Tag Archives: 2010s

On Wings of Gold

This a Honda Gold Wing GL 1800, and it has – despite quite clearly being a motorcycle – an engine twice the size and with twice the cylinders of the most popular cars in TLCB’s home nation.

The Gold Wing first arrived in 1974, being aimed squarely at the American touring market. In continuous production since, apart from in 2011 when production moved from the U.S. back to Japan, almost 650,000 Gold Wing motorcycles have been built, with the latest versions such as this GL 1800 featuring cruise control, a stereo, a reverse gear and even an airbag.

This brilliant Technic recreation of Honda’s fattest motorcycle comes from Fanylover of Eurobricks and like the real bike it’s packed with features, including a flat-6 piston engine, front and rear suspension, steering, and a two-speed gearbox.

Build details and more images, including photos of the frame construction, can be found at the Eurobricks forum. Click the link above to go touring.

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Build Your Own LaFerrari

It might be the most stupidly named car of all time (OK, apart from the Mazda Bongo Friendee), but the Ferrari La Ferrari is a properly impressive machine. A V12 engine and a KERS hybrid system deliver 950bhp, whilst active aerodynamics aim to allow the driver to use at least some of that without ending up as a red smear on a barrier somewhere.

Costing over $1 million new and with only 499 made, most of us will never even see a Ferrari LaFerrari, let alone drive one, but thanks to T Lego of Eurobricks you can now build your very own! T Lego first designed his brilliant Technic recreation of the ultra-rate Italian hypercar digitally using Master MOCer Sariel‘s ‘Model Scaler’ software, before creating the model for real.

Packed with functionality, the car features front and rear suspension, working steering with positive caster angle, opening butterfly doors and engine cover, a miniature V12 piston engine (designed by another Master MOCer Crowkillers), and mechanically operated ‘active’ aerodynamics.

There’s a whole lot more to see of T Lego’s Ferrari LaFerrari at the Eurobricks discussion via the link above, where you can also find a video demonstrating the model’s features and the all-important link to building instructions.

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Menace to Society

If there’s a car more likely to go sideways through a bus stop, we’re yet to find it. The morons that drive Ford Mustangs aren’t exactly the fault of the car though, so let’s enjoy it for what it is; an over-powered, under-suspended bargain of power per dollar. This Model Team Mustang GT500 comes from Flickr’s Captain Chinchilla, formally Senator Chinchilla but now part of the witness protection programme or something, and is a rather nice homage to the most crashed car in the history of car meets. Head to Flickr via the link above before someone drives it through a crowd.

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Civ-sick Type R

Honda’s Civic Type R was never a particularly good looking car, but it was fine as hot hatches go we suppose. The latest FK8 version though, is surely one of the most hideous vehicles ever to reach production. Looking like a cross between a badly modified tuner and a child’s drawing, the current Type R makes us want to projectile vomit immediately upon sighting it*. Which is a shame, because it’s a superbly engineered machine underneath the revolting exterior.

Capturing the current FK8 generation Civic’s look in Lego form is therefore an incredibly difficult task. Firstly because it means looking at images of the real car, and no-one* wants to do that, and secondly because recreating its stupid, fussy, ridiculous exterior in brick-form is surely an impossible feat. Not so for TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka though, who not only steeled himself to look at pictures of the real Honda, he’s managed to turn them into an outstanding approximation of the car in Lego.

A wealth of properly clever building techniques have been deployed to recreate the Civic FK8’s shape in Lego form, including more diagonally clipped-on pieces than we think we’ve ever seen at this scale. Head to Simon’s photostream via the link above to take a closer look at how he’s done it – it’s gotta be better than looking at the real thing…

*Except TLCB Elves who, of course, absolutely love it. Which is all the more reason for any sane person to find it a visually offensive abomination.

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The Trouble with Tesla

Tesla. If there’s one car company you cannot criticise on the internet due to frankly fanatical supporters it’s Elon Musk’s electric automotive brand. Here goes…

Tesla were not actually founded by the creator of Paypal back in 2003, but Musk has pretty much led the company ever since, from it’s first car (the Lotus Elise based Roadster) to its position today as the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. This is a simply astonishing achievement, particularly as it’s Tesla that have brought EVs to the mainstream, forcing the established car manufacturers to take EVs seriously. The raft of new EVs about to reach the market are in large part due to Tesla proving the business case.

They’ve also brought a sense of fun to the often staid motor industry, with models that literally spell ‘S3XY’, a drive mode named ‘Ludicrous’, whoopie cushion seats, and host of other mischievous features. Plus the Tesla Model 3 is the safest model ever tested by the Euro NCAP. And yet, would this TLCB writer buy one?…

Nope.

For all Tesla’s technical innovation and engineering brilliance the company’s primary function is to build cars, and they’re shockingly bad at it. Designs that use four times as many parts as they should (making repairs complicated, eye-wateringly expensive and slow), risible paint quality, panel gaps that  you could drive another car through, and chronic unreliability plague Tesla’s range. As the company tries desperately to meet demand (and to make money) the ‘finished’ cars are far from it, recreating the ownership experience of a 1970s British Leyland.

