The original McLaren GT3 wheel was one of Fanatec’s most popular sim racing wheels, and with good reason. It was light, ergonomic, feature rich and lacked a lot of the arguably unnecessary things present on more expensive wheels, giving sim racers all the things they needed from a sim racing wheel without an unnecessarily high price tag.

The Fanatec CSL Elite McLaren GT3 V2 is now here, carrying on the same theme but addressing some of the issues of the past, as well as including some new features. So let’s take a look!

If you’d prefer to read, a transcript of the video is available below.

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Full-scale replica.
Officially licensed by McLaren Automotive Limited, this is a full-size, detailed reproduction of the steering wheel used in McLaren GT3 race cars. The overall shape, as well as the size of the switches, paddles, and dials is based on original McLaren CAD data.

Refined design.
The CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2 is a refinement of the original, with redesigned electronics for
improved performance and durability. The fourth rotary encoder of the real GT3 wheel is replaced by a white, 1” OLED display.

Officially licensed for Xbox®.

Attach this wheel to any compatible FANATEC® wheel base and the whole system (including attached peripherals
such as shifters, pedals, or handbrake) will work on Xbox One® and Xbox Series X|S.

Realistic magnetic shifters, multi-purpose paddle system.
Use the dual-clutch paddle system as the ultimate weapon to nail every race start.

The advanced bite-point mode allows you to determine the optimal bite-point before the start of the
race and initiate the perfect launch every time.
Never miss a shift.

The shifting mechanism is completely revised, with a longer throw and magnetic resistance for superior tactile
feedback. The rocker-type paddle is made from a single piece of anodised aluminium, allowing up and down-shifting with one hand.

Multi-functional analogue paddles.

Clutch bite-point mode, handbrake mode, brake/throttle mode, and mappable axis mode – all instantly available with a flick of the centre switch. Brake/throttle mode allows for driving without pedals.

Racing ergonomics enhanced.

Toggle and rotary switches, laser-engraved Pit and Neutral buttons with high bezels and snapdome switches with realistic resistance, FunkySwitch™ (seven functions) and seven additional buttons with exchangeable button caps. Every input is intelligently placed so you can adapt
quickly and concentrate on the race.

Multi-Position Switches with rotary encoder functionality.
The improved 12-way switches allow for advanced multi-position modes and endless rotary encoder functionality for wider compatibility between racing sims.

Tool-free Simplified Quick Release.

No clamping bolt required! The improved Simplified Quick Release Adapter clamps easily to the steering shaft by
hand, without the need for tools. The adapter is also removable, and can be replaced with the ClubSport Quick
Release Adapter, unlocking High Torque Mode on Podium wheel bases.

• Full-scale replica of a McLaren GT3 Steering Wheel
• Officially licensed by McLaren Automotive Limited
• Officially licensed for Xbox One® and Xbox Series X|S
• Two analogue paddles reinforced with honeycomb structure,supporting four switchable modes:
• Clutch bite-point mode (standard/advanced)
• Clutch/handbrake mode
• Brake/throttle mode (allows driving without pedals connected)
• Mappable axis mode
• Clutch bite-point system can be used in any game with analogue clutch input
• Magnetic shifters for superior tactile response
• Rocker-type paddle made from anodised aluminium allows up and down-shifts with one hand (possible on both sides)
• Diamond texture grips on shifter and clutch paddles
• New tool-free Simplified Quick Release Adapter design:
• Improved ease of use (no clamping bolt required) and durability
• Exchangeable, supports ClubSport Quick Release Adapter, unlocking High Torque Mode on Podium wheel bases
• Avoids any play in the QR system
• 1”, 128 x 64 resolution OLED display (white)
• Two 2-way toggle switches
• Multi-Position Switches: two 12-position switches, configurable as endless rotary encoders
• 7-way FunkySwitch™: left, right, up, and down directional inputs, push button, and rotary encoder functionality
• Two high-bezel snap-dome buttons with laser-engraved P and N lettering. Identical resistance to the buttons on the real wheel
• Seven standard buttons with exchangeable button caps
• Tuning Menu button for instant access to force feedback and other Fanatec hardware adjustments
• Overmolded rubber grips (like the original GT3 wheel) with 50 Shore A hardness
• Racing-style button caps included
• Placement markings help to position optional stickers such as “RADIO” and “DRS”
• Xbox® mode LED indicator
• Weight: 1090 g with Simplified QRA / 1280 g with ClubSport QRA
• 300 mm diameter

