LEGO’s Speed Champions range has evolved a bit over the years. Jumping from six studs of width to eight has upped the realism, as has a the more widespread use of decals, allowing for the recreation of real-world liveries and sponsorships.
Previous bloggee Fabrice Larcheveque has moved with the times as well, updating his Peugeot 206 T16 rally car to fit LEGO’s latest Speed Champions aesthetic, with it looking rather wonderful a as result.
Fabrice’s original 205 T16 featured on this site half a decade ago, and The Lego Car Blog has evolved a bit since then too, with the standard of presentation required to appear here considerably higher than it was back then. The incompetent writing and woeful site management remain though…
Fabrice’s significantly upgraded and perfectly presented Peugeot 205 T16 is available to view on Flickr, where building instructions are now available too. Click here to join the evolution.
Earlier this week one of the automotive industry’s greatest talents passed away. Ferdinand Piech, the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, ex-chairman of the Volkswagen Group, and the man behind some of the most iconic cars ever made, collapsed in a restaurant in Germany. He was 82.
Sometimes controversial, there was considerable hostility between Piech and Porsche – the company founded by his grandfather – during his tenure at the top of Volkswagen, eventually resulting in Piech buying Porsche to oust their chairman. The Volkswagen Group has since faced the biggest scandal in its history (dragging Porsche into it the mire too), yet has also become the world’s largest automotive manufacturer by volume, with much of that down to Piech’s reign at the top.
Piech’s legacy is as astonishing one, including diesel engines for Mercedes-Benz, the amazing Porsche 917, the Bugatti Veyron, and this, the original Audi ‘UR’ quattro – the car that, whilst not the first, popularised the advantages of all-wheel-drive beyond off-roaders.
This cartoon-like Technic recreation of the legendary Audi quattro Group B rally car comes from Teo Technic and features remote control drive and steering, independent suspension, working headlights and – of course – all-wheel-drive.
There’s more to see of Teo’s Audi quattro at both Flickr and the Eurobricks discussion forum. Click the links to make the jump – and tip your hat to the man behind it and some of the other greatest cars in modern history.
It’s the early 1980s, and everything has gone ‘Turbo’. Sunglasses, deodorant, razors… all of them could be found in ‘Turbo’ form, thanks to cars such as this one; the nuts Renault 5 Maxi Turbo.
Based on Renualt’s road-going hot hatch, the Maxi Turbo made almost 350bhp from its tiny 1.4 litre engine in rally form, enough to win the Monte Carlo Rally in its first outing in the World Rally Championship in 1981.
Ultimately the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo was quickly surpassed by the arrival of all-wheel-drive machines from Audi, Lancia and Peugeot, but it had left its mark, and a good road-going 5 Turbo is a sought-after car today.
This Speed Champions recreation of the Maxi Turbo comes from Fabrice Larcheveque who has recreated the car rather neatly in 6-wide form. Resplendent in an authentic livery courtesy of custom decals (and a bit of paint) there’s more to see of Fabrice’s 5 on both MOCpages and Flickr. Click the links to don your Turbo sunglasses and take a look.
Contrary to popular belief Audi were not the first to bring all-wheel-drive to performance cars. However their ‘quattro’ system undoubtedly brought all-wheel-drive performance into the mainstream, and it changed rallying forever.
Launched in 1980 the Audi quattro brought several innovative new technologies into one glorious package, including all-wheel-drive, turbocharging, and a delightfully weird inline 5-cylinder engine. Audi entered their new car in the World Rally Championship’s Group B category, winning the championship in 1982 and 1984, plus the Pike’s Peak Hillclimb too.
By 1985 a variety of all-wheel-drive turbocharged rivals had caught – and then overtaken – the rally pioneer, beating Audi at their own game. This led Audi Sport to chop a chunk of length from the quattro’s wheelbase and up power to a very unofficial 500bhp+. The Sport quattro was born, a comedically ugly machine that was devastating effective. Best of all due to the FIA’s homologation rules a few hundred Sport quattros had to be produced for the road, meaning you could buy your very own World Rally Car for trips to Walmart.
Suggested by a reader we have both the rally and road versions of the Sport quattro in today’s post, each brilliantly built in Speed Champions scale by previous bloggee Marc ‘Edge’. There’s more to see of Marc’s rally and road Sport quattros on Flickr – click the links above to head to a gravelly forest circa-1985.
We’re back in the 1980s today, and one of the greatest battles in rallying history. The Group B rally era from 1982 to ’86 created some of the wildest (and most dangerous) racing cars ever seen. Minimal regulations and the arrival of turbo-charging and all-wheel-drive led to huge speed, and the cars – whilst outwardly similar – had almost nothing in common with their road-going counterparts.
