How Lego made its 3600-part Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron

With 3600 parts, the Lego ver­sion’s al­most as com­plex as the real thing

CAR (UK) - - Contents -

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!’

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