Compatible Wheel Bases:
• ClubSport Wheel Base V2
• ClubSport Wheel Base V2.5
• CSL Elite Wheel Base
• CSL Elite Wheel Base V1.1
• CSL Elite Wheel Base + officially licensed for PS4™
• Podium Wheel Base DD1
• Podium Wheel Base DD2
• Podium Racing Wheel F1® (Podium Wheel Base DD1 PS4™)

• Xbox: if connected with this steering wheel, the above mentioned wheel bases will be compatible with with Xbox One® and Xbox Series X|S.
• PC and other platforms: The specifications of the compatible wheel bases will remain unchanged.
• The functionality of this product on Xbox or PlayStation can be limited by the capabilities of the console (subject to firmware/OS changes and developer support). The full
functionality can only be guaranteed on PC; this is also game-dependent.

Special notes:
• In order to operate this product, a compatible Fanatec Wheel Base (not included) is mandatory!
• Some features might not be supported on Xbox One® or Xbox Series X|S. Functionality also depends on game developer implementation of the Fanatec SDK.
• High Torque Mode on Podium wheel bases is available when using the ClubSport Quick Release Adapter with this wheel.

What’s Included
• CSL Elite Steering Wheel McLaren GT3 V2
• Racing-style button caps
• McLaren-style sticker set
• Simplified Quick Release Adapter (preinstalled)
• Quick Guide

The McLaren GT3 wheel from Fanatec has historically been one of their most popular wheels. When it was discontinued around the end of 2019, people were disappointed and whenever one of these wheels pop up on the second-hand market it gets sold pretty much immediately.

Today we are excited to introduce you to the brand new V2 Mclaren wheel! From the outside, it does look pretty much identical to the old wheel however under the hood they have made some significant improvements including:

-New magnetic paddles on the back

-A different design for the analog paddles

-New encoders so rather than the 12 way multi-position switches on the previous model we now have rotary encoders that can also be used as multi position switches

-A slightly different LED display

-A completely revised quick release mounting solution (the old wheel didn’t really have a “quick” release system as it required clamping down)

So let’s open the box into a closer look!

To begin with let’s look at the pricing. It is around 199.95 Euros or US dollars, for those in Australia it’s around $349.90. You will also need to upgrade your wheelbase to the latest firmware as well so make sure you are aware of that too.

When you first open the box you have your Fanatec stickers in there as you have come to expect.

There is also a quick start guide which outlines the quick release mechanism as well as the rotor encoder button assignments calibration. These are very detailed and I always recommend that you read through this thoroughly before getting started as it will answer 99% of the questions that I see being asked.

There is also the wheel and the additional button caps inside the box, all wrapped up safely.

When you first look at it, it does look identical to the McLaren GT3 V1 wheel. Same as the V1, it is a plastic construction so although it has the nice carbon fibre looking pattern on the front, it’s just an etched plastic. It does look really good and it’s a nice effect, it reflects the light nicely as it’s turned from side to side. However, the thing that people love the most and in fact what we here at Boosted Media love is the ergonomics of it. All the buttons are easily reached with your thumbs are you are holding it. It’s relatively easy to roll across and reach the toggle switches. Overall, it’s just a nicely designed wheel. It makes sense that it is a very well ergonomically designed wheel because it’s an exact replica of the wheel that is inside of a real race car except for the funky switch at the bottom and also the race car has a fourth rotor encoder button instead of an OLED display.

