11 April 2023

LEGO® Technic reviews: 42153, 42154 & 42155

Posted by Zachary Hill

Released in March, the latest LEGO® Technic wave touts American motorsports heritage and a whole lotta black that covers a bike fit for a vigilante. Read on for a detailed look at the builds and features of two blistering fast US-made cars and one sleek movie motorcycle.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.

Muscle and a Motorbike

Last month New Elementary pored over the best pieces included in the Q2 2023 Technic wave which mainly consisted of a slew of Dark Blue recolours to build 42154 2022 Ford GT. This time around we'll look past individual parts and see how they work together in the 42153 NASCAR® Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Ford GT, 42155 THE BATMAN - BATCYCLE™.

42153 NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

US$49.99/ £44.99/ 49.99€/ AU$79.99
672 parts
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This red white and blue celebration of NASCAR's 75th birthday is the latest in the Technic 1:18-scale cars, those which fit nicely on 42098 Car Transporter. This line is solid in playability, but the relatively simple builds lack enough shape detail to accurately represent their source cars. Thankfully the real-life NASCAR Next Gen stock car is also a brick.

With the body stripped away, the functions are laid bare. Some smart routing passes the hand-of-god steering input from the back of the car to the front wheels on the same plane as the engine-differential connection. The Green 20-tooth clutch gear (81346) allows the drivelines to intersect but not interfere thanks to its central pin hole.

General Motors has confirmed 2024 will be the last year for the Camaro as we know it. The manufacturer will continue to support NASCAR teams running Chevrolets despite absent roadgoing models, but these racecars are hardly anything like their street-legal brethren anyway. The formula for GM's pony car is rumoured to be totally upended and revived as an electric sedan (gasp!) in coming years, but the powerplant of this Technic set stays faithful to the half-decade-old recipe.

A compact engine fills the coupé's engine bay with eight little ¾ pins (32002) acting as pistons actuated by a Technic cam crankshaft. Each set of two Technic cams (6575) paired up 180° out from each other changes the profile from teardrop-shaped to elliptical, making for decently accurate oscillation of the "pistons".

They're making another left turn! Since steering isn't controlled by the steering wheel, it's locked in the direction NASCAR races go: left.

While I don't find the build particularly exciting, there is something I really like: this prismatic metallic sticker sheet. Sadly much of the dazzling surface is printed over and the white is a poor match for the car's white panels, but those sparkly numbers sure look good. Rainbow reflective sheets like this are occasionally seen in other LEGO sets; a personal favourite is the solar panel sticker from the 1999 Space Port theme. An iridescent sticker sheet is a first for the Technic line though, and it's very welcome to stay.

While these stickers are eye-catching, this set doesn't otherwise significantly update the 1:18-scale Technic car formula and its source material is a very basic, almost stock car. Despite going 'round and 'round, the build is straightforward. Technic beginners who relish the roar of American V8s would enjoy 42153 NASCAR Next Gen Camaro.

42154 2022 Ford GT

US$119.99/ £104.99/ 119.99€/ AU$199.99
1466 parts
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A much shapelier car at a much larger 1:12 scale makes the most expensive and detailed set of this wave. The racing-striped Dark Blue GT is finished in classic Ford colours, a palette I'm fond of.

The dramatic teardrop body of this modern supercar is perfectly captured by Milan Reindl's build. Two parallelogram panels (80267, 80268) form the "flying buttresses" above and inboard of each rear wheel in my favourite usage of the shapes yet. Those panels were introduced last year and New Elementary examined their geometry in our review of 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3. Funny name aside, flying buttresses on the real car rigidify the unconventional body much like the gothic support from which they get their name.

The most significant new moulds in this wave are the Technic Panel Round Corners 5 x 3 x 2 (2438, 2442). Here, printed Trans-Clear versions represent the headlights of the half-million-dollar supercar. They're a bit rounder than the real car's mostly flat lenses, but this solution is less complicated than the implementation of the headlights on 42125 Ferrari 488 GTE.

The one new mechanical mould this set brings is a pair of Technic Axle 5L with 2 CV Joints (2405), visible through the LBG rear suspension arms. Using these instead of standard axles combined with the slip-on CV joint (53673) saves space and allows full suspension travel. Perhaps more importantly, a bundle with this double-ended CV axle in the middle is less likely to disintegrate during assembly.

Apart from mechanical features you'd expect on a Technic car this size — steering, suspension, opening hood and engine cover, and moving pistons — an active spoiler can be raised and lowered using a lever in the centre of the cockpit...

...which is accessed through butterfly doors. The new fenders further complicate the lineup of Technic mudguards, but they do perfectly recreate the hips of the Ford GT.

On the greasy side of the car, a long red axle connects the cockpit lever to the up-and-down mechanism of the spoiler, hidden by the rear bumper. No transmission means the engine is connected directly to the rear axle.

