Tuesday, November 11, 2008

SCX Skoda Fabia WRC Rally car

What the heck is a Skoda!?! Well, it’s a car manufactured in the Czech Republic which has been made for more than 100 years. And while they are not sold in the US, they are fairly common in Europe. They became a division of Volkwagen AG in the early 90’s and have a long successful history in rallying. SCX has made a model of their most recent World Rally Championship (WRC) competitor, the Skoda Fabia. The Fabia replaced the Skoda Octavia in 2003 in WRC competition and is still Skoda’s rally weapon of choice. This particular model is piloted by multi-time World Rally Champion from Spain, Carlos Sainz, winner of the ‘07 Shalymar Rally in Madrid, Spain. Shalymar is actually a Spanish national rally, but this is the same car which has been competing in the WRC for the past few years.

The SCX Fabia has some beautiful paint work of metal flake green, red, grey, and white. There are multi-color tampos on the tires and several flexible plastic aerials on the roof. The paint and tampos on the body are very smooth and crisp, SCX has really raised their game in this area. The interior is a half depth pan type, which is required with an inline type drive train. There are driver and navigator figures with the navigator holding his rally notes. There is also a large binnacle of additional rally lights on the hood that really light up. And when I say they light up, I mean it, these lights are some of the brightest I’ve seen on a slotcar!

And with 6 working headlights across the front, you’ll find it difficult to loose your way on even the trickiest of dark rally stages.

The SCX Fabia uses the standard SCX AWD rally chassis with a rear inline motor and front and rear gear driven AWD. The Fabia is a bit shorter wheelbase (approx. 3mm) than most other SCX rally cars, so it uses the twin pinion RX-91 motor, which is similar to the RX-81 used in most other SCX AWDs, but with shorter drive shafts. These newer motors are rated at about 18k rpm and seem much faster than my older SCX AWD rally cars. The gearing at each end is 3:1 (9/27), which is perfect for most home and rally tracks. The car uses the standard SCX copper strips to distribute power from the guide to the motor and lights, with the lights fed by two flexible copper prongs coming down from the body to contact the motor strips.

I wanted to test the car straight out of the box, so instead of pulling the body and doing an initial check and lube, I just put it on the track. It ran very well, smooth and very stuck down with magnetic force. The car only needed slight blips off the throttle into some turns and was otherwise able to go full throttle for most of the lap. The Skoda uses the excellent SCX adjustable magnet system, which not only places the magnet in the optimum place (just ahead of the rear wheels), but also allows you to set just the amount of magnetic force you want. By adjusting the two small screws that hold the magnet in, you can change how far the magnet is from the track and therefore the amount of down force. There was a little gear noise, but this is normal for an SCX and will quiet down with running..

The Skoda did some very quick laps of my little track, but rally cars are supposed to drift, so out came the magnet. I raced the Skoda against the SCX Ford Cosworth Escort RS I have, which is another recent SCX AWD rally car. The Escort has been run in and done quite a few laps on it, so it was a bit faster than the Skoda, at first. But as the Skoda ran more and more laps, it became quieter and faster! Soon my buddy Bob had taken a liking to the Skoda and refused to trade back for the Escort! They were very evenly matched, but the Skoda seemed to have an advantage through the turns. SCX cars are some of my favorites because they work so well with out magnets with no other modifications! The chassis is well balanced with the inline motor and the SCX motors have a very smooth linear power making them easy to control. And the AWD helps lay down the power to the track with out excessive wheel spin. If you have never tried non magnet racing, I highly recommend trying an SCX rally car! Bob and I stayed up way too late having a riot sliding those SCX rally cars around, what fun!


RecklessRacer said...

Nice review! would be EXCELLENT to show a little race video clip as per your narrative.

I really wish WRC got North American television coverage. Then I'd probably be collecting a whole bunch of rally slot cars.

Thanks Mr.Pete!

Anonymous said...

yes you re right. skoda is very popular in Germany and Europe. This brand was before it came to volkswagon a cheap car for the eastern region.Now its a brand which is well known for excellent cars for an excellent price.with the new Skoda superb they are now present in the high middle class with a very good concept based on the Volkswagon passat. The WRC is a big motorsport event in europe specially in Spain and portugal. Brands like Scalextric, SCX etc.couldnt exist without WRC slotcars.They are very popular and i recognize that these kind of slotcars getting good selling results in germany too.

Anonymous said...

Where can you purchase in the US?

Anonymous said...

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