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Diecast R/C Delights: A Porsche Carrera GT with A Bonus.

Chris Haining September 26, 2016 Cars You Should Know, Diecast Delights 5 Comments

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As awesome as 1:18 diecasts are, part of me always wanted them to do something other than sitting there, looking pretty. Of course, you could buy a Tamiya, a Nikko, any of dozens of remote control cars, but with their ABS or polycarbonate bodyshells none of them really did quite what I wanted.

Imagine this. A diecast metal, 1:18 model car, with a detailed interior and opening doors. But also with working lights and the ability, if you want, to drive it around the floor. This was what I wanted.

It seems that somebody was listening to my yearnings. The big surprise was that it should have been Maisto.

(All images respond well to being clicked around with)

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Not that long ago we had a look at Maisto’s rendition of the Porsche Carrera GT in its production form. I declared it to be A Good Thing, and one that looks like exceptional value, if you like that kind of thing. Certainly it has an attention to detail that seems more than an equal to models from far higher price-points.

This time around, we’re looking at the Concept edition of the Carrera GT, with subtle differences of styling at the front end. This is also where you can forget all about the fact that this is a remote control car. You seriously couldn’t possibly guess to look at it.

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Maisto has paid the same attention to the bodywork on this as with their conventional static diecast models. There are three opening doors including the front ‘Frunk’ storage compartment – which is a little shallower on this than on the static model owing to the presence of a steering servo beneath. The detail is there, though.

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As it is with the engine. The only short-cut Maisto has taken is that the engine cover no longer opens on the r/c version, as there are all kinds of complicated bits of wire and electric motor-like stuff that they don’t want you to see, and that isn’t especially aesthetically rewarding to look at anyway. No worries, though; you still get to see the stylised induction manifold covers as used on the prototype, and they look good. The rear spoiler can be raised and lowered, too – a bonus over the static production car model.

Inside, things are way, way better than on the production car, if only because everything is the right scale and there’s no ludicrous soccer ball-sized gearknob. The colours are more apealling, too. You know, in many ways this model doesn’t just match the static version for resolution, it beats it.

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And that’s before we get to its party piece. Hand this model over to a guest and they’ll have absolutely no idea as to its extended functionality, unless they flip it over and see the battery compartment with its screw-secured lid. Into this go four LR6 batteries. The remote handset is IR operated and comes with its three button cells supplied from the factory, and a plastic tab to pull prior to first operation. Flick the switch under the car and you’re good to go.

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When you hit ‘Start’ on the remote fob the front and rear lights will flash thrice. The rear lights are LEDs, the fronts are grain-of-wheat type bulbs, and plenty bright. The bulbs themselves are tinted blue to look subtle in static display mode.

The movement of the model is rather fun. In an ideal world it would be digital-proportional so you could slowly pull away and then accelerate, but alas. There’s no creep mode – press for forward and it goes forward as quickly as its little motor can push it, which is to say pretty swiftly. Enough to have it ricocheting off your skirting boards in short order.

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The steering is of the on/off servo type, too, so left to go left, right to go right. On my ceramic kitchen floor I did try to provoke a drift, but none was forthcoming. It might have been possible with a bit more space, but the Maisto isn’t over-endowed with power.

Nor is diecast metal a particularly good material for a remote control toy. Sadly. It’s heavy stuff, and with the static model’s suspension having been deleted for this version its opening doors clang and bang over the gaps between my floor tiles. And if it was given to an offspring, instead of the resilience of single-colour moulded plastic, its lustrously painted metal will be scratched like a sand-pit HotWheels within hours.

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Perhaps because of its inherent compromises, it seems that the remote control diecast genre didn’t last for long. I ended up getting this one from a French seller on eBay. Mine was the only bid, and it hardly cost me any Euros apart from international shipping. I think Maisto also did a 1:18 r/c diecast Jeep, too.

It’s worth it just for those tail lights.

(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2016)

  • Mikeado

    OMG I HAVE THIS IN MY ROOM!! I can’t remember where the controller is, though. I too thought the mix of diecast and R/C was just the best thing ever, despite its flaws. I got it when it was new

    Hmm, I might have to blow the dust off that soon and find some new batteries… and the controller…

    • Rover 1

      Rehargeables work out cheaper. 🙂

  • Rover 1

    “It’s worth it just for those tail lights.”

    How did I not know about these?

    Off to the Bay of E. Right now.

  • Chad Geidel

    “…press for forward and it goes forward as quickly as its little motor can push it, which is to say pretty swiftly. Enough to have it ricocheting off your skirting boards in short order.”

    So, just like the real thing then. Excellent.

    • Rover 1

      Where’s that Paul Walker F&F action figure?