Sunday, 19 July 2009

REVIEW: Scalex Peugeot 908

Scalextric C2897 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP
Le Mans 2008 No. 7


This from Wikipedia: "The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is a sports prototype racing car built by the French automobile manufacturer Peugeot to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, starting in 2007 and eventually winning in 2009. This effort, in development since 2005, was publicly unveiled on 15 June 2006. It first competed against the Audi R10 TDI, becoming the second diesel engined sportscar from a major manufacturer, and then against the Audi R15 TDI. This was Peugeot's first Le Mans effort since the end of the Peugeot 905 project in 1993."

The Team Peugeot Total 908 HDi No. 7 car was driven at Le Mans in 2008 by Jacques Villeneuve, Marc Gené and Nicolas Minassian and came second behind the winning Audi R10 TDi.

This from Wikipedia: "In 2008 Peugeot expanded their 908 program to include the 12 Hours of Sebring. Although the sole 908 led early, mechanical problems dropped the car from contention. However, the 908 completed the event, serving in preparation for a return to Le Mans. Back in the Le Mans Series, the two team 908s now had to face newcomer Audi, as they too entered two R10 diesels. The 908 however opened the season with a victory in Catalunya, marking the first time a 908 has beaten an R10. For Le Mans three 908s were entered and the team started on pole position as they had in 2007. However during a rain-soaked night at the race the Audi R10 was able to take the lead and go on to win their seventh Le Mans. Peugeots finished second, third, and fifth."


The Peugeot 908 comes in Scalextrics relatively new crystal presentation box with flip top lid. The box reminds me of the crystal boxes Scalextric produced slots in during the 70s. I'm a huge fan of the new packaging, slots are displayed at a 10-15% forward slope improving model visibility, (for those of you that store them in their box when not in use) and the boxes vertically stack together well. The model is well secured with a single screw thread and is easy to quickly remove.


Lets face it, we will never have enough funds to buy all the slot cars we would like to. I thought I'd add a new section to my reviews regarding the value the slot car represents.

I continue to be massively impressed by the standard of slot cars Scalextrix are able offer the market for approximately $AU50 to $AU55. For the last 5 years, Scalextric have charged around this figure for their slot cars although the standard of their models has clearly improved during that period. Given this slots paint/decal level, front/rear lights, digital conversion ready status, rubber aerial and forced centring guide, I think this price is very competitive within the market.

Engineering levels will never compete with the likes of but Scalextric don't claim to. I also think given Scalextric's price, a lower level of engineering is understandable. Scalextric slot cars compete with SCX, Ninco and Carrera all being of the same engineering standard. In my books the Scalextric slot cars represents the best value for money within this field.


· Length: 144mm
· Wheel Base: 93mm
· Crown Gear: 27 Tooth
· Pinion Gear: 9 Tooth
· Digital Plug Ready
· Easy change Pick-ups (2 spare pick-ups provided with model)
· Motor: Mabuchi SP 18000
· Chassis: Rear Mounted In-line; Rear 2 wheel drive
· Magnatraction: Rectangular 2.5 mm; Down-force 200 gm; Dual position, (magnet supplied in rear position)
· Axle/Hub width: 62 mm Front; 62 mm Rear
· Tyre dia/width: 21(ext): 15(int) x 9 mm Front; 21(ext), 15(int) x 11 mm Rear
· Front and rear lights
· Weight: 85 grams


Paint finish is very well done given the complicated 3 colour design. I'm also happy to say that with the exception of the front and rear splitters, the entire model is professionally painted. Decal level is of a high standard and when compared to the 1:1 car, accurate. Some of the decals must have presented the Scalextric team with a challenge, i.e. the 'PEUGEOT' wording on the tail and white screening on the side windows, (see above photo).

The rear vision mirrors are made from plastic but have a high degree of flexibility and I think are likely to survive even a heavy knock. I'm glad to say that gone are the days when you would put a new Scalextric model on the track and 15 minutes later you would place it's broken mirrors back into the slot's box to glue back on later. The 908 also comes with a central rubber aerial which is fast becoming standard on all Scalextric slot cars.

