In gear

Wheels (Australia) - - In Gear -

There’s pos­si­bly only one en­gi­neer­ing feat in the au­to­mo­tive world more im­pres­sive than Bu­gatti’s un­fath­omable Ch­i­ron. The mon­strous quad-turbo, 16-cylin­der coupe might be able to get from zero to 400km/h and back again in 42 sec­onds but that kind of pales when you re­alise some­one in a dark­ened room in Den­mark worked out how to recre­ate the Ch­i­ron in 1:8 scale us­ing noth­ing but Lego bricks. As­sem­ble the 3599 pieces in the cor­rect way and you’ll end up with an eight-speed gear­box clipped to an en­gine with mov­ing pis­tons. And you can even move the ac­tive aero into the top­speed po­si­tion us­ing the spe­cial key, just like the real thing. Six jolly green giants is a lot of cash for a Lego set but it’s still about 6000 times cheaper than the ver­sion that gets built for you. Lego Tech­nic Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron $600 shop.lego.com

Elite In­no­va­tions is sin­gle­hand­edly ru­in­ing the an­cient art of hide and seek. Slid­ing un­der a few hun­dred ki­los of slate and oak used to guar­an­tee safe con­ceal­ment from even the most ex­pe­ri­enced seeker, but the X1 Ever­est pool ta­ble changes ev­ery­thing. Built us­ing only CNC ma­chin­ing, 3D print­ing and laser cut­ting, this glass pool ta­ble is more trans­par­ent than a politi­cian’s prom­ises. A spe­cial rub­ber-like Le­vian layer above the 1-inch thick glass top and ul­tra-slim K-66 bumpers al­low the sup­plied aramid balls to be­have ex­actly as they would on cloth mi­nus the in­tol­er­a­ble prob­lem of not be­ing able to see your feet un­der­neath. Let’s hope they don’t de­sign a match­ing closet or the game of sar­dines is ru­ined as well. X1 Ever­est glass pool ta­ble $131,000 elitein­no­va­tions.com.au

Don’t risk bin­ning your shiny new Audi find­ing the lim­its on pub­lic roads and with­out the ex­pert guid­ance of pro­fes­sional driv­ing in­struc­tors; sign up for one of the four-ring Driv­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence cour­ses and brush up on your skills the right way. Even at the en­try level you’ll hop be­hind the wheel of high-per­for­mance S models but you can work your way up to more ad­vanced mod­ules in mad RS and R8 hard­ware, or even take a trip to Aus­tria for a spot of snow driv­ing. Keep ev­ery­thing out of the kitty lit­ter and the fi­nal race ex­pe­ri­ence in­stal­ment will slot you into a full-blown R8 LMS race car. We guar­an­tee tak­ing the wheel of a V10-pow­ered race car on a track car­ries a lit­tle more ku­dos than a few laps of your favourite back roads. Audi Driv­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence from $999 au­didriving­ex­pe­ri­ence.com.au

It might have been the year that Boe­ing in­tro­duced its 747 Jumbo Jet, and Naru de­clared in­de­pen­dence from Aus­tralia, but 1968 is surely most fondly re­mem­bered for the birth of Hot Wheels. In cel­e­bra­tion of 50 years of the iconic toys, the brand has re­leased a range of Orig­i­nals that re­cast some of the very first models, pre­sented in the same ul­tra-cool retro pack­ag­ing. Choose from the Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle, Chevy Ca­maro, Ford Mus­tang, Mer­cury Cougar or Ply­mouth Bar­racuda, each sup­plied with its own col­lectable but­ton. Five decades is a long time and, coin­ci­den­tally, equates to about one year for each of the Hot Wheels cars you’ll find scat­tered about the Wheels of­fice. Hot Wheels 50th Orig­i­nals $15 hotwheels.mat­tel.com

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