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Review: Scalextric Pagani Huayra BC Roadster
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The C4212 Pagani Huayra Roadster BC #23 'Yellow' has just been released. Scalextric kindly loaned me a pre-production sample to look at and road test...

       

I have to say, I am surprised to be reviewing a Scalextric Super-Resistant Hypercar for SlotRacer Online. Although I am quite partial to some of these cars, they really don't fit what I run at home or what I race at clubs. Because Hypercars are extremely popular with many younger fans - especially those who play racing games on their phones and computers - they make ideal entry-level models. Scalextric have made them super-resistant and mid-price for a reason: they get ripped out of the cardboard box and are played with - cruising, chasing or racing.

       

Some of these Hypercar models look better than others and - just ahead of the Lamborghini Centenario - the Pagani Huayra BC Roadster has got to be the best of the bunch. It's a superbly rendered car - the Scalextric team worked closely with the Pagani factory, including a pre-Covid site visit - and the yellow livery of this first model looks sensational. It also has a racing number... these very exclusive £2 million Hypercars - only 40 will ever be made - are designed to be the ultimate track day car. Powered by a 789 bhp 6-litre twin-turbo Mercedes V12, the Roadster BC has a 0-60 time of 2.2 seconds and a top speed of 238 mph. Aerodynamic downforce is aided by an F1-style blown-diffuser – the Roadster BC is claimed to generate a massive 1,102 lbs of downforce at 174 mph.

       

Mechanically, the Scalextric Huayra is unremarkable - completely standard modern in-line layout with the 18k-ish Mabuchi S-Can, 9:27 gear ratio, easy-change guide, standard magnet just behind the motor, plus the chassis is Digital Plug Ready (DPR) for easy conversion to Scalextric digital. The double-spoke wheels look great, especially with the disk brakes behind them. They are also the 'Euro-standard' size. The tyres have reasonable grip - certainly better than on the GT3 cars, which are often pretty awful. The front tyres site just above the track and the rear keeps the magnet close to the track rails - measuring 45g in situ on my DIY magnet gauge, which is the higher end of average.

A few more stats...
  • Weight: 78g overall / 24.5g body only
  • Length: 148mm
  • Wheelbase: 87mm
  • Rear track: 61.5mm
  • Height: 36mm
Being a super-resistant model, no lights are fitted, but there are retaining lugs moulded into the body - and there is a flat tray interior underneath those blacked out windows - so a future high-detail version is probably on the cards. In a heavily-tinted-window hypercar way, I do like the look of the blacked glass.

So far, so good - if you like a super-resistant Hypercar. However, the highlight of the Huayra for me was its track performance...

       

The vast majority of these cars will be raced on a home track - exactly as they come out of the cardboard box. I first tested the Huayra with magnets on my tight and twisty home track - consisting of mainly R2 corners, plus one R1 right-hander. The car gripped and handled extremely well. I had to fiddle with the ARC app controller settings to choose the linear option - the softer S curves just didn't give the car enough poke. Once I could push the car, I found the rear stepped out when I over-cooked things - no sudden breaking away into the scenery. It was a lot of fun to drive, very predictable - and smashed the out-of-the-box Scalextric records on my track with 30 laps in two minutes and a best of 3.77 seconds.

       

I wanted to try the car without the magnet and the Scalextric team gave their blessing. The magnet came out (and went back in) quite easily. Because I couldn't work on the rear tyres (it wasn't my car), I did what I do with all my Scalextric race cars - change the rear tyres. I fitted a pair of NSR Supergrips, which went on the 'Euro-size' wheels with no problem. When I replaced the body, I loosened the screws a turn. The non-mag Huayra was a joy to drive - even with the linear throttle setting. When I dialed the curve back to a softer 'S', it was a little easier on the twisty track. Pretty quickly, I set 21 laps in two minutes and a best of 5.40 seconds - right up with the best non-mag Scalextric cars.

       

I then added 2.5g of tungsten putty just in front of the motor. That fixed some slight understeer and gave me confidence to push harder into and through the corners. I ended up with 22 laps in two minutes and a best lap of 5.30 seconds. That was firmly in the outer edges of NSR and Slot.it territory on my track - and there are still improvements to be made. There was some 'hop' under acceleration, so gluing the motor and axle bushings would certainly help. As would replacing and re-profiling the braids to get the guide even lower in the slot. Then there's testing other tyre compounds, playing with the weight etc.

The Huayra shows many of the improvements Scalextric have put into their cars in the past year or so. The front axle height means no faffing around with sanding down front tyres to get the guide in the slot. The front 'loop' on the motor mount holds the motor more securely. Simply loosening off the screws gives some decent body float. And the whole package handles really nicely with - and without - the magnet. The standard tyres work well with the magnet - allowing the car to slide rather than snap. The compound is conducive to truing and softening for decent non-mag grip, but the best option is to change to NSR or Slot.it rubber - or urethanes - basically, whatever works best on your track surface.
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