So, let’s look at the inputs. We have the seven-way funky switch (#5) which can be moved up, down, left, right, spun around as a rotary encoder and a push button. Up the top are a couple of toggle switches (#11 and #13) which go up and down and are really useful for adjusting things like brake bias on the fly in the absence of rotary encoders for the thumbs. You can reach these easily while you are driving so that’s fine. We’ve got five regular push buttons and these have a nice tactile feel to them as well, so that’s the same as what you’ve come to expect on any other club sport wheel from Fanatec as well as a CSL elite wheel. The little button caps are removeable so we can simply pull on it and it clicks off.

Looking at the rotary encoder, one of the things we did mention is that the top two rotary encoders (#19 and #20) now spin all the way around however the middle one (#14) is still a multi-position selection switch for the function of the analogy panels. Making the rotary encoders spin all the around is important because a lot of Sim racing titles do not understand inputs from multi-position switches so these can be used as a pulse for up and down. What that basically means is that every time you move the switch it tells the game to move up one position and every time you move down it tells the game to move down one position. The difference there is that it doesn’t actually know what position it’s in at all times so in a lot of Sim titles that aren’t compatible with multi-position switches what happens is it loses track of where it is and then it doesn’t understand the input anymore, or what you’re seeing on the wheel doesn’t correspond with the correct setting inside the game. On this wheel it’s now configurable through the software and you can change between multi-position switch mode or rotary encoder mode.

The OLED display is now white as opposed to the blue display we had on the old model.

I will note that that buttons #7 and #2 have a really nice tactile feel to them. They give a good solid click and they also have surrounds on them so you don’t accidentally press them. Then are particularly useful for VR as well so you can easily feel where you are.

The wheel has a 300 mm diameter which I find to be pretty much ideal as a versatile wheel for all sort of different style s of driving. Now obviously you’re not going to be doing rally style or drifting with a wheel like this but for formula style as well as GT3 and GT4 style cares this is a perfectly fine diameter. It’s not too twitchy or sensitive and I find that anything bigger than this becomes a little bit difficult to drive formula style cars. This is a really good all-rounder wheel for those who are only wanting to purchase one wheel. As long as you aren’t doing rally or drifting then you should be able to use this wheel for most different styles of driving.

The rubber grips on the edge have a little bit of squish in them. While they aren’t the squishiest grips I’ve felt, having used the McLaren V1 wheel for the past 18 months we have always found them to be comfortable. The grips mould really nicely to the contours of your hands and you can see on the wheel there are little indentions where your thumbs sit.


One thing that has been a significant change from the V1 wheel is the throw to the shifters. You can easily reach them and while they’re not adjustable in terms of distance away I noticed straight away that they do have a significantly better feel. On the V1 it’s just a contact switch and quite a short throw (1.5mm) whereas the V2 has a nice mechanical magnetic action and a noticeably longer throw (4mm). Also the paddles on the V1 wheel is a rocker style switch so you can push or pull to change gears on either side if you wish to. However what I found was that pushing against the mechanical switch felt a bit solid and not particularly comfortable. I’m happy that in the V2 I noticed straight away it’s a bit more comfortable to push on due to that magnetic resistance. It’s certainly something you will appreciate every time you drive, however whether or not it’s something that is significant enough to warrant upgrading from a V1 to a V2 is up to you but at face value at least it definitely does feel like a significant improvement.

One thing worth noting is the honeycomb structure inside the analog panels which adds a lot more strength and does make the analog paddle feel a little bit more solid to pull on. While it’s not a massive difference, it is a one that you will appreciate. If you look at the V1 by comparison it feels the same in terms of mechanical resistance against it but there a little bit of twist there if you pull a bit harder which makes it feel a little cheaper. It’s a small a subtle improvement but it’s still an improvement worth noting.

