As I sit here writing this review, I have the echoing sounds of the Formula One qualifying in the background. Inspired by race sounds, the next model under the microscope is the latest race effort from AUTOart. The model is the 1:18 Audi Sport Quattro S1 #6 – Rally Monte Carlo 1986, drivers H. Mikkola and A. Hertz. If you identify with rally racing you know there was an era when Audi dominated the scene, and this is one of the cars that helped create that perception. With a retail well north of $300 CND, will this AUTOart replica live up to the price tag? The following example comes from AUTOart’s Composite and Diecast series and features a full 360 access.
The Quattro S1 exterior presence cannot be denied, the exaggerated fenders, front auxiliary lighting, massive rear wing and colourful livery all measure up. It is clearly on steroids! For the most part, AUTOart does a commendable job in the overall exterior execution, keeping pace with the original. To be honest none of the DiecastSociety.com team members are avid rally collectors, but we’re sure our friend (Sunny) who let us borrow this model will chime in with a few personal comments of his own.
An excellent transition of colours and decal work aid a sharp-looking exterior. Shutlines and panel gaps are exceptional as the photos will help illustrate. The team does a great job re-creating the design of the fins on the two front fenders; they look realistic and aren’t flimsy in construction either. Lastly, the roof aerial is shipped separately. You will need to install it. It holds effortlessly in place without the aid of glue.
What we don’t like from an exterior perspective is the lack of effort on rear cooling channels just underneath the rear wing. Based on the price point the effort here warrants a more refined piece.
The front section is dominated by a series of auxiliary lights. Thumbs up to the effort here. In behind, the rear grille and standard lighting are both executed with care, the results are solid.
As we move up you’ll notice the level of detailing in the hood. Access is provided here too. Before we look inside we like to note the substantial effort on the hood locking mechanism and all grilles/slots are metal and fully perforated. This definitely adds to the authenticity factor.
Accessing the motor is quite simple and the clean hinge work is particularly nice to see. As for the engine and overall effectiveness of the design, we give it a solid B+. At first glance it looks great, the addition of the hood prop is added bonus. The motor does feature a good amount of colour, texture and layers but the look of the induvial bits is somewhat disappointing and too plastic overall. We find the level detail and effort isn’t on par with AUTOart’s earlier assortment. The trend in the last few years is a roller coaster of highs and lows… Why?
Underneath the Quattro S1, the level of detail is satisfying. But it sure brings back memories of the past, when the undercarriage with this particular style of the model would be a lengthy piece of solid metal and add some mass and some would say added value.
The rear is on par, access to the internal bits are provided via a fully removable panel. Admirable work on the rear glass upper hinges, very realistic. The rear spoiler is static and does provide some aspect of additional detail within the upper side fins. Review the additional photos for a better perspective.
Back to the rear hatch, the workmanship here is very good. The open areas are all equipped with grilles and the fit and finish are very good. Even the supporting magnets help lock the piece in tightly completing a very refined appearance. However, inside the supporting cast is lacklustre, especially the radiator and cooling fans. Again, the “plastic” look makes a rejecting appearance!
Moving back to the exterior side of the rear, the outer and lower grilles are metal and perforated. Lack of quality control is found on the lower grille as one section of the adhesive has come loose and the grille itself is not sitting flat in place. Nothing a simple touch-up can’t remedy.
Wheels are completed in White with centre bolts defined in Silver/chrome. There is no script found on the perimeter of the tires. Behind the wheels rotors and calipers are present. The front features cross-drilled and rear slotted.
The cockpit comes fully decorated with a spare tire to boot in the rear. We love the use of colour, texture and materials used within the interior. The level of definition and refinement is well-up and more pleasing from what we found on the motor and rear bits. If there is one area of concern it would be the use of rubber material to mimic the multiple seat-belt harness and strapping for the spare tire. In our opinion, it looks cheap and doesn’t live up to the $300+ price tag.
The rich history of Audi and rally cannot be addressed in a few paragraphs. Their success and dominating spirt is mostly attributed to the legendary Quattro AWD system. Fans of rally racing and the Audi brand can now enjoy a piece of history in scale if they choose. And this effort from AUTOart is more than capable of competing.
The AUTOart example isn’t perfect, and we’re sure our resident race members we continue to debate… The AUTOart effort does provide a solid presentation overall all. And one that provides fans with full access too. It does lend us to a few areas of concern. AUTOart needs to improve on the level of refinement and make each platform consistent. The trend in the last few years is not a positive one. Why can’t their models prove honest and harmonious from the exterior, motor, and interior elements? Their premium brand and higher-priced replicas need to reciprocate and supporters of the brand deserve it too. Enjoy the pics!