PXN-V12 Lite Review: Surprising Beginner Direct Drive Bundle


With Direct Drive wheelbases being affordable even at the entry level now, Michel takes a look at a particularly interesting bundle in his PXN-V12 Lite Review.

It was not long ago that Direct Drive was unimaginably expensive for most sim racers. The last few years have changed that, though. Fanatec started the foray into affordable DD bases with the CSL DD in 2021, and since then, numerous manufacturers have launched their own hardware options.

PXN is one of them. The Chinese manufacturer may not be that well known in the western hemisphere, but they are aiming to change that. Presences at the Gamescom and SimRacing Expo in 2023 showed their range of hardware, which ranges from entry-level sets to full rigs, as well as a 16 Nm DD base called V15.

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For the entry level, PXN offers the V12 Lite bundle that comes with the base, the PD-HM pedals, and the W DS Racing Wheel. The bundle should be of particular interest to sim racers due to its price of about €550/$550 – and its compatibility.

PXN-V12 Lite Review: Compatibility​

Indeed, the base is not only compatible with PC and Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, but also with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The latter is achieved via a dongle that plugs into the back of the wheelbase.

This makes the PXN-V12 Lite bundle a terrific option for console sim racers or those that switch platforms frequently. Meanwhile, the PXN Wheel app available for iOS and Android lets users change the settings of the base. That means you do not need to have a PC handy to plug it into to adjust it.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Wheel-1024x576.png


Features​

The wheel itself looks solid and is 300mm in diameter. Quality is good for the price, although the red stitching around the synthetic leather could have been done a bit cleaner in some places. Meanwhile, the wheel has both shifter paddles and dual clutch paddles on board by default – something not many in that price category offer.

Other features include an aluminum quick release similar to that of MOZA Racing or Simagic, an RGB shift light stripe and two rotary switches. The buttons, however, feel slightly wobbly and do not offer much resistance – whch does not prevent them from performing as intended.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Wheelbase-1024x576.png


PXN-V12 Lite Review: Wheelbase​

As mentioned, the PXN-12 Lite wheelbase puts out a maximum of 6Nm of torque. It weighs just under 5 kilograms (10,8 pounds) and comes with four mounting holes at the bottom. A bracket kit lets you mount it to your desk.

As for the FFB performance, the PXN-V12 Lite performs well. Michel tested the base in Assetto Corsa, Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing, DiRT Rally 2.0, EA Sports WRC and Gran Turismo 7 on PS5. Check out the video for his impressions!

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Pedals-1024x576.png


Pedals​

How about the PD-HM pedals, though? The bundle comes with three of them, but you do not have to use all of them. You can adjust their position on the included mounting plate, and the angle and height can also be changed.

However, as has to be expected at the price point, the PD-HM set is relatively basic. The brake pedal can be adjusted with different springs and elastomers, which are not included, though. Instead of a load cell, the pedals use magnetic HALL effect sensors.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Pedal-Plate-1024x576.png


PXN-V12 Lite Review: Software​

Unfortunately, the PXN software does not share the solid impression of the hardware. Michel’s PXN-V12 Lite review mentions unsigned Windows drivers, instructions that are lacking a bit, a bug when setting up the pedals and missing translations do not help the user experience. Luckily, this has nothing to do with the build quality of the bundle. Software improvements can usually be achieved much more quickly.

Verdict​

The quality of the hardware is solid, as Michel’s PXN-V12 Lite review shows. For the price, the bundle is definitely an option for beginners to consider. This is especially true if you want to get into Direct Drive without breaking the bank. The expanded compatibility is another plus.

Similarly, the adjustability of the pedals is helpful so sim racers can adapt the set to their liking. Tuning options for the brake pedal are not included, but can be purchased separately. Meanwhile, the PXN Wheel app allows customization of wheelbase and pedal settings from your smartphone.

PXN-V12-Lite-Review-Quick-Release-1024x576.png


The V12 Lite’s FFB output is solid for a 6Nm base, and can be very smooth, depending on the title. However, there are some issues with the set, too. The user experience could use an upgrade when it comes to the software. Translations and signatures for Windows drivers are at the top of the list there. Additonally, warranty claims could potentially be difficult with hardware imported from China.

What are your impressions of the bundle after our PXN-V12 Lite Review? Let us know 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

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Comments

I'm sold!
Solely due to the dual shift pad solution, the one being with analogue variable input (edit: yes I know of the Fanatec Advanced Paddle Module Add-on, but another ball game speaking price tags in my case with no Fanatic hardware)

When I acquired my Thrustmaster Guillemotte Ferrari FFB wheel back in 1999 I though this was the future. And helped me alot when the pedals broke down, hence I could map gas/brake with the analogue pad set, also suitable for a disabled friend of which I invited and he was happy finally being able to proper simracing and not just keyboard driving. Apart from this I could think of other purposes where this solution would be convenient.

I put my Moza R9 order on hold to more reasons, and this was my primary reason, looking for something like this at reasonable prices.

I will only need the wheel since I'm very satisfied with my T-LCM and G27 pedals, besides my 2xT8HA solution for H-/seq. stick + analogue handbrake solution, so hope this is a possibility.

