27 February 2023

LEGO® Speed Champions review: 76918 McLaren Solus GT & F1 LM

Posted by Thomas Jenkins

We've saved the biggest (and I think the best) set of the March LEGO® Speed Champions sets for last, as we finally take a look at 76918 McLaren Solus GT & F1 LM.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® Speed Champions 76918 McLaren Solus GT & F1 LM
US$34.99/ £39.99/ 44.99€/ AU$69.99
581 parts
1 March 2022
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New moulds 

Windscreen 4x6x1 1/3, No. 1 (3384)

  • 1x new windscreen 6x4 in Trans-Black (6438734)
We saw an alternate (and much more colourful) print of the new 6x4 windscreen in 76916 Porsche 963, but for me, this one is the perfect print. Understated and generic enough to be used in a variety of MOCs, this will surely be appearing in one of my future builds!

Plate 1x3, Rounded, No. 1 (77850) and Plate 4x4, Rounded, No.1 (77845)

  • 2x Plate Round 1 x 4 in Black (6428167)
  • 11x Plate Round 1 x 3 in Black (6428168)
If you were impressed with the appearance of the 1x3 plate in 76915 Pagani Utopia and 76916 Porsche 963, the McLaren will do you one better: how about a 1x4 round plate?

The family of round-ended plates (with holes!) has grown considerably with the addition of these two new elements. They feel like the spiritual successor of Technic plate 1 x 4 with Toothed Ends (42639) which is pictured above in Yellow. You can see the similarities, but this new 1 x 4 has open studs on each end, so a bar can be inserted all the way through.

Left Design Element 1x5x1 1/3 (3388) and Right Design Element 1x5x1 1/3 (3389)

Isn't this is a peculiar looking brick?

  • 1x Left Design Element 1 x 5 x 1 1/3 in Black (6442372 | 3388)
  • 1x Left Design Element 1 x 5 x 1 1/3 in Orange (6424677 | 3388)
  • 1x Right Design Element 1 x 5 x 1 1/3 in Black (6442373 | 3389)
  • 1x Right Design Element 1 x 5 x 1 1/3 in Orange (6424676 | 3389)

Like the slopes that appeared in the Pagani (shown in Dark Bluish Grey above), the overall slope follows the existing (and up until recently, quite lonely, without any elements with a matching gradient) 6 x 8 slope (4515). And like the Pagani wedges, these are 5 modules in length. 

However, unlike the Pagani wedges these are only a single module wide. This explains the strange shape of these elements; the tile portion of the element has been added for safety. The brick would be too sharp and pointy without it and would not meet LEGO's stringent safety guidelines. Although necessary, it potentially could be a hindrance for MOC builders.

And as it is a single module wide, the angle of the base is also different compared to the Pagani slopes.

 If you compare these two types of slopes, you’ll see that the top view is different. If you look from the top down, this slope is one module wide, so the outer side of the slope starts at one module and ends at the inside of the module. This one actually starts at the outside and ends of the inside of two modules. So, it gives you a different angle and a different shape. 

 However, if you were to put these two next to each other, they align. So they are following the same top slope, the same length, all of those things, so we can use them in a hybrid fashion.

 -  LEGO® Speed Champions creative lead, Christopher Leslie Stamp 

Chassis 6x12x1 1/3 No. 1, design ID 3385

  • 1x Car Base 6 x 12 with 5 x 6 Recessed Centre and Studs on Sides in Black (6424673 | 3385) 
Here's another chance to pick up one of these new elements. This chassis also appeared in 76914 Ferrari 813 Competizione and 76915 Pagani Utopia. 

Mudguard 2x4x2 No. 2, design ID 3387

  • 4x New 2x4 mudguard in White (6438923 | 3387)

The Black wheel arches are exclusive to the McLaren duo, however. You’ll find both White and Black ones in 76916 Porsche 963, Dark Bluish Grey ones in 76915 Pagani Utopia, and Red ones appearing in the 76914 Ferrari 812 Competizione.

For more insight on the chassis and wheel arch, check out my Ferrari 812 Competizione review.