This models detail is excellent, there are numerous vents, (side and top) that are cut through the body. Exhaust and refuelling detail looks like they could be photo-etched, very nice. I also really like the rear air intakes which can be seen in the above photo.

Front detail is very nice and gives this slot an aggressive look, this slot looks fantastic running around the track. The slot also has wind screen wiper detail, side canards and the front light covers are well shaped to the nose of the slot. Importantly the front of the slot looks like it could handle even the heaviest of shunts.

Moving on to the rear of the slot you can clearly see the body moulding to accommodate the rear axle crown gearing. This doesn't detract from the model at all and I would greatly prefer this to having a situation where there is a large gap between the rear wheels and the body as with Scalextric's Porsche RS Spyder slot to accommodate the crown gear.

See Scalextric Porsche RS Spyder Review Here

The rear detail is good but definitely the ugly end of this stunning model. The tail is set highly and is stiffly mounted, this could be a weakness of the model in a heavy off. The model's chassis is secured to the body via 5 screws, one screw is directly below the rear tail and if loosened half a turn gives the tail some freedom to move which could prevent damage. The rear lights are small low down horizontal slits and they look fantastic on as the slot runs.

The 908's wheels look accurate and are impressive looking. Wheel clearance to the body is minimal which is a relief after the Porsche RS Spyder which I have mentioned earlier. The tires have Michelin decals which although small are very clear, bright and legible.

The driver is the standard Scalextric figure with silver painted helmet, to me this is an area where Scalextric can improve detail. On some of the F1 releases Scalextric paints or decals drives helmets but on most closed cockpit slots they do not. This is not something that can be noticed while the slot is racing but with most of the slots produced today it's all about accurately reflecting the 1:1 car.


I had read very little about the Peugeot 908 HDi's performance on the track prior to driving it so I wasn't sure what to expect. My initial reaction was very good, I mean the slot looks like it just has to go fast! Weighing in at around 80 grams, the slot feels very nice in your hand and as you put it into the slot your expectations rise. What happens next isn't all that impressive.

As I pulled the trigger I was horrified at the screeching noise that came from my beautiful little Peugeot 908. In what can only be described as a gearing scream to rival even the worst Fly slot gearing noise, my 908 roared into life!

Ok, I'm being dramatic but by Scalextric quite standards the 908 is very noisy. I'm glad to report that after a few hundred laps the gearing is wearing in and therefore noise is reducing somewhat. What added to this is the fact that the slot is long and very low, as a result it does not completely clear my track in several sections. The rear splitter drags on the track in places, this does not seem to effect performance but does add to the noise. :)

The 908 has strong acceleration and braking and is very brisk down the straight. Handling is very good and I suspect this is due to the low center of graviety of the model. Straight from the box the 908 was running fast lap times.

On my plastic Carrera track, the 908 does not have too much magnetic down force and the car will step out its tail a little if pushed through the corners. The front wheels just touch the track, (on a flat section) which lends itself to the perfect tripod for the front steering. The downside is that at times you will notice that the front wheels may be rotating slowly or not at all.

Rear tires required a slight true, I'd say that 70-80 percent of the rear rubber was in contact with the track FTB. After a light sanding performance improved slightly although a rubber upgrade would be required to get any real improvements from the rear tires. I also loosened the rear 3 screws half a turn which gave the rigid chassis/body a little flex. Track time ended up being very fast (5.33 seconds) making the 908 one of the fastest Scalextrics ever on my track.

Manic Score Breakdown

· Sex Appeal: 6th Gear
· Collectability: 5th Gear
· Build Quality: 6th Gear
· Attention to Detail: 6th Gear
· 'RTR' Performance: 6th Gear

Overall Manic Score: 5.8 Gears.

You can get a 908 desktop wallpaper on our Wallpaper Page Here

For more about Scalextric slot cars, see the Scalextric Website Here


1 comment :

BigMick said...

Got this one only use the front and rear screws in the middle. The outside screws I left out and the handling was much improved, MJKs on the rear and its my best scaly