Whether Tesla can, or even wants to, sort these issues out is debatable. However what isn’t is that Mercedes-Benz, the Volkswagen Group, BMW, and many more besides wouldn’t be scrambling to go electric if it weren’t for Musk and what all started with an electrically-powered Elise. Which means when this writer is driving an EV he’ll be able to give a nod of thanks to Tesla, even though his car probably won’t actually be one.

Oh yeh, this neat digitally rendered Tesla Model 3 comes from Robson M of Flickr and there’s more to see at the link!

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Green ‘Gator

Lego Porsche Cayman R

OK, a cayman isn’t quite an alligator, but they are both green. Or something. Anyway, here’s a most excellent Porsche Cayman R in a retena-searing lime green, and it looks the business. Built by TLCB regular Simon Przepiorka (who is due here tomorrow too with something very cool) it’s a superb recreation of Porsche’s fastest mid-engined coupe, which is no easy feat given the shape of the real car. Cunning techniques abound and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link above.

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Swedish Excellence

Lego Volvo XC90

As has been documented on these pages before, the current obsession with SUVs is not one shared here in TLCB Towers. However there is an exception. Volvo…

Sold by Ford during their purge in 2010 to stave off bankruptcy, Volvo are now under the ownership of Geely, and – much like Jaguar and Land Rover sold to the Indians by Ford two years previously – the Chinese have done a far better job of managing Volvo than Ford ever did.

By providing cash and economies of scale, but by letting Volvo be Volvo, the cars coming out of Gothenburg are a world apart from the dull badge-engineered knock-offs built under Ford’s stewardship.

The latest XC90 encapsulates this mantra; with superbly Swedish design, engines no larger than 2 litres, using turbocharging, supercharging, and hybrid electric to boost performance, and self-driving technology, Volvo’s flagship SUV is very probably the flagship SUV. Not bad for a company best known for estate cars.

This beautiful recreation of the latest XC90 ‘Excellence’ edition comes from previous bloggee dgustafsson1317, and he’s built the big Volvo brilliantly. A superbly detailed exterior (including bespoke 3D-printed wheels to replicate those on the real car) continues inside with a stunningly accurate interior, made all the more impressive by the need to squeeze in a raft of Power Functions electronic wizardry.

Five motors power the all-wheel-drive system, steering, and the electrically opening tailgate, all of which are operable remotely via a Bluetooth device thanks to a third-party SBrick. The build also features all-wheel suspension, neat brick-built windows, and some excellent custom badges too.

There’s much more of the model to see at dgustafsson’s enormous Volvo XC90 Excellence album on Flickr – click the link above for over fifty stunning images.

Lego Volvo XC90

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The Other Hybrid

Lego Technic Honda CRV

Toyota may be the flag bearer for Hybrids in TLCB’s home market (in fact, they sell more ‘alternatively fuelled’ vehicles than all the other manufacturers put together), but Honda were right alongside them in the earliest days of Hybrid power when they launched in Insight way back in 1999, just two years after the first Prius.

Since then Toyota have gone on to massive Hybrid success with no less than seven Hybrid models available, however Honda now don’t sell a single Hybrid in our home nation at all. So what went wrong? Part of the blame lies with this car; the brilliant-looking CRZ.

With cutting-edge Japanese looks, forward-thinking Hybrid power (with a manual transmission too), and following the legacy left by the funky CRX, the CRZ should have been a success. Unfortunately 135bhp, a high list price, and underwhelming fuel economy (at least compared to European cars) meant the CRZ – along with the second generation Insight – bombed.

Honda ceased selling both models in Europe after just a few years, leaving a product range of just three cars – something the brand is only just recovering from now.

Perhaps what they should have built is this. Lachlan Cameron (aka Lox Lego) has recreated the CRZ’s razor-sharp looks in his Technic CRZ brilliantly, and he’s given the chassis a bit more bite than Honda managed too; Lachlan’s model adds a second electric motor giving his CRZ all-wheel-drive, which sure would’ve pepped-up the real car. There’s also remote control steering, electrically opening doors, torsion beam suspension, LED lights front and rear, a four-cylinder piston engine, and bluetooth control via SBrick.

The result is a superb Technic supercar that’s well worth a closer look, which you can do via both Flickr and the Eurobricks forum. We suspect the real Honda CRZ may one day be worth a closer look too, as we anticipate it becoming something of a cult car in time. Ironically – considering its failure – if the CRZ were relaunched today it’d probably do rather well…

Lego Technic Honda CRV

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NISMO

Lego Nissan 370Z NISMO

Flickr’s Simon Przepiorka is becoming something of a regular here at the Lego Car Blog with his superb Speed Champions scale replicas. This is his latest, Nissan’s 370Z in NISMO specification. Cunning techniques are in abundance and there’s more to see at Simon’s photostream via the link above.

Lego Nissan 370Z NISMO

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Kiss My RS

Lego Technic Ford Focus RS

Ford’s current 345bhp all-wheel-drive Focus RS has gained worldwide recognition for being, well… mental. Now sold in the U.S, Ford are showing their traditional customer base that you don’t need five litres and eight cylinders to make a performance car.

