Fujimi 1/24 McLaren MP4-12C GT3
|PRICE:||3200 yen (about $40.00) from Hobby Link Japan|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The McLaren MP4-12C is a sports car designed and manufactured by McLaren Automotive. It is the first production car wholly designed and built by McLaren since the McLaren F1. The car's final design was unveiled on 8 September 2009, and was launched in 2011. The MP4-12C features a carbon fibre composite chassis, and is powered by a mid-mounted McLaren M838T 3.8-litre V8, twin-turbo engine developing approximately 592 bhp (441 kW; 600 PS) and around 443 lb·ft (601 N·m) of torque. The car makes use of Formula 1-sourced technologies such as "brake steer", where the inside rear wheel is braked during fast cornering to reduce understeer. Power is transmitted to the wheels through a 7-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch gearbox.
In December 2010, McLaren announced that they would produce a small number of MP4-12C cars in order for them to compete in the FIA GT3 European Championship. McLaren stated that they will provide maintenance for the cars and will begin racing in 2012 with the CRS Racing team. The MP4-12C will be the first car to compete in sportscar racing for the company, since the F1 GTR. It received its début with a single car entry for the Spa Francorchamps round of the British GT championship. This was followed by a three car entry in the 2011 Spa 24 Hours. Another car is also entered in the GT cup of the 2011 Macau Grand Prix, driven by Danny Watts.
In March 2012, McLaren readied 25 MP4-12C GT3 cars for a full racing season in the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship, and its GT drivers tested the car on its Dunsfold test track, the same test track as used in the Top Gear BBC television show. McLaren released several promotional videos for the MP4-12C in the lead up to the racing season, including one of Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton driving the car at locations in the U.S.
Compared to the road car, the MP4-12C GT3 produces less power with only 493 bhp (368 kW; 500 PS) due to homologation. The car features a new bespoke six-speed gearbox that is 80 kg (176 lb) lighter than the road car's seven-speed, developed with Ricardo. The steering wheel is lifted straight from the McLaren MP4-24 Formula 1 car.
The car took its first victories in the world at the two races of the Circuito de Navarra round of the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship season being run by Hexis Racing.
This is one of Fujimi's many curbside kits of modern performance cars and racers. As such, it is not exactly parts intensive, but it still provides a high quality molding and all the bits to make this most interesting GT3 racer.
The kit has a full pan onto which fore and aft brackets are used to hold the nicely detailed wheel hub and brake assemblies. The rear brake assembly is a four piston assembly while the front is a six piston version. There is a metal axle for the rear and a tie rod for the front as the front wheels are designed to turn. Tires are vinyl with decals for the lettering. Separate inner fenders are provided for the front and back areas.
The interior is superbly done with a Formula One style steering wheel that includes paddle shifters. The interior tub also includes the rear engine and upper rear suspension detailing. This needs little more than painting to look proper. A nicely done driver's seat is included and really only needs a set of harnesses to look great. Also part of the interior is a roll cage.
The body is not quite a one piece as the sides in between the wheels is a separate molding. First time I have seen this approach, but there are large alignment tabs to ensure the side panels are properly installed. There are inner rear wheel intake pieces that incorporate the radiators. The front and side glass is a single piece with inserts for the hood intakes and lights. The only chrome bits are the headlight housings. As this is a racer, there are a variety of spoilers, scoops and wings that will be added in the last step. It appears that one could easily assemble most if not all of the body parts so they could be painted at one time. If you want to paint it near the end, the kit includes a full set of window and headlight masks.
The instructions are primarily in Japanese with some color information given using Gunze paint information. The box art shows the car being overall McLaren Orange. Tamiya does this shade in a spray, but it is the lighter orange used on the early Can-Am cars and not the somewhat darker shade used for this car. The decal sheet is superbly done and as with all modern Fujimi decals, will cause no issues in application.
This is a great new racer kit featuring one of the newest high performance cars on the market. It is not a complex kit and the end result will be a stunner.
Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for the preview kit. You can get yours today from the link and on discount.
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