Lego's new Porsche 911 GT3 RS set is gorgeous, desirable and not a little bit scary — which sums up actual car quite well. Three years in the making, the intimidating set joins the Danish toymaker's Technic line, highly complex model kits whose parts number in the thousands.
Within the Lego Porsche's black box lurks 2,704 pieces (an impressive figure, but still a fair bit shy of the company's 5,195-piece Millennium Falcon kit). But the scope of the project is only part of the set's allure: with the GT3 RS set, Lego is emphasizing not just the parts and their 1:8-scale sum, but the experience of putting it all together. The company worked with Porsche to replicate the build process for an actual GT3 RS, allowing Lego builders to follow Stuttgart's actual production sequence as closely as possible. The kit includes an inch-thick instruction manual which, says Lego Technic senior design manager Andrew Woodman, "is more like a coffee table book or an exclusive book" than a build tutorial. It includes not only step-by-step assembly instructions for the set, but tandem design and engineering backstories for Porsche's actual 911 GT3 RS.
Lego being Lego, the RS is meant to be touched. The doors open and close, as does the engine-compartment and front lids. There's a fully adjustable wing at the rear, and a gear bag in the boot. And what's under the skin is at least as impressive as the lava orange exterior. Designer Uwe Wabra has created a Lego-ised four-speed version of Porsche's PDK dual-clutch transmission, complete with rubber-band-tensioned paddle shifters and a drive selector with forward and reverse settings. And of course, the gearbox meets a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine with moving pistons. The steering works, too, and the wheels attach to fully articulated suspension hardware, complete with racy red dampers.
Despite its enormity, the set features only seven new pieces, including two minor body parts, a couple of internal bits, RS-emblem wheelhubs and set-exclusive black wheels. There's also tiny glovebox plaque with a laser-engraved serial number — digits which, says Lego, will unlock some special Web content for the car's owner.
No surprise, Lego's take on Porsche's 500-horsepower, £130,000 racecar for the road is intended for mature audiences, and it won't come cheaply. When it goes on sale on 1 June, the Technic GT3 RS set will command a cool $300 in the US, $350 in Canada and £250 in the UK. Have a look at Andrew Woodman's video tour of the car below.
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