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Saturday, April 1, 2017

AeroPro 1:64 Subaru Legacy, Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek

We all know the usual suspects when it comes to our favorite diecast manufacturers, and we always hound them with our ideas and considerations to place in next year's line.  Some have listened and answered a few, even tossed in a contest to pick the next new casting, while a few ignore their customers.  Some even come out of the woodworks and surprise us unannounced; that would be AeroPro and the line of Subaru diecast vehicles.  I decided to get four out of the five models to see how they stacked up; I passed on the WRX STi since I already have a Welly version and more are coming from Matchbox and Majorette.  Also available soon is the 2017 Impreza sedan and 5-door hatchback and WRX STi racing models.

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The models, sold at www.subarugear.com or at your nearest Subaru dealership, are created by a company called Aero-Pro, based out of New Hampshire and producer of customized promotional models and Subaru is just one of their clients.  The company spokesperson is very active on Swifty's Garage sharing more about the company and revealing new products and what they can and cannot do.  As you'll see there are a few features missing on this model and Aero-Pro can explain: it's up to what the client wants in a price range and Aero-Pro must meet that target.  So in all of them there are no interior's, plastic wheels and tires that feel cheap, and a plastic base with a very low-grade assembly of the axles (they are secured by a tab on the base), and each one on subarugear cost #3 a piece.  Not cheap, so is it worth it?  Ignore the negatives and look at the metal castings as a whole:  All are nicely detailed, have accurate colors, and even have the correct wheels, and believe it or not it ashames a few diecast manufacturers who replicated similar models!  Well done and more models are coming in the future.

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The WRX STi was the first in the signature blue color and it looks like the best 1:64 scale modern WRX STi to date.  The next two are the Legacy sedan and Outback wagon.  The sedan is in Ice Silver metallic and features a very sporty look for a four-door sedan even though it has soften a bit over the years.  The front has large headlights, detailed grille with Subaru logo's, and lower bumper with foglights.  The sides show a clean four-door profile with a tall beltline and a large sunroof.  The rear has large wing-like talllights and oddly for a sporty model only one exhaust tip.  The Outback is more rugged with a slightly taller stance, black lower bumper with front silver skid plate, roof rails, and large cargo area.  The grille has silver louvers over the blacked-out ones on the Legacy, but otherwise shares much in common with the sedan.  All models are offered with all-wheel drive, CVT automatic transmission (some have 6-speed manual optional), and flat-four motors: the Legacy and Outback get a 2.5L DOHC Flat four that produces 173 horsepower.  Both cars have multi-spoke wheels that emulate the actual vehicles with the Legacy going for asymmetrical spoke widths.  The Outback is shod in Wilderness Green Metallic.  Both cars interiors have a nice dash layout with touchscreen for the infortainment controls and plenty of seating for five, with the Outback adding more versatility to the cargo space.

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On the other side are two new castings just released at the start of the new year: the Forester and Crosstrek.  In joining the SUV craze these two offer more options with the famed Subaru all-wheel drive system, yet unlike the Legacy and Outback both do not share the same platforms.  The Crosstrek is based on an Impreza 5-door that has been lifted and added a more rugged appearance in this Hyper Blue example.  The color really stands out of the group, as does the blacked-out wheels with silver accents that look almost too close to the wheels used on the current Jeep Wrangler.  Black accents adorn the lower bumper and small sections on the rear bumper where the rear is abrupt, smaller, and has rounded taillights.  The interior offers less room than the larger Outback but otherwise has plenty of space for people and gear.  The center stack has an additional display pod up front and it can be optioned with a six-speed manual to the 2.0L DOHC flat-4 that produces 148 horsepower.  The Forester, Subaru's sole SUV, is the true SUV of the group with the tall boxy stance dressed in Venetian Red Pearl.  The front has large headlights with silver trim grille shared with the Crosstrek and lower bumper with foglights.  The sides have roof rails, largest sunroof of the group, and sleek 5-spoke wheels.  The rear has dual exhaust pipes and flared back taillights.  However, compared to the others the Forester looks dull most in part to the thick paint.  The interior has the same dashboard layout as the Crosstrek but with more room in back and the largest cargo area of the bunch.  The engine is the 2.5L Flat-4, the largest engine of the group, with 170 horsepower, and on the track it felt like the most SUV of the group with some moderate body roll.  The Legacy was the sportiest sedan of the group, the Outback felt like, well, a wagon; and the Crosstrek had great manuverability for a small SUV/car hybrid.

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While it may take years before interiors and detailed bases are made, but the folks at Aero-Pro have a good thing coming with nicely done metal bodies and authentic wheels and colors to the real vehicles.  The only way to continue this success is to keep the new castings coming!

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1 comment:

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