How do you create a replica Lamborghini SIAN FKP 37 out of LEGO parts?

The replica is on display on the 700 level of the South Building at the 2023 Canadian International AutoShow, and it’s become quite the attraction.

Lubor Zelinka, who works as a Design Managing Specialist at LEGO Group, said it took 10 months to develop and build and more than 8,000 manhours using more than 400,000 LEGO® TechnicTM plastic rods and parts.

“It always starts with a set you can buy and build it yourself, and for some of these sets LEGO decides to create unique promotions like this and that’s where we come in,” Zelinka said. “We can choose what car we do. We can choose the particular styling or the method that we use.”

He oversaw the design of a replica Bugatti Chiron that was on display at the 2019 AutoShow.

“In contrast with this, Bugatti was all about driving and building as much as possible out of LEGO Technic,” Zelinka said. “This one we chose to go with a more artistic route, hence the styling of the body that is built out of small hexagons, which is the shape that Lamborghini is using a lot in their designs. It’s their signature pattern, that’s why it has this sort of dragon skin approach. We also work with them on the paint job and the colour scheme. They were amazing to work with.”

He said the process began when Lamborghini provided he and his team with a full 3D data of the car as well as the wheels and the badges.

“We would design small sections on a computer, then measure against the 3D model of their car to see if we are accurate and if the dimensions are right,” he said. “But there were a lot of red lines in the final assembly where we had to tweak this and that to actually put it together. It was great, but then we had to engineer the rest ourselves. There’s a steel frame our engineers did.

“We have a lot very skilled colleagues. Technic requires a very special skillset and it’s more on a voluntary basis. We have about 300 people working on model production, all different models, and when something like this is coming up, we say, ‘This is going to be tough, and if you want to try it out, come forward and try building this one with us.’ It’s so different from all the other models. There are no blueprints for it, for the set assembly, stuff like that. We ask them to do a lot more than they would do normally.”

AutoShow President Michael Eatson used the words “wow factor” when he first saw the replica.

“It’s very cool,” he said. “The crowds are lined up to see the car. Obviously it’s a good draw and people like seeing it. It’s hard to envision 400,000 thousand (parts) that are in that. LEGO has been a partner of the Show for a couple of shows and it’s been a great partnership. The LEGO store is lined up with people down the hall.”

Representatives of LEGO presented Eatson with a plaque made out of LEGO parts to commemorate the AutoShow’s 50th anniversary this year. It was shaped like a steering wheel.

“It’s a nice touch as a well-respected partner with us,” Eatson said.

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Kalvin Reid
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Enterprise Canada
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