Naturally I have watched with some interest how the inline set-up from Scalextric would be received. By and large the response and enthusiasm for the Javelin model is positive – which is great news for the hobby.
When I found out that Scaley were pushing ahead quickly with the Javelin and the word was out that it would be inline, I figured it would be prudent to hang back a little and see what the real deal was until I committed to tooling one way or another.
My opinion is that the choice by Scalextric to go inline has nothing to do with performance advantages. It is quite clear by looking at (and inside) the model what the real ‘advantages’ are and why you can expect a wholesale changeover to this motor format for all future releases.
Have Scalextric made an error in installing a more powerful motor and potentially changing the playing field? That is for you to decide. Will it really make much difference to the Average Joe home racer? No, not at all. You guys are rare and unusual inasmuch as you really care (for good reason) if such and such a TA model has an advantage over the rest of the field. You go out of your way to benchmark, tune, fettle, perfect and tweak the model to gain a few tenths here and there. The other 99 out of 100 buyers will plonk the model on a plastic track with magnets still installed and the model will run just fine against all the others.
Here is a screen grab out of the latest CAD to show you what has been decided for the Pioneer AMC Javelin…
You’ll notice immediately that it is sidewinder. There are several reasons for the decision:-
1/ It’s how we currently make chassis and there is no overwhelming reason to change.
2/ An inline motor compromises the interior detail. I know my customers and the vast majority buy for looks as well as performance. A cheap little tray inside and half a driver sitting on a peg would completely ruin how I want the models to be perceived. Quality, looks and good performance are factors I need to stick to.
3/ Even if, after long term testing, it is found that the Scaley Javelin will outperform the Pioneer version (both models prepped and tuned by a routed wooden track tuning maestro) then that is the way that it will be. In out of box stock format there will only be a few tenths in it either way and that will be down to the luck of the motor (10% variable up and down in top speed) and what the tires are like. The variable in performance will be evident in either brand. It’s just the way it is. One guy will have a quick Scaley and the other guy will have a rapid Pioneer.
Anyhow, the chatter about speed and performance is getting right to the edge of the laws of physics. At some point in the future, someone will make the fastest lap possible around a slot car track. It will be a lap time that will never be beaten because a projectile with mass travelling in forward motion that encounters a change in direction does have a finite maximum speed, no matter what tires/wheels you have nailed on, what gear ratio you have and no matter what direction the motor is facing.
From my personal point of view, these toys we have fun with go more than fast enough for my tastes. The scale speed is off the scale. For me, it’s about how they drive.