More on the livery side, and again it comes from Kyosho. We recently reviewed their 1:18 Kyosho Lancia 037 Martini #1 Winner Rally Montecarlo, tagged as the new ‘Night Version’ release, overall adequate release. At the time Kyosho also delivered three new versions of the classic release, the Fiat 131 Abarth.
New for 2020/2021 is the Fiat 131 Abarth Works Olio #5 Winner Rally Portugal 1980, driver W.Rohrl and co-driver C.Geistdorfer, the Fiat 131 Abarth Alitalia #1 Rally Portugal 1978, driver S.Munari and co-driver P.Sodano and finally the Fiat 131 Abarth River Team #11 Rally Sanremo 1980, driver A.Bettega and co-driver A.Bernacchini. Geez, that was a mouth full!
Under the microscope today is the 1:18 Kyosho Fiat 131 Abarth Alitalia #1 Rally Portugal 1978. For two reasons, we love the Italian connection and also the Alitalia livery brings back some cherished memories of simpler times. We promise a later Photo Gallery entry of the remaining two very soon.
The Alitalia logo and colours are unmistakably theirs. And it is the first thing you notice once you uncover the upper styrofoam shell. As with Kyosho’s Lancia, the decal work is completed underneath the clearcoat; for longevity, this is the best method. The exterior is just littered with decals. The craftsmanship here is extremely good along with the paintwork.
The Kyosho Fiat 131 Abarth is another classic from their past. The exterior is made of diecast metal and once again does feature full 360 access. Kyosho goes one step further with the Fiat, where the Lancia was equipped with static suspension the Fiat 131 Abarth is not, all four corners are active.
As for the exterior accuracy, what we studied is very close to the original car. The wide stance with moulded fenders, even the reenforcing structures around the front windshield is part of the package. We also find the shut lines and gaps better with the Fiat 131 Abarth. Possibly due to the less complex design.
Six lights grace the frontend, the lower two the auxiliary units – we will add the chrome here is little on the budget side. The lower centre grille is mesh and fabricated in metal. And quality side indicators are defined within each fender.
The mighty hood scoop in front is open to the inside while the outer two grilles are sealed and executed in plastic. We have a weakness for forward sweeping hoods, the Fiat 131 Abarth is equipped as so. Thankfully, Kyosho does provide a hood prop to hold in place as the metal does have some heft behind it.
The motor detail is moderately underwhelming in comparison to the Lancia effort. The lack of colour for one, and what it does offer up for the basics, block, headers, all are executed in the same Silver, this trend also leads to the front cooling apparatus.
Some cool elements are the OEM labels on the outer section, and we also love the exposed intake with a mesh grille. Though should this not be covered with a pre-filer? Especially for a car designed explicitly for rally racing.
Underneath the detail is as inspiring as the motor. The centre drivetrain is moulded into the base. The exhaust system does stretch from front to rear, and the protective shield in front is definitely the star of the show.
A neat feature from the rear is the cut-out within the hatch that exposes the filler cap (cap is not accessible). Lifting the hatch reveals the fuel tank and battery. The rest is executed in Black plastic. Hint to an older mould is revealed via the dog-hinges that support the hatch. These are massive!
Finishing up the rear we find carefully defined taillights, toe hook and lower exhaust tips. Oh, there are also rubber mud-flaps are all four corners too.
Wheels are the standard issue of the day. Overall, the look is captured. Careful attention to small detail with the Abarth scorpion in the centre. Not much to see in terms of brake rotors and calipers due to the mono-black design wheels. We did note this above, this Fiat 131 Abarth comes equipped with active suspension.
Two doors provide access to the interior side. Black is the theme here, with the majority of the interior design the same, the exception does include the foot pedals (both sides), dials, shifter and racing harness and rear fire extinguisher. These added elements do do along way for overall impression.
What we appreciated best was the texture within the centre of the seats and the outer stitching pattern. Fabric racing harness is completed for both diver and co-driver. The co-driver side also provides the communication device housed within the upper section of the roofline. Love it!
In all, the re-issue of the Kyosho Fiat 131 Abarth is welcomed addition. For fans that are new and old, it does provide an option to some of the earlier works by Kyosho. We did a quick search, some are selling in excess of $600+ CND. Nuts! With the new supply coming to dealers on this side of the pond soon, we think you’ll be more than entertained with the latest releases.
Someone mentioned in the comments from the earlier Lancia review that it would be nice to have a completely updated version of these classics. Meaning updates to the hinge work and related features. We’re all for it, but is the juice worth the squeeze? Will this evitability add more cost and a higher price? That’s for Kyosho to answer. Enjoy the pics!