LEGO® Set Review: 8880 Super Car
See also Patrick Yagle’s review
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Technic / Model

Super Car (us)
LEGO TECHNIC Supercar (da,de)
Daytona VX4 Super Car (uk)

Ages 11-Up / 1343 Pcs
92 page manual. 2 models. Full Brochure (European). ©1994
Special Features / Compatibility
  • Fits in well as part of the Technic Auto Chassis Family of sets.
  • Extra Elements
    • 1 Chain Link
    • 1 Connector Peg with Friction
    • 1 Connector Peg with Stud
    • 1 Connector Peg
    • 1 Stop Bush
    • 1 Small Pulley (Half Bush)
    • 1 8-Tooth Gear
    • 1 Small Knobby Tire
    Scale: Too large for Technic figures, but this is a good point. Wheels would make it a good candidate for scale with the 8857 Street Chopper.
    Errors: One errata sheet was included with the instructions, clarifying a step in the instructions (application of steering linkages onto ball joints). Possibly not necessary.

    I would definitely recommend this set, the most impressive LEGO set yet released. It's an awesome display piece, and the long building time really makes you relax and enjoy LEGO construction. This is the set I will use to impress non-LEGO enthusiasts with.


    Creates two models, first is a black sports car with yellow pin-striping, V8 rear-mount engine, 4-wheel steering, 4-wheel drive, and 4-wheel independent suspension. 4-speed transmission (no reverse). Features white interior, with molded seats. Pop-up headlights are controlled from dash. Has a no-clutch "manual" transmission, but no gear meshing problems either. Rear hatch opens to reveal engine details.

    Second model is the Formula 1 Racer, with two speeds. Same black body/yellow pinstriping look. Also with V8 engine. Only the front wheels turn in F1 Racer.

    Front of box is 3/4 view of Super Car, inside lid is various shots of Super Car: Dashboard, Full underside, Rear view with hatchback opened, Front close-up of hood, and Middle inset drawing of the inside of the stick-shift/transmission assembly.


    Impressive. Awesome. Super.

    The Super Car is, without a doubt, the most impressive set that The LEGO Group has yet produced. Your first hint is the thick cardboard box the set comes in, like the boxes of 8868 Air Tech Claw Rig and 8094 Control Center. The second is the very large element count — 1,343 pieces — and the third is from the life-size photo of the set on the front cover of the box. This is no blown-up photo, the model really is that large!

    Other sets (such as the various LEGO trucks, and the 8856 Rescue Helicopter) have models that are as long as the Super Car, but none of them are also as wide, and as filled with bulk. This model is solid, and hefty.

    The four-wheel steering works like 4WS would, with the back wheels turning 1/2 as quickly as the front ones do. The transmission is true 4-speed, with the engine turning very quickly in first gear, and quite slowly in fourth. (With each car, we've gotten one more gear, and a better transmission. When's REVERSE coming?)

    The suspension is powerful but forgiving. Run over short obstacles at high speed, and the suspension acts as you'd expect it to. Three differential gearboxes along the drive train allow the four wheels to share the work properly.

    The back of the car opens to show off the V8 engine. A quick jab to the side support brings the back down again. A black knob in the engine compartment can be used to steer the vehicle, as the steering wheel in the cab can occasionally be difficult to reach.

    A mid-mounted lever in the center of the dashboard controls the pop-up headlights, which have an unsatisfying short throw to them. While the rear-view mirrors look adjustable, all they do is swivel up or down.

    While at first glance, the set looks pretty complete, there is plenty of room for expansion or experimentation here. The LEGO designers left off all the body work except for the frame, so the enterprising builder has much to do. The car doesn't have a reverse gear, and it should be easy to add (albeit perhaps at the expense of TWO of the forward gears).

    While the car does the right thing going from "person power" BACK to the engine, it would be nice (and possibly a real trick) to actually make Technic motors supply the power, and have the wheels driven, instead of doing the driving. With the additional of an electric system, true headlights (and possibly turn signals?) would be a nice addition.

