Tag Archives: WRC

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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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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Speed Champions 2018 | Set Previews!

Lego 75888 Speed Champions Porsche 911 RSR & 911 Turbo 3.0Over the past few weeks a group of crack The Lego Car Blog Elves have been undertaking a secret mission. Infiltrating The LEGO Company’s headquarters, dodging the guards (and guard dogs – who have a taste for Elf meat), and resisting the baited mousetraps to bring back LEGO’s brand-new-for-2018 Speed Champions line-up. And what a line-up it is!

2018 continues LEGO’s hugely successful officially licensed partnership with some of the world’s top automotive brands, with six new sets all of which replicate real-world cars both current and – much to our delight – classic too. With two new sets each from Porsche, Ford and Ferrari, there’s plenty to like. Let’s take a look!

Lego 75887 Speed Champions Porsche 919 Hybrid

We’ll start with Porsche, one of the newer partnerships LEGO have forged, who add two new sets to their inventory. First up (top) is the 75888 Porsche 911 RSR & 911 Turbo 3.0 set, a glorious double featuring both the latest 911 RSR endurance racer and a superb lime green classic 911 Turbo 3.0. Each features a mini-figure, some neat decals, and the set includes a pit wall, mechanic mini-figure, and a rather useful looking timing gantry complete with reversible timing bricks.

75888 features just under 400 pieces, including those three mini-figures, and we expect it to cost just over £30 when it reaches stores. We like it a lot.

LEGO’s second new officially licensed Porsche set (above) is the 75887 Porsche 919 Hybrid, featuring Porsche’s 2017 Le Mans winning prototype. The 919 model is constructed from a wealth of curves and plates ensuring it is all but studless, with some colourful decals used to recreate an authentic livery. A light pole, mini-figure and laptop are all included and we expect 75887 to be wonderfully pocket-money attainable at around £12 when it reaches stores.

Lego 75885 Speed Champions Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC

On to Ford, who like Porsche also have two new-for-2018 sets in the Speed Champions range, and who also have both a current and classic models recaptured in brick through their partnership with LEGO.

The 75885 Ford Fiesta M-Sport WRC is the first of the new additions, featuring Ford’s brand new World Rally Championship contender; the mental Fiesta M-Sport WRC. Like 75887 above, 75885 will be priced in the pocket-money bracket at around £12 and contains just over 200 pieces, including a racing driver mini-figure and a wealth stickers to help create authenticity. New white wheels and wedge tiles also make appearances, and the car looks wonderful in (we think) Monte Carlo Rally specification with a front-mounted light bar.

Our only gripe is that 75885’s livery is not the same as that found on the 2018 rally car, but perhaps the real livery hadn’t been decided upon by the time LEGO needed to finalise the set, or a partnership with title-sponsor Red Bull in addition to both Ford and M-Sport was one to many. Nevertheless 75885 is a lovely looking thing and looks to be a great entry level set for racing fans.

Lego 75884 Speed Champions 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback

Ford’s second set within the 2018 Speed Champions line-up is perhaps the most famous model in their history. Yup, LEGO have gone and built a classic 1960s Mustang! We think 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback is one of the nicest Speed Champions sets to date, and whilst it is perhaps a little over-stickered for a historic racing car, it looks fantastic in its Bullitt-green and gold stripe livery. As usual a mini-figure driver is included plus a timing board, and we expect 75884 to join the range alongside the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Fiesta M-Sport WRC in the c£12 bracket. It’s our favourite.

Lego 75886 Speed Champions Ferrari 488 GT3 “Ferrari Corsa”

Finally we come to LEGO’s longest standing partnership and the brand that started LEGO’s collaboration with the auto industry; the mighty Ferrari.

Like Porsche and Ford, Ferrari have two new sets in the 2018 Speed Champions line up. First (above) is 75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 ‘Ferrari Corsa’, another rather nice entry into the pocket money bracket complete with a mini-figure racing driver (female this time), plentiful decals and a nifty looking trophy.

Ferrari’s second officially licensed Speed Champions set for 2018 is rather more flamboyant. Priced at over £80 and containing three Ferrari cars (a modern 488 GTE, a gorgeous classic 250 GTO and a historic 312 Formula 1 car), the 75889 Ferrari Ultimate Garage also includes seven mini-figures, spare parts, a vintage petrol pump, trophies, and a race start/finish line.

Lego 75889 Speed Champions Ferrari Ultimate Garage

All in all 2018 looks to be an excellent continuation of LEGO’s partnership with real-world car manufacturers, with a wealth of choice at different price points, a couple of new parts, and – best of all – some wonderful classic cars to accompany the very latest machinery. More like these please LEGO!

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Bug-Eye

Lego Subaru WRX STI

Some cars wow the motoring world upon their release, causing a ripple of appreciation for their design, engineering progress and beauty.

