The Spanish company Spirit has been producing some real quality cars of late and their new release in the Playstation Reynard car is no exception. Most shops sold out within days of the cars release.
But there is another car that Spirit released that had the attention of the slot racers because of what itís not. And what itís not is what has me interested in this car for a review.
So what is it? Well itís Spritís first attempt at a sport version of their Reynard 2KQ. Unlike some sport versions done by other companies Spirit did not give you brass bushings, a motor label and a serial number. Instead they built a car with high quality components for the running gear and left the rest of the trimmings up to us.
Most buyers today buy a car because it closely resembles their favorite livery, the attention to scale, or because of the high quality of detail that is found on a car. Performance, quality, speed normally comes second.
So here we have to face some facts.
Fact: Only the body vaguely resembles any real livery of a 1:1 car. There are many different types of 1/32 hobbyist out there and this car should appeal to those that like to build for speed and paint their own. This is something that I like to do so this car had my attention as soon as I saw it. Itís not for everybody and I can respect the fact that it might not be for you.
So lets get started and see if this ďSportĒ is worth the money.
Body and paint:
Paint! You got to be kidding. This car only comes in two colors, white and yellow. If you are into the model building part of this hobby as I am then the color white is the car for you. I know this one is getting a coat of paint and maybe some nice graphics as soon if I can ever get that computer program figured out.
This car does not differ in body detail at all from the other Reynardís so the same detail that everyone likes is still there. But now here were the sport version comes in. This body has been on a low carb diet and lost some weight. A lot of weight compared to the production version. Just holding on to it feels lighter. Good info for the go-fast types out there.
No plastic wheels here. Just quality spun aluminum all around and to me they look great. Precision drilled and set screwed in place. By the way that slick little slot-it screwdriver you paid a bunch for will work on these setscrews. They are the same size!
And here is my first compliant: If you are going to sell me a car that has set screws then give me the allen wrench. Allen wrenches are cheap! So with that it would make a great impression on the first time buyer to have a company include one with the car.
Slicks all around. Tire lettering? Yeah right. This is a sport version remember. No tire lettering. Besides on most cars it would just rubs off anyway right?
Yes there are mirrors on this car. Intake scoop, roll bar, light lenses and even tow hooks. Remember there is no difference in the body detail. So what the other Reynardís get you get. This is just another good reason for me to add some paint to the car.
Second complaint: Light lens were loose and rattled as the car was driven. One drop of CA glue on the underside of the light buckets cured the problem. Interior cockpit needed a couple of drops on the melted areas also.
Here again itís the same as the other Reynardís. Itís a nice double spoiler that seems flexible enough to hold up to my heavy-handed abuse. (We will see though wonít we)?
As you can see there is no real interior to the car except for the lexan drivers cockpit and even then there is only half of what you would normally receive. This was done to cut down the weight of the car and to allow more room for the removable motor pod. The cockpit can still be painted to your liking so have some fun.
Arrows above show the correct screws to remove for the body.
Removing four screws releases the chassis from the body but make sure you remove the right four screws since there are eight of them. The front body screws are no problem but the back ones can be mistaken for the motor pod screws. Just remember that the screws closest to the motor are for the pod and those away from the motor are for the body.
Looking at the pod will turn some folks away from this car but for others it is a nice to have. I personally have no problems with the pod. It seems as though Spirit has modeled it after the Slot-itís design. If they are the same it will allow the racer out there some interesting combinations to use. Unfortunately I donít have a slot-it pod to compare.
Spirit supplied a quality aluminum hub gear inline gear.
Gear set in a brass 9-tooth pinion with a top quality 27-tooth crown gear that is nice and quite. This is some of what you paid for. The gear set is top notch and is held in place by a setscrew. The slot-it wrench also fits this gear so no problems unless you donít have the wrench. Just remember to order the wrench when you order the car and save yourself some trouble.
