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REVIEW LEGO Technic 42083 Bugatti Chiron: the Made in France supercar

With the LEGO Technic 42056 set, LEGO launched a new theme in 2016: from now on, supercars will no longer be simple anonymous cars, but on the contrary the result of partnerships with very big names. And after Porsche, LEGO chose a French manufacturer: Bugatti LEGO.

Does the experience match the ultra premium character put forward by LEGO? At the height of the event, where the model was jointly unveiled by the bosses of LEGO and Bugatti at the LEGO House in Billund, for a launch with (very) great fanfare?And not just any car: the Bugatti Chiron, only 500 examples in the world (and yet, not yet all produced), and a price of 2.5 million euros each. While many people can dream of being able to afford a Porsche one day, LEGO has taken it to the next level with this LEGO Technic 42083 Bugatti Chiron set.

LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron 42083 Race Car Building Kit and Engineering Toy, Adult Collectible Sports Car with Scale Model Engine (3599 Pieces)

$432.00  in stock
35 new from $399.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 17, 2022 9:32 am

Features

  • The perfect gift for car lovers and future engineers! Build and experience a quintessential collectible sports car – the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron! Developed in partnership with Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, this is a faithful recreation of the real car
  • The Bugatti advanced model car build is created with 3599 pieces and features a classic duo-tone blue color scheme, This set is the perfect addition to any adult or teen's car collection and can be played with or used for display
  • This 1:8 scale Bugatti Chiron race car model features an active rear wing, 8-speed gearbox with paddle gear shift, W16 engine, steering wheel, suspension and spoked rims and comes in luxurious box packaging with a collector's booklet
  • The LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron model car building kit can be built together with all LEGO Technic sets and LEGO bricks for creative construction and extended play
  • The Bugatti model car measures over 5 inches (14cm) high, 22 inches (56cm) long and 9 inches (25cm) wide

Meeting with Aurélien Rouffiange, designer of the set

Nice wink from fate: Bugatti is a French brand, cocorico, and it is a French LEGO designer who has been chosen to take care of this set: Aurélien Rouffiange.

And it was really interesting to learn a bit more about the design of the model, beyond the brand marketing discourse.

Aurélien spent roughly a year and a half on this model, and his work can be broken down schematically into three main stages: 6 months trying to reproduce the exterior, then 6 months trying to create the interior mechanics, and finally 6 months. to put it all together.

The main challenge of the model was to manage to reproduce all these curves with existing parts, without giving in to the ease of creating, for example, large metapieces, and this is the reason why he first started from the outside. . And he admits it bluntly, the challenge was great. The scale was roughly calibrated initially.

Some points fell very well: on this scale, the headlights could be represented by an alignment of 1 × 1 plates! And presto, one less problem to solve.

The other big challenge of the set was the “marriage”. Unlike many cars where the chassis is one-piece and will then accommodate the body that is placed on it (remember the construction of the Porsche for example), the marriage procedure at Bugatti is very different, with a two-piece chassis: on one side the front part, and on the other the rear part with the engine block and the gearbox.

Aurélien had initially designed the entire interior of a block, and it was when he discovered this key step during a visit to the Bugatti assembly line that he was “offered” the challenge of reproduce this marriage. With success, and it’s very interesting that LEGO not only in this line has a nice model that looks like the original, but also tries to reproduce the assembly experience of the original model. For car fans, this is a big plus.

For the record, Aurélien was unable to drive the Bugatti Chiron. But he was still allowed to sit behind the wheel!

Unpacking: same recipe

On this type of set, LEGO wanted a premium experience from the box the box: we therefore have a very pretty box, inside which are several numbered coasters with the main chapters of the construction, and the nicely highlighted rims. Frankly, it throws.

And, as with the Porsche, even the inside of the box cover is neat with diagrams of iconic cars from Bugatti’s history:

Unfortunately, as with the Porsche there too, the weight of the instructions tends to damage some of the boxes around it. It’s relatively inconspicuous on my copy and some people probably wouldn’t even see it. But if the box is too shaken by the transport, some might have less pleasant surprises.

Much more annoying for the desired premium experience: the huge sheet of stickers that you discover when you lift the first notice. Especially after the Porsche and its 19 stickers, LEGO let loose with 33 stickers for this Bugatti Chiron!

