Lexus has created the world’s coolest wheels and tires… literally.
To create the world’s first set of working wheels and tires made from frozen water, the Japanese automaker commissioned a team of ice sculpture specialists to see how ice could be used in lieu of conventional alloy metal and rubber. The team took three months to research, design and test before the finished wheels were fitted onto a Lexus NX for the ultimate ice drive. Before the crossover got a chance to drive down a London road, the NX itself was deep-frozen and stored for five days at negative-30-degrees Celsius(-22 Fahrenheit.) Lexus was quick to mention that the NX started on its first time despite the below-freezing temperatures.
The ice for the wheels and tires were made from softened water taken from a moving flow to ensure it was perfectly clear when taken from the freezer. To ensure the wheels could take the load of the NX, acrylic inserts were added. In total, four sculptors worked for 36 hours to produce each wheel and even the tread patterns on the tires were faithfully reproduced.
“Creating Amazing is what Lexus is about,” said Lexus director Richard Balshaw. “Projects such as our hoverboard, the origami-inspired cardboard car and now a dazzling set of fully functioning ice wheels, demonstrate how we use advanced technologies and the best craftsmanship traditions to achieve outstanding results. That’s not just for eye-catching one-off projects, but for the cars we deliver to our customers, too.”