Here's the latest review, guys. I've been long overdue for giving one so I'll start off with the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale
by Hot Wheels
The classic Ferrari red paint is applied almost faultlessly but the application is slightly thinner around the edges of the model. The black paint around the rear lights is reasonably well done but some paint goes over the edges of the rear. The most disappointing feature about the model is that the stripe isn't a stripe at all but rather a sticker that has been cut into sections to fit the model. The Ferrari shield emblems by the side repeaters are also done by stickers.
The model's scale is dead right and its proportions are reasonably accurate but it is obvious to the naked eye that the model's ride height is far too high even though it sits lower than the standard 360. It weighs in at a slightly light 620 grams and the panel gaps could be finer but with that said because the model has the plastic windows which are an option with the real 360CS, the doors can be tricky to open. The front bumper is quite well rendered - it is noticeably thicker at the bottom than that of the standard model but the two air intakes aren't perforated although they are moulded to look so. There are two air vents just behind the air intakes but they should be positioned further back. The headlights are quite well done with separate moulded pieces for each lamp.
The side repeaters are disappointingly done by two blobs of paint and the wing mirrors are clearly incorrect - the real 360CS's wing mirrors have a more angular shape than those of the standard 360 and they are made from unpainted carbon fibre but the model's wing mirrors are the same as the standard model's own just that they are painted black. The panel beneath each door is made from metal rather than plastic (the standard model's panels were plastic) but the fuel filler cap is still simulated by a dark red ring rather than by a depressed ring in the metal. The raised lip of a rear spoiler is very well rendered and the Ferrari font is positioned slightly further forward (correct).
Like with the front air intakes, the air intakes on either side of the model just in front of the rear wheels aren't perforated but they are moulded with a mesh-effect. The two cross braces on the inside of the engine cover are well done with plastic rather than paint and the heating elements in the "glass" panel over the engine are done with very fine mouldings in the plastic but the problem is that the 360CS doesn't actually have heated windows, not even as an optional extra!
The rear lights are fairly well done with transparent red plastic representing the brake and tail lights but the indicators and reverse lights are merely painted into the centre of them rather than made by appropriately coloured plastic. The "Challenge Stradale" emblem is absent from the rear of the car (it should be just to the top left of the right-hand side rear light cluster). It is obvious that the exterior of this model is heavily based on that of the 360 Challenge's own and as a result it inherits the features of the 360C reducing its accuracy.
When you manage to open the doors (easiest by gently pulling on the wing mirrors), you can see immediately that the interior is also based on that of the 360C's one - this is clearly evident by the holes in the floor that were placed for the rollcage. The floor is just black plastic and doesn't look much like exposed carbon fibre.
The seats are hard, smooth red plastic and the racing harnesses are moulded in to them and they are incorrectly coloured and there are holes in the seats that the harnesses go through. The dials are inaccurate as the tachometer has a yellow background, not a black one and there is a stereo in the centre console but the real 360CS doesn't have a stereo. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is rather well done but the gear shift paddles could look more realistic - they should both look metallic (more specifically aluminium) rather than the black plastic that they are and the right paddle should be noticeably longer than the left one but they are the same length.
The pedals are quite well done but there is no metal plate underneath the pedals in the driver's footwell and there is no fire extinguisher in the passenger's footwell. The interior of each door is very poorly rendered - even though the real 360CS's interior is Spartan the model's door interiors are just a slab of shallowly moulded plastic placed in each door. The extensive use of parts from the 360C's interior is the main reason why this model's interior is so inaccurate.
WHEELS & BRAKES
The wheels are very well done with the correct style for the spokes and rather fine detailing on the wheel nuts. The prancing horse is placed on each wheel as well. The tyres aren't branded but the tread is quite accurate. The brakes are the wrong colour however - the 360CS has carbon-ceramic brake discs but the model's brakes are based on the standard 360's which are metal so the model should have dark grey brake discs rather than metallic coloured ones. The brake calipers are correctly coloured although they aren't branded and because they are fixed to the brake discs, the brake discs do not rotate with the wheels.
ENGINE & UNDERCARRIAGE DETAIL
The fault with the engine detail is that the exhausts have a chrome finish but they should look more like a nichrome alloy. The undercarriage detail is minimal with some detail showing the bolt fittings but this is correct. However because the same base plate as the standard 360 was used, the large splitter in the rear diffuser assembly is absent.
Because Hot Wheels have exclusive rights to make Ferrari models, their rendition of the 360CS has no competition at present.
Many consider the real Ferrari 360CS to be the one of the finest road cars so you'd expect there to be an outstanding model of it but this isn't the case. The model's quality is reasonable but its poor accuracy lets it down but if you desperately want a model of the 360CS, you have little choice other than to get this one.
Hot Wheels could and should have done a lot better than this to be honest. It is understandable that a company would want to keep its costs down and its profits up - that's the ultimate business goal - but the extent of the cost cutting with this model by using stock parts reduces its accuracy enormously. For a nine or ten-year-old, this model would be perfectly fine but for the avid collector who puts quality above all else, they'll feel somewhat numb and short-changed. With that said this is not Hot Wheels's worst ever model but more importantly it is certainly not their best. Ferrari deserve better than for Hot Wheels to make their cars as models.
Total Score - 31/50
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review added to the DX Model Review Database on 31-MAY-2004