Lexus is a company that likes to pioneer, but even for Lexus the concept of making car wheels and tyres out of ice is a bit of a leap.
Inspired by the craftsmanship that goes into every Lexus vehicle - courtesy of its famous Takumi artisans - the company commissioned a team of ice sculpture specialists to create a set of fully-functioning wheels. Just to add to the challenge, the vehicle set to wear them was the four-wheel drive NX crossover!
Developing the wheels was no simple task. The team at Hamilton Ice Sculptors, who were set to create the frozen feet, had to research, design and test for three months. The finished wheels took four sculptors 36 hours - for each wheel!
The process started by laser-scanning a set of NX wheels and tyres, to virtually replicate them, but the construction process was all by hand. Using Japanese steel chisels and shaping tools, they created perfect replicas right down to the tread pattern.
Even the ice itself wasn't plucked straight from the freezer. The team used softened water, taken from a moving flow, to ensure it was perfectly clear after the freezing process - and they were fitted to a car that itself had spent five days stored at -30°C. Given that it's a Lexus, it's little surprise that it started first time despite this cold torture.
For safety reasons, acrylic inserts were added to ensure that the wheels could take the load of the NX, while in-wheel LED lights added an extra dimension to the stunt.
In the end, the NX and its unique frozen wheels performed perfectly, driving down the road in an unusual display that is unlikely to be replicated.
For more information on the Lexus NX click here: https://www.inchcapelexus.co.uk/cars/lexus-range/nx/