The most significant upgrade in the V2 wheel is the quick release. On the V1 wheel there is a mechanism where you basically pushed the wheel onto the hub and then had to insert a little fixing screw inside the mechanical spring-loaded retention clip. At the bottom of the wheel was a compartment that could pop out and then the retention screw plus an allen key sat inside it for safe keeping when you were not using it. While it’s a clever design, it was a pain to work with and it wasn’t something that you would want to be inserting and then taking off. If you are changing wheels frequently it was just not something that you’d be wanting to do all the time.  By comparison when we look at the V2 wheel you can see the back panel is flat and there is no longer the key holding insert. Instead we have a newly designed rotating quick release which is a genuine quick release. You can take this on and off very easily without any tools. In our review video on the WRC wheel we mentioned how impressed we were with this.


When you first get your V2 wheel there is a red warning stick on the back that says “STOP TURNING. Once the quick release ring completely convers the indicator line over tightening may result in difficulty to loosen and damage. Read quick guide instructions”. Again I’ll give you a reminder to read the quick guide instructions prior to use. On the back of the wheel there is a little indicator line that you can see that indicates when it’s fully tightened. You slip it the wheel on and you tighten it down and there is very little flex in there at all. It’s a clever design and we hope to see this design at least in some form carried across to the Club Sport and Podium wheels. We have seen that newly designed quick release on the upcoming BMW M4 GT3 wheel which is interesting but we don’t have any further details on that yet.

One thing worth noting with both the V1 and V2 wheels is that we are limited to low torque mode on a DD1 and DD2. If you want high torque, you can purchase a ClubSport quick release adaptor. You can unscrew the existing quick release on the back and then bolt the adaptor in its place. When we bolt the adaptor on it activates a little switch internally on the wheel which tells it that the adaptor is attached and to enable high torque mode on the DD1 and DD2. So if you are wanting to use those modes be aware that you will need to purchase this optional accessory.

When the wheel has been mounted the Fanatec logo will show up in the OLED screen. When the game is running live it does not crash when the wheel is taken on and off. There is a little bit of flex which I think is down to the fact that we’re mounting hard up against plastic. It’s a plastic quick release with glass injection and feels nice and solid however there is a bit of flex in the mounting surface on the back where we are joining up to the plastic housing. Given the price point this is within the realms of being acceptable and I don’t see it being an issue when we are driving. It is about the same amount of flex we had with the metal quick release on the V1 wheel.


Once the wheel is installed you can tune it by going into each setting and adjust it using the funky switch which is very convenient. We don’t have any LED strips on this wheel so no rev-lights but there aren’t any on the genuine item in the real racing car either so it is an accurate representation in that sense. We’ve used Fanalab software to configure the settings and you can watch videos about how to do that HERE.


There are a couple of different modes available which is worth running through. There is a clutch and bite point where we use the analog paddles to set a bite point. There is a clutch and handbrake mode so one paddle becomes a clutch and the other a handbrake, that’s good for rally style driving although I don’t know if you’d want to use this wheel specifically for rallying. There is a brake and throttle mode so if you have a disability, you can use the paddles for your brake and throttle. I know a few people who do that and swear by it so that does seem to work quite well. There is also a mappable analog axes so if you want to map the paddles to any other function you have, even say looking around the cabin!

Now when I start driving I am so impressed by the ergonomic of the wheel. It really is incredibly comfortable to drive with all the indentations and cut outs for your hands. You can drive both with and without gloves and still be comfortable. I did find that driving without gloves my hands got a bit sweaty with the rubber but it’s just the right amount of squishiness. The 300m diameter is just spot on for driving GT3 cars and you could get away with driving formula cars as well. I wouldn’t be using it for rally or driving, obviously you can’t slip the wheel through your hands but overall it’s a comfortable wheel. All the buttons are easy to reach and we’ve got a few things configured now and the button layout means they are just outside the range of your thumb so you’re not going to bump them by accident when you are driving around but you can still easily access them when needed.

With the rotary encoders you do need to roll your hands off to access them. For some Formula style of driving, for example F1 2020, I do prefer having the thumb encoders where they can be easily accessed with your thumbs inside the wheel. Then it’s easy to change things like ERS and fuel trim without having to take your eyes off the road or adjust your hands so you can do it mid corner easily. However it’s still relatively easy to do with this wheel, we just roll across and it’s still very easy to operate. That change they made on the V2 where we can have the rotary encoders as well as multi-position switches means that you can use it in pretty much every single sim title now, whereas with the V1 wheel it was a bit of an issue.

