Lexus LCs for SEMA inspired by Blue Morpho butterfly, Marvel's Black Panther
25 October 2017 - Autoblog
Lexus is bringing a pair of LC 500 coupes to this year's SEMA show, and they're thoroughly different vehicles to one another.
The first is a production car, the Lexus LC Inspiration Series. It's a highly limited-edition car that is mostly stock except for a unique paint job. The other also has a special paint scheme, but it's a one-off show car designed around the upcoming Marvel movie, "Black Panther," in which an LC 500 will be featured.
The LC 500 Inspiration Series, being a production car, should be of the most interest to consumers, but also because of its special paint. Looking at it, it's very clearly blue, but according to Lexus, there are no actual blue pigments in the paint. Instead, the blue hue comes from the way nano-structures buried in the paint reflect blue light. It works similarly to the wings of the Blue Morpho butterfly, which also lack any actual blue coloration, but the structure of the wings' surfaces reflect blue light.
This paint is not easy to make, either. Lexus says it takes eight months to produce a batch, and only two cars with the coating can be built each day. So it's easy to understand why this is a limited edition car and color. Only 100 will be sold in the United States. To sweeten the deal, this Inspiration Series edition comes standard with 21-inch forged wheels, exclusive carbon fiber door sill plates, and, for some reason, a Barneys sommelier bar set with a design inspired by the LC.
As subtle as the Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series is, the Black Panther LC 500 isn't. The car features an extremely widened body. It's a fairly elegant design, except for the stuck-on claws on the side mirrors that are echoed by the silver panted fender vent strakes. The paint scheme is equally absurd. The dark indigo blue paint has an enormous Black Panther mask design on the hood. Under the car is blue underglow, and the interior is finished in black leather with blue Alcantara.
Lexus also lists a number of fictional features for the car, since it is meant for the Black Panther superhero. Among them are a bulletproof, self-healing Vibranium body, systems controlled by a "Wakandan B-CPU (Brain/Computer interface) creating a symbiotic relationship between the vehicle and its driver," and side mirrors with "instinctual positioning technology" to automatically move to the right position for the driver. There are also "vibranium-powered core indicator nodes." We have no idea what that last one is supposed to do other than sound high-tech.