared to buying individually.
Below are all of the individual Fanatec QR2 quick releases and their prices.
|QR2 Lite (Wheel-side)||€59.95|
|QR2 Pro (Wheel-side)||€199.95|
|QR2 Type M (Base-side)||€149.95|
|QR2 Type C (Base-side)||€69.95|
|QR2 Pro Bundle||€299.95|
|QR2 Bundle (Type M)||€199.95|
|QR2 Bundle (Type C)||€159.95|
|QR2 Lite Bundle||€109.95|
As you can see from the pricing above, the new Fanatec QR2 is not a cheap accessory. If you have multiple Fanatec steering wheels that you wish to convert to the new QR2 infrastructure, you’ll be looking at a fair chunk of change to make the transition.
As an example, say you have a CSL DD, and three steering wheels, and you want to convert your whole setup to QR2 using the standard QR2 quick release. You’ll need the following products to do so;
- QR2 Type C (Base-side) – €69.95
- QR2 x 3 – €99.95 each
- Total cost – €369.80
That’s a cost of just around €370 to simply change to the new QR2 ecosystem. That seems incredibly expensive.
Just as a side note, the older QR1 used to cost around €50 for each individual wheel-side quick release unit. The standard QR2 costs double that.
Competitors such as MOZA Racing and Simucube sell their quick release adapters for as little as €60, which makes these Fanatec quick releases seem rather expensive.
The new QR2 quick release design
So now let’s take a deeper look at the overall design of the Fanatec QR2. I’m going to look at the wheel-side quick releases first. There are three variations in this range, the QR2 Pro, the QR2 and QR2 Lite.
Both the QR2 Pro and QR2 share very similar designs. You can tell them apart by the gold quick release lever on the Pro model. This model features a CNC-machined aluminium construction that is built to the highest level of quality.
This quality level is needed as this product can be used both for sim racing and in a real-world car. Fanatec has been hot on crossing the boundary between sim racing and real-world motorsport with products like the BMW M4 GT3 wheel which can also be used across both disciplines.
While this is a cool flex to be able to say you have a real-world motorsport-approved quick release. Ultimately, 99% of sim racers will get no use out of the added features here.
The standard QR2 features a design which is almost identical to the Pro model minus the gold accents. This is an all-black quick release that is also constructed entirely from aluminium. I can imagine that this will be the version of the Fanatec QR2 that will be the most popular as it combines form and function at an acceptable, if not ever so slightly too high price point.
Finally, the QR2 Lite is the cheapest option and is really a replacement for the QR1 Lite. Much like the QR1 Lite, this is an all-plastic product which feels relatively cheap to the touch.
Internally, the quick release mechanism is the same as the QR2. Gone are the days of having to manually screw on the quick release! But the plastic body doesn’t look or feel as premium as the QR2 or the Pro models.
QR2 Base-side (Type-M)
Now I want to look at the base-side adapters. These are needed in order to be able to use the new QR2 quick release, and they completely replace the old steering shaft that comes attached with all Fanatec wheel bases.
The Type-M base-side quick release is one of the nicest feeling sim racing accessories around. It is constructed from a single piece of aluminium and has a bare metal brushed aluminium exterior.
The Type-M adapter is only compatible with Podium wheel bases which include the DD1 and DD2. So if you like the look of this but you don’t own either of these wheel bases, unfortunately, you cannot use this product.
QR2 Base-side (Type-C)
The Type-C adapter is compatible with both the CSL DD and GT DD Pro. It also features an all-aluminium construction, but the shiney metallic outer finish is gone. Instead, the Type-C adapter has an all-black coating.
The actual quick release mechanism is the same as on the Type-M, so you aren’t really getting an inferior product despite the much lower price tag.
How does this quick release perform
So we have a new design and an increased price point. But how does the new Fanatec QR2 perform?
This is ultimately the part which will decide whether this new quick release is a success or not. For this new QR2, Fanatec has adopted a completely different approach to their previous quick release.
The old QR1 system used a locking nut to secure the quick release in place and was recommended to make the QR1 more stable and durable. This old system kind of made the idea of a quick release fairly slow as you had to remove and re-attach the bolt every time you changed wheel.
Thankfully, this additional bolt is gone completely with the QR2. Instead, the quick release locks itself as you attach creating a firm attachment between wheel-side and base-side adapters.
