Tag Archives: rally car

76897 Speed Champions Audi Sport quattro S1 | Set Preview

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.

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42109 Technic Top Gear Rally Car | Set Preview

Our Elves are on it right now. Much as we hate to admit it, they’re doing rather well at sneaking into The LEGO Company’s headquarters, not being eaten by Danish Alsatians, and bringing back brand new sets for us to share with you. Hot the heels of the Unnecessarily-Long-Named Lamborghini set revealed here last week, this is their latest scoop; the new for 2020 Technic 42019 App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car.

42019 is the latest in LEGO’s app-controlled line-up, utilising the new Control+ app that allows a model to be controlled via bluetooth from a mobile device (as per SBrick and BuWizz). It also adds another (slightly odd) brand to LEGO’s burgeoning roster of official partners. Yup, BBC Top Gear join such names as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Chevrolet and Jaguar in being printed on a LEGO box, although this link is perhaps a little more tenuous (and perhaps more than a little late given Top Gear’s peak was some years ago).

The new 42109 App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car set is a fully remote controlled rally racer of a generic and non-specific design, featuring an XL motor for drive, an L motor for steering, LEGO’s new Bluetooth smart hub, and a whole load of stickers.

463 pieces make up the set, none of which look new or remarkable, but what is very cool is that 42109 isn’t just operable via a bluetooth device through the new Control+ app, it includes interactive in-built challenges, merging video game thrills with a real functioning Technic model. That sounds rather neat, and is something we think any nine year old (or TLCB staff writer, which amounts to the same thing) will absolutely love.

Of course the success of the new App-Controlled Top Gear Rally Car will depend upon the execution of those app-based challenges, but as the app could be easily updated with new challenges added over time, we see far more longevity in the Control+ platform than LEGO’s past forays into gaming achieved (we’re looking at you 8432 Technic Red Hot Machine)…

42109 is due to reach stores at the end of the year aimed at ages 9+ and is expected to cost around $129/£125. We’re cautiously excited…

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Super Stratos Stradale

The Lancia Stratos was not a good road car. Uncomfortable, unreliable, and almost comically badly designed, there’s a reason that Lancia are barely around today (and so sad is their current single offering it’d probably be better if they weren’t. What’s going on Fiat?!). However, the Lancia Stratos rally car was a very different matter…

Powered by a mid-mounted Ferrari V6 the Stratos won three consecutive World Rally Championships, in ’74, ’75 and ’76. It might have won more too, were it not for parent company Fiat switching their focus (and therefore funding) to their own brand in ’77.

Such results have made the Lancia Stratos a hugely sought after car, despite the road variants being pretty rubbish. A better bet (and probably better built) is this Technic version from James Tillson, which recreates the Stratos brilliantly in Lego form.

Like the real car the front and rear bodywork opens, revealing the transversly-mounted V6 engine, working suspension, and functioning steering, with remote control delivered by Power Functions motors and a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery.

There’s more to see of James’ Technic Lancia Stratos in both Stradale and Group B specification on Flickr and at the Eurobricks forum – take a look via the links in the text above, plus you can read our review of the BuWizz bluetooth battery that controls and powers it by clicking here.

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Piëch’s Peak

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.

Ferdinand Karl Piëch, 1937 – 2019

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Rallye Monte Carlo

Not only does Monaco hold the world’s most famous Formula 1 race (although these days often the world’s most boring too), it’s also the location for probably the world’s most famous rally, the Rallye Monte Carlo.

Held since 1911, when cars would set off from a variety of places across Europe to meet in Monaco, where they would be judged not just on speed but on ‘elegance’ and ‘passenger comfort’, the modern iteration of the race takes cars through the French Riviera and a variety of conditions, including treacherous snow-covered passes, in a series of timed stages.

In mid-’60s this meant one car became a giant killer, the humble Mini Cooper S. Mighty in the snow, the Mini won the event four times* back to back from 1964 to 1967, defeating cars with four times the power.

Taking the Mini from the 75894 Speed Champions set previewed here earlier in the year, Flickr’s Simon Pickard has modified it to Monte Carlo Rally specification and then created one of the most brilliantly life-like roads we’ve ever seen built from LEGO. Ingeniously placed plates create a glorious curve of ice, which a Mini Cooper S is pictured sliding around beautifully.

There’s more to see of Simon’s spectacular scene at his photostream, including an aerial shot showing the complete layout. Click the link above to visit the South of France in 1965.

*This really annoyed the French who, in 1966, disqualified any car that wasn’t a Citroen. Seriously, look it up! Thus we’re still giving the victory to the Mini, which actually won. And came second. And third.

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The Last Lancia

Lego lancia Delta S4 Integrale EVO

This is the last Lancia World Rally Car, and therefore it may as well be the last Lancia, because embarrassments like this, this and this really don’t count. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Lancia’s owners, should probably just let the brand die (although to be fair they’re doing a damn good job of trying to kill it), however there was a time when Lancia were on top of the world.

This isn’t actually a car from that time, as the brand was in decline even in the early 1990s, but they could still really build a rally car. This glorious creation is a near-perfect replica of the mighty Lancia Delta HF Intergrale EVO, the car that gave Lancia their sixth (and final) consecutive World Rally Championship in 1992 – a record still unbeaten today – and which wore one of the greatest racing liveries of all time courtesy of Martini.

Built in Tour de Corse specification where the Delta Integrale EVO won in the hands of Didier Auriol, this amazing model is the work of Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Bricksonwheels, who spent four months and 1,700 LEGO pieces to create this astonishing replica of Lancia’s final championship winning car.