This is not one of those cars.

The second generation Subaru Impreza had a lot to live up to. The original was the WRC poster car for a generation, and whilst it may have been a fairly boring Japanese box underneath, turbo-charged engines and all-wheel-drive turned the first generation Impreza (in WRX/STI form at least) into a cult car overnight.

By 2000 though it was time for the difficult sequel, and with the motoring world eagerly expecting something spectacular Subaru launched…. this.

It’s safe to say that the second generation Impreza was not positively received. It was a slightly better car in every respect than the original though, and it still found buyers thanks to its rally pedigree. A much needed facelift in 2004 and again in 2006 lessened the aesthetic stupidity, but the damage was done, ushering in a long decline in Europe that sadly for Subaru shows no sign of abating.

Lego Subaru WRX STI

As a result the second generation Impreza is now worth about £50, meaning you can pick up a car with genuine rally pedigree that will beat pretty much anything away from the lights for next-to-nothing. Unfortunately this means the WRX has become the favoured tool of the Donuts-in-a-Parking-Lot-Pikey, ruining Cars & Coffee meets for everyone else the world over.

Which is a shame, because catastrophically ugly though the second generation Impreza WRX is, it’s still a fantastic performance car. It’s just you can’t drive one without wearing a paper bag over your head.

We’ll settle for this one then, a rather delightful Model Team style replica from previous bloggee Alexander Paschoaletto. Alex has captured the second-gen Impreza’s, er… ‘unique’ look brilliantly, and he’s included a detailed engine and interior accessible via an opening hood and four opening doors.

There are lots more images of Alexander’s 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX STI to see on both Flickr and MOCpages – Click the links above to do some donuts in a McDonald’s car park.

Lego Subaru WRX STI

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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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Supermarket Special Stage

Lego Technic Rally Car

The World Rally Championship has a long association with humble hatchbacks. This is probably because of the sport’s grass-roots origins, when cars really were just road-going shopping appliances, and where the tightness of the rural European roads on which the stages were held favoured the small and nimble.

These days the WRC is used primarily as an advertising tool for mass-market products. If a car can deal with a Swedish forest, it’ll probably be alright in the supermarket carpark. The current crop of works WRC cars include the Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia, Hyundai i20, Citroen C3, and Toyota Yaris, and they are becoming increasingly (and gloriously) nuts.

Lego Technic Rally Car

Previous bloggee Horcik Designs has decided to construct his very own WRC contender to join in the fun, and it’s a beautifully packaged bit of kit. A three-cylinder piston engine is mounted transversely under the hood, delivering the power to the independently-sprung wheels via a four-speed gearbox. Working steering, opening doors, hood and trunk, and a roll cage all feature too, and the body panels can be easily removed to reveal the internal construction.

A full gallery of images is available at Horcik’s Flickr photostream – click the link above to the make the jump.

Lego Technic Rally Car

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Plan B

Lego Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

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.

Lego Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

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Deadliest Delta

Lego Lancia Delta S4

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.

Lego Lancia Delta S4

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Plan B

Lego Technic Group B Rally Car

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.

Lego Technic Group B WRC Nico71

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Lancia Stratos – Picture Special

Lego Lancia Stratos

We like the Lancia Stratos very much here at TLCB. Styled by Bertone, powered by Ferrari, and winner of three back-to-back World Rally Championship titles, few cars can match the pedigree of Lancia’s incredible 1970s sports car.

Lego Technic Lancia Stratos Rally Car

The two gorgeous models shown here both come from James Tillson, and they’re amongst our very favourite creations of the year so far. Underneath the wonderfully replicated bodywork is a full mechanical Technic Supercar chassis, featuring all-wheel independent suspension, working steering, opening doors and front and rear clamshells, a transversely-mounted V6 engine, a working 4-speed gearbox and pop-up headlights. There’s also some absolutely beautiful decal-work giving the models fantastic period authenticity.

Lego Technic Lancia Stratos

There’s lots more to see of both the Alitalia and +1 Racing Stratoses at the Eurobricks discussion forum and via James’ Flickr photostream – making the trip to view the Lancias’ full gallery is recommended hugely! We’ll see you there…

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Turbeot

Lego Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

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.

Lego Technic Peugeot 205 Turbo Group B

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Plan B

Lego Technic Ford RS200

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.

Lego Ford RS200

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Ice Cool

Lego Lancia Stratos

Lancia may be a shadow of its former self reduced to making ugly Chrysler knock-offs, but there was a time when owning a Lancia was seriously cool. The legendary Stratos was one of the brand’s highlights, winning the World Rally Championship three times and remaining a rally winner until the mid 1980s, a full decade after its launch. This neat remote control Lego ice-racing version comes from Flickr’s Peter Blackert and was suggested to us by a reader – see more at the link above.

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