How the new Fanatec QR2 works
The way the new QR2 system works is that there are two metal rods inside the wheel-side adapter. As you pull back on the quick release ring, these two rods move away from the center. This allows the base-side adapter to slide into the wheel-side quick release.
As the quick release is fully attached, the two metal rods spring back into their original position which locks the wheel-side and base-side parts of the quick release together.
When attaching a steering wheel, you can simply push the steering wheel onto the wheel base. There is no need to pull the quick release ring while doing this.
Then as you detach a wheel, simply pull the ring which releases the metal rods and allows for the steering wheel to be detached from your wheel base. This whole process is silky smooth across both the QR2 and QR2 Pro.
QR2 and QR2 Pro performance
Now during use, the QR2 performed really well. Fanatec claims better force feedback detail as there is less movement within the quick release system itself. I can’t really say if the force feedback felt better or not. But, the rigidity is fantastic and there is pretty much zero noticeable flex. Both the QR2 and QR2 Pro feel incredibly rigid and stable.
I was impressed with the overall rigidity of the QR2 and QR2 Pro, even when using them with higher-powered Podium wheel bases. I also think it is quieter than the older QR1 quick release.
QR2 Lite performance
I cannot say the same for the QR2 Lite. The Lite variation of this new quick release was relatively underwhelming to use. Much like the old QR1 Lite which was pretty awful, this QR2 Lite certainly doesn’t feel as premium as the QR2 during use or when trying to attach or remove a wheel.
While both the QR2 and QR2 Pro were incredibly easy to attach and detach a steering wheel, gliding on and off without much resistance. The QR2 Lite always proved more difficult. It was hard to line up the wheel-side and base-side adapters and felt sticky and awkward to attach and detach.
While racing, the QR2 Lite still held up OK. But if you push or pull on the steering wheel you can visibly see the flex across the QR2 Lite. This flex comes exclusively from the QR2 Lite where it attaches to the steering wheel.
If you are using a QR2 Lite with a Podium wheel base, you can’t access higher performance modes and the wheel will stop you from turning the strength right up. This is probably a good thing, as I don’t think the QR2 Lite would be able to handle the high forces that the DD1 and DD2 can produce.
Upgrading from QR1 to QR2 – What you need to know
If you currently own any Fanatec wheels or wheel bases, you will almost certainly need to upgrade at some point in the future.
Fanatec has stated that they will have a 1-2 year transitioning period. During this time they will start to sell their products with the QR2 included as default instead of the QR1. But during this transition phase, you can still opt for Fanatec products to come with a QR1 if you prefer.
Eventually though, all Fanatec wheel bases and steering wheels will only be available with the QR2 system.
You can upgrade any current Fanatec wheel base and steering wheel to QR2 by purchasing this new quick release today. Or you can choose to continue using the QR1 and opt to upgrade at a later date.
Upgrading requires both the wheel-side and base-side adapters, as neither work with any QR1 in any way. It’s worth noting that despite the compatibility restrictions on the base-side adapters and wheel bases. You can use all wheel-side adapters with all base-side adapters.
This means that you can use a QR2 Lite with the Type-M base-side adapter, or the QR2 pro with the Type-C adapter. There aren’t any restrictions there as all varients utilise the same core design.
Is the Fanatec QR2 worth buying?
That brings me to my final thoughts on this long-awaited new quick release. Fanatec certainly took their time with this product launch, and probably for good reason. This is the quick release that they’ll be using for the foreseeable future, so rushing out a bad product was an absolute no-go.
During use, both the QR2 and QR2 Pro performed very well. Although, I’d probably avoid the QR2 Pro, as 99% of sim racers won’t ever use the real-world functionality, which is essentially a waste of €100 / $100.
I do think that the QR2 ecosystem as a whole is a little too pricey to justify rushing out and upgrading to. Especially if you have multiple steering wheels that will each require individual wheel-side quick releases. The costs can certainly rack up.
With the QR2 Lite costing €60 / $60, I would probably avoid this version unless you really cannot stretch to the much higher quality QR2. It does the job just fine and is certainly better than the old QR1 Lite, but there is still flex present, and the whole quick release just doesn’t work as fluidly as its more premium counterparts.
As a whole, there is no doubt that the Fanatec QR2 is a big improvement over the older QR1. And despite the lengthy wait for its release, Fanatec has created a product that functions incredibly well.