How much time does it take to develop a new color? If you’re Lexus, 15 years. That’s how long the research project lasted to create a special shade of blue, called ‘Structural Blue’, during which they collaborated their Tec Centres in USA and Japan, and VIAVI Solutions Inc.
Presented for the first time during the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the paint has now been applied to the LC luxury coupe, which goes on sale in selected markets as we speak.
But what’s so special about this paintjob? Well, besides the fact that only two Structural Blue cars can be produced in a working day at the Motomachi plant, in the Land of the Rising Sun, it can only be secured by using a pigment with no less than 40 separate layers.
The special color was inspired by the Morpho butterfly, which is native to North and South America, and it’s said to have been created using basic principles of the way light interacts with human eyes.
“The paint is applied to the LC’s bodywork in a 15-micrometre layer between the primer and clear coats. Nano-structures – super-small flakes – in the paint generate iridescence, giving the impression of the color constantly changing with the light”, explains Lexus. “Conventional pigment paints reflect less than 50 per cent of incoming light as a visible blue color, but with Structural Blue the level is nearly 100 per cent. In total, 300g of pigment with 300 billion pigment flakes is used for every one of the special LCs.”
Besides finishing the Lexus LC Structural Blue Edition in this special shade, the car has also been given 21-inch forged alloy wheels and carbon fiber scuff plates.
Moreover, its interior is dominated by the Breezy Blue color combination, with mid-blue semi-aniline leather that comes in contrast with the fine leather upholstery and orange trim. Lexus’ Premium Navigation and Climate Concierge are offered as standard, along with the Pioneer sound system and Lexus Safety System+.
The Lexus LC Structural Blue Edition is available in both V8-powered and 500h versions.