LEGO Speed Champions 76900 Koenigsegg Jesko – An obscure supercar [Review]

Speed Champions have been widely regarded as on of the best themes LEGO has to offer. Even if cars and similar vehicles are of no interest to you, these small display sets may have impressed you in one way or the other. LEGO Speed Champions 76900: Koenigsegg Jesko may look like the weaker sets from the Summer 2021 lineup, but it may be a long-awaited model of the Swedish car brand. It is still a great-looking LEGO car with an enjoyable build, and more importantly, it has fewer stickers than the average Speed Champions set. Coming in at 280 pieces and one minifigure, it is currently available for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99. Does this set convey LEGO’s love to its neighbouring automobile industry? Let’s find out!

The box and contents

The front of the box announces its playset status with the 7+ age rating, and features the titular Koeniggseg Jesko racing along a scenic Swedish-looking road. In the top left corner, a checkered flag design behind the LEGO Speed Champions branding fades into the background. On the right hand side, the Koenigsegg logo takes up just as much space, signifying LEGO’s partnership with the car brand. On the bottom right are the set details, though the piece count is omitted as it is traditional with UK and European boxes. The back of the box features a rear view of the model, a close-up at the front intake, as well as the real-life car it takes inspiration from.

The parts for the set come in two numbered bags, a small bag for the wheel covers, and both the instruction booklet and sticker sheet loose in the box. Fortunately, neither the instructions nor stickers were damaged despite me damaging the box. As you can see, the two bags have different designs. While some may criticise LEGO’s lack of packaging consistency, I couldn’t care less as these plastic bags end up in the rubbish bin.

The instruction booklet is small and straightforward – but it could have more. It is my opinion that Speed Champions sets are up there in quality and complexity as Creator Expert (or 18+ or Adults Welcome or whatever they call it these days). Given that these small sets explore licenses with automobile companies, I wouldn’t mind a page or two talking about the real car and the design process in translating it to bricks.
Another thing I always find funny is the “please sort your pieces” graphics on the very first page. We all know what LEGO is trying to do: force the toxic AFOL lifestyle of forever sorting onto us from a very young age…

There are one or two pages with a top-down view instructing the builder where to place stickers. This orientation helps line some of them up better than it would in an isometric view. The sticker sheet is small and numbered, and less than what I feared.

The pieces

I’m a builder, and LEGO pieces are important to me. Speed Champions introduced some of the most useful pieces for building as early as 2015. Since then, part designers were required to match the shapes of supercars by use of new elements. Both bags contain a variety of parts ranging from common bricks and plates to curved slopes to new intricate pieces for SNOT building.

I did single out some new and interesting parts (with a summer 2021 mindset). All the sets from this Speed Champions lineup contain new redesigned dual-moulded wheels with thinner tyres than before. This new design allows 2×2 dishes to be attached, as seen with the 76903 Chevrolet Corvette double set. The windscreen is printed and exclusive to this set despite explicit and redundant Koeniggseg branding. The piece you wouldn’t expect to be recoloured for this set is the lime-coloured meat cleaver, which is most common in flat silver.

The other pieces aren’t exactly new or exclusive to this set but interesting nonetheless. White triangle tiles (or sandwich tiles) are always welcome, as well the pearl dark grey engine intake. The lime quarter-circle tiles (or DOTS) are on the odd end, appearing in uncommon sets such as some Vidiyo Beatboxes. Yellow 1x1x1 upwards brackets are new with this set as well as the 76901 Toyota GR Supra. The same piece in the blue colour is also on the new-ish, having previously appeared in… Minions? Several 1x1x2 brackets in black are fairly new as well, first appearing in the recent Creator Expert Porsche 911. There are two microphones as well, which is nothing special but I do like my grey greebly parts.

The minifigure

As a nice balance to my interest in LEGO pieces, my main shortcoming as a LEGO fan is lack of interest in minifigures. This set includes one that I will stick in the driver’s seat and keep him there until it is time to sacrifice the Jesko for pieces. He has an all-dark bluish grey racing suit with black gloves. The front reads “Koenigsegg” in the tiny barely-legible letters, but the car company’s logo takes up most of the rear to make up for it. As for the head and hair – generic LEGO City man #429 is somehow the driver of this racecar. Good for him! He comes with a helmet and a wrench – and it’s good that he also has hair.

The build

By now you’ve seen the posts on various social media. “OMG is that a Swedish flag in the Speed Champions Koeniggseg set?” LEGO does seem to love their Swedish collaborators. Volvo and LEGO. IKEA and LEGO. And now, Koeniggseg and LEGO.

