Over 1 million plastic blocks and 13,000 hours later, Lego accomplished an unlikely feat: a functional Bugatti made largely out of the iconic construction toys drove down a track in Germany.
This Lego model is a replicate of a Bugatti Chiron, and from a distance, it’s hard to tell the two apart.
“This life-size model is a first of its kind in so many ways, and with it, we wanted to push the boundaries of our own imagination,” Lena Dixen, Senior Vice President of Product and Marketing at the Lego Group, said in a statement.
The car, which was first test-driven in June, made its public debut on Thursday at the Grand Prix Formula 1 event in Monza, Italy.
It was designed and built by the same Czech Republic-based team that specializes in creations for Legoland attractions. They built the vehicle by hand, connecting each Lego piece to the next without the aid of any glue, the company said in a statement. The team used 339 types of Lego Technic elements, and even put some of them together using a special tool made out of Legos.
“For over 40 years, Lego Technic has allowed fans of all ages to test their creativity with a building system that challenges them to go beyond just creating new designs, to also engineering new functions,” Dixen said.
Lego Technic is a line of Lego products that includes interconnecting plastic rods and parts for advanced model building.
The 3,300-pound car does have some non-Lego material incorporated into it. Engineers started with a steel frame, which provides safety and structural stability to hold the weight of the car. It’s also equipped with original Bugatti Chiron wheels, the brake system of a go-cart and power steering from an ATV.
In addition, a roll cage was attached to the frame, and four steel plates added under the chassis to lift the car for maintenance and transportation. The team’s goal was that 90% of the vehicle be built out of Lego elements, the company said.
“Equipped with a rear spoiler, speedometer, front and back lights, detachable steering wheel and brake pedal, all fully functional and built of Lego Technic elements, the model is a dream come true for any Lego fan,” Lego said in the statement.
The car is electrically powered, with two batteries, and over 2,300 Lego power function motors and over 4,000 Lego gear wheels that transfer power to the vehicle. There isn’t a gas pedal, since the car’s speed is based on the motor’s output voltage.
The team decided it was only fitting to test drive it for the first time in Wolfsburg, Germany, on the same track where the original Bugatti Chiron was tested. The Lego version is no match for original Bugatti’s speed of over 200mph, however — it only got up to 12mph.
Former Le Mans winner Andy Wallace was the first to test drive the car in June.
“When I first saw the Lego Chiron, I was immediately impressed by the accuracy of the model and the minute attention to detail,” Wallace said in the statement.