Fanatec QR2 Review: To upgrade or not to upgrade?

Fanatec-QR2-Review2.jpg
Image: Fanatec
With the release of the Fanatec QR2, the Landshut-based hardware manufacturer aimed to improve issues the old quick release system had. We have tried the system for our Fanatec QR2 review.

It almost felt like a myth at one point. Having been in the works for a while, the Fanatec QR2 was prominently shown at SimRacing Expo 2022, but it still took about a year from then until it was available. Sim racers using the Fanatec ecosystem were looking forward to the QR2 quite a bit, considering the shortcomings of the QR1 system.

The "old" system was a bit clunky to operate. After mounting a wheel, sim racers still had to tighten a screw mechanism that would expand a rubber ring to push against the wheel side quick release, locking it in place. But even that left some wheels with different levels of flex or play when operating - unless you installed the infamous retaining screw. Depending on the manufacturing tolerances of a particular QR, flex could be non-existant or rather noticeable.


While the system worked, it made changing wheels on the fly more of a hassle than it should have been. The QR2 is designed to improve on all of this, so we (finally) tried it on a Podium DD2 wheel base - better late than never, right?

The wheel side and base side units were kindly provided by Fanatec.

Both are full-metal constructions. The difference between them is that the Pro model is built to FIA standards and could be used in real racing as well, while the standard version cannot. They function the same, however, and we could not find any other notable differences - except visually: The Pro model features a gold collar, the standard one has an all-black exterior.

According to Fanatec, the QR2 pro is "CNC-machined from aviation-grade billet aluminium", whereas the QR2 is made from "diecast aluminium with CNC-machined and black anodised finish".

A third model called QR2 Lite is also available, which is cheaper than the other two. It does not feature a metal construction, instead relying on a "carbon fibre-reinforced polyamide construction", according to the official product description. The QR2 Lite cannot be run in high torque mode, much like the lite version of the QR1.

Fanatec-QR2-Lineup.jpg

The QR2 Pro, QR2 and QR2 Lite wheel side adapters (from left to right) mounted to Fanatec steering wheels. Image: Fanatec

Fanatec QR2 Assembly​

Before we could hit the track, it was time to grab some tools, however. While select wheels and wheel bases can be ordered with the QR2 already installed, many sim racers will look at upgrading their existing setups. Fanatec includes instructions on how to do so, and it is easier than one might think at first.

Wheel Side​

For the wheel side QR2, it is as easy as removing the old QR by taking out the bolts on the back of the wheel (four to six, depending on the wheel) and mounting the new one with those same screws.

Some wheels, including the ClubSport Formula V2.5X and the Podium Porsche 911 GT3 R require a plastic washer to be installed around the contact pins, which is not complicated either. The purpose of the washer is to minimze the risk of the pins being bent or snapping entirely.

Fanatec-QR2-Wheelside-Washer.jpg

The plastic washer with the correct bolts in place (well, all but one).

Be sure to check the bolts before mounting the washer, however. Fanatec advises to use the bolts that come with the QR2 instead of those that are already in place - the ones supplied with the wheel side adapter have a narrower head, with the broader ones potentially causing trouble further down the line should you retain them.

Base Side​

The base side QR2 installation seems a bit more complicated for the Podium wheel bases in particular. There are two versions of the system available, which are compatible with different wheel bases.

The Type M connector is needed to upgrade a Podium DD1 or DD2 base, while the Type C connector is compatible with the Gran Turismo DD Pro and CSL DD bases. Differentiating the two is easy: The Type M connects to the base via wires, the Type C uses a USB C-type connection.

Therefore, installation of the two differs slightly. For both, you want to start with loosening the bolts of the black clamp on the shaft of the wheel base, allowing you to slowly pull out the old QR. For the Type C QR2, it is as easy as replacing it while lining up the connector with the corresponding slot in the wheel base. Re-tighten the collar and you are done.


For the Type M, a few extra steps are necessary. Pulling out the old QR, you need to rotate the adaptor anti-clockwise until the wirese are not wound up anymore. Disconnect the plastic wire connectors, connect the QR2 wires the same way, rotate the QR2 clockwise until the wirese are almost pulled back into the base, then slowly push in the QR2. Re-tighten the collar - and that is your DD1 or DD2 base ready to go.

In total, upgrading our DD2 and two wheels took approximately 30 minutes - a rather simple process indeed.

Fanatec QR2 Performance​

A secure, flex-free connection between wheel and wheel base are essential to get the most out of its Force Feedback. The QR1 did this well, even if it meant installing that retaining screw in some cases (defying the "quick" part of a quick release a bit).

