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LEGO Technic 42109 Top Gear Rally Car unboxing, building details and review

LEGO Technic 42109 Top Gear Rally Car unboxing, building details and review


what’s up guys this is Balazs from RacingBrick! The brand new Technic sets from 2020 are here let’s have a look at the
42109 app-controlled Top Gear rally car first! This car is an interesting one, it
has the branding of the famous BBC car show Top Gear we can also see the show”s
mysterious driver the Stig on the box as the name says the car is app controlled
you need a smartphone or a tablet and the Control+ application for remote control
on the back there is a brief presentation of the features and some
highlights of the app there’s a full-size Stig here unfortunately he’s
only present on the box and in the form of stickers I think Lego missed the great
opportunity here to bring back the Technic figures and have a Stig figure
included in the set you saw my version on the cover photo unfortunately that’s
only Photoshop, Lego did not create a white Technic figure yet some technical
details are on the side of the box we get the Technic medium hub with an XL
motor for driving and an L motor for steering as you see there’s no remote, our
only official option is the Control+ application now let’s see what’s inside
the set has only 463 pieces the price is 130 euros or dollars that’s
quite a lot in this price range we usually get Technic sets that has at
least a thousand pieces although they are not fully remote-controlled honestly
I’m not even sure when was the last time when Lego made a remote control
Technic car that was not an off-roader with less than 500 pieces we don’t get a
lot of things in the box there are four unnumbered bags, the manual, sticker sheet and another cardboard box with the electronic parts the manual has two pages about the Stig
but honestly we won’t get to know much about him it only helps if you don’t
know the show or the character at all there are some other hints here and
there in the instructions about him but this whole Top Gear and Stig branding
feels like an afterthought and the car otherwise has zero
connection to the show the most important new piece is the new
differential it is three studs wide has five of the small tan gears inside
instead of three and it comes in two separate pieces that needs to be
assembled I’ll do a separate video about it to compare it to the previous
versions you can click on the link above if it’s already published we also get
the small wheel arch in white now there’s a pretty good color selection
available of this piece so let’s start building the car the whole process
should take less than an hour you can even finish it quicker if you
are an experienced builder applying the stickers will be probably the most
time-consuming part since there are a lot of them there are two big 7 by 11
frames in the set that we’ve already seen in the Liebherr, serving as the
chassis of the car the new differential needs to be placed in the frame in the
beginning of the build make sure you put the small gears inside correctly and
check if the axles connected to them can be turned smoothly, otherwise the
differential won’t work and you need to disassemble the whole car to remove the
differential as you can see here I had some issues first and I needed to
reassemble the differential for a smooth operation with the double bevel gear of the new
differential it is possible to drive it with parallel or perpendicular gears in
this car the XL motor is placed above the axle parallel to the differential the
new four-port Technic hub is a structural part of the build with the
new mounting holes it is basically the central part of the chassis there’s some
reinforcement of the axles and then we add the 36t gear the 28t gear of the differential this means the powered up XL motor
which is almost 2 times faster than the power functions XL motor is even
geared up here I hope that gives the car some decent speed there’s another 7 by
11 frame added to the front and we put in the L motor that serves here as a
servo we need to arrange the cables properly with the help of the color
coded cable holders the steering assembly is not too complicated
since the L motor doesn’t have a zero mark on it we’ll need to have a similar
calibration sequence in the app that we saw in the 4×4 X-treme Off-Rodarer, the
steering is still a critical point if we want to drive the car with any other
application so far only the BrickController2 application offers a
calibration sequence and the proper return to center steering with the new
motors we won’t even find this option in the Powered Up application unfortunately
since the huge 4 ports hub occupies the center of the car the steering servo
needed to be placed in the front therefore we won’t have any working fake
engines that we usually see in the Technic cars there is a simple imitation
of the engine with a few pieces but no moving parts here now we go back to the
rear to assemble the roof the part usage here as well is very simple there are
only common pieces used and I think the piece count is kept at the bare minimum
on purpose this makes the building process very
easy for younger kids as well but I think the more experienced builders
would like to see some more sophisticated techniques used the rear section is complete now we
mostly use all sticker placement skills for this although I have to say that the
rear looks actually better than the front of the car it replicates the lines
of the previous Technic rally car in a smaller scale after this we add the hood