As much on certain very specific curved pieces, I can understand the difficulty of pad printing, as the majority of these stickers come here to be applied on really basic pieces… It is really not a question of knowing how to blow, and at 379 , 99 €, even if the stickers are easy to apply, LEGO could should make a real effort. They do well in Junior sets at € 20… Only the small 1 × 1 round tile with the Bugatti logo to be placed in the center of the rims is pad printed (as well as the white piece with the unique code, I will come back to this).

While we are talking about stickers, one point particularly annoyed me here: the cutout is very poorly calibrated. Some stickers are really badly centered, such as those on the dashboards or the logo that is positioned in the center of the steering wheel. We must therefore completely offset the sticker by sticking it, so that the design is not too offset from the room. It’s painful, and in some cases it’s ugly.

Seriously LEGO, recalibrate your machines, it’s getting worse and worse and I observe it at different levels across all ranges, it’s nothing specific to this set… And for having discussed the point with other people, I know this is not an isolated problem on my model.

The instructions are divided into major stages. Good news, each sub-box is numbered and contains only the necessary bags, not like the Millennium Falcon UCS where LEGO had mixed everything up regardless of the bag numbers, and where everything had to be taken out before even starting in order to refill. order in all of this. Phew!

And the instructions are very nicely illustrated with beautiful photos and an explanation of what we are going to achieve. But unfortunately, as with the Porsche, only in English and German. Seriously? The car being French, LEGO could still have made an effort… Still a shame…

The assembly: like the real one

What impressed me about the assembly, even before the obviously expected technical aspect, was the robustness of the design. Everything is really cleverly designed for excellent strength, with angles and reinforcements that fit perfectly: no need to take a thousand precautions to grab the car, or to pick up half of the parts if you went wrong. And it didn’t feel like the car could give way under its weight. This greatly contributes to the quality feel of the model, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

By the way, be careful during editing. The slightest mistake pays off, because it’s not easy to come back 10 or 15 stages earlier if you missed a point. I’ve had this bitter experience twice, and you have to take a few minutes to look at the subject from all angles to see how to correct your mistake without having to dismantle everything by following the instructions backwards!

Assembly begins with the transmission and the impressive W16 engine of the Bugatti Chiron. A word of advice: take the opportunity at the start to play with the mechanism, because it will unfortunately be inaccessible afterwards! Especially if you like the LEGO Technic range for playing with gears, this is the place.

A word on the W16 engine by the way: reproducing such a machine in LEGO was obviously not possible (at least not without creating new parts) and therefore LEGO cheated a bit with a V8 based on two L4s. A solution that remains elegant from the outside and that will not prevent me from sleeping, and it is rather a shame that the vast majority of this W16 is invisible once the bodywork is in place …

I would have liked to have been able to open a panel so that I could see a little inside, even if that would have deviated from the desired fidelity!

Note for purists: no Ackermann directional geometry here, it will be up to you to tinker if you want to optimize this point.

The wedding is indeed a beautiful moment in the assembly, even more when you know that this is also how the real car is assembled. And it must have been quite a headache to succeed in offering this stage while preserving the strength and rigidity of the car. Hat.

And we are gradually starting to realize the imposing size of the Chiron!

Once the whole chassis is assembled, we tackle the luxurious interior with leather seats (which still seem to me a little too vertical to be comfortable, but I was not let into the real one to check), and especially the steering wheel controls to change gears.

I also find the interior more polished than that of the Porsche. Note the central lever which allows you to choose between forward, neutral and reverse gear.

By the way, for those wondering what the interior of the real Bugatti Chiron looks like:

The second half of the assembly is focused on the outward appearance. Note that some steps in the manual are not always very readable, the fault of Dark Blue which does not stand out very well. This is not the most technically interesting part since we are generally happy to make the bodywork, but there is a certain satisfaction in seeing the car take shape and we understand at times the usefulness of a hole or a pin set up several dozen pages earlier.

Some nice details like the brakes (just for decoration). Too bad again for the stickers, LEGO knows however perfectly pad printing these parts …

And the presence of System bricks in addition to the LEGO Technic parts makes it possible to add nice finishes to certain important parts of the car. Special mention for the headlights, the scale of the car being perfectly adapted to use four transparent 1×1 flats on each side, that fits nicely.

Finally, the wheels (which will remain exclusive to this set) are really superb in dark blue with just the silver face. Like the real one!

The look: overall successful, but not from all angles

I’m really a fan of the rear of the car, which I find very successful. Especially since Aurélien reproduced the signature of the car with that nice red line at the back. I’m curious to see if anyone will try to replace it with a mini red LED strip! For the record, this point is so iconic for the Bugatti Chiron that Bugatti had stashed a battery on the ground under the real car on display in Billund so that the front and rear lights could be left on all the time.

