Saturday, 27 June 2009

REVIEW: Audi R8C CA12a Audi R8C Reloaded
Snetterton Roll-out 1999


For those that aren’t aware, the R8C was officially launched at the Snetterton Race Circuit in the United Kingdom by Audi in 1999. The 3.12km clockwise circuit is fast and its design makes it very suitable for Le Mans testing. In fact Bentley, Audi and Williams BMW have all performed testing at Snetterton.

The circuit dates back to 1951 when the Aston Martin Owner's Club organised the first race. Very interestingly, the original 1951 track consisted of a network of runways which were used by the 96th US Air Force Bomber Group during the 2nd World War, but I digress.

The Audi R8C was a prototype designed for the 1999 Le Mans 24hr endurance race. The more familiar open Audi R8R spyder was simultaneously developed and both cars were short lived being replaced by the updated 2000 Audi R8.

This from Wikipedia;

“Unlike the R8R, which performed the bulk of the testing due to being completed first, the R8C had very little time to test prior to the initial group test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in May. At this group test, the cars unfortunately suffered numerous setbacks and lacked the pace of the open-cockpit brothers. Although they were capable of hitting speeds upwards of 350 km/h (217 mph) on the Mulsanne straight, they lacked the handling ability and overall speed for a full lap. While the R8Rs managed the 8th and 11th fastest times, the R8Cs could only muster 22nd and 28th fastest. The R8Cs mostly suffered from aerodynamic problems, especially in the build-up of air underneath the engine cover. This caused the R8Cs to lose their rear engine covers while at speed on several occasions.”

“For the race itself, the R8Cs were unable to find much improvement over the month off. Qualifying was more of the same, as the R8Cs managed a mere 20th and 23rd places, while the R8Rs were still 9th and 11th. Unfortunately during the race, both the R8R and R8C suffered numerous gearbox difficulties. One R8C was forced to drop out of the race after just 55 laps, while the second R8C would succumb to gearbox failure after the midpoint of the race. Even though the R8Rs suffered gearbox difficulties, both cars managed to finish the race, taking an impressive third and fourth place.”

“Following Le Mans, Audi decided that they would concentrate on only one of the two types of cars for the future of their program. The dismal performance of the R8C, along with the exodus from the LMGTP class by most major manufacturers, lead to Audi to develop an open-cockpit car - the R8.”


Well even if you prefer race liveried slot cars you couldn’t help but be highly impressed with the appearance of the Audi R8C Snetterton Roll-out release by The updated version of the first RTR slot car ever produced comes in a matt black as opposed to a high gloss black of the original 2002 release. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the matt black being quite used to seeing the original release, it seemed to look more like a model car and less realistic. However, after a few months I have changed my opinion and now prefer the new matt black colour.

The Audi R8C comes in's standard packaging which I still feel is the industry’s best packaging by far. Although the car is firmly secured to the box base, ship their cars with a clear plastic spacer which protects the car from damage should it come away from the base. If you've ever experienced what I term a 'slot car milkshake', (where a slot comes away from its base during transit) you'll also appreciate Slot.its packaging efforts.


· Crown Gear: 26 Tooth
· Pinion Gear: 9 Tooth
· Motor Pod: SICH24 - Reverse offset mount
· Tires: SIPT02 (comes with an additional rear set of S1 rubber)
· Motor: Inline 21500 V12/3 with at 12 volts
· Magnatraction: Dual position, (magnet supplied in rear position)
· Side-winder or Boxer (Long Can inline) motor pod compatible
· Weight: 72 grams


As always, continue to produce slot cars built to very high standards and their attention to detail is excellent. The paint finish of this model is absolutely top-shelf. Unlike the 2002 Snetterton release, the large Audi emblem is not present on the rear wing, (See above photo) and some smaller Shell brandings are also not present. I don’t feel this detracts from the release.

The Audi’s original wheels have been replaced by the McLaren GTR’s wheels. These look fantastic on the Audi and I’m happy to report my rear inserts were countersunk very well unlike the wheel inserts I received on my Goodwood McLaren and Ferrari F40.

Front detail is very nice including remodeler lights, windscreen detail, vents and Audi emblem. The bonnet of the Audi is a bit longer than the original and has been strengthened via to supports in the front intake, (a good thing as this area can be subjected to some big hits).

