A very, very tough choice.
Before I had the 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car in my hands (please shorten that name already, Mattel), the Porsche 356A Outlaw was the clear, no-questions-asked winner of the 2016 Hot Wheels New Model of the Year Award. Sure, the Nissan Fairlady Z was exceptionally well executed and detailed and a welcome and worthy candidate, but it didn't generate the hype that the Porsche did. That says something in an era where JDM and diecast hype often go hand-in-hand. While a stunner, the Fairlady is yet another (very nice) JDM casting.
Porsche 356 A Outlaw
The Porsche 356A Outlaw, on the other hand, is a very, very long awaited Hot Wheels release. How could the world's largest toy car brand ignore the Porsche that started it all for 47 years while making 928's, 917's and 911's galore? Collectors kept asking Mattel that question, and they responded by delivering a 356A Outlaw. While I'm still holding out for a convertible 356, Mattel delivers with the 'Outlaw' themed Magnus Walker Porsche 356.
I actually prefer the silver re-color to the debut model in black, but since we're talking new models in their first liveries, I focus on the black release. The casting's proportions make sense, the details are all in place and the livery looks clean. The nod to the German (and British) flags in the deco are cool touches. For $1, it's very, very hard to beat this model. It seems like the easy winner of new-model-of the year.
Fast forward a few months though, and I've finally found the BMW CSL on my local pegs, and it's made what was a clear choice much more difficult. The Porsche wins on the fact that we desperately, desperately needed a 356 casting. It wins in that it looks mean and it wins in that it's a cool collaboration with Magnus Walker. It's even a little better proportioned than the narrow BMW.
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car
But, it's not that simple. Hold a loose BMW CSL and you'll know just what I mean. The car absolutely pops. The livery is fresh. The clean white with BMW racing colors (red/dark blue/light blue) are stunning. The model has curves and shape that the Porsche doesn't. It is like the Greenwood Corvette in the sense that the lines and coke-bottle look give the casting a special beauty. The BMW is also the complete package. The plastic window inserts were cast in a way that they provide the model with realistic taillights.
So where does that leave us? I don't know. Maybe a two way tie. On beauty alone, I give the BMW the nod. If only one casting got to be made, I'd choose the Porsche.
Nissan Fairlady Z
Oh and I nearly forgot, in a distant 3rd place sits the Nissan Fairlady
Z. No, I haven't forgotten the '01 Acura Integra, or the Honda Odyssey
or any of the other new models. The Fairlady simply deserves to be in
the mix. But let's not forget another smooth criminal, the Renault RS 01.
Renault RS 01 Sport
The Renault presents the Fairlady with some competition
for 3rd. It's well executed, well detailed and just looks sharp. With
Exotics making a resurgence, the RS 01 is one of the best in that
Honorable Mention: '01 Acura Integra RSX
At the end of the day, these are my choices. Tomorrow, I'll have a poll and you can have your say. I'm curious to know where you stand...