Plate 1x1x2/3, w/ 1 Knob, Rounded (3386)

We've already seen these new elements appear in 76914, 76915, and 76916.

  • 8x Plate 1 x 1 x 2/3 Half Round with Side Stud in Black (6424674)
Like the Porsche 963 (which contained 9 of these parts), this set is a great baby D-SNOT army builder!


76918 McLaren Solus & GT LM isn't just a great set for new moulds, we get a plethora of recoloured elements too! There are 11 in total:

  • 2x Brick Round 1 x 1 x 1 1/3 Quarter Dome in White (6442360 | 1871) 
  • 2x Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 2 in White (6442358 | 79389) 
It's a great selection: brackets are always handy but White is a particularly useful colour to receive. This is the first recolour for the quarter dome, which first appeared in Light Bluish Grey and printed in 76911 007 Aston Martin DB5. Kev reviewed that set for New E. last year.

  • 2x Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 2 in Orange (6442363 | 79389) 
  • 4x Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 2 Inverted in Orange (6442362 | 73825) 
  • 2x Equipment Oar / Paddle End in Orange (6420226 | 31990) 
  • 6x Plate 1 x 1 x 2/3 with Hole in Stud in Orange (6442359 | 86996) 
  • 2x Plate Special 1 x 2 with Pin Hole in Orange (6442367 | 18677) 
The paddle head seems to be in vogue these days, appearing in more and more sets. 

  • 6x Plate Round 1 x 2 Half Circle with Stud (Jumper) in Black (6438919 | 1745)
  • 1x Slope Double 45° 1 x 1 in Black (6439560 | 35464) 
  • 1x Technic Rotor Blade Small with Axle and Pin Connector End in Black (6442361 | 99012) 
  • 2x Tile 1 x 4 with Groove in Trans-Black (6442370 | 2431) 
Some very useful bricks in Black, which is such a good match for that propeller element.

New decorations

  • 1x Windscreen 6 x 6 x 1 1/3 with print in Trans-Black (6438729 | 65633prx) 
The most obvious decorated element is the obligatory printed windscreen. It's a specialized print with McLaren markings, but that's not a big deal; it appeared unprinted last year in 76956 T-Rex Breakout, which Eero reviewed for New E. recently.

There are also 4 more discrete printed elements:

  • 2x Plate 1 x 4 with print in Orange (6438730 | 6710prx) 
  • 1x Plate 1 x 8 with print in Orange (6438731 | 3460prx) 
  • 1x New Print Wedge Plate 3 x 2 Left with print in Black (6438737 | 43723prx)
  • 1x Wedge Plate 3 x 2 Right with print in Black (6438738 | 43722prx) 
The 1x8 plate has a print with some vents which will be placed on the back of the F1 LM. The 1x4 has an upside down McLaren logo which hints at some fantastic techniques in this set, and the printing on those Black wedge plates will be headlights for the Solus. 

New printed minifigure parts 

  • 1x New Torso with McLaren hoodie print in White (6440844 | 973cxx) 
  • 1x New Torso with McLaren jumpsuit print in White (6440840 | 973cxx)
  • 1x New Legs McLaren jumpsuit print in White (6438736 | 970cxx)
76918 McLaren Solus GT & F1 LM contains two exclusive minifigures with new decorations; a hoodie printed with the McLaren logo and a McLaren jumpsuit, both of which seem gender neutral so they can be mixed and matched between the two figures.


76918 McLaren Solus GT & F1 LM contians 2 sticker sheets, but don't fret! They are quite small:

Above is the sticker sheet for the Solus GT, which contains just 7 stickers. As you can see, these are applied over Black elements, and although large-ish to cover the surface of the elements, they contain very small details. 

And here is the F1 LM sticker sheet. It's contains more decals than the Solus, 3 times as many in fact, at 21. However, like the Solus, these are only used to represent small details.

I chose not to apply the stickers for my review. While the stickers do enhance the models overall, I think you can still appreciate the models without them. It's a testament to the skill of the designers when the sets don't depend on stickers to look great.

