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.
Thanks for the review. And lovely photos once again!
As for the model, we believe it first appeared in scale by GTAutos 7-8 years back, and the price was even more attractive. Though a fantastic budget piece, and quite remarkable with all the moving parts. The question remains, what happened to Welly and sister brands? Not much else was released after this great replica, the Pagani Huayra!
Thanks, I’m actually surprised you ran this considering it was reviewed already. It’s unfortunate that the only models still around by Welly are old models like this and their Continental Supersports.
It’s been seven years since it was highlighted… newcomers to the hobby arrive daily, good refresher, and why waste what has been done.
Nice choice and nice review! I think this model has the best value-to-price ratio and also it has so lovely interior color! In fact, I was disappointed by AutoArt’s choice of grey interior for this amazing car and I was also considering the GT Autos model. But finally I chose the AutoArt’s one because of more details and unexpected chance to buy it with a discount :)
AUTOart’s Huayra is probably their best metal model. Sucks they got so expensive, I would have gotten it instead of this. Nevertheless you got lucky with the discount!
I believe that Autoart did not provide the colour option in the interior of the “basic” Huayra, because it intended in the first place to do this in the BC version, that came later. Saving the interior colour as a significant detail for the BC version, could obviously differentiate it significantly from the “basic” Huayra and by this way justify it as a new model and boost its sale. Just my 2 cents..
I’m not a fan of livecarmodel.com. I have ordered 2 models from them. The very first took about a month to arrive, and I as well was unaware that their inventory in not located in California as does the business address. The second model was ordered just as news of the pandemic was coming to light. It took 5 MONTHS!! I was so close to submitting a dispute with PayPal. I had ordered a model from carloversdiecast.com the same week. While it took them a couple of weeks to get it processed and shipped due to covid-19 the package itself arrived in 3 days. 3 days from the same country!!! I understand carloversdiecast used DHL express, but 5 months is unacceptable.
I also once ordered two at once. One of them was sold out but they let us “order” it anyway. Took a few weeks for the other one to arrive. Never have I had a good experience with them.
I’ve dealt with Livecarmodel.com twice. Both times the website said they had stock and both times they had none. They claimed the orders were in process and would be shipped shortly, then kept my money for ages and after not providing tracking details I contacted them after about two months and nothing arriving to ask when the items had been shipped and to provide tracking details and it was only then that they admitted they didn’t have stock and would I like to buy something else or get a refund. Of course I opted for a refund. Three times since then I found their website said they had stock of something I couldn’t find elsewhere and each time I emailed them to confirm the item was in stock only to be told it wasn’t. The website is a total mess and you can NEVER believe when they say something is in stock. ALWAYS email first.
Based on the above, we would avoid them like the plague!
“Badges and Logos: Of all the diecast models I’ve reviewed, this is the only one that uses inexpensive, square cutouts of the brand logos. They are mere stickers and stick out on the moulded carbon fibre.”
The badges and logos are metal stickers, the square cut clear material showing on your photos is a clear plastic foil that can be removed and is on the model for protection of these stickers.
Thanks, I wouldn’t have thought of that!
I got this one to. And i allso have the replica of the fast and furiouse movie Huayra and i think bouth of them are great model cars for the money. Dare i say the best model cars for the money? Yes i think so
The things that always surprised me about the Huayra by Welly/Gt Autos, compared with the Autoart model, are:
1) bi-color interior. Infact the all dark grey option by Autoart smells of corner cutting.
2) while the rear view mirror stalks are not as thin as in the Autoart model, the part where they connect to the front clamshell is way more realistic than in the Autoart.
3) the doors on the Gt Autos Huayra have a little hole to mimic the door lock, while there is no trace of the door locks on the Autoart.
4) why can Gt Autos make tinted windows and Autoart can’t? Let me explain, As far as I know only the top glass on the doors is tinted on the real car, and Gt Autos made that and the side windows tinted (perhaps they made them as a single piece?). But on the Autoart no transparent piece is tinted, and once again it looks like corner cutting on their part.
I also admired how they could give the model beautiful hinges and struts for the rear clamshell and the gullwing doors in a model that was far cheaper than the autoart.
Too bad that the foot well on the Gt Autos is not deep enough and kind of ruins the realism with the doors in the open position.
Anyway, did you notice that the wheels on this model have valve stems? And yet Autoart didn’t make them on their much more expensive recent Roadster model?
I also just noticed that in the centre console they actually replicated the ignition key in the inserted position with its fob shaped like the rear of the car. It’s a very nice touch.
The clear plastic over the logos are just for protective purposes, you can peel them off!
Nice review! I hope you don’t mind I give you some pointers, again this is not against you but either against the model, or trying to help you with some info.
“The Huayra is the successor to the Zonda, which debuted in 2005. From then to 2017 the Zonda had special edition versions being produced. However, the standard, “base” Huayra that I’m reviewing in 1:18 scale started production in 2012 and ended in 2018. The Roadster, Roadster BC and R variants are still being made.”
