Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spirit Silhouette Peugeot-review

Do you like big fat fenders? How about a slot car with a motor that's got torque enough for 4 normal slot cars? Well then the first Spirit Silhouette Peugeot may just be a car you should check out.

The Motul Peugeot is the first in what promises to be many more Peugeot 406 Silhouette's to come. The finish on the body, while a bit on the busy side livery-wise, is well done...but does not appear to have any clear coat on it.

The body's molded very thinly and fits perfectly over the chassis. I've checked every inch of this body and there's nothing ill fitting, nothing squeezed, nothing bent, nothing warped, it all fits. There is no snap fit here. Spirit are continuing to make bodies with hard core racers in mind...nice and thin!

The interior also is quite thin. And also it's a half-pan, which clears the motor/gears nicely. I'm very glad that Spirit have chosen NOT to go the super-detailed route with their cars with regard to the interiors. Also model of the car's motor (in the back window) is part of the back deck of the interior, and is not a separate piece.

The front axle mounts feature the set screw adjustment that has been seen before on Spirit releases. But when the car is on the track there is no upward play left to adjust out even with the set screws only threaded in place and not actually touching the axle.

The hugely powerful SX3 motor, without a wrapper again in this latest Peugeot, is mounted yet again as an angle winder. In front of it is a small bar magnet which, coupled with the open can motor, provide surprisingly little magnetic down force on my Carrera test track. With the stock tires in place you can EASILY spin the tires the entire way down the straight whenever you'd like to and the car doesn't pick up that much speed as a result of the extra throttle. The tires, as you might expect from that comment, don't stick terribly well on my plastic track.

The story was a bit different on the East New York Raceway test session for this 90 gram car recently. The stock tires stuck surprisingly well...odd I know. But when the stock tires were replaced with Ortmann's (which fit well enough even though there weren't designed to fit specifically for the Spirit car) made this car come alive. Times on this car dropped from around a 6 second lap to a 5.20 second lap on the 61 foot long track. This was with nothing done other than some lube and a few turns out of the screws on the motor pod.

There are no holes in the motor pod to screw down the long can motor. This motor seems to be the way most companies are going for their "serious racer" motor. On the recently released Spirit BMW 1600 there are holes to screw down the motor to make sure the tremendously powerful motor is held down securely in the pod. In this car, however there are no holes in the pod to screw down the motor. There is a great deal of flex in the pod and, personally, I'd like to see it braced a bit more. Having said that, there was no "high torque hop".

As it is this car is quite fast. We managed to get it going very fast without much (or really any) work. On this car everything is working the way it should right out of the box, the wheels are worth noting as being just as round as you could hope they'd be from...yes I'll say it...Scalextric. Ok, ok, before you say I'm falling off my chair with giddy excitement here by saying it's really race-ready (issues of magnetic down force aside for a minute)...well it is ready to race. Just like the quality you've come to expect from Scalextric and Slot It. Recently Spirit had some quality control issues with the BMW, they're not present on this copy of the car I have, I'm hoping that your experience with the Spirit Motul Peugeot is the same.

Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News


MJ said...

The SX3-motor is perfect for cars like the Dallara or the Reynard, but it's too powerfull for cars like the 406 and that BMW...

If the stock tires don't provide you enough grip, use some lampoil after truiing them...



DaveKennedy said...

MJ, I totally agree about this motor being too much for the smaller cars like the BMW and the 406 Coupes, in this car however it's not that overpowering...close but not quite the same feeling like trying to drive the little BMW with a rocket motor strapped to its back.


Anonymous said...

if you think the car is fast now try it with these mods,firstly glue and brace the motor pod 2.use an NSR king21,400 3.replace gears with NSR 12/32 angle winder gear set 4.NSR axles, bronze bearings, 16mm solid fronts rims ,fit Ninco 17mm prorace tyres and glass finish with super glue/nail polish. 5.16mm Air System rears super glue19.5x12 supergrip tyres and true them. replace braid with SCX pro braid. you now have a low flying rocket for big wooden club tracks. enjoy!
boy from oz

generic name celebrex said...
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Hugo Figueiredo said...

Truly amazing slot car!

Work is needed on both axles and braids.

First, I used the standard braids bur hammered them really well so that they are now 3 to 4 times as large, and thinner than paper sheets... That ensured no contact losses.

Front axle: 47mm steel axle (the original was too large), replaced front wheels for 15' plastic Slot.It with the 17 mm Z0 tyres, and axle height being as far up as it may go. Rear axle mods: standard axle, Slot.It 32 anglewinder crown, Slot.It 15x8 alu wheels, and Ninco 20x10 standard tyres, sanded down to 19,2 mm height.

DaveKennedy said...

Interesting Hugo. I never thought about flattening out the braids in that manner. Ninco tires are fast for you? What type of track?


Hugo Figueiredo said...

Well Dave, this process worked fine with the Spirit braids, the other brands are not that easy to flat...

I found Spirit braids very hard, so it's easy to mould them like this. Still, they act like hard springs and raise the front of the car a bit.

Concerning tyres... I usually run on Carrera 1/24 tracks, but due to recent all-Ninco-tournaments, where they are obliged to use Ninco tires, the tracks are loaded with its rubber. Due to this fact Slot.It tires are not so suitable, although they still work pretty fast. Still, Ninco's well treated regular tires (the 80512 reference) do wonders on all the rubber that's laid in the track...

PS: I found the stock Spirit tyres that come with the Peugeot a good surprise, but I think it's all down to the tons of Ninco rubber too...