42096 Porsche 911 RSR is the largest of nine Technic sets due for release just after Christmas. Typically, those released at this time of year are not usually as technically advanced as the summer sets and that is certainly the case here.
However, it looks stunning and it will be interesting to compare it with 2016's 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, which is still widely available. So, let do just that...
The real vehicle is a 500bhp car designed for motorsports that will set you back about $1.1 million, so somewhat more expensive than the roadgoing GT3. Here's the version LEGO has modelled:
Box and contents
The design of Technic sets boxes hasn't changed for 2019 and as you'd expect the front shows the main model image. The back shows the rear of the vehicle. There is no alternative build shown.
Its 1580 parts are packaged in unnumbered bags so you'll need to empty them all at the start and you'll probably want to do as I did and perform a bit of sorting before commencing the build to avoid excessive rummaging -- panels in one pile, beams in another and so on.
Disappointingly, there are no new parts in the set and only a few recolours, mostly to white.
Edit: Turns out the wheel arches are two holes shorter than the ones used in 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, so they are new.
There are two sticker sheet containing a total of 52 stickers.
Construction begins with the chassis: the rear suspension and transmission, then the front wheels and steering mechanism.
Once that's done virtually all of the functionality has been completed already.
The remainder of the build concerns the bodywork which is quite quickly built upon this internal frame.
The steering wheel is connected to the steering mechanism, as one would hope. A single driver's seat occupies the interior. This is a racing car, don't forget. I'm sure making it black is accurate but it's a shame that it's not some other colour to provide a bit of contrast.
The 6-cylinder engine sits right behind the driver's seat, which, given this is a mid-engined vehicle, is where it should be. It's connected to the rear axle through a differential.
The side bodywork is added next, complete with stickers on most of the panels. The wheel arches are printed, which they have to be given that stickers would be impractical for their curved surfaces.
Next, the front and bonnet are constructed, accompanied by more stickers. For some reason the 911 graphic on the bonnet and silver fuel inlet are on opposite sides of the car compared to the image of the real above. All I can think is that perhaps the fuel inlet is on one side or the other depending on the configuration of the pit lane in races.
Right at the bottom, two 1/4 circle gear rack 11X11 in black are utilised to form the characteristic curved skirt at the front. I wouldn't be surprised if it was this part, and its size, that was the inspiration for choosing this car to model and setting its scale.
Once the engine covering and rear end has been added and covered with more stickers, the vehicle is complete.
Overall it's a straightforward model to build, and quite quickly completed, thanks in part to the lack of gearbox and other complex internal mechanisms. In fact, taking time to apply the stickers correctly occupies much of the building time.
The competed model
I think it looks fantastic from every angle.
As I said at the start, there's not much functionality: this model is all about looks. However it does have the basics: steering via the steering wheel, 4 wheel suspension and 'working' engine connected to the rear wheels.
The doors open to reveal the interior, which includes a lot of gubbins on the right, as found in the racing vehicle.
The rear cover can be raised to access the engine inside:
Compared to 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
It seems a little odd that LEGO should release another 911 so soon after the last one. Although they look similar as you'd expect, they are built to different scales. 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is about 1:8 while this one is about 1:9.3. They are 55cm and 48cm long, respectively.
Style over substance is a complaint many Technic fans level at models such as this and to some extent they are justified. However this one oozes so much style that is easily makes up for the lack of substance, or functionality. Quite simply, it looks fantastic whichever way you look at it. However it only does so thanks to the stickers. Not applying them is not really an option because the printed wheel arches would look odd without the surrounding stickers.
It's not quite perfect, though. The only thing that doesn't look quite right to me is the front headlights, which are a bit too bulbous, although they are an improvement on those on 42056 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, which are too small.
If you're looking for an awesome display model and don't mind stickers then I can highly recommend this set. In many ways it's more impressive than the GT3 RS, which looks a bit plain in comparison despite its larger size and complex internals.
It'll be available from 26th December at shop.LEGO.com, priced at £139.99 / $149.99 and 149.99€.
We are seeing something of a trend with the price of Technic sets nowadays: they are way overpriced! This year's sets were discounted at Amazon by 20-30% pretty much on the day of their release, so I predict that it will be just a matter of weeks before this one is available for a more reasonable £100-£110. Then it will definitely be worth picking up!
Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.