Early March 2011, Geneva Switzerland ... the official public unveil of the brand new V12 Lamborghini flagship model ... the Aventador was destined to take over the reign from the Murciélago model that was introduced ten years earlier, and for the first time in nearly five decades the heart of the Raging Bull V12 was no longer based on the original 3.5 liter engine from the first production Lamborghini, the 350 GT.
The V12 to be used in the latest Lamborghini flagship was a brand new engine, developed from the ground up to be mounted as low as possible in the carbon fiber monocoque of the new Aventador, another new concept as the Murciélago still used a tubular space frame like the Countach and Diablo before. Another departure from known grounds was the adoption of a race inspired push-rod suspension with horizontal springs, the latter to be optionally available in yellow.
On March 3. 2011 I had the good fortune to be present at the official press conference in Geneva, three new different Aventador were present on the Automobili Lamborghini SpA stand, all covered under a satin sheet until Stephan Winkelmann, CEO and president of the company was finished talking about this revolution on the super car market ... the center car was unveiled showing a stunning new shade ... called Arancio Argos, a more red hue of orange that suits the Aventador like a glove, interior finished in a possibly even more impressive combination of black and orange leather in the Bicolore Sportivo option ... the center part of the seats was orange while the sides were black, part of the door panel was also orange and a section on the central console also received this bright shade ... a perfect contrast with the black used elsewhere inside this new flagship.
Alongside the Arancio Argos Aventador in Geneva we could admire a beautiful matte white finished model (Bianco Canopus) with a full black interior (unicolor Nero Ade) while the opposite parking spot was taken by an Aventador finished in a very beautiful Estoque Grigio metallic shade over a Bicolor Elegante interior in Terra Dirce, a warm brown shade covering the entire seat, two sections on the door panel, the central console and also the lower part of the dashboard ... a totally different look compared to the Arancio Argos Aventador, but stunning nonetheless.
Fast forward to November 2012 ... AutoArt has started delivery of their latest 1/18 Raging Bull model, the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, first up was Nero Nemesis and Bianco Isis shortly thereafter followed by this bright orange Arancio Argos Aventador while soon we'll also be able to buy the Giallo Orion and Grigio Estoque shade as factory specs cars while a Turquoise will also be available, a very nice red shade that was mentioned earlier on by AutoArt has apparently been cancelled.
So how does this new shade cope with the competition from other scale car builders ... as this very shade of orange has been built by many other companies out there, from the high end MR and FrontiArt over the cheaper FX Models, Welly, Bburago to the low quality Mondo Motors 1/18 Aventador.
In one word: great! There is no question about it, this 1/18 AutoArt made Aventador is a very good value for money diecast. Sure it is released on the high end Signature series which means more detail, but also a higher price ... while we can buy the Murciélago LP670-4 Super Veloce from AutoArt for about €125 this Aventador starts at €150 in most online shops over here ... which is a lot of money for a diecast model.
But take a look at the details on this first Raging Bull to be released in the AutoArt Signature series, the stance and overall look of the car is just perfect. Keep in mind this is a road car, and the front of the AutoArt might seem a bit high, but on the open road the real Aventador will look about the same you know. If you compare it to the Welly 1/18 Aventador for instance you'll notice the latter one is almost a low rider on an air suspension ... it might look good, but it isn't real.
Even the thread on the tires looks amazing, I don't know why, but for some reason AutoArt never puts the scripting on the side of the tires, perhaps it would turn out too small in 1/18 scale, but it would make the model look even more 'real'. I now have both the Nero Nemesis and this Arancio Argos shade on the AutoArt made Aventador, and in both cases the wheels are the optional glossy black units ... which look perfectly real too, apparently only the Grigio Estoque will come with the standard silver wheels, so until we see that one up close I can only conclude the wheels and tires are just about as perfect as they get in 1/18 scale.
In real life the Aventador comes with carbon ceramic discs, and replicating that look in 1/18 scale isn't as easy as it sounds, on the FrontiArt made 1/18 Aventador these discs are looking like plastic while on the MR they look a lot like the real carbon ceramic units ... on the AutoArt I would say they look really, really good, but not as good as on the MR model ... which brings me to the brake calipers.
I specifically made a photograph with both the Nero Nemesis and this Arancio Argos Aventador by AutoArt side by side ... to show the issue with them. On the option list of the Lamborghini Aventador you have four possibilities listed: standard black, optional silver, optional yellow ... and optional orange. And here comes the problem: the orange shade used on this Arancio Argos is NOT available from the factory ... the orange shade used on the brake calipers of the Nero Nemesis finish is correct, a bit lighter orange compared to the color coded brake calipers on the Arancio Argos finished AutoArt.
So has AutoArt created a fantasy model here? No, I wouldn't call it a fantasy model but more a customized or personalized model. Sure it is not possible from the Ad Personamme programme to get brake calipers in Arnacio Argos, but that didn't keep the owner of an Arancio Argos Aventador in the United States to have the dealer repaint the standard black calipers into perfectly color coded orange ... just like on this AutoArt diecast ... the only thing I'm not sure about is the white scripting, personally I think it looks weird, but I don't remember if the 'repainted' calipers got black or white scripting ... so I'm going to put this down as a 'customized' Aventador model by AutoArt, not a fantasy model.
One thing about the brake calipers is an issue however ... the writing itself. Sure there is a Lamborghini script on the calipers, but it should also show 'Carboceramici' on them ... a detail that is visible on the MR ... and even on the much cheaper Welly and FX Models made Aventador, so I would expect a €150 Signature model from AutoArt to show this detail too ... unfortunately not ... but let's be honest, even the more expensive FrontiArt sealed resin 1/18 Aventador doesn't show the Carboceramici script either.
