Wheeled toys have been a feature of LEGO since the company’s earliest days. As the LEGO brick rolled out around the world cars soon followed, although they tended to stick to generic car designs. Licensed cars did pop up, but they were a rarity… at least until Speed Champions came along.
LEGO Speed Champions sets kicked LEGO cars into high gear, offering a diverse selection of licensed car designs with a greater emphasis on realism than typical brick-built automobiles. The range has only gone from strength to strength since its arrival, with ever-more accurate vehicles and an expanding selection of car makes.
LEGO Speed Champions history
The first Speed Champions sets were released in 2015, following in the (faltering) footsteps of themes like LEGO Racers. This theme debuted in the early ‘00s, and offered dozens of different racing vehicles. By the time it drove off into the sunset, almost 250 sets had been released under the Racers banner.
While most of these sets were the LEGO Group’s own designs, the odd licensed set popped up in this period. 8461 Williams F1 Team Racer is one of the more ambitious examples, although 8375 Ferrari F1 Pit Set features a brick-built design and a minifigure pit crew.
Interestingly, even licensed Racers sets came with yellow minifigures rather than flesh-toned ones. Realistic flesh tones were starting to crop up in this era of LEGO history, thanks to themes like Star Wars. The focus on yellow faces suggested a desire to keep one foot firmly in a core LEGO universe.
Speed Champions’ sets preserved the yellow faces, but every other aspect of its early products was much more realistic than your average LEGO model. New windshield pieces were introduced to ensure accurate shaping, and sets relied on numerous stickers and wheel trims to achieve the necessary fine detail. In addition to realistic car shapes, a number of real-world brands were acknowledged in car liveries. No Octan or Vita Rush for this theme.
While many early Speed Champions sets were ready for the highway, others had a clear focus on Formula 1 tracks. 75911 McLaren Mercedes Pit Stop includes a McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 race car, as well as a garage, pit crew and launching feature. Later models such as 75874 Chevrolet Camaro Drag Race included a start line, allowing you to stage fast-paced races more easily.
That formula remained largely consistent until 2020, when the LEGO Group completely overhauled the underlying design principles of the theme, taking its cars from six studs to eight studs wide. This radical shift was first seen in sets like 76895 Ferrari F8 Tributo, which boasts more accurate proportions and can seat a drive and passenger side-by-side.
LEGO Speed Champions Ferrari
Italian car maker Ferrari has had a surprisingly long history with the LEGO Group. The first LEGO Ferrari appeared in 1998 as a promotional item, with DUPLO versions popping up in 2004. They’ve also proved a fixture of the Racers theme, earning a whopping 27 different products over the theme’s lifespan.
Speed Champions continues this tradition with various Ferrari products. They’ve appeared in the range from the start, with models like 75899 LaFerrari and 458 Italia GT2 offering standalone Ferraris for petrolheads to build.
The Ferrari branding has also appeared in more ambitious LEGO releases. 75913 F14 T & Scuderia Ferrari Truck offers a larger vehicle to transport an F14 T race car, along with a pit crew, plenty of tools, and even interchangeable noses for additional accuracy.
For fans wanting to recreate a larger racing environment, 2018’s 75889 Ferrari Ultimate Garage was a natural choice. In addition to a chunk of race track infrastructure, the set features a garage area with tools, a petrol pump and a set of retro posters. Naturally, there are also a few cars included: a Ferrari 312 T4, Ferrari 488 GTE and Ferrari 250 GTO.
The LEGO Group’s Ferrari sets would continue to go in interesting directions. 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione recreates the Ferrari F40, built to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary. The car was warmly received during its lifespan, and a larger-scale model (10248 Ferrari F40) was also produced by the LEGO Group in 2015. In addition to numerous wheel trims, this car could be built as either the standard model or the more powerful Competizione version.
76895 Ferrari F8 Tributo introduced both the new eight-stud-wide car design and new wheel and canopy pieces. Its driver sports a Ferrari-branded torso piece, while 1×1 plates – printed with the Ferrari logo – ensure greater accuracy.
2022 has seen a new LEGO Ferrari grace the Speed Champions line. 76906 1970 Ferrari 512 M recreates an endurance race car of the 1970s, which made various improvements on similar models preceding it. The original model had a top speed of 310km/h, with the LEGO version capturing its distinctive shape and bold colour scheme.
Interesting design features of the model include transparent tiles with red printing (used to better capture the headlight shape) and silver exhausts formed with candle elements. Transparent accessory grips are also used on the rear spoilers, allowing greater accuracy to the source material.
Despite innovations in the broader theme, the cockpit of the car can only accommodate a single minifigure. There is also limited clearance between the canopy and the minifigure head, limiting the headgear which can be worn. Still, this is an interesting addition to the Speed Champions theme.
LEGO Speed Champions Porsche
Unlike Ferrari, Speed Champions marked the first appearance of a Porsche in LEGO form. To date, the German car manufacturer has enjoyed almost a dozen appearances in the LEGO line-up, including both Technic and Creator Expert versions of cars in the Porsche family.