Nothing to say, it’s beautiful.

The profile is generally successful, even if a side-by-side comparison with the original shows the main concern of the car: the front, a little too long and above all not bulging enough. And the silver curve simply represented by a flex tube and some stickers.

LEGO Technic 42083 Bugatti Chiron Profile Comparison

The front end was indeed much more complex to recreate, although we can easily recognize Bugatti’s iconic grille, with the use of flex tubes here too.

But it is therefore the hood and its surroundings that present for their part the limits of the LEGO Technic pieces: we do not find all the curves and the domed side of the original, and there are a number of voids that spoil the line. These flaws are inconspicuous from some angles, and much more from others. And as much as I was used to the airy old LEGO supercars, so much is the work here on the back that in contrast the voids in the front are all the more visible.

Was it possible to do better with the existing parts (and with the same level of solidity)? I do not know, and we will see in the coming months if some have better to offer. But LEGO clearly didn’t go for the easiest model here, the bar was high!

As much as I am not a supporter of creating new molds all the time, I think that here it could have been interesting to create one or two new LEGO Technic panels which could have allowed a better finish at the front. de la Chiron. Especially since unlike the rims which will remain exclusive to this model, these panels could have been profitable in other future boxes. A compromise could probably have been found between the current solution and a big hood metapart.

Because finally, if you put the grille aside, the front makes me think of any racing car, but not the Bugatti Chiron. Too bad, it was a bit of a failure.

Moreover, the other point that does not help LEGO on this subject is the lack of a windshield, which also contributes to the shape of the car. Aurélien defined the outlines of this one anyway, and I’m not sure I want to see a big transparent meta-piece land in this type of set anyway.

So yeah, it’s not perfect, but it actually comes down to the inherent limitations of LEGO Technic. And from the discussions I have had with the other ambassadors and the various people at LEGO involved in this model, we are actually touching the line between model making and LEGO. What wasn’t even a question when LEGO was content with skeletons for its supercars is now becoming a point of attention with this effort to replicate the bodies as closely as possible.

Hence my question, in the end: should we really choose this model? And if so, why not create a few new pieces to make the front more recognizable?

The features of a supercar, and a little more

The feature tour is pretty quick, since here we are in front of a car, not a super geared excavator.

So classic, with the doors and hood that open, for example. The door opening mechanism lacks a bit of rigidity to provide the same feeling of quality as the rest of the car, a second “hinge” could have provided that. And, as with the Porsche, LEGO has integrated in this set a white tile with a unique code printed on it that gives access to content on the LEGO Technic site.

In fact, this front cover contains a small bag, (almost) like the real one:

2017 Bugatti Chiron – Luggage Compartment

All four wheels have independent suspensions. Small problem here, not systematic but which recurred several times while I was playing with it: once the shock absorber springs are compressed, the chassis does not always return completely to its initial position due to the weight of the car. It doesn’t sound like a part tightening problem (first point I checked) and you just have to lift the car up to help the shocks return to position. Some have also encountered this concern in other reviews, when others have not seen it, odd.

Another detail: when pressing down on the car, the sill in the front touches the ground, the shock travel being slightly too long (not by much, but enough to touch).

Unlike Creator Expert cars where it’s just there for decoration, here the steering wheel really turns the wheels. The turning radius is really big, it must not be easy to niche with this car.

Next to the steering wheel, we can see the major functionality of the set: the steering wheel controls for changing gears. Good news for those who have ridden the Porsche 911 GT3 RS before, the system is different here. And quite successful, even though everything is hidden inside the car and so you can’t really enjoy it. You have to really pull on the paddles to engage the gears, and it works great once you figure that out. However, I hope you don’t have too big fingers to access the interior of the car!

Note that there are 8 speeds (compared to 7 only for the real Bugatti Chiron), the technical solution of LEGO does not allow an odd number of speeds.

There are still two unresolved details about this model. First of all, the gearbox does not block when it reaches maximum speed, it loops back from 8 to 1 (but already given the density at the gearbox, I don’t think there is enough left place to resolve this point). And there is no indicator to know how fast you are, other than rolling the car to estimate how fast the pistons are moving up and down. This second point is a bit of a shame, and I’ve seen MOCs with this type of functionality before (to be honest, it was with a 4-speed gearbox, not 8). Hopefully LEGO will find a solution for the next supercar!

