1:18 Scale Promotional Models from Minichamps and Norev

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

Here are two more promotional models made for car manufacturers to 1:18 scale.



To celebrate 30 years of the iconic M3, BMW presented an extreme interpretation of the M4, the GTS, at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.  It was launched as a limited edition of only 700 cars to go on sale from spring 2016. It immediately sold out. It was devastatingly quick with times on the Nordschleife of the Nurburgring of 11 seconds less than the Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio.

This performance was the result of an innovative 6-cylinder 3.0 litre engine with water injection which was capable of delivering 500 horsepower and a torque of 600 Nm, and by a 20% reduction in weight over the base M3 to 1,510 kilograms, which gave a power to weight ratio of a CV per 3.0 kg.

Clearly the weight reduction affected both the interiors and the external structure, with a large use of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics. Rear wheel drive was combined with a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox, whilst the alloy wheels were shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, the front ones measuring 265/35 R19 and the rear ones 285/30 R20. Lightweight carbon-ceramic brakes guaranteed precise and effective deceleration even when subjected to repeated use on the track.

The diecast metal scale model (no. 80 43 2 411 555) by Minichamps wears a matt grey livery, with acid orange accents to the front spoiler, the alloy wheels and the interiors. The two doors and the bonnet can be opened, showing a nice reproduction of the engine. At the rear a large wing interrupts the flowing line of the body. Inside a roll over protective structure doesn’t interfere with the luxury interior, complete with an extinguisher. Very well reproduced alloy wheels and chassis, which displays a massive exhaust system. An interesting and valuable model of a real car few of us will be ever able to see.



Mercedes Benz S-class V222 MOPF 2017


First of all let’s clarify the meaning of MOPF. it stands for “Modell Pflege” (model maintenance), which means that this is a “restyling” of the 2013 V222 model.

When introduced in 2013 the W222 (and its long wheelbase version V222) was a car aimed at being the best “executive” saloon in the world with a high level of high tech and luxury and was intended to replace the previous W221, and the Maybach 57 and 62. The external style of the car body remained that of a saloon car or limousine but with some distinctive features. The side view is characterised by a high belt line and a parabolic pattern that descends towards the tail: a third volume designed to promote the aerodynamic penetration.

There was a long list of electronic devices for the comfort and safety of the occupants. It was also the first car in the world completely free of incandescent bulbs, both externally and internally: only LED lights were fitted. In April 2017 restyled W222 and V222 were presented . A different grille was fitted for models with 6 and 8 cylinders, a new bumper for the whole range and the new headlights now had a new design that optimised the beam of light in the dark. The real news was the new range of engines, almost completely revolutionised by the arrival of the new family of modular engines, both petrol and diesel, with 6 or 8 cylinders. The previous 3 litre V6 was replaced by a new engine, but now with 6-cylinders inline, while the 4.7-litre V8 was replaced by the 4-litre bi-turbo V8. The only V12 engine remaining was the carried over 6-litre bi-turbo. As for diesel engines, there was the debut of the new 6-cylinder  inline 2.9-litre available with two power outputs. It is also worth noting that hybrid versions were not included. Mercedes preferred to replace them with traditional engines with increased efficiency and equipped with alternative technologies such as the mild-hybrid system integrated in the petrol engines.

A large number of devices to aid comfort and safety took the vehicles another step closer to autonomous driving.

The metal scale model (no. B6 696 1273) by Norev has obsidian black metallic paintwork, and looks very formal. It is also available as no. B6 696 1272 in “Designo Allanite Grey Magno” (a light grey, almost a silver). As usual the model’s body is diecast metal with plastic components. It is a high quality model hand assembled in China. All four doors can be opened, as can the hood and the trunk.

The engine and chassis are faithfully reproduced, with rich interiors, enhanced by the transparent roof. Comparing the 2017 MOPF to the 2013 version (also by Norev, no. B6 696 0158) the difference in front and rear bumpers and the front grille is clear.

Alas, the devices for the autonomous driving spoil the beauty of the grille itself. The same is true on the real car: why not a better (and more aesthetic) solution? Please, Daimler Benz …..

Anyway, this is another beautiful model to add to your Mercedes collection.

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