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!
With no mention of the controverse about composite, I find that this model is looking cheap and less detailled than previous diecast AA. For a higher price.
I will buy a Norev, you can have one for +/- 70 € and who looks have a better quality/price ratio.
Same here…the colors available in Norev are also superb !..i got the IAA version and love it !
Composhit strikes again. I miss the good old die-cast days. :(
Ironic I JUST sold the Maisto exclusive to buy the Norev! That being said BOTH the Norev and the Maisto Exclusive are better than this Autoart, regardless of price considerations. You should not exchange it, but return it, pocket the difference and buy another Norev. After owning both the Norev and Maisto Ex. I can say the Norev has better paint and wheels and lenses. The Maisto has the better engine and of course the silly little spoiler works, but with doglegs that kill the look. I hate the Autoart wheels and brakes, even the Maisto Ex. is better in the wheels and brakes. Those are the worst brake discs I have seen on an Autoart possibly ever, even really old AA like the Murci and original Gallardos have better discs. I hate the fact that the paint is visible behind those meshes, those are funcitonal vents on the AMG, not for looks. Those need to be punched out!! WOW serious cost cutting there. Your spoiler is stuck! Good lord are they even inspecting these models anymore? Those shutlines suck too and no struts front or rear. Even the Maisto Ex and of course the Norev have PE sill plates. This is possibly the worst model AA has made ever made, certainly the worst one I have ever considered for purchase. Thank you sir for sharing this so I can know I made the right choice. I just won the Norev in red for $61 shipped and I love it compared to this plastic pile of shit excuse for model making.
Very useful review… keeping my Norev for sure
Very informative review. I will be keeping my Norev version as well. Looks like AutoArt is truly falling apart. And the worst part about it…the models they are trying to sell customers are transforming into “Maisto-Like” levels of quality at a high price point. If they continue to spiral down this road…..they may not have a future. Customer will have to go elsewhere.
Wasn’t composite supposed to deliver better panel fit and lower cost? It looks like the only real improvement over the Norev is the engine. Thank you for your excellent comparative review.
I paid 159.99 before my frequent buyer discount. In yellow this model is awesome.