Every once in a while I venture away from 1:18 Porsches and Aston Martins and opt for something unique and entirely new. Sometimes it’s a Lamborghini, other times something American. This time it is an entirely new model, a GTautos Pagani Huayra.
There’s been quite a bit written about the Huayra but just to be on the safe side, I’ll give you a little bit more on the full-size car. The Huayra is the successor to the Zonda, which debuted in 1999. From then to 2017 the Zonda had special edition versions being unveiled. However, the standard, “base” Huayra that I’m reviewing in 1:18 scale started production in 2012 and ended in 2018. The Roadster and Roadster BC variants are still being made.
Up until recently, this bespoke Italian vehicle wasn’t on my review radar and, maybe it wasn’t on other people’s radar either. Most fans who follow Pagani would likely choose the in-the-spotlight Zonda F. Me being me, I always prefer the overshadowed car. That’s how I ended up purchasing this Pagani. And am I glad I did!
This is my first encounter with a 1:18 from GTautos. This brand is the higher-end subsidiary of mid-range manufacturer Welly. The Pagani is the third Welly model in my collection. Personally, I think Welly makes some fine models for their price point, so I hoped that GTautos would too with this car.
After opening the package, I was thoroughly impressed right out of the box… with the box! It features a side profile of the car, unfortunately in a different colour than my 1:18 version is in, with a plethora of Pagani logos. The unboxing process was an odd one that I will get into lower in the article. For now, let’s just say that the packaging was so… different… that I had to be careful not to damage the car during the de-mummification unboxing process. Once finished I was relieved to see that the car was in just about perfect condition. My initial impression was that the Pagani had the potential to be a stellar recreation, as it should be for $140.
At the $140 price point, GTautos competes against AUTOart and Norev so there is an expectation of quality. GTautos delivered on my Huayra. Most of the vents are mesh, and the headlights and taillights are masterfully crafted. GTautos also configured the car with the Huarya’s synonymous chrome rims. These seven spokes are beyond stunning and look great next to the yellow brakes. A tiny, tiny detail that makes the brakes look all the better is the carbon-ceramic detailing. I am at a loss for words for how astounding this looks. As for the shut lines, they are on par. Very crisp, yet there is still enough space for each part to open with ease. The airbrake flaps also move up and down which is a big plus.
The unique carbon fibre-covered rearview mirrors are another pleasing detail. Unlike the carbon on the rest of the car, this carbon fibre coat is unmolded wrap which I appreciate. Furthermore, I applaud GTautos for wonderfully remaking the iconic quad exhaust. Knowing there is enough depth to each individual pipe allows me to sleep well at night. However, while there are plenty of good things for me to rave about there are a handful of things to improve upon, but I’ll do that lower down.
In contrast to the exterior, the interior is perfect except for one broken A/C vent. That fell off I assume on the Pagani’s journey here and was waiting for me on the passenger seat after I unboxed it. The gullwing doors suit this car perfectly. Once you open them up, the first thing you see is a script “Pagani” logo on the door sill. At that point, you know you’re not getting into any regular Italian car. The interestingly shaped seats are tight in place, and upright. Props to GTautos for nailing the difficult-to-recreate center console. Everything down to the shifter and handbrake is on point.
Moving over to the passenger side, you’ll find that the carbon fibre trim really pairs well with the brown leather. I especially like it on the glove compartment where another script “Huayra” logo is an elegant touch. Everything just works. Overall the interior reproduction is one of the best I’ve seen yet.
Popping the bonnet lets you feast your eyes on the Huayra’s twin-turbo, AMG-derived V12 built specifically for this Pagani. Despite using smaller, twin scroll-type turbochargers to reduce lag, this bad boy produces 720 horses in real life. The power plant is also replicated very well in this 1:18 model.
The engine smothered in carbon fibre with gold accents. That gold colour is also found on the suspension system which compliments the black and Champagne colours nicely. Various fluid caps, including one labelled for water, are replicated fabulously too. Arguably, the best part of the engine bay is the purple-coloured exhaust pipes which give the car just a touch more flare. I’ve got to say, for this price everything looks wonderful.
I love the car but there are a variety of small details that GTautos could have focused on to make this Huayra perfect.
Delivery: While this doesn’t have anything to do with the manufacturer, the website that I ordered this from, LiveCarModel, required 50 days for the model to reach my house – a lot longer than the four days I am accustomed to from other resellers. Part of the 50 days was spent travelling the 6,200 miles (9960 kilometres) from Beijing to my address in Northern California. LiveCarModel is based in Los Angeles. At no time did they tell me the car wasn’t in stock and would require additional time for international shipping. Bad behaviour, LiveCarModel.
Packaging: Upon unboxing, I found the car wrapped in a toilet paper-like material with a bunch of tape and plastic wrap surrounding it. How unusual and visually disappointing.
Carbon Fiber: At this price point, highly realistic carbon fibre is expected. Yet this model utilizes Maisto-grade plastic moulded to look like carbon fibre. I know GTautos is the subsidiary of Welly, but I’d like quality to suggest otherwise.
Exterior Vents: I’m thankful that GTautos used real mesh vents, like that on AUTOart Performance models. The problem is that because the frunk (sorry for saying the f-word, I know you resent me for doing so) doesn’t open and that this portion of the car is empty. Because of this, when looking through the mesh, you’ll find some plastic and the backside of the footwell of the interior. It is a minor imperfection, and I may be the only person in the world looking through the mesh, but this detail bothers me infinitely.
Window Tint: It may just be me but I prefer my car windows – scale model or not – clear and colourless. Somebody at GTautos decided the windows on my Huayra should have a brownish-yellow tint. The tint is hard to see considering the car has a brown “leather” interior, but once you see it, it can’t be unseen.
Interior A/C vent: If you made it this far, congratulations, you’re as OCD as I am! Even though I highlighted this nitpick above, I’ll again mention that the A/C vent arrived detached. This is likely because of the 50-day shipping journey. Nothing a little glue can’t fix.
Was the shipping process painful? Yes. Was the opening process peculiar? You betcha. Do I wish LiveCarModel had sold me a car they could ship immediately, and told me the truth on shipping dates? 100%. But, after all this, I am glad to have found this car. This model is phenomenal and I am now a GTautos fan. I snagged the last one they had in this colour so you’re out of luck if you wanted that one, but they do have it in yellow for around double what I paid for this, and red for $90 more. Again, I don’t advise you to buy this from LiveCarModel but it is available if you have the patience and money.