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Carrera Evolution Aston Martin V12 Vantage

By Neil Besougloff
Published: February 14, 2014
Carrera Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Product: Carrera has scored a triple play with its all-new 1:32-scale Aston Martin V12 Vantage slot car — good looks, impressive performance and an attractive price.

This Aston Martin is modeled after a GT-3 car campaigned by the Young Driver team that ran at the 2012 Nürburgring endurance sports-car race in Germany. The paint and finish of this model are excellent, right down to the small red Carrera logos on each side of the model that also appeared on the 1:1-scale car.

The V12 Vantage is a winner in endurance racing worldwide. The racing number depicted on this model — 007 — is no coincidence; Aston Martin has had a long relationship with the James Bond movie franchise. If Bond drove a race car, this would be his ride.

Performance: This slot-car model is a new design. The car’s body is molded from lightweight plastic and sports a sturdy rear spoiler. Inside is a shallow interior designed to clear the car’s motor, plus a driver figure.

The slot car’s chassis features an 18,000-rpm in-line motor and two traction magnets, one in front and one behind the motor. Shims in the magnet pockets can be used to raise or lower the magnets, but the car must be partially disassembled to gain direct access to the pockets. There’s a nine-tooth pinion gear turning a 27-tooth crown gear on the rear axle. The tires are soft and grippy, with attractive Yokohama-brand printing.

On my home Scalextric Sport track layout, the car handled quite well and accelerated smoothly. It easily kept pace with or outperformed recent Scalextric releases.

Carrera cars are made with a guide designed to fit into the deep and slightly wider slot of Carrera-brand track. Carrera cars will run well on other brands of track, but the long guide needs to be trimmed 1/4 inch in length and sometimes filed thinner to match the dimensions of Scalextric or SCX guides. An alternative is to replace the guide, or “keel,” with Carrera part No. 85309, which is designed for cars used on non-Carrera track.

Marketing: The Carrera Aston Martin V12 Vantage is available in the analog Evolution line and the Carrera Digital 132 line. There is also a Carrera Go!!! 1:43-scale version of this car at about half the price. It is a different product, so don’t confuse the two scales.

The 1:32 digital version has working headlights and taillights; the analog version does not have lights. Analog cars can be converted to digital operation with a Carrera plug-and-play digital circuit board. To program a Carrera digital car for analog track, flip the switch on the underside of the car, then simply put the car onto the track and squeeze the trigger three times. That’s all it takes.

The V12 Vantage is the latest in a line of Aston Martins recently produced by slot-car manufacturers. Be sure to point out to customers that the V12 Vantage is a new model. The Astons produced by Scalextric, SCX and some higher-end brands are older Aston Martin DBR9 models that are slightly longer in both nose and tail.

The Carrera car comes packaged with a replacement set of pickup braids and two additional orange side-view mirrors.

Add-on sales include oil in a needlepoint dispenser, a tube of plastic-friendly grease, a small Phillips screwdriver and, if needed, a smaller guide for non-Carrera track. Be sure to remind customers that grease is used for gears and oil is used where smooth surfaces make contact, such as where axles pass through bearings.

Intermediate and advanced hobbyists may be interested in stick-on weights, extra traction magnets for slot cars, and even fine sand paper or sanding sticks for tire truing. I used a sanding stick on the Aston’s stock tires to remove the manufacturing “shine” and immediately picked up a few tenths of a second per lap.

Carrera cars have always been robust and attractive, and the new V12 Vantage is quite a performer, too.

VITAL STATS
Product: Evolution Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Maker: Carrera
Scale: 1:32
Stock number: 30666 (digital), 27447 (analog)
MSRP: $46.19 (digital)/$30.79 (analog)
Availability: Carrera of America

BOTTOM LINE
• Good looks and performance
• Bond, James Bond
• Available in digital or analog