Rear detail is good with exhaust pipes, diffuser detail and clear rear lights. Side intake detail is excellent and I welcome the small painted body clamps and windscreen fixings. The rear tail is glued in place and has some flexibility ensuring it should withstand all but the heaviest of impacts.

Overall the body of the R8C is more pronounced, the cars looks even more aggressive. Of particular note is the redesigned nose and roof which looks excellent.

The model comes with two rubber aerials which is great for longevity. have produced this model without rear view mirrors or a windscreen wiper. Upon checking some photography of the R8C on the track have it right, the prototype has no windscreen wiper or rear vision mirrors, (see very top photo). However it does look like the prototype did only have one aerial but this is not an issue for me. I note that the Orange CA12R1 Audi R8C Racing Anglewinder slot comes with rear view mirrors but no windscreen wiper.

The driver figure is impressively painted and decaled and can be seen in many of the photos. The body is removed from the chassis via 2 screws which is standard for all cars, body removal and reassembly is very easy. As you can see this chassis is side-winder motor pod compatible and comes with the SICH24 reverse offset motor pod. The Audi comes with a standard magnet in the rear position. The chassis can be upgraded to Anglewinder or SSD Sport Digital system.

One of the first things I do to any I’m lucky enough to own is to loosen the motor pod screws half to one full turn thus allowing a degree of chassis/body role. This allows you can hold more speed through corners, although be careful not to loosen the screws too much, as the rear rubber can rub on body work causing drag. It also looks like have designed the entire body to roll on the chassis as the chassis is completely contained within the body. have even cut two curved slots in the chassis (just behind the front wheels) to allow the side vent detail to not touch the chassis. The 'Reloaded' chassis is the bottom chassis shown in the below photo, the original 2002 Audi R8C is above it for comparison.


I’ve read some negative things about the new Audi’s track performance from several sources. When I first put my Audi on the track I couldn’t help but feel as if the slot was running slow, as if it was limited to 80 percent of its potential. Don’t be concerned, this was a temporary situation and the slot was running very quickly after a few simple mods.

As with most recent offerings, I found the guide to be too tight and unable to move freely. This is not a big issue and as with my other Slot.its, I removed the guide from the chassis by carefully levering it out from underneath the chassis using a small flat head screw driver. To fix the tight guide post issue, I used a low RPM cordless drill and a 9/64 drill bit. After removing the guide, slowly drill the guide hole, (make sure you're drilling perpendicular to the chassis). You won't need to drill very much, just a few seconds at very low RPM to remove a little excess plastic. Reinsert your guide and test, you should find that the small issue is fixed.

Once I had fixed the guide and inspected the internals to ensure everything was alright, I loosened the motor pod a little allowing the body to roll through the corners. I then set about putting some serious laps on my Audi. It is almost true for all slots that they improve with laps but the Audi came to life! After an hour of driving the Audi had freed up and lost all its performance issues. I decided to swap to the supplied high performance rear rubber and the Audi quickly became the one of the fastest slots ever on my track. I would have liked to do a time comparison against one of my original Audis but they are setup for non-magnetic running.

As most modern cars, the Audi has very strong acceleration and braking and is very quick in a straight line. Handling is excellent through even the most testing of corners as well. Now that have released a ‘white kit’ Audi, I think this car will become a very popular slot for club events as it goes very well and looks fantastic on the track!

On my plastic Carrera track, the Audi does not have too much magnetic down force which I have found with the McLaren. Out of interest I removed the magnet to see how the car would run non-mag. As you would expect from a, the Audi did not disgrace itself and ran beautifully around my track. Weight distribution is excellent and I doubt if I’ll even need to experiment with some added weight in the future. has stuck to their 'magic slot formula' and produce a slot car that is destined to be fiercely raced and highly collectible. The Snetterton has all but sold out from most slot shops so get one if you can as they are a beautiful slot car the drive and alot cheaper that one of the original Audis. As I've commented before, continue to produce slots cars that have a high level of engineering, are as fun to drive as they are stunning to look at and are without doubt very collectible.

Manic Score Breakdown

· Sex Appeal: 7th Gear
· Collectibility: 7th Gear
· Build Quality: 7th Gear
· Attention to Detail: 6th Gear
· 'RTR' Performance: 5th Gear

Overall Manic Score: 6.4 Gears.

The Audi R8C ‘Reloaded’ goes straight into 'Manic's collectible slotcars' list.

For more information about slot cars, see the Official Website here



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