The first LEGO Porsche was 75910 Porsche 918 Spyder. Featuring a tasteful grey livery, the model also includes a brightly-attired driver and a chequered flag – a key component of any race. Later releases include 75911 Porsche 911 GT Finish Line; this exciting set features a starting line, a winners’ podium, and even a selection of international flags to display.
Another larger model was 75876 919 Hybrid and 917K Pit Lane. This model included a well-provisioned garage and two cars from different eras of Porsche history. The ultra-modern Porsche 919 Hybrid and classic 917K each made an appearance, as did a car lift, drivers, mechanics and interchangeable wheel trims.
The Porsche 911 is a well the LEGO Group has returned to on multiple occasions. The first version of this car appeared in real life in 1964; since then, the basic concept has seen extensive enhancement and modification over the years. It’s also been hugely successful in motor races, winning numerous world championships. The one millionth Porsche 911 was manufactured in 2017.
75895 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 is one of the latest versions. It’s very similar in structure to one from 75888 Porsche 911 RSR and 911 Turbo 3.0. Unlike the latter version (which came in lime green) this one sports a plain white paint job. It also includes some traffic cones to encourage bold steering manoeuvres.
LEGO Speed Champions Lamborghini
Lamborghini – Italian maker of luxury sports cars – is similarly rare in LEGO form. Before Speed Champions, LEGO Lamborghinis had appeared twice before – and in one case, this was more than a decade ago.
In a similar vein, Speed Champions currently features a handful of Lamborghini models. 30342 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO was first released as a promotional item in mid-2020. Using just 70 pieces, it may not be the model Lamborghini fans were looking for.
A bolder Lamborghini set was released the same year. 76899 Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Hurácan Super Trofeo EVO features a duo of Lamborghini vehicles. Both benefit from the new 8-stud wide car designs, as well as numerous sticker details and vivid colour schemes. An included start/finish line may also inspire further play scenarios.
Finally, 76908 Lamborghini Countach is the latest LEGO Lambo to land on shelves, debuting as part of the 2022 wave. Cast in white, it’s the first official brick-built take on the Countach to date. Beyond this, it’s unclear what the future holds for LEGO Lamborghinis. However, 42115 Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 is sticking around until 2023. A star of the Technic range, it’s a solid choice for any Lamborghini fan.
LEGO Speed Champions cars
Beyond these car manufacturers, the LEGO Group has taken a broad approach to its choice of Speed Champions sets. While some have proved more popular than others, there’s something here to tempt almost any car fan.
British manufacturer McLaren has seen several sets inspired by its cars. 75909 McLaren P1 was the earliest example in the Speed Champions range. Its smooth lines and striking yellow paint job made it a solid choice for LEGO fans. 75880 McLaren 720S, meanwhile, took a different approach to its broader set design. Instead of a racing driver (and associated infrastructure) it includes a McLaren designer minifigure. He even comes with a design desk and tiny car model.
By 2019, LEGO McLaren sets had started drawing inspiration from more expensive cars. 75892 McLaren Senna features a sophisticated dark grey and orange colour scheme, as well as a wind tunnel to aid imaginary car development. The real thing retails for £750,000 – over half a million more than the 720S.
The most recent LEGO McLaren is 76902 McLaren Elva. It’s an unusual entry in the Speed Champions range as it lacks any sort of windshield. In real life, this design choice is reportedly inspired by open-top racers from the 1960s.
The LEGO version can comfortably accommodate two minifigures, and features bright blue bodywork as well as brick-built headrests. It may also prove more attractive than the real-world counterpart, which apparently retails for £1.425m.
Audi has enjoyed a few LEGO appearances too, though none of these cars were meant for the highway. In 2016, 75872 Audi R18 e-tron quattro modelled a Le Mans prototype race car. In addition to a vibrant white, black and red colour scheme, it includes a realistic fuel pump for added play value.
76896 Audi Sport Quattro S1 took us back to 1985 with its recreation of the famous rally car. The bulky bumper immediately distinguishes it, as does its famous white and yellow livery. The LEGO edition actually coincides with the real car’s 35th anniversary, making it a fine choice for Audi fans.
Another staple of Speed Champions is cars by Ford. These sets have offered a very diverse selection of car designs over the years. 75875 F-150 Raptor & Ford Model A Hot Rod includes both a pick-up truck and a classic hot rod, both unique to the Speed Champions range. A later two-pack – released in 2021 – features slightly younger cars.
76905 Ford GT Heritage Edition and Bronco R includes two models. The Ford GT Heritage Edition pays tribute to 1960 prototypes, while the Bronco R is a prototype. It appeared at the gruelling Baja 1000, a Mexican off-road race, although cooling problems deprived it of the chequered flag. Both LEGO incarnations capture the real cars’ technical features, including the Bronco R’s distinctive blue space frame.
A few car makers have appeared just once in the Speed Champions theme. 75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy is the only MINI Speed Champions set to date. It features a classic Mini design and an off-road competition car, first constructed in 2018.
Koenigsegg – a Swedish manufacturer – received its first LEGO set in 2021. This hypercar offers an advanced aerodynamic design, which helps it reach speeds of 300mph. While it might not be a household name, 76900 Koenigsegg Jesko is still a solid addition to any LEGO car collection.
