The elite team of Elves dispatched over The LEGO Company’s perimeter walls are one by one returning to TLCB Towers, clutching their discoveries stolen from the bowels of LEGO’s R&D department.
A couple may also carry a few bite marks (and some don’t return at all), but that’s why we employ mythical creatures, as there’s no way you’d get us to squeeze through an air-conditioning duct to escape a Danish Alsatian. We’re much too fat.
Anyway, the Elf that returned today came home clutching a new set that has got us very excited, the frankly brilliant looking 76897 Audi Sport quattro (with a little ‘q’) S1 rally car.
The quattro was not the first car to be fitted with all-wheel-drive, but it was the first to take the idea rallying, along with a unique 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that made a truly ridiculous amount of power, allowed thanks to Group B’s incredibly lax rulebook. The result was a car that won the World Rally Championship in ’82 and ’84, with every WRC manufacturer title claimed by an all-wheel-drive car thereafter.
The new 76897 set recreates the Audi Sport quattro S1 which finished second in 1985 season in the hands of Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl, using LEGO’s new 8-wide template to bring more realism to the Speed Champions range. Constructed from 250 pieces, the Audi’s famous livery has been really well replicated, and for once the detail is brick-built rather than being applied by stickers. There are stickers too of course, and they look splendid, adding excellent period authenticity to the set.
Like all Speed Champions sets 76897 also includes a mini-figure driver, but annoyingly no co-driver, despite the 8-wide design allowing one to fit. This is no doubt due to cost, but is nevertheless disappointing from a realism point of view.
Despite this oversight we think the Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 is one of the best products to come from the franchise yet, and – at an expected cost of around $20 when it reaches stores at then end of the year – there’s no cooler set for the money. We’ll just have to add our own second mini-figure to the model to complete it.