Three different brands were released during the initial Speed Champions wave and the range has since expanded fairly rapidly. 75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T introduces an additional classic marque that joins this successful theme, Dodge.
Considerable expectation accordingly rests upon this set, particularly since it includes a Dodge Charger R/T from 1970. This famed vehicle has always been extremely popular but became even more prominent following appearances in the Fast and Furious film series and I think both cars look superb in official images.
Two drivers are included and they are dressed for their respective cars. The female driver wears black racing overalls with red highlights and demon motifs on each side, matching the stickers on her Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. I think the helmet could have been decorated too but this plain white element looks reasonable beside a pair of white gloves.
I am especially pleased with the second driver, whose shirt is decorated with the Dodge emblem. This torso appears rather versatile and could be used outside the Speed Champions theme, potentially in a city creation. The head was originally produced for Chase McCain from 60007 High Speed Chase and includes some excellent cheek definition while the black helmet features a hinged visor.
A race official completes the minifigure selection. This minifigure appears comparatively plain, wearing a light bluish grey jacket and a dark red shirt which complements her hair piece. Her tinted sunglasses look striking but there is no alternative expression, unfortunately, so this character is always smiling.
The official carries a chequered flag with stickers on either side. Its design is superb but the continued use of stickers is surprising, particularly since such accessories are very common across the Speed Champions range. A printed element would therefore be preferable.
The Completed Model
Drag races are traditionally started using a Christmas tree lights system, comprising seven lights which are arranged vertically and lit in sequence. Similar models have appeared in previous sets from Speed Champions, including 75875 Ford F-150 Raptor & Ford Model A Hot Rod, but this design is distinctive and seems more realistic than its predecessors. The colourful lights are accurately ordered and I like the stickers denoting the 'pre-stage' and 'stage' bulbs which light as cars reach the starting line.
Not only does the Christmas tree look marvellous but it includes an enjoyable function too. The lights can be activated in sequence by moving a Technic piece along the back of the model, as shown here. This mechanism is very simple but raising each light is a good representation of them being activated and the Technic elements are incorporated neatly. You cannot actually move the line infraction light at the base but I appreciate its inclusion.
This set contains two vehicles which are separated by almost fifty years in their design. The yellow car is a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and I think this model looks marvellous, capturing numerous features of the original design and standing out within the Speed Champions range. This bright colour scheme has only appeared once previously on 75870 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and works effectively in combination with black highlights.
Viewing this model from the side reveals a couple of inaccuracies, most prominently towards the rear where the roof seems rather angular. The wheel positioning is not ideal either as I think the bodywork should extend slightly further beyond the front wheels. However, this is still an excellent model on the whole as the Demon's general shape has definitely been replicated accurately.
I am particularly impressed with the air scoop situated on the bonnet. This appears realistically subtle and is cleverly constructed using a black spoiler element, creating a narrow intake. A matching sticker is applied in front of the scoop and further stickers form the radiator grilles across the front. Ideally, the radiators and headlights would have been brick-built but I think the current design looks good.
Demon emblems decorate either side of the vehicle. These appear on relatively few real vehicles but are a welcome inclusion in my opinion as I think the smooth doors might otherwise seem rather bland. Unfortunately, the windscreen and roof both look quite angular so do not compare favourably with the source material, although the door mirrors are somewhat helpful in disguising this flaw.
The roof can be removed to reveal seating for one minifigure inside. This area is cramped but there is enough space for a simple steering wheel and I can imagine it would be difficult to expand the interior without compromising the exterior. The bright blue elements seem out of place to me, although these are hardly visible when the roof is attached.
Printed 1x1 half circle tiles form the tail lights and their distinctive design looks perfect when compared with the original car. The other details are represented by stickers but these are attractive and I like the light bluish grey 1x1 round plates with hollow studs that depict twin exhausts. This vehicle was created for drag racing so inserts widen the rear wheels. A pair of skinny forward tyres would have been lovely but are not a necessity
Dodge has been producing Charger models for more than sixty years but the most popular variant is probably the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, hence that was chosen here. Its rectilinear appearance seems perfectly suited to LEGO and I think this rendition looks magnificent, consisting almost entirely of black pieces but incorporating red stripes across the quarter panels.
The model looks incredibly simple when viewed from the flanks, featuring a perfectly smooth bonnet and clean roof shaping. That closely resembles the actual Dodge Charger though, lacking only some downward curvature towards the front. I believe it would have been extremely difficult to capture such subtle details at this scale so am very satisfied with the vehicle, despite a couple of minor inaccuracies.
Light bluish grey brackets and a 1x6 tile form the trim surrounding the radiator. This looks absolutely fantastic when compared with the source material and I like the printed 1x1 tile inside which features the R/T performance marker. The same piece is found at the back and on both sides of the model. A section of the bonnet can be removed and replaced with an enormous supercharger, drawing the car closer in appearance to Dominic Toretto's Dodge Charger from the Fast and Furious franchise.
Removing a smooth body panel presents certain challenges as there is no room for a handle. Instead, the designer has cleverly included an open area behind the bonnet, allowing it to move backwards for removal. This works perfectly and you can also remove the roof to reach the interior. Some bright red pieces are visible in here but they complement the stripe towards the rear.
That stripe consists primarily of stickers which line up nicely, although there is a narrow gap on each quarter panel. Trans-red 1x2 tiles form the rear lights and the model includes two exhausts which are connected using clips underneath the bodywork. A new wheel arch was designed for the 2018 Speed Champions range and is exclusively available in black here so this might prove useful elsewhere.
75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T is an excellent addition to the Speed Champions theme. Dodge is definitely a popular brand and its production cars are entirely different to those which have appeared in previous sets. Both models are impressive but I expect the 1970 Dodge Charger will prove particularly enticing as it looks almost perfect in relation to the actual car.
In addition, the Christmas tree starting lights are surprisingly enjoyable and this is among my favourite auxiliary models from across the whole Speed Champions theme. This set costs $29.99 in the US and that seems very reasonable to me so I would recommend adding it to your collection. £34.99 in the UK is a less appealing price but I still think that represents adequate value, even without a discount.
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.