And in that case with expected lower price tag for stand-alone wheel, I would search for a model with higher torque, since just my T300RS-GT wheel in some older sim mods way exceeds the precribed max 3.9Nm (I think it is), and having tried a Moza R9 I think I'll regret an intro 6Nm DD solution.

The buttons seems maybe too simple, but if they prove not being a fragile Chinese model (OK, so this one is Chinese, but no pun), i.e. OK longitivity, then it's still a better solution for me compared to my present prime wheel, where I sometimes miss a little more options for mappings.

I will try and look more into this new player on the market.

(It's refreshing that the sim hardware market is really revving up these years with more and more refined solutions and new vendors, the Cov-19 lock down seems to have accellerated the process without a diminishing trend, which I observe in general speaking the sim game/software tendencies, albeit with a few bright spots)

Edit: OK, so found the standard PXN V12 coming with a 10Nm DD motor base and the 13" inch without pedals for $539, unfortunately not in my region.
And looked further up on the vendor, seems like a close collaboration with Moza and recognizable ECO system.
My antennas are hereby tuned.
 
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(It's refreshing that the sim hardware market is really revving up these years with more and more refined solutions and new vendors, the Cov-19 lock down seems to have accellerated the process without a diminishing trend, which I observe in general speaking the sim game/software tendencies, albeit with a few bright spots)

I read this bit as "most of the Covid boons we've seen disappeared when the world re-opened, except the sim racing hardware boon." Is that your intention? In this case, I wouldn't expect it to continue; product development is a long, long process. Most of the relatively complex items you see on shelves have a development process lasting 18-24 months or so, so a lot of the releases we're seeing now had their development start in the middle of the pandemic. Even if sales were slowing down (no idea if they are or not) the investment into development still needs to be recouped, so the products under development are still going to be released. :)

I hope that's not the case, of course, as more competition is better for us users, so hopefully that's just a pessimistic view from me, but it's also an informed view since I work in product development. :)
 
I read this bit as "most of the Covid boons we've seen disappeared when the world re-opened, except the sim racing hardware boon." Is that your intention? In this case, I wouldn't expect it to continue; product development is a long, long process. Most of the relatively complex items you see on shelves have a development process lasting 18-24 months or so, so a lot of the releases we're seeing now had their development start in the middle of the pandemic. Even if sales were slowing down (no idea if they are or not) the investment into development still needs to be recouped, so the products under development are still going to be released. :)

I hope that's not the case, of course, as more competition is better for us users, so hopefully that's just a pessimistic view from me, but it's also an informed view since I work in product development. :)
Relevant input and that was my take until about a year ago, but my POV is that we are now so far away from Cov-19 and still much iterative processes going on, just look at Asetek, continously refinement of their products. I still regard this as more casual gamers seeing the light in simracing, doing it properly with more than just a gamepad, but still options for PS4/PS5/Xbox consoles where the huge consumer market is, carrying possibilities for a hardware market.
So maybe my POV is too bright - but I prefer it that way at present, just enjoying what's coming :)
 
Hopefully for you the software keeps running after the next windows update. Or when Windows 12 releases.
 
My last two wheels were Belt driven, one by Thrustmaster and one by Fanatec. Both were over 500$$...so for a Direct Drive wheel, I'd say that IS an entry level price.

Remember the first VCRs? The size of a suitcase, no features, cost over $1500. Twenty years later you could get a full featured VCR, ten times what those early units were, for less than $200.

The first flat screen TVs set you back over $1000 for a 32". Twenty years later a similar TV is $200.

My first "good" joystick was a Thrustmaster for which I paid about $120 (on sale). Well built but finicky, required frequent cleaning, and 50meg of software to program all the buttons. I now use a Logitech which was less than $30 (including shipping) and is a magnitude better in every respect to that Thrustmaster of twenty years ago (4 axes, 12 buttons, requires no software, and never needs cleaning).

So. Why haven't steering wheels for race sims followed the trend of increased production and modern manufacturing bringing down prices? My first FFB wheel was about $200, now $500 is considered a cheap wheel. By that standard that 32" TV should now cost $5000.
 
So. Why haven't steering wheels for race sims followed the trend of increased production and modern manufacturing bringing down prices? My first FFB wheel was about $200, now $500 is considered a cheap wheel. By that standard that 32" TV should now cost $5000.
They have - 3 years ago you’d be paying well over a grand just for the DD wheelbase. These days you can get a DD wheelbase, wheel, and pedal set for half that.

Also consider that sim-racing is a very niche thing and as such it‘s still relatively low production, meaning that economy of scale doesn’t really apply here.
 
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Joysticks are a niche market also, but today's $30 joystick is a vast improvement over a $250 joystick of twenty years ago.

I believe they are going to price themselves out of the market, in addition to fomenting an elitist fan base.
 
Premium
Remember the first VCRs? The size of a suitcase, no features, cost over $1500. Twenty years later you could get a full featured VCR, ten times what those early units were, for less than $200.

