In the final part (Part I, II) we take a look at models after 2004. This period was heavily influenced by Ferrari and the emphasis on the looks of the models got even stronger, especially with the ones running as part of the "Racers" series.
The era of Racers was started by model no. 8653 "Enzo Ferrari 1:10" in 2005. The car is a replica of a real Ferrari Enzo. Just like the 8435 introduced in the previous part it consists entirely of studless bricks. A first in the history of Technic cars, it sports a V12 engine but this brings us almost to the end of the list. Unlike the previous models there is no gearbox or suspension. Steering, upwards opening doors and the differential represent all the features. This list is too short for many Technic enthusiasts especially considering that the set contains 1360 parts.
The next set is also a Racer, the 8674 "Ferrari F1 Racer 1:8" appeared in 2006. Its features are very similar to the earlier Silver Champion (8458) and Williams F1 Racer (8461) but the car was completely redesigned. Like on the previous Ferrari we do not find any studded elements here either. The engine is V8 because of F1 rule changes, the rest is the same: suspension on all four wheels, differential, steering and the engine hood opened with a damped spring of course.
The last Ferrari is the 8145 "Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano 1:10". This is the first set in the series that can be found in the shops today - of course others may appear occassionally from earlier stocks. The 8145 is the successor of Enzo with the same working features (and the same missing) and of course with the doors opened upwards.
Now let us see what has happened in the Technic line. The models still try to pack many features, but there are no supercars at the top of the range any more. Instead, we can find a crane (8421 from 2005), a powered bulldozer (8275 from 2007) and a harvester (8274, also 2007). While the 8285 "Tow Truck" is not exactly a supercar either, this is the most car-shaped of all of the above. The set contains a V6 engine, steering and differential, plus there are many ways to control the towing part, including pneumatics and various control wheels.
With this we have arrived to the last set in our series, the 8297 "Off Roader". It arrived in stores late 2008. It is similar to its off terrain predecessor 8466: suspensions on all wheels, rear wheel drive and a differential provide the foundations. It introduces many new concepts as well: as the first set in our history series it includes power functions by default and this can be used to adjust the height of the suspension. For more details, take a look at our post about 8297.
The selection has changed a lot since the introduction of the first supercars. The cars can do more and more and contain more special parts as well. But the most important change is the massive increase in choice: instead of the old cars sitting on the throne alone one get real variety today. The 8297 is a worthy contender here with many interesting solutions. We can only hope that there remain new things for the future as well.