However the RS has actually existed in all three generations of Focus, with the previous version being fitted with a glorious five-cylinder turbo engine from Volvo, then under Ford’s ownership, making 300bhp.

If that wasn’t enough power you could get your hands on one of just five-hundred RS500 versions, which upped boost to unleash a monstrous 345bhp (the same as the current car), but with all of that going through only the front wheels. Wet roundabouts must have been fun…

This spectacular Technic replica of Ford’s second generation Focus RS500 comes from previous bloggee Dugald Cameron and it’s absolutely packed with working functions. A five-cylinder inline engine sits under the hood linked to a six-speed gearbox, all wheels are independently suspended, and the car can be steered both by the steering wheel, which is also adjustable, and via a ‘Hand-of-God’ mechanism. A pneumatic e-brake is also fitted, the seats are fully adjustable, and the doors, hood and hatchback all open.

A huge gallery of images is available to view via Dugald’s Focus RS500 Flickr album and you can read more about the build and watch a video of the Focus RS’s features at the Eurobricks discussion forum.

Lego Technic Ford Focus RS

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Ultimate Ferrari 458 Spider

Lego Technic Ferrari 456 Spider

We’ve publicised loads of Lego Ferrari 458 Italias over the years (like this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one). The Lego Community isn’t short of 458s then, but this beautiful Technic Supercar made us all stop and take notice.

Built by previous bloggee Jeroen Ottens it’s a commission piece in 1:10 scale, and not only does it look fantastic, it’s packed with working technical features too.

Independent suspension on all wheels, working steering with Ackerman geometry, a mid-mounted V8 piston engine connected to a functioning sequential gearbox, opening doors, hood and trunk, and the 458 Spider’s party-piece folding hardtop roof are all present.

Jeroen’s has photographed his Ferrari 458 Spider superbly and it’s available to view on both Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum – take a look via the links above.

Lego Technic Ferrari 456 Spider

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I’m a Firestarter*

Lego Zenvo TS1

It seems like almost every week that a new supercar with a million horsepower and a VMAX of the Speed of Light is revealed in some sketchy form. Most of these (thankfully) come to nothing, but occasionally one such car does actually make it to production. This is that car.

Hand-built by some clever Danes, the Zenvo ST1, and then the later TS1 pictured here, fits every criteria for the ‘not gonna happen’ supercar going. 1,100bhp? Check. Carbon-Fibre bodywork? Check. 230mph+ top speed? Check. Only the Zenvo did get built, and continues to do so in upgraded TS1 form.

Only 15 ST1s and a similar number of TS1s are expected to be completed, and a few of those have met untimely firefly deaths, but nevertheless Zenvo have managed to build – almost completely in-house – one of the gnarliest and fastest road cars in existence. Except for when they catch fire.

This stunning Model Team recreation of the Zenvo TS1 comes from previous bloggee Alexander Pascholaletto and it captures the aggressive design of the real car brilliantly. It’s also a lot less likely to spontaneously combust. Head over to Flickr via the link above for all the shots.

Lego Zenvo TS1

*Today’s title song, if you’re feeling brave, can be found here.

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The Best Car in the World (Again)

Lego Lexus LFA

Lexus LFA’s are like buses. You wait ages for one and then two come along at once. That’s where the similarity stops though.

As per the other LFA post earlier this month a well-known presenter of a well-known motoring TV show (and its anonymous driver) claim that the Lexus LFA is the best car in the world. We wouldn’t go that far, but it is quite a thing. Spun from carbon using one of only two carbon-fibre looms in existence and powered by a sonorous F1-inspired V10 the LFA can lay claim to being one of the most unique supercars ever made.

This superb Model Team replica of Japan’s iconic supercar comes from Noah L (aka Lego Builders) and there’s more to see of the build on both Flickr and MOCpages – click the links for all the images.

Lego Lexus LFA

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The Best Car in the World

Lego Lexus LFA

Or so claimed Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson and the Stig. The Lexus LFA wowed the motoring world when it arrived in 2010. Over a decade in the making and built using one of only two carbon-fibre spinning looms in existence the V10-engined supercar shot Lexus into the automotive premier league.

Just 500 units were manufactured in a two year production run and despite a base price of nearly $400,000 Lexus made a loss on every single one. You’ll need a lot more than $400,000 to get hold of one now though.

But why such high praise? The LFA was built celebrate Toyota’s F1 success which never came, and it wasn’t the fastest, nor the best handling, nor the best looking supercar of its time. One reason; noise. If you’ve never heard an LFA, click here and turn the volume up!

Previous bloggee gtahelper‘s Lego Lexus LFA may not be able to recreate the real LFA’s incredible sound, but in every other regard it’s one of the most remarkably accurate replicas that our Elves have ever brought back to the office. In fact we’re astonished that such a stunning recreation of a pretty tricky car can be made at this scale at all.

A whole gallery of images of gtahelper’s Lexus LFA is available to view on Brickshelf, where there’s even a link to building instructions so that you can create your own. Click the link above to make the jump to check out the best model of the best car in the world.

Lego Lexus LFA

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