Carrera Porsche 918 Spyder - Martini Racing

Carrera Porsche 918 Spyder - Martini Racing

Postby wixwacing » Mon 27 Oct, 2014 5:37 pm

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Carrera Porsche 918 Spyder
Martini Racing



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by Phil Wicks


The Porsche 918 is another departure from the norm for Porsche and is their second version of a hybrid sports car; for those who aren’t aware, a hybrid car is a dual power vehicle, in this case, petrol power and battery power. Planning started several years ago and a concept was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, with production starting in 2013. Porsche’s aim is to build and sell some 918 cars in entirety which some pundits seem to think is optimistic…….but we shall see.



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The car is powered by a 4.6 litre V8 petrol engine producing 453 kW and supplemented with two electric motors, one driving the rear wheels and also acting as a generator, while the second one drives the front wheels, giving a combined output of 208 kW. Total torque for all motors is a staggering 1,275 N-m which gives the car a 0-100 kph time of 2.6 seconds! and a top speed of340 kph.



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Porsche 918 Spyder


The electrics are powered by a 312 celled lithium-ion battery mounted on the passenger side which is topped up in three ways, firstly as mentioned, using the rear axle motor, secondly by the regenerative braking system and thirdly, when all else fails, by plugging into a compatible mains supply. The road car has a city / highway fuel consumption figure of 3.5 lt per 100 Km and a gas only figure of 11 lt per 100 Km.







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The car has several ‘modes’ depending on the drivers preference, this balances the electric and petrol motor use to achieve the setting, these vary from full petrol propulsion to fully electric propulsion. In full electric mode the car has a top speed of 150 kph and a range of about 29 Km. The RSR version of the 918 is the version Carrera have decided to copy and in RSR form the car achieved a record lap of 6.57 minutes around the Nordschleife circuit of the Nürburgring.



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From the outside there is an instant feeling of comfort with this model. Once again Carrera have achieved the very difficult task of balancing a robust model with fine detail. As we have come to expect, the finer detail like door mirrors and wings are detachable; but there are a couple of secondary wings, for want of a better name, on the rear quarters of the model which, if care is not taken, could end up in the spares bin. Other than that you should have no qualms about putting this little beauty on the track for pleasure……or in earnest!



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The Martini livery is an instant eye catcher and the striking black and white body scheme sets it off a treat. The targa top looks very convincing and I notice Carrera have made the door skins as a separate part which is fitted to the mode after painting. In fact both sides are attached as separate pieces. Headlight detail is fine and Carrera have gone to lengths to reproduce the halogen light units inside the covers.



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Like most other manufacturers Carrera use a form of heat tool for fixing body parts in place, and with this model it is plain to see that those parts are well fixed. Whatever tool Carrera have devised for heat welding the body parts, it has a good broad tip and isn’t overly hot, as is often seen as burn marks on the inside other models. This model is designed not to shed parts as it ages.



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The drivers tray is a top only ‘half tray’ offering and I would think this is a concession to simplifying model assembly during manufacture, but the tray is well detailed and I don’t think many would complain about it. Another nice feature is the engine detail at the rear. Very simple, very effective!



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Underneath the model is the expected no fuss, business like chassis which displays a self centering guide, the polarity switch, and a glimpse of the traction magnet between the motor and rear axle. A quick screwdriver test tells me there is the expected second magnet mounted in front of the motor about midway in the chassis. Again a sturdy four screws which screw in and out with ease and with reinforced body mounting posts, should not be a source of anguish some time down the line!



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Most impressive are the wheels and tyres, Carrera have managed to reproduce the wheels very convincingly and have copied AUTOart by shoeing the model with some excellent useable scale tyres, although they may well need replacing for serious competition. To cap this off, Carrera have also chosen to fit some excellent brake discs and calipers detail, but the calipers do rotate with the discs which is a bit of a minus, (maybe they should research the Scalextric Zanavi Nismo for static slotcar caliper technology?).



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Next up is a good look around the inside and once again, after removing the no nonsense screws we can see that every thing has its place and everything is in its place. The self centering guide has a removable top cover for those who like to disengage the spring and leave it free to turn. I must admit that I am a lover of self returning guides for doing track time at home but I think it is a disadvantage when racing on the limit. I just feel there is too much spring tension there for some of the faster corners, and if the guide is able to get to the top of the slot, the spring will flip it out the remainder of the way; but I’m a non magnet racer! Those heavily into neodymium, will find that with magnets tugging continuously, the guide shouldn’t be near the top of the slot at any time in the proceedings. But you never know! Mmmmmmmm?



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Inside the model all else is good and there are no rude surprises. Motor? tight! Axles? Tight, , wheels? Tight!?. In fact, even the traction magnets are positively located in the chassis. The front magnet has a screw down bracket clamping it in place, and the rear magnet has a push in clip, also clamping it in position. Carrera have mounted these magnets at different heights so that you get a good amount of magnetic effect at the rear, and a somewhat reduced effect at the front where you don’t need heaps.



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I often wonder why Carrera seem to mould light mounting brackets into their models and then don’t fit any lights to them? Looking inside the body there are a couple of mouldings which look very much like light conductors and they mysteriously line up with the brackets on the chassis, and both the undersides of the front and rear of the model have a coat of flat black on them, presumably to stop light bleed through the body. I can only assume that some other countries can get lit models or that they only come in set cars? Who knows? hopefully, one day, someone will enlighten me!

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An observation I would make here is that the model is analogue; not a big deal but I was under the impression that all Carrera models where going to be digital from this year onward, unless someone has been telling me porkies! Along with the spares in the little repository in the back of the box, Carrera usually supply an alternative guide, usually shorter and shallower (and some times red); on this model there is a spare guide, but it is the same as the guide supplied with the model? Mistake? Who knows, but if you race some of the popular 1/32 plastic tracks you may need to take a ‘dremel’ tool to the guide before you can complete a lap!


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There is no way this model wont be a hit on a variety of track surfaces! At 95 grams straight out of the box it will be a hit with non magnet racers too! Yet another fabulous model from Carrera for home racing and the big track as well; and as I mentioned earlier, Carrera have got the balance right giving us models which race well AND look good! Encore Mr. Carrera


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Many thanks to Q32, LCR and Legends racer Perry for the opportunity to review this excellent model
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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