What better time than Speed Week to take a glance under the bonnet of the Speed Champions range? From brand-new Italian stallions and rally legends to cars from the very cutting edge of modern motorsport, there’s a little something for everyone. Each model is stunningly detailed and, new for this year, 25 per cent bigger – allowing the models to reflect their real-life counterparts better than ever before. They make the perfect project for you to get on with during down time, or as a fun family activity for younger builders. Read on to take a deeper look under the bonnet of some of the most impressive models in the range, then decide which will be taking pride of place in your home.Advertisement - Page continues below
Ferrari F8 Tributo
Get ready to build and race one of the most powerful V8 cars Ferrari has ever made. At 275 pieces, this model is ideal for builders aged 8+ as they grow their skills – or indeed builders of any age whose pulse is set racing by the prancing horse. This magnificent beast comes with a Ferrari racing driver action figure to put at the wheel, at which point you’ll find yourself asking why you feel so irrationally jealous of a tiny human minifigure. Just follow the easy, step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be ready to race.
Nissan GT-R NISMO
Now you can build and race the car that back in 2016 proudly set the world record for fastest drift at a whopping 189mph. While you and the kids might not be able to recreate that exact speed of drift with your model, you’ll have a lot of fun trying, minus what must have been a monstrous smell of burnt rubber. The GT-R has been adored the world over for 50 years, and this 298-piece special anniversary NISMO edition is a worthy tribute to a racing legend. This toy car features many of the same realistic details seen on the real-life model, and also includes a driver minifigure in a Nissan race suit, who’ll doubtless be itching to get the tail sliding.Advertisement - Page continues below
1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1
That’s right, it’s the rally icon you can bore your children senseless with stories and memories of as you build it together. For the first time, you can build a mini version of this famous car that took the 80s by storm. It brilliantly reflects the original with its famous yellow and white livery, front engine, bulked-up bumper and vast rear wing – it also comes complete with a minifigure in an Audi Sport quattro race suit. Its compact size when fully built makes it a perfect toy for racing on the go, so what better way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of one of the kings of the Group B rally racing circuit? If nothing else, you’ll be surprised by how creative you can be when trying to create a full rally stage out of household items.
Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and Urus ST-X
Ever wanted to stage a high-octane Lamborghini race in the comfort of your own home? Perhaps understandably you didn’t think it possible, but with these two superbly detailed models, you can. There’s more racing pedigree in this dynamic duo than you can shake a stick at. The Super Trofeo EVO is famed for competing in the fastest one-make championship in the world, and this model boasts realistic details including a shark fin and front diffuser. The Lamborghini Urus ST-X toy car is also the world’s first racing Super SUV to compete on the track and off-road. Both replicas come with a starting line with lights, plus two racing driver minifigures, so who will take the chequered flag?
Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing GEN2 car and Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY
The racing doesn’t stop there as Jaguar joins the Speed Champions range with two electric masterpieces. Build them and put them side by side on the start line with lights for a drag race into the future. The Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing Gen2 car is a slick single-seater that races in the exciting ABB FIA Formula E Championship, while the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, with its distinctive fin, competes around the world in the official support series. Both come complete with minifigures, onto whom you can project a rivalry to make Hunt v Lauda and Senna v Prost look like the very models of bromance.
It’s fitting that the most ambitious, extreme car McLaren has ever built was named after the incomparable Ayrton Senna, and you may have seen the glitzy video in which the eponymous legend’s nephew Bruno tours you round the extraordinary full-scale LEGO model, built from a staggering 467,854 bricks. It apparently took 30 modelmakers 2,725 hours to assemble, and was comfortably the heaviest McLaren ever. Perhaps even the great man himself might have struggled to actually drive the thing. At 219 pieces, this scaled-down model is a slightly more manageable building challenge, but no less thrilling. Not only does it come with replaceable wheel rims and Pirelli tyres, so you can practice breakneck-speed pit stops to your heart’s content, but you can also replicate McLaren’s fastidious addiction to performance with the accompanying wind tunnel. You’ll make a mini Ron Dennis of them yet.Advertisement - Page continues below