Lego Creates Driveable Life-Size Bugatti Chiron

The creative minds at Lego have gone full brick-ception and built a life-size, driveable version of the 1:8 scale Bugatti Chiron kit the toy company launched earlier this summer.

Lego's latest creation was unveiled today in Monza, Italy as part of the lead-up to Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix race on Sunday, with British racing driver Andy Wallace behind the wheel.

That Lego Chiron kit you can actually buy was notable for being part of Lego's Technik line of advanced brick-building kits, comprising 3,599 pieces and an electric motor that drives the toy through a working transmission.

Lego's latest endeavour, which is not for sale, is far more involved for its use of 2,403 electric motors, 4,032 Technik gear wheels and a total of more than 1 million pieces, some of which were done in custom colours for this project.

Most of those electric motors are bundled into 24 packs of 96 motors each that generate a total of 5.3 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque, enough to push the 1,500-kg model to more than 20 km/h, a velocity that Lego says can be verified by a working speedometer made entirely out of Technik elements. 

That power-to-weight ratio can't match even the most modest of cars on sale in North America today (never mind the actual Chiron, which is a 1,500-hp, 400-km/h beast). But the torque rating is just a few lb-ft off what the current Mitsubishi Mirage's three-cylinder engine makes.

The rest of the electric motors run the car's power steering system and drive clutch. The rear spoiler, which deploys just like the one on the real Chiron, is also operated by a combination of motors and Lego Technik pneumatic pumps. 

The drive motors are powered by an 80-volt, 160 Ah battery that charges in eight hours (or less), while the power steering gets its own 12-volt car battery.

What the full-size Chiron doesn't have is the scale model's working transmission: in this one, the electric motors drive the rear wheels directly through an electromagnetic clutch that is disengaged when the brakes are applied. And you'll know when the car is slowing down thanks to LED brake lights, which also recreate the elaborate startup sequence the rear lights of the real Chiron perform.

The only non-Lego elements in the car are wheels and tires from the real-deal Chiron, a steel frame to support the Lego structure and wheels, a hydraulic brake system from a go-kart, electric power steering setup borrowed from an ATV, 336 custom-made teflon washers as motor bearings and the steel chain and gear wheels that transmit power to the ground.

Lego doesn't quote a dollars-and-cents cost for the work that went into one of its most involved endeavours yet, but the company says the designers and engineers at its Czech Republic factory spent nearly 13,500 hours on the project.

This is not a toy 8/30/2018 4:00:00 AM