Building a Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron: part two | Top Gear
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Tuesday 21st March

Building a Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron: part two

The saga of building the world’s most complicated Lego supercar continues… slowly

  • So, when you last left us chipping away at the kit-building mountain that is the 3,599-piece Lego Technic Bugatti Chiron, we didn’t have much that looked like a car. There was a suspension assembly, some wheel hubs and a rather cleverly packaged differential in the middle, but it could just as easily been the early stages of a Lego lorry. Or the Batmobile. It wasn’t very hypercar-ish.

    What to do in such a daunting situation, when with every turn of the encyclopedic instruction manual, the end seems no nearer in sight? Easy. Skip to the end, millennial-style. And watch a YouTube speed build.

    I must admit to having been ignorant of the teeming Lego community that lives on YouTube. I thought the world’s premier procrastination site was mainly good for drag race clips, Nürburgring talent-failure footage and watching cats jumping out the way of cucumbers.

    But no, it turns out YouTube is very much the amateur intrepid Lego builder’s friend. Principally because there are lots of talented Lego experts who’ve already got hold of whatever kit you’re fretting over, and have built it in doublequick-time while filming the whole process on a stop-motion camera. So, if Lego’s booklet is ever so slightly unclear – or you’ve just got a short attention span – call up the time-lapse video and watch the pros master it.

    Problem is, when even the experts are saying ‘this is the hardest Lego kit I’ve ever built’ and ‘it only took me seven hours from start to finish’, it doesn’t exactly settle the nerves of having this beast complete by Christmas. Gulp.

    Need to catch up? Read part 1 here

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  • Anyway, begone, internet distraction. On with the build. Look at this. Feast your eyes upon what I have created. That’s a Lego dual-clutch gearbox. Only about… an hour’s work.

  • And here’s said gearbox bolted into the rear half of the chassis. Take a good long look, because once the W16 engine is clipped straight to the top of it (Lego taking some liberties with accuracy there) and the bodywork wraps around the powertrain, this gearbox won’t see the light of day again. A pity, given how wonderfully intricate and thoughtfully it’s been configured.

    Now, the engine. This is a treat, because although you’re merely slotting together identical pieces to build up the massive engine, there’s a strange sense of accomplishment here, of completing the Chiron’s whirring heart, and aligning the blocks to run smoothly. It’s not really a true W16; it’s more two V8s balanced one on top of the other, but when it all meshes together and clicks home aboard the chassis, I defy you not to spend a couple of minutes just twirling the axles and watching it turn in plastic poetic harmony.

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  • Next up, Lego throws a curveball and asks you to put down your newly motor’d pride and joy. The next steps are piecing together the front suspension and steering assembly. Not only does this throw some variety into the mix, it also ties the build in with the real-life Chiron production process at Molsheim.

    Once the front and rear halves of the chassis are complete, they’re mated together for life in what Bugatti calls ‘the marriage’. Lego’s copied it, in multicolour jigsaw form, and it’s a superb touch.

    But, this is a task too big for one Top Gear oik to complete. So, I’m handing over my magnificent chassis to a colleague, who’ll be along with a Lego Bugatti update shortly...

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