Tuesday, 19 January 2010

REVIEW: Murciélago R-GT

Ninco 50542 Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT
‘ALL-INKL.COM’ Racing No. 7

“Men who want to be someone drive a Ferrari. Men who are someone drive a Lamborghini”


Some basic background from Wikipedia: ‘The Murciélago was introduced in 2001 for the 2002 model year as the successor to the famed Diablo supercar, and was the automaker's first new design in eleven years, as well as the first under the ownership of German automaker Audi. The Murciélago was styled by Peruvian-born Belgian Luc Donckerwolke, Lamborghini's head of design from 1998 to 2005.’

"In a continuation of Lamborghini's tradition of giving its cars names from the world of bullfighting, the Murciélago was named for a fighting bull that survived 28 sword strokes in an 1879 fight against Rafael "El Lagartijo" Molina Sanchez, at the Coso de los califas bullring in Córdoba, Spain. Murciélago fought with such passion and spirit that the matador chose to spare its life, a rare honor. The bull, which came from Joaquin del Val di Navarra's farm, was later presented as a gift to Don Antonio Miura, a noted local breeder; thus began the famed Miura line of fighting bulls, which provided the name for one of Lamborghini's first great cars. Murciélago is the Spanish name for the bat."

The ‘ALL-INKL.COM’ Racing Murcielago R-GT has competed in the FIA GT Championship over several seasons from 2006 in one form or another. In March 2007, the All-Inkl.com Racing Murciélago won the FIA GT Championship Zhuhai 2 Hours.

This from Supercars.net: "March 25th, 2007 - The 2007 season of the FIA GT Championship got off to an exciting start at the Zhuhai International Circuit today, where the All-Inkl Racing Lamborghini Murcielago took a closely fought victory, giving Lamborghini its first international motor sport win. In front of the packed grandstand, with 22,000 spectators watching, the newly-adopted two-hour format gave a fantastically close race in both categories. Pit-stop strategy, always a factor, became vitally important when the safety car came out in the second hour. The final dash to the finish line saw the top three finish within four seconds. The Lamborghini was chased across the line followed by two Corvettes."

"Christophe Bouchut and Stefan Mücke started the season in the best possible way. The timing of the second pit stops along with a safety-car period saw the number 7 car take the lead in the closing stages of the race. At the re-start, a storming Bouchut kept the advantage ahead of the rest. With fastest laps being set one after the other, a frantic finish finally saw Lamborghini claim its first win. 'This victory is important for Hans Reiter, for our sponsor All Inkl and for Lamborghini,'' Bouchut said afterwards . 'I have worked a lot to develop this car, and I really wanted to give to Lamborghini this first win. Winning was one of our goal this season, we did it here in Zhuhai, for the first race. It is great for the team and for all the people who have worked hard."

More from Wikipedia: "The Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT is a race-only version of the Murciélago, developed jointly with Reiter Engineering and Audi Sport. It has rear-wheel drive unlike the standard Murciélago to comply with the FIA, ACO, and JAF rules. The car retains the standard Murciélago V12, but has air restrictors to manage power. Its acceleration and top speed are highly dependent on the gearing selected for a particular race track. In December 2006, Reiter Engineering tested an upgraded Murcielago R-GT LM, featuring redesigned body work and a new rear wing with less drag."

You can read more about the team here: ALL-INKL.COM Racing Team's Website Here

Below are some Youtube movies of the Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT in action.

On board with the Murcielago R-GT at Spa Francorchamps, (note the rear-vision camera on the dash as the driver has next to no rear visibility)


The All-INKL.COM Racing Lamborghini is well presented in Ninco’s new ‘Sport’ plastic presentation box with removable crystal lid. The model is secured with a single plastic screw which is an improvement on Ninco’s older ‘T’ twist pin in my opinion. The newly coloured Ninco S Sport base is black with red and grey writing, something that suits the ALL-INKL.COM Murciélago.

An ‘Automobile Lamborghini’ official product hologram sticker is attached to the crystal lid of the box. A simple feature I really like about Ninco packaging is the ‘Ninco Warranty Seal’ stickers. From a collector’s perspective, when you receive a Ninco with warranty stickers in place you are assured that the slot is in mint unopened condition.


Let’s face it; we will never have enough funds to buy all the slot cars we would like and unfortunately there are times we are forced to let one slip through our collection. So I thought I'd add a new section to my reviews regarding the value the slot car represents as a way of helping with the dilemma of, ‘Should I really get this slot?’

Well if we lived in a simpler world then the answer would be no, unfortunately it’s not that straight forward. From a straight comparison perspective, Ninco slots are more expensive that other more detailed and better engineered slot cars, Slot.it for example. Typically Ninco slots are less detailed than your average modern Scalextric or SCX slot, i.e. no lights, rubber aerials, fine detail, etc. But in case of the Ninco’s Murciélago, that is far from the truth. With the Murciélago, Ninco has pulled out all the stops in the detail department but more about that later.

Typically Ninco slot cars come with unfavourable performance traits when put on the track for the first time. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the term ‘Ninco Hop’ I could retire and don’t get me started on how noisy their gearing and loose front axles can be!

