Bugatti’s world-beating Veyron wasn’t just the fastest series-production car in the world; it became the benchmark against which every other hypercar since was measured against. That includes the sequel to the Veyron, whose die-cast model is now subject for review.
For LaLD’s Concours d’Elegance, I now present for your consideration Hot Wheels’ Bugatti Chiron.
Chiron, a centaur seen as a mentor figure in Greek mythology, is also the surname of one of Bugatti’s top works drivers back in the inter-war period. So naming the newest hypercar from Molsheim after them attracts expectations of a car that can supersede its predecessor in every metric both tangible and intangible. I don’t need to write about those things—better scribes have done just that.
What I’m here to do is judge the new Chiron casting on its own merits, with as little context from another casting as possible, and see if it’s worth the cost.
Once freed from the blister, this casting impresses. Not only does it look the same as the one on the card, at certain angles it can pass off as something more expensive than its sticker price suggests. Every line on the metal body matches the real thing, including the signature “C” feature, which is as crisply-laid with glinting silver paint as the badge up front.
The back is also lavishly-detailed for its price point, with just about every part modelled according to which one must represent the mesh (that forms part of a fully-equipped interior) and which one denotes the exterior shell. So far then, the Chiron casting has made a strong, glowing first impression.
Yet some key details are missing, and certain decisions hold the casting back somewhat. The headlamps, for one, aren’t there when I purchased it; neither are the taillamps. The silver intake blades were too choppy and roughly-painted. Paintwork is also suspect, as it doesn’t play nicely to the camera.
But the biggest offender is the grille—or lack of it. Making it a flat tampo-print instead of a mesh intake shows off a significant cost-cutting measure that detracts from the quality of the rest of the casting, bringing it down a peg.
Otherwise, the only other major criticism I can level to this model is its weight. I get that the Chiron needs to be light to go as fast on the orange track as the real car, but it feels too light, undercutting the robust construction of the car. It feels thin, something that doesn’t convey how good the casting is as a replica.
What’s the verdict, then? Excellent, of course, with the caveat being that this is as good as you can have it for retail price. Siku has a better Chiron, but is too large; Grani & Partners has its premium model that’s too far out of reach for most collectors. And while Mattel’s casting is leaps and bounds ahead of the Veyron in quality, the result still has certain aspects that leave me wanting.
But the deficiencies don’t overshadow the casting enough that I’d question the purchase. Thing is, Mattel succeeded in translating the fastest car in the world in 1:64. It’s the best new HW in my garage, one that I don’t see getting matched both in pace and pedigree very soon.
- Accurate body-casting
- Fully-modelled interior
- Tampo-printed grille
- Missing details
- Too light
I somehow did it! A million-dollar car for the LaLD Concours d’Elegance. Had I known this was happening earlier, I would have probably taken my sweet time, so don’t be surprised if I revisit this feature someday.
Thank you for reading!