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Maisto Dodge Viper SRT/10 1/18

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Once again I have another review to contribute. I know that a review has already been posted for the Dodge Viper SRT/10 by Maisto but there is nothing wrong with a second opinion, is there?

Background information on the real Dodge Viper SRT/10
When it came to designing an all-new Dodge Viper for the 21st century, DaimlerChrysler were well aware that less worthy modern muscle cars were catching up with the Viper as the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 had 380bhp, promising at least 400bhp for the next version and Ford's Mustang Cobra R had 385bhp again promising at least 400bhp for the next version. In response DaimlerChrysler released the new Dodge Viper in 2002 to go on sale in 2003, the SRT/10. Even though the SRT/10 retains a front-mounted V10, rear-wheel drive and a two-seater roadster layout like the original Viper, the RT/10, the SRT/10 is very much an all-new Viper.
It could be argued that the Viper needed more power and torque as much as Bill Gates needs more money but DaimlerChrysler still went ahead and made their engine even more powerful. The V10's head, block casting and intake manifold have all been replaced with alloy components and more significantly the displacement has been increased from an already enourmous 7,990cc to an even more enourmous 8,277cc (505ci). The result is a power output of 506bhp with 508lb/ft of torque (where 95% of the torque can be delivered from just 2,000rpm in a virtually flat torque curve). These three figures situated around the number 500 give the SRT/10 the motto "500-500-500" and they have included a 500-watt stereo for good measure. This immense power and torque allow the SRT/10 to do 0-60mph in a mere 3.9 seconds and on to 185mph flat out. The SRT/10 can also do 0-100-0mph in just 13.2 seconds - 2.7 seconds faster than the legendary Ferrari F40. New to the SRT/10 is a multi-section hood which is not as expensive to repair in the event of a crash as the hood on the previous Vipers. Also not only does the Viper no longer handle like a truck but the build quality of the SRT/10 has vastly improved from that of the RT/10 and the GTS, which had build quality comparable to that of allotment sheds. The Viper is exclusively on sale in the US for $100k and because it has side exhaust outlets, it is very unlikely to be sold in Europe due to the EU's backward car legislation.

The Model Itself

The paintwork is pretty good but there is still much room for improvement - the colour is accurate but there are still a few rough edges and some unpainted areas. I only have the red version but I doubt that the paint quality of the silver or black version will be any better or worse.

The panel gaps are rather large and Maisto's panel gaps were starting to get smaller. The lights are very well done for a Maisto and the give the Viper mod a very ophidian look. They may be painted on to plastic but they look very good. However, even though the headlights are plastic rather than the decals that Maisto used to use (a positive step forward) the mounting posts are clearly visible. The same can be said for the tail lights and the reverse lights. In fact the only decals used are the Viper logo on the front and the name tags on the rear.
The side panels are made from red plastic rather than metal and you can clearly see this in bright light as the plastic is slightly darker than the red paint. One serious fault is evident on the side panels - where it should say "Viper SRT/10" just in front of the side vent it actually says "Viper RT/10". The side vents are not perforated but the indentation is so deep that you won't really notice at a glance. The front air intake on the hood is actually a hole but because of the plastic heat reflector (see later) the opening is blocked. Also the louvres on the hood are not perforated.

The interior of Maisto's SRT/10 is surprisingly good. Although the real Viper SRT/10 doesn't have (and never had) the most stylish or innovative of interiors, Maisto but very few corners and made a real effort to reproduce it. The dials and switches are clearly defined and the controls on the centre console are well marked and you can compare the accuracy of the controls to the real car - you can even see the red starter button!
As you would expect from Maisto, the floors are not carpeted but they are textured as are the seats and steering wheel. The chrome gearstick is a nice touch and it can move slightly. Seatbelts are present too and they are separate pieces from the seats. They have buckles too and the parts that you put the buckles into are also present and they even have the red paint to indicate the button.
In all honesty, I can only think of one fault and it is a pretty big one - because of the way that the steering was designed in Maisto's version of the Viper SRT/10, the brake pedal is absent (this fault is also present in Maisto's version of the Lamborghini Murcielago). The trunk opens and there isn't much to see and even though the roof is non-functional, the mechanism for raising it is rather nicely simulated.

The chrome wheels on Maisto's version on the SRT/10 are absolutely beautiful and the wheel nuts and the Viper logo are all present on them. Even the pins where you'd fill the tyres with air are present and speaking of the tyres, they are unbranded - I'm pretty sure that Michelin make the tyres for the real Viper SRT/10 and Maisto have branded other models with Michelin on their tyres before so it's a little strange that they didn't brand them here.
The brake discs are the probably the best that I have seen on a Maisto model. They are grooved and drilled (the holes are actually holes, not dents in the mould) and the calipers are present (with the Viper font on them) including the handbrake calipers on the rear brake discs. The only fault with them is that the calipers are fixed to the discs so the discs do not rotate with the wheels. The suspension is fully functional on all of the wheels as well.

The hood lifts revealing a rather nicely detailed engine. While we are on the subject of the hood, there is a plastic heat reflector on the underside of it and it has the Viper logo, which is a nice touch, but the manner in which the heat reflector is attached is slightly disappointing - metal points are slightly flattened to keep it in place. The engine itself is very good and the new style air intake is well reproduced by Maisto. It is a proper engine reproduction rather than a cheap-looking piece of plastic used to simulate it (like was saw in Maisto's Corvette Z06) and the two red camshaft covers are easy to notice and although they are painted rather than separate from the cylinder heads, they still look very good. Some wiring and plumbing is present too. The oil and water boxes, battery and air filters are all clearly marked by tampo painting and rather surprisingly, there is no use of stickers. The radiator (right at the front of the engine bay) is nicely made too and some effort was made to simulate its function - there is a pipe on the right-hand side of it.
The undercarriage detail is fair but I have seen better undercarriage detail on other Maistos in this area. You can clearly see the engine, gearbox and exhausts from beneath and the diffusers are also featured (which look very nice). The side mounted tail pipes may not me hollow but at least Maisto made and effort in making them appear so.

No fewer than four manufacturers other than Maisto make the Viper SRT/10 in 1/18: AUTOart, Hot Wheels, Ertl and Bburago. AUTOart's is unsurpsingly vastly superior but double the price of Maisto's version; Ertl make only the prototype version but it is crude and its trunk doesn't even open; Hot Wheels' version isn't bad but it doesn't hold a candle to Maisto's effort and Bburago's version looks very cheap with excessive use of stickers and paint for lights and interior details. Maisto is probably the best compromise between price and quality but die-hard muscle car fans should get for AUTOart's version.

Maisto's version is only beaten by AUTOart's so it is agruably the second best out of the five manufacturers of it. It is also readily available from just about any toy store.

Maisto made an pretty good effort to make the Viper SRT/10 in 1/18 scale. It may be flawed in a few ways but there are some outstanding features such as the interior and the wheels. AUTOart's version is only worth getting if you really, really like the Viper SRT/10 because Maisto's version is already really good. Maisto have really pulled their weight in the past 18 months and their SRT/10 is a great model to add to a muscle car collection. It is easily one of the best budget models available, but it is not king of the hill.

Total Score - 34/50

Thanks to http://www.zagato.co.kr for the use of their photos

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