Lexus has revealed a new paint colour it claims is inspired by a butterfly’s wings and has been 15-years in the development.

LEXUS AUSTRALIA WILL OFFER a paint colour, on the LC coupe from next year, that it claims is inspired by the wings of a butterfly. The colour is called Structural Blue and comes from the, wait for it, “American Morpho butterfly which is renowned for the deep, shimmering blue of its wings”.

And, here’s the butterfly wings the paint colour is based on…

Lexus says this new colour is more lustrous “and essentially more “blue” than anything seen before”. The colour was debuted on the LC grand tourer at the 2016 Geneva motor show and has now been developed for production.

Locally, Structural Blue will be offered in “extremely limited numbers” on the LC from the first quarter of next year.

According to Lexus, producing the paint and applying it is such an involved process that only two Structural Blue “cars can be produced in a working day at the Lexus Motomachi factory”. It takes seven applications which was whittled down from 40 layers in the first instance.

“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 said in a statement.

“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 per cent. In total, 300g pigment with 300 billion pigment flakes are used for one LC”.

Question: Is this going just a little bit too far?


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    1. You can’t, total respray!

      Anyway Lexus is full of crap. Mercedes released structural colour paint years ago. It’s based on band gap structure. I actually worked with the group that discovered the structure of the butterfly scales of the blue morpho shown in the picture, that proved that it should have a band gap in the blue part of the spectrum which results in the iridescence.

      1. At least they don’t build their cars in south africa though , Mercedes are mostly shitcans on wheels nowadays. At least on low to mid end.

  1. Given the apparent complexity of the process and time spent on any one vehicle, I imagine a buyer choosing the new paint will be asked to pay a lot for the privilege. Any idea of what a ball-park figure may be?

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