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Lexus LC 500 Painted with Blue ‘Butterfly-Inspired’ Paint Technology

October 10, 2017

Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue
Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue Edition

Lexus developed a new vehicle paint technology to create an exclusive, shimmering new shade, called ‘Structural Blue’ to make sure your new LC luxury coupe stand out from every other car on the road.

This new colour was developed exclusively for the Lexus LC Structural Blue Edition and is the result of Lexus’ meticulous research into how advanced technology can produce a finish that is deeper, more lustrous and more ‘blue’ than anything seen before.

Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue
Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue | Front

A similar paint technique was first seen on the Lexus LC models presented in the spotlight of the Geneva motor show in 2016, but now it has been developed for production, adding extra elements of exclusivity and hand-finished quality to Lexus’ sensuously designed coupes.

Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue
Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue | Side

The carmaker’s research team studied nature and the structure of the blue Morpho butterfly’s wings to determine how a similar iridescent effect could be achieved with vehicle paint. Native to the Americas, this butterfly is known for the deep, shimmering blue of its wings. It is said however, that the wings are in fact colourless.

Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue
Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue | Rear

The pigment is used to produce a new paint in a production process taking 8 months, including 12 production steps and 20 quality inspections. 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 colour constantly changing with the light.

Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue
Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue | Rear

Conventional pigment paints reflect less than 50 per cent of incoming light as a visible blue colour, but with Structural Blue the level is nearly 100% according to Lexus.

Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue
Lexus LC 500 Structural Blue | Interior

In total, 300g pigment with 300 billion pigment flakes are used for one LC. Apparently, the application process is so complex that only two Structural Blue cars can be produced in a working day at Lexus’ factory. Now that exclusivity for you!

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