and the a-pillars and then we continue with some panels on the side the front is completed with the lights
and then all we have left are the wheels to add, as you can see the size of the
front and rear tires are different this is not something common on real life
rally cars I’ll show you later what was the possible reason for this weird
choice and how will it look like with the same sized tires at the front and at
the back so here is the finished car in its full glory I have to say that I’ve
seen much nicer cars in this scale and it really looks like a toy car with
funny proportions and very few details there are tons of stickers but it’s also
mixed bag if we get a car with the Top Gear brand then we would expect lots of
references to the show but all we have are different Stig and Top Gear labels
all the rest is the usual made up race livery by LEGO the number 77 is
probably a reference to the year when the show started but that’s all about
the hidden references if you find more please let me know the car is very small
it lookes like a bare minimum shell to house the hub and the motors if you put
the Corvette next to it you can see that the Corvette is actually longer although
the rally car is wider and a bit taller as I mentioned previously the car looks
pretty funny with the different sized tires this configuration looked familiar
to me and there was actually a Technic car in 2014 with the exact same tire
configuration that was the 42022 hot rod this is the B model of that car
apart from the remote control features that I will show you in a minute the car
has very little to offer there’s an opening hood and well that’s all
before starting the app we need to add 6 AA batteries fortunately the
battery compartment is very easily accessible the placement is pretty
similar to a standard RC toy car the Control+ app now has three different
profiles for the 3 remote-controlled models introduced so far at the first connection there might be
a request to update the firmware on the hub that process takes roughly three
minutes you need to make sure that the two motors are connected to proper ports
if any of them is disconnected or misplaced then the app won’t connect
instead of giving you a hint about the wrong plugs it will get stuck in this
weird connection cycle just like you did for the two other models once the
firmware update is complete the app connects to the hub and we can go
through the calibration process that is required for a properly working steering after that there is an introduction of
the control system this steering setup is more designed for a smartphone, it might be difficult to use on a bigger tablet the forward and reverse controls are on
the right the steering is on the left we can also switch between manual and
automatic transmission but this only affects the controls in the app as you
saw during the build there is no actual gearbox in the model if we swipe the
screen to the right there is another control option here the gas and the
brake is controlled by the two pedals at the bottom and the steering is
controlled by the orientation of the smart device if you choose the manual
transmission the car will drive at max speed defined by the gear without the
need of pushing the pedals I noticed the weird bug that happens randomly
sometimes the car will suddenly steer to the left or the right by itself as you
can see you can start the car at max speed you need to go through the gears
and if you shift to quickly then the car will still increase the speed at a much
slower pace there is also a handbrake that stops immediately the car controlling the car is pretty easy with
the controls on the first screen although the acceleration with the
automatic transmission is really poor for me the steering was better with the
steering wheel done with the gyro control that one responds slowly and I
got the impression that the steering angle is not as good as with the other
option there are also some challenges to
complete we had something similar with the 4×4 X-Treme Off-Roader as well but I
have the impression that is supposed to be one of the main features of this set
you need to complete a race which means you need to follow the on-screen
instructions to go through a track the car is on a small stand here so the
wheels are not touching the ground here you can see that the app uses the
built-in gyroscope of the hub to detect motion at least for the turns
if you drive forward then the app accepts that one is completed without
actual movement but the turns will be only completed with the car actually
turns you can’t cheat and go through the challenges without actually driving the
car the gyroscope is also used to detect crashes if you crash the car then you
will get different virtual damages that you need to repair by tapping on the
corresponding icon completing the challenges indoors is problematic for
two reasons first of all you need a pretty big empty
space as the tracks are getting more complex by time and also bigger but
the main problem is that you can’t really predict the course based on the
graphics you see when you are instructed to turn you need to turn much more with
the car in reality than you would expect based on the course visible on the
screen so the course you have to continue has nothing to do at the end we
did practice in the app as you saw the acceleration with the Control+ app is
pretty bad and the top speed is not very high either I wanted to see if this is
the limitation of the app or that’s all the performance that the hardware can
deliver so I built a second car for this with the same part the only difference
