The RennSport Cockpit V2 is a sim racing cockpit from Fanatec that aims to be as close to an all-in-one solution to your mounting and seating needs as possible. It is an undeniably massive leap over the first iteration of the cockpit, due primarily due to the increased customization options and various refinements and improvements to the existing formula.
Today, we’ll be giving the RennSport Cockpit V2 an in-depth look to see if it meets the needs of its target audience and whether it’s worth their hard earned money. We’ll say upfront that we think racing sim cockpits are an underrated peripheral category – but does the RennSport Cockpit V2 meet our high standards?
What to Consider Before Buying a Sim Racing Cockpit
Sim racing cockpits are a combination of gaming chair and steering wheel mount that are designed to emulate the look and feel of piloting a race car – some cockpits that this concept to an extreme degree, whereas others are relatively simple and light on features.
The most important consideration one should think about prior to shopping for a sim racing cockpit is what you need to get out of your cockpit. Some cockpits are simply gamer chairs with integrated wheel mounts; others are full enclosures that are custom-fitted with speakers and monitors. The most common sim racing cockpits are closer to the latter, but they regularly come equipped with monitor mounts as well.
If you simply want a gaming chair with a wheel mount – as you already have a solution for your TV, or perhaps don’t want to dedicate a set for use simply for sim racing – there are quite a few reasonably-priced options available to you. The more features you add to your wish list, the fewer products will fit your requirements and prices will skyrocket.
One small-but-common consideration is mounting points for shifters (somewhat common) and racing pedals (quite common). We think that these particular features are borderline mandatory for a solid sim racing experience, but it’s ultimately up to consumers what they value and what’s worth their money. Also important with regards to shifter holders is that if you’re left-handed, you’ll need to make sure your prospective cockpit can accommodate.
Direct drive wheel bases are becoming more and more common within high level sim racing communities – especially amongst those who play competitively – and with them comes dramatically increased demand for sturdy wheel mounts. If you have a direct drive wheel or intend to get one in the future, make sure you’re getting a cockpit that is capable of withstanding the 20+ Nm of torque they can output!
The RennSport Cockpit V2
The RennSport Cockpit V2 has a decidedly upper-mid range look, feature set and build quality – which is more or less what we’ve come to expect from Fanatec over the years – and an upper-mid range price point to match. This cockpit is aimed squarely at sim racing enthusiasts who have been around the track more than a few times and have developed a need for a cockpit that does all of the basics extremely well and even adds a bit of unique flair and customization, but eschews gimmicks and garish design.
For the base MSRP of $999, you get a RennSport Cockpit V2 frame that is more or less ready to have your wheel base and pedals mounted for use with your own racing seat; three custom seats are available for the cockpit, with prices starting at $199. Further accoutrements such as monitor stands and shifter holders can nearly double the price when all is said and done (more on these options in the next section).
That being said, we must reiterate that this cockpit – while certainly adaptable to the needs of most racing game fans – will only represent a great value to those who really take their racing seriously. There are plenty of racing seats on the market that do a phenomenal job of meeting the needs or more casual or budget-minded gamers while keeping costs to a much more reasonable standard, such as the Playseat Challenge or one of its popular alternatives.
Features & Benefits
The RennsSport Cockpit V2 is positively loaded with practical features that improve quality of life to a significant degree over what more affordable cockpits can offer, but not everything included here will necessarily represent a great value add for everyone. Still, we think this seat knows its audience very well and the exhaustive feature set will cause a lot of mouths to water!
The frame is made of heavy, sturdy metal and the roll cage in particular is 100% aluminum. All of the metal a slick powder coat finish that adds a touch of class while ensuring the product will retain its looks while being easy to clean and maintain over the years. As mentioned before, Fanatec offers three choices for seats to include or purchase later, but you can actually use just about any racing seat you prefer due to the standard 320×345 mm and 320×440 mount hole pattern.
