How Lego made its 3600-part Bugatti Chiron
With 3600 parts, the Lego version’s almost as complex as the real thing
AT £329.99 and with a couple of inch-thick instruction booklets tucked away in its vast and gorgeous Apple-inspired packaging, the Technic Bugatti Chiron is the most ambitious Lego kit yet. A year and a half in the making, the Lego Chiron’s functionality includes moving pistons in the mighty W16 engine, a working eightspeed paddleshift gearbox, an active rear wing and a Bugatti weekend bag tucked away in the front storage compartment.
Here’s how designers from Lego and Bugatti worked together to deliver everyone’s new favourite way to blow £330…
Porsche, Mercedes, Klaas… Bugatti
‘The partners we work with and the projects we collaborate on are chosen for a number of reasons, but there is always a reason: that’s the key thing,’ explains Lego Technic’s Andy Woodman. ‘We want new ideas and unique features on each new kit and sometimes these functions exist on a real vehicle. Take our Klaas tractor with its revolving cab – we wanted to incorporate that functionality into the Technic tractor, so reached out to Klaas. Fortunately we have a lot of people who want to work with us.’ A team eort
‘We get together with the partner and create a shortlist of features they’d like to see in the finished kit,’ continues Woodman. ‘And during the project there are a series of gateway meetings, just like on a real car.’
Technic designer Aurelien Rouffiange spent a year and a half working on the Chiron, starting with six months on the exterior: ‘We didn’t want lots of cool functionality in a kit that didn’t really look like the Chiron, so I worked on the exterior first. This was done almost entirely with real Lego rather than in CAD modelling software.’
Bugatti designer Achim Anscheidt collaborated with the Lego team. ‘I phoned my colleagues at Porsche – including Michael Mauer – since they worked with Lego on the 911 GT3 RS. “You will be amazed by the world of Lego as it is now,” he told me.’
Plastic gearboxes and 16 pistons
Rouffiange spent a further six months on the kit’s functionality, followed by a final six-month push to combine exterior form and inner workings. ‘We have a couple of new elements, including disc brake rotors and a new part in the gearbox that allowed me to create a much more compact transmission,’ he explains.
Sign-o with Mr Dürheimer
‘When our team and Bugatti’s designers were satisfied, we had the final sign-off from Mr [Wolfgang] Dürheimer [Bugatti president until January 2018],’ says Woodman. ‘It was then that we could start breathing again!’