A unique, full-scale LEGO McLaren Senna has been created in secret by shifts of specialist assemblers working around the clock. Taking nearly 5,000 hours to assemble, it comprises almost 500,000 separate components. Unusual for a McLaren, the LEGO Senna is something of a heavyweight, tipping the scales at 3,348lbs – 1,102lbs more than the McLaren Senna that sold out as soon as it was announced in 2017.
Built to click with fans the world over, this surprise new Senna is the most realistic and ambitious McLaren ever made by LEGO. Pieced together from one metric ton’s worth of LEGO elements, you may not be able to drive off in it, but enthusiasts young and old can climb aboard, sit behind the wheel, push the start button (located in the roof), and even hear a simulation of the 208mph car roaring to life. Fans can also operate the lights and infotainment system on the model.
The astonishing life-size re-creation of the most track-focused road-legal McLaren is the latest in the model partnership between McLaren Automotive and the LEGO Group, the iconic Danish toy manufacturer.
Generally, the LEGO Speed Champions range of McLaren kits is available in more manageable sizes for younger hands to put together. But as McLaren and LEGO showed with the McLaren 720S model in 2017, a 1:1 scale McLaren built entirely of LEGO bricks makes for a uniquely immersive, interactive and, above all, fun experience.
Now the brick-built Senna moves the model-car game on in ways befitting an Ultimate Series McLaren. The statistics behind it are mind-boggling: in total, 467,854 individual LEGO elements were used in its construction, which is almost 200,000 more bricks than were used to construct the 720S model two years ago. Working in shifts around the clock, teams of up to 10 model-makers needed 2,725 hours to click together all the pieces for the LEGO McLaren Senna, nine times longer than it takes to produce each painstakingly hand-assembled Senna production car (300 hours). Including design and development, a total of 4,935 hours went into creating the model, involving no fewer than 42 men and women from the LEGO build team.
The McLaren Senna is the first LEGO McLaren to incorporate interior parts from a real car, underlining its authenticity. Inside the extreme, driver-focused cabin are the lightweight carbon-fibre seats, steering wheel and pedals from the real Senna. Actual McLaren badges are fitted and the wheels and Pirelli tires are exactly as specified on the actual car. The dihedral doors are made from LEGO bricks and are removable to allow people easy access to the cabin.
Rendering the ultimate form-follows-function McLaren in plastic bricks with such accuracy required months of design and development work, involving both McLaren and the LEGO team. The car’s brick-work is finished to replicate Victory Grey with contrasting orange highlights, just like the 5in-long, 219-piece, McLaren Senna LEGO Speed Champions edition that went on sale earlier this year in toyshops, priced at $14.99.
For young McLaren owners of the toy model, seeing its full-size LEGO equivalent promises to be a magical, double-take moment. McLaren and LEGO fans of all ages will be able to get up close at a variety of events throughout 2019, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex, UK, in early July.