Lexus have set a new benchmark in driving on ice.
Instead of driving on an icy surface, the Lexus NX was fitted with nothing less but wheels made of ice. Three ice sculpture experts from London's Hamilton Ice Sculptors studio that boasts 35 years of experience making big ice sculptures were entrusted to find out how to replace alloy wheels and tires with ice.
After three months of research, design and testing, the deep-frozen Lexus NX, which previously spent five days in a freezer set at 30 degrees centigrade below zero, was fitted with ice wheels to drive, having started in the first attempt, along a London street. The attractive look of the wheels was enhanced with LED's integrated in the ice structure.
The manufacturing process began with the designers using a laser scanner to scan the original wheels and tires, followed by CAD designs for the ice wheel blueprints, which took four sessions of 36 work hours each. The precise finishing operations that involved even minute details such as the tire tread profile were performed manually using Japanese steel chisels and other hand tools. In order to make ice, soft running water was used, which guaranteed a transparent ice structure, while sufficient load-bearing capacity was achieved by using acrylic inserts.