If you’re in the market for a new direct drive (DD) wheelbase that offers unparalleled realism and delivers the ultimate sim-racing experience, then look no further than the Simucube 2 series DD wheelbase: the Sport, Pro, and Ultimate.
Praised by countless sim racers worldwide for its true-to-life driving feel, the SC2 series offers ultra-sophisticated force feedback (FFB) coupled with a software package (Truedrive) that ensures effortless profile set-ups via Paddock, meaning it can satisfy the needs of any user, from the casual sim racer to the hardcore professional looking to knock an extra tenth off their lap time.
This top-of-the-line DD wheelbase is built and designed by the eponymous Simucube, the sim racing arm of Granite Devices, a company that specializes in manufacturing industrial-grade motors and control units. Simucube offers the SC2 in three variations with different product specifications – Sport, Pro, and Ultimate – allowing you to choose the right model to suit your needs.
In this post, we’ll be looking at what makes Simucube’s wheelbases the best choice to achieve the utmost realism in your sim rig. We’ll be focusing on the engineering and technology that power the three SC2 variations, user feedback and comparisons with other brands, and the latest software update from Simucube dubbed True Drive Paddock that makes finding the perfect settings for your wheelbase quicker and easier than ever.
What Powers the SC2?
To find out what makes the SC2 one the most immersive, robust, and powerful DD wheelbases you can get, first, we need to open it up. Inside the tough-yet-refined outer casing, you’ll find that Simucube has housed the entire circuit board, electronics components such as a state-of-the-art angle sensor, and an industrial-grade Granite Devices motor all in one unit.
In addition, thanks to its passive cooling, the unit doesn’t require any fans, reducing the chances and dust-related issues, and the reduction in its overall footprint when compared with its predecessor, the SC1, makes installing and mounting it to your rig a whole lot easier.
What’s unique about the motor in the SC2 is that unlike DD wheelbases from other brands, it has virtually no magnetic cogging or torque ripple, resulting in an ultra-smooth wheel rotation and sub-millisecond latency.
It also means that when you turn the wheel to its maximum degree of rotation, it snaps back to center itself with an exceptionally satisfying feeling.
What separates the Sport, Pro, and Ultimate models is the difference in slew rate and maximum torque, as well as the angle sensor and the DSP electronics used.
The SC2 also boasts prominent features missing on other DD wheelbases on its outer layer, including wireless wheel connectivity which works amazingly well, providing you have a wireless wheel, and an incredibly impressive quick release system known as the SQR hub, that provides an industry-leading rock-solid connection between the wheel and wheelbase.
User Experience and Feedback
We’ve compared the Simucube to the Fanatec DD2 before, and the Simucube came out on top!
If you’re coming from a background of having used the likes of an AccuForce, Simagic, or even Fanatec DD wheelbase, then you’ll be amazed at just how much better the SC2 feels.
Of course, opinions like this remain subjective, and there will always be people on both sides of the fence who defend one brand’s products over another, but it is undeniable that there is an increasing number of sim racers who, once they have tried the SC2, whether it be the Sport, Pro, or Ultimate, report that its performance and handling are second to none.
A popular YouTube sim racing products reviewer, Chris Haye, stated in one of his videos that “The SC2 Pro surprised me in a way that I wasn’t really expecting. Having experienced a lot of different systems over the years, I felt that FFB feel had sort of reached a bit of a plateau, and if any advance was going to break through and move things along, it probably wasn’t going to be from the hardware side but from the software, namely something like a replacement for the very long in the tooth direct input system. But this is one of those cases where I’m just happy to be wrong.”
Explaining further, he stated: “As most people [reading] this will know, DD wheels are at the top of the tree when it comes to delivering the kind of visceral yet nuanced feedback that racing sims are capable of delivering, and [the SC2] is particularly good at it. [To] explain my frame of reference, I’ve owned something like ten wheelbases over my years in sim racing, including three DD systems, the current Fanatec Podium DD1, an older Simucube-based open sim wheel system, and I’ve been lucky enough to try out most if not all of the other popular DD systems at one time or another. [Yet], the SC2 Pro that I’ve got bolted to my rig at the moment feels more responsive to changes of torque and direction than my other DD systems.”
Essentially, what Chris is saying is that he has pretty much tried and tested every DD wheelbase that’s out there, and after years of gameplay, equating to countless hours in a sim rig, in his opinion, the SC2 comes out on top when it comes to FFB and overall gameplay.
He’s not the only sim racer voicing his praise for the SC2, and another user from the Facebook group: Simucube Owners Group, said, “Finally received my SC2 Pro last week. Coming from the DD1, I’m blown away. [I] wish I’d gone with [Simucube] first instead of Fanatec. [The] feel is amazing and being an [in real life] SCCA driver, I was looking for something similar. Definitely found it!”
True Drive Paddock
If you’re still on the fence about buying an SC2, then maybe True Drive Paddock, Simucube’s latest software update, will seal the deal. We’ve all experienced frustrating moments in sim racing, and one of the most irritating and time-consuming aspects of sitting in your rig can be when you just want to sit down and start driving, but you can’t because first, you need to waste time setting up a driver profile:
This usually means you either need to spend hours, if not days, doing laps to fine-tune a specific car to a particular track, or you could always go down the lazy route and copy someone else’s profile from the internet. Still, this requires the tedious process of going through each setting and adjusting it to match whatever you found on Reddit, and it’s these issues in particular that True Drive Paddock sets out to tackle by offering users a cloud-based profile system.
Basically, True Drive Paddock allows you to download a driving profile from Simucube’s cloud server and instantly apply those settings to your wheelbase. It may not sound like a big deal, but if you’ve ever tried to set up a car from scratch, you’ll know just how much a lifesaver this is.
Of course, you can still tweak the settings to suit your driving style but having the foundation of a profile from a well-ranked, fast driver is truly a blessing when you just want to drive.
It’s true that certain games have been offering this kind of profile sharing for some time, but as far as hardware manufacturers go, this software, much like the SC2 as a whole, is ground-breaking.
For me personally, I haven’t felt the urge to pursue an upgrade to my simulator for almost two years; since I bought a Simucube 2 Pro and mounted it to a proper sim racing rig. The quality of the feedback is immense and I simply never feel frustrated by any limitation of the device, because as far as I can see there are none!
A friend of mine recently moved from an old Fanatec CSL Elite to a Simucube 2 Pro and he could not believe the detail. In his words: “I can feel everything!”. If that isn’t a testimonial to make you want to own one of these things, I don’t know what is.
The Simucube 2 series doesn’t really have that much competition if you think about it. Simucube are technically excellent, and they have the scale and capability to offer product development and excellent customer support. Other smaller manufacturers are out there, but they haven’t caught up with Simucube yet. So, this is why I think the Simucube 2 series are the best direct drive wheels money can buy, and, for me, the Pro offers the perfect balance.