Best Scalextric sets

Scalextric is better than ever and this is your helpful guide to the best sets available.

Best scalextric sets

by Aaron Hussain |
Updated on

Scalextric sets still exist, but it’s not the mess of wires that it used to be – and it won’t produce that exciting ‘eau de transformer’ smell it used to, either. Scalextric can still give you some simple analogue fun, but now it packs in some serious tech – giving you everything from brakes that work to the ability to change lanes and even record lap times.

Since its launch in the 1950s, Scalextric has proved to be popular with kids of all ages, even the great big kids. From the addition of stabilising magnets to digital lap counting systems and multi-car racing, Scalextric has constantly evolved.

The best Scalextric sets at a glance:

Editor's choice: Scalextric SL5 2022 ARC PRO 2 - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best starter set: Scalextric C1421M Scalextric Drift 360 Race Set - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best extended layout: Scalextric Ginetta G60 LMP Cars - Buy now from Amazon UK

Here you’ll find a list of our favourite current Scalextric sets, from the bog-standard ones that bear a passing resemblance to sets you may remember to others that sit somewhere between racing games and train sets. Keep reading to find out how you can upgrade your existing gear.

For in in-depth review of a modern Scalextric set, check out our review of the Scalextric Sunset Speedway set.

The best Scalextric sets

Editor's choice

British touring cars? Yes, please. This Scalextric set brings the unhinged world of the BTCC to you. This is one of Scalextric's ARC AIR sets. Considerably more fun than a standard boxed Scalextric Set. The SL5 fits perfectly on an 8 x 4 ft board as standard, yet can be easily extended if you want a larger track.

Pros

  • For the BTCC fan
  • Cool cross-over layout
  • Narrow track section adds to the drama

Cons

  • High price

Best starter set

Scalextric C1421M Scalextric Drift 360 Race Set
Price: $145.46

Utilising the ARC PRO tech in a more basic set that you can build upon yourself. This set includes a pair of Ginetta Le Mans racers to get you going but thanks to ARC PRO you can have up to six cars on the track. Load up the grid with your favourite machines.

Pros

  • Great for drift lovers
  • Speed limiting controls
  • 5+ age range, perfect for the 'first' set

Cons

  • Very simple track layout

Best extended layout

What's cooler than LMP Cars? The huge fin on the back and the aggressive looks - plus the fact that these are Ginetta G60's takes this set to the next level of cool. This super cool track layout offers plenty which would make modern race tracks jealous and certainly gives Herman Tilke something to think about. ARC PRO is really superb, and we love this set because it includes four amazing contemporary GT racers: the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Ford Mustang GT4, and Bentley Continental GT3. The included total track length is just shy of a metre. Living room racing bliss.

In line with proper racing, you’ll be able to enjoy pit stops, post-race data, and KERS. You get 532cm of track included.

Pros

  • Extended layout for endurance racers
  • Actual Ginetta cars
  • Challenging layout

Cons

  • A footprint of 7'8" x 4" is impressive but requires space

Best micro set

Micro Scalextric G1155M Batman vs Joker Set
Price: $54.99

Like the Bond set above, this is battery-powered and is one of Scalextric's Micro sets. You get 408cm of track, with nine different layouts to create (you can always get extra track) on which to race Batman's machine against the Joker's.

It’s easy-to-use fun for younger ones with a bit more of a cartoon feel for those who wish to suspend reality.

Pros

  • Best for young-uns
  • Cool track layout
  • Loop the loop

Cons

  • Dinky cars

Best Scalextric cars:

As we know, racing your favourite cars in miniature is what Scalextric is all about. Along with classics, there is always a supply of dribble-inducing machines to let loose on your miniature version of Silverstone. We've picked some of our favourites.

Best BMW slot car

Can you get cooler than an E30 BMW? You might argue that you can but with this livery it looks pretty special to us.

Best slot supercar

We're always unsure about road cars on a Scalextric track. However, the McLaren 720s is such a spicy road car you have to test its limits occasionally.

Nostalgic feel

Ford Sierra BTCC, do we have to say much more, really? The nostalgia of this flying around Brands Hatch rubbing door handles with other cars... glorious.

Best classic F1 slot car

Essentially the Tyrrell 001 was built with a marginally longer monocoque as, like this Scalextric model, and was driven by Francois Cevert, who was a bit taller than Jackie Stewart.

Best classic car Scalextric set

Yeah, but, the E-type was a pretty handy race car and the chances of evening one for less than six figures is near impossible, so why not get two at a fraction of the price.

How to convert your existing Scalextric sets

Got a dusty Scalextric set in the loft? It turns out you can make it work with the new kit we’ve written about above – but you will need to fork out for a few bits and pieces.

First, your cars will need digital chips to bring your existing cars into the 2020 era. These add-ons bring the tech behind the ability to use KERS and change lanes. You can get them here.

Next, you’ll need to get bits of track that support the new functionality, and you can get that direct from Scalextric here.

Lastly, an ARC Pro powerbase will be the new brain behind the latest set-up – and you’ll need to buy some new, wireless hand controllers with the ability to brake and boost.

Can you use your old cars and track with the new Scalextric sets?

You can use your old Scalextric sets if you like, but not with the new-fangled digital ones, and you lose the digital elements such as lane changing and fastest times, too. However, you keep the wireless controllers. Some more recent cars can be made ARC PRO compatible, but you’ll need to retrofit them with a microchip and optical sensor.

Old track can be merged with new track as well; you just need to buy a cheap adaptor to link to the two connection types together. And significantly, you keep most of the digital features when using both your new and old track together; lap times will be logged, and laps will be counted. If your original track is clean and in good order, it’s fine to use both.

Aaron Hussain is a commercial content writer at Bauer Media writing for Parkers and CAR. He is obsessed with classic cars and anything with a fascinating story to tell.

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