Some have complained about the lack of Power Functions, or that LEGO has not provided a location or additional instructions to install them. Well, as many Power Functions can be interesting for playing with an excavator or a crane truck, the Bugatti Chiron is not intended for me to be a remote control car.

Power Functions

First of all because given the density of the interior, I don’t see how they could have been integrated without giving up other points and without distorting the aesthetics of the car (but I’m sure some will try), and above all because, given the weight of the beast, they would not allow it to go very fast … Sacred contrast with a car reaching 420 km / h (and restricted at this speed because Michelin has not yet invented the tires capable of withstanding the 500 km / h that it can theoretically reach).

This is the point that made Bugatti representatives laugh a lot during the press interview after the presentation of the model: the potential speed of the Bugatti Chiron is as important as its design. Unimaginable to offer a LEGO version that would drag itself along!

Speaking of speed, the other characteristic of this car is actually having two keys: a key to start, and a Bugatti-specific Speed ​​Key which activates the Top Speed ​​mode and allows the electronic speed restriction to be released. 

LEGO used this idea for the rear spoiler mechanism, which can be deployed or stowed away by engaging the Speed ​​Key next to the left rear wheel. Nothing revolutionary, but a nice wink. Bugatti fans will appreciate it. Others may not find it very practical, especially when you are not sure where to put the key next (unlike the bag, there is no place in the car to store it).

LEGO Technic VS Speed ​​Champions

The Speed ​​Champions Bugatti Chiron version is immediately much bigger!

 

Verdict

Do you like Bugatti or nice sports cars? LEGO offers with this LEGO Technic 42083 Bugatti Chiron set a beautiful model, with long hours of assembly. The dark blue and medium azure color code is in my eyes much prettier and classier than the flashy orange of the Porsche , and the rear of the car is particularly good.

The domed front was much more complex to reproduce, and while I don’t think it was possible to do much better with the current parts, I regret that LEGO did not split one or two new molds to succeed in better reproduce the pretty curves of the original or fill in some gaps. The result really leaves me hungry, especially when I compare it side by side to the real Bugatti Chiron, and those who moan about the gaps in the Porsche body will find the same problem here on the front hood.

In my opinion, this is the main concern of this reproduction: I see it as a big supercar long before I recognized the Bugatti Chiron. The challenge on the front end was too high for the limitations of current LEGO Technic parts, and I can’t be happy with the result.

Next to that, the main iconic elements are there, from the headlight optics to the red line at the rear, through the profile of the car and the wink with the Speed ​​Key. And even, at the heart of the design, the process of marriage between the front frame and the engine block which is also found in the LEGO version. This last point is really interesting in the experience that LEGO is trying to offer on this type of model.

On the technical side, the main feature here is the impressive 8 + 1 gearbox connected to the W16, with paddles on the steering wheel for changing gears, and a much more sophisticated solution than that of the Porsche. Almost frustrating that the mechanism is buried in the heart of the model and that we can no longer admire its operation!

There remains a price that is too premium too (€ 379.99 for 3599 pieces, or 895 pieces more than the Porsche  at € 299.99) which would justify on its own that LEGO turns on its pad printing machine rather than releasing a XL sticker sheet. And regarding the price, I’m curious to see if it will experience the same large fluctuations as the Porsche (at -30% minimum on Amazon almost permanently) once the period of LEGO exclusivity ends.

In the meantime, let’s have a little laugh to conclude: if you can afford 6500 boxes, you can afford the real one. Or a lot of other things, it’s up to you.

LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron 42083 Race Car Building Kit and Engineering Toy, Adult Collectible Sports Car with Scale Model Engine (3599 Pieces)

$432.00  in stock
35 new from $399.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 17, 2022 9:32 am

Features

  • The perfect gift for car lovers and future engineers! Build and experience a quintessential collectible sports car – the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron! Developed in partnership with Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, this is a faithful recreation of the real car
  • The Bugatti advanced model car build is created with 3599 pieces and features a classic duo-tone blue color scheme, This set is the perfect addition to any adult or teen's car collection and can be played with or used for display
  • This 1:8 scale Bugatti Chiron race car model features an active rear wing, 8-speed gearbox with paddle gear shift, W16 engine, steering wheel, suspension and spoked rims and comes in luxurious box packaging with a collector's booklet
  • The LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron model car building kit can be built together with all LEGO Technic sets and LEGO bricks for creative construction and extended play
  • The Bugatti model car measures over 5 inches (14cm) high, 22 inches (56cm) long and 9 inches (25cm) wide

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