Scalextric Jaguar XKR GT3
Jaguar seem to have been involved in motorsport forever. The original XK, E-type, Group C cars and even Formula 1 to name only a few, Jag's seem destined to race.
So it seemed inevitable that the latest XKR would end up on the track. Developed by Apex Motorsport for the FIA GT3 series, this car was first shown at the Autosport International show in Birmingham.
Scalextric cars are usually nicely detailed and well-finished, so let's take a
closer look at the XKR and see if it lives up to expectations.
The body is nicely shaped though it seems to have lost some of the curvaceous-ness of the original, though that may just be the effect of scaling down. The windows seem a bit shallow too.
The paintwork, as we expect from Scalextric, is glossy and flawless. The tampo printing is also high quality and looks just about perfect.
The interior is a full-depth tub which clips inside the body. The tub is very well detailed with lots of moulded and painted details, plus the usual Scalextric driver figure and a complex roll cage. It's very nicely done.
The chassis is a familiar Scalextric set-up, but a quick word of warning before we go into further detail. I had problems taking this car apart. After removing the usual six screws holding the car together, four holding body and chassis together and two securing the interior tub I expected the car to separate easily, but it didn't. It turned out that the interior tub was not only screwed to the chassis, it was glued too! I used a knife blade to cut/snap the glued joins but it would have been very easy to damage the chassis, tub or body if I had just tried to pull the chassis away.
The chassis is set up as an sidewinder with the standard Mabuchi motor. Gearing and bearings are plastic and a little sloppy. A large bar magnet is mounted just ahead of the motor and there's an alternative mounting point further forward. Front and rear lights, standard guide with quick-change braid plate and digital chip mounting point round out the fittings.
On Scalextric Sport track the XKR is very competent - fast, smooth and sure-footed. The big magnet gives plenty of grip in the corners but doesn't slow the car too much on the straights - there's still plenty of punchy acceleration and good top speed.
As with any strong-magnet car, the results can be quite dramatic if you exceed the limits of available traction, but the Jag's long wheelbase adds some stability. It's a good competitor to run against other GT cars like the DBR9, Viper, F430 etc.
I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the XKR on my routed track. I ran it completely stock and found it reasonably quick and easy to drive. The rear axle chatters and rattles as it moves in its bearings but the car drives smoothly enough.
With the interior screws removed and the other four loosened to allow the body to move a little, things got even better. The car could be pushed quite hard through the corners, confident that it would emerge pointing in the right direction. I think the longer wheelbase helps again here and the car just feels nicely balanced.
Overall the XKR is quite an impressive car. The only potential weakness is value for money. Slot car prices in general and Scalextric prices especially have risen sharply this year; the RRP for this car is around £40. For that sort of money I would like to see improvements being made - Scalextric make nice-looking cars but mechanically they could be a lot better.
Although the livery is perhaps rather uninspiring, the XKR GT3 is well-made, very nicely finished, strong on its 'home' track and a reasonably good all-round performer.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 23rd May 2013 - 15:01|