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Monday, May 8, 2017

Yatming 1:64 Cadillac XLR-V and Matchbox Cadillac CTS Wagon




Wanna fast Cadillac?  Sure you can even though Cadillac's over the years are best known for posh luxury cruiser, and boats for a while, but in the new millenium Cadillac has vastly changed itself from a luxury cruiser to a performance luxury brand that is better able to compete with the best from Europe and Japan.  These two Cadillac's shows the best of their performance heritage.








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Now you've seen the CTS wagon reviewed here before, but this one is the impressive one that arrived in a five-pack a few years ago.  The blue paint is nothing like it offered in the Cadillac CTS color range and it looks really good here.  So does the silver 5-spoke wheels.  The combination of the two create a more sporty look to the already stylish wagon.  The front has detailed headlights with LED side strips, a large Cadillac grille that stretches to the lower bumper with foglights to the sides.  The sides show an unconventional roofline with a large and angled D-pillar and a large sunroof.  The rear has those large taillights just like the Volvo wagon's on the D-pillar, Cadillac badges and trim on the hatch, and dual exhaust.  The interior is plush and luxurious with comfy seating for five and even a decent amount of cargo room.  The dashboard layout is elegant and clean with a 3-spoke steering wheel, dual pod gauges, and a navigation screen that disappears under the dash just behind the analog clock.  Despite the performance look, and the CTS-V model, this is just a basic CTS wagon with the 3.6L DOHC V6 and six-speed automatic.  It is enough, however, to get this car going and it handles well for a wagon even if it comes up short of the coupe.  Oh, and the detailed base is there as well.  Still looks great today and I hope to see more use of the CTS wagon.






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On the other hand it's unlikely to ever see this casting again as Yatming has disappeared from the market place and the 1:64 scale cars have finally bounced back in the 2000's with this XLR-V one of the last 1:64 scale efforts and a great one as well.  The XLR started life as the Evoq show car in 1999 and the beginning of Cadillac's new Art and Science styling theme that is common on all Cadillac's today.  Unfortunately Cadillac had to wait until an all-new Corvette arrived in 2004 to finally make the Evoq a reality as the new XLR.  Unlike the complicated Allante where the bodies were made first in Italy then shipped to the U.S. for final assembly, this XLR is built alongside the Corvette's in Bowling Green, KY.  The chisled look of the concept is evident here, though slightly toned down, and has a nicer interior more of a Cadillac.  A few differences to distinguish the XLR from the Corvette:  It has a folding hardtop instead of a softtop and under the hood is the Northstar 4.6L DOHC V8.  The XLR-V, on the other hand, has the same 4.6L Northstar V8 with a supercharger to produce 443 hp. and 413 Ib-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic rear transaxle. Also it benefits from a revised mesh grille, more cooling ducts, and brakes from a Corvette Z51.  This was also the first Cadillac to break the six-figure digit pricetag range.







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This is a rare car as even though plenty were made they were only offered for a brief while and at certain stores, so trying to find these final 1:64 Yatming cars now are rather difficult.  I was really lucky to find this loose one in a pile of loose cars, some really play-worn, in mint condition!  (and it was right next to the CTS Wagon mentioned above)  The look is smooth for a performance car with the chisled bodylines nicely replicated on this model.  The front has the mesh grille with the Cadillac logo, a larger lower mesh grille alongside the foglights, and headlights were I finished it off with the added lamp details.  The sides show a full-metal windshield frame with exterior mirros, Supercharged and V badges on the doors, and 6-spoke wheels that, while cheap, look great on this car.  The rear has L-shaped taillights, sharp third brake light edge on the trunk (I added details to both to make them stand out), and those quad exhaust in the center of the bumper.







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The plastic base underneath shows off the exhaust and drivetrain details in a nice, brief story.  The interior has luxurious front seats with rollbars behind the headrests.  The shifter lies along a smooth center console that has hidden storage compartments.  The smooth dashboard has a nice analog gauge cluster behind a 3-spoke steering wheel and navigation and HVAC controls in the center.  I think the dash layout looks a bit bland with lack of character, but others might disagree with me on that point.  On the track the car feels like a true V-series Cadillac: fast, wild, and fun.  This is one nicely-done casting and one of Yatming's final finest moment for the 1:64 scale line that went from great to horrible in the 1990's only to redeem itself in the last years of its life.


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