However, the QR2 does feel just that little bit more pronounced when it comes to smaller effects, such as small bumps in the road. With more pronounced forces, there is no notable difference in our experience.

The rubber ring of the old system could be the cause of that - while the more pronounced forces "overpowered" it, the more nuanced ones might have been somewhat dampened by the flexible part of the "lock".

For many, the main draw of the Fanatec QR2 would be the ease of use when changing wheels. Whereas the QR1 required multiple steps, the QR2 allows sim racers to switch wheels within seconds. Simply pull back the collar on the quick release, pull off the wheel, and click the new one in place - done! This element might not be of the greatest importance for those who mainly race with one wheel, but those who use different rims frequently will likely appreciate this change.

Fanatec QR2 Price​

While the QR2 is an improvement over its predecessor without a doubt, it has one significant downside - and that is its price. At the time of writing this review, Fanatec lists the different versions on their website as follows:

QR2 Pro Wheel Side€199.95 / $199.95
QR2 Wheel Side€99.95 / $99.95
QR2 Lite Wheel Side€59.95 / $59.95
QR2 Base Side (Type M)€149.95 / $149.95
QR2 Base Side (Type C)€69,95 / $149.95

Additionally, there are six bundles that offer a way to save some money when upgrading:

QR2 Bundle (Type M)€199.95 / $199.95
QR2 Pro Bundle (Type M)€299.95 / $299.95
QR2 Bundle (Type C)€159.95 / $ 159.95
QR2 Lite Bundle (Type C)€109.95 / $109.95
2x QR2 Wheel Side + 1x Base Side Bundle (Type M)€249.95 / $249.95
2x QR2 Lite Wheel Side + 1x Base Side Bundle (Type M)€169.95 / $169.95

The bundles do help, but all things considered, making the jump to the QR2 is an expensive upgrade - especially if you have multiple wheels. For instance, upgrading two wheels and a Podium base with the standard QR2 would still set you back about €300. Depending on the level of flex you feel in your QR1, this may be worth it - or not, if you feel that it is fine and you rarely change wheels anyway.

Fanatec-QR2-Pro-Side-View.jpg

Changing wheels is a breeze using the QR2 (pictured: QR2 Pro). Image: Fanatec

Fanatec QR2 Review: Conclusion​

As hinted at above, answering the question of "is it worth it for me?" is hard to do when it comes to the Fanatec QR2. If you intend to stay in the ecosystem and have multiple wheels (or plan on getting more), the upgrade might be worth it. The same is true if you feel notable amounts of flex in the connection that take away from your sim racing experience.

On the other hand, it is not going to be a cheap upgrade, particularly for those who like to change wheels to match the cars they are driving frequently. There is (understandably, with the systems being so different) no backwards compatibility with the wheel side QR1 or vice versa, so the upgrade has to be all or nothing - if you want to keep using all of your equipment, that is.

If you do make the jump, the ease of use and slightly more pronounced low-force details are certainly nice to have. The build quality of the QR2 parts, be it wheel or base side, is excellent, and they require virtually no maintenance. Fanatec only recommends wiping the wheel side QR2 with a soft cloth from time to time - that is it.

Fanatec QR2: Pros & Cons​

ProCon
- Great ease of use when switching wheels- Expensive
- Upgrading devices is simple- No backwards compatibility with QR1
- Clearly improves on the QR1's issues, providing a secure connection between wheel and wheel base
- Compatible with all Fanatec wheels that feature an exchangeable quick release system

If you are planning on buying this product and you like what we do here at OverTake, please consider using our affiliate link. We make a small commission on each sale, without any extra costs for you.

Have you tried the Fanatec QR2 yet? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

Thing I don't understand, if you specify QR2 for a wheel that already comes with QR1 you still pay full price for the QR2 ? Unless I miss something ? They don't send you both ?

So I would be better off ordering Formula v2.5 and a QR2 as separate orders.
Use the QR2 and sell the QR1 brand new in the box .
Here they are $85AU, used ones sell for $20 on eBay so new one easy bring $50AU
Otherwise you are just paying for someone else's QR1.

Link to Fanatec says QR1 sold out
On AU site says " July 5th "

Screenshot 2024-05-11 065502.jpg
 
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Thing I don't understand, if you specify QR2 for a wheel that already comes with QR1 you still pay full price for the QR2 ? Unless I miss something ? They don't send you both ?

Oh they're always very clear. Like when I bought my CSL DD + Boost kit, it still showed like you would get the original PSU in cart, but of course not. Just that the boost kit was on a combo deal sale. Not like oh you get it cheaper because we left the original part out.
 