By the mid-’80s engines were mounted in the middle and surrounded by space-framed shells of composite and magnesium. Peugeot’s ridiculous 205 Turbo 16 took power to well over 400bhp from just 1.8 litres and won the final two Group B Championships in ’85 and ’86. Previous champions Lancia come in second with their carbon-composite Delta S4, the first car to be both turbo and super-charged (known as twin-charging). It was tragically this car that led to the cessation of Group B, when in 1986 Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto’s S4 left the road on the Tour de Course and burst into flames, killing both men. The FIA had to act and Group B, rallying’s maddest era, was banned.
MOCpages’ Fabrice Larcheveque remembers the fastest rally cars ever seen with his 6-wide replicas of both the Peugeot Turbo 16 and and Lancia Delta S4. Each includes a detailed engine and interior under removable bodywork, but our favourite elements are the stunning liveries, recreating those seen on the real cars brilliantly in miniature. There’s more to see of Fabrice’s Speed Champions-style Group B racers on MOCpages – click the link above to head back to 1986.
*Today’s title song (and the only decent Calvin Harris song) can be found here.
The Austin/Rover/MG Metro does not have a good reputation here in TLCB’s home nation. Now almost extinct, most observers would say that’s a good thing. But this staff writer is feeling brave, and he’s going to make a case for the humble British city car…
Launched in 1980 the Austin – and then Rover/MG – Metro was designed to compliment (but eventually replace) the beloved but ageing Mini. Neat packaging, clever hydro-gas suspension, and modern looks earned British Leyland’s new product the What Car? Car of The Year accolade and buyers bought it in their thousands.
However the Metro was born at a tumultuous time for the British car industry, and the reputation of industrial action, striking workers and piss-poor quality still lingered around almost anything that British Leyland made.
This meant that the Metro was a rare success story, but whilst other good products would arrive in the 1990s cash would become increasingly tight, and the Metro would be forced to carry on for eighteen years. Over that time of course, a good car designed in the late 1970s became no longer a good car at all.
That meant the end of the Metro and – ultimately – the end of Rover too, and the Metro is now almost completely gone from European roads, despite over 2 million being sold.
However, one variant of British Leyland’s little hatchback can still be found. A version from a time when the company was optimistic about its future, and adventurous in its marketing too. The amazing MG Metro 6R4.
Built for the monstrous Group B rally era, and then becoming a dominant force in rallycross, the Metro 6R4 squeezed a 400+bhp Cosworth-derived V6 and a permanent all-wheel drive system into a space-framed version of the Metro shell, and the engine later went on to be developed for the Jaguar XJ200 supercar – which became the fastest production car in the world.
This wonderful fully remote controlled recreation of British Leyland’s most spectacular car comes from newcomer All_About_Lego, and it’s packed with working functions. Alongside the remote control all-wheel drive and steering are working front and rear lights, all-wheel suspension, and opening doors and rear clamshell. The exterior is accurately stickered in the 6R4’s period mid-80s livery, whilst the inside contains a fully detailed (and roll-caged) interior too.
A full gallery of images is available to view on Flickr, you can read more about the build and watch a video of the model in action via the Eurobricks forum by clicking here, and if you’re wondering quite why this writer thinks the MG Metro 6R4 is so cool, click this link…
We rarely feature digital creations here at TLCB. Today though we’re going to break our own rule, because this virtual Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Group B rally car is an absolute delight.
Built in the mid-1980s to race in the World Rally Championship, Peugeot’s monster mid-engined all-wheel-drive 205s won the final two Group B World Championships in ’85 and ’86, before the formula was banned.
This wonderful recreation of one of the most fearsome WRC cars ever is the work of newcomer Fabrice Larcheveque, who has replicated Peugeot Sport’s famous 1980s livery brilliantly in digital form, and has absolutely nailed the car that wears it too.
Fabrice has built several other iconic cars in LEGO’s Speed Champions style and you can see more of these, plus the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 featured here, via MOCpages, plus you can also vote for the Peugeot to become the next officially-licensed car in the Speed Champions range via LEGO Ideas.
Renault are finally on a bit of a roll at the moment, after years of making rubbish. Back in the ’80s they were on a bit of a roll too, and this was the highlight, the mad Renault 5 Turbo Group B rally car. This one’s been built by Jonathan Elliott of Flickr and you can see more at his photostream here.
