Friday April 29, 2005

Carrera Peugeot 307 WRC

Carrera is certainly not famous for Rally models to say the least, so when this latest Peugeot 307 became available I just had to try one. However, my main reason for wanting it was more of curiosity than really adding another model to my current racing rotation.

There are other brands of models out there that already focus (pun not intended?) on this series heavily and I was interested to see how this effort would stack up against the competition. My first impressions of the model were favorable because I feel they have done a fine job of presenting this model in 1/32nd scale.

Overall body fit and finish are at a high level to my eyes with excellent Tampo-stampings and a near flawless clear-coat. The interior here was also very well done with small details such as the roll cage and seat belts that really give the model a finished appearance. Some enthusiasts really appreciate the finer details and I think Carrera has made an effort here that should please most of them.

Wheels and tires were acceptable with a soft to medium compound for the tires and visible brake rotor detail. I did notice that these tires are going to need some sanding to get them as round and true as most would expect. However, before sanding I looked closer at these wheels because it appeared that they were not correctly seated on the axle. They were seated just fine, but after taking the tires off, I noticed several areas where excess flash molding was present and that these wheels were of a 2 piece design. This design allowed some areas of the wheel to be incorrectly seated due to this excess flash which in turn caused excess wheel hop. Perhaps it is just my simple end user opinion, but this design just allows for mistakes. I see no reason why a wheel could not be produced in a one-piece design to help eliminate these issues. One reason why I am being so particular about this is that most enthusiasts who purchase this model will either remove all the magnets or perhaps just the rear one in order for the model to drift through the turns more prototypically.

However, with both the magnets in place you will most likely never notice it. So, depending on your taste in driving will dictate if this is even an issue or not. We took our model straight from the box and it was just as smooth and fast as you would expect. In fact, it is quite the road rocket with lap times averaging 4.2 seconds on the road course. So although I found some small problems, if you are running your cars with magnets you will most likely be pleased with this model.

One thing that does add appeal to this model is the added feature of being lighted. Both the front and rear lights function, and quite well. For some this is no major plus, yet it seems more and more enthusiasts are wanting this option and Carrera has answered the call. I like the feature very much as it just adds even more realism to the model and allows for some great night racing.

Looking underneath we see that 4 screws hold the body to the chassis. Inside you see a virtual bird-nest of wiring for the lights and polarity switch. I have to give them credit here for packing this much inside and keeping it as neat as possible. The motor sitting in the inline position has a 9 tooth pinion that drives a 27 tooth crown gear and gear mesh is very quiet and smooth.

Out of the box it is very fast and smooth as we stated earlier, but it just did not "feel" right to me. This is only because a Rally car just seems to be made for sliding a little more in my opinion. So, I removed the rear bar magnet and headed back to track. Here is where I found the "sweet spot" on this model for my driving tastes. The front variable magnet keeps the model pinned just enough for easy control in the corners and also allows for some very nice power slides. However, this is just how I like my Rally models. Some like more magnet, some like none at all. I do think Carrera has produced a model that allows the enthusiast an excellent platform to work with.

In the end there I can only give high marks to Carrera for this effort. Although I have reservations on the wheel design, the model still functions out of the box as intended. Rally fans should be pleased as they now yet another model to choose from and I look forward in hearing from those who decide to add one to their current line-up.

- Harry

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Thanks Go To SLOTCARPLACE For Providing Us With This Model!