Before closing the lid on this set, I have to express my appreciation for the Trans-Clear engine cylinders. Yep, they're certainly less realistic than opaque grey, but I love exposed Technic functions. Trans-Clear cylinders were as common as grey in the late 90s and early 2000s, back when framework mechanical models with functions fully visible were the norm for Technic. As the Technic family of parts evolved to include more panels and enable more realistic builds, the functions, the very core of Technic excitement, were relegated to obscuration. Nearly two decades have separated me from delighting in the dance of pistons in transparent tubes as Trans-Clear cylinders have only returned to three sets since 2021.

Motoring fans looking for a complex build and a handsome finished model will appreciate 42154 2022 Ford GT.


US$49.99/ £49.99/ 54.99€/ AU$89.99
641 parts
Affiliate links: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

The last set of this wave is The Batcycle from 2022's The Batman. This slick all-black café racer is a bike I'd gladly ride in real life, but the source material fails to firmly convey "Batman" to me. Sure, the Rob Pattinson version is meant to be more grounded in reality than other Batmen, but without prior knowledge of Battinson's rides you'd be forgiven for assuming this is just a really cool bike.

In fact, the only design cue separating this from a worldly moto is the inclusion of six tailpipes collected from eight exhaust tubes, a mismatch to the four cylinders included in this build. The movie never mentions how many cylinders this bike is supposed to have.

The horizontally opposed cylinders don't sport the same clarity seen in the Ford GT's engine or Battinson's other set of wheels, 42127 THE BATMAN - BATMOBILE™, two of the three modern sets using clear cylinders. Removing this engine's valve covers are encouraged to see the pistons pump, and the cylinder heads precisely line up grille tiles (2412b) with the cylinders' fins. Some of that excess exhaust tubing comes off easily too, revealing each side's second piston. A flat engine isn't seen frequently in Technic sets, so the engine build is a little treat in itself.

Between the return of the chonky 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy tire (46335), fully working suspension recoloured in black, and a solid assortment of panels, 42155 Batcycle is an excellent Black Technic parts pack. One downside is its movie licensing upcharge. Despite the Batbike's higher average price than the NASCAR Chevy, it has a smidge fewer parts and no glimmering sticker sheet. Wouldn't quite be Batman's style with the sparkles though, would it?

Retuned instruction booklet covers

As with other LEGO themes, Technic sets receive white instruction booklet covers this year, even the Blackcycle — err, Batcycle. The one 18+ set, 42154 Ford GT, gets a slightly different treatment with a greebled black corner and floor reflection, while other sets sit in front of a light grey stripe sandwiched by faint Technic element outlines on white. The LEGO Group have explained this whitening of instruction covers is to prevent ink from transferring during shipping onto paper parts bags, due to arrive by the end of 2025.


With several intriguing new parts and solid builds for various skill levels, this Technic wave offers a nice variety of models — provided you're into wheeled things that go fast. Perhaps I'm biased with all the love this wave shows for American cars and movies, but the value is largely there too, at least relative to other 2023 LEGO sets. If you're purchasing any of these mechanical models, please consider using the affiliate link to help New Elementary continue publishing articles like this.

READ MORE: LEGO® Disney™ review: 43212 Celebration Train

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  1. "Thankfully the real-life NASCAR Next Gen stock car is also a brick." How dare you be so insulting! bricks.

    1. Ha! Apparently one of the "Next Gen" design changes was to make it look more like the roadgoing versions of the Camaro, Mustang, and Camry. I can't say the purpose-built racecars hit that mark; the boxy NASCAR design is immutable!

  2. Cold beans are not hot. Do not believe otherwise.

  3. So Lego Technic is going after a niche market, black boxes, combustion engines everywhere, not a renewable energy source model in sight, and that’s only the models. You need to be a “petrol head” (what’s the US equivalent?) and into nostalgia, possibly turning your back on the future.
    What about learning engineering skills from using Technic pieces? These experiences will continue to be accessed by those described above and a complete turn off to everyone else. Government STEM policies, encouraging girls to take up engineering? Not a chance! I’m just wondering how deliberate this is, is Lego Group blind to our problem- solving needs? Smacks of misogyny/ boys club exclusion to me. Some one tell me I’m wrong but show me the evidence

    1. The gender divide is certainly a historical issue TLG have a lot of awareness of, so I think it is great you are calling this out. Going after a niche market? Definitely - you can see this across all the product lines with 18+ sets, not every set is for everyone. Of course there are also girls who are petrol heads into nostalgia who are turning their back on the future! But your point is, I think, where is the balance in TLG's product range, and what happened to learning stuff? Especially now that Mindstorms is no more. I fear the answers are all driven by perceived market desires rather than TLG having a desire to *change* the market, like they did with Friends.

    2. It's probably a number of factors, though I imagine that at least part of the fossil fuel vs. electric preference comes down to the fact that with a combustion engine you can stuff a set full of moving pistons and functioning drive trains and gearboxes, where an electric vehicle wouldn't have as much to show, mechanically speaking. And if you're making a giant TECHNIC set (and not specifically making it a power functions/powered up/whatever they call it these days set) that leaves you with a lot of potential left on the table in a system where mechanical functions are the lifeblood.

  4. I am so sorry these models look like they have been in a hurricane, they are not a nice model to adore. What’s really going on. Have to pass up on these 3 models .