The Bugatti Chiron is the second model from LEGO Technic’s Ultimate sub-theme, following the Porsche 911 GT3 RS in 2016. Like the 911, the Chiron is 1:8 in scale, measuring 56cm in length, 25cm wide and 14cm tall. It comprises 3,599 pieces (the Porsche had 2,704) and combines elements from both LEGO Technic and LEGO System. The LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron has five pieces that are unique to it – the wheel, disc brake and three elements within the intricate 8-speed gearbox (the real Chiron has a 7-speed DCT, by the way).

True to the LEGO Technic line which is grounded on complex technicalities, the Chiron features a rear wing that can be deployed by a ‘speed key’ (just like the real thing), all-wheel drive, a functional 8-speed transmission with paddle gearshift, a W16 engine with moving pistons and crankshafts, working suspension and steering system, even an overnight bag. Each Chiron model comes with a unique serial number and is priced at RM1,799, available at all LEGO Certified Stores and LEGOLAND. recently caught up with Aurelien Rouffiange, the lead designer of the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron. Schooled as a product designer, Rouffiange started working for LEGO Technic eight years ago. The first model he created was a Quad Bike back in 2012 and now has over 20 other new models under his belt. Rouffiange describes the Chiron as his best creation so far. We won’t disagree.

When and how did the collaboration with Bugatti come about?
Rouffiange: For me, it started two years ago in the summer of 2016. The decision to partner with Bugatti was made before that by my manager, the core team and marketing, they are responsible for exploring new partnerships. Compared to the previous supercar we did (the Porsche GT3 RS), the Chiron brings more coolness, more functionalities, more details and a high level of authenticity. I think these are the reasons why we decided to work with Bugatti.

My first sketch model didn’t look like the car we have today. It was a lot bigger and very different. When I presented it to the Bugatti design team, they liked it, but they gave us a lot of feedback which was great because it made us push the limits and step out of our comfort zone.

Replicating the curves of the Chiron’s rear quarters was the most challenging, according to Rouffiange.

Which was the most difficult part on the actual car to replicate?
Rouffiange: I think everything was quite complex, from the outside to the inside, and also the functionalities, it was very challenging. When you look at the actual Chiron from the outside, everything is organic in shape, but to translate that using square bricks, that was a big challenge. It’s the reason why the development process took a long time, I think the shaping of the rear of the car… that was the section that was most challenging. I was never really satisfied until the final version you see today.

The rest of the car was also challenging; we had to pack so many functionalities into a small space. You can see the car is very condensed and there isn’t much room left for anything else. But if I had to pick one thing, the biggest challenge was the exterior, especially the rear of the car.

The build process of the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron mimics the real thing; Rouffiange is seen here ‘marrying’ the front and rear sections.

What do you want someone to experience when building the Bugatti Chiron?
Rouffiange: The concept of having a supercar is to deliver the best experience, from the moment when you have the packaging in your hands, it has to be different and unique. In the Chiron, you have a nice flow of building and a high level of functionality. We try to make it as close as it can be to the real thing, we even created the marriage process during the build which is very unique. It was very critical for us to have as many details and to mimic the process of how Bugatti builds the real car in Molsheim, France. We wanted our customers to feel the same process when building the model.

How long should someone take to build the Chiron?
Rouffiange: It depends if you’re a LEGO Technic expert or if you are new to LEGO. I would say between 15 to 20 hours, if you’re very new to LEGO. I timed myself and my best was six hours, with a break in between when I stopped the timer. But this is after a year and a half of working on 50 to 70 test models. For the final model, I had to build it like 15 times to make sure everything is in the correct order. Now, I don’t want to build it anymore! (laughs)

There was also a LEGO Technic fan who completed it in seven hours on the first try, and then once again in six hours and 30 minutes. Some people like to build it fast, some like to take their time and enjoy every moment building it. Some people do it in two months, some do it in a day, so it all depends.

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In the age of misinformation and spin, Denis prefers candour and a counterpoint, because the truth matters.