Ninco Xlot Porsche 997 GT3
The Ninco Xlot range, first announced at Nürnberg 2009, is now starting to become available. Marketed as "Bigger and Better" and aimed at the club and competition circuit, Ninco hope that these cars will appeal to the racer who likes to tweak and tune his car for ultimate performance.
1:28 scale so no compatibility for the 1:32 brigade. Why a new scale? Perhaps Ninco believe that if they insist that the Ninco Worlds are run on 1:28 then everyone will have to buy a few of these - is this welcomed by racers or do they feel that this has been forced upon them?
I have asked a few keen racers their opinions and unfortunately the general opinion is a bit negative and the outlook bleak:
See also the conclusion at the bottom of this page.
Lets look at the car in more detail:
Specs of the Xlot are further down this page.
An interesting case presenting the car well held together by two feet at the base. It comes with a little toolbox containing a cross-head screwdriver, a couple of Allen keys (0.9 mm and 1.5 mm) and a spanner/flat screwdriver. Some complaints are already to be seen about the tools stripping or the screw heads stripping. There will always be a balance of quality and cost. I am sure that if you get serious about this range of cars that you will upgrade the tools.
So how does the Ninco Xlot at 1:28 scale match up to a Ninco 1:32 scale model?
Here we have the Slot City 5th Anniversary car, a Porsche 997 GT3 RS - basically the same body style as the 997 Xlot car. I am not assuming that the 1:32 model is perfect, but I'm just comparing the two models.
Some comparative measurements between the cars:
The body is nicely moulded. The proportions look right to the eye - sure I don't have a GT3, but there is nothing glaringly out of scale. There is a little engine detail, an etched screen in the front and a detailed driver made from a soft silicone rubber with a plastic helmet. The dashboard is detailed too. The interior roll-case is a rather disappointing unpainted white.
The tampo printing is excellent and you can't find fault with the graphics.
A lighting kit would be very easy to add to this car. Plenty of space inside.
This is the main feature of the Xlot concept. A metal chassis that is adjustable and can be adjusted to fit a range of bodies. With the Porsche 997, the chassis comes with 18.6 x 11.6 mm rear hubs and 24.2 x 11.6 mm rear wheels; 16.3 x 8 mm front hubs and 22.3 x 8 mm front wheels. Ninco produce 3 Xlot tyre compounds: hard, medium & soft. I'm not sure which one is supplied with the Porsche, but it seems quite soft.
A 27,500 rpm motor is supplied and it drives the crown gear with a toothed belt. This give a very quiet ride. Obviously different to a standard geared slotcar. The 30/7 plastic gears give a ratio of 1:4.286. Ninco produce 3 Xlot gear sets: 30/7 plastic, 30/7 aluminium and 32/8 aluminium that gives a ratio of 1:4. Drive belts are available with 42 or 45 teeth.
The chassis is aluminium and the bushings are bronze. The steel axles here are 61 mm long. 65 mm long axels are available for the F430 or other cars with a wider track.
Virtually everything on the chassis is adjustable. You can widen the wheelbase, raise or lower the ride height and set the front axle sway. The guide flag is mounted on a drop-arm so the chassis can be used on rally tracks with a slight amount of uneven surface. The chassis and body mate together with a set of screws on the chassis attaching loosely to sleeves mounted on the inside of the body shell. The body is removed by gently pulling the body sides apart just enough to remove from the metal screws.
How does it drive?
First thing you notice is how smooth it is. The belt-drive absorbs most of the noise that we commonly associate with slotcars. The car is responsive and on my short track it drives ok. Not the speediest of cars out there, but I imagine racing a couple of them together would be fun.
I like the tyre compound, they grip and slide just in the right places. Ninco produce 3 compounds and it would be interesting to test them all. I don't even know which of the 3 is supplied on this car as there is no coloured dot to indicate hardness.
I haven't experienced any problems with metal fatigue or bits falling off. Some complaints of the motor mount have been see on the forums and I'll report further f anything comes up.
The chassis is stamped v.01 so I'm sure there are plans at least for a v.02 and perhaps more step-up parts. There is a need for some stronger parts in some areas as has been indicated on the forums already.
Obviously the Xlot cars were conceived prior to this Worldwide financial crisis of our times. Unfortunately they launched at a time when most slot enthusiasts are consolidating their collections, not branching out to new scales.
The cost of these cars right now will prevent most collectors from buying them all. The feeling is that there is no need as the liveries are available elsewhere or can be produces easily with other scales. Therefore these cars don't serve any purpose.
It is of the opinion of many that the outlook for 1:28 racing and the future of Xlot will be determined in the Spanish club racing market as there is virtually no market in the UK. If Spanish club racers embrace the concept then perhaps it will live on. The German market is another one to watch as metal chassis cars are popular there and cars that can accommodate 1:27 Mini-Z bodies are popular.
There will be an Xlot 1:28 class in the Ninco World Cup race series on the 20/21 Nov 2009 in Las Palmas, Canary Islands. Lets see who enters that class.
DT - October 2009
What next? Well hey, these models are 1:28 and aren't Mini-Z bodies about 1:27.5? Well see my next article on how to convert a Mini-Z body to run with an Xlot chassis.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 25th May 2013 - 19:47|