2022 has seen the selection of Speed Champions car makes expand a little further, and in unexpected directions. The Aston Martin name has been very well served this year, with three different LEGO sets drawing inspiration from its vehicles.
At the smaller end of the scale – in every sense – is 30434 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro. This is a micro-scaled version of a track-only Aston Martin hypercar, of which 40 were produced. Despite its small size it immediately stands out for its vibrant lime green and red colour scheme, as well as its unusual building techniques. The car is five studs wide, and uses a red oar element to depict its rear fin.
The set was never made available for direct purchase; it appeared on LEGO.com as a promotional item in June. However, it’s relatively cheap on the secondary market, so adding it to your collection should be very easy at this point.
A minifigure-scaled version of the same vehicle appears in 76910 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro and Aston Martin Vantage GT3. The former vehicle retains the green and red colour scheme of its little sibling, although its larger scale allows for more printed and stickered elements. It can also accommodate two minifigures, even if interior space is limited.
The curved bodywork of the Valkyrie AMR Pro demands a very complex build; it’s actually built in two distinct sections, which slot together towards the build’s completion. As such, the accompanying Aston Martin Vantage GT3 can seem a little drab in comparison – but it’s sturdily built, and offers an attractive grey/lime green colour scheme of its own.
76911 Aston Martin DB5 is far less ostentatious, but may be the most popular of these three sets. In an unexpected move, the set is a licensed tie-in to the James Bond film franchise. The Aston Martin DB5 has appeared in several James Bond films over the years such as Goldfinger, Tomorrow Never Dies and (most recently) No Time to Die.
While the set’s small scale means there are no built-in gadgets, it does retain its tasteful grey colour scheme, curving bodywork and latticed hubcaps. New curved and printed elements allow for a more accurate shape, although some printed elements don’t quite match the broader colour scheme. The car also comes with a variety of number plates, allowing you to disguise the car’s identity during spy missions.
Two minifigures can sit inside the Aston Martin DB5, but only one is provided – the very first LEGO James Bond, as portrayed by Daniel Craig. He bears a suitably subdued expression and wears his classic tuxedo, which appears to be inspired by No Time to Die. Unsurprisingly he lacks a firearm, carrying a wrench instead.
76912 Fast & Furious 1970 Dodge Charger R/T is another Speed Champions movie tie-in. The set takes inspiration from the Fast and Furious franchise, with Dominic Toretto (as played for Vin Diesel) provided in minifigure form. He wears a sleeveless black vest, which exposes the new mid-tone colour used in some licensed minifigures.
Dominic is accompanied by a Chrysler Dodge Charger R/T, which made an appearance in the very first Fast and Furious movie. It has since appeared in several more entries in the franchise, and become something of a franchise icon.
Despite a rather simple shape, this car has some features that mark it as a Fast and Furious vehicle. The most obvious of these is the grey supercharger, which sits atop the car’s bonnet. While similar structures has appeared in previous LEGO vehicles, this one has a more uniform colour scheme.
Lifting up the roof of the car reveals a single driver’s seat and a red nitrous oxide canister. There’s also a simple roll cage assembly towards the back of the cockpit, which reflects the high-stakes adventures of the car’s owner. A California licence plate is another nice touch for Fast and Furious fans, and helps to differentiate the set from more generic models.
2022 has also seen a new Mercedes grace the LEGO Speed Champions line. Mercedes vehicles have appeared in the Speed Champions theme on a few occasions; prior examples include 75877 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and 75883 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. The latest entry is 76909 Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance & Mercedes-AMG Project One, which offers two very different vehicle designs.
The Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance is immediately recognisable as a Formula One vehicle, although it’s immediately differentiated by its black and teal colour scheme. Like other modern-day Speed Champions sets, the design uses a lot of unexpected components including flexible hoses, half-circle tiles and accessory grips – which function here as wing mirrors. The car also uses an unprinted video game controller element instead of a steering wheel.
Another unusual design move is printed hub caps. These cover the outer rim of each tire, and allow for additional vehicle branding to be featured in the set. Indeed, the set comes with several examples of real-life branding.
The Mercedes-AMG Project One features a grey and teal colour scheme, as well as a more conventional body shape. That said, there are some more unique details to be found here. Bonnet-mounted wheel arches represent vents on the bonnet, and the two-person cockpit features a stickered computer screen. The rear bonnet’s position can also be adjusted.
Rounding out the pack for 2022 is 76907 Lotus Evija. This set marks the first time the Lotus brand has appeared in a LEGO set. The car stands out thanks to its dark green colour scheme and yellow highlights, which carry onto the uniform of its driver.
The car is one of the smaller examples in the LEGO Speed Champions line, although it uses a variety of tiles to depict the car’s curving bodywork. Although there is some stickered detail, the unusual curvature around the car’s headlights means these are printed.
Other highlights of the vehicle include the intricate rear lights, which are mounted at multiple angles. Looking at the rear of the car reveals the snowboard used as a spoiler, reflecting the inventive element use in today’s LEGO sets.