Time flies when you’re building LEGO® Technic. It has already been two years since our last Volvo  adventure, the 42030 Remote-Controlled VOLVO L350F Wheel Loader! It was so much fun, we just kept building new Volvo ideas. And here we are, proud to introduce you to the newest member of our LEGO Technic Volvo family.

Olav and Milan were the designers on this partnership with Volvo Construction Equipment: the 42053 Volvo EW160E wheeled excavator.

Olav, you were the lead designer on the main model. What was your main goal for the wheeled excavator?

It was definitely to copy the real life model as closely as possible. Volvo has been making wheeled excavators for more than 40 years – construction machines for even longer. So every design and safety detail, shape and function has a purpose and has been tested and perfected over decades. We wanted to honor that in our model, too.

And what details should we look for in the Technic model?

If we start with the looks, it’s a classic yellow and black color scheme. We spent a lot of time fine-tuning the design details, like the overall shape of the model, the cab with safety bars, the comfortable seat with the Volvo logo, head rest and armrest. You have the three wing-mirrors, and the safety labels on the boom.

Speaking of safety, notice the orange step beams, handlebars and railings? Volvo made them orange to make it easy to spot where you can climb safely onboard.

And now for my favorite part: the functions! There’s a new pump?

The model has a lot of great functions:

  •         We have a NEW pneumatic pump for the boom and clam shell bucket. Just press it a couple of times to raise the boom, and release the valve in the back to lower it again. We used 1 short and 2 long pneumatic cylinders from our new system.
  •         You can lock the manual outriggers.
  •         You can lower the dozer blade and lock it as well, so the wheels clear the ground.
  •         There is steering on the front wheels, controlled from the back.
  •         The hood can be opened so you can see all the hoses and technical details built into the motor.
  •         And this is awesome: You can raise the cab, like in the real-life version. That gives the driver a good view of the construction area he’s operating in, or he can look down into a container and see where he’s dropping off his materials.
  •         The superstructure can turn 347 degrees.

Does it come with Power Functions, or can you add it?

The model itself doesn’t come with Power Functions. But if you really want to challenge yourself, you can add a motor and lights. The building instructions in the box will show you how to remove the lower part of the chassis add a motor, lamps and replace a hose to get the pneumatics motorized, and get the headlights working.

Milan, you designed the alternative model, a Volvo L30G compact material handler. It’s also based on a real life Volvo construction vehicle. Why did you choose this one?

When you have the task of creating an alternative model to a main model on wheels, it’s often the size of the tires that sets the frame for what you can build. In this case, the tires on the real-life Volvo L30G are the same as the ones used on the EW160E, and both vehicles are made in the very same factory in Germany. It seemed like a perfect fit.

When you’re making an alternative model, you only have a given set of elements to use – the elements used in the main model. What is the biggest challenge in that?

The model contains three cylinders: two long and one short, the real machine has a long cylinder for tilting the attachment and two shorter ones for raising/ lowering the boom. So the length of the pneumatic cylinders was the biggest challenge, to keep the movement of the boom and the grabber parallel.

Other than the pneumatics for the boom and grabber, what functions does the model have?

  •         Articulated axle steering
  •         You can tilt the grabber back and forth
  •         Open the engine cover to see the engine details (made with pneumatic hose connectors) and radiator
  •         Windshield wiper – I think this is the first time we have released a vehicle with a windshield wiper?
  •         Comes with bridge girders that you can lift and play with and you can connect them to form a bridge construction.
  •         You can build your own attachments to work on any kind of construction job you need… I know there are enough parts to build a snow plow. But it will be fun to see all the fun ideas people will try out!

Watch the designer video presentation of the Volvo EW160E wheeled excavator, or upload your own construction equipment builds to the Gallery!