For the past 15 years, Lexus has been conducting a research into butterfly wings. And this study resulted in a special paint job from the Japanese automaker. It is so complicated that the paint alone requires 12 steps and 20 quality inspections. We will first see this on the LC 500 Structural Blue Edition, that creates an iridescent look on the grand tourer.
The company was inspired by the Morpho butterfly, which gave them this particular shade of blue. Lexus says that unlike conventional finishes where the paint reflects just under 50 percent of the pigments, this shade reflects almost 100 percent. The tiny pigments let the vehicle produce an ever changing shade of blue. The only downside is that this is not apparent in photographs, which is why you cannot really appreciate it in these photos.
When Lexus first came up with this shade, they had to use 40 layers of paint to let it produce this effect. However, after years of study, they were able to reduce this down to only 7 layers - now making it more feasible for production models.
Seven may not sound that many, but the process is still complicated. And the company is only limited to making two of these examples each day. So you will have to wait a little longer if you request for this particular shade.
The LC 500 and 500h are now available in the European market with the unique paint. Apart from the special paint, the package comes with a set of 21-inch wheels and carbon fiber door sill plates. To match the exterior, the interior will have a Breezy Blue leather upholstery that covers some parts of the cabin like the steering wheel, upper door trim, center armrest and instrument panel. To give it some contrast, the seats will be covered in white hides, while there will be Vivid Orange leather bits on the gear shift and the door panels. To keep it looking upscale, the headliner gets an Alcantara finish.
The Structural Blue edition may come to the United States sometime soon, but this has not been confirmed yet and Lexus has made no announcement.
If looks don’t really matter to you because you prefer having a more powerful vehicle, rumours say that there will soon be a Lexus LC 500 F. If this is true, we will probably see the model at the Tokyo Motor Show by the end of October. This is probably going to be equipped with a 4.0 liter biturbo V8 that produces about 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts).