REVIEW: Exoto XS Jaguar D-type 'Short Nose', Le Mans Winner •

REVIEW: Exoto XS Jaguar D-type ‘Short Nose’, Le Mans Winner

Words and photos courtesy of Wes Shakirov


In the diecast hobby, the Exoto D-type is king. Boasting a claimed 2600+ parts count, it’s an astounding engineering achievement and I’m extremely grateful that it exists. If you ever bought a CMC and thought “meh, I need a bit more detail”, then any of the Exoto XS models are for you. I chose to begin my XS collection with the Jaguar, because since I watched Alain de Cadenet drive this very car in the Victory by Design’s Jaguar episode, I’ve been in love with the brand. There are many liveries and configurations to choose from, but I couldn’t resist the gorgeous blue of the Ecurie Ecosse team, and the allure of the Le Mans winner status (1956).



Consisting of so many parts, it is with much trepidation that I awaited the arrival of my D-type. However, they’re packed so well, that you’re unlikely to see any damage. There are lots of jelly-like pads protecting the paint work from the plastic shell. You get a giant sheet with assembly instructions, which is the trickiest bit. The problem is, everything is so fragile, but sometimes force is needed to make a part do what it’s supposed to do. As a result, I ended up disconnecting a cable and a steering linkage, which thankfully were easy fixes. So be careful!

You have to attach the rear end, the cockpit section, and all four wheels. The wheels are simple enough, and a tool is provided. I found the cockpit to be the most difficult part. Basically you have to pull on a clamp and insert one side of the cockpit cover, and then pull the clamp on the other side and insert that. One side fit perfectly, but on the other side, the clamp would not slide back in after I pushed the cover down. My advice is – whichever side doesn’t want to go in – you push that side in first and clamp it, and then tend to the other side.



Once the cockpit cover is in place, you slide the rear section into the rear subframe and secure it to the rest of the body using the headrest, which isn’t too difficult. Once everything is done, it is needless to say that you breathe a big sigh of (much deserved) relief. I’m not sure why such complicated assembly process is necessary, but I’m sure the engineers had a reason.

I sat for about 30 minutes and just looked at the model. I love the paint, the sharpness of detail, and how the model manages to be so detailed yet light (kind of like the Chaparral 2, if you have one). I also love the thin plastic rain cover over the passenger compartment. Everywhere you look, the model is suffused with that crisp photo-etched detail. I honestly don’t even know where to start. The pictures better do the talking here, cause I’m struggling.



I’ll start with the cockpit, which on the D-type, is often compared to that of an old airplane. You get lots of flat, large panels with square angles and a functional look. My favourite part of the model is the gauge panel, where you can see the hands on the dials, with the numbers beautifully legible. Nothing is one-dimensional. Look at the toggles and switches and scratch your head at how they managed to make something so small, yet so sharp and then managed to attach it so accurately. No foggy glue residue either. The seats are covered with some sort of soft material, although I can’t tell whether it’s leather or vinyl.



The engine is obviously where the bulk of the parts comes from. It’s just obsessive insanity, and I love it. I’ve never been more impressed. I love the engine on the D-type so it’s a perfect subject for the XS treatment. It’s not so much the sharpness or what the actual material is, but how many little parts each structure is made out of. I’m actually grateful that the belts are held in place by a magnet, so you don’t have to undo them and do them back up every time you want to look under the hood. Simply swing the bilateral locks upwards and pull the clamshell forward. It just sucks that to get a look at the rear subframe, you have to pull the head rest out first. Just make sure you’re holding the rear section, cause once you unclamp the head rest, the rear just slides off.



The trunk houses a nicely secured spare tire, which, according to the instructions, is to be left alone. The little fuel filler cap behind the driver’s door is secured by a leather strap. The underbody is superb, and the brakes are ridiculously impressive. All in all, I can’t find any part in this car where the engineers decided to be lazy.


So if this looks like something you might be interested in (I mean the car, not the model), then you NEED this model in your collection. It’s almost a rite of passage. Criticisms? Umm… I guess I wish the passenger rain cover was thicker. I would have also liked the assembly to be easier. Otherwise , it’s perfection. So, as always, the hardest thing to do is choose which version you want, and which kidney to keep.

PS I’ve also added some comparison photos of the AUTOart replica.  See below.

exoto_dtype exoto_dtype3 exoto_dtype4

exoto_dtype9 exoto_dtype10 exoto_dtype11

exoto_dtype12 exoto_dtype13 exoto_dtype14

exoto_dtype16 exoto_dtype6 exoto_dtype17

exoto_dtype19 exoto_dtype20 exoto_dtype21

exoto_dtype22 exoto_dtype23 exoto_dtype24

exoto_dtype25 exoto_dtype26 exoto_dtype27

exoto_dtype28 exoto_dtype29 exoto_dtype30

exoto_dtype32 exoto_dtype34 exoto_dtype35

exoto_dtype38 exoto_dtype40 exoto_dtype41

exoto_dtype42 exoto_dtype44 exoto_dtype45

exoto_dtype46 exoto_dtype47 exoto_dtype48

exoto_dtype49 exoto_dtype50 exoto_dtype51

exoto_dtype52 exoto_dtype53 exoto_dtype55

exoto_dtype56 exoto_dtype58 exoto_dtype59

exoto_dtype60 exoto_dtype61 exoto_dtype62

exoto_dtype63 exoto_dtype64

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9 Responses to "REVIEW: Exoto XS Jaguar D-type ‘Short Nose’, Le Mans Winner"

  1. DS Team says:

    Wes the detail on the beautiful is the BEST I’ve seen. It better be based on the suggested retail price. There is not one panel, part or not that is not detailed in length. WOW!!! is the best word to describe it. Nice addition sir!

  2. George K says:

    I have the ’54 LeMans 2nd-place car. You are right on- it is absolutely stunning in the detail. You are also correct in the fragility- I bought the rolling chassis just so I wouldn’t get the urge to start opening and lifting. Once that happens, things tend to go wrong. . .
    Get them both, put them in a case and don’t touch them!

  3. Olivier says:

    Incredible! A must-have for any Jaguar enthusiast but price is as high as the model is detailled…

  4. robert drexler says:

    What? its a three month wait if its in stock. But you get the wrong version because they forgot they sold the last one to someone else and there’s price increase. Or there on the way but there going by Chinese junk.

  5. javier says:

    Hola,la verdad esque son increibles lo mejor del mundo en maquetas a esta escala,pero si es verdad que son muy frajiles… yo dispongo de los modelos de reims modelos #1,#2,#3…y el #4 ganador..y el chasis para poder verlo, el interior para no marearlos mucho..aconsejables.

  6. Very nice indeed… But beware of the 1955 Sebring winner.It should have a FOUR SPOKE steering wheel and they’ve put on a THREE spoker… No joke when you pay the price asked!!!!

  7. Richard says:

    Yeah RIGHT! I am content with the CMC quality and details, exoto’s $1,000 dollar model is way beyond imagine!

  8. Davido says:

    IF you get the rear bodywork attached to central bodywork, do not move it. The back
    attaches to the center through the headrest!. This was not Jaguar’s actual solution.

  9. Dave C. says:

    Approaching 10 years and still the greatest ever released.

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