LEGO® Set Review: 8880 Super Car
See also Joshua Delahunty’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. New Technic and Service Catalogs. ©1994
Price Range: $139.00 (US) Per Piece: 9.66 cents
Special Features / Compatibility
Extra Elements
Scale: Technic Action Figures: The seats are a bit large for the action figures, unless he/she were a youngster taking the ol' Super Car for a Joy Ride!
Errors: There was a loose instruction page for Step 19, which is meant to replace the Step 19 bound in the instructions. There's no difference in the use of parts between the two, just an extra diagram to clarify what's going on in that step.

Buy it! Heck, I'd even recommend buying it if you've never seen it! If I had, I would have had mine 3 weeks ago.


The set includes instruction for the Super Car and for a Formula One (F1) Racer.
Super Car:
This model is a black with yellow trim and white interior sports car with 4 wheel drive, steering, and independent suspension. It has a rear mounted V-8 engine (small pistons) and a functioning four speed transmission. Also has 'car' features like pop-up headlights, an opening engine compartment, adjustable mirrors, etc.
F1 Racer:
This model follows the same general color scheme as the Super Car. It is a rear wheel drive, front wheel steering car with a rear mounted V-8 and a two speed transmission.


I first saw a picture of the Super Car in the first SAHS Catalog that Lego sent out after the first of the year. After several intense minutes of drooling, I pulled out the ol' Master Card and dialed the number for SAHS. On reserving mine, I asked how many had been ordered (I called in the first week in February) and was told that I was # 187 to order it. About a week later I got a post card saying I would probably get it on 27 April. I actually dreaded the day it would come, because I knew I would do absolutely no studying for my finals that same week. But, since Murphy is not my friend, I got another post card about a month later saying that I would get it on 14 May. I called Lego the morning of 16 May to see if they had them yet and they said that they came in on the 13th and that it was on its way. They sent it Priority Mail and I got it the same day I called. That's Customer Service!

The set is very detailed, with every detail (it seems) taken into consideration. There's even a sticker for the instrument panel to give the illusion of a speedometer!

There are a large number of specialized pieces for building the transmission, steering and suspension. Some of the 'purists' out there don't like pieces like this but I think it's great! Before I got the #8865 Test Car a few years ago, a friend and I built a two wheel drive car with full suspension. It was a dog! It was so large and heavy we had to use heavy duty rubber bands for shock absorbers and place the steering pivot 8 studs away from the wheel itself! These special pieces will allow for things like adjustable wheel camber.


Set Rating:Must-Have

When I first got #8865 Test Car as a gift 2 years ago, I said (at that time) "The only challenge left to Lego is a car with 4 wheel steering, drive, and suspension." Well, they've done it, and done it well. This is a prime addition to my collection.

Model Rating:Must-Have

The models are very functional and feature packed. Some very subtle things, such as limiting suspension travel, were done in even more subtle ways. I would almost call it elegant. The tricks used in the design of the car are very impressive.

Playability Rating:Fair

While I find this set extremely exciting, one must consider that I am a 22 year old engineering graduate student who has been tinkering with Lego for 15 years and with Technic Lego (Expert Builder, really), since I was 9 or 10. A kid (especially one toward the younger side of the suggested age group) would probably find that this set simply took too long to assemble. The Super Car has 36 steps in 51 pages. More than two hours of building got me to step 22 or 23, and I'd like to think I can do this rather quickly; #8865 Test Car takes me about 1:45 to build. Playability? There are _many_ small and/or delicate pieces in this set. The enthusiastic play of a teen might result in a few broken pieces.

This is a "builder's" set. I enjoy building at least as much as the play, and this is probably why I like it so much.


Realistic appearance: Spoilers, contoured bucket seats, and raiseable hood add to its character. The tires have the label "ZR" next to their size label, which denotes High Performance in the real world. The sticker representing the speedometer (digital of course, this is a modern vehicle) reads 147 km/hr, which is about 91 mph. This furthers the high performance flavor of the Super Car.
Realistic Operation: The 4 wheel drive system uses 3 differential gears. Any real car with 4 wheel drive also has 3 differentials. A friend once told me that a car with 4 wheel steering should have real wheels which travel half as far as the front wheels (and in the opposite direction, of course). The Super Car does exactly this.
Hidden Steering Wheel: Because of its location, the 'proper' steering wheel (in front of the driver's seat) is difficult to reach. Lego has included a _second,_hidden_ steering wheel. It is the one inch wheel that I mentioned before. It is hidden between the seats and the engine and is NOT visible except from directly above.


Just that I had to wait soooo long to actually get it in my hands!


Steering/Drive linkage:
There is a new steerable piece that snaps in between the suspension arms. There is a special sleeve that slides through this steerer and snaps into each wheel. There is a special ball shaped 8-tooth gear that fits into the above-mentioned sleeve. It can drive the wheel from a range of angles. (Essentially a Lego CV Joint !!)
There is a 4 x 6 plate with a special hole and the H shift pattern built into it. A special shift lever snaps in from the bottom and shifts through the H like that of a real manual transmission. There is one more very interesting piece that looks as though it was designed specifically for this set; it's difficult to describe but I'll do my best: It slides over the axle extenders (the thing that joins two axles end to end) and ratchets back and forth along it. Either end of this piece fits into the open back of the 16 tooth gears which spin freely on an axle (the new ones, like in the HoverCraft, #8824). By sliding these pieces back and forth, the transmission engages a different set of gears (shifting!)

Aside from the above mentioned pieces, There is nothing too special about the rest of the pieces. [except that they combine into one really great model :) ]

Display Tray:
Included one of the suspension arms, the steering wheel, transmission and drivetrain components. And don't forget the standard gear or two for show!
Aside from the special pieces above, the only thing really new (to me at least) are the wheels/tires. They are the same as those on the big 3 wheel motorcycle (#8857 ??). I'm glad Lego has finally made a tire with tread that actually looks like the tread on real tires.

Oh, I almost forgot, there is a new style of differential gear. It uses the same beveled internal gears as the old one but has 16 teeth on one end and a 24 tooth gear on the other. These gear sizes make the differential more versatile in relation to other gears ==> better building potential!

Non-Plastic Pieces:
Just the wheels mentioned above and a single 1 inch wheel, which I will explain later.

There is also a small sheet of adhesive stickers (Octan sponsor labels for the F1 Racer, Hood Ornament, Speedometer and Tachometer for the dashboard, etc)

Reviewer Information
Reviewer Name Age (at review) E-Mail WWW Favorite Product Lines/Themes
Patrick Yagle 22 --- Technic

I typically buy only Technic sets, although if a particular set from a different genre of Lego catches my eye, I will get it on occasion. Typically, if a set does not have a lot of 'features', such as moving parts and "turn this crank and the model does ..." type stuff, I don't like it. This is why I don't like a lot of the smaller Technic stuff.

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