So aware of all these facts why do we continue to buy these slot cars? The answer is simple; once setup correctly Ninco slot cars are some of the best on-track performers available, especially from a non magnetic perspective. Another strong factor in the Ninco success equation is their ability to release highly desirable slot cars. Slot cars we all want to race like the Toyota Surpa, Ford GT, Mosler, Lotus Exige, Nissan NSX, Lamborghini Gallardo and now the Lamborghini Murcielago.

So do I think the Murciélago represents strong value for money? Not entirely but Ninco are getting very close, if they could just drop their prices 10-15% they would be on a winning formula.


  • Length: 148mm
  • Width: 68mm
  • Height: 35mm
  • Wheel Base: 83mm
  • Glide: Sprung
  • Pinion Gear: 12 Tooth
  • Crown Gear: 32 Tooth
  • Motor: NC-5 "Speeder" 20,000rpm
  • Chassis: Rear Mounted Angle-winder, rear 2 wheel drive
  • Magnet: Rectangular bar (13x5x2mm)
  • Weight: 88 grams
  • Country of Origin: Made in Spain


The paint finish is great with no sign of runs or defects, a far cry from the finish on the Gallardo I reviewed last month. Although this livery is primarily white, long gone are the days when a manufacture would cast a white plastic slot and simply paint the other colours. The All-INKL.COM livery is a striking race livery which looks very impressive running on the track or sitting on the shelf. It’s one of those liveries that will stand out even when amongst dozens of other slots.

Ninco have done a very good job with the decals, text is very legible and when compared to the 1:1 race car, there are possibly a few small sponsorships decals missing. It is difficult to tell as the ALL-INKL.COM Murciélago ran for several seasons of the FIA Championship and although the overall livery didn’t alter, minor sponsors did change from season to season. One thing I would like to see all slot car manufactures do is nominate the season or even individual race that the slot livery represents, something Slot.it does well.

The model detail on this slot is of an excellent standard and for Ninco that is a quantum leap in the right direction. Starting at the front of the slot the Murciélago’s head lights look impressive and accurate. Bonnet venting detail is present although not completely cut through the body. The front grill looks good although it’s plastic and unlike the Gallardo, a front tow hook is present.

Typically with Ninco slot cars the front axel is excessively too long and very loose resulting in the front wheels protruding unattractively from the body and making an excessive rattling noise when run. The front axle on the Murciélago is a suitable length (perhaps 1-2mm too long). This issue has been an area of annoyance for many slotters over the years and it’s good to see Ninco finally getting it right with the Murciélago (I hope this isn't just because the Murciélago is such a wide slot).

Moving down the sides of the Murciélago, side rear-vision mirrors are made from rubber and coloured red with silver strips added to represent the mirrors. The mirrors are very flexible and can be bent flush with the model. I think this is excellent work on Nincos part and a feature that should be incorporated on every model by every manufacturer.

I’m glad to see Ninco have also improved detail levels over the Gallardo with refuelling and the side windows slide panel detail. The side window slide panels could be better (ie Fly or Slot.it Ferrari F40) but I’m happy. I would have liked to see the venting behind the front wheels made more of a feature although I’m being a little picky here. Ninco have also added a rubber roof aerial which looks great and will have some longevity.

Moving on to the rear of the slot detail levels are generous, there is venting detail in the centre between the rear lights and in the rear spoiler. Rear lights look fantastic and could only be improved if they worked. The rear splitter looks huge and very aggressive as does the twin central chrome exhaust pipes. The rear of the slot also comes with a tow hook, the rear grilling is in the form of decals but this looks very effective.

The rear wing is mostly accurate although there are some slight variations to the 1:1 Murciélago R-GT. Wing height and angle are the most noticeable issue as the wing should be set higher, I think Ninco have done this to make the wing more robust under racing conditions. Accuracy issues like this are hard for manufactures as they have to balance them with model robustness. One look at the rear wing of Slot.its new 787B shows you how wrong things can go in the pursuit of accuracy.

Wheels look great on the Murciélago and really suit the model well and close enough reflect the 1:1 car. The wheels come with brake disc detail (with small ventilation detail) and the tires have Michelin sponsorship decals.

The only complaint I have regarding the wheels is that the rear wheels sit too far inside the body of the slot. Initially this really stands out but you get used to it and it doesn’t look as bad. The good news is that the rear wheels have plenty of clearance to the body and will never rub. Internal detail level is good; the slot comes complete with roll cage, detailed dash and of course the obligatory red gas bottle.

Overall the Murciélago is a very impressive looking slot and its clear Ninco have been working on increasing their detail and accuracy levels. The addition of small details such as; rubber roof aerial, side window slide panels, rubber rear vision mirrors, front and rear tow hooks and refuelling detail add up to an overall excellently detailed slot.


The Murciélago's body is attached to the chassis via 2 screws, the body is very easy to remove and put back together. Like most Ninco slots, there is plenty of space within the body of the slot allowing you to add weight if desired.

