16 November 2021
With OttOmobile models now once again filtering through the supply chain, we start playing catch-up...
With the releases originally scheduled for April and May delivery finally arriving during September, my first two choices out of the bag are very relevant, thanks to their AWD tractability, for putting under the spotlight as we head into winter.
Subaru Impreza 2 Ph.2 WRX STI (OT369)
There is something about Subaru’s Imprezas - especially the first and second generation models - that have a charisma of wide ranging appeal. An appeal that at first reckoning seems way beyond what you’d reasonably expect from what was essentially a three-box, four- door family saloon. Maybe that is in part fuelled by the rallying success and maybe in part by some of the engineering idiosyncrasies they embodied. The high end models - the WRX and WRX STI - became formidable and are much sought-after automobiles. One of Subaru’s strengths had always been in its involvement and development of all-wheel-drive systems that, in the Impreza, were combined with the more unusual flat-four boxer engine. A power unit arrangement, when mounted in the front of the car, being shared by very few cars - notably by the Citroën Ami and GS/GSA, together with Alfa Romeo’s Alfasud. With a low centre of gravity, powerful engine and drivetrain, the higher end models just have a certain way of moving on even normal roads that exudes some sort of magnetic attraction to the ground. Then there is that unmistakable, head turning, exhaust note that is so distinctive you know jolly well what car is emitting it.
Ottomobile’s April release batch included a 2008 Impreza WRC in full Subaru rally trim (OT365) followed in the May releases with this, the series 2, first facelift, 2.0L turbo version WRX STI from 2003 that delivered 265 bhp. Together they boosted OttOmobile’s back-catalogue coverage of Subaru cars to a total, to date, of six Imprezas and a Legacy.
Sometimes cars and paint colours are immediately paired by popular automotive folklore. For example a late 1920s 4½ litre Blower Bentley in British Racing Green, a 1960s Ferrari in Rosso Corsa and an Impreza in metallic blue with gold wheels. OttOmobile has hit the nail on the head with OT369. It looks absolutely stunning from all angles.
From the perfect reproduction in miniature of Subaru’s distinctive logo, set on a crisply detailed black radiator grille, right through to the modelling of that equally distinctive signature of Subaru’s exhaust pipe, the detailing is really super. Externally the lines of the widened wheel arches, lower sill panels, bonnet ram ducting and real spoiler look perfect. Not immediately noticeable against that immaculate blue paintwork are the black trim and fittings, but the windscreen wipers front and back are excellent, as are the side window trim surrounds. In this latter respect we are now seeing the glazing of 1/18 resincast models improve significantly with full three-dimensional glazing surrounds and intermediate bars becoming the norm.
Then there are, of course, those wheels and brake callipers that are captured perfectly in gold and accentuated well by the brake discs.
Internal detail is equally well-detailed, with the deep rake of the windscreen giving a perfect view of the neat dashboard top and onwards to the blue on black-trimmed upholstery and door panels set off with aluminium-silver control accents.
Audi A6 Allroad quattro (OT363)
Like Subaru, the Audi involvement with all wheel drivetrains has, of course, been incredibly well-established, with history reaching back to the very first quattro’s developed out of the Ingolstadt design centre’s DKW Munga replacement - the VW Iltis. Successive generations of Audi street cars have been offered with the four-wheel-drive quattro system (see 1980s essentials in the December 2000 issue). For me the combination of AWD with a genuine, functional estate car bodystyle has always been particularly attractive. So I guess that it is not surprising then that this latest offering from OttOmobile, in an impressive back-catalogue line up of no less that 39 Audis, is one of my favourite OttOmobile Audi models to date.
It seems that when it comes to combining functionality, both in engineering and in styling, it is Audi with its Allroad models, Volkswagen with its Syncro and Alltrack ranges and Volvo with its Cross Country models that have delivered the best on the market.
The Allroad’s metallic Pewter Grey paintwork, set off with the grey and alu-silver trim and matt grey roof, looks absolutely stunning. The finish of the grey wheel arch trims and bumpers conveys feel of the plastic originals very convincingly. Those bumper panels in turn provide the contrast setting to the alu-silver front and rear protection plates characteristic of this sort of vehicle. The very full front lighting inclusive of the bumper inset fog lights and combination function headlight clusters, are absolutely right up to the standard of detail we have come to expect from OttOmobile. Similarly, at the tail end, lamp clusters, number plate surround and discrete badging are all excellent replicas of the originals. As with the Impreza, the glazing surrounds and ‘B’ pillar are all in full 3D relief. When glimpsed through the windows, the interior is equally-matched to the exterior in its luxuriously functional black leather, wood veneer-trimmed upholstery and dashboard. Conveying the higher ground clearance of the Allroad Quattro, the stance of OttOmobile’s model looks superb. It is, when admiring this aspect of the model, that the wheels - or more particularly, the centre cap trims - catch the eye. Audi’s four interlinked rings logo is set beautifully on a contrasting grey base that in many ways just characterises the whole car exactly.
I think that it is worth being explicit that the immaculate paintwork, fit of parts, clarity of shut lines etc., on both models, are all superb. The Impreza is indeed impressive and the Audi, well just awesome. It is unfair to express a preference between the two models - both are really very good. Although, having said that, an Impreza exhaust note is probably second only to a 2.7 Porsche 911’s under full throttle, in my book.
Full details of OttOmobile’s Subaru and Audi back catalogues can be found at www.otto-models.com.