REVIEW: AUTOart Mercedes-AMG GT R •


There has been much debate on the Mercedes-AMG GT R.  Much of it surrounds two brands, AUTOart and Almost Real.  Both models spark the debate of what is better executed; is it composite or diecast metal exterior panels?  We ask the question to all, does this really matter in the end?  Isn’t the end result suppose to be the best overall execution to the original 1:1 design?   Some would agree and some would not agree…

The model under the microscope today is the sublime Mercedes-AMG GT R offering from AUTOart.  The scale is 1:18 and the exterior colour is the infamous AMG Green Hell Magno (love the name).  Though we like what we’ve seen from Almost Real in the past we have not seen their example of GT R in the flesh.  This review will focus primarily on the AUTOart example.

In our opinion, the AMG Green Hell Magno exterior is the choice colour to get!  Some say the “release” colour is the most inspiring, we do agree. In the end, buy what YOU like best.  As for the painted exterior, AUTOart in typical fashion does a great job of laying down the exterior colour.  A carbon fibre roof is presented in the mix too; this is executed with a decal sheet – beautifully done!  Unfortunately, not all is perfect here, the colour itself leans more towards a matt finish, whereas the original has more pop!

As for exterior lines and overall exterior execution, the AUTOart example is exceptional.  We see no major flaws in scale transition.  Shut lines and panel gaps are very tight on our example too.  Even with the access tool, it was somewhat challenging to open the front bonnet.  However, one element of the exterior design was incorrect, the blades/vents on either side of the front section of the car are created here with solid pieces, where in fact the original design they have a total of five holes in each blade.

The front of the Mercedes-AMG GT R is our favourite angle.  The aggressive nature of the intakes and large centre grille are very fitting for the design.  AUTOart’s execution of the fascia is excellent.  We love the opening nature of grille work and intakes, all reveal detail in behind.  The headlight detail is very good and mirrors the original design well.

If we haven’t mentioned yet this is a full 360-access model. As always motor access is welcomed.  Once inside we are greeted by the AMG tuned monster.  Before we get to the motor, we like to point out the neat hinge work with strut supports on either side.  Also, the cooling vents on the hood are created in metal and perforated.  We believe these vents on the Almost Real design were solid.

The motor is nothing but ordinary.   Again, the execution here is similar to past efforts, a base level with bulky pieces on top, even the carbon fibre work is moulded into the plastic parts; it is visually weak.  Some colour is used for definition but the overall effort lacks realism and depth.  A little more effort could prove different.  We will give AUTOart some slack though, modern engine design of today hide much on the inner working with covers and whatnot.

Underneath the model provides a few surprises with it’s defined suspension and exhaust work.  Nicely done AUTOart.

The rear of the Mercedes-AMG GT R is strong in overall execution.  All badges (three here) are present.  Taillights are nicely detailed and as well as the lower bumper diffuser section.  Even the small intake on either side of the bumper is open and capped with metal, perforated grille.  Note the bumper sensors too!

There is an added bonus, the upper spoiler is functional – one can position it forward and back.  The operation on our example was flawless too.  Access is granted to the rear storage.  Here you will find fully carpeted interior and strut supports for the hatch.  Also, the finish work on the inside hatch surround features a night light, we thought that was cool added touch!

Wheels are 19 front and 20″ rear AMG performance forged-alloys.  They feature five twin-spoke design with a high-sheen Black finish.  Behind you will find massive rotors and Yellow calipers, they’re both within spec.  The detail doesn’t end here, AUTOart’s trend of late is tire scripting, and this example is loaded with the Michelin logo and more.

Inside the interior is surprisingly elevated based on AUTOart’s bar of late.  Possibly the team had some concerns of the aligning Almost Real release?  Whatever the reason the interior looks great!  Full carpeting is teamed with Yellow stitching throughout the entire interior.  This includes the dash, centre console, seats and door cards.  Yellow seats-belts are within spec too, though not fabric but a rubber/plastic-like material.  Dash instruments and centre console dials are nicely defined as well.  Did we mention we like this interior?  Overall high marks here folks!

This is a simple conclusion for us, the AUTOart Mercedes-AMG GT R is a great-excellent scale model.  If you can overlook their decision/miss on the AMG Green Hell Magno colour, the model still satisfies on many levels.  With more colour options in the near future, one can choose from other OEM colour palette offerings too.  As for composite over diecast meta debate, we find no obvious weakness in the composite design.  We don’t think either model is particularly weak and neither is perfect.  In the end, if you have to choose between the two buy what you can find at the best possible price.  Enjoy the pics!

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24 Responses to "REVIEW: AUTOart Mercedes-AMG GT R"

  1. Karsten says:

    Thanks for the review, have got the same model and would have liked to directly compare to AR. Can’t find the link you mentioned, though. So far, I’m under the impression, the AA is the better AMG GT R, composite or not. As far as I have seen elsewhere, the AR has the solid vents in the hood, no tire branding, no carbon imitation on the central air vents in the dash. Not that I had a choice, I had the AR on preorder, but the AR remains elusive and is unavailable in Europe, maybe withdrawn because it cannot compete? Would have been more expensive than AA, too!

