Review: 42077 Rally Car

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Since the dawn of Technic 41 years ago cars have been a staple of the range and every year new ones are introduced.

Recently LEGO has looked beyond road cars and single-seat open-cockpit racers and has produced an impressive variety of vehicles including a land speed record breaker, an endurance racer, and a drag racer. This year's offering is 42077 Rally Car, a typical 'souped up' road car used in modern rallying events.

The 1005 piece set is the second most expensive one in the first-half-of-year Technic offerings, coming in at $109.99, £89.99 and 99.99€. Let's break open the seals and get building...

Contents

Parts are packed in un-numbered bags so I felt it necessary to do a bit of pre-sorting before commencing: pins in one tray, beams in another, panels in another and so on.

Last time I posted a picture like this I was asked about the trays. They are produced by Rotho and available at Amazon.co.uk.

View image at flickr

You won't be surprised to learn that the set also contains a sticker sheet.

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Construction

The car is a rear-engined V6 with 4-wheel suspension and front-axle steering. The engine and rear axle assembly are constructed first.

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The chassis is then extended forwards, and the seats and roll cage fitted. The new 'macaroni' piece has found its way into several of this year's Technic sets: here, 4 are used on the corners of the roll cage.

View image at flickr

The front axle and the front of the car are added, at which point the full length of the vehicle, about 43cm, becomes apparent.

View image at flickr

With all the mechanisms out of the way the car is completed by adding a large number of panels, many of which require stickers.

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The instructions suggest building it left-hand-drive, as usual, but it's easy to convert it to right-hand drive just by swapping the steering wheel and fire extinguisher over.

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It all comes together very quickly...

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The completed model

Here are views of the vehicle from various angles:

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View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The spoiler at the back is attached using a single PANEL WHEEL ARCH 5X15X2 W/ 4.85 HOLE, which was first used in 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

I should have folded the wing mirrors out before photographing!

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

As is often the case with Technic cars the brake lights look a bit small to me.

View image at flickr

The bonnet is weakest looking aspect of the model. It looks OK from some angles but here you can see it doesn't look right at all.

Stickers are provided for the inside of the wheels but I judged that applying them straight and consistently would be difficult so I opted not to use them. All the others were relatively easy to apply: I always find attaching them to Technic panels to be straightforward and fairly forgiving of minor alignment issues.

View image at flickr


Operation

The car looks pretty good but what Technic functionality does it pack in? You can...

  • manually open the doors to reveal the interior. It must be a struggle getting in and out with those roll bars in the way!
  • steer the car using the gear on the roof. Unfortunately the steering wheel is not linked to the steering mechanism.

View image at flickr

  • flip up the rear bodywork to reveal the engine and suspension. The sides of the car behind the door are mechanically linked to the 'trunk' and swing out as you raise it. Why? I don't know. I'd be surprised if that's a feature on real rally cars.

View image at flickr

  • open the bonnet to reveal two large fans. LEGO calls them engine cooling fans. I'm no expert but given they are so far from the actual engine in the boot, I'm not entirely convinced.

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  • admire the suspension, drive shaft and steering mechanisms from below.

View image at flickr

In other words, there is not a lot of functionality but then I'm struggling to think what else could be added, other than a gearbox, which are usually reserved for much larger sets. However, the functions that it does include work well so I have no complaints.


Alternative model

Instructions for the alternative model, a beach buggy, are available from LEGO Customer Services. When I have a second copy of the set I'll build and review it.

View image at flickr


Verdict

The first thing that strikes you when seeing it is how vivid the colour scheme is. The dark azur (sic), red and white look superb together.

However, its visual appeal is largely down to the stickers: without them it would look very different, with jarring contrast between adjacent panels of different colours. If you're averse to stickers then I would not recommend buying it for this reason. Would it have looked better all blue? Actually, probably not.

The second thing that becomes apparent once you've built it is how impressively large it is: 43 x 20 cm, or so, which is close to the size of some of the super cars of yesteryear.

View image at flickr

It's a relatively quick and easy build with no complicated assemblies or repetition so makes a good introduction to Technic so would be an ideal first set.

