Lexus Paint Colors - What You Didn’t Know

You probably know that Lexus recently introduced at least two crazy colors in its lineup, namely the Solar Flare / Molten Pearl and the Passionate Red / Infrared, to really make its newly developed RC coupe stand out in the crowd. You might think choosing these colors was pretty easy but in fact it can take up two years to come with the right hue.
Lexus RC 9 photos
Photo: Lexus
Lexus RC F Sport in Ultra WhiteLexus RC F Sport in Nebula Grey PearlLexus RC F Sport in Silver Lining MetallicLexus RC F Sport in Atomic SilverLexus RC F Sport in ObsidianLexus RC F Sport in Infrared/Passionate RedLexus RC F Sport in Solar Flare/Molten PearlLexus RC F Sport in Ultrasonic Blue Mica
Lexus International Magazine met the team that dedicates time and resources for the demanding and laborious color development process. In short words, finding the right colors for a new car is a helluva lot harder than expected if you want the finished product to look staggering.

First of all, Lexus is not using off-the-shelf paint for its cars, which leads to an increased amount of time consumed on development, but also offers a unique look at the end of the process. If you recall, the Atomic Silver shade found its way to the first position of the Japanese Auto Color Award last year.

Megumi Suzuki is the designer that handled the development of the new luminous red paint you can have on the Lexus RC coupe. It’s quite an interesting shade, which was possible to obtain only by blending multiple layers of red, silver and clear coats.

“We wanted a color that could be both bright and dark, depending on the viewing angle,” says Suzuki. “That contrast helps to highlight the car’s curves and angles.”

And it is a special color indeed. Look at it perpendicularly and you’ll see a delicious candy apple shade as the light reflects it’s true value. Have a look from a different angle and you’ll get a darker carmine shade.

'til your eyes bleed

That’s achieved using dozens of different combinations placed on rectangular patches and sometimes, you couldn’t even tell the difference. Suzuki said that she looked at so many shades of red paint that she couldn’t see straight after a while. Not to mention the fact that everywhere she goes, each painted object can instantly transform into an inspiration source.

Each batch of painted patches is thoroughly scrutinized both indoors and outdoors, at various angles and bends. Designers have to go through this every few weeks, as a new batch arrives from the 96-year-old paint making company Kansai Paint in Osaka.

The project takes so long because people’s perception of colors tend to change depending on the season, as well as physical and mental states. So each batch of shades has to be checked and observed by the team again during each season.

If that wasn’t enough, designers have to make sure the shades they choose match the car’s “aura”, as under the wrong colors, they can appear bloated or seem to look plasticky. Full-scale models are created from clay and sprayed with the different shades to see if they work properly.

Back to the drawing board

Once the color designers get the right exterior finish, there’s even more work to be done inside, where you need multiple shades and different materials in order to create the right feeling. Process that also involves small patches, different shades and materials to be observed closely.

So yeah, a designer’s job isn’t as easy as you might have thought it was, and Lexus designers are absolutely obsessed with perfection along with the rest of the development team members.
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