Following a 15-year research project into butterfly wings, Lexus can boast the fact it is the only automaker with this very unique paint, with the LC 500 Structural Blue edition featuring a true iridescent look.
The blue color we see for this limited-edition model has been inspired by the shimmering wings of the Morpho butterfly – and the carmaker can only produce two cars per day because the paint process is utterly complicated, with 12 steps and no less than 20 quality inspections. The idea is that while conventional pigments give back in reflection less than half the light they receive, this special paint reaches almost 100 percent, according to the company. There are even smallish flakes in the paint that deliver an ever-morphing shade of blue – don’t look closely, Lexus has already told us the effect isn’t possible in the photos, so you need to see the real deal to make an impression.
When they started touting the idea, Lexus had no less than 40 layers of paint to achieve the desired effect – research and development narrowed them down to just seven, making it realistic for production. The process remains complicated, so clients in Europe – where the Structural Blue edition is available on the LC 500 and 500h – need to be patient because Lexus will only paint two examples per day. The special edition also includes 21-inch wheels and carbon-fiber door sill plates, Breezy Blue leather upholstery for parts of the cockpit, white hides for the seats, Vivid Orange leather on the gear shift and door panels as well as an Alcantara headliner.