See how it was made – The Amazing Life-Size LEGO Technic version of the Bugatti Chiron

See how it was made – The Amazing Life-Size LEGO Technic version of the Bugatti Chiron


In the LEGO Technic team, we came up with a really crazy idea. Could we build a full-scale Bugatti Chiron out of LEGO Technic elements and actually make it drive? This is the story of how we did it. It’s one thing to get an idea. It’s something else to actually make it happen. But our goal was to prove that with LEGO Technic, you can really Build for Real. So, our first rule was that at least 90% of our car had to be built from LEGO Technic elements. So the first time I heard about the model, I was really excited because it’s something we’ve never done before. We also had a lot of concerns because we don’t do much Technic building here. So we just didn’t know if that’s actually possible. It’s something that moves the boundaries and completely redefines the standard. Before we could even start the construction process, the team had to do a lot of research and sketching. We quickly realized that only a few technical parts could be drawn on computers. Most of the car had to be designed while we were building it. We tried to minimize the construction assets as possible, so not to go with the classical chassis as all the cars have. We tried to minimize everything and to be more close to Build for Real. And that’s the reason why, for example, now we have the A-pillar, the rear wing, or, for example, door hinges made of LEGO Technic bricks. And it was a huge task for the team to build almost everything out of Technic elements. The real Chiron has very sculptural aesthetics, with a lot of curved surfaces. Basically, there is no straight line on the car. So, we had to come up with a way how to replicate the surface of the car with LEGO Technic. And for that, we came up with this so-called skin. Basically, the idea is we divide the surface of the car into very small triangles, and then connect them with flexible elements, so, we can actually have this impression of curved surface. We not only had to build the car, but a special tool for adjusting the outer skin as well. One of the key design elements of the original Bugatti Chiron is the unique light system. The iconic wide rear light bar is an integral part of the Chiron’s DNA. So, it was very important for us to reproduce the entire light system in the LEGO Technic version, and make it work just like the original car. Well, as I heard for the first time the model is about to be moveable. It was like, well we can do that. And they told me then with this so I was like, Okay, we gotta work on it and come up with something. So, we started testing. And it’s a matrix of 7 times 7 motors in 2 layers and multiplied by 24. So we have 2,304 power function motors in the vehicle. The small LEGO Technic gear wheels were a major concern. They had to move a car with a weight of 1.5 tons. We started by testing other materials, like metal, Kevlar, and carbon fiber. Well, it was kind of interesting for me that the LEGO Technic gears were better than the Kevlar ones or the carbon fiber 3D printed gears. A major technical challenge on this LEGO Technic version of the Bugatti Chiron was the large rear wing. Especially when we decided to make it fully functional, and powered by LEGO Technic Power Function and Pneumatic Systems. This was a true Build for Real project, and all details had to be perfect. All together, the team spent more than 13,000 man-hours constructing the car, and used more than 1 million LEGO Technic elements. Every single element was assembled by hand, completely without glue. The final construction had to be both stable and flexible, so the car could drive without breaking apart. And the result was astonishing. It was time to leave the workshop and head to the ultimate test track, at Ehra-Lessien outside Wolfsburg in Germany – the same track where Bugatti test drive their vehicles. Was it possible to build a car out of LEGO Technic and make it drive using only LEGO Technic Power Function motors? We were about to find out. There was only one person who could drive our car – and that was “Andy Wallace”, the official Bugatti pilot. He was ready, but was the car? It could drive, but only a few meters – something was wrong. Was this going to be a major failure instead of the success we’d dreamed of? The team had to quickly identify the problem and fix it. We disassembled the hood to gain access to the motor unit. The problem lay with a heavy metal chain in the center of the engine block, not with any LEGO Technic elements or motors. We have opened the car and saw the engine, and we adjusted the chain, and we made some adjustments also regarding the position of the shafts. So right now it’s kind of more flexed, so it should work. Everyone was ready, and so was the car. [music] It could really drive! It was an incredible moment. The car drove faster and faster and continued down the track. [celebration] good job today! That was fantastic. It really was. Yeah. And it actually was gaining a lot more speed as we went along. After all, it was amazing. I mean, what else? This is why we came, and it’s great. It’s running under its own power. Every little piece that’s on the real Chiron is there. And it’s not until you sit, and you look, and you spend time taking it all in and enjoying the surroundings… But also, you know, okay, we know dynamically, it runs very well, we know that. But if you stand ten meters back, between the LEGO Chiron and the real Chiron, you really would struggle to tell the difference. I mean seriously – it’s that good. We did the impossible. We built a car out of LEGO Technic elements, and actually made it drive.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. When your too rich to buy a Bugatti so you spend millions of dollars on LEGO to build one on your own

  2. Think if they built it and there was a bump and the Lego pieces will fall off they will have to make the car again

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *