Lexus has unveiled the 2018 Lexus LC Structural Blue edition, which is painted in a unique blue that is the result of a new paint technology that uses the structure of a butterfly’s wings. It took 15-years for Lexus to develop the new technology.
The 15 year project to develop Structural Blue saw a collaboration between the company’s Tech Centers in both Ann Arbor, MI and in Japan, together with VIAVI Solutions Inc. To create the new color, the Lexus team drew inspiration from the Morpho butterfly, which is native to North and South America. The Morpho butterfly is known for the deep, shimmering blue of its wings. The interesting fact is that the wings are actually colorless. The blue seen by the human eye is created by light interference on the microscopic lattice surface structure of the Morpho butterfly’s wings.
To create this effect for the LC, Lexus needed a pigment with no less than 40 separate layers, but to bring it to production the team constantly improved the process until the effect could be created with just a seven-layer structure. The pigment is used to produce a new paint in a production process taking eight months, including 12 production steps and 20 quality inspections. The process to create the Structural Blue Lexus LC takes so long that only two can be produced per day.
The Structural Blue edition is available on the LC 500 and hybrid LC 500h. Lexus is already offering it in Europe, but it hasn’t been announced for the U.S. yet.