Hear us out: LEGO 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3 is the perfect introduction to Technic

Believe it or not, you really can’t ask for a better introduction to LEGO Technic than this summer’s sublime supercar, 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3.

Okay, downsides out of the way first: or, rather, one big £390-shaped downside. There’s no getting away from the fact that 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3, originally released in June, is an expensive bit of kit – proportional to a Speed Champions set as a real-life Ferrari is to the car sitting on your driveway. Finding it discounted through retailers like Zavvi – who were kind enough to provide a copy for us to take for a spin, and currently have it marked down by £90 – definitely takes some of the sting out of it, though.

And if you can get past that particular barrier, 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3 genuinely is a great gateway into the wider world of Technic, and all that the LEGO Group’s most complex building system entails.

Let’s say you – or a friend or loved one – have only ever dabbled in standard LEGO System sets, perhaps from the Icons (formerly Creator Expert) range, and are keen to see what the Technic hype is all about. You could jump in with something like 42137 Formula E Porsche 99x Electric or 42138 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, both sets that offer a taste of the system of beams, pins and axles for a relatively modest price point. But a taste arguably isn’t good enough: what you need is a full meal.

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How will you know whether you truly like Technic from a fleeting experience that’s over in less than an hour? Odds are you won’t, and you’ll still need to work your way up to something bigger and better. By the time you get to 42115 Lamborghini Sián FKP 37, or 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3, those smaller cars will pale by comparison, and you might end up regretting having bothered with them at all. Or maybe not! But it’s absolutely worth considering when weighing up your approach to Technic.

That’s a consideration that should really also factor in just how good 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3 is, because it is really very good. At 3,778 pieces, it might feel like a daunting prospect for Technic newbies – but like all Technic sets, the instructions are designed and paced so as to accommodate all skill levels, from absolute beginners all the way through to experienced gearheads. If you have the patience to follow them, you won’t have any serious issues putting together the Ferrari, even when things get particularly complex (at least following the LEGO Group’s rectification of two initial errors).

And if you do? Well, hey, that’s just part of the Technic experience. There’s a level of concentration required for sets like 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3 that isn’t matched across many (if any) traditional System sets, where a mistake during the building process can usually be quickly and easily rectified. The same often can’t be said of Technic sets, though the Ferrari actually even mitigates this issue – to an extent – by building sections of its internal chassis in chunks, which are relatively simple to detach if you’ve missed out a single cog somewhere deep in the mix.

Throughout those 824 pages and 1,267 instruction steps, you’ll quickly become au fait with assembling the altogether different parts library that Technic is built on. Some of these are pieces you’ll likely have encountered within larger System sets built on Technic frames, or with internal Technic mechanisms, like 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer, 75308 R2-D2 or 71411 The Mighty Bowser. But full Technic sets are still a completely different ballgame, exemplified through 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3.

On the other hand, the lean, mean red racing machine is also not what you’d call the most functional of Technic sets, as the subtheme of 1:8 supercars frequently prioritises accurate aesthetics over complicated internal systems. The Ferrari specifically incorporates an eight-speed gearbox, working steering and suspension, along with butterfly doors that open just like the real thing.

These functions successfully tread the surface of complexity without being overwhelming for the novice to put together, even if they do still demand your complete focus and attention at times. That’s the real beauty of Technic, though, so by the time you come out of the other side you’ll know exactly whether this kind of set is for you or not. And if it isn’t? Well, that’s 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3’s other major strength: it barely even looks like a Technic set.

This is arguably the most well-replicated LEGO Technic supercar to date, closing the gaps seen across the likes of 42083 Bugatti Chiron and 42115 Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 to create a model that will sit very nicely next to the rest of your collection – even if it ends up being the only Technic set in a sea of System builds. It’s the perfect blend of superb aesthetics, achieved through intelligent design, and involved building techniques, offering a substantial Technic experience for fans new and old.

You’d expect nothing less for the price tag, of course, and that’s again the major sticking point with 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3: it’s an expensive experiment given you might end up not liking Technic by the end of it. But there are far more aesthetically-challenged sets to be left with for display, especially within the realm of Technic, so it wouldn’t exactly be the worst first-world problem to have.

It’s a prospect also made much sweeter by Zavvi, which currently has 42143 Ferrari Daytona SP3 marked down to just £299.99 in the UK. That’s a whopping £90 off its retail price, so head over and grab yours while the going’s good. You never know: you might just unlock a newfound love for Technic. Which is probably then going to get pretty expensive for you in the long run. Sorry not sorry.

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Author Profile

Chris Wharfe
I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then.

Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then.

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