The first flat screen TVs set you back over $1000 for a 32". Twenty years later a similar TV is $200.

My first "good" joystick was a Thrustmaster for which I paid about $120 (on sale). Well built but finicky, required frequent cleaning, and 50meg of software to program all the buttons. I now use a Logitech which was less than $30 (including shipping) and is a magnitude better in every respect to that Thrustmaster of twenty years ago (4 axes, 12 buttons, requires no software, and never needs cleaning).

So. Why haven't steering wheels for race sims followed the trend of increased production and modern manufacturing bringing down prices? My first FFB wheel was about $200, now $500 is considered a cheap wheel. By that standard that 32" TV should now cost $5000.
Your comparing the price of aging technology, to tech that is developing currently.
 
Your comparing the price of aging technology, to tech that is developing currently.

The technology of VCRs increased greatly over a span of twenty years, while the prices went from $1700 to $170. The technology of flat screen TVs has advanced greatly over the past twenty years, but a 40" today is cheaper than a 20" was back then.
 
Premium
So what 20 year period are you talking about. I assume your referring to from late 1950s to late 70s. That was when the tech was worked out. In the late 70's VHS VCRs were the clear winner. From 80 to 2000 you didn't see really much improvement to the VCR. When flat screen TVs were so expensive the tech was being developed. There were plasma, LCD and LED tvs competing for the market. Just like batamax and VHS.
 
There were no VCRs in the fifties, that was a seventies development. You dealt with open reel video, such as Ampex Quad, before that.

A 1980 VCR was the size of a suitcase, had rotary tuners, wired remote, no freeze frame, only SP record mode, and blanked the screen in anything but play mode. A 2000 VCR had four heads plus flying erase head, infrared remote, frame advance, freeze frame, fast forward and rewind, stereo sound, comb filters ...etc.etc.etc. That 1980 machine would set you back around $1500 and a single tape was $15, that 2000 machine was $179 and tapes were $2-$3 each.

I recently gave away my old 42" plasma screen TV, which was $2500 a dozen years ago. I replaced it with a 40" LED set that was $379 (and has a much friendlier remote).
 
550???
naaah bruh
Cammus C5 IS BUSTING this thing
Including wheel base this is however another price level - At least in my region, more close to €900 for full package.
NB: had to cancel original order on Cammus C5 + DDWB 15Nm wheel since no delivery date.
Then put my Moza R9 order on hold.
And then this double pad switch system, one being analoque variable input is tempting me, at least for the 10Nm pure V12 DD wheel base version.
But again - all those exotic nice things seems not to be available in my region, unless I pay mammoth overseas costum duties and VAT, but then I'm in the Fanatec prize league anyway :(
 
Premium
There were no VCRs in the fifties, that was a seventies development. You dealt with open reel video, such as Ampex Quad, before that.

A 1980 VCR was the size of a suitcase, had rotary tuners, wired remote, no freeze frame, only SP record mode, and blanked the screen in anything but play mode. A 2000 VCR had four heads plus flying erase head, infrared remote, frame advance, freeze frame, fast forward and rewind, stereo sound, comb filters ...etc.etc.etc. That 1980 machine would set you back around $1500 and a single tape was $15, that 2000 machine was $179 and tapes were $2-$3 each.

I recently gave away my old 42" plasma screen TV, which was $2500 a dozen years ago. I replaced it with a 40" LED set that was $379 (and has a much friendlier remote).
Your strait up wrong, first VCR came out in 1956! Negative on the 1980 machine setting you back, $1500. My family got our first vcr in 83, cost in 83 were upwards of $500. Stop spreading lies!!
 
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Your strait up wrong, first VCR came out in 1956! Negative on the 1980 machine setting you back, $1500. My family got our first vcr in 83, cost in 83 were upwards of $500. Stop spreading lies!!
I see no lies here.

I remember very well the prices, when in the late 70's I looked longingly at VCR's as an absolute luxury item reserved only for the most wealthy.

Between the years 1980 - 1983 there was a dramatic development of VCR for the general population.
In 1980, a Philips VCR cost my friend's family $1400.
In 1981 my father bought the newer model with more features for $1200.
By 1983, the VCR was in almost every home and the price was now around $5-700

Back to the track and the point regarding the price development of DD wheels, they were for the wealthy few just 10 years ago.

But with Fanatec's CSL intro base a few years ago, the market has really taken off with competitive prices, although I don't see DD at under $500 for wheels + base as a realistic option.

Myself acquired my belt-driven T300RS-GT wheel+base including T3PA pedals for round $600 in my country, so getting a similar DD for the same money I had not dreamed of back then.
 
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Back to the track and the point regarding the price development of DD wheels, they were for the wealthy few just 10 years ago.

Good point. And what was the standard wheel back then? the Logitech G series, virtually ubiquitous. But where is that today? Similar tech, established production, there should be an equivalent of those Logitechs today for $150-$200 new ....but there is nothing decent in that price range. People wanting to sell their old Logitechs are asking $250+ for them (saw one listed for $275 that "needs work").

That is my complaint. Not that these new wheels start at $500 but that there is nothing less expensive.
 

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