Avant Slot Peugeot 207 S2000 IRC Test Car
Review by Mike Rust (Abarth Mike)
The proportions look right, not a
blemish on the paintwork and the printing is excellent, zero blurring or
running. The mirrors are the only disappointment both visually and
structurally. They are very flimsy and just in the place where one would
pick up the car. They didn't survive this review and the rear wing does
not look like it would survive a trip to the floor. On my example there
was a flaw/hole in the body moulding where the passenger (other) side
mirror attaches but it is very, very small.
The interior is detailed enough but
not overtly so as the rear deck is a simple black sheet. The co-driver
could have been seated a bit lower for 100% realism but he does have
readable pace notes.
Not the first thing that one notices
but this car has no magnet and no intentional provision for installing
one. There is also not a lot of obvious room for adding weights. The
chassis will be familiar to anyone with a Spirit 205 /Renault R5. It
looks a bit old fashion for those used to full length floor pans. This
leaves everything exposed and one can see the mesh glued over the front
grill openings. There is no separate motor pod but there is space cut
out ready for an inline drive but it would need a widget to support the
rear of the motor (not supplied). It is however a light weight solution.
The body is attached with two screws at the front and one at the rear. The body is very thin and light at 22 gms. but does not feel flimsy. The interior is only fixed at the front as the rear rides in a slit in the mounting post. This means the body is very flexible. With the body removed this car starts to really impress. For those into statistics this car has 14 adjustments screws.
The Hunter motor is secured with a screw in a single sided motor support. In theory it shouldn't move but the rear of the chassis is very flexible. The motor drives a 9:27 gear set brass pinion, aluminium spur gear. I did run them with some Brasso as I do that with all my cars but it made minimal difference as the mesh is very nice but it does have a metal-to-metal sidewinder-like whine to it, just like a thoroughbred which it obviously is. The car came with some side to side play but that was easily eliminated using the supplied Allen wrench. The tires are ribbed but are very soft they grip well but my limited running shows they will wear. Thoroughbred again!
The rear axle runs in counter-bored bushings that are in a slot rather than the normal snap-in supports. It is height adjustable up and down. I didn't explore the amount of travel but measured there is just over 2mm of upward travel available to lower the car until it scrapes the track. Downward movement is about the same for you "gravel" guys but it will require some minor surgery to achieve. At first I was a bit disappointed with the wheels as they are simply flat on the inside and not recessed and detailed like real ones. I then realized that this means that the hubs are stronger and less likely to crack. The wheels are nice and true and made of very hard plastic. I went through the motions of truing them but it took a while and didn't yield much improvement other than to remove the paint.
The front axle has flangeless bushings I have not seen
before and they also ride up and down in a slot. Not quite so much
upward adjustment is available but enough to scrap the track. Downward
adjustment will not require surgery. The drop arm has a double offset to
allow for future front spur gear and is adjustable for both downward
limit and for upward ride height. The ride height adjustment screw was
strangely installed backwards meaning it could not be reached easily
with a screwdriver.
I ran the motor on my test bench and discovered the screw
on the axle spacer was hitting on the bar which houses the rear axle
adjustment. A small touch up with a needle file and it was gone.
The drive belt rubbed slightly on the chassis at the rear
but I made a small groove again with a needle file and all was well. I
lubricated everything, reversed the drop arm adjustment screw and set
the ride height so that there was about a business card gap under the
front wheels. I didn't want the front wheels to "drag" on the straight
only to work in the corners.
The 207 out of the box is an absolute joy to drive. It accelerates well, brakes well, has power in reserve for controlled drifting but grips well enough to not do so if you don't want to. The front doesn't lift on acceleration and it has no tendency to tip in the corners. It is a very well balanced car. I allowed others to race it against my Spirit 205 Pike's Peak T16 in a "proxy" race with the voltage was set at +/- 15v.
In the hands of average drivers who had not driven them
before these cars were fairly evenly matched in the corners and on short
straights. The Spirit was set up with two grippy drive belts so may
suffer more friction loss and does have weight added to keep the front
from lifting on acceleration so is 15 gms heavier (car 87 plus 6gms of
lead). Overall the 207 was quicker than the Spirit and the 207 is faster
both out of the corners and on the long straights, the Hunter being a
bit more motor than the Spirit SX03 at 15v. 23,000 vs 25,000. Again the
Avant tires are soft and grip well but are overpowered a bit by the
motor as they came off the track after 20 laps with the grooves between
the ribs filled with rubber and inside the car splattered with stick
black stuff not just the usual dust. It is a very light car so maybe
with some lead in the rear and the right controller or a bit more
control the 207 it would accelerate even faster and be a lot quicker.
The front is well planted so I don't think anything is need there.
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