Ever since Lego launched their “Speed Champions” line, they have been after the hearts and minds of car enthusiasts all over the world. While some have never grown out of building Legos (myself included), many have moved on. I speculate that Lego’s Speed Champions line is a way to bring young and old back to Lego brick building through their love of cars.
However, mass-producing cool Lego sets is not quite enough to gain attention. Lego needed to do something big. What more significant way to attract attention to a car-themed Lego set than to build a 1:1 version of a car entirely out of Legos? Not only did Lego do just that, but they also did it at least three times.
Lego Bugatti Chiron
The Bugatti Chiron was the first life-sized working model that the Lego team decided to take on. Its construction was part of the promotional campaign for the first Bugatti Chiron Lego Technic set. This Lego replica broke the internet when it was first revealed. The attention was justified considering what Lego achieved with this build.
The 1:1 Bugatti Chiron Lego replica took a team of 16 builders over 13,000 hours to complete. Lego used over a million individual pieces to complete the model. That includes 2,304 Lego electric motors combined for a total output of 5.3 horsepower and 72 ft-lbs of torque. This model did drive, and no glue was used to keep the Lego pieces together, so one wrong move could have been disastrous.
Lego McLaren Senna
In 2019 Playground Games announced that a Lego expansion would be coming to the popular open-world driving game “Forza Horizon 4.” Since the cover car for the game is a McLaren Senna, Lego teamed up with the automaker to create yet another 1:1 scale replica. Unlike the Bugatti Chiron, the McLaren Senna Lego model would use Lego bricks rather than Technic elements.
The full-sized Lego McLaren Senna was also the first 1:1 replica Lego built that used elements from the “real” car. The Lego McLaren Senna used the same driver’s seat, steering wheel, and wheels from the genuine article. Unfortunately, this model did not drive. However, because a real seat was used, people were allowed to get inside the model and even “start” it by pushing a button that activated a real McLaren Senna start-up recording.
Lego Toyota GR Supra
2021 marked the 35th anniversary of the Toyota Supra. 2021 was also when Lego decided to offer the Toyota GR Supra as part of their Speed Champions line of Lego sets. The timing was just too good to pass up for both parties, so the two collaborated on another full-sized build.
The life-sized Lego Toyota GR Supra took over 470,000 bricks to complete with a total weight of 4,156 lbs. The model has actual working headlights, a driver’s seat from a real GR Supra, and this one can drive up to 17 mph. It is currently on display at LEGOLAND Japan before going on tour with the Super GT racing series later on.
The three cars mentioned above are not the only time that Lego has built full-sized replicas of real-world vehicles, but they are the models that stuck out the most in terms of media attention and hype. I sincerely hope that Lego continues to challenge themselves with future builds.