Lexus NX With Ice Wheels a Result of a Collaboration With Hamilton Ice Sculptors

By: | December 25th, 2015

YouTube/Lexus UK

Major car companies seem to be in an arms race when it comes to outrageous marketing, as Lexus recently unveiled an origami car.

Lexus has one-upped itself by releasing a video of a Lexus NX outfitted with ice wheels, thanks to a collaboration with the experts at Hamilton Ice Sculptors in the UK.

While the NX can’t go very fast, the idea that it can roll around on four ice wheels at all is impressive in itself.

Keep in mind that the ice wheels are holding up a vehicle body weighing around 4,000 pounds!

YouTube Description From Lexus UK:

The Lexus hallmarks of expert design, sublime style, and supreme craftsmanship have driven our ethos of Creating Amazing for years, both in our production vehicles and our concepts. For our latest project, we put a team master craftsmen to the test as we tackled our coolest concept yet: the ice-tyre Lexus NX.

Driving on four perfectly-finished, hand-sculpted tyres made from optically perfect, crystal-clear ice, the Lexus NX emerged from its own test of craftsmanship and quality – a five-day deep freeze at -30 degrees Centigrade that left it clad in a thick layer of ice.

Taking three months from start to finish, the ice-tyre Lexus NX is the product of a collaboration between Lexus UK and the ice-sculpting experts at Hamilton Ice Sculptors. The challenge was two-fold: how to recreate the Lexus five-twin-spoke alloy wheel and its Yokohama winter tyre with incredible precision, while also making a wheel and tyre that would support the NX’s 2.2-tonne mass.

Like the highly-trained Lexus ‘takumi’, Hamilton Ice Sculptors combine generations of experience using traditional ice-sculpting methods with the latest technology to design and produce their works of art. Employing advanced techniques like laser-scanning, three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD), and multi-axis machining equipment, they could produce consistent wheel and tyre combinations ready for hand-finishing with traditional tools and techniques.

With the ice tyres ready and the NX suitably chilled in its icy chamber, the moment of truth saw the wheels and ice tyres mounted onto the frozen Lexus hybrid (which started first time, of course) ready for its first attempt at driving on ice. Part engineering, part art, this unique project came together to prove that anything is possible with the right combination of desire, skill and dedication.

Marshall Smith

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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