is the lack of differential since I only had one of that in the original set to
test the acceleration and the speed we won’t need the differential anyway so it
would be perfectly fine the orange car is controlled again with the BrickController2 app and the original one is with the Control+ app the transmission is
set to automatic here you can see that there is a huge difference with the gear
shifting simulation acceleration is very very bad if both
cars are controlled withBrickController2 then you can see that there is no
difference between the speed and acceleration, all limitations are in the
Control+ app if we compare the speed to the 4×4 it is visibly faster but it won’t break any speed records in this test I try to see if the top
speed is limited by the Control+ app but the cars have a similar top speed so I
guess it is only the acceleration that is limited with the simulated gears don’t expect a stellar off-road performance
the ground clearance is minimal and there’s not much power available, this
means you can drive through carpets if you have enough momentum but that’s pretty much all here’s a little test to show you that
the differential is actually useful, the white car with the differential has
smaller turning radius and it turns faster here is a comparison how the car
would look like with the same tires at the front and at the back with the
smaller tires it looks funny the gap is still big above the rear wheels with the
fat tires the look is better but unfortunately the wheels would touch the
surrounding parts and they would block them so there was a reason why the
different sized tires were used so how to sum it up? on the plus side this is the
first non-offroader car in many years that is fully RC out of the box it is
small and light enough to have an acceptable speed indoors on smooth
surfaces it has a good-looking and polished app with multiple control
options, a simulated transmission and a lot of challenges to complete on the
other hand I think the set is way overpriced if we consider what it offers
at the moment just go and check out what RC cars you can get for 130 Euros yes I know Lego offers a great build experience, endless customization and everything like that the problem is that this set does
not really offer it the build is very simple it’s really kept at the bare
minimum without stickers the car looks very empty and stupid, the Top Gear
license doesn’t add anything and the car has no any connection to the brand it
feels like Lego made a generic car and then they try to spice it up with the
Top Gear license my biggest problem is still that there’s no official control
solution from Lego if you want to upgrade modify or rebuild the car to
something else you wanna add the light well bad luck the Control+ app will refuse
to connect wanna try the new 3.0 version of the Powered Up app well bad
luck again steering is still not supported properly and you would need to
have some visual programming experience to configure the controls anyway
obviously there are search for the solution saving the day like the great
BrickController2 app but that’s not something you would expect if you pay a
130 euros for the set we still don’t know the official pricing of
the hub and the motors but on BrickLink you can get this pack for around 60
euros this means the rest of the set is supposed to worth 70 euros and I’m not
sure that is the case for example you can get the Corvette for 40 euros
already and it has a higher piece count and for 70 euros you
big Rally Car and use the same electronic parts to motorized it if the
price drops below 100 euros then this will be a good Powered Up starter
pack for custom RC Technic builds but until that it is only recommended if you
really like the look or you are a hardcore Stig fan please share your
thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to give the video a thumbs up if
you liked it you can also subscribe and tap the notification bell if you want to
see more Technic reviews and other Lego RC videos see you next time bye bye

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25 thoughts on “LEGO Technic 42109 Top Gear Rally Car unboxing, building details and review

  1. Thanks for the review! Model is pretty good, It will sell very well at a discount.
    Orange and black looks way better than originals color combination, I think 😀

  2. That is what we call Deep review. Thanks for the analysis! Waiting for the deep new differential review.
    Tbh the only one thing I love of this model is the new differential. If this model looks more cooler, I will probably buy two of them. But now, I will just wait for Bricklink.

  3. and again the steering is on the left !!!! and the trottle/brake on the right… should be switched around !!! #LEGOPLEASECHANGETHEAPP #42099hasthesameproblem

  4. Poor and ugly "racing" car for a lot of money. It is better to buy motor and control unit separately and build your own construction.

  5. Hey racing brick I’m making a mod for set 42077 it has a motorized hood 2wd drivetrain and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the buwizz but I will 😁😁so look at my trailer that I made just type in Ian Swain and its the green cow so what’s in it is 1x Xl motor 2x l motor one cylinder controls and than i got lights from 2 power functions sets and two extension cords and finally the AAA battery box and that’s it

  6. Very good review and Balazs your English is very good. I actually listen to the whole review without reading the translation. The only time I needed to turn on the caption was to learn on how to spell your name!!!

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