The build starts off fairly simple, with common bricks and plates going on the vehicle chassis and wheel connectors. It is not until step #10 where some SNOT happens. The rear of the vehicles is added sideways, as is tradition with most minifigure-scale vehicles for the past decade. Tiles and wings blend well with the curved slopes and black greebles, already ensuring a smooth exterior for the car. A special printed 1×1 plate with “JESKO” is added to the right of the engine piece. The instructions let you know it’s important, and that it goes on the right side only.

As we build up the rear of the car, we move to the seating area with an intricate subsection of slopes that represents the high-tech racing seats. I wonder if it’s comfortable for the square-backed minifigure that drives this thing… On the other hand, its sideways studs line up well with the brackets on the side of the car. We return to the rear of the car to add more bodywork, including the first batch of stickers.

Bag 1 finishes with a strong submodel: some sort of crossbow that has no relation to this Swedish supercar. Once we add it on top of the car we realise it’s the unique spoiler design of Koenigsegg. A bit clunky in LEGO but it’s the best the designers could do at this scale. It does make me wish for a large Technic or a Creator Expert model of this car…

Bag 2 starts with the entire front section. SNOT brackets and cheese slopes supplement layers of wings, tiles and wedges in a fairly complex-looking section. Here we figure out the purpose of the lime meat cleaver: the iconic front intake splitter of the Jesko. A tile in the front has a sticker to match – all black with a lime coloured line that interests it.

After the front wheel arches, we add the sides of the car shortly after via several small sub-assemblies. This includes the side doors (or lack of), rearview mirrors, and another set of air intakes. The hood of the car soon follows with a straight section that is angled to give the car an extra curve.

The car takes shape with the addition of the windscreen and we cap off the details with stickers. Finally, the wheels. And the Koeniggseg Jesko is finished, with a decent number of spare parts.

The completed model

I am not the leading expert on Koenigsegg cars. Sometimes I confuse them with Paganis, as both make very curvy supercars. I’m pretty sure I also misspelled the name several times in this review. I’m not the most qualified person to judge whether or not this set is accurate to its real-life counterpart. But while I’m here (and have pictures of the real thing), I’ll go ahead and say LEGO nailed it.

It is difficult to make anything with curves using angular LEGO pieces, and it’s harder to do so the smaller it is. While a predominantly boxy body is unavoidable, LEGO included design elements and details that are a near-perfect recreation of the source material. The proportions and shaping of the model almost mimic the real car, with minor variations that LEGO part geometry limits.

LEGO took special care to spice up the black and white colour scheme with lime highlights here and there. These are less noticeable on the real car, as is the blue and yellow of Sweden behind the front wheels. The front and the back of the car are the most recognisable, with Jesko’s distinctive intake and unique rear exhaust design.

As for a strictly LEGO Speed Champions discussion, the Jesko is consistent with others with the newer 8-stud wide design. It fits well with 2020’s 76895 Ferrari F8 Tributo and one half of the 76899 Lamborghini two-pack – the Huracán Super Trofeo EVO. These larger and more accurate models are now more akin to actual die-cast car models than playsets. This is why I think they are Creator Expert sets – but at a smaller scale. I have also put it next to an older 6-stud wide Speed Champions set, and the closest thing to a 4-stud wide car I have built. The difference is palpable – the new oversized design of current Speed Champions ARE scale models.

One shortcoming of these models – the steering wheel is offset due to an archaic piece LEGO still uses for these.

Conclusion and recommendation

Do I always praise 8-stud wide Speed Champions cars that are too oversized for minifigures? Yes. Is LEGO Speed Champions 76900: Koenigsegg Jesko the best one from this current lineup? Only if you’re a die-hard fan of this more obscure supercar brand. Amidst the Chevrolet Corvettes, Ford GT, and even the Toyota Supra, the Koenigsegg is obscure and unrecognisable to anyone who isn’t a supercar nut. Even the white colour scheme doesn’t grab your attention as a more vibrant colour. It’s not a bad model and not even a bad car. The others of this particular collection just overshadow it, both as a LEGO model and real-life car. While everyone will be buying the Ford GT or the Corvettes, this may only be for Koenigsegg fans.

LEGO Speed Champions 76900: Koenigsegg Jesko contains 280 pieces and one minifigure. It is currently available for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99.

This copy of the product was purchased by the reviewer.