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Here's the next review and it's for the Nissan Skyline R34 GTR V-Spec/V-Spec II's idea) to see how it works. If you are reading this review can you give :?: for what you think of the rating system.

Background info on the real R34 GTR
Even four years since its launch in 1999, the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 is one of the most technologically-advanced road cars in the world. Having succeeded the R33 that succeeded the R32 that gave the Skyline GT-R the world-wide reputation of being a serious performance car, the R34 is the best to date.
Underneath the hood sits a 2.6-litre, twin-turbocharged straight-six engine that produces and electronically-controlled 276bhp (the maximum power output following an agreement between Japanese car manufacturers to prevent a power race) but with the ECU reset the engine produces 320bhp. The 0-60mph dash takes 4.9 seconds and flat out it will do 155mph but if the ECU were reset, it could probably do 170mph.
The power is fed through a highly sophisticated 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering system that uses a computer-controlled suspension system with gyroscopes in each wheel to optimise the car's balance. In the c*ckpit is a screen on the centre console that shows the driver their boost pressure, acceleration, throttle pressure and even a G-force meter. You can even download the data on to a laptop computer and you can compare the journey you had to work with the journey back. Although people complain that the Skyline doesn't have the looks of a Ferrari or an Aston Martin, it doesn't have the price tag either and it was never made to compete with them. Towards the end of its production, Nissan made a "B" specification of the R34 GTR called the V-Spec II which had lighter and stronger carbon-fibre body panels, colourless headlamps with orange bulbs and several other improvements. The Skyline R34 GT-R was essentially a $70,000 PlayStation.

The Model Itself

AUTOart's V-Spec and V-Spec II variations are very similar so they will be reviewed under the same review.

The V-Spec is available in four colours - Bay Side Blue, Titanium, White and Midnight Purple (which costs 20% more than either of the previous three) and the V-Spec II in the same colours with Black instead of Midnight Purple. The paint is applied perfectly on both versions without any unpainted or rough edges. One gripe about the V-Spec version is that the colour is darker than Bay Side Blue but this has been corrected for the V-Spec II version. There is no visible difference between the paint on the metal parts of the model and the paint on the plastic parts of the model.

The proportions are correct and the scale is perfect to the nearest millimetre. The model is quite heavy for an AUTOart @ 650 grams. The panel panel gaps are very tight and there is little room for improvement. The real spoiler is nicely reproduced and very detailed and the front splitter and rear diffuser are present and perforated. Also the jets for washing the windscreen are present on the hood. Correctly on the hood of the V-Spec II model there is an air intake (above the turbochargers) which has the carbon-fibre effect around it. The opening is also correctly perforated. All of the lights are accurate and the donut tail lights are particularly pleasing to look at. The V-Spec II correctly has different indicator lights and side repeaters. The only fault with the exterior is that the front air dam and grille are not perforated and that colourless plastic is used with a painted mesh to simulate the wire mesh on the front of the car. The trunk is also lined with the alcantara-like material and is painted correctly.


The doors have a spring-like mechanism and stay open when you want them to and they snap shut when you push them. The interior is very well done. The floors are carpeted and the seats have the alcantara-like material applied to them. Correctly the seats are two-tone grey and they have seatbelts with separate buckles. The clips for the seatbelts are also present and are clearly distinguished by their red buttons. The rear seats have the alcantara-like material applied too and the clips for the seatbelts are present too but the seatbelts themselves are moulded into the plastic. The dashboard and centre console are well reproduced and the screen on the centre console (as mentioned before) is nicely rendered. The foot pedals (and footrest) are nicely made and the throttle pedal is correctly coloured black. The roof is also completed.

The tyres may be unbranded (Bridgestone made the tyres for the real car) but this is minor compared to what is good about the wheels. The six-spoke alloys are well reproduced and the GT-R logo is applied to each of the single wheel nuts on each wheel. The grooved brake discs rotate with the wheels while the highly detailed gold "Brembo" brake calipers remain fixed. Had the tyres been branded, this section would have got perfect marks.


Unless you tip the model upside down or use a very fine object, the hood is almost impossible to lift due to the narrow panel gaps. When the hood is opened the detail is extraordinary. The hood doesn't stay up indepently but I won't dock marks for this. The correct section of the underside of the hood is painted black to simulate the heat-reflective surface. The part of the engine that you are most likely to notice is the Skyline GT-R's distinctive red camshaft cover which is correctly labelled. Also easily visible are the single bank of cylinders, the turbochargers, the water/oil boxes, the battery, wiring, the radiator and the cross brace which is fitted across the front suspension turrets. The engine detail is outstanding.
The undercarriage detail is well shown. Part of the engine can be seen from underneath and most of the highly detailed exhaust manifold is shown (made from separate pieces of plastic, not part of the chassis mould). The partially flat undertray is well detailed too with plenty of effort made for the front splitter and the rear diffuser. The front differential (the rear differential isn't shown because of the rear diffuser) and two driveshafts correctly indicate four-wheel drive.

MotorMax also makes the R34 Skyline GT-R as a 1/18 model and predictably its quality is nothing to be worrying the likes of AUTOart.

The Skyline GT-R (especially the R34) is most probably the car modifier's dream car so it is of little surprise that the V-Spec and V-Spec II models are so popular. Even though they are not rare, they are not particularly easy to find as they are so popular. AUTOart's poor competition from MotorMax works in their favour too.

Even though the V-Spec version of the Skyline R34 GT-R 1/18 is close to three years old (the V-Spec II was released less than a year ago) it is still an excellent model and a very good example of AUTOart's quality and precision in their 1/18 models. This is a must have for collectors of Japanese or performance car models.

Total Score - 45/50

Thanks to http://www.DX Rocks.com[/URL] for the use of their photos.

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