    One tiny thing, though: The seatbelts are rubber, not fabric. Pity, would have preferred fabric.

  2. Roger Lodge says:

    Nice review, thanks!

    I won the Almost Real version on ebay and was very impressed – especially with the paint. The feel and execution of it just feel very high quality. I have their Camel Truck and classic Land Rover and don’t think it’s far off from the build quality of those. I’ve seen comments from a few that this isn’t any the same league as those but in my opinion that is completely misleading.

    I’ve also seen a few posts saying that the Autoart is truer to the original and therefore the one to get. Because I fell in love with AR GT-R I picked up the Autoart version (also won on ebay) and intended on keeping my favorite version.

    I concur with this review, the Autoart is very nice, and I don’t doubt that it has a couple of elements that make it a little more true to form BUT I had nowhere near the same impression of quality from it as with the AR version. The AR version’s paint is way ahead of the Autoart, and the engine is light years ahead. The interior is a toss up. And as far as how it feels when handling, yeah, diecast feels so much better, like picking up a fake Rolex vs the real thing. Maybe that shouldn’t make much of a difference while on display but it sure counts for something to me.

    If absolute realism wasn’t the only thing cared about I think you’d be hard pressed to find many who’d prefer the Autoart to the AR when examining both in person, and in the end the few things Autoart improvements in realism are somewhat trivial.

    • DS Team says:

      Hi Roger, thanks for the feedback. Based on your engine comments we’d love to see one first hand. No doubt AR can execute on scale, hell they won the 2018 DS Model of the Year!

      There is definitely a tangible difference in a model made the old school way, diecast vs. AUTOart’s new composite/diecast series. Our point is to illustrate the structural integrity is there, this shouldn’t be the main reason to avoid the AUTOart example.

    • Karsten says:

      I have photographed the AA next to the page in the brochure of the real thing on my website, and its identical. As for the shortcomings of the AR (whether you find them trivial or not), can you confirm those (solid plate closed hood vents, no tire branding, no parking sensors, no carbon finish on interior central air vents)?
      If those were all true, no added weight could place the AR above the AA in my book. But AR does not supply Europe well anyway, all I get to see is pictures, most notably a Youtube comparison of the two (in a language I don’t understand, Cinese I suppose). Hell, I haven’t even got my Camel Trophy Land Rover that I have on preorder.

  3. Atalante says:

    Thanks for this great review! Pictures are so nice. I have this exact same model and I am very happy with it. Paint, fit & finish are just perfect.

    I have never seen the AR in person but besides the realism the composite/diecast series from AA has one decisive advantage over the diecast body; it will never get paint rash. Paint rash on a matt/satin paint isn’t repairable, wet sanding, buffing would just destroy the finish unlike gloss paint. So in a sense the AA carries an additional lifetime paint warranty. Nice!

    • DS Team says:

      Our pleasure, Serving the scale model community one review at a time!

      Good point on long-term paint rash issues, though do we truly have an understanding of how composite will hold-up after ten years? Only time will tell.

      • Atalante says:

        We’ll see how they hold up after 10 years or more. But based on other items of similar material (ABS plastic) I have for a long time I am not too worried.

  4. Peter Dyrelund says:

    Thanks for the review and comments.

    I got one of the very first Almost Real AMG GT R from China, because I thought that it would be superior to the also announced AA. I had already got the AA Range Rover 1970.

    But this time AA seems to have upped the game, and have many nice touches – especially the working rear spoiler not found on the AR. But I think that nobody has mentioned, that the AR has working suspension, while the AA’s suspension is “stiff”.

    I have just got the AA Lamborghini Huracan Performante, and now we are again down to the lately AA lower quality. The front and rear hatch have a fit like a Bburago, the interior is very simple, and the bottom plate tells that it is a Huracan LP610-4 which it is not. And one of the struts for the rear hatch has disappeared (it is probably the thing you can hear rattling inside, when turning the model).

    • Peter Dyrelund says:

      Correction: It should have been “AR” Range Rover 1970

    • Karsten says:

      I guess, all of this hints towards all of the Huracans being built on AA’s first Huracan platform, which was one of their first composites. Hence the same quality as on the first Huracan. Again shows the improvements that have been made on entirely new models since then.

    • Atalante says:

      The Huracan performante 1:1 has only one strut on the rear hatch, so at least this is not an issue.

  5. mcaf123 says:

    Firstly, the car is called AMG GT R, not GT-R.
    I don’t agree that about the paintjob – the real car has a matte finish as well, but the configurator lists it under the metallic heading. I think AUTOart have nailed the colour!
    You also mention the calipers are yellow when they are clearly a goldy/copper colour.

    One key issue the ARM version had was the calipers said CARBON FAMIC instead of CARBON CERAMIC – a mistake they now seem to have rectified on the latest black with red accents version.

    • DS Team says:

      Thanks for the feedback, the GT R is now corrected, and oversight on our part.

      That is your opinion, we are entitled to ours. Based on the number of images we reviewed we’ll stand by our comment. Again, not that it is horrible it just isn’t exact, possibly a limitation of the composite surfaces.

