Collecting scale model cars allows us for a variety of flavours and a variety of specializations in what we put on our shelves. There are many, many options – some love classic racers from ’50-’60, some love daily drivers from ’80-’90, and some love so-called hypercars, to name just a few styles.
Now what is a hypercar? In fact, no one knows for sure, as there is no clear definition. In very general terms it is a limited-production, top-of-the-line supercar with a price of around or more than US$1 million. The problem is that there is also no clear definition of a supercar… Anyway, some of us hunt for models of cars, which have mind-blowing and far-from-daily-driver exterior designs. Models of cars which look may be very bold, very futuristic, resemble sci-fi spacecraft, and which is definitely rarely seen on the streets of your town. And yes, they are typically very fast and limited in production numbers. That’s what we will consider a hypercar here. And that’s the kind of model I am going to review. My favourite kind of models/cars!
Lotus is a well-known producer of sports cars and race cars. Typically, small and lightweight ones, with nice exterior designs and nice performance. Far more affordable than all those hyped Italian brands, but probably not that prestigious. But at some point, with the explosion of high performance of EVs, they decided to enter the hypercar game. Evija has been unveiled in 2019. In 2020 Lotus announced start of the production with delivery dates promised to be in 2022. As of June 2023, there are 8 customer cars still in the building process, but none has been delivered yet. What we are looking at here is the diecast model of Evija, made by Sum’s Model Toys and branded with the Almost Real Models logo. This is a Dealer Edition made for the Asian (Chinese) market. This can be noticed by the branding of the scale model itself – it is “Lotus Nyo Evija” (“New Lotus Evija”), as this is the way Lotus Cars is currently registered in China (due to just “Lotus” brand being already established and owned by some other entity, so in 2011 it was kind of re-registered as “New Lotus” – “Lotus Nyo” in Chinese).
What we get seems to be the full factory box. It comes in an outer cardboard box branded “Lotus Nyo” – which is covered in sticky tape and customs stickers. Upon opening it you see a black, Lotus Nyo branded paper bag with longer straps. I believe it is meant to let you carry what is hidden under the thick layer of PE foam. Black case with 2 latches, covered with imitation of carbon fibre. The box with the model itself. When you open it you see what is known from previous AR+ / ARM releases – the model is hidden under the grey textile cover with the model’s name on it. It sits on a carbon fibre base with the model’s name and its number in the limited series of 500 pcs. When you remove the base from the box you get access to the detached front cover, 2x tools, and a brochure with technical details of the car written in Chinese, as well as an explanation of the model’s features in both Chinese and English. The model is covered with 5 stickers telling where to look for the cover, that the doors can be opened, and that some element of the doors is a fragile part. It doesn’t seem to be a good idea to put a sticker on such a part, especially if this sticker has a strong adhesive, which can even leave residue on the model’s body. Potentially you can damage such parts during both the sticker and glue residue removal.
Now the model itself. Overall, this is a great replica, with fantastic attention to detail and a fantastic set of moving elements. True diecast, made at the level of good old AUTOart Signature. But there is one overall feature which can be seen as made wrong. The colour. It is just silver. The original presentation colour was named Cirrus Grey and was silverish-champagne-shaded grey. For example, Spark Models made it like that. This ARM’s Dealer Edition is not advertised as being a presentation colour, but it builds a natural suggestion in the collector’s mind, that if this is so close to presentation shade, then it should be exactly like that, but was done wrong.
So, we want to fully assemble the model. We removed all the nasty stickers and their glue residue, now we take the front cover from the box and… Once the cover is installed we immediately notice what can be an issue of any piece of diecast model. An edge of the opening has a paint chip. Of course, it is just the piece which I have, not the entire series, but honestly, for such a model I would expect far more strict QC applied to the finished product. But it seems to be the only flaw found in the model. From now on, we can expect only a collector’s delight!
For me, this car is a true design masterpiece. It looks just amazingly with all its shapes and shades on it. I am truly delighted with it. But it is not only the original design, which does the job. This is also the design and craftsmanship of the scale model itself. There are a lot of carbon fibre decals around the model, and these are really nicely applied – I haven’t noticed any place where something would be off. The model is beautifully finished inside and outside – the first series was done in weaker sunlight, second was done in strong sunlight).
Rear features fantastic moving parts – the rear wing coupled with flaps in the diffuser, and the additional flap which hides CCS2 charging socket. The interior is covered with carbon fibre and other patterns as on real car (see the dots on the doors and honeycomb on the center element of the console).
The alignment of the carbon fibre is really well and corresponds with all the adjacent areas – there are no sudden changes in pattern and no misalignments between panels.
Elements of the interior are executed nicely, especially on the centre panel with buttons – they are not just painted on a flat surface, they have their 3D shapes under the paint.
The best way to see how nicely is done this ARM Dealer Edition model is to compare it against an earlier rendition of the Evija – Spark models resin version, released at the end of 2022. The carbon fibre pattern on Spark is less visible, rather requires a specific angle against the light to fully enjoy it. Spark’s headlights are also less detailed and Lotus logo on the front is just a flat print on black background, while on ARMs model is a 3D element on a carbon fibre background. Logos are different, as the branding is different (Lotus vs. Lotus yo). The colouring of rims and branding of tires is also better in ARM’s diecast. Spark misses the windshield wiper and some finer colour details of the interior (like the colouring of the floor – silver shape in front of the passenger seat). ARM has crisper and readable inscriptions on the elements visible under the rear cover, as well as some additional shapes carved into certain areas of what is located under the rear cover.
However, there are 3 areas, where Spark is better. The one which is easiest to be spotted is the air exhaust under the windshield. Spark has slightly deeper segments of the vent as well as a nicely visible additional, protruding center element of this vent. In ARM this center element is barely visible, only in the surrounding area (not as a part of the vent), as a shape cut from the surroundings with a groove. But then you can notice that the centre element of the console is finished with just carbon fibre in Spark, and with a specific honeycomb pattern in ARM – a nice touch-up and attention to detail. The last two elements where Spark is better are located at the front. First are the meshes on the underside of the side vents. You need to look from the underside to see this. This is just lacking in ARM. Second are protruding, rectangular structures on the vertical splitters on the front of the car. This is again entirely missing in ARM. The last picture shows just the Spark model. It was too hard for me to catch what it looks like on ARM effort.