Some of us that collect scale model cars do have a soft spot for presentation versions, sometimes referred to as plain body. AUTOart recently released 1:18 version of the Audi R8 FIA GT GT3 in White and Red with a full livery version just around the corner. From a collector standpoint, it is nice to see AUTOart entering the Audi arena once again.
There are two positives with this model for me, one, I love Audis in any skin and two, I love presentation cars. AUTOart’s version is comprised of a composite material and diecast metal. And it only provides access to the interior bits. Yes, I understand it is “race car” and to provide access to the motor and front internals is quite different than your typical street version. But going that extra mile was part and parcel with AUTOart once upon a time. There is a suggested retail on this example of $189CND.
Seeing the initial images of the car in Red pre-production form scared me somewhat. The finish seemed to lean more to a “plastic” like finish, something seen of earlier composite models from the team. I still went ahead with the Red exterior. I’m glad I did as the model does look exceptional in person, nice deep paint with a quality shine.
There isn’t much reference material for the Audi R8 FIA GT GT3 in this particular variant to study. From what I gathered the model does capture the overall essence and design of the original well. AUTOart does capture the widened fenders and the aerodynamics subtleties of the car. Panel gaps and shutlines are excellent.
What I do like on the exterior is the use of perforated grilles on the side intakes just behind the doors. Opposite end features open access which allows viewing access to the front wheels. Lastly, the unique mirror design is very cool in full view, one is found on either side of the model.
On the flip side, the use of moulded carbon fibre elements is very poor. AUTOart needs to spend a little more $$ here or find an alternative way to produce these parts that will mirror the originals more.
Moving to the front we find the centre section dominated by the large grille and the four rings of Audi. Love the aggressive look and the use of perforated metal and is bent and moulded into the upper panel. It looks raw and uber cool!
The lower carbon bits hold their own but as mentioned the moulded carbon fibre is poor. Upper side grilles on the hood are open and the larger centre opening is open as well. You right through to the front and is clean and executed well with more metal grilles. Last but not least AUTOart used actual fabric for the tow hook here. This is also mirrored in the rear.
The rear is overshadowed by the large upper spoiler. The execution here is very good. Moving down you find various carbon fibre and Black moulded elements that complete the rear fascia. The only way to see the difference between the two materials is to shine a light.
Again the poor moulded carbon fibre parts make an appearance. Other than seeing the rear tires through the open fin work on either side, the rest of the model is mediocre in the finish – exhaust is decent but the remaining bits are few and what you see lacks definition and very plastic in appearance.
No access to the motor but what you see through the transparent glass/plastic is decent. Execution is nothing over the top, though a good use of colour, layers and wires complete the package. I’ve seen better results from AUTOart.
Wheels are nicely executed. The package is complete with Black race wheels, slotted rotors and Gold Brembo calipers. Note the Michelin decals on all four wheels.
The interior is accessible. Door operation is simple to achieve, our model was flawless on both sides. Note the use of fabric for the door handles on each side. Definitely, something nice to see as past models form AUTOart have a trend of rubber.
On the flip side, the first thing you notice on the driver side is the ugly rubber mesh. AUTOart please get back to fabric! The roll cage is painted White (this extend to the structure ties in the motor compartment too) and is better defined than some previous examples.
The interior is above average. The use of colour, the main theme here is Greys and Blacks which make up most of it. We have no definition of carbon work, as mentioned this is achieved with noted colour palette.
Colour in the form of White, Red and Silver make up various elements of the interior they include fire extinguisher, reservoir containers and plating. To be honest, the Audi S1 I recently received from OttOmobile’s Rally Kit is much better. AUTOart’s example tends to lean towards the plastic look while the OttOmobile provided a more polished finish.
The AUTOart Audi R8 FIA GT GT3 presentation car is a mixed bag of emotions. From an exterior perspective, it really shines. The aggressive lines, excellent paint and various exterior details do provide a solid foundation. Where the model loses its lustre is the moulded carbon fibre work, lack of rear detail, average motor detail, and somewhat plastic feel of the interior. It is not trash by no stretch of the imagination it just isn’t AUTOart at its best. From a seasoned collector perspective, you can clearly define where the cost out is. Is it recommended, yes, more so to Audi and Volkswagen fans in general. Enjoy the pics!