Just as Gizmodo UK's resident Lego enthusiast Tom predicted last week, Lego really did build a proper car out of Technic.
As cool as the 5.3-million-piece Lego X-wing fighter the toymaker built in Times Square was — the ship didn’t actually fly. That’s what makes Lego’s latest over-the-top build even more impressive. There’s over a million pieces of Lego Technic in this life-sized Bugatti Chiron, as well as 2,304 tiny Lego electric motors allowing it to be actually driven to speeds of over 18 miles per hour.
That is, of course, much slower than an actual Bugatti Chiron, which boasts a top speed of 261 miles per hour. But as impressive an engineering feat as the real car is, as someone who’s been building with Lego my entire life, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the logistics of recreating a working Chiron using over a million interlocking plastic pieces. Lego started the build back in September of 2017 (after months of planning) and only finished it a few months ago.
An underlying metal frame is one of just a few non-Lego pieces on this Chiron. Photo: Lego
Surprisingly, there’s not a single drop of glue in the replica, which Lego’s master builders often use to hold larger creations together. But to make it drivable on four wheels, and to properly support the weight of 1,500-pounds of plastic, a human driver, and a passenger, the vehicle is supported on a minimal steel framework that also includes minimal non-Lego parts for the vehicle’s drivetrain.
Many of the Lego Chiron’s interior elements don’t actually work, but the brake pedal and steering wheel do. Photo: Lego
Everything else, from working head and tail lights, to doors that open and close, to a lavishly detailed, blocky interior (with a steering wheel, dashboard, shifter, seats, brake pedal, and mirrors) is made from Lego bricks or Lego Technic pieces. To get the colours just right, Lego even had to manufacture 56 new parts for this build, which took over 13,400 man hours to complete. How much do you think this Chiron is insured for?
Even the Chiron’s motor is made from Lego.
The Chiron’s frame is strong enough to support both a driver and a passenger.
The spoiler automatically raises and lowers, but at 18 miles per hour probably doesn’t generate much downforce.
Lego even had to build a custom low-torque screwdriver, out of Lego, to help adjust the car’s cylinder pistons. Photo: Lego
That plastic interior is somehow more lavish than my car’s is. Photo: Lego
The replica looks nearly perfect, but it’s what’s under the hood, or, more accurately, inside the trunk, that’s most impressive. Lego connected 2,304 of its Technic motors using 2,016 axle pieces, and 4,032 plastic gears, to create a functional electric motor that generates upwards of 5.3-horsepower. That’s no where near enough power to satisfyingly slam you back into your seat as you accelerate in this Chiron, but it’s enough to get the model up to over 18 miles per hour, which is nothing to baulk at.
Lego, understandably, has no plans to put this Bugatti Chiron into production, as the printed instruction manuals alone would undoubtedly cost you hundreds in shipping. You’ll have to be satisfied with this much smaller replica of the ultimate dream car instead — at least it’s easier to park.