A few months ago I enjoyed the rare privilege of a tour around Bugatti’s Molsheim atelier (it’s too pristine to be called a factory) where the 1,500-horsepower, 261mph Chiron is made – and was left marvelling at the craftsmanship, engineering, attention to detail and general hand-built fabulousness of the world’s most technically advanced production automobile.
At €2.5m plus taxes and with just 500 due to be produced, it’s a car that few people will ever see, let alone get to drive or own. But now you can assemble a Chiron for yourself, albeit one that is an eighth of the size of the real thing and costs less than one seven-thousandth of the price.
All the same, the Bugatti-sanctioned Lego Chiron still comprises 3,599 components and features individually spoked wheel rims with low-profile tyres, pistons that go up and down and a finish in Bugatti’s classic duo-tone blue colour scheme.
Measuring 56cm long and 23cm wide, the Lego Technic model has doors that open to reveal a fully detailed cockpit complete with moving gearshift paddles and a steering wheel featuring the famous EB Bugatti logo. And, just as the real Chiron comes with a “speed key” that must be inserted in order to unlock the car’s full performance potential, so the Lego version comes with a key that activates the rear wing and sets it to the top speed position.
Beneath the bonnet you’ll even find a tiny version of a Bugatti overnight bag, together with the car’s unique serial number that can be used to access special content on the Lego website. Each kit is also supplied with a coffee table collectors’ booklet that includes information about the model and – usefully – comprehensive assembly instructions.
The Lego Chiron is available only from Lego stores and lego.com until August 1, after which it will go on general sale at retailers around the world. But at £329.99, it’s unlikely that schoolboys will be forming disorderly queues to buy one – or that many adults will find it a doddle to put the kit together. Because, having spent many an hour helping my son to build less extravagant models, the sight of the “16-plus” guideline on the box leads me to believe that completing the Lego Chiron in less time than it takes the genii of Molsheim to make a real one will be anything but child’s play.