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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Quick Look: Hot Wheels Lotus Esprit S1 and Matchbox BMW 1M..uh..M1

Here's a quick look at two fantastic European sports cars.  Why?  The Esprit was already profiled in the Lotus History earlier this year as the Royal Flash.  Now Hot Wheels has released two new S1's:  This stock version, and the Submarine version from the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" (the Sub is not in here because I have one ordered, but stuck with an other pre-order in the same order, so it'll be a while).  While the BMW 1M has been reviewed at the beginning of this blog, and hence the icon on this page's main image (going away from the screen).

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Light and Sleek

The Esprit was the much-needed change from the Europa.  Not to say anything bad about the Europa, but the rear-end is so plain-looking that it can be easily mistaken for a late 1970's El Camino!  The Esprit uses the Giorgetto Giugiaro wedge-shape styling that is smooth and, interesting, more like the Lamborghini Countach.  The body is fiberglass, the chassis is a steel center bone structure, the parts are from various cars from Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, General Motors, and others.  The taillights, for example, are from the Fiat X1/9.  The engine is a 2.0L DOHC I-4 producing 160 hp. through a 5-speed manual.  It wasn't fast, but was lauded for it's lightweight and sharp handling reflexes.  The interior resembles a Countach with it's supportive and laid-back seats, large console, shifter boot that almost engulfs the shifter, and a flat wedge dash with the driver getting a popped-up central unit with gauges and air vents.  The parking brake handle is right at the lower door edge so be careful getting out!

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The Hot Wheels version is nicely-done in white with black trim markings, detailed rear taillights, and rear plate from the Bond movie, though Hot Wheels could do something about the print quality.  The front and rear bumpers are part of the interior, just like Royal Flash, and are nicely-detailed.  The white base contrasts to the body and nicely integrates the lower trim.  It looks really good!  The interior is nicely-done and shows off the wedge-shape dash and supportive seats.  Now it's sad to see no engine details showing at the rear glass, but then again this was the norm for the Esprit since there was an engine cover below the window.  The Submarine looks similar, but uses lower tub with no wheels (well there is some at the bottom for the Hot Wheels version), shaded windows, torpedo pipe, radar at the front, and rear fans at the rear bumper.  Having these two make for a great before-and-after-now-before comparison to the movie.

The Blue Gem

That's how I described finding this car at the front of the pegs!  The new BMW 1M recolor looks good in blue, and good news for those who have not found this car yet there's about double more than last year's release.  Elsewhere the headlight, taillight, rear trunk badging, wheels, and bulging bodywork carry-over.  So does the fantastic interior and semi-base details.  The name is also new: Now called M1, despite interference to the original mid-engine M1 of the 1980's.  BMW approved of the name change, not Mattel.

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Both are awesome and very sleek.  Carry on!

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