It was just about a month ago when LEGO announced the #42156 LEGO Technic Peugeot 9X8 24H Le Mans Hybrid Hypercar, and the set is now available for purchase for LEGO fans and racecar enthusiasts.
It’s incredible how far LEGO Technic has come from its early days to even attempt such a complexly shaped vehicle. This is of course the result of a good number of new LEGO Technic elements, and because LEGO Technic designers are now free to add standard LEGO System parts to their models. This makes LEGO Technic vehicles look more finished and thus appeal to larger audiences while retaining their compact size and complex mechanical features.
The #42156 LEGO Technic Peugeot 9X8 24H Le Mans Hybrid Hypercar is precisely 1:10 scale of the original hypercar with an overall size of 5 in. (13 cm) high, 19.5 in. (50 cm) long, and 9 in. (22 cm) wide, and includes many of its unique features, including the opening doors, opening hood, removable engine bay cover, headlights (using glow-in-the-dark rods), working steering wheel (with an additional steering knob on the roof for easier operation), fully independent suspension, and a drivetrain with the front axle driving a drum imitating an electric motor and the rear axle driving a V6 piston engine.
The suspension is the most advanced we have seen in any LEGO Technic vehicle of this size and is a highlight to build and operate. It uses horizontal shock absorbers with bell cranks and push and pull rods at the front, and the rear suspension is even more impressive with shock absorbers sitting right under the differential. Everything is compact, works really well, and is an excellent study case of some of the most advanced LEGO building techniques.
Another unique feature of this set is the large number of pieces in dark-gray (many of them new in this color), which I’m sure is going to be very popular with LEGO Technic builders. There are also brand-new pieces, mostly to create the frame of the vehicle. (You can learn about all the new pieces in detail in the video below.)
As usual with LEGO Technic sets, most of the finer detailing and branding are done with large stickers. The colors blend perfectly with the colors of the LEGO elements, so no issues there. (For attaching large and tricky stickers, remember to apply a thin layer of soapy water to the piece as this method allows you to slide and position stickers just right.) Some of the decorative choices are a bit questionable. Like the lack of printing on the tires, and that the pieces used for the taillights are standard red (with stickers), instead of transparent red. But other than that, the color and decorative choices are faithful to the original model. The bits of lime-green against the dark-gray and black are especially effective.
While the suspension works incredibly smoothly, steering is a little tricky. For some reason, it takes a bit to move the wheels. As Sariel mentions in the video below, it’s a good idea to replace the steering knob on top with a larger one to give you a better grip and more leverage.
LEGO designers clearly made a lot of effort to recreate the shape of the original vehicle with all kinds of subtle angles and curves employing unique pieces and advanced building techniques. But as with the case of many LEGO Technic vehicles, there are also some spots that are questionable. Like the big gaps over the wheels, the lack of a windscreen, and the windshield wiper oddly sticking straight up. However, I do feel that the set looks better in person than in pictures, as the eyes glaze over many of those imperfections. I think this model would look especially good in a dark display case with dramatic lighting.
The packaging of the set is simple and sleek. Perhaps too simple. There is no information on the features and functions of the set, so people who just come across it on retailer shelves may not find it so interesting. On the other hand, the instruction booklet has quite a bit of info on the history of the original car as well as the features of the LEGO model.
Inside, there are five sets of numbered bags plus four non-numbered bags with some extra pieces, and two sticker-sheets. The instructions are also available on the LEGO Instructions app, many LEGO builders still prefer traditional paper instructions. Building LEGO Technic sets requires time and patience, so get comfortable, take your time, and enjoy the experience! You will be rewarded with many enlightening moments and surprising building techniques. In the video below, Sariel will show you the set and its functions in more detail.
Overall, I feel like this set is going to be valued not so much for its looks, but for its advanced and innovative suspension and all the useful dark-gray pieces. And I also believe that the price of $199.99, although not cheap, is reasonable for such a large and complex set. If you’re interested to check it out, it’s available via official LEGO stores, the Peugeot dealership network, and the LEGO Technic section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Technic Peugeot Hybrid Hypercar? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss them in the comment section below!
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