For those looking at it as a parts pack, it offers plenty of dark azur parts, which seems to be the blue shade of choice nowadays (let's hope LEGO standardises on it) but no new parts.

In summary, then, it's very much a display model: there's not much to play with and not much in the way of functionality, but if you're looking for something to grace your desk or display cabinet it fits the bill perfectly.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

 

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33 comments on this article

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By in Canada,

Looks sweet, love the colours and will be adding this set to my collection.

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By in United Kingdom,

I like the look of this but loved the orange porsche more from last year..

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By in Denmark,

It’s a rear engine car with front mounted radiator on which the cooling fans blow or suck air to cool the warm water pumped through the radiator.

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By in Denmark,

Like the red wheels.

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By in Canada,

Thanks for the review!

Looking forward to building this shortly. Just picked up a copy yesterday as I had been eyeing it ever since it was revealed. I love the red and blue colour scheme.

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By in United Kingdom,

@iriz, thank you.

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By in Switzerland,

Actually, the car is mid-engined as the engine is in-between the front and rear axles, and not behind the rear axle like a rear-engined car (The Porsche is a rear-engined car).

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks more group b than wrc, but who cares, it looks awesome!

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By in Hungary,

As I see the sides are linked to the trunk because otherwise the trunk would not stay in the lifted position. Let's face it, the trunk is pretty heavy, in contrast of the front bonnet.

The fans in the front, covered by the bonnet are not uncommon in the racing world. The air flow is much better at the front. Even if it is far from the engine, there is not much room in thr rear section for the cooler.

And I think that this is a mid-engine car, since the rear axle is behind the engine.

There are two things, which bothered me. The first is there should be a color matched manifold on the engine, just like the 24 hours race car has a red one, it would add a little eye-candy to it, just to statisfy us, when we lift up the trunk. The second thing is the seats are sitting too low in the cabin along with the steering wheel. It is not too hard to mend this problem. It looks much more realistic in the elevated position.

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By in United States,

I think what Lego could have done to improve the functionality is to make the car either AWD like all modern rally cars, or front engined/FWD like most modern rally "starter" cars. I don't think there are any RWD rally cars used in modern rally, which the styling of the car is pointing to.

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By in Germany,

So I'll be here waiting for the proper heir of the 8880, as nothing ever since could even hold a candle to it...

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By in United States,

@SirZed yeah, I own #8448 and I too am wondering when we'll see the next, true, Technic "super car."

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By in United Kingdom,

Quite liking most of the shaping and design of the car (even with the majority of the stickers) and I'm not too worried about the functionality of the set as apart from motorising it there isn't a great deal that could have been done differently.
The biggest disappointment in my opinion is using stickers to show the vents on the flat panels instead of using parts to create the shape needed. I'm not sure how it could have been done differently but printed holes never look that good because of the gloss finish and takes away from the effort that went into shaping the rest of the car.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have to say I think the B model buggy is my preference by some margin. Good review, thank you.

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By in Czech Republic,

Let's see: steering, suspension, differential, engine. Am I correct that this is the first time since 8448 that we see all this in one Lego car? (Not counting the Porsche that is a bit pricey to use for "car tech talks" with our kids and we do not see much of the tech there anyway.) It is a pity that the "Lego cars that can explain cars" ended with 8448, but I think I see the rationale behind it. Once they put steering, suspension, differential, engine and gearbox in 8448, there was no obvious way to develop this further (breaks and clutch are not a practical option), so they went in another direction with the supercar line, focusing on looks. I understand the reasoning, but still...

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By in Australia,

8448 was the last true super-car. Hopefully they can one day combine its more modern lines (still looks great after all these years!) with 8880's extended functionality and we'll get the ultimate.

Were there any RWD, longitudinal mid engined V6 rally cars? A shame as making it 4WD, and with a gearbox could fit the subject matter perfectly.

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By in United Kingdom,

I quite like this but it's a shame the shaping around the wheel arch isn't better. This big square holes just look a bit odd to me.

