In a bold and trailblazing move, BMW today announced plans for a revolutionary performance MINI Cooper S vehicle model called the LEGOworks. The new model will feature a lightweight and fuel-efficient chassis and body design constructed exclusively out of LEGOS®.
Design & Photo Courtesy of S. Beatty ©2012
"Working with LEGOS has not only been easy, but fun," said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. "The challenges are two-fold: 1. Get the proper size and spec LEGOS to construct a compact performance sports car, and 2. Develop a way to make the construction durable, permanent and safe."
To that end, MINI designers and engineers worked closely with engineers from LEGO in developing the full size LEGOS that serve as the car's body and backbone.
"This is a project that we could not have even dreamt of two years ago," said John Hansen, Senior Vice President - Engineering & Quality at The LEGO Group. "This project really pushed both our R&D and Design teams to new heights. The result created a whole new business unit here at LEGO that encompasses full size LEGO block designs with industrial and architectural applications. LEGOS made for real world, practical building and use. It's really a whole new market and new direction for the company."
Hansen went on to explain the process and manufacturing for the new LEGOworks MINI Cooper S uses special high-impact structural polymer LEGO blocks filled with unique 'crumple-foam' and fused with heat and cold-tolerant epoxy resin. The resulting chassis and body is extremely durable yet lightweight. What's more, this specialized plastic construction is environmentally friendly. LEGOworks construction contains a special compound that initiates decomposition of the plastic to organic, inert materials when sprayed with a special LEGOworks destabilizer compound - simply spray it on and landfill the materials and they will break down to non-toxic inert materials within 15 years.
The vehicle is in prototype development now, but don't expect to see a production model any time in the near term. van Hooydonk estimates the production model is at least four years out.
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