The one thing that has impressed me is the use of quality brass bushings on the rear axles of Spirit cars. Here testing the car showed that they will spins in the chassis. With the axle in place apply a small amount of your favorite adhesive to the top of the bushing to keep it in place. Having the axle in will insure the bushings stay aligned so there is no binding of the axle.
NONE. And even if there were the setscrew on the rims would allow you to adjust it out anyway.
Arrow above showing the hollow axles.
Just for curiosity I removed the axles and put them in the drill press to see how straight they really were. After spinning them up I couldnít find any thing wrong with them. They are perfectly straight.
I have to admit that these hollow axles look better than most companies solid ones and they should work well with the car.
Now if you like strong magnets you are going to be disappointed. The pod design of this new car comes with two magnets. There is one magnet in front of the motor and one to the rear. The standard Reynard car has only one magnet. So with two magnets this would lead you to believe that the new sport version must be really glued down more than the standard car right?
Well then it must mean this car is faster right?
Sorry wrong again.
The sport version even with the extra magnet is not as fast or glued down as the standard version. This is because of the thickness of the magnets used on the sport versions are thinner so you have less magnet overall.
So if you are the type that likes a lot of magnet you can always remove the thin ones and add your own until you get the effect you want. In my case this car is going on a wood track and will only occasionally see plastic so the stock thin ones are fine with me.
This shows the two small round vent hole.
The motor here is Spirits 26,000 rpm screamer. It has good torque and now seems to be the standard for most of Spirits releases. The motors looks identical to the Mabuchi motors that are in most production cars but can be spotted by the two small round vent holes in the motor casing.
Leads are nice and long but need to be taped down to keep form getting caught under a body post. There is nothing that will ruin your day faster than to run a body screw into a lead wire. Been there and done that!
Now I had heard some bad things about the tires being out of round on the sport version. So the first thing I did was to remove the wheels and axles and set them up a drill press to see what was going on.
Third complaint: After spinning the wheels one at a time in the drill press it looked as though I had two tires that were going to have some problems and have to be trued. But I decided to remove the tires from the rims first just to ensure it was in fact the tires.
Arrow shows the area to look for on the rim that may have material sticking up forcing the tire out of round.
Iím glad I removed the tires. What I found was not a bad tire or bent axle but the rim. It seems that Spirit provided a relief cut on the edge of the rim that allows you access to the setscrews. This was a good thing they did but they forgot to remove the excess material that now sticks up above the edge of the rim. It rests directly under the one side of the tire now making the tire out of round.
The simple fix here is to use a small file or sand paper and remove the material. After doing this I placed the tires back on the rims and spun them again in the drill press. They showed that they were perfectly round and need no truing at all. As I said it was a simple thing that I almost missed.
This really surprised me because this is something I look for with plastic wheels, as there is always be some plastic molding left on them. But this was not something I expected to see on aluminum rims. Spun aluminum rims we assume to be round right? It was a good thing I checked and might be something for you to look at as well.
Fourth Complaint: But it still is not a deep bladed guide.
Shown below are three cars that were run 20 laps each on a commercial wood track. There is no timer on this track so the cars had to be run against each other by different drivers.
What was a surprise was that the Reynard was really doing well against the Porsche as is. What wasnít a surprise was the Vanquish ran away from everything.
SPIRIT REYNARD 2KQ SPORT
This car as I said before is not for everybody. It was made to fill a niche of slot car enthusiasts that like to build their own go fast type of cars. But for them to do this they have to have a good foundation with quality parts from the start. Then they can always build up from there.
Is this car perfect out of the box for the buyer that doesnít know how to build a racer or make a car run to full potential? No.
Will the car run as is out of the box? Yes it will and for most people they will be happy as it is out of the box.
But for someone that is looking for that good foundation that you want to build then this could be it. It is a start for that niche of racer out there. I personally have spent a lot of money buying a painted RTR and then spending even more money to get the parts that were handed to me here. Total cost of a painted and highly modified RTR racer can exceeds the cost of two out of the box cars.
So, if you want a racer that you can paint yourself, peak and tweak, and then watch it scream around the track you might want to try this one.
See you at the races.