So, some incorrect info here. The Zonda started in 1999, its 20th anniversary was celebrated in 2019, that’s why on the Huayra Roadster BC from LCD model there’s a number 20, since they presented the car during this event. While it’s “true” that the Zonda was produced until 2017, that’s actually not really true. Let me explain: as far as I know, 2017 is when the last chassis was made, but that doesn’t mean that “new” Zondas aren’t being made. Many were remade into Zonda 760s later and will continue to evolve, plus there are I think 2 chassis numbers that were bought to remake new Zondas, but don’t quote me on that. The latest 760 was finished in 2020, at least one of the Barchettas isn’t finished yet, and same goes for the R Barchetta. As for the Huayras, the R is not in production yet. And to shed more light about yours, it’s a Coupe with the optional lip that was offered later that same year, and which evolved in what became the Tempesta package which Huayra owners can order for their coupes, and is a tad more radical but compliments the lines much better.
“My initial impression was that the Pagani had the potential to be a stellar recreation, as it should be for $140.”
When this modelcar launched, it costed around 60 euro, which meant it was a good contender to the Autoart despite its flaws. Paying 140usd for it is excessive, let alone more than that. If you liked the Pagani, I thoroughly recommend you the LCD Roadster, not only because Roadsters have more beautiful lines than the Coupes with the redesigned front and the dovetail, but because it provides a much better modelcar-esque experience, and when I got mine from Aliexpress (yey, shitty distribution LCD has) I paid 140 usd plus shipping.
” 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”
While they should be carbon-ceramic, they don’t look like it at all in the model. They look good, yes, if they were steel, but not like carbo-ceramic brakes.
Badges and Logos: Of all the diecast models I’ve reviewed, this is the only one that uses inexpensive, square cutouts of the brand logos. They are mere stickers and stick out on the moulded carbon fibre.
As others pointed out, that’s just a film to protect the badges, peel that off carefully.
Exterior Vents: I’m thankful that GTautos used real mesh vents, like that on AUTOart Performance models.
My biggest gripe here is how thick theeir walls are, specially the ones over the wheel arches on the rear clam. And are those that I mention real mesh? Doesn’t look like it.
Other than that and the moulded carbon, I think one of the biggest downsides of this car is how shallow the foot well is.
And in the subject of carbon, now that we’re talking about the Huayra, somebody explain me how Motor Max could make a full carbon Huayra, but then GT Spirit refuses more and more to apply carbon to their models, to the point where they just paint those areas black? I think this is a subject for another thread…
I corrected the debut year (it was the Zonda F that came out in 05) and removed where I said the R is being made, thanks for pointing that out! I seem to recall the HP Barchetta being the last Zonda, so I’ll change “made” to “unveiled.” As far as the LCD model goes, I was looking at that but couldn’t find it for a reasonable price. Speaking of not being able to find it, LiveCarModel was the only website that had this. So that explains the price for this Huayra. For that last few points: the mesh looks exactly what AUTOart uses for mesh. The square cutouts have since been removed – thank you for that. And yes, the foot well does look very shallow. I didn’t want to mention it because I wasn’t too sure if was *that* noticeable, but now that I’ve looked at my other models it is a let down. Thanks for taking the time to point these out!
I really appreciate you jumping with a comment on here. Altho what you are saying about the real Zondas makes only partial sense in term of what constitutes production and cars being made, what I really would like to thank you about is, that finally someone pointed me in the right direction to buy the least expensive LCD Huayra Roadster out there, while also putting an exact number on the price they paid.
About this particular model, it is one that I DO own and I am holding in my hands right now, next to the AutoArt Huayra Roadster, which I just received yesterday. (Since you have demonstrated the tendency to somewhat doubt my statements, I would have loved to add a picture with my comment, but there is no such options)
This is a well written review, which flatters a rather mediocre model, which stands no chance next to the corresponding piece from AutoArt. I don’t remember how many years back I bought it, but it was shortly after it came out. and shipped to me it totaled something in the neighborhood of $100. I got it instead of the AutoArt, exactly because of sugarcoated reviews like this one. Which is why I take issue with that other comparison.
Now I just have to wait a month for my LCD model (available only in white for under $200 plus shipping) to arrive and we can have some Three Way Battle Royale of the brands offering a Huayra.
Thanks again for the Aliexpress tip.
Looking forward to your comparative, glad to be of help.
Sorry, in defense of livecarmodel.com I have been its customer and is one of the best model sites if you live outside US / Europe and understand how they work: they have a big catalog, obviously they operate like a distributors network, because the models are shipped directly from China.
So if you pay a cheap delivery it will take months to arrive if you use express delivery with UPS even me that live in Argentina the ass of the World receive my models within 15-20 days.
And yes stock informed is innacurate I ordered a BBR Ferrari SF90 Rosso fiorano limited in January with apparently “stock 5” and a couple of days later my order was cancelled, my money come back , yes they need to improve this, or like I finally learnt e-mail them before buying.
But they can find for you models completely out of stock everywhere and this is vastly better than buying in ebay where all kind of scammers exist.
Thank you for your comment, however their prices are absurd (often double what it is on other sites like FiveDiecast and DiecastModelsWholesale) and the “15-20 day shipping” rarely gets there in the 15-20 days. Moreover, they pushed out when they could actually ship this model by two months because of some “delay with their vendor” or something like that. And as you said, the amount of models in stock isn’t what it really is. They let us order a model that they didn’t even have without getting back to us. Meaning, over a month passed before WE had to call THEM.
Granted, the shipping is probably much smoother from China to Europe than China to the US. So I get your point there and would agree. Thanks for taking the time to read the review – cheers.