Friday, March 23, 2007
1/24 AutoArt Bugatti Chiron
The new AutoArt 1/24 Bugatti Chiron shares the same graceful characteristics with it's larger 1/1 cousin. The sleek lines of the real car are well reflected in the AutoArt model.
The front grille is a nice black photo etched piece along with the grille under it and 2 very small grilles on the sides just in front of the front wheels. A nice bit of detail that AutoArt has included that easy to miss but adds to the "depth" of the quality of the model.
The "W" 18 engine is very, very well modeled and has so much detail you'll find yourself looking at just the engine for some time.
The body color and other detail colors are true to the real car (from the photos I've seen) and the few details printed on the car are very well done and compliment the mininalist design of the blue jelly bean-shaped car.
The wheels are well modeled and have small Bugatti logos in the centers with small perfect little rivets around the edges.
Under the car we see a pair of magnets held in place by a center mounted screw. A few turns of this screw will allow you to adjust the magnetic downforce to a point. Since the screw is in the center if you loosen it too much the magnet can slide a bit and can be lower on one side than the other...so be careful when adjustments are made to insure the magnet is still flat in the chassis. To make adjustments to the magnets you'll need a fine phillips head screwdriver, much smaller than the one used for the body screws.
Inside we see a long spring mounted drive shaft powering the front wheels.
Nice brass bearings at every corner and on the drive shaft. The drive train is quiet and the gear mesh is excellent.
The power gets from the track to the motor via wires from the guide rather than the tabs that are used in the 1/32 models. Personally I'd rather have wires attached to the guide so if the car goes around a tight turn you're still going to get uninterrupted power.
An AWD slot car, just like it's 1/1 counterpart, the Chiron really stuck well even without the benefit of magnets on my wood track. The AWD system really pulled this car around the corners and it made the car feel very stable and you could get into the throttle before a normal RWD slot car.
On a test run at my local hobby shop, Bud's HO in Cortlandt Manor NY, this car really got to stretch its legs. The car really showed off the AWD, it really pulled out of the corners and you could really get into the throttle early in the exit of the turn. While I was racing this car the front drive shaft popped off so I went from AWD to 2WD like I switched gears. It was interesting because the car handled quite differently. It got faster, much faster, down the straight but I was not able to get into the throttle hard out of the corners without the tail coming out on the car. It was an interesting experience going that quickly from AWD to 2WD.
Supercars aren't exactly my preferred area to collect, but this car is a good example of seeing a car and liking a car that you'd at first thought might not be your cup of tea. It's a very well mannered car and was a pleasure to drive, and even though it's not supposed/designed to be a non-magnet racer, it did work very well and was a surprisingly good wood track car...
Thanks to Global Gateway/AutoArt for the car for review!