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2019 March
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Car and Driver: So Chill: Lexus Gives the NX Wheels Made of Ice

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2015 Lexus NX ice tire


It would appear as though Lexus is a little bored on its winter break, as it has gone through the considerable effort to have one of its NX crossovers fitted with scale wheels and tires made from ice. If this sounds like a pointless stunt, chill out. The NX already rides firmly, so the assuredly firm ride offered by icy wheels and tires seems like a fair trade-off for the impossibility of a flat. (Ignore the very real possibility of a shatter, however.) No mere static stunt, the ice-footed NX actually drove down a London street. For a time.


2015 Lexus NX ice tire


Among the many reasons why you won’t see a car equipped with ice wheels any time soon—besides the requirement that it stay below 32 degrees where you live, all of the time, year ’round—is that their construction pace is glacial. Each of the Lexus’s wheels took four ice sculptors from London’s Hamilton Ice Sculptors 36 hours to complete. (And that was after three months of research, development, and testing, according to Lexus.) Each wheel and tire was meticulously recreated from the real deal, and the entire car, ice wheels fitted, was “deep-frozen” for five days in -22 degrees F temperatures before being driven down a street. To prevent the wheels from going all dropped ice cube under the NX’s weight, they were reinforced internally with acrylic spokes and fitted with LED lights for an extra blast of pizzaz. There’s no word on how long the Titanic-sinkers lasted, or what their grip characteristics were like, but, uh, happy winter?



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