What is it about a certain color that captures our attention or even affects our moods? Color has a huge effect on our daily life. From the clothes and shoes we pick-out each day, to bright-colored handbags, even the color of the cars we drive, we all have a color-palette we gravitate to.
Think about a pair of shoes or a suit you bought. Did you try one on just like it in another color and it just didn’t look right? Either the color didn’t accent the elaborate curvature and character of the high-heeled pump or the suit didn’t look as sharp or powerful in a lighter color.
Outside of fashion, color is just as important in the automotive world.
Lexus pulled back the curtain ever so slightly to show the science and the process that goes into choosing the best colors to suit its variety of models.
Color Meister (master) Yoichiro Kitamura runs Lexus’ Color Design Department and oversees the color selection process, which can take up to 3 years.
“Obviously I’d learned about color at school, but I quickly found the science of car color to be quite different. In simple terms, we use color to bring out and maximize a car’s character – but that takes us right into the psychology of color, and how we can use depth and clarity to accentuate the shape and size of a car.”
You can probably easily imagine a sporty Lexus in bright orange or yellow, but can you imagine those same colors on a Lexus RX or an ES?
2015 Lexus RC-F Color: Molten Pearl
The process of color development is truly a global collaboration, as the Lexus brand is sold in the U.S. and other parts of the world; it needs to appeal to all consumers.
Designers, engineers, sales associates, and Lexus customers from Japan, U.S., and Europe provide detailed input into the color selection process.
First order of business is the type of car: is it a sedan or a coupe, is it sporty or luxurious, is it a crossover SUV or a large SUV.
“We have 30 main choices of Lexus body colors,” says Mr. Nishimura, an engineer in the Material Engineering Department “but the LFA has unlimited options. Even so, around half of LFA customers choose white. Black and silver are very popular Lexus choices, so more effort is going into enriching and differentiating these colors with unique textures and depths.”
To provide different texture and depth, the Color Design Department creates new colors with the use of pearl, metal, and mineral textures. This creates a new spectrum of color choices that are far more advanced than most mass-market vehicles.
2015 Lexus RC F Color: Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0
2015 Lexus IS 350C Color: Matador Red Mica
2015 Lexus LS 460 Color: Obsidian
2015 Lexus RX 350 Color: Fire Agate Pearl
2015 Lexus GS 450 Hybrid Color: Deep Sea Mica
2015 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT Color: Ultra White
2015 Lexus ES 350 Color: Nebula Gray Pearl
2015 Lexus GX 460 Color: Silver Lining Metallic
2015 Lexus NX 200t Color: Meteor Blue Mica
2015 Lexus LX 570 Color: Starfire Pearl