Link to Fanatec says QR1 sold out
On AU site says " July 5th "
I wrote to Fanatec about it, because I'm thinking about buying a ClubSport Formula V2.5. Customer service replied that the QR1 would be back in stock "early in the summer".

I don't think you'll get a free QR1 if you buy a QR2 with a wheel, because they are shipped separately. If you order a QR2 and a wheel, that's what you'll get, there won't be a free QR1 in the steering wheel box.
 
Premium
Hey Yannik, no typos :) I'm happy! Though this sentence seems - wrong:
With more pronounced forces, there is no notable difference in our experience.
So, no difference, except a difference? "Other than more..." makes more sense?

And at the start you're describing the QR1 Lite, (tighten screw) not the QR1, which works exactly like the QR2 - pull back the collar to fit / remove. As I think QR1 Lites are rubbish the QR2, any QR2 is probably a big upgrade, but from a decent QR1?

Another notable drawback of the QR2: there's still a lot of people using CSW / CSL belt drive bases (like me) and we're not part of Fanatec's plans, there's no base-side QR2 adapter for us. If I wanted to switch I'd need a new wheelbase, and seven wheelsides for my rims, so you're right, it's not a cheap upgrade!

'Pro' tip: if you have a CSW 2.5 and get wheel flex (or break pins 'cos its Fanatec) a zero-play shaft fixed the problem for me. Made to decent tolerances (unlike the Fanatec ones) my rims all fit tightly with zero flex. Best upgrade I've done.
 
OverTake
Premium
Hey Yannik, no typos :) I'm happy! Though this sentence seems - wrong:

So, no difference, except a difference? "Other than more..." makes more sense?

And at the start you're describing the QR1 Lite, (tighten screw) not the QR1, which works exactly like the QR2 - pull back the collar to fit / remove. As I think QR1 Lites are rubbish the QR2, any QR2 is probably a big upgrade, but from a decent QR1?
The first sentence you're referring to means that with the very light forces, you do feel a difference, whereas you don't (or well, I) with those effects that use more force. So on the lower end, you feel slightly more, on the upper end of the scale, it's not the case.

For the non-lite QR1, there is the metal ring you need to screw in, and an optional retaining bolt you can put in to further tighten things up. It's hardly used from what I hear, but can help if there is still flex once the metal ring is tightened, like it did with the Porsche wheel that I mentioned. It depends on the QR, not the model of wheel as far as I know, due to very slightly different manufacturing tolerances :)
 
Premium
The first sentence you're referring to means that with the very light forces, you do feel a difference, whereas you don't (or well, I) with those effects that use more force. So on the lower end, you feel slightly more, on the upper end of the scale, it's not the case.

For the non-lite QR1, there is the metal ring you need to screw in, and an optional retaining bolt you can put in to further tighten things up. It's hardly used from what I hear, but can help if there is still flex once the metal ring is tightened, like it did with the Porsche wheel that I mentioned. It depends on the QR, not the model of wheel as far as I know, due to very slightly different manufacturing tolerances :)
I’ve got a DD1 with QR1 and when I change wheels I always loosen off the brassy/goldy colured collar which I believe squeezes a rubber gasket to make the connection tighter. Most of the time I see the QR1 getting mentioned no one seems to mention this (apart from you here). They just talk about the bit you pull back with your fingers to release and occasionally the little bolt.

I think the brassy collar thing that squeezes the rubber gasket is essential to getting a secure fit. It may not be a very quick release doing this but how often to people change wheels.

I’ve never had any problem with flexing or wobbling on my DD1 with 3 different wheels but I’ve always screwed that brassy thing in or out since the very beginning. I have never used the little bolt either I thought that was just for shipping .

Or maybe I just got lucky and my DD1 and the wheelside QRs have been from good batches.
 
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OverTake
Premium
Correct, the brass ring is part of the mechanism and not optional, at least I have never heard of anyone running their wheels on a QR1 without it.

The little screw I referenced is hardly used, but does indeed help with QR1s that flex a bit even with the brass ring tightened.
Sounds like you got a good batch then if you never needed to use that :)
 
"The purpose of the washer is to minimze the risk of the pins being bent or snapping entirely."

The purpose of the plastic washer with the new bolts is to prevent the bolts from hitting the QR2 base side, and damage the QR2 base side from these hits.
The old metal washer can also cause damage to QR2 base side.
 
I wrote to Fanatec about it, because I'm thinking about buying a ClubSport Formula V2.5. Customer service replied that the QR1 would be back in stock "early in the summer".

I don't think you'll get a free QR1 if you buy a QR2 with a wheel, because they are shipped separately. If you order a QR2 and a wheel, that's what you'll get, there won't be a free QR1 in the steering wheel box.

