This Is The Fascinating Way Lexus Created Its Absurdly Blue Wonder Paint

“Structural blue does not contain any blue material. It looks blue only because of the interference of light.” So begins the explanation of how Lexus created a color known only as “Structural Blue.” It’s almost like a zen koan, and I’m still not sure I understand it.

It took Lexus 15 years to develop Structural Blue, and another eight months just to manufacture enough for 300 Structural Blue Edition Lexus LCs. It reflects light into itself in such a way that even though none of its base materials a technically “blue,” they reflect blue light into your eyes. It’s described as “bluer than blue,” which sounds extremely strange until you know that there’s a whole cottage industry set up to produce colors that are somehow more than any color you’ve ever seen.


There’s Vantablack, for instance, which is supposed to be “blacker than black”:

And then there’s, well, the Pinkest Pink, which is what this really pink, uh, pink, is called:

These colors are so intense that cameras can’t really capture them. You’ll have to see the Lexus in person to truly understand the effect, I suppose.

I haven’t seen it in person yet, either, but I can definitively declare that the Lexus is, indeed, blue.

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Michael Ballaban

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

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