It's likely that many people view the engineering resumes of French supercar manufacturer Bugatti and Danish toymaker Lego as equally impressive. And although combining automotive aerodynamics with building blocks may not seem the most natural fit, the two giants recently unveiled a fully functional version of Bugatti’s iconic Chiron sports car — made primarily of Legos.
This is the first time Lego has ever built a self-propelled, life-size car, which the company describes as its most complex non-glued Technic model. The car, which took more than 18 months to make, was produced at Lego’s Klando factory in the Czech Republic. Lego used a steel frame to support the 3,300-pound finished model, providing a secure connection point for the Chiron wheels.
The finished product is extremely impressive, and while it won’t churn out the Chiron’s typical 1,500 horsepower from an 8-liter, 16-cylinder engine, it does run like a regular car. The vehicle’s 2,304 motors churn out 5.3 horsepower, maxing out at 18 mph.
And, according to a report from Wired, the Lego car looks real from a distance, as special attention was paid to developing a two-tone paint job, horseshoe grille, functional headlights, and a working rear spoiler that raises and lowers using Lego Technic pneumatic actuators. Lego’s assembly team even made a custom screwdriver, as a real one would have generated too much torque and damaged the building blocks.
However, the shapes of the blocks, and their limitations, are realized inside the car. After all, there’s only so much you can do with square blocks when constructing a steering wheel and other controls. Pedals and shifters are provided for aesthetic purposes, as there’s no transmission. A brake controls all forward motion.
While the Lego version is essentially priceless, a new Chiron starts at about $3 million.