Rare elements

Are you impressed with the parts selection yet? There's still more: we also get a rather generous helping of rare elements.

The following appear in just one other set:

  • 2x Panel 2 x 2 1 Corner in Black (6344005 | 91501)
  • 2x Weapon Pike / Spear Tip in Trans-Red (62551187 | 27257) 
  • 1x Bracket 1 x 2- 2 x 4 in Orange (4650974 | 93274)

These appear in two other sets:

  • 2x Wheel Arch, Mudguard 4 x 2 1/2 x 2 1/3 in Orange (6102590 | 18974)
  • 2x Panel 1 x 2 3 [Side Supports / Hollow Studs} in Orange (6129594 | 87544)

In 3 other sets:
  • 2x Plate 2 x 2 Round Corner with 1 x 1 Cutout in Red (6384910 | 79491)
  • 2x Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 1 in Dark Bluish Grey (6413106 | 36841)
  • 2x Wheel Arch, Mudguard 4 x 2 1/2 x 1 in Orange (4653731 | 98282)
And finally, these are the parts that appear in 4 other sets:

  • 2x Wedge Plate 4 x 2 Left in Orange (4169351 | 41770)
  • 2x Wedge Plate 4 x 2 Right in Orange (4169350 | 41769)
  • 1x Game Controller [Plain] in Black (6275175 | 53118)

Building the McLaren Solus GT

The build starts by constructing a chassis from bricks rather than relying on the new specialized element: that brick will be used in the F1 LM later. There's some stacking of plates and bricks but there's also a lot of interconnecting parts to create a solid structure and a few clips, bars, and SNOT elements laid down which will be used later in the build to create some interesting angles and shapes in the car's bodywork.

To give a taste of the power of the new baby D SNOT: they are used in a great technique to attach these small sub-assemblies on to the side of the vehicle. They are hidden away just behind the wheel arch.

Turning our attention to the back of the vehicle, there's an intricate sub-assembly created with panel elements to create the details in the back. 

My favourite part of the build was seeing how the propellor element (newly recoloured in Black) was integrated into the back of the cockpit. The new round plate elements shine here creating a strong sub-unit (thanks to their hollow studs) which can then be attached at an angle in the car thanks to their rounded ends- the perfect piece for the job! The tail lights are also included in this sub-build. We've seen that Trans-Red spear tip trick before, way back in 2019 in 75892 McLaren Senna. 

They will later be joined by our new wedge elements and this whole area is finished beautifully: look how smooth it ends up being.

The finishing touches to the bodywork are some more small sub-assemblies that attach to some of the bars that were placed way back at the start of the build.

The last few details that finish the car are the bonnet and driving controls: something unique to this car is the game controller like steering system in lieu of an actual steering wheel. Even with the exposed studs this car ends up remarkably smooth and pretty seamless, apart from the intended gaps in the bodywork. 

All these interesting building tricks culminate in a really impressive finished model. The unique bodywork of the Solus GT has so many interesting angles and I must give kudos to the designers for recreating the colour scheme solely in bricks: I always love brick built solutions instead of stickers.

The car really benefits from the new windscreen and wedge elements which come together to create a sleek and aerodynamic looking vehicle, which wouldn't quite have been possible without them. I'm sure the new wedges will be appearing frequently in future LEGO Speed Champions sets but I'm very intrigued to see where else those they will turn up, as they seem like super-specialized elements.

Building the McLaren F1 LM

This entire car consists almost entirely of mind-blowing techniques. There's hardly any conventional plate stacking and it seems that less than half the studs in this build end up facing upwards. At this point I could count studs facing in 6 different directions and we aren't far into the build at all. Needless to say, when I was done building, I was left slightly discombobulated.

On the finished build, there are a pair of Orange Technic pins visible on each side of the car. They are the existing Long Pin with Stop Bush (65304) that have buried deep in the structure of the car. It's a pretty clever way to avoid recolouring an element. The reason for putting those Dark Bluish Grey ball joints down early on in the build is revealed later and it put a big smile on my face...

