The Bugatti Chiron is one of the world’s fastest, most expensive and most exclusive cars.
Most of us will probably never see one, let alone drive one but to give us mere mortals a tiny shred of connection with the £2.5 million hypercar, Lego has created a very special set replicating the Chiron in Technic form and (purely in the name of research) I’ve being piecing it together.
It’s certainly not a cheap set but it’s also not a standard Lego set. Even by the standards of its biggest, most impressive sets, the Chiron is something else.
The 1:8 scale kit comes in a huge presentation box, illustrated with line drawings of the Chiron’s iconic predecessors. The build stages are split into boxes and the two (yes two) bound manuals feature insights into the development of the model as well as the build instructions themselves. The whole package is an “experience” rather than simply a kit to be built – there’s even an accompanying podcast.
With 3,599 pieces, the Chiron is not something that can be built in an afternoon. In truth, it took me weeks of an hour or two each evening to finish the model but even a more committed builder is going to need to dedicate a lot of time to getting it right.
The model itself is a pretty impressive representation of the Chiron given the building materials. Elements such as its full-width rear light bar, horseshoe grille and the swooping lines which wrap around the doors are neatly recreated. The seats come with Chiron script on the headrests and even the bespoke luggage set is recreated in brick form.
But what’s deeply impressive and what will really enthrall any gearhead isn’t the way it looks but the level of detail and engineering that has gone into the model.
From building up the unique W16 engine with its three crankshafts and working pistons to the combination of cogs, bands and special knobbly bits that make up the working gearbox – complete with in-cabin sequential shifter – it’s a car fan’s dream.
Read more: 16 best toys for Christmas 2018
The rear spoiler rises and adjusts just like the real thing and it’s satisfying to see how the bags full of bits become the working differentials that allow the Lego Chiron to mimic the real thing’s four-wheel-drive system.
It’s almost a shame that so much of the intricate engineering is hidden once the model’s complete but the enjoyment of seeing the systems come together is a huge part of the model’s appeal.
The intricacy also means that you’ve got to pay very close attention to the 971 stages. A missing brick or misaligned piece early on can mean unpicking several hours’ work to put it right later on – I speak from bitter experience.
There’s no escaping the fact this is a massively expensive set and one for only the most dedicated of Lego or car fans. I know people who have bought actual cars for less but I bet they didn’t have half as much fun putting them back together as I did with the Lego Bugatti Chiron.