      Maybe our choice of colour wasn’t the best, however, we did not state there was anything wrong. Cheers.

    • Karsten says:

      When I got mine, I was under the immediate impression, too, that AA’s did not “pop” enough. In comparison to Norev and (as far as a comparison video shows) AR it really pops less than those two. So I compared it to the brochure (cf photos on my website) against which AA seems to be spot on. So, I guess, only putting it onto the hood of the real thing for comparison will settle this. Anyone who volunteer their magno green Merc for the cause? 😜

  6. c8 says:

    I want to buy this one but I cannot. There is one missing silver part in the grille just behind the logo which is a big turn off for me. Guess I should just buy the almost real amg gt r

  7. Giorgio262 says:

    I have one of Aa GTRs in red metallic and it’s the usual Aa mixed bag. The shape and stance are great. There are some great little features: moveable rear wing (also they replicated the correct panel lines on both the front and rear side of the wing base, while AR forgot the one on the back, right close to where the rear brake light is), tiny nicely replicated gas struts, photo etched grilles on the bonnet, on the side air outlets and on the rear bumper side air outlets. The panel lines are thin and crisp, also the edges on the model are very crisp. The parking sensors are very nicely replicated so Is the detail on the radiators visible through the side and lower air intakes in the front bumper. The thin air ducts on the front bumper that direct air in the wheelarches are actually perforated and are incredibly well finished, especially given that on the GTR by Aa the front bumper main piece is one with the main body, meaning the mould is very complex. The carbon fiber decal on the roof looks great gloss and flawless. as for the interior, well it’s pretty good. I particularly appreciated the generous use of colour stitiching decals and a decent differenciation in finish to replicate different materials.

    What about the shortcomings?
    as C8 wrote, the front grille is missing the fin in the middle. it’s just a tiny piece since it would be mostly covered by the Mercedes star, but still, why is it missing? AR got it right, Norev got it right.
    On the real car under the air intakes on the bonnet there are 2 ducts that direct the air in 2 matching ducts in the back of the engine bay. I guess it’s for the air conditioning. Aa gave us nice photoetched grilles, but didn’t replicate the ducts behind them. AR used solid plastic for the grilles, but kind of replicated the ducts as there are 2 bulges where these 2 ducts should be. The bonnet hinges are more realistic on the AR, although the gas struts are a bit more true to scale in the Aa, especially in their attaching points. The engine needs a bit of work on the Aa, but it’s miles ahead of some other of their composite offerings (like the Corvette Grand sport I have). A main shortcoming are the side fins on the side air outlets. They are perforated on the AR with their 5 diagonal square-ish holes, while Aa just made them into a single solid piece with the air outlet frames. No detail on them (but you get a nice photoetched grille on the air outlets). That’s quite disappointing. The indicators on the rear view mirror fairings are not tinted, but that’s an easy fix if you have some modeller’s skills and a bit of tinted transparent paint (like those made by Tamiya). The brake rotors are monochrome, no difference in colouring between the different parts. Also the carbon ceramic discs should be polished to a gloss finish, here they are just flat, as per usual with Aa.

    In the interior we have the usual rubber belts. They’re too thick as usual. Fabric would not be scale correct either though. Also judging from some photos of that specific seat design, the belts should pass through a hole on the side of the base of the seat, but they don’t on the Aa. The seatbelt buckles are the usual plastic parts bin thing by Aa (they’ve been using them on so many models). they’re neither scale correct nor do they replicate the design of the real ones. At least if they were photoetched pieces they would look better.
    The main exhaust in the middle is almost invisible as it’s just a gloss black thing, while on the AR it even has the AMG logo printed on top. The rear brake light behind the rear window should be tinted, instead on the Aa it’s finished in a very visible silver.
    And finally the rear lights. I think AR, but also Norev and Minichamps actually made them better. The white\transparent elements in it are replicated in chrome and consist mainly of a strip of raised rectangles that are visible through a cut in the otherwise red piece. It’s just a cheap and rather ineffective way to replicate the lights.

    I whish the model could be easily disassembled to at least paint the spaces between the aforementioned raised rectangles in transparent red. It would not solve the problem but it would sure help realism. Unfortunately this is one of those models that are designed in such a way that the risk to damage the model while trying to disassemble it is extremely high. In my experience with AR models, easy disassembly was a plus on both their Bentley Continental GT3 and their Mercedes S650. So if you think you can improve them, you can actually have a go and the risk of damaging the model is very low. With Aoutart that’s usually not an option, especially with their more delicate composite models (the only exception for me being their Nismo GTR-LM which is a very simple model).

    I don’t suppose anyone will actually read this, but I felt like typing :)

  8. Giorgio262 says:

    Then you deserve a medal :D
    Anyway I forgot to say that, despite the many shortcomings I noticed, all in all, I don’t see a clear winner between Aa and AR. They’re the best offerings in terms of 360 access models of the GTR in 1:18 but neither of them is perfect. So, in the end as far as I’m concerned, it’s all about picking the one with the shortcomings that irritate you the least and try to get it at the best price possible.

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