After a few more of the instructions, we find those ball joints are used to attach the back window, which marries perfectly with our new Orange wedges. I love how super smooth this ends up, you can see the result in the image below. 

The 'doors' of the car are built via SNOT and there's a clever way to lock the Orange panels in place using clips. The finished cockpit is very roomy for just one seat.

The SNOT construction continues on either side of the vehicle and we construct one of the features of the build that turned heads on this set's announcement: those newly recoloured Orange paddles to represent the detail here. It's a clever solution to this unique design element of the vehicle. The Orange Technic pins installed earlier allow the sides of the doors to be gently angled from back to front.

There are lots of interesting techniques at play that create the bonnet of the car. A sub-assembly inserted between the wheels sets up the angle for the brick-built bonnet to be attached. One of my favorite LEGO Speed Champions sets is 76908 Lambourghini Countach which takes a similar approach to building the car's front. Also, check out the clever use of the 1x2 plate with vertical bar (4623) to keep the correct spacing of the attachment with the bumper.

With the windscreen, wheels, and spoiler attached, the car is complete. 

What a build, and what a model! Putting this car together was unlike any of the other builds in this wave of March sets. Front to back, there are so many clever building tricks, and they are apparent in the finished build, providing plenty to admire. Even without stickers, I think this looks great.

In our interview with creative lead Christopher Leslie Stamp, he likened designing these cars to "3D Tetris", and you can see what he means as the build progresses. Like the Solus GT, the first bag has the builder laying down elements to set up some very clever and innovative techniques later in the build, all with very satisfying pay-offs. 

Closing thoughts

I feel as though I've been a bit hyperbolic during this review, but I've had such a great experience building this set. And I don't even like cars! 

I liken the building experience to a reading a murder mystery: there are little hints sprinkled early in the build which have you anticipating where they'll lead, lots of twists in the form of some surprising and subversive parts usage, and a very satisfying conclusion in the form of two beautiful models.

Put simply, this is LEGO Speed Champions at its best. Set 76918 McLaren Solus & GT LM offers two great builds with stunning finished models. Not only that, it's also an excellent parts pack, offering so many new moulds, recolours, and rare elements.

©2023 The LEGO Group

I've mentioned a few times during this review that I opted not to use stickers, so here is an official image of the product with stickers applied, representing the finished models as the designers intended.
Editor: Chris Baginski

READ MORE: LEGO® Speed Champions review: 76914 Ferrari 812 Competizione

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  1. Slight confusion about the mudguard mapping in the sentence: "the White versions are also available in 76916 Porsche 935. You’ll find both Red and Black ones in 76916 Porsche 963"

    76916 Porsche 963 comes with white and black mudguard parts, no red (its also not a 935, although that car would be a fantastic SC model). Red mudguards are in the 76914 Ferrari 812...

    1. Sorry about that confusing mistake. It seems the number of new parts in this set were too may to keep track of! It's fixed, thanks for pointing it out.

  2. 1x Windscreen 6 x 6 x 1 1/3 with print in Trans-Black (6438729 | 65633prx)
    The most obvious decorated element is the obligatory printed windscreen. It's a specialized print with McLaren markings, but that's not a big deal; it appeared unprinted last year in 76956 T-Rex Breakout

    Well, kind of a big deal given these unprinted windscreens have fallen back into relative scarcity; they were only available for a short time on Pick-a-Brick (all of mine arrived scratched, natch) and appear to be only available in any kind of numbers from a few European-based sellers on Bricklink... Pointing this out in primarily in hopes that TLG re-stocks pick-a-brick (and maybe ships them so they don't get damaged, please)

    1. Soon after the launch of the new Pick-a-Brick service (and long before the T-Rex Breakout set came out) I was able to purchase several dozen (scratch free!) unprinted 65633 windscreens by calling TLG. It seems many Bricklink sellers never caught on though...

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  5. Thanks for all of these reviews. I always look forward to the new SC favorite current theme by far!

    1. Thanks so much for commenting Jimmy!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.