My first impression upon picking up the Murciélago was how just how long and wide the slot was. The 1:1 Lamborghini Murciélago is a very large car so it obviously makes sence that the 1:32 Murciélago slot would also be large. The slot is powered by Ninco’s NC5 ‘Speeder’ 20,000rpm motor (angle winder configuration) which is the same motor used in my Gallardo.

Now something new, Ninco have not used the standard 5mm centrally placed button magnet with this slot, instead they have placed a small bar magnet just forward of the rear axle. Typically the further away a magnet is from the glide the more it assists with handling. Interestingly this bar magnet runs parallel to the angle-winder motor which is strange as it will provide varying down force depending on if the car is going through a left or right corner (left corner having the most down force as the magnet is further back).

One of the first things I do with non independent motor pod cars (particularly Nincos) is to loosen the rear body screws a few turns allowing the body to roll a little on the chassis. In this case I even slightly enlarge the chassis screw holes (I used a 7/64” drill bit with a low speed drill) which allows the body to pivot more freely about the screw head.

An important thing to check for (especially with Fly and Ninco slots) is for excess mould flashing on rear plastic moulded wheels which can contribute to a slot ‘hopping’ as it runs along the track. Flashing can be removed through carefully sanding the wheels; I actually like to true my Ninco wheels completely using sandpaper.

The Ninco tire compound on my Murciélago is very sticky (a little difficult to true) and as a result grips very well on the track. I always clean tires post truing with a small amount of WD40 sprayed onto a few paper towels. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt and rubber ‘muck’ can be cleaned off what looks like a clean set of tires.

Unlike Ninco’s Gallardo, there is approximately 1-2mm lateral movement in the rear axle which I decided to leave as it didn’t seem to be causing performance issues.

Ninco have installed their sprung glide (Prorace glide shown above) and given the width of the Murciélago it’s absolutely necessary particularly if your track has any elevation. With the aid of the NC5, the Murciélago’s acceleration is brisk and even a little scary at times. One thing that won’t surprise you is that the Murciélago is very noisy. I liken the noise to steel ball bearings put in a turned on garbage disposal, just horrible!

First impressions on my track were not good. Apart from the excessive noise, the car continually deslots under speed going through any track section that has a change in elevation. I felt this was due to the magnet in the rear position lifting the front of the slot slightly and causing the glide to deslot in dips and hill sections on my track.

I removed the magnet but this did not prove to be the case, the Murciélago continued to deslot. I placed some weight up front around the glide and even upgraded the glide to Ninco’s Prorace glide but this didn’t help greatly. Frustrating as I could tell the Murciélago was capable of great things on the track if only I could complete a lap.

In desperation I turned to the forums, the source of all things slot! If you’re having an issue with a slot you can be sure someone has had it before you and knows how to fix it. Turns out the problem was simple, the front wheels of the Murciélago sit nicely on the track. The problem is that they don’t have enough vertical travel despite appearances, only approximately 2-3mm. When going through a slightly banked corner with a change in elevation, the inside wheel digs into the track and upon reaching the extents of its vertical travel, causes deslotting.

This was tested by simply removing the rubber from the front wheels, a change of only a few millimetres resulted in a complete transformation in the Murciélago. For those who run on completely flat tracks you won’t experience problems with this issue. But if you do have elevation you will need to upgrade the front rubber with Slot.it Z0 or similar thin low grip tyres, (or just remove the front tyres).

Initial magnetic lap times (once the slot could complete a lap) were just below the 7 second range. Post wheel sanding, loosen body and tire truing came down around the 6.4 second mark which is a bit slower than I had hoped for.

After running the slot for several hours I decided to add a little weight up front and reinstall the Ninco Prorace glide. This resulted in lap times around the 6.1 second mark although the Murciélago could not break into the sub 6 second range no matter what I did. I felt this was a little disappointing although perhaps the Murciélago in magnetic trim is just not compatible with my track setup?

So pretty average in magnetic trim, perhaps the Murciélago strength will be in non magnetic setup? Unfortunately this wasn’t to be, although the Murciélago achieves some respectable lap times its how it does it that’s the problem. I found this slot very awkward to drive, big and cumbersome. It didn’t so much drive through the corners so much as smashed through them. I couldn’t hook the slot up with the track, it was impossible to achieve a driving rhythm.

Perhaps with a lower rating motor the Murciélago wouldn't be as violent and difficult to manage on the track? In the end non magnetic lap times were around the 7.1 second mark which is a solid time but I found the slot to be very un enjoyable to drive.

Gallardo v Murciélago

So the Murciélago, what we have here is a slot that’s all show and basically very average go. The Murciélago ticks all the detail and finish boxes but when it comes to track performance, the Murciélago is the poor distant cousin to Ninco’s Gallardo.

Then we have the Ninco Gallardo with average levels of detail and finish but wonderful handling dynamics in both magnetic and non magnetic form. What to do, which one to buy? The only option is to own at least one of each, that's until Ninco release the next Lamborghini model?

Manic Score Breakdown

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

Overall Manic Score: 5.4 Gears.

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


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