The steering wheel mount also uses industry standard hole patterns, but for some reason Fanatec offers a relatively small list of compatible wheels – including many of their own units in addition to a few from Logitech and Thrustmaster. There are plenty of user reviews and forum comments that suggest that any standard sim racing wheel base will work just fine here; same goes for pedals.
Aside from the aforementioned wheels, pedals and seats, other things that you might like to mount or add-on to this seat will require you to shell out some extra money. The full list of first-and-third party accessories is quite exhaustive to say the least, but the most noteworthy are:
- speaker mounts – $35
- shifter holder – $50
- single monitor stand – $250
- triple monitor stand – $300
As you can see, attaining an ideal setup is going to set you back more than a few bucks here. Still, one can’t help but feel as if Fanatec would have lowered the price much on the MSRP of the unit by simply including all of these accessories in the base model – so it’s nice that one can pick and choose what they actually do need to add to their cockpit.
When fully assembled (note that all tools required for assembly are included in the box), the RennsSport Cockpit V2 measures 174cm length x 84cm width x 80cm height (up to 120cm or more depending on which seat you choose to install) which makes it quite a bit larger than basic racing seats but not as big as many others.
The package ships at a whopping 67kg, but the assembled cockpit is less that half of that – weighing in at a considerable 30kg.
The RennsSport Cockpit V2 has a number of points of adjustability for the pedal and wheel base mounts as well as the seating plate. Shifter holder mounts are available on either side of the frame for right or left handed racers.
Despite the respectable amount of options for tweaking fit and comfort, note that this cockpit is fixed in a GT seating position. Most sim racers will find this preferable or at least tenable, but those who would prefer an F1 posture or the ability to swap between the two would be better served by the Playseat F1 or other seats on the market.
Of special note is the fact that the RennsSport Cockpit V2 is especially sturdy. Obviously, you’d want a cockpit that costs over $1000 to stand the test of time – but some simply wont when used with powerful wheel bases such as those featuring direct drive motors.
Fanatec says that this cockpit is rated for wheels with torque up to 25Nm, making it a perfect fit for their excellent Podium line of wheel bases.
There are a number of great alternative to the RennsSport Cockpit V2 up and down the pricing and feature spectrums. Some of our favorites include:
For less than $200, you can have one of the most versatile racing cockpits on the market. While the Challenge doesn’t have an amazing feature set or the strength to stand up to a direct drive wheel base, it does everything a casual sim racer needs – including offering sturdy pedal mounts and multiple points of articulation for solid adjustability – while also offering the unique ability to be quickly folded and tucked away when not in use.
GTR Simulator GTA
In the $400 range, the GTR Simulator GTA is a favorite pick for those who want something sturdy and highly adjustable. This particular cockpit has been a favorite among burgeoning enthusiasts as it meets more or less all of the requirements most gamers would hope to squeeze out of their cockpit while also hitting a really reasonable price point. The only real knock against this set is that it’s somewhat “gamey” in appearance, but the it’s probably a fine compromise for most.
Unlike the previous two products, the Playseat F1 is actually a direct competitor in the higher-end of the spectrum with the RennSport Cockpit V2. The most notable difference between the two is that the Playseat F1 has a low-to-the-ground F1-esque profile and seating position, whereas the Fanatec product is firmly in the GT configuration. These positions won’t have an effect on performance, but add greatly to the realism and immersion that so many seek in their sim racing experiences.
The RennsSport Cockpit V2 is a truly great racing cockpit that meets the demands of the vast majority of sim racing gamers by offering great versatility and customization options while maintaining the integrity of an extremely sturdy and durable frame. Anyone who can afford this cockpit should seriously consider making it the basis of their racing rig, as the increased performance, comfort and immersion it provides are hard to match.
While there are a great number of sim racing cockpits on the market that are considerably less costly or more feature rich, none quite hit the balance wherein they meet all of the baseline requirements while also looking sleek and feeling durable. The RennsSport Cockpit V2 will likely endure your hobby for as long as you do, and look good doing it.
If you’re in the market for a new sim racing cockpit, you’d be wise to go with the RennsSport Cockpit V2!
Last Updated on April 16, 2021