My purchase of the AUTOart 1:18 Mercedes AMG GT S in Brilliant White arrived this week. Some fore words… I did have Norev’s version in my collection for some time. It was a very capable model, especially at the $100ish price point. You can read the detailed review here.
I decided to give the AUTOart example a try because of the perceived added detail over the Norev. This included the mesh grilles, better hinge work and coolest of all upgrade, the functional rear spoiler. AUTOart’s version is going for around $200CND. Along side the added elements I mentioned it features access to the motor and interior bits too. The Mercedes AMG GT S comes from AUTOart’s composite series – meaning exterior panels are pretty much plastic.
Un-boxing the model is easy, at first glance the lines and paintwork looks sharp. This is usually the case with AUTOart pieces. I went with Brilliant White to move away form anything “Matt” in finish. Though the application of paint is excellent, the overall appearance is no where “brilliant”, and seems dull, semi-matt in look. Overall panel gaps are decent, though I’ve seen better from AUTOart. There is a noticeable difference in gaps on the driver side vs. the passenger side door too. And the front hood on the driver side doesn’t sit flush – no magnets are aiding the close position on this composite piece.
Perforated grilles shine front and centre on the front fascia. Headlight detail is decent too. Venting on the top and sides is completed with perforated grilles but all sit on top of the composite body material which is very noticeable due to the white background.
The rear for most part is executed nicely. The placement of the photo-etched badges could have been executed better, they should flow with the natural contours on the panel.
One of the main reasons for me choosing the AUTOart replica was the functional rear spoiler. Unfortunately mine doesn’t want to open. I gave her a good shot, but paint was beginning to flake around the spoiler edge, so I decided against forcing the issue. Nonetheless model will be returned for replacement ASAP.
The rear hatch is accessible. Storage area is nicely detailed and fully carpeted. Note the missing struts on either side. Boo!
AUTOart is a master of wheel reproduction, but my model finds the wheel and brake package somewhat lack lustre. Wheels have a slight plastic look and same with the rotors. They are definitely not up to speed with past AUTOart examples.
Motor detail is good, better than the Norev’s for sure. It is nothing over the top to say the least. The added paint elements and clean engineered hinge work add to the overall realism of the piece.
Inside the interior is clean and to the point. All elements are present, there is carpet throughput and seat-belts to boot. The rear section features an upper strut bar, thought nice in appearance the piece is made like a rubber band, very flimsy to the touch. Comparing the interior here to the Norev piece I call it a draw.
I think it’s innate in collectors, if there is a better version of a particular model of interest your first reaction is to replace it with the better one. Right? I took a chance here with AUTOart’s version of the Mercedes AMG GT S. I possibly made an error in judgement. At almost double the price of Norev’s replica the AUTOart does excel on some fronts; fascia and rear functional spoiler (when it works). But the Norev version is very capable too. It features excellent exterior paint, excellent shutlines and panel gaps, and very good interior. All this at half the price. Hopefully when I resolve the current issues with the replacement model that gut feeling of buyer’s remorse will subside some what. I do wish AUTOart would ease on the cost out, it seems they excel in one area but fail in a few others. Give and take doesn’t work here, especially at $200. Enjoy the pics!