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Lexus LC gets the blues

Gives you wings: The Lexus LC Morphic Blue special edition’s blue paint was inspired by an electric-blue rainforest butterfly.

Eight-month, seven-layer paint job transforms Lexus LC into the big blue coupe

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Lexus logo23 May 2018

TWO Australian buyers have already taken delivery of a limited-edition Lexus LC bearing one of the most striking – and painstaking – paint jobs ever offered on a mass-produced vehicle.
 
The pair of iridescent Morphic Blue luxury sports coupes now in the hands of two Victorian customers represents a full day’s production from the Lexus LC factory in Motomachi, Japan, such is the difficulty of the 12-step, seven-layer paint process that takes a full eight months from start to finish.
 
The process, which took Lexus engineers 15 years to develop, was inspired by the bright blue wings of the Morpho butterfly in the tropical areas of the Americas, including Brazil’s Amazon jungle.
 
Technically, the butterfly is not blue but colourless, with the blue hue a trick of light from its reflection to the human eye.
 
The Lexus paint is claimed to reflect almost 100 per cent of incoming light, compared with less than 50 per cent of conventional pigment paint, thanks to billions of tiny flakes that Lexus says give the impression that the colour constantly changes with the light.
 
However, it stresses that the full effect can only be had with the naked eye; photographs just do not do it justice.
 
Called the LC Morphic Blue Limited Edition, the order-only variant has been offered in some overseas markets since last year, but now it is Australia’s turn, with order books open until the fourth quarter of this year.
 
The package, which includes a unique interior, is available on both LC variants – the petrol V8 LC500 and V6 petrol-electric hybrid LC500h – for $192,500 plus on-road costs. This is a $2500 premium over the standard issue.
 
The interior, including the headlining, is decked out in electric blue Alcantara trim – called Chrysalis Blue – broken up by bright orange panels in the doors and console. The seats are faced with white leather, while scuff plates are fashioned from carbon-fibre.
 
Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson said the Morphic Blue paint ensured the special LC coupe stood out from every other car on the road.
 
“The LC Morphic Blue Limited Edition adds extra elements of exclusivity and hand-finished quality to the brand’s sensuously designed coupe,” he said. “Offered in extremely limited numbers, this will be the car of choice for those who recognise and value the interaction of science and the highest standards of Lexus Takumi craftsmanship.”
 
Because the paint job is so special and difficult to apply, it begs the question: what if it is damaged?
 
Lexus Australia public relations manager Nick Raman said the company had anticipated that and had put in place provisions for repair, should it be required.
 
While two customer cars have been delivered in Australia, Lexus Australia also has one of its own for promotional purposes. 
 
The vehicle has been on duty at the Australian Design Awards in Sydney where the LC was awarded the inaugural best automotive exterior design award and also named a gold winner for product design.
 
Since it was launched in Australia in the middle of last year, the LC has found 126 homes in Australia, 34 in this year.

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