MI6 reviews the sixth 1:18th scale James Bond car
from RC2 - The Lotus Esprit from the 1977 film "The
Spy Who Loved Me"...
RC2 1:18th Lotus Esprit Review
23rd May 2006
The Spy Who Loved Me saw Roger
Moore play the role of 007 for the third time, and also featured
one of the most diverse and memorable Bond vehicles, the Lotus
Esprit / Submarine.
The model has a plain white gloss finish that is lifelike. Most
of the external bodywork of the model is made with metal, however
there are some parts that are made in resin in order that the
car can be transformed easily. Insignia markings on the car appear
to be painted and help show the final detail that has been captured
at the design stage. Stickers are only evident when looking at
the number plates both front and rear, however these do not detract
from the model.
Above: The 1:18th scale Lotus Esprit
What does detract is the finishing on the exterior, which
has many spots and blemishes. Though in fairness to RC2
these could be a one off's with this review model.
Unlike previous models, the front wheels are not steer
able, this is so that the model can be converted to its
submergible state. Detailing on the wheels is to the usual
high RC2 standard, and although the hubs/rims are made of
plastic, the chrome finish makes them look realistic. However,
the detailing does not stop there, as in the very centre
of each wheel there is a Lotus logo. The detail is so fine
that you will need a magnifying glass to read the writing,
they are that good.
Above: Harpoons for underwater comabt
The lights on the model are all created using separate coloured
plastic pieces. This adds to the overall quality feel of the car,and
they certainly look better than some previous models. The exterior
sports three main working parts, like most RC2 models there is
the doors and hood. The latter reveals a spare tire, whilst just
in front of the hood, a flap reveals harpoons for underwater combat.
The car interior is made mainly out of both red and grey
plastic. The features inside the car are very basic which is a
shame because, unlike many other RC2 cars, it is easy to see the
inside due to the fact that the Lotus has a very low profile windscreen.
The models seats are grey and have red stripes over them which
adds a great deal to the interior style and matches with the inner
door design. Like virtually all other RC2 models, the car is missing
seat belts, though this is something that probably would not be
noticed upon first glance. With the wheels on the Lotus being
stationary, obviously the steering wheel has no motion to it,
though credit has to be given to RC2 for daring to make the model
convert. Detailing on the dashboard is very good considering the
style that the designers have had to work with; dials show very
Moving from the drivers side to the passengers is where the interior
starts to falter slightly. The painted blue display simply looks
out of place, though at least RC2 have painted this rather than
using transfers. The central column features some other painted
detail which adds to the model, though from this point detailing
seems to stop. The passenger side is very bland, though once again
this is not necessarily down to RC2.
Clean collector friendly packaging; the box has windows on four
faces. A small montage of clips of the car is show on the front
and side faces. The rear face gives pictorial details and a little
information on the car. There is no documentation on the car and
its famous role in "TSWLM".
The car comes taped up and screwed to a hard plastic base. The
plastic base fights snugly into the box and only allows the flaps
to be closed in a securing order. There is no tape seal on the
externals of the box which ensures your do not damage it. A finishing
touch would have been a inscription on the base.
Above: The Lotus Esprit converted
into a submarine.
Unlike some previous models, the Lotus is itsself one huge gadget.
After applying the parts supplied with the model and folding the
wheels inwards, the car is transformed into the submarine as seen
in the film. Thsi is no small feat when you consider the size
of the car itself. The parts are of excellent quality when you
consider its small scale. It is easy to see that RC2 have spent
considerable time and effort in the cars design and with this
aspect the model scores full marks.
With RC2's sixth attempt at this new business card size CD-ROM,
it features 2 wallpapers, an interactive gallery of stills and
a 360 degree view of the car with images of the cars features.
The quality of the presentation and images are still poor, requiring
a re-think. Sound is lacking and would be a big improvement to
Above: RC2's Q Card interactive CD-ROM
Overall the Lotus is a good attempt at creating a 1/18 scale
model. Its design is excellent, and it has unique features
that will set it apart from other 1/18 models in a collection.
However, the model is let down by numerous blemishes, scratches
and other imperfections. To RC2's credit these problems
could be a one off, however if they are not they will seriously
affect an owner's opinion of the car.
As with previous models, the Q-Card needs some improvements,
however it's still a nice little extra to have in the box
for rainy days. Something out of RC2's control is the cars
interior, although it looks basic in the model, from what
RC2 has had to work with they have done a good job. For
the collector owning this car is a must. It has some nice
fine detail added to it that will only be noticed upon close
Joyride Entertainment (part of the RC2 group) secured the James
Bond license in 2004 and plans to release twelve cars over the
two years. The range will visit a mixture of famous cars from
the 20-film canon. The models are expected to retail at £34.99
in the UK, and $39.99 in the USA (prices may vary). Updated release
dates are estimates and are subject to change. Expect a further
two cars to be released in the near future.