Enough about this now ... let's get back to the bodywork itself, on this specific model finished in the absolutely magnificent Arancio Argos shade ... a pearl metallic orange hue ... that isn't as easy to paint asi it might look as both FX Models and Welly made their orange much too red, the Bburago is just a hue too red while MR and AutoArt are spot on! That's right, the actual orange shade of the AutoArt made Aventador has been under discussion on some forum because the hand made sample was more an Arancio Atlas instead of Arancio Argos ... but this production model is perfectly right.
AutoArt even managed to have the hue change slightly under different angles ... just like the real paint on an actual Lamborghini Aventador, just check out the photo with the AutoArt Aventador on an official paint sample from Automobili Lamborghini SpA showing Arancio Argos pearl metallic ... it is a perfect match, so I for one really applaud AutoArt for accomplishing this!
Also note AutoArt went for the Aventador without the optional Park Assistance pack that includes front and rear parking sensors but also the rear view camera system ... so this AutoArt made Aventador does not have the black square at the back under the Lamborghini script ... this is not an error, the option just isn't installed on this specific model.
Let's open those Lamborghini trademark doors and take a closer look at the interior of this AutoArt Aventador, on earlier releases of Raging Bulls by AutoArt a highlight of model making ... and overall the interior of the Aventador keeps this attention to detail at a high level ... this specific shade even has some additional options compared to the Nero Nemesis version from AutoArt.
The Nero Nemesis comes with a full black interior, called Unicolor Nero Ade with no contrast stitching color while the Arancio Argos shade from AutoArt comes with a Bicolor Sportivo interior finished in a combination of Nero Ade and Arancio Dryope with optional contrast stitching on the dashboard only, which is a bit strange to be honest.
Normally if you order the contrast stitching option you should have fine stitches on the door panels underneath the Arancio Dryope section and on the seats themselves in the black section ... both are not present on this AutoArt Aventador ... there is a dark orange stitching on the dashboard only, now this is perfectly possible via the Ad Personam programme, so it isn't necessarily an error ... I just feel it is a bit weird.
Another thing I noticed on the dashboard is the Lamborghini script in front of the passenger seat, personally I would have preferred a nice metal script similar to the one at the rear, but I can live with the fact it is only painted on now ... but this script is also an option, and it is part of the 'Branding Package' that also includes embossed Raging Bull logo on the headrest ... the AutoArt Aventador has smooth headrests, so there is a part of this option missing.
After a bit of further investigation it turns out the actual 2011 Geneva Show car did have the Lamborghini script on the dashboard ... and no logo on the headrest either. Now I know for a fact all three cars in Geneva were pre-production models, so it would make perfect sense for some options or standard items not to be present on those specific cars yet. So it would be a bit far fetched to really make an issue about this on the AutoArt Aventador ... personally I find it an oversight that shouldn't have passed QC when AutoArt presented their model to Lamborghini, but I'm not going to call it an error as such.
One thing that has been widely commented about the Aventador is the flap that covers the start/stop button on the real Lamborghini V12 flagship ... it should be red while inside the AutoArt it is black ... now that is an error if you ask me, and I'm going to put it down as such too ... but let's face it ... that is the only small detail AutoArt got wrong with this 1/18 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. So that isn't too bad I guess.
Bottom line: I think the AutoArt made 1/18 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 is about as good as it gets as a diecast model in this price range. Sure the €150 price tag is a lot for a model, but even at twice this amount you'll end up with a sealed resin model that has more than one issue or you end up spending nearly €500 on a resin model with opening parts ... that has doglegs on the hood.
On the other end of the price spectrum you get Welly that looks good but is a wrong shade of orange while the more expensive FX Models do have carpet inside while costing only half of the AutoArt model ... but the details you find on the latter are just not there, especially the delicate rear wing mechanism that really sets the AutoArt on a different level altogether, but also the amazing opening mechanism on the front and rear hood ... also note AutoArt is the only make that offers opening air intakes on the Aventador.
If you are looking for a correct, 1/18 scale model on the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 you will probably have to go for the AutoArt version ... it is as close to perfect as you can get at this moment, on the other hand if you are looking for a nice diecast Aventador to complete your collection the FX Model might be a good idea if you can get around the high shipping costs and most likely additional import taxes as the FX Model is only sold in the Far East. Also do not dismiss the Bburago model too quickly ... sure it isn't really 1/18 but more likely 1/19, but other than that it does offer an extremely good value for money equation ... and more importantly: their Arancio Argos shade is closer to the real paint than the Welly model, I assume the orange on the FX Model is the same as on the Welly.
Personal remark: now this is something that you most likely will not see as something worth mentioning, but for me this is important. I always want to add a Lamborghini to my collection of scale models in the shade I like ... and in the official press release/show car combination ... AutoArt has already missed this option on their Murciélago LP640 which they didn't release in the original Grigio Teleste shade, while they do have this paint on the Gallardo Superleggera AND on the Murciélago LP670-4 Super Veloce China Edition ... and now they pull a similar trick out of their hat with this Aventador.
The Arancio Argos Aventador in Geneva (and in the official press release) had black brake calipers with white scripting, black suspension springs and no orange stitching on the dashboard ... I for one would have been so much happier if AutoArt really made an exact replica of the actual show car. Even MR didn't get it right, their Arancio Argos has red suspension springs (not possible from the factory) and also has the Park Assistance pack with the rear view camera ... so in the end there is still no high end replica in 1/18 of the actual 2011 Geneva Show car.
Photos © LAMBOdiecast