04 January 2019

2019 LEGO® Speed Champions Part 1: the sets

Posted by Admin
New year, new LEGO® sets and we also welcome a new contributor, Ben Davies (ProfessorBrickkeeper) who over the course of two posts will take a look at 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione, 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car, 75892 McLaren Senna, 75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, and 75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy. As is often the case at New Elementary, Ben chose not to apply the stickers. If you want to see how the cars look stickered, check out the reviews at your other favourite LEGO fan sites!

Since the theme’s introduction in 2015, LEGO® Speed Champions has continually offered a wide variety of licensed vehicles to autophiles and LEGO fans alike, ranging from consumer vehicles to racing cars.

The 2019 Speed Champions arrangement expands on this by offering cars from several different brands, including Ferrari, Chevrolet, McLaren, and, for the first time, Dodge and MINI.

75890: Ferrari F40 Competizione

The Ferrari F40 Competizione is one of the quintessential sports cars, and has been portrayed in two previous LEGO sets (Racers 30192 F40 in 2012 and the Creator Expert 10248 Ferrari F40 in 2015, respectively). Despite these previous versions, 2019’s 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione marks the first time the car has been portrayed at minifigure scale, so I was curious to see how well the designer replicated the details of the iconic sports car.

After initial photos were released, the set received some flack for the rather “chunky” front bumper and the prevalence of visible studs. After building the physical set, I am happy to report that the set looks much better in person than in official photos. The sleek look of the original car has been well-captured by the designer, who used a clever mix of Erling bricks and SNOT brackets to attach detailing to the side. The set is completed by a removable front hood, rear spoilers, and exhaust pipes.

75891: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car

75891 marks the second appearance of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car, which previously appeared in 2016’s 75874 Chevrolet Camaro Drag Race. The new car, however, is a significant upgrade over the previous model, which relied too heavily on angular bricks to capture the complex curves of the actual car. The 2019 model remedies this by modeling the front of the car out of bow elements, attached with SNOT bricks, and using macaroni tiles to blend the front-end with the body of the car.

In a clever work of engineering, the designer managed to fit both a rear window and a roll cage into the car. This is achieved by mounting the panel and slopes which make up the back of the car to a hinge brick, which is then rested on a tile with handle, so that it sits at an angle where it does not clip the bars making up the roll cage.

A brick-built fuel tank is also included with the vehicle, though that is notable only for its clever use of a harpoon as a fuel nozzle.

75892 McLaren Senna

Based on early set images, I had high expectations for the McLaren Senna. After building the set, I am happy to say that I was not disappointed. With a striking gray and orange color scheme, the car stands out among the rest of the Speed Champions. The curves of the original vehicle are well replicated through the use of baby wedge bows.

The set also includes its fair share of interesting parts usage and building techniques. Originating in Nexo Knights, Weapon Axe Head with Bar (Element ID 6128870 | Design ID 22407) are used to represent the front headlights of the vehicle, and spear tips, for the first time appearing in Transparent Red, are used for the brake lights. In order to create the glass door panels of the cockpit, a Windscreen 4 x 4 x 1 (Design ID 6238) is inserted upside-down and locked into place with other bricks.

In addition to the car, a wind tunnel fan is included, with a play feature allowing you to rotate the blade by spinning a gear mounted behind it.

75893 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T

The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the first of two cars featured in 75893. While the final model may look rather unassuming at first glance, it features an impressive amount of detail, including a back windshield, tailpipes, and taillights. I particularly appreciate the creation of the hood vent, using a Vehicle Spoiler 2 x 4 with Handle (98834) embedded in the front of the vehicle. My only real criticism of the model relates to the front, where the transition between the 1 x 6 plate used for the grille and the part assembly used for the upper bumper is quite harsh, and the latter feels like it should have been recessed by one plate.

Complementing the drag-racing theme of the set, a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T is included as the second vehicle. Popularized by The Fast and the Furious films, the Charger R/T falls nicely into the category of classic cars with cult status that very easily could have gone overlooked in future sets. The construction of the vehicle is rather straightforward, save for some nice use of brackets to form the perimeter of the car’s front grille, and the use of two Bar Holder with Clip (11090) which serve as tailpipes. For those interested in modification, it is possible to swap out the engine sticking out of the car for a section of plain hood.

Like previous mid-tier Speed Champions sets, 75893 includes some scenery in the form of a drag racing “Christmas tree.” The tree in the set is built around a play feature which lets you place the lights in a downwards position, then use a Technic slider mechanism in the back to simultaneously toggle the countdown lights.

75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy

The 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally stands out as one of the most interesting Speed Champions vehicles to-date, being both the smallest and oldest vehicle yet depicted in the line.

To capture the diminutive size of the 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally, the body of the car is just five studs wide, rather than the standard six of most Speed Champions vehicles, and is constructed primarily out of SNOT brackets and headlight bricks. The car features several interesting examples of clever parts usage, including black meat cleavers used to represent the front mudguards, and rubber bands used to attach tires onto the roof rack – a connection technique which is common among AFOLs, but rarely seen in official sets.

On the other end of the the size spectrum, the 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy is one of the largest vehicles to appear in the Speed Champions line, second only to the Scuderia Ferrari Truck (75913) from 2015.

While the model looks nicer in real life than the box art would suggest, it still comes as a bit of a disappointment, especially following construction of the superb Mini Cooper. Compared to images of the actual vehicle the set is based on, the shaping of the vehicle seems rather off, particularly in the front, where the headlights and grille are sunken into the vehicle, and the wheel wells are much less prominent. While the final model still looks alright, and is a decent representation of the original car, especially considering the parts the designer was working with, a disservice is done by placing it with the Mini Cooper, which is arguably one of the best looking vehicles in the Speed Champions line. To the credit of the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, it does feature a working suspension system – a feature not previously seen in any Speed Champions set.

To round out the set, a garage is included for servicing the vehicles.

The garage includes sections for servicing the 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, though the lift only accommodates the Buggy. A creeper is also included, which allows for a minifigure to lay beneath the buggy.

Continue to Part 2 to take a close look at all of the new elements introduced in this latest wave of Speed Champions sets.

READ MORE: Continue to Part 2

All five sets are available now including from Amazon.co.uk:

  • 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione £12.99 / US$14.99 / 14.99€
  • 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car £12.99 / US$14.99 / 14.99€
  • 75892 McLaren Senna £12.99 / US$14.99 / 14.99€
  • 75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T £34.99 / US$29.99 / 39.99€
  • 75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy £44.99 / US$49.99 / 49.99€

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  1. I really wish the '67 Mini was a stand alone set. It looks so good, but the rest of the set and the $50 price are going to stop me from getting it.

    1. We've just published part 2, which includes all element IDs of all new parts used in that set... so once they become available from BrickLink or Replacement Parts you could just buy those.

  2. I might have to get that Senna. It just looks SO GOOD!
    I usually don't apply stickers either; cheers to purism.

    1. They certainly change Speed Champions sets a lot. I like how they look with the stickers but hate 'spoiling' the parts!

  3. I believe the Ford Raptor also had a similar suspension system.

  4. Mini is said here to be the oldest vehicle yet in SC line, but I believe last year's Ferrari Ultimate Garage included an even older GT 250.

  5. I want more will there be a second wave