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By in United States,

I quite like the looks of both the main build and the buggy. Hoping it dips under $100 in the US.

My kids and I will love playing with this. It may not have the most amazing or unusual functions, but I find tremendous playability with just the standard Technic car functions: HOG steering, suspension, a working engine, doors that open, adjustable mirrors, opening trunk and hood. It'll only be my second Technic model with a differential (42037, which I also really like, was the first); I love watching that wonderful invention at work. I also think the ability to view the axles and gears from underneath (42037 was also great in this regard) is really nice and something I miss when it's all covered up by panels. I still can't believe the Porsche hides all of those incredible engine details after assembly.

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By in United Kingdom,

Realistically its just 2 pipes front to back for coolant to make use of the front for cooling, weight distribution and packaging reasons, a tiny downside compared to the upside.

The increased coolant capacity can also help with cooling as well. Some small front engined cars may only have 3-4L of coolant. A mid engined MK2 MR2 uses around 11L

Too much weight at the back and you'd be making a new 911 turbo widow maker from the past, so understandable they are at the front.

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By in United Kingdom,

Not bad overall, looks like a Group B spec car in Martini Racing livery.

I’d still prefer less panels and less studless construction though. These modern Technic sets are quite sanitised aesthetically. That said, this one also looks a bit of a mish-mash colourwise beneath those panels.

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By in Germany,

I have to second that. From a side view the car looks really strange due to the large open space around the wheels. The beach buggy, at least as shown on the instructions, seems to have a very polished look.

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By in Spain,

There aren't many functions in this one as it has a considerable size and piece count. It looks very nice though.

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By in Israel,

Can you please let me know where you bought the plastic boxes to put the parts?

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By in France,

Not a big technic fan but this looks really good. I think Lego have captured the rally car looks really well. The beach buggy looks cool too

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By in Germany,

Interesting review. It Reminds me of the old Group B With Audi Quattro, Ford RS200 and Peugeot 205 Turbo etc... Especially the rear end looks like a RS200 I am unsure about those flaps.

The things that could have been improved here are the steering wheel and it should have been all wheel drive.

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By in United States,

@Master17 see the 5th paragraph of Huw's review for a link.

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By in United Kingdom,

@pHcz - The 42037 Formula Off-Roader also has a simple 2WD, FR, Full suspension layout - and a wonderfully compact front subframe design. The 42029 Pick-Up does too, but with additional functions for the vehicle.

I think this model is another in the line of Technic putting form before function, which seems to be the trend for all but the biggest sets in the last couple of years. It doesn't have enough functionality to justify the price, and IMO technic isn't about accurate model making, it's about engineering and technical functions. It looks smart enough, but I'd get bored too quickly. The recent Go-Kart is a more fun model with it's 2 speed shifter!

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By in United States,

Is the turning radius limited? That's a pet peeve of mine with some Technic sets.

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By in United States,

I am so tired of that light-blue color. I miss the bright blue from the 42042 crawler crane, or the earth blue from the 42033 record breaker.

I won't be buying this because I already have most of the parts, and I don't want more light blue.

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By in Austria,

This design managed to capture the essence of how a rally car should be. I see a very well engineered set here.

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By in Germany,

I get that looks are important, but I can't stand Technic sets becoming less technic and more of glorified expensive yet simple toys.
Amazon offers tons of RC rally car toys with full suspension for less money.
I'd rather have bought a used 8448 off eBay.

Or better, a proper new version of the Car Chassis, that is modern, realistic and modular, allowing for different engine layouts (front/mid/rear), steering, drivetrain, gearboxes, suspension etc. with a community contest to invent/recreate more realistic components and add body variants. I would have paid EUR200+ for something like that, rather than a premium box and exclusive rims. Unfortunately, since ~2013 there were no true flagship sets in Technic in terms of technicality AND innovation combined: just bigger, sleeker and more expensive versions of former developments.

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By in United States,

This would be better with Power Functions and RC.

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By in Germany,

I don't mean to be petty, but it's a mid-engine car, not a rear-engined V6 ;-)

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