It Took Lexus 15 Years To Develop The New LC Structural Blue Edition’s Special Paint

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.



  • Bo Hanan

    This car is starting to grow on me.

  • Dennis James

    The color looks great, the car looks good.

  • MonkeyRider

    It’s a beautiful car.

  • Bash

    Great car. Love that blue; not in the enterior though.


    • SteersUright

      I’ve seen a few in miami already. They’re certainly attention grabbers and quite good looking overall. Its funny though, this is one of those cars thats looks better in pics and less impressive in the flesh somehow. In person, it just looks massive, way too big to be taken seriously as a sports car, and the interior that looks so cool in pics, looked like any old Lexus in person. Also, given the sheer mass of this beast, I thought it would be supremely comfy inside, where it was actually a bit tight. This is definitely a cool car with a pros & cons list. But, in person I realized its much more of a Benz SL/S-coupe, full size GT contender, and very much not a sports car.

  • fabri99

    I can easily find one or two things to better invest fifteen years of research on.

    • Finkployd

      …like your masturbating technique ? 😉

  • Bonzomatic

    I get irritated when I get a rock chip in the paint of my daily driver. There’s no way I could drive this car and keep my sanity.

  • Bonzomatic

    It still has Predator face…

  • Carmelo Van Cabboi

    15 years?!?!? Bitch please

  • jeff archibald

    And they put it on the world’s ugliest production car. Did they spend 20 years developing that level of ugly nose?

  • Rocket

    Cool color, but 15 years? I guess it’s to be expected … look how long it took them to give us an all-new Camry.

  • Akira

    Still pissed that we don’t get this tri-tone interior in Europe. Not that I could afford it anyway.

  • ctk4949

    I guess its something you have to see in person, to truly enjoy??

  • J D

    Nice color, but I think they’re offering it the wrong way. Luxury is about getting to spec something to your own taste. By only offering it as a single-spec “Edition” car, it becomes an assembly-line product, same as everyone else who buys the Edition car. You get more personalization by getting a regular model and picking your options than buying this. The color should merely be a $5000+ option (as it is for BMW Individual paint or the special NSX colors).

  • SteersUright

    In pics it just looks, well, blue. Im sure this has to be seen in person to be appreciated.

  • BobV12

    15 years to develop something you can’t sell on photos. Sad !

  • TheBelltower

    If the paint helps the LC look less dopey as it drives down the road, then the 15 years were well spent.

  • Blade t

    These look and sound great in person,, I wonder how much extra they charge for the special blue paint….

  • eb110americana

    It would be better if they spent some of those 15 years to show the car in a video more than 360p and a bunch of heavily Photoshopped images. It just looks blue. They need to put it on a turntable in the bright sun and film it in at least 1080 so all of the depth and color refraction (“flop”) is visible.

  • xDRAN0x

    Like 1h per week or smt

  • Vassilis

    Is it still susceptible to bird poo?

  • U8INIT

    Please make a SUV versions of this…

  • jarooo4

    “15-micrometre layer” just great. One small scratch from anything and you are screwed. And 15 years of development? I think it was like “lets make a new colour” and they forgot about the project for 10 or more years because there was no time for it.

  • Ary Wisesa

    Huge respects for Lexus. To develop blue color WITHOUT using any blue pigment at all is simply tremendous. I understand that something spectacular needs very much time to develop. They might choose a far shorter path (using blue pigment right away), but the fact they’d chosen far more difficult path with great amount of resource involved is just insane. And the result is nothing short of wonderful and amazing.

    Good job Lexus!

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