REVIEW: AUTOart #23 Xanavi Nismo GT-R 2003

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Q. B. Low
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2023 8:45 am

REVIEW: AUTOart #23 Xanavi Nismo GT-R 2003

Post by Q. B. Low » Thu Mar 02, 2023 9:05 am

The model that I’ll be reviewing here, for my first ever rewiew of a model, is the #23 Xanavi Nismo GT-R 2003, from AUTOart’s Motorsport line in 1/18 scale.

First, a bit of backstory to the 2003 JGTC season. The #23 car consisted of drivers Satoshi Motoyama and Michael Krumm, paired with Masami Kageyama and Richard Lyons in the #22 sister car. Although the #23 car did not secure any victories in the entirety of the season, with its best result being 2nd at Okayama and Fuji, its consistency was what led it to winning that year’s Driver’s Championship and Manufacturer’s Championship, scoring points in every single race except in Motegi, securing the Driver’s Championship by 3 points.

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Now, moving on to the model itself. This is a sealed diecast model, which was purchased for about 110 SGD, which is a more affordable price range for 1/18 AUTOarts. So for this model, I’ll allow for a few compromises for this AUTOart price range.


I’m pleased to share that there aren’t many corners that AUTOart has cut, even at this price range! When you first glance at the model, you clearly know that it is clearly a pure-bred race car. The Xanavi Nismo livery, a vibrant red paired with metallic silver, really pops! I found no inconsistencies with the paint, with it all applied smoothly throughout the whole body. Other than a few sports of paint rach, most likely from my humid environment, the body is overall flawless.


All the sponsor logos are printed (yes, not decals!) clearly, and are all accurately placed around the car. Xanavi logos grace the doors and hood of the car, and numerous other sponsors are clearly legible, including Tamiya, NGK and Motul. AUTOart even included the ballast icons on the windows, and is accurate to Round 8 of the 2003 JGTC season. (In Super GT/JGTC, the winning cars are given a weight penalty to even out the cars)


The killswitch and fire extinguisher are also visible from the front of the car, and both buttons are painted red, with the killswitch even being a separate plastic piece. Hood pins are also present on the car, being a 3D piece and painted metallic sliver, which add to the realism of the model. Badging on the front and rear are also 3D pieces, which look really cool and further add to the realism of the model. The side-exit exhausts also stick out from behind the front wheel, behind the front air outlets, painted in chrome. Cool!


The huge spoilers on this car is also depicted accurately. The front lip’s shape is accurate to the real car, and the front canards are also depicted here. The prominent rear wing also is true to the real car, and is correctly modelled. From what I can see, the shape of the rear and front wings both match the real car, so good job to AUTOart. However, the only gripe that I have with this model is that the front canards, splitter and the upper lip of the rear wing are all moulded with the plasticky carbon texture. I will get to this soon.


Lastly, all(!) the grilles on this model are perforated pieces, although there is really nothing to be seen behind them. Although this is a more affordable model, it would definitely be appreciated if there was something behind the grilles. Even a basic plastic piece, such a radiator, would definitely add to the model’s realism. Instead, behind the grilles, I am only able to see the steering rack and screws of the model. But again, considering the model’s rather affordable price point, I will let it slide.


Another part of the model that add to the race car vibe are the wheels on this car. The 5-spoke Volk Racing rims are extremely accurately depicted in 1/18 scale, with logos of Rays and Nismo clearly visible on the spokes of the rim. The centre lock is coloured blue and red on the left and right sides respectively. Behind the rims lie the gigantic brake setup, which in this case are slotted discs with AP Racing-branded calipers. In fact, the brake discs are photo-etched, so it gives off that shiny look that you would find on the real car. The slots in the disc seem to even have been panel-lined, which means that you can clearly see them at a glance. The tires are Bridgestone slicks, of which the surface has been sanded for realism’s sake, and the Bridgestone tire stickers are printed clearly and smoothly.



Moving to another important part of the model, the interior. In my honest opinion, it is extremely well done! For the most part, the interior on this model is a mostly accurate depiction of the real car’s interior, from my memory of playing the Gran Turismo series of games. I say mostly because the wiring in the interior is made up of solid plastic pieces which are flat black, which contrast horribly with the rest of the interior. I think AUTOart was going for the texture of rubber, but I don’t think it’s really possible if the wiring is just a chunk of plastic. But then, considering the price, I think this was a compromise AUTOart had to make. Still, it looks pretty good from a distance.

Negatives aside, the rest of the interior is painted metallic silver, which has a nice sheen to it, to the point that it looks like metal. The dashboard is executed well, with a rough flat black texture on the top half which seems to mimic Alcantara, similar to most race cars. Below that, the plaque displaying the #23 of the car can be seen, and the clock in the car is nicely defined as well. The outside of the steering wheel is textured as well, and it shows the OMP logo as well as some buttons in the centre.

The car’s control panel has its many buttons and switches printed on clearly, and a killswitch icon can be seen. The gear lever, which is positioned in the control panel, is nicely defined in silver and black.

The seat is textured similarly to the dashboard, mimicking Alcantara, and the back is a yellow colour meant to mimic Kevlar. The harnesses are made of white rubber, accurate to the real car. The seatbelt buckles are painted black, and the Nismo and Willans logos are printed on them. They go through holes in the backrest and are wrapped around the roll cage behind the seat, in true fashion of the race car.

Speaking of the roll cage, it is again accurately recreated in this model, as far as I can tell, with the overall shape and individual bars in the correct locations, painted in metallic sliver. The airjacks are actually moulded into the roll cages, but they are just one plastic piece and lack detail. Besides, they are also extremely hard to get on camera.


Now, remember the moulded carbon fibre that I mentioned earlier? It’s present throughout the car… unfortunately. Instead of carbon decals, the car’s side skirts are literally a piece of moulded carbon fibre, as well as the bottom half of the interior’s dashboard. It is also present on the rear wing, both on the wing supports and the upper lip of the wing, as well as the front splitter and canards. However, these (and the plastic wiring in the interior) are just about my only complaints about this model. I think these are acceptable for this model’s price. If this model was, say, 400 SGD, I would be furious about the moulded carbon, and that AUTOart didn’t use decals for it. But for this model’s price range of $110? Well, it’s okay.



With that, I have finished my review of the AUTOart 1:18 #23 Xanavi Nismo GT-R. In my opinion, it is extremely worth the $110 SGD. Despite having its compromises, it definitely makes up for it with its spectacular exterior and interior. Cheers, and thanks for reading this review!


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Re: REVIEW: AUTOart #23 Xanavi Nismo GT-R 2003

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Fri Mar 03, 2023 12:27 pm

Hi, welcome and thank you for the review. We cannot see your photos. Please ensure your Flicker account is allowing for sharing of your photos. Please update the IMAGE tags. If you need assistance please let me know.

Racer 6c
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2023 5:38 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN USA

Re: REVIEW: AUTOart #23 Xanavi Nismo GT-R 2003

Post by Racer 6c » Sun Mar 05, 2023 6:10 pm

Thank you for the review. I have wanted one of these for a very long time.

I also can’t see your pictures.

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