Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: October 5, 2021
There aren’t many automobiles in the world that are as iconic as the Jeep Wrangler. As a direct descendant of the World War II Willys MB vehicles, the Wrangler has its roots tracing back more than 70 years. A purposeful and utilitarian sport utility vehicle, it is renowned for being an off-road warrior capable of climbing steep, muddy, and rocky terrains. And over the decades, its inherent design has hardly changed - square, boxy, and large and in charge. That’s a good thing for the folks at LEGO Technic, as being square means it’s less technically challenging to engineer and design a model.
Here we have the latest from LEGO Technic, a 665-piece set of the Wrangler Rubicon, the most hardcore off-roading machine from the Americans. What has us looking forward to assembling this model is just how realistic and true to form it looks like in the pictures. Obviously, its square dimensions help a great deal, but it’s the functional front winch, opening doors and front hood, a full-size spare tire, and an axle-articulating suspension that has us giddy with excitement. Let’s build!
Set: LEGO TECHNIC Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Price: $69.99 CAD
Specs: 665 pieces
Length: 24 cm
Width: 13 cm
Height: 12 cm
Build Time: 3 hours
00:00: Lots of yellow, and lots of tires!
00:01: There are only five bags here, so it’s clearly not as intricate as the larger Ferrari and Porsche TECHNIC models, but that’s as expected. The Jeep isn’t as rounded or as aero dependant either so its square silhouette should equate to less pieces and to be truer to form. And woohoo! Numbered bags! Makes it a lot easier to find parts, unlike the 911 RSR that had us scouring forever.
00:02: For the first step, we are building the chassis and the internal frame. The second and final step will be assembling the sheetmetal around the Wrangler.
00:10: Building the front differential to allow the wheels to move and articulate.
00:20: Here’s the progress so far.
00:35: First step is all done! Doesn’t look like a Jeep just yet. Patience is key with LEGO.
01:00: On goes the driveshaft. It’s not a very realistic one as it’s slanted upwards, but that’s so we can control the front wheels with the cog. Very neatly integrated, and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb like on the McLaren Senna GTR.
01:10: Let’s give the driver some place to sit shall we? The seats don’t look too comfy but this is an off-road machine after all. Love the Rubicon stickers.
01:11: Steering wheel!
01:20: Finally got the front winch going on. Neat how it works. LEGO gives you a piece of string you have to tie a not around the hook. Trouble is, my fingers aren’t too dexterous, so it took me a solid ten minutes just to tie a proper knot around it. Glad that’s over.
01:35: What a clever way of integrated the iconic seven-slat front grill. They are pre-stuck onto the LEGO pieces, so you don’t have to stick them on yourself. I prefer it that way. This way they are straight as they can be, and won’t look crooked.
01:45: Love the headlights too. Round as they should be.
01:50: It’s even got an engine cover with the Jeep logo and V6 indication. But this doesn’t actually have a moveable or functioning engine like the more expensive technic models - such is the sacrifice of its entry-level price.
02:00: Part 1 is complete! Got the steering rack done, engine cover, headlights, and the iconic 7 slat front grill attached. Even got a front winch with a string so its moveable and functional. Loving the design so far.
02:10: We’re assembling the left and right doors. They have got a tidy little Jeep emblem on them, and they swing open too.
02:15: Driver’s side door is on, now we’re bolting the frame together to get a solid and durable structure. It’s feeling really tight and solid at this point and we aren’t even finished.
02:20: Nice interior! It’s mostly just stickers but they’ve got some decals in there for the instrument panel, fans, and even the center touchscreen. UConnect, anyone?
02:40: The front hood is assembled. Got the Rubicon sticker and even some for the hood vents.
02:45: After some ophthalmic surgery, the square taillights are on! Looks just like the real car to be honest. I love how true to form LEGO has been with the iconic Wrangler.
02:50: And how cool are these rear structural bars?
03:00: And we’re all done! It took about 3 hours, one of the quickest builds thanks to the simplicity of the Jeep’s shape.
The LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is an impressive piece of kit at its price point. It’s not as large as the Ferrari 488 GTE and Porsche 911 RSR models, but it’s still a sizable, albeit square showpiece. It’s about the same general size as the McLaren Senna GTR. The final assembled piece is one of the most durable and solid LEGO kits we’ve built, and there is barely any flex in the joints. You could drop it down a flight of stairs and it would still come out unscathed.
The functional front winch is a clever feature that I haven’t seen in any other LEGO model due to the addition of the attached string. The wheels are off-road worthy, just like the real deal, and while there aren’t any real windscreens or windows, what they don’t tell you in the instruction manual is that you can just take the doors off and have a doorless Jeep, just like in real Wrangler. How cool is that?
For $70CAD, this is one of the best bang-for-buck sets in the LEGO Technic lineup. There are so many intricate details in the Wrangler, from the articulating suspension to the operable front hood that exposes a V6 engine cover. And when it comes to iconic automobiles, it doesn’t get more legendary than the Jeep Wrangler, and LEGO has successfully paid tribute to it in brick form with one of their more impressive pieces of kit.