Lego lancia Delta S4 Integrale EVO

With a fully detailed interior (complete with roll cage) behind the four opening doors and hatchback, a beautifully replicated engine bay underneath the opening hood, and some of the finest custom decals we’ve ever seen applied to a Lego model, Dennis’ Lancia Delta HF Integrale EVO is one of the most realistic rally cars that this site has featured yet.

A huge gallery of imagery is available to view at Bricksonwheels’ photostream, including some ingenious ‘x-ray’ style cutaways revealing the details within, and you can do just that by clicking here. Join us in amazement at the link.

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Seventies Safari

Lego Datsun 240Z Safari Rally

We know rally cars today as brutal all-wheel-drive monsters, with enormous wings, enormous turbochargers, and even more enormous balls in the driving seat. The current World Rally Championship makes for quite a show, but back in the 1970s things were a bit… simpler.

This is a 1971 Datsun 240Z. It has raised suspension, off-road tyres, and some extra lights – and it won the ’71 East African Safari Rally. In fact it wasn’t until the late-’80s that an all-wheel-drive car would win the event, which surely proves that you really don’t need a 4×4 to take little Timmy to school.

This glorious 6-wide replica of the 1971 Safari Rally winner comes from previous bloggee and TLCB favourite Jonathan Elliott, and there’s more to see of his delightful Datsun 240Z on Flickr via the link above.

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My Other Car’s a Porsche

Lego Technic Lancia Stratos

We were very excited when we previewed LEGO’s 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS set, and then a bit disappointed by it. Which is a shame, because it’ll still rightly go down as one of the greatest Technic sets released so far.

Nevertheless 42056 is a set that many builders can improve upon, and that’s arguably what newcomer pleasedontspammebro of Flickr has done with this excellent mid-’70s Lancia Stratos Stradale HF B-Model built entirely from the pieces found within the set.

Underneath the well-proportioned exterior which includes opening doors and front and rear clamshells is a working drivetrain consisting of a transversely mounted V6 engine, 5-speed gearbox, all-wheel suspension and functioning steering.

Suggested by a reader there’s more to see of the Lancia B-Model on Flickr via the link above, where you can also find a link to instructions so can build your very own Stratos from your 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS set.

Alternatively you can take a look at an Audi R8 B-Model featured here previously, but whichever you chose to repurpose your 42056 set for, make sure you dismantle it the right way…

Lego Technic 42056 B-Model Lancia Stratos

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Rally to the Maxi

Lego Renault 5 Maxi Turbo

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.

Lego Renault 5 Maxi Turbo

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Wings (Part II)

Lego Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 Pikes Peak

Unlike today’s other wingsy post, the aero attached to this amazing-looking Audi quattro S1 E2 Pikes Peak is entirely functional. Built for conquering the formidable Pikes Peak mountain climb back when the surface was loose gravel, the Audi quattro S1 E2 needed as much downforce as it could get. Piloted by WRC legend Walter Röhrl, the S1 E2 reached the top of the mountain in less than eleven minutes, making it the first car ever to do so.

This wonderful replica of one of the most ridiculous racing cars ever built comes from Marc ‘Edge’ R.unde of Flickr, and he’s captured both the remarkable bodywork of the S1 E2 and the famous Audi Sport livery beautifully. See more at the link above.

Lego Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 Pikes Peak

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Race on Sunday Sell on Monday

Lego Audi Sport quattro S1 E2

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.

Lego Audi Sport quattro

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What a Difference a Stud Makes

Lego Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC

You might not think there’s much between six and seven (according to TLCB calculator it’s just one in fact), but as your Mom will confirm, one can make all the difference.

Suggested by a reader via the Feedback & Submission Suggestions page, Gerald Cacas’ Speed Champions Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC is just one stud wider than LEGO’s official – and really rather good – 75885 set (pictured below), but boy does it make use of that extra stud!

Whilst utilising the best bits of the official set, Gerald’s widened version adds in a brilliantly detailed engine bay (under a newly-hinged hood), a rally-spec interior, opening boot-lid, and a chunk more visual detail, including a brick-built windscreen which makes a world of difference from the slightly inappropriate fighter-cockpit of the original.

There’s more to see of Gerald’s expanded Speed Champions Ford Fiesta WRC on Flickr – click here to get a little bit larger.

Lego Speed Champions Ford Fiesta WRC 75885

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Acceptable in the ’80s*

Lego Lancia Delta Peugeot 205 T16 Group B

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.

Lego Lancia Delta Peugeot 205 T16 Group B

*Today’s title song (and the only decent Calvin Harris song) can be found here.

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Mighty Metro

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

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.

Lego Remote Control Metro 6R4

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…

Lego MG Metro 6R4 Group B

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Sliding Citroen

Lego Remote Control Citroen DS3 WRC

Dogs on hardwood floors. The masters of indoor drifting. Until now.

This angry-looking creation is a Citroen DS3 World Rally Car, as driven by nine time World Champion Sébastien Loeb, who has now switched to the World Rallycross series.

Underneath the shopping-car-on-steroids bodywork would normally be a trick all-wheel-drive system powered by a monster turbo engine. However builder Anto has taken a different route…

Lego Remote Control Citroen DS3 WRC

Driving the rear wheels only are two Large Power Functions motors, whilst a servo takes care of the steering. The steering has a clever caster angle built in, meaning that when it’s turned the stiff chassis unloads a rear wheel. In principle this means Anto’s Citroen could drift, if only LEGO motors had a bit more power…

With the addition of a third-party BuWizz bluetooth battery brick however, they do. A lot more. The BuWizz system delivers up to eight times more power than normal to the LEGO motors, and that is easily enough to spin the rear wheels on a not just a hardwood floor, but pretty much anything.

There’s more to see of Anto’s drifting DS3 WRC on Eurobricks, where there are also instructions available so you can build it yourself, and you can watch what the car can do courtesy of the brilliant video below…

YouTube Video:

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