Saturday, March 24, 2012

Flashback: 8653 Enzo Ferrari 1:10


We will conclude this recent mini-series of Technic supercar flashbacks with a short look at an 8653 Enzo Ferrari. However, I feel a bit uneasy about that ― as it's doubtedly classifiable as Technic and is mechanically inferior to flagship supercars. It belongs to a small series of Ferrari-licensed models, including F599 and F1 cars.

Lowright Its key point is easily visible already on the first photo ― of course, its bodywork design. This is, without any doubt, one of the finest examples of the modeling levels achievable primarily with Technic parts. As such, building it is an interesting lesson about creating those subtle angles and slopes, so often required to achieve desired contours. And the bodywork is not all static: the complex doors that open at an unusual (but realistically recreated) angle and are connected to pneumatic dampers, are clevely constructed. The bonnet opens too, but instead of complex dual-ball-joint system, this one simply rotates around pins and axles. Altogether, stellar design job done ― anyone would instantly guess it's a Ferrari, even without stickers.

However, as some may have experienced a similar effect in many other respects in life, looks can be inversely proportional to amount of wits inside; and unfortunately, the 8653 is no exception. It seems as the amount of design requirements (accurate bodywork, openable doors and a V12 engine) left no playground for extra functionality. It's not that the set itself is small or poor with parts (it's smaller yet has more parts than an 8880!), but a vast majority of them is bodywork or its supporting structure.

AllOpen Yes, the aforementioned V12 engine works as it's connected to the rear differential, and Enzo can be steered with a HoG knob behind the cabin, too. But there's not much else. Perhaps some space could have been found for a simple gearbox at least...? I feel that some renowned builders would cram 4x4, Power Functions, pneumatic ride height adjustment, onboard fusion reactor and who knows what else in the given constraints. For this reason, this shouldn't be considered a pure Technic (in fact, it is not sold as one ― it's in the Racers theme instead).

As one would expect, it is quite simple to build, with instruction steps being short and usually single-threaded. So putting together those 1358 parts goes rather easily. Among these, there are some valuable parts such as an assortment of red curvy panels, nice sporty tyres, pneumatic shock absorbers and bits of suspension (which sadly aren't utilised for more than keeping the wheel hub firmly in place).

Rearleft All put together, it has its undeniable highlights such as design and the door mechanism, but it is below the complexity standard set by flagship models. Or, simply said, in the real world it's definitely a supercar, while in the Lego world it's more of a "nicecar". (To joke a bit ― how would it be any more than that, with a 53F/47R weight distribution?)

Once again, it is not sold as Technic in the first place, and therefore it's harsh to judge it by different standards. But one can't dismiss the question in the back of his head: would at least elementary suspension have been too much to ask for? But guys at The Lego Group are not dumb ― they knew the appeal of a Ferrari brand would attract much wider audience than just the Technicheads and had to adjust this car accordingly, while not forgetting about the serious Technic supercars. Can we really blame them for not biting the hand that feeds them?
And now, I'd better stop publishing reviews already and get to these MOC's pronto! :)



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