Limits Pushed: AutoArt 1/18 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.1)
Ever since the US-spec 991.1 GT3 RS was released in 2015, I've been keen on getting behind the wheel of one. That car hit showrooms during my senior year of high school, which is a special time in the lives of most car enthusiasts. This was a point in time that defined what I had worked for in school, as well as what I would work toward in college and beyond. The day I finally saw a Lava Orange 911 GT3 RS on the road in South Florida, I was mesmerized to see it pull away rather quickly first in line at a stoplight. Although I was sitting in a then-new Volkswagen Passat, I knew at that moment that I needed to work my way up the Volkswagen food chain until I could accommodate myself into the carbon bucket seats and shut the door with the nylon strap on the GT3 RS instead of hearing the standard issue thunk of the Passat's door closing and plopping myself down onto its V-Tex leatherette clad seats. Fast forward to late 2019, we find that I still can't afford one, but I've come up with a temporary solution.
Meet the AutoArt 1/18 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.1) in Lava Orange over Black/Lava Orange with the satin platinum wheels.
Is it the real thing? No. Is it an excellent compromise for a college student? Absolutely.
I recently bought my first AutoArt, an Obsidian 1/18 Lexus LC 500 Performance Package, which proved that the hype and enthusiasm behind AutoArt's models is somewhat justified. I felt the need to kick it up a notch, which led me to start looking for a somewhat affordable model online. After browsing through listings for cars such as the Lamborghini Aventador S, Lamborghini Aventador SV, Aston Martin DB11, Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R, and even the Ford GT, I came across a car in a picture of a booth at an auto show my friend sent me. It was a booth for a model car seller I've bought several models from in the past year. Although he only had Black and Guards Red 991.1 GT3 RS on his website, I asked him to do me the favor to ask if the Lava Orange one on display in the picture was for sale. About two minutes later, I got an affirmative from him. The seller emailed me back saying he put up a Lava Orange option on his website to let me buy it, so I almost immediately got to it. About three days later, the box showed up at my doorstep. I was finally one step closer to achieving a goal I'd set myself over 3 years earlier.
Words alone simply cannot describe how amazing this model is in person. Hell, even the nicest pictures I can take don't do it any justice. It looks and feels as if I had the real one in front of me, which isn't something that can be said of most scale models. This 1/18 GT3 RS is my second composite model from AutoArt, yet manages to impress more than any diecast model in my collection. I asked about this specific one for a few reasons, but most importantly, because it's simultaneously the launch/press release color for this car as well as the first color I ever saw a real one in. Although this isn't a US-spec model with amber reflectors, I'll overlook that since I like the car so much.
After almost three weeks since I took delivery, I finally found some free time away from classes and work to take some nice pictures of this thing. Every time I sit down to look at it further, I discover new and exciting details that make this hobby all the more interesting. You really can't beat an AutoArt model for the price, even if they're pushing $200+ for the most part.
One of the benefits of composite models is that they provide much tighter panel gaps, which translate to much nicer pictures that make the car look like it was extracted directly from a press release photoshoot. I've seen photogenic scale models time and time again, but this one just blows everything else out of the water with gusto.
Up front, we find that the lines and detailing of the sculpted front RS bumper look exquisite and intricate, much like the real one. The lower grilles are made of actual mesh, not just molded solid plastic made to have a mesh effect. The black projector headlights look remarkably detailed, especially considering they'll never illuminate the road like those on the real car.
As an aside, I found that this model has a flat sticker for the Porsche emblem, as you'd expect in any recent model GT-car from Porsche.
Moving back, we find that the venting for the brakes and downforce also have that same mesh from the front, which is a welcoming sight.
The standard center-lock GT3 RS wheels are painted in the optional satin Platinum finish, which was an optional extra on the real car. The yellow calipers give away that this is equipped with Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB). Most importantly, however, eagle eyed readers will notice that this car has licensed Michelin tires. That's probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen on a model.
If we look into the back of the car, we find a Lava Orange partial roll-cage that specifically tells you this isn't a US-spec model. Have I contemplated removing it and finding a way to paint the front markers amber? Yes. Will I? Probably not.
At the back, we find a Porsche launch-spec license plate insert as well as the elephant in the room in the shape of the massive wing on the back. According to Porsche, the wing provides quite a lot of downforce at speed, but I can't verify this since this model won't go anywhere near the real GT3 RS' top speed of 193 mph.
The black GT3 RS script contrasts nicely with the Lava Orange paint just in case you confuse this with a Macan S or a 944 Turbo.
I would love to show you the 8800 rpm 4.0 Flat-6 under the engine cover, but it seems it'll have to wait for another day. I CAN, however, tell you that Porsche recommends Mobil1 fully-synthetic motor oil for this car. I wonder if Champion Porsche will sell me a 1/18 bottle for the occasional top up. On a side note, the carbon fiber detailing on this thing looks amazing.
This is easily the second-best looking 991.1 behind the 50th Anniversary in Geyser Gray. Shoutout to the launch-spec Carrara White 911 R with the Guards Red and black stripes, but this is just a little nicer.
From above, we find that it looks like a normal 911 GT-car with the exception of the ostentatiously large wing tacked onto the rear.
Looking inside, we find an interior that's just as outlandish and vibrant as the exterior. Although it's not made of leather and Alcantara like the real one, it's just as nicely detailed right down to the yellow stripe at 12 on the steering wheel and the Lava Orange seatbelts. The carbon fiber bucket seats are also nicely detailed with the gorgeous carbon fiber that also adorns the engine bay, or what little you can actually see of it. The PDK shifter and paddles are nicely replicated, which seems to be a hit or miss in most 1/18 cases. Hell, even the Lava Orange door pulls are made of a soft, yet durable material.
The black door sills have contrasting GT3 RS logos in white.
Never did I imagine them to make the door pulls a separate piece on the door, yet here we are.
Upon closer inspection, we find that the carbon fiber trim on the dashboard and Sport Chrono dial are both meticulously detailed in places where most people won't bother to look closely.
If we look in the trunk, we find the warning triangle and a small pouch at the bottom of the carpeted trunk which I'll tell myself is a first aid kit for assorted 1/18 bumps and bruises. Also, those shiny metal rectangles are magnets. The trunk and engine cover are magnetic, so they stay closed more securely than most models.
I really do enjoy exploring this model. Every time I sit down in front of it, I discover new quirks and features™ that fuel the fire of passion inside my heart.
I know this isn't as cool to most people as a 991.2 GT2 RS or a GT3 Touring, but this thing is a sweet spot for me. It combines razor-sharp precision and opulent aesthetics in a bright orange package to show to the world that you've made it.
Dollar for dollar, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better model for the money. I know that every single penny spent on this thing was damn well worth it.
At this point, I would add a question regarding whether it's worth buying this model. Not this time. Go and buy it if you can afford it. If you find the price a bit steep, start setting money aside and find a way to buy it in the future. You won't be sorry.
I know that I'll have to sit behind the wheel of the Passat and not a GT3 RS later, but I now feel comfort in knowing that I'm closer to my dream than I was 3 years ago. Here's to making that dream come true one day.