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Here's my next review and it is for the 1/18 Toyota GT-One (TS020) Le Mans 1999.

Background Information on the real GT-One
By 1998, Toyota had been very successful in almost every form of motorsport winning rallies and GT races to name a few but the two big achievements that they hadn't achieved were winning either the Le Mans 24 hour race or the Formula 1 world championship. Their GT-One was built for the former. As its name suggests, the GT-One was built for the GT1 car category to compete the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1998. The rules demanded that the manufacturer had to make at least one road version which did not have to sell - Toyota made only one road-going GT-One which the Sultan of Brunei was interested in buying but Toyota politely said that it was not for sale. The rules however did not state that the car had to be a roadcar first and racecar second so Toyota, as well as Mercedes and Porsche, made their cars racecars first and roadcars second so the road car resembled a road-legal racing car and when the GT-One was shown to the public it was and still is a menacing-looking car. The GT-One was powered by a 3.6-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 that generated around 600bhp. Its 0-60mph time was less than 4 seconds and would easily exceed 200mph on the Mulsanne Straight.

The performance figures were very impressive and Toyota were the favourites to win the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours but poor reliability and accidents denied Toyota victory (which went to Porsche with the 911 GT1). Toyota returned in 1999 to win with a revamped GT-One which was made for the new LM GTP category. Again it was the fastest car by miles and Martin Brundle in the #1 car was on pole position in 1999. Unfortunately for Toyota disaster struck when the #1 GT-One collided with a BMW V12 LMR and was forced to retire. However GT-One #3 with an all-Japanese driver line led the race for some time and Ukyo Katayama set the fastest lap but again disaster struck when the #3 car, while leading, developed a tyre puncture at close to 200mph and was forced to slow down while BMW's V12 LMR was able to overtake and win Le Mans. Disgruntled with their failures at Le Mans, Toyota abandoned their Le Mans programme and turned their attention to their F1 programme.

The Model Itself


PAINT
The paint is thick and well applied. The sponsors and other logos are tampo-painted rather than applied by decals. However there are a few unpainted areas where the metal sections painted red meet the metal sections painted black.
7/8

EXTERIOR
AUTOart's model of the GT-One immediately shows that it is a ground-hugging, no-nonsense racer. Part of the front section of the model can be removed to show the towing ring and part of the front suspension (which is non-funcitonal). The panel gaps are tight although the engine cover does slide off slightly when unscrewed (it is screwed to the body to keep it completely secure). The lights are very well done too as they are separate plastic pieces and although the smaller lights (side repeaters, rear indicators and brake lights) have mounting posts, they are far too small to notice unless you look really hard. The vents/air intakes may not be perforated but they certainly look so.
7/8



INTERIOR

The beetle-wing doors open to show a really nicely replicated interior. The instruments are all well rendered and defined. The computer console and the fire extinguisher are all too evident. Even the controls on the doors have some labelling. The racing seat (which has correctly labelled seatbelts) and the "MOMO" steering wheel have the alcantara-like material on them. The pedals are well rendered too and the subtle rollcage is fitted too. The channels in the doors that air the airflow to the engine and radiators is well defined as well. Even though the grilles in the door aren't perforated, they still look very nice.
8/8

WHEELS & BRAKES
The wheels and brakes on this model are something to behold to be honest. The black alloys are excellent and because the gold wheel nut is so small but rather intricate, it looks crafted rather than moulded. The tyres are branded and correctly the rear tyres are only slightly wider than the front tyres. The brake discs are really well done and they have the correct two-tone colour between the section of the disc that connects to the wheel and the section that the caliper grips on to. The calipers are correctly branded with the "AP Racing" and "Toyota Team Europe" logos and the discs rotate while the calipers remain fixed. The detail on these brake discs is exceptional and probably the best that I have seen on any AUTOart model.
6/6

ENGINE & UNDERCARRIAGE DETAIL

The engine cover can be removed effortlessly to reveal a fantastically detailed V8 engine. The engine is correctly marked and has wiring and plenty of plumbing. The rollcage carries on in to the engine bay and looks like it gives the whole car structure. The radiators and brake cooling ducts are also present and the ducts are actually made from a rubber-like material as are some of the wires. Even though the suspension doesn't function, the springs and rods simulate it very well. The detail on the gearbox is outstanding and the exhausts manifold and the tailpipes are beautifully made and even though the tail pipes aren't completely hollow, they are painted to look like they are. As this is a model of a modern racecar, there isn't much undercarriage detail due to the need for a racecar to have a smooth and relatively uninterrupted airflow beneath the car. However there is detail on the rear diffuser and you can see the push/pull rods from the front suspension and steering.
8/8

COMPETITION
No other model manufacturer makes the GT-One but Maisto do make many other modern Le Mans racers but the quality doesn't even come close to AUTOart's but you would expect that since Maisto's Le Mans models cost half as much as AUTOart's GT-One.
6/6

DESIRABILITY
This is not a particularly easy model to find and you're likely only to find it in stores that specialise in models. Not a great deal were made either. You will be lucky to get all three versions of the 1999 model.
6/6

OVERALL
AUTOart did an outstanding job of reproducing the GT-One in 1/18. Even though it costs slightly more than a regular AUTOart model (AUTOart's Racing Division models cost up to 20% more to cover the licensing costs) it is certainly worth the premium given the detail and quality. This is a must have model for racing car collectors.

Total Score - 48/50

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

© 2003 www.DiecastXchange.com All rights reserved
 
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Great review as I have had my eye on this model for some time now. :jk:

How many different ersions of this model are there. I can recall two, is there more. :?:
 

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MockingBird said:
just read this review.....sounds good....... very tempting..but i don't have any lemans racers in my collection.... no wait.... i just bought 3 GT1 Porsches....hmmm
Well there you go MB....you're floodgates had already been opened!! I liked this car by AUTOart so much that I bought the #3 and #27. :happy
 
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Why is it every time I think of buying a new model (Panoz-Ronan, M3-SM, Toyota-MB, CLK-DTMs-everyone!), mysteriously a picture of it arrives on thise site. Next thing you now, some Bentleys and Alfas will show up. (I've been desparately seaching for some Alfa DTM cars as well as old C-class DTM cars, with no luck. I did find some Alfas for nearly $120, but that's way too much money for an UT model.)
 
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Excellent review Darren. :nicejob :cheers

Too bad Toyota abandoned its LeMans program. Imagine what other cool designs we'd see had they stay in. :cheers
 
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TifosiF1 said:
Why is it every time I think of buying a new model (Panoz-Ronan, M3-SM, Toyota-MB, CLK-DTMs-everyone!), mysteriously a picture of it arrives on thise site.
Because "geeks" think alike. :lol

Incase you have MotoGP on your mind...



C'mon, you know you want one. :giggle
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Getter 3 said:
Excellent review Darren. :nicejob :cheers

Too bad Toyota abandoned its LeMans program. Imagine what other cool designs we'd see had they stay in. :cheers
You're very welcome, Souky. :cheers
Indeed it is a shame that Toyota withdrew from competing at Le Mans, especially as they've had next to no success in F1.
 
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