Just when you thought Lego couldn’t get any cooler, it goes and builds a life-size, fully working Bugatti Chiron. Consisting of more than 1 million Lego Technic pieces, the 1:1-scale Chiron has been completely assembled by hand, a process which took more than 13,000 hours.
As you’d expect, the build created numerous challenges, not least of which was finding a way to craft curved panels out of straight plastic pieces in order to replicate the real Chiron’s bodywork, never mind the ability to make this 1.5-tonne creation drive under its own battery power. For the latter Lego used 2,304 of its Power Function electric motors (divided into 24 motor packs each of which consists of 96 motors) along with 2,016 of those little plastic axles and 4,032 cogs. Together this setup produces a mighty 5.3 horsepower, which is enough to give the 1.5-tonne Chiron a top speed of 12.5mph. Admittedly that’s slightly short of the 1,479bhp and 261mph a real Chiron generates, but it’s still impossible not to be impressed.
As with the real Chiron there’s also a fully adjustable rear wing and airbrake, which uses yet more of the Power Function motors along with Lego’s pneumatics system connected via 15 metres of tubing. This all operates automatically as you drive off or apply the brakes.
The Chiron was developed and built in Lego’s Kladno factory in the Czech Republic, where part of the site is dedicated to creating the large-scale models you see at Legoland theme parks and in Lego stores. Here the team devised a car that was not only a faithful representation of the Bugatti on the outside, but also on the inside, where the seats, dashboard, speedometer and steering wheel mimic the real Chiron’s, albeit made from tiny bricks and goodness knows how many of those little black connectors.
Now, if you’re one of those people who moans about how Lego these days features too many custom pieces then cover your eyes, because the Chiron is said to feature 56 such bespoke parts, albeit some are simply existing pieces made in new colours. Besides, it’s not exactly like all the bits are going to end up mixed together in a big box along with the train set and that Paradisa mansion you bought from a French hypermarket when you were 9.
Among the countless other amazing details are an electric Lego screwdriver tool that was used to adjust the engine (a real screwdriver produces too much torque), plus a Lego keyhole and working key to switch the car on, and fully working LED lights that even carry the real Chiron’s signature start-up sequence. In fact, just about the only bits not made from Lego are the steel frame upon which the Lego body sits (it really does just ‘sit’ too, with no glue used), the hydraulic brake system, the steering, and the wheels and tyres. Oh, and then there’s the batteries, which primarily consist of one 80-volt unit and another standard 12-volt car battery – because let’s face it, finding enough AAs to power a life-size Chiron wouldn’t be easy.
What’s perhaps most startling about all this, aside from the fact it’s an actual working, driving Lego car, is that the project was only given the green light in September 2017, meaning it took just six months to become a reality.
Needless to say this is one set you won’t be seeing in shops, but as a demonstration of just how amazing a toy can be it surely doesn’t get much better.
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