The Final Pieces
ClubSport Shifter SQ V 1.5
This is another machined aluminum monster piece. The full metal construction ensures that it won’t fall apart anytime soon. It also gives the base a whole lot of mass so it won’t move around much under heavy shifting conditions. It supports both H pattern and sequential shifting modes, which is toggled through a slider at the base of the shifter. The Reverse and 7th gears require the user to depress the shifter to engage those gears. This allows an easy and smooth shifting pattern for the first 6 gears without the chance of mis-shifting.
Another large and hefty box to protect the component.
There is no force feedback functionality for this particular part, but it really does not need it. Sure, if someone could do some FFB for grinding gears, that would be amusing. The shifter attaches to the ClubSport base and also supports USB connections for user with other wheels. There are two gear knobs included; one for sequential use and the other for a more traditional H-knob. The handle itself is of a standard size so that 3rd party knobs can be used with this shifter. The knobs themselves are both made of machined aluminum with the H-knob featuring rubber ribbing for better grip.
Fanatec does not skimp on the padding for these pieces.
The feel of the shifter is outstanding in both H-mode and sequential. It takes a fair amount of pressure to shift into first/second as well as fifth/sixth. This allows users to quickly “feel” where they are shifting. The spring then snaps back the shifter into the neutral third/fourth gear slot. When in sequential mode the shifter pops back into neutral with alacrity and it is impossible to accidentally push it back into H-mode. There are two tabs on the bottom of the shifter that have to be pushed up and down simultaneously to engage and disengage the different modes.
Multiple lengths of cord for different implementations. Can also utilize USB for connectivity.
There are multiple mount points on the bottom of the unit for both the desk mount and for racing chairs with the appropriate arms. The only issue I had is again it is a very tall shifter. When mounted on a desk a user really has to reach pretty high to engage with it. While this isn’t a big deal for sequential mode, it makes H-mode a lot harder to gauge and utilize efficiently. Drivers are far more used to H-mode shifters to be around the same level as the top of their leg. Going up another 1.5 feet is a very different and odd experience.
One of two sliders (the second on the other side) that takes the shifter from H to Sequential.
Those mount points are very important due to the force that is often applied to a shifter, especially in sequential mode. When not paying as much attention as I should, it was easy to slam the shifter back and forth with some authority. The shifter did not suffer any damage, but it certainly moved my desk and monitors about in rather violent fashion. The shifter, when attached to the desk mount, is extremely hard to move around and transfers those forces to the desk very effectively.
Forza Motorsport Rim
The final piece of this setup is the leather-bound Forza wheel. This is the same 30 cm size as the competing Thrustmaster Alcantara Edition rim, but it is much heavier. The stitching and the stretching of the leather are very well done. It may not match the quality of a higher end wheel either in a luxury car or a more expensive custom rim.
A solid rim without any electrical components doesn't need a lot of packaging. It arrived intact.
The base plate is made of 2mm wide brushed aluminum. It features six holes so it can be mounted on a variety of bases that support that screw layout. The leather is dyed black and the stitching is white. Throughout use the dye never came off on my hand, so it is not cheaply or quickly done. It features a solid metal rim and polyurethane construction under that leather.
The white stitching and lettering give it a lot of pop.
This is another heavy piece. It is far heavier than the aforementioned Alcantara Edition from Thrustmaster. While this gives a nice sense of stability and solidity, it also acts as extra mass that requires more force to be acted upon it to move. The motor on the ClubSport V2 is very strong, but I feel that some of the more subtle effects are lost due to the amazing amount of mass that sits between the chair and motor.
The wheel is not circular, but it is molded to fit the standard 10/2 position for a racer’s hands. It has the top white stripe so the user has a visual cue as to where center is. This is another piece of dyed leather rather than an anodized aluminum strip that other wheels feature.
Thick thread and a heavy stitching pattern ensure that this will last a long, long time.
The rim does scream quality and it could conceivably be used in a real car if one so desired. That is one thing that the Thrustmaster Alcantara rim can’t do.