Yeah I understood that just don't get why I don't get a $85AU credit for the QR1 I have obviously paid for in the price of the wheel but don't receive.

You can't sell products and say this is $0.00 Everything must have a value.
It does not say free QR1 so the Formula v2.5 is really less then the 535AU you pay and the QR1 price is part of that.

So everyone who orders a wheel with QR2 is giving the next person a free QR1.

That is the way I see it, if it was $10-$20AU that would be okay but not $85AU no way.

I don't think that would even be okay by ACCC unless it says " free" which means you should get it either way whether it is any use to you or not.

I call wrought.

P.,S.
I will just have to wait till July and pay a extra $15AU postage for the QR2.
Not giving them a $85AU part for nothing, stuff that.
 
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........ unless it says " free"


Ah sneaky buggers :)
They do say FREE but only in Cart
Screenshot 2024-05-12 081753.jpg


So v2.5 is $170AU more value then McLaren GT3.
Makes sense now, doh.

$1,100 for v2.5 and upgrade 3 wheels is just too dear for me.
That would pay for a Alpha Mini

The $22AU clamp is really doing the job so no need for QR2, touch wood.

I still advise anyone to use the extra bolt because even if you can't really discern
flex with QR1 by pushing on it ( gently ) does not mean there is none under load
and no matter how small a flex that will eventually wear more without the bolt
then with it.
 
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Disregarding Fanatec's many issues, they did a great job with the QR2. I've got four of the regulars and a pro and they're consistent in fit and finish. The system itself is extremely convenient and rock solid. Here's to hoping a Corsair purchase can lead to Fanatec accelerating this type of innovation and product delivery while others bring up the quality of their administrative, logistics and support sides of the business.
 
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Ah sneaky buggers :)
They do say FREE but only in Cart

LOL! Yeah, I noticed that too.

Here's the email I got from Fanatec:
"Fanatec does not give the chance to purchase a steering wheel or hub without a QR because this solution helps the customer to be able to unpack the goods and immediately be able to plug and play. Also, giving the chance to provide these items without QR may generate confusion among customers during check out with the high risk of orders with missing parts.
Please also note that it would be very difficult to manage in terms of logistic and product management itself. This is why it is not possible to purchase a steering wheel or hub without a QR..
As you mentioned, at the moment, QR1 is sold out and we are working on re-stocking the product. We expect it to be back on the market at the beginning of the summer.
Your understanding is greatly appreciated."

I actually understand their point. If a QR1 wasn't automatically included when you put the wheel in your cart, some people would order just the wheel and then complain that they can't connect it to their base. In my case, I have a QR1 on my McLaren GT3 wheel, but if I buy the Formula V2.5, I'll probably use only that one and sell off my McLaren, or just keep it as a backup, in case. So I wanted to transfer my QR1 to my new wheel, which is why I asked Fanatec about it.
 
The biggest piss take is that the QR1 is permanently out of stock, and has been for months. So even if you've wanted to buy a wheel at anytime in the recent past you have to fork out for QR2 and potentially swap over any other wheels you might have or choose something that uses the QR1 lite.

What's worse is that they won't sell you the wheel without the quick release either so if you had a spare QR1 or QR1 lite or you could pick one up on ebay it's still a no go. This is I think the dumbest thing they've done yet and the extra crazy bit is that it's likely intentional, to try to get existing and new users to "move" (read "pay silly money") to QR2.

I'm pretty sure they've lost a good number of customers over this issue alone for example the Formula v2.5x looks ok @ €350...unfortunately the actual cost all said and done is closer to €550 if you haven't already got the wheelside. The mind boggles.
 
if youre already deep in the fanatec ecosystem, like you have a dd already and like it, then i think its worth it to make the switch. the new qr is just so much nicer to use. to be fair i got the type m wheel side for 30 bucks on black friday so that was a HUGE help. but ya, the qr1 on the dd1 with the sleeve screw and rubber ring was just not fun. you have to keep the rubber ring greased or it gets hard to put a wheel on and still feels clunky to do. honestly the all metal base side qr on my old CSWv2 was much nicer. you just slid the wheel on smoothly and it clicked into place, no fuss. and it always felt plenty solid for me.

one thing i wish i had known is that my clubsport universal hub had the OLD version qr1 not the NEW qr1, so the qr2 is technically not compatible, i needed a slew of adapters from Sim Racing Machines which adds another inch and a quarter to the stack (and takes another few bills out of the wallet)
 
Premium
The QR2, even the wheelside lite version, performs better than any QR1. Absolutely no flex, and the forces are not dampened by a loose fitting QR. My only issue is with pricing.
 

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