- Great overall rig design
- Looks stunning
- Extremely sturdy
- Can handle direct drive wheels
- No chair or accessories included
- Had to use add-on mounting brackets for direct drive
What exactly is the RennSport V2 Cockpit?
The RennSport V2 cockpit is Fanatec’s very own sim cockpit. You don’t normally associate Fanatec with sim rigs. Instead, they are well known for producing some of the best racing wheels on the market.
And that is normally where sim racers end their association with the German manufacturer.
But now they have entered the realm of manufacturing their very own sim cockpit. Well, they’ve tested the waters before, but the RennSport V2 is the latest cockpit design by Fanatec.
The RennSport V2 features some of the nicest curves available from any sim rig. And it makes a traditional 80:20 rig look extremely primitive.
There is no doubt that this cockpit looks stunning, but does it live up to that when you add a 25Nm capable direct drive wheel. Well, that is exactly what we did, and we’re here with our RennSport V2 review to let you know how well it held up.
How sturdy is this sim rig?
Well, like most Fanatec products, this cockpit held up very well during testing. It was built to be fully compatible with Fanatec’s very own direct drive racing wheels. So in theory it should be able to handle the strength of those.
The whole construction of this cockpit is solid aluminium tubing, designed to follow the look of a real roll cage from a race car. It looks great, but it is strong too. When you first unpack this cockpit from its box, you can feel the weight of the solid metal frame.
And when constructed you can lean on it pretty hard and get very little movement in any direction.
There are quite a lot of support beams that combine to make up this cockpit. More than most other sim rigs. And that isn’t a bad thing. There are a total of five different aluminium tubes that make up each side, with the front two joining at the wheel mount.
Normally we would be a little worried, as the whole frame is only supported laterally by the wheel plate. There aren’t any additional horizontal cross beams holding the left and right side together. Other than the seat, pedal and wheel mounts.
However when you lean on the side of this rig, it barely notices you are there. So it has been engineered in a way that, although it doesn’t look overly strong visually, it does have internal strength.
How well does it perform during sim racing?
We tested this cockpit for a good couple of months as our main sim rig. And we used both a Podium DD2, and a ClubSport wheel base. Most of that time was spent with the DD2, and that is because it performed so well with it.
At first, we mounted the DD2 to the wheel plate that is supplied. For us, we weren’t overly happy with this mounting as it seemed a little unsecured.
Instead, we broke out our Fanatec Podium mounting brackets. These helped with that feeling deep down that the wheelbase could fly off at any minute. The Podium mounting brackets secure the wheel base from either side, and suspend it in the air.
These mounting brackets dropped in to where the wheel plate normally sits, and it increased the feeling of rigidity a lot. Before the mounting brackets were installed, there was the tiniest amount of flex when leaning on the rig. After the brackets were installed that was all but gone.
During our testing with the mounting brackets and the DD2, the rig held up extremely well. There was no noticeable movement even during some dicey moments of snap oversteer.
We had the Podium wheel base force feedback strength turned up to about 80%. This is about as far as we ever push the wheel base. Too much higher and it becomes unenjoyable. At this strength the rig was completely fine.
There was a slight rattling after a little while, which seemed to come from the mesh on the right hand side of the rig. These mesh panels are held in by a few bolts, and can actually be completely removed if you don’t like the look.
We promptly located the mesh panel in question, and simply tightened the bolt back up to stop the rattling. I think over time, the direct drive wheel just put so much vibration and force through the frame that the panel came a little loose.
Other than that minor point, this sim rig handled everything like a dream.
How good is the RennSport V2 seat?
The RennSport V2 doesn’t actually come with a seat. Instead, you are left to either mount your own racing seat, or purchase one via Fanatec. The seat that Fanatec sell is a Sparco race seat, and this is what we tested with.
The seat itself is a rigid fiberglass race seat, and with that comes all of the pros and cons of a traditional rigid seat. For a start, it felt comfy and supportive when we first initially stepped in to it. It gave enough support from the side bolsters to keep us in place while wrestling the powerful direct drive wheel.
The built in padded lumbar support made for a reasonably comfy sitting position. And most will be able to find a comfy set up too, as the lumbar support is fully adjustable.
But over time, the rigidity of a rigid race seat started to come in to play. During a long play session, you will get a few aches from sitting in the same position on a relatively firm seat.
We definitely found that we needed to stand up and stretch in between race sessions to avoid too much stiffness.
The seat itself does allow for a little bit of flex. When you stomp on the brake pedal at 150mph the seat flexes back a little. And when you are leaning in to a corner it flexes from side to side.
This flexing is minimal, and you almost don’t notice it. It was really only after watching back a video of our gameplay that we saw how much the seat does actually move.
How much does the RennSport V2 cost?
So here is where things start to get a little painful. We all know as sim racers, that Fanatec gear is on the more expensive side. And that is certainly the case with the RennSport V2.
The base cost of this sim rig is $999. And that is for the rig alone. If you want to add a seat to that you are looking at a combination of around $1600. Now that is a lot for a sim rig. For that price the rig needs to be of a professional quality.
Fanatec also do a great job of drawing you in to spending even more money on their additional rig upgrades. The RennSport V2 itself, doesn’t come with a whole lot.
You essentially get just the rig, and a manual on how to put it together. That is it. Everything extra comes as a paid upgrade. These include the seat, speaker mounts, TV mounts, shifter mounts and more.
In our review of the GT Omega Pro cockpit, a sim rig that costs significantly less, we praised them for including extra mounts such as keyboard trays in with their standard rig. At the price point that GT Omega price their sim rigs, they really could have charged extra for the add-ons.
However, when you get to the price point of this sim rig, at $999. You would at least expect that you have shifter mounts included. This is a little bit of a faux pa from Fanatec, and its more than a little bit frustrating.
Is it worth buying?
Now comes the really tricky bit. Normally after giving a product such praise as we have done here, we would turn around and recommend it in a heartbeat. But when there is a $1600 investment involved, it’s a little harder to do that.
You can certainly get complete sim rigs that perform just as well as this RennSport V2 for much less price. We would suggest looking at a good 80:20 rig if you are looking for long term rigidity and adaptability.
However, if you are looking for the ultimate sim rig, and you have the money to burn. Then the RennSport V2 will make a fantastic base for you perfect rig setup.