With a dash of American muscle out of our system with the 75884 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, we continue our look at the upcoming 2018 LEGO Speed Champions sets today with 75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 “Scuderia Corsa”. LEGO sent us an early copy of the set, which includes 179 pieces and will retail for $15.99 beginning on March 1st.
The Ferrari 488 GT3 is the latest endurance racecar variant of the 488 series, which builds on the legacy of the 458 produced between 2009 and 2015. The 488 is currently in production, and the GT3 has raced at Daytona and Le Mans. 75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 features the same model of current Ferrari racecar as 75889 Speed Champions Ferrari Ultimate Garage, allowing builders and collectors to pick up this contemporary racecar in two liveries at two different price points.
The box, instructions, & sticker sheet
Like other Speed Champions sets, the Ferrari 488 comes in a small cardboard box that highlights the LEGO car on the front of the box. (Our European box from Billund doesn’t include the part count.)
The back of the box highlights the car from several angles and includes a photo of the real-life racecar.
Parts come in four unnumbered bags with a loose sticker sheet, black car chassis, and folded instruction booklet.
I have no complaints about the high numbers of stickers in LEGO Speed Champions sets at this point, since they give builders the flexibility to apply them or not, depending on whether they want to replicate the racing livery or the street-legal supercar. But I’ll note again how loose sticker sheets have a tendency to get folded, lose stickers, and otherwise sustain damage in transit (though that hasn’t happened in this particular case).
The Ferrari 488 GT3
comes together like most Speed Champions sets, building up and out from the black vehicle chassis. This car includes three different types of bracket pieces plus headlight bricks to achieve all the studs-out attachments for the complicated geometry of the side panels.
The side panels are complicated indeed, with 1×2 and 2×2 rounded slopes smoothing out the shape of the car, leading to an intake behind the cockpit. The rear of the car is basically a solid block with large-ish pieces (seen in the photo above) under a layer of plates. While consistent with other cars in the series, this seems like a missed opportunity to incorporate an engine beneath a removable rear section. Yes, this would likely add part count and complexity to the set, but I’d happily pay $3-4 more for a few dozen more parts that add engine detail and a fun play feature. Instead, I’ll challenge those of you reading this to mod this and other Speed Champions sets to add interior engine details. Get building!
The last dozen or so steps round out the rear deck with more rounded slopes, along with the large rear wing with the team name.
The finished model
Scuderia Corsa is the official motorsports team of several American Ferrari dealerships on the US west coast, and this Speed Champions set depicts the 488 GT3 in accurate team livery, down to sponsorships — “Ferrari Silicon Valley” appears on the left side panel and “Ferrari Beverly Hills” appears on the right. While the star of every Speed Champions set is always the car, the set also includes a minifigure (update: a depiction of Danish racecar driver Christina Nielsen) and a trophy.
I think each generation of Speed Champions sets has improved over the years, as LEGO designers introduce and take advantage of new parts like 1×1 quarter-round tiles and 1×2 notched slopes. As a result, each Speed Champions car looks far more different from other cars in the line than the first waves did back in 2015, when the McLaren P1 and Ferrari 458 looked remarkably similar…
The front splitter is built onto the car studs-down, complete with little details like the wires on each side that hold the splitter in place.
As I noted during the build process earlier in the review, the side panels have fairly complicated angles achieved with a variety of curved slopes, leading to a large air intake in front of the engine. I think the green quarter-round tiles are supposed to be the rear-view mirrors (which are green on the real-life 488 GT3), but I can’t say that they’re more than allusive — you’d really have to squint and unfocus your eyes to see the similarity.
Like the 2016 Ford GT, the back of the car features a rear diffuser to further optimize aerodynamics on the racetrack. The diffuser is built from four 1×1 corner panels — remember this when we take a closer look at the 488 in the Ultimate Garage set in a couple of days.
One frustration I do have with stickers in Speed Champions sets is stickers on canopies and windshields. Some canopies are printed, while others — like this one — have large stickers applied to them. This sticker includes a cutout that you have to position perfectly around the two studs on top of the transparent piece. Lining up this large sticker with the stickers behind the canopy (the stripes extend across three stickers) is going to be incredibly challenging for kids at the minimum age range of these sets. Similarly, stickers on transparent pieces are especially unforgiving if you try to remove and reposition them (we use very sharp knives very carefully — not recommended for 7-year-olds).
The green quarter-round tiles look lovely on each side of the rear wing, giving it a great “swoop” shape just like the real racecar.
It’s noteworthy that the driver is a woman in this set. More and more women have extended the legacy of 20th-century female drivers in recent years, led by high-profile drivers like Danica Patrick and Sabine Schmitz. I think it’s fantastic that LEGO is representing a more balanced view of what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.
UPDATE: Scuderia Corsa team member Christina Nielsen tweeted us with some information we didn’t have when we wrote our review:
Great article – would be honered if my name was included. It might only come with one driver (me) but my co-driver Alessandro and I are the two champions and shared the car :)
— Christina Nielsen (@ChristinaRacing) February 26, 2018
We’ve often speculated that the drivers in Speed Champions sets must represent the real-life women and men behind the wheel of our favorite cars, but since LEGO generally depicts movie characters using non-yellow colors, we weren’t quite sure who the drivers have been. Now we know — at least for this LEGO set. Thanks for the confirmation, Christina!
Apparently, the male Speed Champions drivers are all totally cool being completely bald, because all of them come with just helmets to wear. But the Ferrari 488 GT3 driver gets a blonde ponytail to wear when she’s not wearing a blue helmet in her car. Her racing suit sports the Scuderia Corsa name, with a red torso and legs and white arms.
Conclusions & recommendation
75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 Scuderia Corsa includes the same model of Ferrari as the modern racecar in 75889 Speed Champions Ferrari Ultimate Garage (the largest set in the current wave of Speed Champions). We’ll compare two cars in our review of the larger set, but suffice to say for now that they’re effectively identical, with only minor differences in LEGO design under the color and sticker differences. Thus, it’s nice to have a lower-cost option to purchase this LEGO Ferrari.
At $15.99 for 179 pieces, the price is fairly standard for Speed Champions sets — neither a screaming deal nor over-priced. It’s also a pretty good parts pack of curved red pieces for building your own creations. The finished LEGO car looks just like the real 488 GT3, taking advantage of new curved parts introduced in the last few years, finished off with stickers that don’t feel like they could have been created with brick-built solutions. Whether you’re a Speed Champions completist or a Ferrari fan, this is a must-buy set.
75886 Ferrari 488 GT3 Scuderia Corsa will be available on March 1st. You can purchase it from all the usual places, and we’ll update this post once those links are live on LEGO.com, Amazon, Target, and so on.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.