This is a Lancia Delta S4, and even by 1980s Group B WRC standards it’s a terrifically ugly thing. Ugly, but astonishingly effective. With all-wheel-drive powered by a mid-mounted 1.8 litre engine with both turbo and super charging (the first ever example of twin-charging), the space-framed and composite-shelled Delta S4 could produce as much as 500bhp.
If that sounds like a dangerous combination you’d be right, and tragically Henri Toivonen and his co-driver were incinerated when their S4 left the road in 1986. Group B was immediately banned, and with it the maddest of all the World Rally Cars ended its motorsport career.
Senator Chinchilla hasn’t forgotten the Italian monster though, and has ensured the Delta S4 lives on in Lego form with his exquisite Model Team replica. See more on Flickr.
Back in the mid-’80s world rally cars were a very different animal to those racing today. With only the loosest affiliation to their road-going counterparts, the racers of Group B took rallying (and then rally-cross, after they were banned from the WRC in 1987) to a whole new level or speed, and – unsurprisingly – risk. Formula 1 had mostly cleaned up its safety record by the mid-’80s, however Group B rallying ensured that professional motorsport continued to send people home in boxes.
A series of fatalities in 1986 prompted the FIA to act, and it was to be Group B’s last WRC season. The cars were not forgotten though, with many transferring to rally-cross, whilst Peugeot updated their monstrous 205 T16 to run in the Paris-Dakar rally, winning in ’87. ’89 and ’90.
Previous bloggee and Technic legend Nico71 hasn’t forgotten either, paying homage to the insanity of Group B with his latest creation, this superb Technic Group B rally car. Based on no particular model Nico’s model looks a bit like an Opel Astra to us (if Opel has created a Group B challenger), and it’s packed with mechanical Technic functions. These include a mid-mounted V6 engine, all-wheel-drive with three differentials, working steering both by the wheel and Hand-of-God, opening doors and rear engine bodywork, and fully independent suspension on all wheels.
As the time of writing Nico’s latest build isn’t on Brickshelf or the other main creation-sharing websites (big points for the Elf that found it!), but you can see all the details, a huge gallery of high quality images, and access instructions to build this model yourself at Nico’s own website. Click the link above to head to a forest in 1985.
TLCB has a long-standing apathy for Peugeot, but it hasn’t always made unreliable, ugly euroboxes. Back in the 1980s Peugeot made some seriously cool cars, and this is one of their highlights; the insane Group B Peugeot 205 Turbo 16.
Flickr’s _zux_ has recreated one of the finest cars of the ’80s in both WRC and Pikes Peak specification, each with all-wheel-drive, steering, suspension, and the mighty mid-mounted four-cylinder turbocharged engine. There’s lots more to see on Flickr – click the link above to make the jump.
This is a Ford RS200, and it could have been one of the greatest rally cars of all time. Unfortunately for Ford, who had invested millions in the project, the insane Group B class in which the RS200 was due to compete was terminated almost exactly as the car launched.
Needing at least some return on their investment Ford turned to European Rallycross, which still maintained an almost ‘anything goes’ approach to the rules. Alongside the other orphans from Group B, such as Audi’s S1 quattro and Rover’s monstrous Metro 6R4, Ford’s RS200 created a spectacular show.
Rallycross has since become a global phenomenon thanks largely to the X-Games and YouTube stars like Ken Block, with Ford currently dominating the sport in their 600bhp all-wheel-drive Fiesta, but this weird little racer is where it all began.
Only 200 road-going RS200s were ever built, but today MOCpages’ Heiko Ruutel has taken it to 201 with a stunning replica of the 1980s legend. Featuring working suspension, 4-cylinder engine, steering and fully opening bodywork Heiko’s RS200 recreation is a throughly excellent homage to the often forgotten original. There’s lots more to see at Heiko’s MOCpage – Click the link above and get sideways.
After nailing* a sci-fi post yesterday we’re back to what we know; cars. These two will be instantly recognisable to many of you, they are of course the legendary Audi Quattro S2 and Lancia Delta S4 from the monstrous Group B era of the World Rally Championship. Flickr’s Dario Minisini is the builder, and you can see more of his recreations of the fastest and most dangerous racing cars ever built at his photostream.
Another classic car from an axis power today; the stupendous Audi quattro Sport. Long before Audi became the preserve of outside-lane tailgating, bluetooth headset wearing cocks, they were a relatively niche manufacturer of dull saloon cars. Then they took a British idea (Google ‘Jensen FF’), applied it to their new coupe, took it rallying, and changed the automotive world.
Maks‘ Lego version is one of the last rally quattros, raced during the insane Group B era with a chunk cut out of the wheelbase to keep it competitive against a slew of new 4×4 rivals. View it and Maks’ other work on Flickr.