    Older large LEGO Technic cars had adjustable seats. Perhaps that can be added back here. A true movable moon-roof instead of the hole that's there now. A little imagination, and the Super Car could be transformed into something more advanced.

    Those who oppose specialization of elements should beware this set, however. It has the largest collection of specialized pieces yet. The steering and transmission use entirely new components, and the V8 engine uses the new-style camshaft, throw rods, and piston heads. The new tires are especially nice.


    Set Rating:Must-Have

    This set will add large numbers of Technic elements to your collection, including a whopping 52 black '1x2 hinge plate, corner connect' elements! The price/piece ratio is low, and no money is spend on extravagent items, such as motors, pneumatics, or huge solid chunks of plastic (the wheels and hubs being the only possible exception to this). Upgrade rating to Must-Have if you're a Technic enthusiast.

    Model Rating:Excellent

    The Super Car is just stunning as a display. It reminds you of seeing a LEGO in-store display, when you must always think "I wish I could own something that complicated made out of LEGO." Now you can. Once built, the Super Car is more than the sum of its parts. It forms something that looks like a toy car, not just a car made out of LEGO elements. While I've yet to build the Formula-I racer, it looks from the photos to be nearly, it not equally, as impressive.

    Playability Rating:Good

    The look of the vehicle not-withstanding, it's not a great playable model. While the transmission works as advertised, learning the intricacies of gear ratios gets old pretty fast, and one ends up just pushing the car around in "neutral" most of the time. The LEGO Group thoughtfully included a small black steering wheel that sits behind the cockpit, in front of the engine, because steering the car with the actual wheel (which is still possible) can be cumbersome. The problem is, the edges of the Technic beams are still very sharp, and it's hard to run the car around the carpet for long without tearing up one's hand, sticking it through that opening.

    A kid might get a kick out the size of the beast, and watching the pistons move does have a certain fascination, but money would be better spent on other Technic sets for playability (The 8868 Air Tech Claw Rig, at the same price, is much more playable, and the 8856 Rescue Helicopter, at about 1/2 the price, is lots of fun as well).

    The car simply does its job well, driving around. There are few extra doo-dads to play with along the way.


    Impressive size and piece count, extra steering wheel in back. Advanced Transmission and steering (FOUR Constant-Velocity-Joint gears). Reverse-style on the instructions (F1 racer instructions read back-to-front, and upside-down, from the orientation of the instructions for the Super Car, both in the same booklet). Big pictures of models in middle of instructions booklet. Heavy Duty box.


    Decals! This is the worst feature of the set. Of the twelve decals included, a full seven of them span multiple elements. Some decals even have to be removed to go from one model to the other. Easily the most negative factor about the set.

    No reverse.

    4-speed transmission seems almost secondary to model. Would like LEGO to come with a clever way to motorize the model (even if it required 2+ motors).


    Display Tray:
    Many unusual and specialized elements here. Steering wheel, Steering Bearings that house the constant velocity joints for the wheels. Large dark-grey shock absorbers. Steering linkage element. Gear-shift plate (with H pattern). Gear-shift lever. Two new-style differential housings. Universal Joint. New-style 16-tooth gear. New Transmission element.
    Special/Unusual Elements:
    Steering Wheel. Large Shock Absorbers. Specialized transmission and steering/suspension elements. Chain Links. Black Small Cross-axle Hub.
    Most of the steering and transmission elements. Stop Bush with Side Axle. 90 degree offset cross axle connect. New Hubs and Tires. New Differential Housing and 16 tooth gear. Axle Extender. Triple-length connector peg with friction.
    Non-Plastic Pieces:
    2 Small knobby tires, 4 Extra-Large automobile tires. Metal springs on shock absorbers.

    Reviewer Information
    Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Product Lines/Themes
    Joshua Delahunty 26 Technic

    I'm primarily a collector of Technic and Model Team sets, although Space is a close third. I'm a "model" enthusiast first, an elements collector ("collection builder") second. Also, when it comes to a set like this, or most Technic sets for that matter, I welcome the specialization of elements.

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