In terms of flex while driving, there is a bit of flex however its about the same amount of flex we’ve come to expect from most Fanatec wheels at the moment and it’s not something that I notice when I’m driving unless I’m paying specific attend to it.

The major difference is the change from mechanical shifters to magnetic paddles. While it is still operating micro switches internally these have a much nicer feeling to them. Between the feeling of the new shifters and the new quick release I think these will probably be the two most compelling reasons people might want to consider upgrading their V1 to a V2 wheel. It is a massive step forward but it’s still probably not enough that I would rush out and upgrade unless I could get a really good price for V1 wheel. It feels like they discontinued the V1, addressed a lot of the issues with it and they released a V2 now as a replacement for the V1 rather than an upgrade. As I already own a V1 wheel I probably would not rush out to get the V2 particularly if you’ve already gone and invested in the metal quick release. If you are running this on a DD1 Or DD2 you will need the metal quick release to get the full torque. If you’re running on a ClubSport wheelbase 2.5 or a CSL elite then that’s a moot point. So if you are already happy with your V1 wheel then you may want to wait for something better to come out.


However as an entry level wheel in the Fanatec range then I do think this is fantastic value for money because it ticks all the boxes. Ergonomically it’s very comfortable, the paddles feel really good, it’s got all the functionality in terms of the analog axis and the OLED display on the front. It’s really hard to go past the value for money that you get with this wheel. If you have one of these and say a BMW GT2 wheel or something similar you use for your rally style and drifting and the other sort of GT style cars where you don’t want the more GT3 or formula style wheel then I feel this wheel really does have all the bases covered and those are probably the only two wheels that you would ever really need. I mean it would be nice to have an RPM gauge on the wheel but most people run rigs with the RPM on the screen or have an external dash or smartphone so I don’t really see it being a problem. We need to remember that this a replica of the real-life wheel which doesn’t have things like rev-lights. If they put them on, people would complain it’s not a real-life replica but then if they don’t include them people complain about the functionality. However you can configure in Fanalab to have the display show your RPM as well if you wish to do that. There are also aftermarket software like Fanaleds as well as other options that you can do that although FanaLab is very close to that if not even more advanced in terms of functionality.

Overall I’m happy they addressed the issues that people had. The quick release is actually a quick release now. I know that a lot of people had problems with electronics in the previous generation wheel as well. Admittedly we never had that issue and we were running the V1 wheel regularly. Tom actually used it as his main wheel for about 3-4 months and it never skipped a beat but there were people who specifically had the paddles stop working for them. There were quite a few warranty claims so I’m hoping the revised internal electronics address that as well. Obviously longevity of the wheel isn’t something we can comment in the first few days we’ve been testing it out but if we do discover any problems in the future we will let you know.


In conclusion, I think this is going to tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people. All the reasons why people enjoyed and liked the GT3 original wheel carry across into this one but with obviously the added benefit of the improvement that they made. The biggest complaints with the original wheel was the quick release that wasn’t really a quick release and the mounting solution which has now been improved with a new design that actually works really well. It works a lot better than the metal quick release in terms of the flex in the hub itself particularly on DD1s and DD2s. The multi-position switches also being able to be used as a rotary encoders makes a difference because that’s going to increase compatibility for a bunch of other titles which is a big positive. The magnetic shifters do feel significantly better than they did before the analog paddles. While I didn’t notice a massive amount of different in terms of the driving experience, the new internal honeycomb design makes then a little stronger. Overall I fell like this is a wheel that offers all the basic core functionality that any sim racers is going to need. It’s got the display, the analog paddles, magnetic paddle sifters, the buttons feel really good, it’s got the seven way funky switch and I feel like this wheel ticks all the boxes for a wheel at this price point.