Top Gear’s Top 9: the best LEGO cars to build right now
The Bugatti Chiron’s place in history is assured, as the first hypercar to smash the 300mph barrier. Unfortunately, at £1.9m, the chances of us mere mortals ever owning one are slim. Unless of course, you’re happy to build it yourself… out of small plastic bricks.
Points to note. It’s big. We’re talking 3,599 pieces, constructing a model measuring 14cm tall, 56cm long and 25cm wide, making it 1:8th scale. That hints at the complexity beneath, and LEGO’s Chiron faithfully recreates the engineering that propels the life-size version to a record 304.77mph (est. 490km/h).
It’s got a W16 engine with 16 moving pistons, an 8spd gearbox, and working paddleshifters and steering. Under the bonnet, you’ll find a unique serial number, and there’s a collector’s booklet included in the set.
Volkswagen T1 Camper Van
It’s no secret we quite like campervans. And, while many of us would love to pack our bags and head away in one right now, those plans are going to have to be put on hold. Why not pass the time building this authentic Volkswagen T1 instead?
Based on the classic model from 1962, the 1,334-piece model measures 14cm high and 30cm long. From the iconic ‘V’ shape three-way colour split at the front, 11 windows, opening safari windshield, and iconic pop-up roof, you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish it from the real thing. If you stand well back and maybe squint.
Other similarities include opening rear doors, a front and rear bench seat – the latter which transforms into a bed – angled dashboard and spherical speedometer, and a folding dinette table. And, of course, the authentic VW air-cooled flat four-cylinder boxer engine, visible at the rear.
Porsche 911 RSR
Add this to your wish-list right away: it’s a 50cm long 1:8 scale LEGO Technic Porsche 911 RSR model. Made up of 1,580 pieces, features include a working differential, independent suspension, a six-cylinder boxer engine with moving pistons, and a rear wing complete with swan neck mounts.
There’s more. Opening doors. Working steering. Black spoked rims, realistic head and taillights. An authentic white, red and black colour scheme, plus sticker detailing. Meanwhile, the cockpit features a radar screen, fire extinguisher system and even a track map of the Laguna Seca circuit.
Welcome to the LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang GT. Looks good, doesn’t it? Featuring dark-blue bodywork with white racing stripes, bonnet scoop, printed Mustang grille badge, GT emblems and five-spoke rims with road gripping tyres, it’s as authentic as they come.
And that’s before you modify it. Oh yes, what classic muscle car would be complete without a spot of hot-rodding? As well as the option to raise the rear suspension for a mean front-leaning look, the ‘Stang comes as standard with additional parts to build a hood-sprouting supercharger, a deeper front air dam, a side-exit exhaust and a ducktail rear spoiler.
The roof is designed to be easily unclippable, for viewing the cockpit. Under the bonnet, a representation of a 390 cubic-inch V8. And somewhere, LEGO’s found room for a nitrous tank. In total, there’s the small matter of 1,471 pieces to assemble...
Land Rover Defender
Apparently, there’s a new Defender. Our very own Jack Rix recently explored Namibia in one. But, in case you haven’t got a Defender (or indeed a Namibia) to hand, you can have your very own miniature version of the new Defender in LEGO form right now.
Constructed of 2,573 pieces, it comes with a host of realistic functions, including all-wheel drive with three differentials, independent suspension on both axles and a working winch.
The rear seats also fold forward to view the 4spd sequential gearbox, and when you lift the bonnet you’ll find a six-cylinder engine with moving pistons. Plus, turning the rear-mounted spare wheel opens the rear door.
James Bond Aston Martin DB5
We were as disappointed as the rest of you at the postponement of the latest Bond film, No Time To Die. And, if our feature on The Best Bond Car… Ever in March’s edition of Top Gear magazine didn’t help you get over your disappointment, we’ve another solution. Introducing the suavest LEGO set in the world…
This is the brickmaker’s take on James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, first seen in Goldfinger back in 1964. And – spoiler alert – it’s also the model we also voted as Bond’s Best Car.
The 1,295-piece LEGO model includes plenty of the original 007 DB5’s gadgets in 1:8th scale plastic brick form. It features a functioning ejector seat, canny revolving number plates, a pop-up rear bulletproof screen, axle-mounted tyre scythes, plus representations of the machine guns, radar and on-board telephone.
Oh yes, 1989’s Batman had one of the best-ever Batmobiles – a turbine-powered, afterburner-equipped, jet-black menace of a vehicle – that has been re-cast in LEGO form. And, it’s probably one of the best LEGO interpretations we’ve seen, particularly considering the lithe lines of the original article.
With 3,306 pieces, highlights include a wrap-around windscreen, a sliding canopy, pop-up machine guns and grappling hooks. Or, to put it another way, everything your inner eight-year-old could desire. For the (reasonably) respectable price, you’ll also receive a LEGO figurine of Nicholson’s Joker, complete with that famous purple suit. Winning.
Top Gear Rally Car
Behold the remote-controlled Lego Technic Top Gear Rally Car. Yep, not only is this a 463-piece LEGO Technic kit, but once you’ve built it, you can practice your hand as a rally driver using the LEGO Technic Control+ app.
Details? It measures 10cm tall, 26cm long and 14cm wide, and features a rally-style body kit, roll-cage, and twin exhausts. Sticker detailing, including Top Gear and Stig livery, help add the final touches. Once built, the free smartphone app offers full driving functionality, along with multi-touch and gyro controls. It also contains challenges and records your achievements.
It's already proven too enticing for our tame racing driver to resist – he’s a man of many talents, it would seem.
Feeling nostalgic yet? The Volkswagen Beetle may have been officially killed off last year, but you can still get your hands on one in LEGO form.
Constructed of 1,167 pieces, this 1960s surfer-themed Beetle includes an azure-blue colour scheme, white rims with distinctive hubcaps, round headlights, and a bonnet that opens, under which you’ll find the authentic four-cylinder, air cooled engine – boot and doors.
With a removable roof section, the model also features a beige-coloured interior, and forward-tilting front and rear seats. Behind the latter you can even access the Beetle’s storage space, complete with fabric beach towel. Customisation comes in the form of four different licence plates.
STORY Peter Rawlins