Endurance racing trends come and go, and the changing of trends usually coincides with cars getting too fast or racing efforts getting too expensive. Group C endurance cars were killed off for being too fast and expensive, and the rules were changed to promote the GT1 class that had street-able counterparts in the hopes that the cars would get less exotic. However, the GT1 rules kept getting stretched so far that everyone decided to just go back to full on prototypes again. Enter the LMPs.
First up for review is the 1:18 Audi R8 LMP made by Maisto. I just received this diecast as a Valentine’s Day gift, and what a gift it is. Yes, this is a Maisto. Yes, it was between $30 - $40. No, it is not junk. It is anything but junk.
All decals are spot on and wonderfully sharp. All panels and parts fit together well and have adequate detail. Just check out those headlights!
The front does not open, and for the price point that is understandable. This model will remind you that it is a Maisto sometimes, such as the lines on sharp creases of the body left over from being cast.
But these wheels and tires... just wow. All appropriate logos, good details, and the sidewalls of the tires even have little ribs.
Check out the carbon fiber weave of the rear wing. Its not printed on, you can feel the weave. The four rings look sharp on the couch sized wing too.
The interior does not skimp on the details either. Most everything is textured and painted, few things rely on stick-on dashboard gimmicks.
Take the clam-shell hood off and you are treated to a detailed engine bay. It is kind of tricky getting the hood off though, you have to lift up only a little bit and then pull it towards the back. If you don’t know this, you could definitely break something. By the way, those springs are not functional but that is fine. I’d rather have fixed suspensions on a diecast unless it is really, really high quality.
Even the hood has a carbon fiber weave underneath. Some plugs to cover up the Phillips screws would have been nice though.
Moving on to another LMP car of the same era, we have the 1:18 Cadillac Northstar LMP made by HotWheels. I have had this diecast for a while now, so long that I forgot where it came from. I’m glad to have it in my collection though because it is a good match for the Audi.
This is another good for the price point model like the Audi, but there are a few obvious misses. In the prior picture of the Caddy, you can see the scoops above the rear wheels are not hollow. In the picture immediately above, you can see that HotWheels cheaped out on the headlights too.
Do a few bad details make this a bad model? No, overall this is a good model and I enjoy having it. It is such a cool shape and being draped in a metallic silver, you will catch yourself staring at it and studying it.
As far as I can tell, the decals are spot on to the real car. Cadillac really wanted you to know this car represents America! Too bad the Northstar LMP wasn’t nearly as successful as the R8 LMP.
There is something so exotic about a spoiler that is completely behind the rest of the body. The car definitely looks very space-ship like.
The interior of the Northstar LMP is okay. No stick-on dashboard gimmicks but not much of anything really.
The engine bay detail doesn’t quite match the Maisto either. Still, it is fun to look at. Pay attention to the two pegs with the holes in them by the base of the spoiler. The clam-shell hood has a matching set of pegs that presses into them. And they can be difficult to line up.
The hood itself is a neat piece. It has a carbon fiber textured weave on the bottom of it just like the Audi.
In the correct lighting, the silver metallic on both cars is very photogenic. Check them out!
I recommend picking up either diecast, especially the Audi. It is a no brainer for the price, just pick up an R8 LMP now. Anyone would find the Audi a cool gift too, so get your mom one, your grandmom one, and your dog one too. Hope you enjoyed this review!