You’ve got to hand it to Lexus. Like we saw with the company’s amazing hoverboard earlier in the year, this is one auto-maker that knows how to make an impression with gorgeous research concepts. Are they in any way practical? Well… maybe not, but that doesn’t stop them being marvellous examples of scientific showmanship.
The latest demonstration of this is this Lexus NX, which gets around entirely on wheels carved out of ice. Yes, actual ice, that frozen water stuff.
Via a collaboration with ice-carving studio Hamilton Ice Sculptors, Lexus made its supercool vehicle a chilly reality, but not without considerable effort. According to Alexander Stoklosa at Car and Driver, each of the NX’s ice wheels took a team of four ice sculptors some 36 hours to complete.
If you watch the video above closely, you can see they’re not just generic round tyre shapes either. Each ice wheel has been painstakingly created to resemble the real deal, down to accurately spaced tyre grooves – totally superficial of course, as perpetually icy tyres wouldn’t offer much in the way of grip.
Each wheel has been reinforced internally with acrylic spokes to help shoulder the 1,800-kilogram (4,000-pound) weight of the vehicle, and they’ve also been fitted out with cool-looking blue LED lights to show off the tyres’ transparency – which would also help highlight if anybody’s nicked your hubcaps.
To make sure things didn’t get off to a melty start, it seems the entire vehicle had to be ‘deep frozen’ for five days at –30 degrees Celsius (–22 degrees Fahrenheit) before being driven down a London street, as shown in the video.
And no, none of this makes any sense – and yes, at the end of the day it boils down to being just a fancy car commercial – but hey, we still kinda love it.[“source-sciencealert”]