Wednesday, July 24, 2024

I built the Lego Technic McLaren P1 in the McLaren Technology Centre – here’s why it’s a must-buy | Stuff

Must read

Combining a love for Lego and fast cars that make loud noises, I recently had the unique opportunity to visit the McLaren Technology Centre to get an in-depth look at the engineering, design, and innovation behind the new Lego Technic McLaren P1 set. 

Exploring McLaren’s state-of-the-art facility is a dream come true for me, with a behind-the-scenes tour that looked at past Formula 1 cars, an impressive trophy cabinet, and the pristine assembly line. 

Upon arriving at the McLaren Technology Centre, I was immediately struck by the sleek, modern building settled into the landscape, with the large glass facade beautifully reflecting the surrounding nature.

As I stepped into the lobby, I was greeted by a spacious design that radiates a sense of calm. The centrepiece, is, of course, the stunning display of McLaren’s most iconic cars, each telling a story of engineering excellence and racing heritage. It’s completely surreal.

Equally surreal was building the latest detailed entry in the LEGO Technic Ultimate Car Concept Series in the place where the original car was designed, surrounded by these amazing vehicles.

Intricate engineering

When the McLaren P1 launched in 2013, it was the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar of its time.

It leveraged McLaren’s motorsport-based engineering to introduce ground-breaking advances in weight reduction, packaging, high-speed performance, powertrain and aerodynamics. It was created with the intention of being ‘the best driver’s car in the world on both road and track’.

The incredible engineering and technology in the McLaren P1 makes it the perfect challenge for the Lego Technic team to replicate in 1:8 scale.

This is the latest set in the Lego Technic Ultimate Car Concept Series. It consists of 3,893 elements and each car features a unique serial number which unlocks special behind-the-scenes content.

This Lego set is almost as high-tech as the real thing, with a 7-speed gearbox with two shifter drums, working suspension, a V8 piston engine, an adjustable rear wing, and opening dihedral doors with a very advanced mechanism.

As I pieced together one of the dihedral doors, sitting in the MTC with deep house music pumping over the speakers, I could already tell that this would be an immersive and complex building experience, filled with intricate details sure to please McLaren fans.

“the similarity is that they’re as passionate as we are”

The model was created by the Lego Technic design team in close collaboration with McLaren Automotive, and I had the opportunity to chat with Tobias Sühlmann, Chief Design Officer at McLaren Automotive, about the process.

“It’s teamwork. What I like is to see the similarities of how they work, but also to see the differences. And what was also absolutely fascinating is to see, they really sit and try to figure out how they are going to build that.

“I like the details that they brought to life – that was something that was really mind-blowing. They understood how we work, and they understood and listened also to what is important to us. When you walk around the car and you see how low the rear end is, and you see the rear fenders, how high they are. You see the shape of it – it’s very important and they kept it here. 

“When you talk to them, then the similarity is that they’re as passionate as we are.”

When I asked Sühlmann if he planned to display the Lego Technic model in his office, he replied, “I definitely will. I don’t know if I have much time to build it, but every moment I have, I will.”

When he does finally finish it, Sühlmann will need a large shelf, as the Lego Technic McLaren P1 model measures over 14cm high, 59cm long and 25cm wide.

Will you be joining him in making the new Lego Technic McLaren P1 set? It will be available on Lego’s website and LEGO Stores from 1st August 2024 priced at $460 / £390.

Latest article