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Audi R18 and R8 LMS Part of 2016 Lego Speed Champions Series


You may not be surprised to know that LEGO® enthusiasts are a bit like car enthusiasts, complete with network of websites dedicated to the subject and plenty of spy/intel information about upcoming products planned from the toy brick makers. Case in point are two upcoming sets including Audi R18 and R8 LMS that appear to be part of the recently launched Speed Champions Series from LEGO®.

Alas, these aren’t the super detailed LEGO® Technik kits we’ve yearned for over the years (see related links to the right of this story). No, the upcoming Audi models are part of LEGO® Speed Champions series that sacrifices some detail for size compatible with LEGO® signature mini figures and more robust nature thus more of use as a play thing for kids of all sizes than work of art meant for some boring old shelf.

Lego launched the Speed Champions series of kits back in March, officially licensing trademarks and building kits for Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche. Seven different kits were offered in 2015, ranging from production cars such as the Porsche 918 Spyder to a full racing rig and F14 Formula One racecar from Scuderia Ferrari.

A couple of weeks ago, Lego enthusiast sites like PromoBricks.de lit up with news  of 2016 LEGO® kits planned by the toy company’s Billund, Denmark headquarters and leaked in some way likely first attributable to Amazon updating its product database… a move later deleted, but not before hardcore fans found the content.

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That first leak confirmed five kits that we’ve highlighted below. These appear to confirm new collaboration with Audi, in addition to Chevrolet and Ford. However, the leak initially did not include images.

Fast forward to this past weekend and we now have images courtesy of Brickset.com, plus the confirmation of two more kits including the R8 LMS and a Porsche kit including pit lane workshop, 919 Hybrid and 917K racers.

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Near as we can tell, this all looks very official and as such we have no reason to doubt the kits will be made readily available via Lego outlets everywhere. Whether or not they’ll make it in time for the holiday season or come out in March 2016 one year after the first round of Speed Champions kits remains to be seen.

Interestingly, the Audi models themselves are not the newest versions of the cars. The R18 e-tron quattro appears to be the 2014 spec R18 #1 car, so the same spec as Audi’s most recent Le Mans victory but not the race winning #2 car. It comes with one figure that ambiguously either a driver or team mechanic. It wears the white overalls of a driver, but carries a wrench.

The R8 LMS ultra is similarly not the latest greatest. The ‘ultra’ designation and signature sideblade confirm it is the older R8, while its livery and #4 number plate suggest it has been modeled after the 2014 24 Hour of Nurburgring winning Phoenix Racing R8 LMS ultra. Like the R18, it gets a mini figure wearing a race suit consistent with the driver team on that particular car, though carrying a wrench.

For now, the very nature of the “2016” designation suggests that these kits will become available sometime next year, though that has yet to be confirmed. We’ll keep an eye on the situation and make sure to report on these just as soon as we know any more information on the subject.

Thanks Tommy Mihok for the tip.

 

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