Friday August 19, 2005

The Subaru Grows Up!
Auto Art 1/24th Subaru Impreza WRC 2004

When it comes to the Subaru in our hobby, there is certainly no shortage of them. This latest release by Auto Art is much different simply because it is in 1/24th scale and given the size, it really catches your eye. I wanted to try this model due to the scale and it finally has arrived for a closer look.

The Subaru was the very first effort by Auto Art in 1/32nd scale, and I was curious on how the model would stack up against it's smaller counter-part. Well, if you were thinking that this model lacks any of the detail or fit and finish attributes as the smaller would be mistaken. Right out of the box this car is simply stunning to look at with excellent overall fit and finish along with Tampo-stamped markings that are near flawless.

I will say that most any enthusiast will appreciate the attention to detail here. The metal-etched front grill, antenna placement, the rear window de-fogger clearly show they are committed to brining us a very detailed machine in this scale. The interior is equally impressive with a full roll cage and both driver and co-driver present. The co-driver (navigator) even has his head slightly tilted looking at the notebook. The notebook is blank...which kind of surprised me given that 1/32nd models are at least printing something on it to add to the realism, but it is not a glaring issue for me. The model is also lighted both front and rear, which is a very important detail many enthusiasts appreciate. The brake lights do not work when you let off, rather the just the taillights come on under power.

The wheel detail here is also a high point as not only did they do well in the scale department, the photo-etched brake rotors showing through really gives the model a finished look. The tires are of a medium to soft compound and actually hook-up rather well on plastic track. Although the tires will need some sanding to get them as concentric as most of you prefer, it is not a lot and you should find a smoother model rather quickly.

4 screws mount the body to the chassis and once removed you can see that this model is of course 4 wheel drive. There is a quick disconnect between the chassis and the body for the light system so be careful when removing the chassis. I liked this feature on the Lamborghini because it just makes things easier for those tuning the model and I am glad it found it's way here.

Inside things are very similar to the Lambo with the motor being mounted to the rear with a drive-shaft running up front. The shafts have a 10 tooth pinion that is driving the 28 tooth crown gears. Gear mesh was very quiet right out out of the box but you might need to glue the bushings in place before heavy racing. I noticed only the right rear bushing slightly moving under load, so I would advise using your favorite adhesive and getting them secure. The front guide (which was the 1/32nd's main problem) is deep enough and sits almost flush with the rails. A little front tire sanding allowed me to get almost a perfect tripod effect on this model, so if this is important to you, give this a try. Doing so does render the 4WD aspect of the car basically useless, so use your own tuning discretion here.

This model utilizes a dual bar magnet system instead of the single magnet found in the Lambo. I found this very strange because after all this is the famous Subaru and it just seems at home drifting through the corners. Well, surprisingly that is just what this model does, and quite nicely. Lap times were in the 5.3 second range so it is a little slower than the Lambo. The best thing about the dual magnet system is that the break-away effect is lighter than I expected and produced some very impressive drifting action. I did not bother to even try this model non-magnet. I did not because given the larger overall mass of this beast and the how the magnet system worked allowed me to slide this model almost effortlessly around our corners.

Sometimes in our hobby, you can have a great deal of fun with a series that you may not have any interest in in the 1:1 world. Such is the case with me as I do not follow the Rally series that much, but our hobby has sure produced a fan of it in scale. I have had a great time testing this model all by itself which tells me how fun it is going to be with 3 more on the track. Subaru fan or not, I can predict that I will see some fantastic racing.

Once again I give you a positive review of a slot car. However, how could I not? This model has great scale detail, runs smooth and reliable out of the box and most of all it is fun to drive. 1/24th scale may not be as popular as other scales, but this release combined with more on the way should show you that Auto Art is turning up the heat. If you have the track for these larger models, I think you owe yourself one of these off-road wonders.

- Harry

As always feel free to contact me about this article or just the hobby in general at, or better yet drop into our Message Forum and share your thoughts with other enthusiasts!

Thanks Go To SLOTCARPLACE For Providing Us With This Model!

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